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The Obama administration exchanged five Guantanamo Bay prisoners for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl on May 31, 2014. Bergdahl was captured by Taliban forces in Afghanistan in 2009 and held captive just across the border in Pakistan.[1] Bergdahl was accused of deserting his unit before being captured, leading to more controversy over whether or not the administration should have made a deal with the Taliban.

Possible ramifications

Critics claimed the action showed American weakness by setting the precedent that the United States would make deals with terrorists. The House Armed Services committee chair Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) went further and insisted President Obama violated the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act by not giving Congress at least 30 days notice before engaging in talks to get Bergdahl back.[2]

Timeline of events


Search attempts

POW treatment


National Defense Authorization Act

Post-exchange debate

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney claimed the exchange was rushed due to Bergdahl's "deteriorating" health. Secretary Hagel also defended the exchange and hoped it would create "a new opening" in future talks with the Taliban.[2] When asked the reasoning behind the negotiations on June 3, 2014, President Obama explained, "Regardless of the circumstances, whatever those circumstances may turn out to be, we still get an American soldier back if he’s held in captivity. Period. Full stop. We don’t condition that. He also stated that the administration had been consulting with Congress prior to the swap, a statement House Intelligence committee chair Mike Rogers (R-MI) disputed, stating, "In 2011, they did come up and present a plan that included a prisoner transfer that was, in a bipartisan way, pushed back. We hadn't heard anything since on any details of any prisoner exchange." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) reported that he was told of the exchange but only "the day before or the day of."[3]

Past prisoner exchanges

Recent news

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Bowe Bergdahl Exchange News Feed

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See also

External links


[[Category:Federal issues, national security [[Category:Federal issues, Obama administration