User Login    
 + Register
News : Debate Stirs Over US-Taliban Captive Swap
Posted by Randy on 2014/6/2 4:14:27 (92 reads) News by the same author

WASHINGTON (AP) — Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl can expect a buoyant homecoming after five years in Taliban hands, but those in the government who worked for his release face mounting questions over the prisoner swap that won his freedom.
Click to see original Image in a new window

Even in the first hours of Bergdahl's handoff to U.S. special forces in eastern Afghanistan, it was clear this would not be an uncomplicated yellow-ribbon celebration. Five terrorist suspects also walked free, stirring a debate in Washington over whether the exchange will heighten the risk of other Americans being snatched as bargaining chips and whether the released detainees — several senior Taliban figures among them — would find their way back to the fight.

U.S. officials said Sunday that Bergdahl's health and safety appeared in jeopardy, prompting rapid action to secure his release. "Had we waited and lost him," said national security adviser Susan Rice, "I don't think anybody would have forgiven the United States government."

Republicans said the deal could set a troubling precedent — one called it "shocking." Arizona Sen. John McCain said of the five Guantanamo detainees, "These are the hardest of the hard core."

Tireless campaigners for their son's freedom, Bob and Jani Bergdahl thanked all who were behind the effort to retrieve him. "You were not left behind," Bob Bergdahl told reporters, as if speaking to his son. "We are so proud of the way this was carried out." He spoke in Boise, Idaho, wearing a long bushy beard he'd grown to honor his son, as residents in the sergeant's hometown of Hailey prepared for a homecoming celebration.

The five detainees left Guantanamo aboard a U.S. military aircraft flying to Qatar, which served as go-between in the negotiations. They are to be banned from leaving Qatar for at least a year. Among the five: a Taliban deputy intelligence minister, a former Taliban interior minister with ties to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and a figure linked by human rights monitors to mass killings of Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001.

Bergdahl, 28, was being treated at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. Officials did not offer details about Bergdahl's health to support their contention that his release had to be arranged without delay. Rice on one hand said he had lost considerable weight and faced an "acute" situation. Yet she said he appeared to be "in good physical condition" and "is said to be walking."

Questions persisted, too, about the circumstances of Bergdahl's 2009 capture. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel declined to comment on earlier reports that the sergeant had walked away from his unit, disillusioned with the war. Such matters "will be dealt with later," Hagel said.

Hagel, visiting troops in Afghanistan, was met with silence when he told a group of them in a Bagram Air Field hangar: "This is a happy day. We got one of our own back." It was unclear whether the absence of cheers and applause came from a reluctance to display emotion in front of the Pentagon chief or from any doubts among the troops about Bergdahl.

In weighing the swap, U.S. officials decided that it could help the effort to reach reconciliation with the Taliban, which the U.S. sees as key to more security in Afghanistan. But they acknowledged the risk that the deal would embolden insurgents.

Republicans pressed that point. "Have we just put a price on other U.S. soldiers?" asked Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. "What does this tell terrorists, that if you capture a U.S. soldier, you can trade that soldier for five terrorists?"

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said, "I'm going to celebrate him coming home," but added that the release of "five mid- to high-level Taliban is shocking to me, especially without coming to Congress."

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2014/8/20 7:35:12 - Man Convicted In 30-Year-Old Homicide Case
2014/8/20 4:44:52 - MO Gov. Nixon: 'Vigorous Prosecution' Needed After Death Of Michael Brown
2014/8/20 4:30:09 - Moberly Medical Clinics Affected By Data Breach
2014/8/20 4:26:24 - Bystanders Save Passengers From Burning Car In Fiery Ozarks Crash
2014/8/20 4:21:03 - Habersham County Will Not Pay Medical Bills For Baby Injured In Raid
2014/8/20 4:13:17 - Support Grows For Officer Who Shot Ferguson Teen Michael Brown
2014/8/20 4:01:58 - Man Arrested At Livingston County Courthouse With Knife
2014/8/19 20:20:00 - Trenton Wins and Ties, In Tuesday Night Softball Jamboree
2014/8/19 18:20:00 - MLB Moves Royals-Indians Game To "Sunday Night Baseball"
2014/8/19 11:07:24 - Grundy County Nursing Home District Meets
2014/8/19 11:01:33 - Grundy County Commissioners Meeting Report
2014/8/19 10:39:44 - 8-Year-Old Chillicothe Girl Places 2nd At Missouri State Fair
2014/8/19 10:36:11 - Alumni Band To Perform At First Trenton Home Game
2014/8/19 10:31:09 - One In Five Rely On Food Pantries In Missouri
2014/8/19 10:27:03 - Two Area Schools Post Enrollment Figures
2014/8/19 10:24:45 - 3rd Annual NCMC Foundation Golf Tournament Slated For August 29th
2014/8/19 10:21:16 - Several Locations Designated For Demolition In Trenton
2014/8/19 4:48:02 - Suspect Arrested At Edge Of Maryville After High Speed Chase
2014/8/19 4:19:17 - KC Officer Faces Review For Michael Brown Facebook Posts
2014/8/19 4:06:21 - Police, Protesters Collide Again In Ferguson
2014/8/19 4:02:58 - Recent Drug Arrests And Seizures In Chillicothe
2014/8/18 17:02:23 - Trenton Softball Drops To Class 2 For 2014 Season
2014/8/18 16:13:17 - Trenton 5th and 6th Grade Cheer Meeting Announced For Thursday
2014/8/18 16:05:42 - Chiefs Fall In Carolina, 28-16
2014/8/18 15:56:53 - Mizzou Ranked #24 In AP Preseason Poll
2014/8/18 10:53:51 - Mercer Homecoming Celebration Set To Begin August 28th
2014/8/18 10:50:00 - Mizzou's SEC Basketball Schedule Announced
2014/8/18 10:27:52 - Annual "Sale Of Champions" Nets $152,600
2014/8/18 10:20:00 - Missouri at Oklahoma SEC/Big 12 Challenge Game Set For December 5th
2014/8/18 9:54:07 - Upcoming Chamber Events Topic Of Open Line



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM