DiscoverSerialS02 Episode 06: 5 O'Clock Shadow
S02 Episode 06: 5 O'Clock Shadow

S02 Episode 06: 5 O'Clock Shadow

Update: 2016-02-0420
Share

Description

Why did Bowe Bergdahl walk off? 

Following script is auto-generated by Speech to Text Technology:

first plan to go from point A to Point B bet with it previously on cereal Opie mast probably the worst place humanly imaginable place Sox and the bucket everyone should and he was in the town asking if people spoke English the was the the er the the foreign artists who cheat and taken indoors one minute freakin cow has a baby this is our mission he's one of our guys we gotta find where you knew it would have found them think a lot of us were shot him yeah yeah still still think it's so angry about the before Mark started asking about what happened why'd he walk away from his petition Bo had already talked about it to General Kenneth Dahl Dahl was in charge of investigating what the dead and writing up reports for the Army his inquiry was confined to the period that led up to Bo's decision to leave not most time with the Taliban or anything just wide he walk Mark asked Bell about the statement he gave General Dahl how long is your saving the three under the age is shot it's three hundred pages three hundred plus plate collector and an eighty page of the fuckin series to series your statement is three hundred and eighty pages yet why would you tell me every fucking meal you had when you're deployed the key point is is that with the story I told the story of Dorian Gray and he later came the point where we have a military hearing Dahl said he and Bo spoke over the course of the day and half quote and frankly at the end of that I had no more questions to ask him and he had no more story to tell me so exhausted each other and we were done I quote A was the place where we're staying in a lap that I or whatever he was to understand who I was the person you know nobody knew who I was because they're so quiet in a very wide I thought it was just about the deployment he would basically in the very beginning he said I can tell a story though closer in order for me to explain to you what happened I need to go back and exclaims You're began the This American Life and the BBC Chicago in Syria one story Tobey and Sara came in and fear not I am not going to take you through every one of those three hundred and eighty seven he does but in the next two episodes we are going to zoom back n see u can understand what doll and Mark and I came to understand about Bo whether he told the truth about what he did and whether there's truth in what he told because those are two different questions one of the things that's interesting to me a bow bow is that he broke this Cardinal rule of the military he left his unit walked away from his post but at the same time he was completely devoted to being a good soldier and up until the day he left he was a good soldier the military hearing his former weapons squad leader guy named Greg Leatherman said the leadership has to do this thing sort of like fantasy football mock draft if you can form a squad from anyone in the company who teaches quote and first pick you know Sergeant Bergdahl was going to be the first pick for everyone almost every time he said he was a great soldier he did things like study the Ranger handbook which is something we're all supposed to do but none of us actually did look through it you get some nose and say yeah look at it that's Jason Frye has imposed that in their friends the Ranger handbook is a pocket guide for soldiers on tactics and techniques and he would come back you highlighted he look at and study it and leadership saw that they're like Wow this guy's trying he cares about his job to care about what he's doing in and um I think that's significant as far as understanding though he isn't the person who carelessly does something back then bows goal with Special Forces he joined the Army in two thousand a day and was assigned to the first Battalion of the five A first Infantry Regiment lack for company as an Infantry soldier you are so far from special forces here we're course you're the guys who get sent out to guard a traffic control point in the middle of nowhere Afghanistan but Bo intended to be a flawless example of an infantryman he volunteered for extra duty took impeccable care of his weapon held other people with their jobs once he was done with his shed extra snacks in his pockets and his other guys got hungry he was fed one of his former teammates Tommy he was a PT stud DT is the often dreaded physical training soldiers have to do he was what military people call squared away Right Place Right Time Right uniform everybody agrees about that the other thing people say about the back than that he's not your typical run the can all describe but not one of them would say they totally got em understood what made him take the chain cross was friends with also there in the same platoon he said Bo wasn't isolated from the group he just wasn't into the usual stuff these guys played video games so didn't talk about sex and women though didn't it say and I into a kind of thing will he live the average bear exposure lifestyle of drinking all night all week and everything You Always This is awesome news that you've read a lot the Whittier joke around the vicinity her his sense of humor join a community of teasing joking around not the extent that most assorted will play in the grass or in stuff I kept journals he tried to study things pastel for instance in the quietness it's just how Bo is he's an introvert it was also intentional create the friction he is one don't run or how exactly did the math you don't get in people's personal space don't go like the bow if you're quiet you're on the If you listen if you watch The View help people because you're able to help because you're watching and you're seeing there was somebody me know you know that they are the odds are that he was concerned the he doesn't want to annoy anyone or create a problem he's thinking about the best way he can contribute to the collective how he can be most useful like the perfect guest except that this strong philosopher nerd component he has people might find interesting or irritating example though took up smoking sort of a lot of private smoked cigarettes but he smoked a pipe the other guys are hunkered up in the window smoking cigarettes he'd bring his pipe so you know I dosed off their on going out with the deal with the guys because if you look at this whole Seder a ritual thing is kind of bonding ritual or less like you is participating with an anthropological bent bowed probably be the first to admit that he had a bit of a tin ear for social interaction sometimes now everyone but was some time Zach borrow was talking about wanting to travel around Europe going to Amsterdam for all the reasons a young man would want to go to Amsterdam those contribution he talked about Amsterdam is major exports and the financial stability of the Netherlands to do is weirdly you tell stories like that or talk about women is like a factor of a new Beau was a factor even did the problem was he wasn't always great in the moment sorting out what was fact and what wasn't the the the the most time in the Army started out okay he had specific ideas about leadership about how you practice it and in basic training at Fort Benning Georgia o found he was looking for a senior drill sergeant who was everything he felt like a military leader should be the the the certain all of them will involve them in the battle out of all of that because he was somebody that you could trust you could certainly take pride in backing him because he was a leader but unfortunately like about basically everything just went down over matter the size of everyone he came into contact with in the Army while he has some nice things to say about the confidence of some of his platoon mates are coupled his sergeants as far as Bo's concerned not one leader especially the guys up the chain hold a candle to the senior drill sergeant like a top general the food in for the starting Afghanistan is basically a snowball from the moment I got the all the little brain started ticking on in this B log back in my memory a worrisome catalog began to compile the first to comment here or there we got to his unit in Alaska were the first of the five A first is based someone suggested the lock of his stuff because otherwise I get swiped a bit of advice to newcomer but both thought how my supposed to go into a battlefield if I can even trust these guys here all those years later he remembered it and he told a General Dahl then there was a comment by the Command Sergeant Major Ken Wolfe prior to deployment will stay full formal inspection of the Battalion was at it he explained to them what the mission would be in Afghanistan at least what it would be am basically gave this same speech are the same spill all fourteen platoons which was they were not going here to rate kill pillage and burn you would do in just the opposite of that said no lets you guys join the army to do that and everybody in the organization found the humor in that not bow he did not find humor in that also joked that he joined back in eighty three to rape kill pillage and burn also the bow even if he understood it was intended as a joke he did not think it was funny he found it distressing he told all he was taken aback in early two thousand and nine Bo sent an email from Alaska to his family and friends go by deployment dates to Afghanistan have been set to the ninth or tenth of March to the countdown has started the I'm looking forward to the next year of learning and challenges in fact Bo didn't end up deploying with the rest of his unit he rode marched in a pair of new boots trying to break the men got a blister on his left foot that turned into a serious staff infection had to go to hospital the first day back in what's called rear D rear detachment but almost everyone else shipped off to pack ticket province eastern Afghanistan the end when they landed spring of two thousand and nine was a turning point for U S forces there the Taliban and other anti Afghan government groups had pushed back against the country in a big way the Taliban shadow governors in thirty three of the country's thirty four provinces casualties among U S and coalition forces had spiked by almost every measure we were losing President Obama had ordered a review of the war when he came into office that year by the end of March in a speech he declared the situation quote increasingly perilous we've been focused as a country and as a military on a rack now he said we'd be turning our attention back to Afghanistan in the next year more than double our troop numbers there to meet the surge the army was scrambling for recruits issuing waivers to people who might not call five years earlier and units like the first of the five A first bows Battalion that had just done a fifteen month tour in Iraq are coming home absorbing new recruits and turning around heading back into war this time to Afghanistan the day after Obama made his increasingly perilous speech goes behind officially began its mission in Afghanistan and that mission with counterinsurgency or coin for short General David betray us had embrace the doctrine in two thousand six he co wrote a new counterinsurgency manual for the Army explained coin means you're not just going to be fighting quote soldiers and Marines are expected to be nation builders as well as warriors heroes idea of coin in Afghanistan was to be back the enemy at the same time train the Afghan security forces to take over the fight themselves and very important to build support among the people for the Afghan government try to win them over shore up the economy the infrastructure so that they'll turn away from the insurgents the mantra became clear hold build transfer limit Razz is manual there's a graphic of something that looks sort of like a double A battery at one end are the people who are for the cause of the other of the people who are against the cars everything in between was the quote uncommitted middle those were the people we wanted to pull over to our side basically the first few months so we are doing making sure her direct routes to other farms were secure and in kind of showing or say yes or well make yourself known I guess to the townspeople for the first few months at sac bio and the uncertainty in his voice about what exactly they were doing a lot of the soldiers felt that way I can contact a lot of these guys through Mark's company page one by the way super helpful some of the coin stuff made sense to the soldiers they make backup Afghan police and some mission where they help rebuild the hospital but other stuff seemed fuzzy or they're doing a lot of handing out bags us all things of the bags of rice we would hand out crayons for the kids I distinctly remember the map puzzles of Afghanistan with watercolor paint set we ended up quite a bit of those John Thurman there was a lot of confusion because Infantry men we are by definition we're not supposed to be doing humanitarian things um and we've been we've been trained from the get go and basic training you know your mission is to close with and destroy the enemy and they're out there handing out water color maps of Afghanistan wondering how is this going to work how do we beat the Taliban this way his mockery and shame cross and I think a lot of guys were a little bit weirded out by going around shaking hands and feet of a little bit more shooting involved you'll meet the enemy it's going to the bagger there you'll find them kill them not go give his mother in law some flour to convince or b join your side you know about two months after Bo's platoon deployed on a thirteenth two thousand and nine finally joined up with them if I'm sure a chain cross front of the barracks back a deathly pick up on his disappointments we realize what we're doing where we live in kind of thing why was he disappointed about he wanted hardships I think I like lecture I was too cushy yeah we had a hard stand rooms or was that the bomb on people or stuff in the top bunk because that is where he wanted to see what hardship to learn more which was seen in movies I mean he he was a vase matches for this match has been nice on the springs there and yet it was like a box spring was just these metal coils or across the front wooden frame of the bed sure he does lay on that he was doing and I've seen big and big nice guy he slept he had a Tomahawk they slept with when where's the Tomahawk is to our chess holding that the whole The security contractor afterward the people that a curious one of the Special Forces go tell Mark that yes he did want that movie version of the military the ones that actually one of the molding of a drone that moment of you know the contacts getting in fights and a soldier that the firefight gets a vote for a moment to us in the The The The The The lesson a week after Bo arrived at his base has Putin did see action the so called home and this incident and its aftermath became the first solid building block in Bo's argument for triggering a dust when they were on a mission to bomb that the district center in the mountains I spoke to a bunch of the soldiers who were there and they all said it was the scariest thing that happened during their deployment they've been called up in the middle of the night to help out another convoy that had an ID that first convoy had been trying to help Afghan security forces up to recently come under fire but they had no idea there and so now both the tune was going to recover the disabled vehicle this was like our first mission like we're going somewhere doing something that's Josh quarter was a mission that was supposed to take maybe eight hours to get up on the They have to drive up to tell just the drive itself is harrowing the road isn't much bigger than a goat path there's a steep drop off the side there's no room for error and they're driving in these huge trucks brand new mine resistant trucks the giant cane it's like they do best description I could give but it was a really nice tank had like leather seats the thing and like all the all the new stuff because we just literally got the um how's it going like a goat path well honestly to be honest with you a little bit better than you might expect when we didn't know because we just we were brand new to them because we were driving Humvees before that some were driving up this mountain and the truck right in front of me on the last is the second to last vehicle just explodes Austin and Fred was in the same truck is Josh and it just disappeared and the dust I didn't see any morals like to the truck has fall off the cliff League is a gong Li we started trying of them and be like Hey are you okay are you there like where what's going on and then like pieces of the truck fell on our truck that they're OK that's the beauty of these massive and gamely vehicles a generic name is M Rapp Mine resistant ambush protected he can survive these IED explosions if you're inside but now this is severely damaged an axle was broken and so they have to drag it the rest of the way up the mountain because you can just ditch it you never leave Army equipment in the battlefield if you can help that even if it's broken and M Rapp has sophisticated systems at it you know what the enemy to get those orgies the truck for propaganda Austin's driving the Imam behind the one that got blown up they make everyone but him get out of his vehicle and the town be ready to jump out in case or rap goes over the cliff or if the disabled M Rapp falls back on you he's terrified that they manage to haul the disabled and have the rest of the way up to on the district center which is a kind of fort on the Patel were some Afghan security forces are stationed they've been attacked by Taliban a couple of days earlier quarter this was the first time that I saw something that goes like this place is fucked up bad there's bullet holes all through the walls there's holes from where P G's head and like rockets were hitting than their towers were like worn down because they've been inspiring Sony machine gun rounds that like the concrete was chipping away and just like Oh my God this is serious they came to rescue another vehicle and now they need rescuing they spend the night in their trucks they don't trust the Afghan security guys first of all and second if a fire fight starts they want to be trapped in a building they want to be able to drive away so they're nervous that first night Morrow said when they finally walk around they realize pretty quickly that the people of there done that don't want anything to do with them have no interest in interacting it's tense so they're pulling guard chefs and spending a ton of time crammed in their trucks the the eyes of all extra vehicles trucks and has more from cars to the whatever spot they mindlessly been trying to sleep in contorted positions higher gear minutes he can really fit her seat if you're lucky enough to get to see during the day they're so hot and bored so bored these in every box and caps from water bottles to play checkers or under supplied in every way it was just the most miserable place for we had nothing and I I smoke so we ran out of cigarettes we had like no chewing tobacco we had nothing to actually have to drop food and water with airplanes because they couldn't get to us we didn't bring raisers nobody had any changes of clothes so the person he said was we had no razors yet but she would be like the last thing you would think about is a shame years I have a bad thing yeah it is the thing actually um it's not OK for the Army's people to be growing a beard era where all the time like yeah got a shift to negotiate get in your brain like Oh my God what I can say like these in the same stupid because they didn't pay raise their deep as the second what's gonna happen the days are going by but it feels like nothing's happening the whole time they're trying to communicate with their commanders trying to figure out what they're supposed to do with these broken vehicles I am at some particular were valuable until they came along U S soldiers were getting killed and maimed by the hundreds because of ideas interact in Afghanistan the Emirates with a solution the catchy so much safer than a Humvee by the time Beau got to Afghanistan if soldiers were moving they were pretty much an M Rapp but there weren't all that many of them yet and they got blown up a lot of Frankenstein them back together if you have the right parts but because they'd been rushed into production by the D O D and suppliers had scrambled to get the market yet something like four different models in circulation at any one time all of which needed their own parts you couldn't necessarily mix and match so even a couple of blown up ones on top of the plateau had value was built in likely didn't know all the ins and outs of why they couldn't just explode the things on site and go home all they knew was that they were waiting what seemed a preposterous Lee long time for someone higher up to come up with a plan where they going to send a wrecker up there was a platoon have to drag these disabled monsters back down the mountain they had a mechanic up there with them but he was stumped trying to communicate the situation back to their commanders it's not going well so the we had a mechanic there and they said send us a list of the parts you need to fix it yeah I m so the mechanic gets on their nice as theirs and it's not going to get fix the mechanics of the sergeants are calling down the reviewing saying that truck is blown up we can fix it and and finances why not and we look each other like once we literally had the jack was enough to try and change our tire mechanic sitting there with amused look on this basis going for not driving this thing off the mountain it's been blown up we all felt like why are we up here what is going on the look on that veterans the ones that have been there for a long and army were all scratching our heads we understood why we were doing this eventually on about day five they are told to head home another team will come and deal with the wraps are also instructed to take a different route back down the mountain pass through a village it's bad Shane Cross said it was military age men no kids who all just stop and stare the convoy pass some cattle by themselves and a burning smoldering campfire itself that's the sign also of welders unintended cattle I attended fire that was going as in people book to God and there I had this terrible feeling to get blown up or shot a Dawson land bird suddenly there's an IED explosion another truck hit and disabled will once again that truck is blown up right in front of me we are like very well we got to go assess the situation so we get out any OD guy gets out to India's explosive ordnance disposal and the bomb experts has Josh and so the only guy was out there sweeping with a mine sweeper and he comes across something and he picks up and then he starts pulling on it and it's like it's like a wire had the buried wire and so he's picking up and sees its like stringing mankind into the woods and then he drops it and goes Oh shit my first reaction was that I cocked my machine gun and I I said out loud I said Let's do this in very cliche understand that but that was exactly what I did exactly what I'm like This is going down there's not any way that we're not about to get attacked it was so obvious so I caught eleven was OK let's do this the RPG came like flying by us in on the ground in front of us and right then like it scared the crap outta me cuz then guns started firing like DeMille I get up for going slow starts pointing towards the truck trying to find cover this is what's called a complex attack they've been waiting for the convoy to pass by this way now it's a mess of gunfire and explosions Josh is a goner so he's up in the turret of his truck people below are calling out targets saying one o'clock three o'clock two o'clock eight o'clock six o'clock attack is coming from everywhere my platoon sergeant gets in the truck and he literally starts punching me on my ass and telling me to keep firing um well you know I went through like four hundred rounds initially Nikkei firing keep trying keep firing I don't I don't let up Bo was also a goner but he wasn't in the turret of his truck the bar was up there immediately Zack's gun jammed and so Bo has his weapon up call they saw Zach starts firing because the ice off the edge another guy No hands of his SA the third weapon works the Conway needs to get out of this ravine there trapped in but now they've got this disabled truck which they need to tow out so the platoon leader J B Billings jumps out of his truck to hook up cable chain was the gunner in that truck cover me the door and jumps out runs off and Max cruiser before were really big or tall so I can see where he ran and hid he'd run off the truck behind us grab the cable hooked up to get our truck and ran back inside to see my friends Darcy he had mud all over and splatters of mud from like many rounds hit the dirt and flee mode and am in God's covering the inside he tells the On Go Gophers start our drive heals all of the truck he says Don't you ever let me do stuff like that again cars are for the cable snaps and tendons calls out cover me xD I've got a vehicle again twice Billings goes out there second time the cable holds a move out their support means an incredibly no one from their unit got hurt during a firefight one soldier who was there said that by the end he heard that up to ten Taliban have been killed most of it in eventually limbs home back to the five wraps are all banged up flat tires and bullet holes here's what Bo remembers about what happened when they pulled back into the wire after Ana to say that that I command you stay away forests are to starting it that the truck now we are grounds to our Italian commander says something that what they say would say Hey congratulations you guys did a good job out there and let you back a congratulations you need
Comments
loading
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store
00:00
00:00
1.0x

0.5x

1.0x

1.5x

2.0x

3.0x

S02 Episode 06: 5 O'Clock Shadow

S02 Episode 06: 5 O'Clock Shadow

This American Life