In the fifth episode of “Serial”, the popular podcast focusing its second season on Idaho native Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, producer Sarah Koenig explores the many ways, official and unofficial, that people stateside sought Bergdahl’s freedom.
Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in 2009 when he walked off his base in Afghanistan. He was held for about 5 years until President Barack Obama negotiated a deal to have him released.
Kim Harrison, Bergdahl’s friend currently living in Portland, sought help from Interpol, but that help was denied by the Department of Defense. Later on she was contacted by a man associated with the Taliban who became a strong lead for the DoD.
“The FBI cultivated this source for a while and then passed him along to the DoD, and it turned out this guy who called Kim (Harrison) on her cellphone one day because of some secret thing she did on her own to get her number to the Taliban: this turned out to be one of the best leads they ever had in Bowe’s case,” said Koenig in the episode.
But that lead apparently fell through.
Jason Amerine, a retired lieutenant colonel with the U.S. Army, was involved with bringing Bergdahl back. He said he was active in trying to bring attention to all of the U.S. captives being held by the Taliban.
“"To me it was bordering on criminal how we were treating our common citizens,” he said.
The next episode of Serial will follow Bergdahl’s ideas of how the search was executed and about what prompted him to walk off base to begin with, according to a teaser.
Listen with us
We’re following along with Season 2 of Serial as it revisits the case of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
Each Wednesday, reporters with the Idaho Statesman and Boise State Public Radio will host a companion podcast, “Speaking of Serial,” discussing Bergdahl’s case, Serial’s reporting and what happens when an Idahoan becomes the center of international news.