On week 2 of Serial...Before we get started, Bergdahl is facing the highest court martial. He faces the possibility of a life sentence for the charges. Some want to charge him hard and others think 5 years with the Taliban was enough. Major General Dahl believes Bergdahl and doesn’t believe he should go to jail. Even without votes for his case, Bergdahl faces the most serious charges.
Mark asked if Bowe would take a plea deal but he said probably not because it was important for his story to be told.
The Taliban told Sarah that they’d struck gold getting Bergdahl, the "golden chicken" so to say. Both sides debated his value to them. In the end, the Taliban lost 15 men in the raid that saved Bergdahl.
Sarah went on to describe how the Taliban got Bowe and what they did when they found out who he was. The way it was described, men were in a tent and he thought he was being saved by the police. Bowe said that never happened and he was taken by armed men in the open. There are many discrepancies which discredit his story of the dustwun. The Taliban said that Bowe fought and resisted them. They said he threw punches and wouldn’t come easily. They described Bowe to Sammi as a captured animal. The Taliban said he was scared and acted drunk though they had never seen a drunk person and they assumed all Westerners are drunk.
Bowe admits that he was very scared because he was 100% at their mercy. He said that the real reason he was out and about came out. He said he tried to describe things for his captors but they didn’t understand the words. His memories of the time are thin. He did go on to describe some events like an attempted escape on the first day.
Both sides knew how each other would react because they’d been at war for 7 years by this point. Bowe was in Pakistan which was a safe zone. The U.S. couldn’t go in to grab him and the Taliban knew they had time to get what they wanted from him. The Taliban even took a different route to Pakistan, explaining in detail to Sammi. They changed the normal path in order to elude the U.S. Forces searching for Bergdahl.
Sarah went on to describe the conditions Bowe was in and it seemed that he was safe with them because the Taliban considered him of high value. One of Bowe’s commanders thought they’d find him but was worried his fellow soldiers would beat him up because they viewed him as a deserter. Sarah discussed communications picked up and how these weren’t all that reliable. The first 24-48 hours was crucial just like in missing person’s cases. They thought the communications received would allow them to pinpoint his location. They pulled in every guy to help. They got many false alarms and acted on one with no time to check on the facts. They arrived to a giant trap. The biggest problem for the U.S. was that they never got a good set of contacts to use. They had no idea who to trust and who was out to get them. The soldiers of the 501st were screwed. The mission was high risk operation. The mission only got riskier as time went on and more and more platoons got involved, risking their lives to try and find him. The soldiers were angry at Bowe and the morale was at an all-time low.