Story Courtesy NBC News
House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, said Monday there will be hearings in response to “negotiating with terrorists” for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
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“Like all Americans, we celebrate the release of (Bergdahl) from terrorist captivity,” according to a statement on the House Armed Services Committee website. “When one of our own comes home to us, we all rejoice.”
The statement went on to question the terms of the release, which included the release of “five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay.”
The committee released a fact sheet regarding Guantanamo transfers.
“We must carefully examine the means by which we secured his freedom. America has maintained a prohibition on negotiating with terrorists for good reason,” McKeon stated in a joint statement with Nathan Inhofe, R-Oklahoma.
The statement on the site goes on to say President Barack Obama violated the laws requiring the notification of Congress 30 days before any transfer of terrorists from Guantanamo Bay.
The White House has received criticism for the release of Bergdahl that has created a controversy around his return amid allegations he walked away from his unit before his detention.
National Security Advisor Susan Rice offered a startlingly favorable assessment of a soldier who served in Afghanistan for only six weeks before his disappearance, according to an NBC report.
“He served the United States with honor and distinction,” she said. “And we’ll have the opportunity eventually to learn what has transpired in the past years.”
Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken was unwilling to echo those words during an appearance on MSNBC, saying only that Bergdahl must “tell his story.”
Now, the military is openly questioning the “honor and distinction” characterization. The U.S. Army is preparing to launch a full high-level inquiry into the circumstances of Bergdahl’s disappearance from his outpost in Afghanistan. That inquiry will determine whether a formal investigation into possible criminal charges against Bergdahl is warranted.
Bergdahl enlisted in the Army in 2008 and deployed to Afghanistan in May 2009. Just six weeks after his arrival in the region, Pfc. Bergdahl was captured in Paktika province in Afghanistan and taken into captivity. By July 3, the Department of Defense classified his status as “Missing-Captured.”
Weeks later, his captors released a 28-minute video of Bergdahl, in which the then-23 year old appeared with a shaved head and spoke tearfully about his fear that he would never return home.
But questions about his disappearance were already swirling.
That summer, U.S. officials confirmed that Bergdahl had “just walked off” the base in a remote region near the border with Pakistan. By 2010, a Pentagon investigation, concluding that Bergdahl had left his unit voluntarily without his weapon or body armor, pulled back the most aggressive efforts to retrieve him, the Associated Press reported.
Bergdahl’s platoon members say that those efforts proved deadly to six soldiers as they searched for their vanished colleague.
Perry Smith contributed to this report.
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Source: Santa Clarita News