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Obama: Congress consulted on prisoner exchange

By The Associated Press

This article was published June 3, 2014 at 7:31 a.m.

WARSAW, Poland — President Barack Obama on Tuesday defended his decision to release five Afghan detainees from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for freeing an American soldier, saying his administration had consulted with Congress about that possibility "for some time."

Obama also brushed aside questions about the circumstances surrounding Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's capture by insurgents in 2009. The United States, he said, has a "sacred" obligation to not leave men and women in uniform behind.

"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," Obama said during a news conference in Poland. "We don't condition that."

There have long been questions about how Bergdahl disappeared from his unit nearly five years ago. The Pentagon concluded in 2010 that Bergdahl walked away, and, after an initial flurry of searching, the military curbed any high-risk rescue plans.

Despite the Pentagon's conclusions, Obama said the government was not currently seeking to punish Bergdahl as a deserter.

"Our main priority is making sure the transition that he's undergoing after five years in captivity is successful," he said.

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RoyDaMercer says... June 3, 2014 at 9:19 a.m.

This was the worst decision BO has made, and will ever make. We had soldiers killed trying to find a deserter and now 5 very dangerous terrorists are free to kill again. I don't give a rat's butt about other decisions in the past by former POTUS, this is despicable.

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YoungHog says... June 3, 2014 at 12:46 p.m.

move on Jesse.. if it was our son.. u would be overjoyed.

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RoyDaMercer says... June 3, 2014 at 1:25 p.m.

Thanks Po, and I'm pretty sure I've never had a kid with YoungHog so not sure about the our son comment. If he meant my son I sure as hell wouldn't want him back if he did what this loser did.

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AmericasDoomed says... June 3, 2014 at 1:45 p.m.

This is just another stupid decision in a long line of stupid decisions made by Obama. We'll be paying for this morons lack of leadership for a long time.

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2boxers says... June 3, 2014 at 1:50 p.m.

It looks like Obama was looking for a good excuse to get release the 5 terrorists from gitmo as he promised the liberals. he has more to go before its completely emptied.

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Packman says... June 3, 2014 at 2:12 p.m.

This is really, really weird. Surely, Obama vetted this and knew about the allegations of desertion, the dad's youtube postings, the dad's desire to speak Pashtun (sp?), that his decision would bitch slap the rule of law, and the concerns that the exchange would put a bullseye on the backs of our service men and women across the globe as targets for kidnapping to be used as barter. Surely Obama knew all this. If so, how could he ever have done such a thing? Perhaps we will learn the dad only put on a show to keep his son alive; we will learn the soldier was actually kidnapped and someone else sent those "hate America" emails to his parents that preceded the "kidnapping"; and we will learn that terrorists are dumb and will not see this as an opportunity to kidnap other soldiers to use as bargaining chips now that it is known BH Obama will in fact barter with terrorists.
Common sense says it's too early to jump to too many conclusions surrounding the prisoner exchange but when you hear Bergdhal's fellow soldiers unequivocally refer to him as a deserter, what other conclusion can be drawn?
Hey YoungHog - What about the parents of those young men killed while trying to find what his fellow soldiers have defined as a traitorous bastard? Reckon those parents are "overjoyed"?
Hey Po - Seriously, why would Obama do this knowing the dad was a muslim sympathizer and the kid a traitor according to the troops that knew him best? Is it plausible the kid, being coached by his dad, allowed himself to be "kidnapped" specifically for the purpose of being traded for the muslim terrorisst? If these people can convince themselves to strap bombs onto their bodies to kill themselves and indiscriminate infidels, it is entirely plausible one American sympathizer would sacrifice a few years ostensibly as a POW to fight the hated Americans. Wow! Could that be what really happened and BH Obama was either too stupid to figure it out or even worse, knew it and agreed to it?

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Packman says... June 3, 2014 at 4:19 p.m.

Hey Po - Agreed. BH Obama has a level of personal arrogance to which I simply cannot relate. I'm trying to be rational and logical with an irrational and illogical person. My bad.

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... June 3, 2014 at 5:59 p.m.

If any of my children did that D.O.A.

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