Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was questioned by members of the House Armed Services Committee on the release of five Taliban leaders for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.  Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) grilled Hagel on the threat that the released Gitmo detainees pose to the United States, and if American lives will be put at risk to stop them from rejoining the fight.

The congressman compared the prisoner exchange to the equivalent of releasing deputy secretaries of defense, intelligence and interior, a governor and a commander.

“Mr. Secretary, you have said it here that if they rejoin the fight, they do it at their own peril. My question is a pretty simple one,” Forbes pressed. “Did you make an assessment of how many American lives may be put at risk if they have to be recaptured?”

After a back-and-forth, Hagel eventually answered, “No. There’s risk we have to our country, threats to our country every day, everywhere.”


More from Sec. Hagel's testimony: 

'I Don't Like the Implication': Hagel Confronted on Why Bergdahl Has Not Returned to U.S.

Hagel on Bergdahl Swap: 'Admin Could've Done a Better Job Keeping Congress Informed'