Weary of war , the United States of America has done a mutual prisoner exchange Sgt Bowe Bergdahl, 28, was handed to US forces in Afghanistan on Saturday, held for nearly five years in Afghanistan, was freed in a deal with the Taliban brokered by the Qatari government. Five Taliban militants, described by (2). Senator John McCain as the "hardest of the hard core," were released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and flown to Qatar.The White House has defended the swap amid criticism from Republicans who said the deal was soft on terrorism.What I ponder is did Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl go AWOL ? Which lead to his capture ? *** Otherwise it is vary unclear how he ended up in those circumstances in the first place The circumstances of his capture remain MYSTERY , with speculation he may have walked away from his base out of disillusionment with the US campaign.US officials say any decision over possible desertion charges will be made by the army, but there is a feeling the soldier has suffered enough.President Barack Obama welcomed news of the release, saying that while Bergdahl was gone, "he was never forgotten." (1) .The president said that the US "does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind" We do NOT leave our soldiers behind when we pull out at the end of a war, we have done POW swaps in every single war we have been in since the end of the Revolutionary war at our founding until now. As far as consequences, what kind of message would it send to our military folks if any president didn’t bring home POWs at the end of a war? This is not a political issue, it is a moral issue, we do not leave our soldiers behind ever. So I get the message. National Security Adviser Susan Rice defended the Obama White House's Taliban prisoner exchange on Sunday morning, telling CNN and ABC audiences that releasing five high-level terror targets to the nation of Qatar in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl won't put American national security at risk.'We felt that as the war is winding down, it was our sacred obligation, given the opportunity to get him back, that we do so,' Rice told CNN's Candy Crowley on the 'State of the Union' program.'We did so in a way that resulted in the Taliban prisoners being monitored and kept in a secure way in Qatar.'And addressing the thorny question of whether negotiating with terrorists might lead to more kidnappers' demands for more detainee releases from Guantanamo Bay, Rice insisted that the military detention center is still slated for closure. The Afghan government, which was not informed until after the exchange had taken place, condemned it as a "breach of international law" and urged the US and Qatar to "let the men go free". The five detainees are thought to be the most senior Afghans held at the US detention facility in Cuba, having been captured during America's military campaign in 2001.
NOTES and COMMENTS:
*** "President Barack Obama announced on Saturday Bowe Bergdahl, the only American soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan, has been freed and is in US custody." He's in custody? There is more than one meaning of the word custody, one of which is being under the guardianship or care of someone else. While i am sure the military is debriefing him about what he has neen through in the last five years, I sincerely doubt he will be sent off to prison or will be labeled a traitor for being a POW (1). Obama's statement continued: “For his assistance in helping to secure our soldier's return, I extend my deepest appreciation to the Amir of Qatar. The Amir’s personal commitment to this effort is a testament to the partnership between our two countries. The United States is also grateful for the support of the government of Afghanistan throughout our efforts to secure Sergeant Bergdahl’s release.” (2). While McCain welcomed the that Bergdahl was safe and headed back to American soil, he pointed out that the Afghans being released were 'hardened terrorists'.'I am eager to learn what precise steps are being taken to ensure that these vicious and violent Taliban extremists never return to the fight against the and our partners or engage in any activities that can threaten the prospects for peace and security in Afghanistan . 'The American people, and our Afghan partners, deserve nothing less,' McCain said.