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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio: Deal that brought home U.S. solider Bergdahl could 'encourage future terrorist kidnappings of Americans'

Sen. Marco Rubio has joined other Republican critics of the prisoner swap that brought home Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

“The release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is welcome news. I join all Americans in celebrating his reunion with his family. However, I am concerned about the steps the Obama Administration took to secure his release," Rubio said in a statement over the weekend.

“The release of five senior Taliban commanders to Qatar under unspecified conditions is very troubling and may endanger American lives. In the coming days the Congress must examine the circumstances under which Sergeant Bergdhal's release was achieved, and what conditions, if any, the Administration secured to ensure these enemy combatants do not return to the battlefield.

“I fear that the Administration's decision to negotiate with the Taliban for Sergeant Bergdahl's release could encourage future terrorist kidnappings of Americans. I fear also that the Administration is endangering U.S. and coalition forces by releasing some of the most dangerous detainees captured in the War on Terrorism.  As Americans, we never forget our brave men and women who are captured or missing in action. We also must ensure we are not further undermining U.S. national security by releasing motivated terrorists back to the battlefield.”

Some of Bergdahl's fellow soliders have called him a deserter, CNN reports. The Obama administration has defended its action.

"We did not have 30 days to wait," National security adviser Susan Rice said Sunday. "And had we waited and lost him, I don't think anybody would have forgiven the United States government."

Sen. Ted Cruz accused the administration of breaking policy of "not negotiating with terrorists," a claim PolitiFact ruled mostly false.


[Last modified: Monday, June 2, 2014 10:44am]


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