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Home » , » Gibson Questions Bergdahl Release as House Grills Hagel

Gibson Questions Bergdahl Release as House Grills Hagel

Written By Editor on 6/12/14 | 6/12/14

Members of the House Armed Services Committee, including local Congressman Chris Gibson, grilled U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel Wednesday afternoon on the Obama administration's decision to swap five high-ranking Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay for U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who had been in captivity since 2009.

Congressional concerns centered around the administration's transfer of high-ranking enemy officials and strategists to Qatar, where they will be released within the next year, and the violation of federal law that requires Congress to be notified within thirty days of any prisoners release from the controversial military base in Cuba.

In a statement issued Monday morning by Congressman Gibson's staff, the former Army Colonel told the Schoharie News that although we need to bring every American back from captivity, he does not believe, "that we exhausted  all avenues in seeking the safe return of Bowe Bergdahl before entering into this agreement."

Defense Secretary Hagel told lawmakers in his prepared remarks Wednesday, "As the opportunity to obtain Sergeant Bergdahl’s release became clearer, we grew increasingly concerned that any delay, or any leaks, could derail the deal and further endanger Sergeant Bergdahl."

The Bergdahl exchange has attracted significant backlash from Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Washington, with many sharing our local congressman's concerns that, "this swap could set a dangerous precedent and put more Americans at risk," as there are fears it may encourage future detainment of U.S. personnel for prisoner exchanges.
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