President Barack Obama today defended the decision to undertake a prisoner exchange to secure the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from Afghanistan. “We don’t leave men and women in uniform behind,” Obama said in Warsaw, Poland.
He said his administration had previously consulted with Congress on the possibility of a prisoner exchange for Bergdahl but then had to move quickly because of concerns over Bergdahl’s health and to not miss a window of opportunity.
Obama said questions about the circumstances of Bergdahl’s capture in Afghanistan were immaterial. “Whatever the circumstances may turn out to be, we still get an American soldier back if he is held in captivity. Period. Full stop. We don’t condition that.”
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