Ryan and James: Release of US soldier comes under fire

KUSA - The circumstances surrounding the release of U.S. soldier Bowe Burgdahl from Taliban control remain highly controversial.

The debate stems from whether bringing home a soldier accused by fellow comrades of deserting his unit in Afghanistan warranted the release of detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

Some members of Congress were upset they were not told about the deal. Legislators from both parties went as far as accusing the Obama administration of violating the National Defense Authorization Act, which requires the Obama administration to notify Congress 30 days in advance. Congress does not, however, have the power to block a transfer.

"It's something the United States hasn't done historically, doesn't want to do historically, has spoken out publicly against doing so," 9NEWS Democratic political expert James Mejia said.

"But when you do do it, I would think you want to make sure that everything else is going to fall in line very neatly."

Under the terms of the exchange, five Taliban members were handed over in Qatar. The Qatari government says they will closely monitor the Taliban members for one year.

"We're seeing signs today that Taliban commanders who are indicating that they believe more kidnappings will lead to additional trades, and we all know that's bad for foreign policy," 9NEWS Republican expert Ryan Frazier said.

"It's bad for the U.S. It's not something we ought to be doing."

Bergdahl is currently recovering at a hospital in Germany. Hospital officials say he is in stable condition, but not ready to head back to the U.S.

There is no timetable set for when he will be transferred to an Army hospital in Texas.

Military officials say that so far there is no definitive proof he deserted his unit.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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