June 5, 2014
Congressman Robert Hurt is adding his voice to the chorus of lawmakers expressing concern over the release of American prisoner of war Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, in exchange for five terror suspects.
Congressmen Hurt says he completely disagrees with the decision rescue Sgt. Bergdahl and free several Taliban member from Guantanamo Bay in return.
"This deal really jeopardizes the safety of Americans, wherever they are in the world, because it suggests very clearly to our enemies that we are willing to negotiate. We’re willing to negotiate with terrorists," said Hurt.
Many members of Congress, including Hurt, are upset President Obama did not consult Congress before giving the exchange orders. Some congressmen may have known about the possible trade, but by law the president is supposed to notify Congress 30 days before prisoners are released from Guantanamo Bay.
"I don't know how he explains that, and I don't know how he explains that to the American people," said Hurt. “That law is in place to prevent exactly this from happening. That concerns me a great deal."
Hurt says, most importantly he fears freeing five know Taliban members put Americans at risk.
"Obviously having these five most dangerous terrorists, prisoners from Guantanamo Bay out of the loose, that too jeopardizes our safety in terms of terrorist attacks," Hurt said.
Sgt. Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban while serving with the Army in Afghanistan in 2009, and was released Saturday, May 31. There have been some accusations from member of his former unit that he is a deserter. Hurt said that he will leave that determination up to the military justice system.