Hello, everyone. We’re back. Yes, at last! We’ve launched Season Two.
Our first season was about a murder case few people had heard about. Season Two is a story a gazillion people have heard about: the story of Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who walked off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured and held by the Taliban for nearly five years. It’s been in the newspapers and on TV; it’s been the subject of congressional investigations (in fact, this very day, the House Armed Services Committee is releasing a report on the Bergdahl trade)—and it’s an active case in military court.
This story—it spins out in so many unexpected directions. Because, yes, it’s about Bowe Bergdahl and about one strange decision he made, to leave his post. (And Bergdahl, by the way, is such an interesting and unusual guy, not like anyone I’ve encountered before.) But it’s also about all of the people affected by that decision, and the choices they made. Unlike our story in Season One, this one extends far out into the world. It reaches into swaths of the military, the peace talks to end the war, attempts to rescue other hostages, our Guantanamo policy. What Bergdahl did made me wrestle with things I’d thought I more or less understood, but really didn’t: what it means to be loyal, to be resilient, to be used, to be punished.
Our tiny team—Julie Snyder, Dana Chivvis, Emily Condon, Ira Glass, and I—has expanded this season. As a result, one new thing: we’ll be talking with you on social media. Ask us a question on Tumblr, tweet at us, and watch for our updates on Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up for our email newsletter. To find out where and how to listen, click here. Another new thing: 3D maps! We’ll have all sorts of graphics and videos and more to help explain what happened.
I am so happy that you’re back with us, listening. Now, on with the story.