December 12, 2015

"Bowe Bergdahl said he planned to cause a DUSTWUN by leaving his outpost, OP Mest, and running—or at least walking—to his base, FOB Sharana."

"This map (push play to fly over the area) gives a sense of the terrain he would have had to cross."

That's a supplement to the first episode of the new season of Serial, which I've listened to. It's mostly Berghdahl's side of the story — we hear his explanation of what he was supposedly doing — and I didn't believe him. You can listen to the episode here. There's a question at 40:43 that gets a long pause and a "Pretty much." That's when I said out loud: "He's lying."

Anyway, that map makes his story even more absurd.

But then, I listened to the first season of Serial and thought it was easy to hear that the central character was lying, and yet people became intensely involved and got very connected to that person. There's something about the style of the presentation that draws people in and seems to make them want to believe. Unless you believe, why are you listening? Put another way: If you want to listen, you need to suspend disbelief. The art of Serial is that it makes you want to listen.

26 comments:

Michael K said...

Why is anyone interested in what this loser has to say ? He is a misfit who was kicked out of the US Coast Guard basic training. Why the Army took him is a mystery that they must regret. He cost American lives among the soldiers who wasted years looking for him and the five Taliban leaders released by Obama will kill more.

Will said...

Serial jumps the shark so quickly.

There are only two groups of people who want to hear "Bowe's side" of that story. Bowe, and people covering for the person who decided to "rescue" him.

People not interested: The families of the soldiers who died rescuing him, the people killed by the terrorists we traded back, and most of America.

Sebastian said...

"Unless you believe, why are you listening? Put another way: If you want to listen, you need to suspend disbelief. The art of Serial is that it makes you want to listen." Art, schmart. Operative word: if. If "you" want to waste time, if you hadn't figured out long ago that BB was a lying scumbag SOB, if you didn't know that O sold you another bag of goods, then sure, you'd "want to listen." Otherwise, not so much. Otherwise, you'd wonder why that man hasn't been put in front of a firing squad. Otherwise, you'd wonder why O isn't being hounded over the astoundingly atrocious deal he made to get BB back. Then again, it would require that "you" pay attention and see the world as it is. [And just to be clear, dear moderator, AA ≠ "you."]

traditionalguy said...

Evil is fascinating. It fascinated Bergdahl. But maybe the little boy Bergdahl was born that way, and we should just support him being his own evil self at any cost.

What he totally missed was any shred loyalty to the others who were on his side. Now he is is making up another story to substitute for that. But turning traitor in face of an enemy has known consequences.

chillblaine said...

"If you want to listen, you need to suspend disbelief."

If you want to vote Democrat, you need to suspend reason and indulge the feelz.

LYNNDH said...

One bullet, and send the cost to the parents. What the Chinese would do.

The Drill SGT said...

Line him up against a wall.

You want to enjoy heart warming history?

http://www.history.army.mil/moh/

Three examples (guys, I have met or served with)

JACOBS, JACK H. Although wounded by mortar fragments, Capt. Jacobs assumed command of the allied company, ordered a withdrawal from the exposed position and established a defensive perimeter. Despite profuse bleeding from head wounds which impaired his vision, Capt. Jacobs, with complete disregard for his safety, returned under intense fire to evacuate a seriously wounded advisor to the safety of a wooded area where he administered lifesaving first aid. He then returned through heavy automatic weapons fire to evacuate the wounded company commander. Capt. Jacobs made repeated trips across the fire-swept open rice paddies evacuating wounded and their weapons. On 3 separate occasions, Capt. Jacobs contacted and drove off Viet Cong squads who were searching for allied wounded and weapons, single-handedly killing 3 and wounding several others. His gallant actions and extraordinary heroism saved the lives of 1 U.S. advisor and 13 allied soldiers. Through his effort the allied company was restored to an effective fighting unit and prevented defeat of the friendly forces by a strong and determined enemy.

CRANDALL, BRUCE P. he determined that the ground commander of the besieged infantry battalion desperately needed more ammunition. Major Crandall then decided to adjust his base of operations to Artillery Firebase Falcon in order to shorten the flight distance to deliver ammunition and evacuate wounded soldiers. While medical evacuation was not his mission, he immediately sought volunteers and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, led the two aircraft to Landing Zone X-Ray. Despite the fact that the landing zone was still under relentless enemy fire, Major Crandall landed and proceeded to supervise the loading of seriously wounded soldiers aboard his aircraft. Major Crandall's voluntary decision to land under the most extreme fire instilled in the other pilots the will and spirit to continue to land their own aircraft, and in the ground forces the realization that they would be resupplied and that friendly wounded would be promptly evacuated. This greatly enhanced morale and the will to fight at a critical time. After his first medical evacuation, Major Crandall continued to fly into and out of the landing zone throughout the day and into the evening. That day he completed a total of 22 flights, most under intense enemy fire, retiring from the battlefield only after all possible service had been rendered to the Infantry battalion.

