House Panel Holds Hearing on Bergdahl Release
(WASHINGTON) -- A GOP-led House panel heard testimony Wednesday from members of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl's former unit in Afghanistan, who suggested he deserted his post in Afghanistan in 2009 before falling into the hands of Taliban captors. Retired Specialist Cody Full, who served with Bergdahl in Blackfoot Company, alleged that the former soldier's "desertion was premeditated."
Mike Waltz, former Special Forces commander in Afghanistan, claimed he and his company were furious having to look for Bergdahl, saying he "endangered the lives of thousands of men and women sent to search for him."
Meanwhile, the father of Second Lt. Darryn Andrews, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009, told lawmakers he only recently learned his son had been among those helping to look for Bergdahl. According to Andy Andrews, his son "was posthumously awarded the silver star for his heroic actions. At no time during this was it mentioned that he was searching for Bergdahl, only searching for a high-interest Taliban."
Bergdahl was freed less than three weeks ago in exchange for five Taliban detainees who had been held in the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Republicans on the panel, including its chair, Texas Congressman Ted Poe, said the Obama administration paid too high a price for Bergdahl's release.
Poe also asserted that the White House may have broken the law by not informing lawmakers ahead a time about the deal.
He said, "The administration must notify Congress 30 days before releasing Guantanamo Bay detainees - and second: the administration has to specifically tell Congress how releasing each terrorist is in the national security interest of the United States. The administration did neither."
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