Serial is back. The story begins with a terrorist captive. He was trapped for 5 years and this is about clips from a video released of his time. It was the Taliban. “Don’t come back to Afghanistan,” is something one of them said. A blackhawk arrives. The Americans arrive to save Bergdahl. The rescue took less than two minutes. Some clips play claiming Bergdahl was a deserter and cost many Americans their lives.
What caused the transition from saved hostage to American deserter? It started so positive but within hours of his rescue the story switched views. His fellow soldiers called him a deserter and all celebrations were cancelled. They said he was a traitor. Bergdahl now has protection because of all the threats. He remained silent and could get a life sentence from his actions.
Turns out he was talking to someone. A movie producer named Mark Boal of Hurt Locker. They exchanged many phone calls which were all recorded. You can tell Bergdahl wants to tell his side of the story. He is still waiting to know what the Government will do with the charges against him. He was captive for 5 years, which is longer than anyone else.
He gave amazing and dark details of his time as a captive. He said the room he was kept in was so dark it caused not only physical pain but mental pain as well. He said he would wake up not even knowing who he was. He couldn’t scream and it sounds like he was going insane.
Sarah shares a book she read to her children that reminds her of Bergdahl’s story called Zoom. It’s all pictures, but it shows how far away everything can get. You have to look at the one event of his walking away and take away everything else. Sarah worked with Mark for this. She got to listen to the calls plus fellow soldiers.
Why did Bergdahl leave his platoon? He explained Dustwun, which is a radio signal that explains a soldier has gone missing or captured. He wanted to cause one. He was wanting to bring attention to another crisis which included bad leadership in his units. The question is: did he make it up or is he a whistle blower?
Sarah had soldier’s tell about the awful place they were stationed at when Bergdahl acted on is plan. It was scary and unhealthy. Many of the soldier’s got sick from where they were. There was a burn pit which was the pit of hell. They burned trash in there. They even had to burn their own feces in it. The place sounds awful.
Bergdahl’s plan was to disappear from a traffic stop and reappear able to meet with anyone to voice his concerns. Obviously, his plan didn’t go well. He made preparations to send things back to his home in Idaho. He even bought an outfit to blend in. Bergdahl had a plan and he thought it all out according to himself. He also had ulterior motives to prove himself as a Jason Bourne type. Mark asked him why he didn’t wait to prove it in action but Bergdahl said it was a two part situation. He disappeared when it was his turn to take guard. They looked for him in all his usual places but nothing.
The captain sent the message that they were missing a soldier which wasn’t believed at first but then once it was confirmed, the Dustwun was in action. Some say he left his things neat and tidy. They say he left a note but Bergdahl denies it. His platoon was suspicious because he was friendly with the locals and frequently late to guard duty. They hadn’t seen anything like this. Bergdahl packed for his mission but didn’t wear his disguise out because the thought he’d be fine until later. Once he hit open desert, he realized the magnitude of his actions. He felt fear being out in the open in the dark and didn’t think he could go back because they guarded for intruders and he could get shot. He decided to go after intel so he could go back with a gift.
His plan backfired when he got completely lost in the hills, and then he was captured by guys on motorcycles. The Taliban said he fought like crazy, but Bergdahl denies that. Next week, we’ll hear what Sarah got from her talk with the Taliban about Bergdahl’s capture. That was an intense 40 minutes. Join me next week.