FOLEY, ROBERT F. Capt. Foley immediately ran forward to the scene of the most intense action to direct the company's efforts. Deploying 1 platoon on the flank, he led the other 2 platoons in an attack on the enemy in the face of intense fire. During this action both radio operators accompanying him were wounded. At grave risk to himself he defied the enemy's murderous fire, and helped the wounded operators to a position where they could receive medical care. As he moved forward again 1 of his machine gun crews was wounded. Seizing the weapon, he charged forward firing the machine gun, shouting orders and rallying his men, thus maintaining the momentum of the attack. Under increasingly heavy enemy fire he ordered his assistant to take cover and, alone, Capt. Foley continued to advance firing the machine gun until the wounded had been evacuated and the attack in this area could be resumed. When movement on the other flank was halted by the enemy's fanatical defense, Capt. Foley moved to personally direct this critical phase of the battle. Leading the renewed effort he was blown off his feet and wounded by an enemy grenade. Despite his painful wounds he refused medical aid and persevered in the forefront of the attack on the enemy redoubt. He led the assault on several enemy gun emplacements and, single-handedly, destroyed 3 such positions

sydney said...

Wonder why he just didn't claim a deep depression that led him to take a suicide walk.

William said...

Bergdahl should announce that he's transgendered and request that the Army pay for his sex change operation. That will solidify his support among the left.......... There's every indication that Obama will pull a Marc Rich and pardon Chelsea Manning on his last day in office.......,There's a reason why Manning chose to name himself after the Clinton child.

dbp said...

I think Bergdahl is a a liar and a wuss, he should have been court martialed by now for desertion.

The idea of an 18 mile walk over territory that isn't that bad--there are farms and roads most of the way, is not at all absurd. I think the average Army ranger could do it in a day.

sydney said...

I suspect he really was stupid enough to think he could walk to his base, but I don't believe his intent was to shine a light on bad management. I think he figured once he got there he would be thrown in jail for a while and dismissed from the army. Easy out.
PS- I also don't believe they had to burn their shit. Can't you dig latrines in that terrain?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

If the map makes his story absurd, what does it make of the story he was planning to walk 1,000 miles to India? It still seems that the most likely explanation is that he suffered some type of mental breakdown.

ndspinelli said...

Bergdahl is the soldier son Obama never had.

The Drill SGT said...

dbp said...
The idea of an 18 mile walk over territory that isn't that bad--there are farms and roads most of the way, is not at all absurd.


I looked at it from the other perspective. An 18 mile walk across fields means that you'd be spotted 20 times, and any one of those times might result in vectoring in a Taliban patrol, which is what happened...

Anonymous said...

He is lying. I think his plan was one he spun in his unstable mind to get away with desertion. It's fantastical and he saw himself as some sort of super hero? Complete nonsense. His letters back home to his father hinted at some of these plans from what I recall. His father reportedly told him to follow his conscience, or something to that effect, which seems about as insane as his son's plans. This young man should never have been allowed into the Army after washing out of the Coast Guard. He appears to be someone who is entirely unsuited for military service, who knows why. I recall hearing he was homeschooled, perhaps I'm mistaken. His father seemed to be an idealist and I wonder if Bowe wasn't coddled, or never given any real correction from his parents. I'm hoping the story delves into the relationship with the parents in detail. I thought it very odd that Bowe refused to see or speak to his parents after he was released. Did he blame his father for giving him bad advice?

CatherineM said...

I saw a clip from Jake Tapper that said in one of the episodes Bergdahl claimed he was going to act like Jason Bourne.

Didn't he leave his weapon at his post?

Then he just surrendered and let himself be captured.

He only thinks of himself. He is a liar. And his father is nuts too.

The Drill SGT said...

CatherineM said...
Didn't he leave his weapon at his post?


He mailed his personal items home and then left his weapon behind

dbp said...

"...you'd be spotted 20 times"

I agree, I only meant the physical difficulty of making the trek.

