The incredibly popular podcast Serial has returned for its much-anticipated second season. As previously known, this season will feature the story of Bowe Bergdahl, a United States soldier who had been a Taliban prisoner for five years after disappearing in Afghanistan. He came home in 2014, but as with the podcast's first season, the story's not quite that simple.
After Bergdahl's return, public perception quickly turned to the events that eventually caused his capture, and whether it was Bergdahl's fault in the first place. It's all a bit complicated, but he's since been charged by the military with misbehavior before the enemy and desertion. It's complicated, and thus the perfect kind of story for Sarah Koenig, the podcast's host and creator, to sink her teeth into.
— Serial (@serial) December 10, 2015
In May 2014, a U.S. Special Operations team in a Black Hawk helicopter landed in the hills of Afghanistan. Waiting for them were more than a dozen Taliban fighters and a tall American, who looked pale and out of sorts: Bowe Bergdahl. Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier, had been a prisoner of the Taliban for nearly five years, and now he was going home.
President Obama announced Bergdahl's return in the Rose Garden, with the soldier's parents at his side. Bergdahl's hometown of Hailey, Idaho, planned a big celebration to welcome him back. But then, within days—within hours of his rescue, in fact—public reaction to his return flipped. People started saying Bergdahl shouldn't be celebrated. Some of the soldiers from his unit called him a deserter, a traitor. They said he had deliberately walked off their small outpost in eastern Afghanistan and into hostile territory.
Hailey canceled its celebration. The army launched an investigation. Finally, in March, the military charged Bergdahl with two crimes, one of which carries the possibility of a life sentence. Through all of this, Bergdahl has been quiet. He hasn't spoken to the press or done any interviews on TV. He's been like a ghost at the center of a raucous fight.
Now, in Season Two, we get to hear what he has to say.
The first season of Serial, which captured the public's interest, focused on the 1999 disappearance and subsequent death of high-school senior Hae Min Lee and the life of the man convicted of her murder, Adnan Syed.
The first episode, titled "DUSTWUN" (duty status - whereabouts unknown), of Serial's second season is currently available.