US Senator against Deal that Frees Soldier Held by Taliban
    2014-06-04 07:27:48     Reuters       Web Editor: Wang

Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona is speaking out against the deal that freed Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban militants.

Army Sergeant Bergdahl, held for nearly five years in Afghanistan, was freed in a deal with the Taliban brokered by the Qatari government. Five Taliban militants, described by Senator John McCain as the "hardest of the hard core," were released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and flown to Qatar.

"These people have dedicated their lives to destroying us. These people have dedicated their very existence. Why do you think the judgment was made if they released them it would pose great risk to the United States of America." McCain said.

While Bergdahl's released on Saturday (May 31) was celebrated by his family and his hometown, and could be seen as a coup for President Barack Obama as he winds down America's longest war, McCain and others questioned whether the administration had acted properly in releasing the militants and whether the decision puts current service men and women at risk.

"This decision to bring Sergeant Bergdahl home, and we applaud that he is home, is ill-founded, it is a mistake and it is putting the lives of American service men and women at risk and that to me is unacceptable to the American people." He added.

Bergdahl has been flown to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for medical treatment. After receiving care he would be transferred to another facility in San Antonio, Texas, U.S. defense officials said, without giving a date for his return to the United States.

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