My guess is 2-3 days if you only travel at night and hole-up during daylight. The country looks pretty open, so it might be difficult to find good hiding places.

averagejoe said...

Just finished listening, random thoughts:
- I can't stand the NPR radio voice, the emasculated male in particular. I prefer the stentorian tones and masculine bass of the Golden Age of radio announcers to these contemporary softies. Wasn't there a blog piece here about the Mid-Atlantic speaking voice of Golden Age Radio? It is sorely missed by this listener.
- Sarah, the narrator, advocates for Bergdahl throughout the piece and tries to evoke sympathy for him(..."Bowe loves surfing..."). This is not an impartial, investigative report.
- The title of the piece, DUSTWUN, refers to Bergdahl's "plan", actually his after-the-fact alibi, about creating a situation in order to reveal dangerous mismanagement of the outpost. Yet Bergdahl himself says that once he got outside the wire into the desert, he knew that he "did something bad". Interesting word choice for a guy who claims to be performing a courageous, selfless act of duty and honor. At this point he begins to scheme up an excuse for when he faces the brass, and says that he planned to tell them that he was outside spying on Taliban planting IED's in the road, then makes the implausible statement that he planned to track them back to their village and home after they left the scene. Bizarre, ridiculous, and utter bullshit.
- One of the platoon mates interviewed mentions Bergdahl leaving all his sensitive equipment in a pile with a note. At this point, Sarah's narration interjects(as it does so often and so often needlessly) and she states that the truth about the note is pure conjecture, and Bowe himself says he didn't leave a note. No follow-up question to the soldier who referenced the note, no word on what the note said, just Sarah obfuscating instead of revealing the facts.
- Serial seems the kind of pretentious bogus rubbish that progressives love, and which stinks of NPR. Norman Corwin would not be proud.

Fernandinande said...

Anyway, that map makes his story even more absurd.

It's pretty flat, with a road about half way. I bet I coulda done it in about 3 hours when I was 40 years younger, barring hiding from the crazy people.

FOB Sharana

khesanh0802 said...

It's very simple. Bergdahl deserted his post. All the rest is BS. The army should have handled this long ago and certainly should not have let Bergdahl participate in this hogwash show. He should have been in the brig awaiting a court martial. I don't particularly care what happens to him after the court martial, but I want him tried and proven guilty.

As far as the walk to the FOB (which is more BS). If you set aside enemy action it's a twenty mile road hike, max. Tough in that terrain and weather, but easily doable by almost any size infantry unit that is in shape and not carrying a heavy load.

MayBee said...

Asia McClain remembers talking to Bergdhal as he prepared to leave his post.

Michael K said...

"This young man should never have been allowed into the Army after washing out of the Coast Guard."

It is a mystery to me and I examine recruits for all services. There are a few weak doctors doing this and I had to reverse a decision by one a year ago to qualify a girl applying for the Army who had been sent home from Marine basic for threatening suicide.

The services seem to be more concerned about psych stuff recently and I'll bet Bergdhal is a reason.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Nice to hear that Althouse thinks Adnan is lying (I missed her posts on the first season). It was plain as day that he's a little sociopath and I was baffled and amused by the naïveté of the knuckleheads who rushed to his defense. If you're so clueless you can be played by NPR you probably shouldn't leave your house.

Carnifex said...

Althouse said--"The art of Serial is that it makes you want to listen.

No. No it doesn't. Not in the least. It makes me want to defund NPR even more.

NPR=Nasty Progressive Radio. If you want your daily shit sandwich from a prog, you should have to pay for it, not me. If you want to listen to obscure Classical music, buy a fricking CD. The taxpayer has enough on his plate paying for all the illegals.

Fen said...

"At this point he begins to scheme up an excuse for when he faces the brass, and says that he planned to tell them that he was outside spying on Taliban planting IED's in the road"

We had a guy pull a similar stunt in the Marines. He was a day late coming back from 2 weeks leave. He called his gunny and explained he was "working undercover to help the local police bust up a drug ring..."

What was the true story? Ya, I know, too easy - he was in jail after being arrested by police for buying drugs. And when he served his time there, the Marine Corp sent him to Leavenworth for a few years where he made big rocks into litle rocks.

Bergdahl is going to be executed one day, one way or another. I hope he spends whatever remains of his life looking over his shoulder in fear. He put good men in harm's way to rescue his traitorous ass. My tribe doesn't forgive or forget that kind of thing. One day, maybe next year, maybe in 10, Bergdahl will feel the tap on his shoulder.