Author Topic: Serial Season #2: Bowe Bergdahl  (Read 3717 times)

Greg Davidson

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Serial Season #2: Bowe Bergdahl
« on: December 13, 2015, 08:20:51 PM »
I was wondering what the podcast Serial would do to come up with a sequel to their remarkable investigation of an ambiguous high school murder in the late 1990's. What I found particularly compelling about the first season was the lack of certainty, the ability to fully investigate the situation from many perspectives and to follow, cautiously, where the evidence led (and if you are going to assume that the outcome of the show was foretold from the beginning because NPR is a crypto-liberal something-or-other, I suggest you listen because that is neither the tone nor the outcome).  If you haven't listened, I won't give you a spoiler about the case of Adnan Sayed, but I do recommend the 10 part podcast highly.

Season #2 is about Bergdahl. Going in, I believe that the salient fact is that he committed an act of desertion. There are conflicting claims as to his motives and the impacts of his desertion. I am not sure what else there is to say, and I can't really see anything else that could possibly be exculpatory. But based on Season #1, I have some confidence that those producing the show have found something that makes rehashing this case relevant, but I can't imagine what. Episode #1 presented the story of his desertion and capture from Bergdahl's perspective (they got a hold of 12 hours of his discussion on tape); Episode #2 will be from the perspective of the Taliban.

If possible, I'd like to keep this thread about Bergdahl's case itself (and the information brought to light by Serial) and if someone wants to to talk about the Obama Administration's action to bring about the prisoner exchange, please start an additional thread. 

 
 

Pete at Home

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Re: Serial Season #2: Bowe Bergdahl
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2015, 01:31:54 PM »
Got links?

Greg Davidson

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Re: Serial Season #2: Bowe Bergdahl
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2015, 09:29:26 PM »
Link to Serial Season #2  https://serialpodcast.org/

DonaldD

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Re: Serial Season #2: Bowe Bergdahl
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2015, 09:45:08 AM »
Apologies for the spam, I just wanted to test test out the new editor.
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Pete at Home

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Re: Serial Season #2: Bowe Bergdahl
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2015, 10:16:54 AM »
that is so cool

Greg Davidson

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Re: Serial Season #2: Bowe Bergdahl
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2016, 10:27:18 AM »
I am mid-way through the last episode. This is an excellent example of real journalism.

Anti-Bergdahl/Obama Administration findings
- Bergdahl was clearly a deserter
- The Obama Administration broke a law by not providing 30 days advance notice of prisoner release from Guantanamo
- The Rose Garden Ceremony with Bergdahl's parents was a stupid mistake (they knew that his release would be controversial, but on the day of the release the Bergdahls happened to be in town and someone made a gut call that was wrong).
- The Susan Rice response to questioning the next day on a talk show that Bergdahl "had served with honor and distinction" was a very stupid and offensive mistake

  Exculpatory Bergdahl/Obama Administration findings
- Bergdahl had a mental health discharge from Coast Guard boot camp and probably should never have been accepted into the army (except it was a time that they were lowering their standards)
- Those 5 released from Guantanamo had done some bad things, but had not taken up arms against Americans (the worst guy surrendered to the US voluntarily very early in the invasion)
- This final episode is probing the most important moral charge against Bergdahl, that 6 other soldiers died searching for him, and the conclusion is that this claim is not substantiated. The 6 died in four incidents not in the immediate 4-6 weeks search, but on missions after that time in other locations. The basis for confusion appears to be some umbrella statements to also be on the lookout for Bergdahl. 

My judgement based on hearing the interviews was that the Republican response in Congress (feelings of betrayal by the Obama Administration) was sincere. The efforts to publicize opposition to the Bergdahl release seems to have been promoted by political operatives but involved gathering people from Bowe's platoon who sincerely believed what they were saying.