Graham on Bergdahl Prisoner Swap: US Released the 'Taliban Dream Team'
Moments ago, Senator Lindsey Graham sent a letter to Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, requesting an immediate hearing on the transfer of U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl.
The Obama administration has come under fire for negotiating with terrorists and in essence, putting a price on American soldiers’ heads.
Sen. Graham wrote:
I write today requesting an immediate hearing on the exchange of five high-ranking Taliban leaders for the release of Sergenat Bowe Bergdahl. While I appreciate an American was released from captivity, this decision by the Obama Administration has serious implications for our future national security.
The five terrorists released were the hardest of the hard-core. They held positions of great importance within the hard-core anti-American Taliban, including the Chief of Staff of the Taliban Army and the Taliban Deputy Minister of Intelligence. They have American blood on their hands and surely as night follows day they will return to the fight. In effect, we released the "Taliban Dream Team." The United States is less safe because of these actions.
I fear President Obama's decision will inevitably lead to more Americans being kidnapped and held hostage throughout the world.
There are also questions about why the Administration failed to comply with the law. We need a thorough review of this decision and I urge you to hold a hearing on this matter as it has profound implications for our national security.
With President Obama's announcement of a total withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2016 - basically canceling an insurance policy to protect our homeland - and now releasing five Taliban leaders, it's safe to say last week was a great week for the Taliban.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) questioned the conditions under which the terrorists were released, warning that they could turn around and launch attacks aimed at killing Americans. Taliban leader Mullah Omar delivered a statement on Sunday calling the trade a “great victory.”
On Outnumbered, Army veteran Pete Hegseth was outraged over the prisoner swap.
“If there’s one thing we’ve never done, it’s negotiate with terrorists,” he said. “We decide now that the price of an American soldier is five Taliban. […] These are guys associated with Usama bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks.”
Harris Faulkner noted that as news broke about Bergdahl’s release, he went from being called a hero to a possible deserter.
Hegseth said, “The Taliban said he was drunk and off base. He said in a statement that he had fallen behind on a patrol. Which if you fall behind on a patrol, you’re in a fire fight or somebody knows about it.”
Members of Bergdahl’s unit were told not to talk about the situation until he was returned home. Now, fellow soldiers are coming out and saying he walked off the base.
“They don’t want the story to be Bowe Bergdahl, American hero, if he isn’t. If he is, then great,” Hegseth said. “But if he deserted and didn’t believe in the mission, and then they spent months and months looking for him, and now he’s being lauded as such – that really complicates the situation.”
EXCLUSIVE: Tonight at 9p/12a ET on The Kelly File, hear from two soldiers who served with Bergdahl. Plus, former Vice President Dick Cheney talks to Megyn Kelly about the repercussions of the exchange.