President Obama has sent a “top aide” Tuesday to apologize to Congress for not first informing them before releasing five top Taliban commanders from Guantanamo for one captured Army sergeant now purportedly an Army deserter five-years-ago. Obama himself defended his actions this morning, insisting his administration had discussed the release with Congress “for some time.”
A clearly angered Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) told reporters that Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken called her Monday evening to apologize for leaving Congress in the dark. “I had a call from the White House last night, from Tony Blinken, apologizing for it,” Feinstein, the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told reporters at the Senate on Tuesday.
She further said, "He apologized for it and said it was an oversight." Feinstein said she had conferred with her fellow senators and “… there were very strong views and they were virtually unanimous against trade.”
Concerning whether it is true that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is indeed a deserter and traitor, Feinstein said, “I certainly want to know more about whether this man is a deserter or not, I think that’s important to at least know, soldiers died looking for him, that’s important to give them credit."
Many of Bergdahl’s platoon men have said he walked away from the rest of the platoon. He apparently left behind a note illustrating his frustration with the Army and his country. Up to 14 men were killed looking for him after he disappeared.
Bergdahl was “captured” in 2009. He is now returning home as part of a now highly controversial prisoner swap disclosed by the Obama administration Monday. Five high-level Taliban detainees from the U.S.-run facility for terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba are being to the Middle Eastern country of Qatar. All five terrorist suspects are considered the worst of the worst.
Not only will Qatar eventually release them, but as national heroes of the Taliban, they will most likely continue killing Americans and civilians.
One of the men with Berghadl the night he disappeared said, "I don't want him regarded as the example that soldiers should look up to, because he is the exact opposite of that. There were about 30 of us there and we just pulled guard out of our trucks and a couple bunkers. On the morning of June 30th, when someone went to wake up Bergdahl for his guard shift, he wasn't there."
The idea that he was trying to engage the Taliban filled the soldiers with unease. "As we're all sitting there on this very small base, miles away from any major forward operating base, we're … saying, 'You know what? He knows where our bunkers are, he knows where our positions are, he knows where our trucks are parked, he knows how our guard shifts change, he knows what our sectors of fire are.' "
Now the Obama administration, mired in multiple scandals already, must answer to Congress and the American people. Why was this deserter worthy of a trade for five dangerous killers who are also wanted as international terrorists? Did the men and women serving in Afghanistan have a vote on this release? They will surely meet those released men again - one way or another.
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