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Senators Weigh In Bergdahl Release Deal

June 11, 2014, 6:25 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Senators Weigh In Bergdahl Release Deal

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress on Wednesday that swapping five Taliban prisoners for the release of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was America's 'last best' chance to secure Bergdahl's release.  Bergdahl was held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan for five years.

Some of his fellow platoon members have been critical of the deal saying Bergdahl deserted his post.

South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune is concerned about the precedent the swap sets for dealing with terrorists.  Democratic Senator Tim Johnson says he is reserving judgment until he gets more information.

"The U.S. has an obligation to every service member we send into harms way to bring them home. As the father of a soldier, I'm acutely aware of this. In recent weeks, we've seen a rush to judgement by many people to condemn President Obama's actions and question Sgt. Bergdahl's motives," Johnson said.

"The concern I have is the precedent that has been sent by releasing these five hardcore Taliban leaders back into the population and perhaps back into the fight at some point in the future where they can put American soldiers and American citizens at risk. That to me is what should concern all of us," Thune said.

Secretary Hagel told Congress that the administration could have done a better job of keeping them informed of the situation but time was slipping away.

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