Report: New Season of Serial Podcast Will Focus on Bowe Bergdahl

bowe-bergdahl
U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Berghdal is pictured in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Army and received by Reuters on May 31, 2014. U.S. Army/Reuters

The new season of the podcast Serial will focus on Bowe Bergdahl, according to a report by Maxim, citing anonymous sources.

In June 2009, Bergdahl disappeared from his post in the Paktika, Afghanistan, after which he was taken captive by the Haqqani, a Taliban-linked group. Bergdahl maintains he did not intend to desert and left his post only to find a commander. However, he reportedly left a note saying he was "disillusioned with the Army" and took a packed bag with him.

The U.S. swapped five imprisoned Taliban militants for Bergdahl in 2014, a deal that irked many who thought the country had given up too much. The deal was criticized further when Bergdahl was charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

The first season of the wildly popular podcast focused on Adnan Syed, accused of killing his girlfriend Hae Min Lee. Syed's side of the story was well represented on the show and he was eventually granted an appeal, though he remains in prison.

According to Maxim, Sarah Koenig, the host of Serial, and a producer went to Bergdahl's preliminary hearing last week. Koenig received information about his case from a screenwriter working on a film about him, another source said.

"What happened in 2009 is both troubling and politically incorrect...my concern is that the truth is being diluted by those looking to gain from Bowe's story," a former member of Bergdahl's military unit told Maxim. Two members of this unit have been in touch with Serial producers, according to Maxim.

The show did not confirm or deny Bergdahl being their next subject:

We'd very much appreciate if fellow journalists would give us some room and not feel the need to attempt to dig into and try to figure out what you think we might be doing, especially since we're actively reporting stories, and having a bunch of wild speculation out there makes our job reporting harder. Doesn't feel very menschy. In any case, here's what I can tell you: The Serial staff is currently working on several things simultaneously: Season 2, Season 3, and some other podcast projects. For now we're not talking publicly about anything that we're working on.

If convicted, Bergdahl faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for misbehavior before the enemy. Desertion, a lesser charge, carries a five-year sentence.

Report: New Season of Serial Podcast Will Focus on Bowe Bergdahl | U.S.