Lawmakers want answers about swap
Questions about the return of an American soldier who was traded by President Barack Obama in exchange for five Taliban leaders need to be resolved, federal lawmakers said.
“I expect a full accounting of the exchange,” U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said in a statement in which he noted that he sits on the Armed Services and Intelligence committees, both of which could have oversight responsibility.
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., said there are “serious concerns and questions regarding the circumstances surrounding Sgt. (Bowe) Bergdahl’s initial disappearance as well as on how his release was arranged.”
Obama “clearly broke the law by arranging the exchange of five senior members of the Taliban from Guantanamo for Bergdahl without notifying Congress, as he is required to do,” Tipton said.
Udall and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., both noted that they were pleased with Bergdahl’s safe return, but said the issue didn’t end there.
“We need more information about the decision-making process and security arrangements the administration made to ensure the prisoners exchanged for Sgt. Bergdahl are not able to return to the fight,” Bennet’s office said in a statement.
Tipton also questioned the release the five Taliban leaders who had been held in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp on the island of Cuba.
The exchange “could have severe consequences for our deployed troops and sets a dangerous precedent that encourages the Taliban and other terrorist organizations to capture U.S. troops,” Tipton said.
Members of Bergdahl’s unit have said he became disenchanted with his role and deserted his post, leading to his capture by the Taliban.
A full military investigation into the circumstances of Bergdahl’s capture is in order, Tipton said, adding that he joined the members of the Intelligence and Armed Services committees in both houses in calling for a full investigation into the exchange.