Bowe Bergdahl

Bergdahl podcast: What should the soldier be blamed for?

“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 10th episode of “Speaking of Serial,” a joint effort of the Idaho Statesman and Boise State Public Radio:

This week, co-hosts Erin Fenner of the Idaho Statesman and Frankie Barnhill of KBSX lead panelists John Sowell, Anna Webb and Katy Moeller in a discussion of the final episode of “Serial” Season Two. The big question? Whether Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is to blame for the deaths of soldiers in the months after he walked off his post in Afghanistan, and how “Serial” tries to answer that. We also share an interview with “Serial” producer Julie Snyder, who explains why the podcast decided to zoom in on Bergdahl’s story in the first place.

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.

With “Serial” having come to a close, this is our last episode of “Speaking of Serial” as well. To all who gave us a listen over the last three months, thank you! We’d still love your feedback and reactions: you can send them to