Two top ranking Republicans on the House and Senate Armed Services committees released a joint statement on the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for the release of five Taliban operatives from Guantanamo Bay. From Buck McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services committee, and James Inhofe, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services committee:
Like all Americans, we celebrate the release of Sergeant Berghdal from terrorist captivity. When one of our own comes home to us, we all rejoice. We are relieved that the ordeal and sacrifice of the Bergdahl family has come to a happy conclusion.
In the days ahead however, we must carefully examine the means by which we secured his freedom. America has maintained a prohibition on negotiating with terrorists for good reason. Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Berghdal’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans. Our terrorist adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans. That incentive will put our forces in Afghanistan and around the world at even greater risk.
In executing this transfer, the President also clearly violated laws which require him to notify Congress thirty days before any transfer of terrorists from Guantanamo Bay and to explain how the threat posed by such terrorists has been substantially mitigated. Our joy at Sergeant Berghdal’s release is tempered by the fact that President Obama chose to ignore the law, not to mention sound policy, to achieve it.