Gitmo detainee release draws criticism

(USA Today)

The recovery of kidnapped Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is complete, but the debate over the price of trading the soldier for five Gitmo prisoners continues.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., told CNN's State of the Union on Sunday that the release of five detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, could encourage terrorists across the globe to seek more releases by seizing more Americans.

Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he is happy for the Bergdahl family, but "the methodology" of negotiating with terrorists "is very troublesome."

Hagel: U.S. acted fast to save Bowe Bergdahl's life

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., speaking on ABC's This Week, said the administration may have "put a price" on the heads of other U.S. troops: "I do not think the way to deal with violent terrorists is through releasing other violent terrorists."

National Security Adviser Susan Rice, also on CNN, said the Obama administration's primary concern was to rescue Bergdahl, and that no person should be left behind on the battlefield.

"We still have a sacred obligation to bring that person back," Rice said.

Rice said the government of Qatar -- which brokered the deal -- has assured the United States that the five released detainees "will be carefully watched" and "their ability to move will be constrained."

"This was the right thing to do," Rice added.

In a statement Saturday, Obama said "the Qatari government has given us assurances that it will put in place measures to protect our national security."

Obama: Bergdahl 'was never forgotten'

Rogers and other Republicans also accused the Obama administration of violating the law by not giving Congress the required 30-day notice for release of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.

Rice, appearing on ABC's This Week, said "this is a very special situation," and officials had "an urgent and acute" concern that Bergdahl's life was in danger.

"We did not have 30 days to wait," Rice said.

U.S. soldier freed from captivity in Afghanistan


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