Serial Season 2, Episode 2: The Golden Chicken
And so the saga continues as we, the avid listeners of Serial Season 2, follow hot on the heels of
both American soldiers and the Taliban in search of our dustwun. At this point, we have come
to find that while Bowe is unscathed physically, his will is deeply wounded. He is unable to eat,
sleep more than a few hours each evening, or even clean himself properly during his initial
capture period. He’s been ridiculed and demeaned from the moment he stepped on to the
base. Most devastatingly, he is being held against his will by a group that speaks very limited
English and has just as limited patience with Americans. To the Taliban, no American soldier is
innocent. After all, they all voluntarily travelled halfway across the world to continue this fight,
so there is no mercy to be handed to them.
When referring to our trusty listening guide this week, we find a treasure trove of outside
sources, most notably a series of Wikileaks that give us more info than we should have. For
those of you unfamiliar with Wikileaks, it is a site that obtains and publishes sensitive material
and is designed to protect whistleblowers, journalists and activists. In short, they give us the
info we want, but shouldn’t have. We, everyday civilians, have just become privy to what would
otherwise be considered classified information regarding exact times and locations of the U.S.
Army’s actions. There are even some transcripts further along in the leaks that further support
the assertions and facts presented in the podcast.
In this blogger’s opinion, the Wikileaks presented only further reinforce what we learned in this
week’s Serial installment. One example in particular was towards the very bottom (if you
braved reading that far down). There is record of an exchange during a live traffic report that
was detailed by Sarah Koenig, in which two parties are talking about Bowe’s capture. Person
one asks if the Taliban really captured an American, and person two responds that the reports
are true, there is a captor, and that he is alive and has nowhere to go (followed by a rather
upsetting LOL or ‘laughing out loud’). It was almost as though the Serial podcast was written
with consultation from the information found in the leaks.
Now, the question of whether or not I support the stealthy cybersleuth’s at Wikileaks
has been posed to me. Once again, I am of two minds on how to respond. As a journalist, I feel
that it’s the ultimate exercise of our 1st amendment right to freedom of the press. Wikileaks is
one big “kiss off” to big business, governmental procedure, and cover ups. They’re bringing the
information to the people that they believe the people have a right to as American citizens. Not
to mention they are like gold to bloggers such as myself who are detached from the
mainstream media, desperately seeking the truth for ourselves and our readers. So in those
respects, I’m all for it. Please continue your mission, Wikileaks team.
On the other hand, being a whistleblower is dangerous business…. look at what’s
happening to our dustwun. And not only is it a danger to oneself, but to the country on a larger
scale, depending on the level of information leaked. Information like a prominent politician’s
home address and phone number, strategy, or in this case classified United States Armed
Forces is out in the world for all to see. Our country’s privacy and secrets are let loose, the
government can no longer keep important secrets, and they create targets for our
vulnerabilities by exposing them. In this way, they do cause citizens to lose trust in their
government. But, should you always trust an entity that’s trying to pull the wool over your
eyes? In short, while Wikileaks is giving power back to the people by letting them in on
government secrets, it may be jeopardizing their safety in the process.
Log in next week where we will delve into a deeper understanding of the OP Mest
region and how it’s location is crucial to our story. Until then.