“Today the Army confirmed what we have suspected all along: the Administration’s claims that Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl served with honor and distinction could not be further from the truth. He served with distinction– that of being a deserter – but certainly not with honor.
Last year I held a Congressional hearing in the House Terrorism Subcommittee on this topic where a member of Sergeant Bergdahl’s platoon directly told us just that--he was a deserter. The President defended his decision to swap Bergdahl for terrorists with the principle of “no man left behind.” Well it turns out that Bergdahl left his men behind.
If the Administration had followed the law perhaps this hearing could have occurred prior to the prisoner swap, not after. Instead, Congress was notified after the prisoners were swapped. Not only was this decision dangerous, it was illegal. The law—which President Obama signed—states the White House was required to both brief and notify Congress 30 days before it intends to transfer any enemy combatants from Guantanamo Bay. Instead, the White House brought a deserter home, paraded his parents out in front of the media and put on a show in the Rose Garden.
Meanwhile, five terrorist roam free and at least three of them have apparently tried to unite with their old terror networks. Today Americans are less safe because of this decision. Hopefully at least the Court will get it right and sentence Mr. Bergdahl to the fate he deserves.”
Congressman Poe is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism.