Conservative icon Gary Bauer says it was a terrible decision by Barack Obama to release five dangerous Taliban terror suspects in exchange for an American soldier who may well have been a deserter.
On Saturday evening, President Obama announced that the United States had secured the release of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held captive by the Taliban for five years. In exchange for Bergdahl's freedom, Obama agreed to release five "high-risk" Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
But Bergdahl's release set off waves of shock and anger and raised several serious issues. Bauer, president of American Values, says for one thing it set a bad precedent.
"It seems that everything the president touches these days blows up in his face," he tells OneNewsNow. "Even if the soldier that we got back was in fact an American hero, previous presidents and previous U.S. policy have followed the principle that we don't trade prisoners with terrorist groups."
But Bauer says making the trade even worse are the claims that Bergdahl was not a hero but a deserter.
"The sergeant is believed by many of his own colleagues to be somebody who had turned on the United States," he points out. And that, Bauer remarks, makes the release of the five Taliban from Gitmo "even more troubling if it was an exchange for somebody who had turned against his own country."
In his End of Day report on Tuesday, Bauer said if Obama was hoping for a "bounce" from the announcement of Bergdahl's release, he didn't get – but instead is "facing a growing backlash" from the media, from members of Congress, and from the troops. The American Values president says this latest Obama scandal demands a full congressional investigation.
Related commentary by Michelle Malkin:
The story you haven't yet heard about Bergdahl's desertion