Michigan congressman critical of deal to win release of American POW in Afghanistan

Jun 1, 2014

A Michigan congressman is highly critical of the deal the Obama administration struck to win the release of America’s only prisoner-of-war in the Afghan war.

The Taliban released Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after holding him for five years because the U.S. agreed to release five senior Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was freed yesterday after President Barack Obama agreed to release five high-level Afghan detainees from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was freed yesterday after President Barack Obama agreed to release five high-level Afghan detainees from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Credit U.S. Army/Department of Defense

Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers says agreeing to release the Taliban prisoners sets a ‘dangerous’ precedent.

“We have now set a price,” says Rogers, “We have a changing footprint in Afghanistan which will put our soldiers at risk for this notion that ‘if I can get one, I can get five Taliban released.”

"You’ve sent a message to every Al Qaeda group in the world that says…and some who are holding U.S.  hostages today….that there is some value now in that hostage in a way that they didn’t have before," Rogers, "That is dangerous.”
"You’ve sent a message to every Al Qaeda group in the world that says…and some who are holding U.S. hostages today….that there is some value now in that hostage in a way that they didn’t have before," Rogers, "That is dangerous.”
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Appearing on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ program, Rogers suggested the Obama Administration may have violated federal law by doing this deal without notifying Congress beforehand.