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March 5, 2015

Congress Expected Notification Before Bergdahl Trade

In 2011, the Obama administration approached Congress and asked what it thought of trading five Guantanamo Bay prisoners for Bowe Bergdahl, the only U.S. soldier still in Taliban captivity. While legislators were concerned about leaving a man behind, they opposed the proposed trade – even then. Jason Leopold writes at VICE News, “In nearly a dozen classified and unclassified briefings the State and Defense Departments had given to individual lawmakers and congressional committees beginning in November 2011 about possible negotiations with the Taliban, ‘many members’ – notably Senator Saxby Chambliss, then the ranking minority member on the Senate Intelligence Committee – ‘expressed opposition to any consideration of a deal for Bergdahl and the five Taliban.’” In response, State and Defense said thank you very much, and promised to notify the lawmakers – as required by law – if they were going to pursue a prisoner swap with the enemy in Afghanistan. But you know the rest of the story. Instead, the Obama administration made the trade, even though he knew Congress opposed it. More…

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