Bowe Bergdahl

Bergdahl podcast: The controversy that came back with him

“Serial,” the popular podcast produced by the people behind “This American Life,” is focusing this season on Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the Hailey soldier held captive for five years after leaving his post in Afghanistan.

In turn, we’re examining Bergdahl’s story and the reporting by “Serial” in more depth. Here’s the ninth episode of “Speaking of Serial,” a joint effort of the Idaho Statesman and Boise State Public Radio:

This week our panelists discuss the rift between Congress and the Department of Defense that formed in the wake of the Bergdahl trade and react to descriptions of Bergdahl's initial recovery. Special guest Adam Ragusea - journalist in residence at the Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University and host of Current's podcast, “The Pub” - talks about podcasting, entertainment and media ethics. And with “Serial” poised to examine if any soldiers died in the search for Bergdahl, we look at what reporting has already been done in the past two years.

Bergdahl walked away from his unit in Afghanistan in 2009, saying he wanted to draw attention to problems within the military. Captured soon after, he was held for five years by a group affiliated with the Taliban before he returned to the U.S. as part of a controversial prisoner swap in May 2014. Now, he faces a full military court-martial, charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

Every other Wednesday on “Speaking of Serial,” reporters with the Idaho Statesman and Boise State Public Radio will discuss Bergdahl’s case, Serial’s reporting and what happens when an Idahoan becomes the center of international news.

“Serial” itself publishes a new episode on alternate Thursdays. You’ll find the latest one here.