Politics

President Obama Swaps Five Taliban Prisoners for American Soldier

| by Paul Brown

The United States government has just cut a deal with the Taliban to release American solider Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from captivity.  In return, five Taliban members are being freed from the Guantanamo Bay military prison. 

Idaho native Bowe Bergdahl spent the last five years in captivity, imprisoned by Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan.  Bergdahl was the only prisoner of war on the United States’ side of the war.

While on his current European tour, President Obama defended the decision to release the five Taliban detainees. "Regardless of circumstances ... we still get an American prisoner back," Obama said during a news conference in Warsaw, Poland. "Period, full stop.  We don't condition that.”

The President admitted that the swap might not have been ideal for the national security of the United States, but he has been discussing the situation with the government of Qatar, the country to which the prisoners are being released.  “In terms of potential threats, the release of the Taliban who were being held in Guantanamo was conditioned on the Qataris keeping eyes on them…”

As for Sgt. Bergdahl, the recently freed prisoner of war has not even been permitted to see his family just yet.  According to President Obama, “he is having to undergo a whole battery of tests and he is going to have to undergo a significant transition back into life.”

While many are praising Bergdahl as an American hero, a good deal of the members of his unit, the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, have accused the Sergeant of being a deserter.  Several of his platoon-mates were killed during the extensive search for the imprisoned solider.  The United States military has yet to announce whether they are investigating these accusations.  

For now, Bowe Bergdahl is recovering in Germany and will undergo tests and examinations administered to him by the United States military before returning home.