White House Says It’s Sorry

WASHINGTON (June 3, 2014) The White House has apologized to key lawmakers for not notifying them in advance about the exchange of five Taliban detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, 28, the only American soldier held captive in Afghanistan.

U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Georgia, the ranking members of the Senate Select committee on Intelligence, said White House officials called them Monday to say the lack of notification was an oversight.

Feinstein said she received a call from Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken.

The White House did not immediately comment on the calls.

The White House damage control came as Republican lawmakers accused the White House of putting U.S. service men and women at risk by releasing the five top Taliban members being held in Guantanamo in exchange for Bergdahl.

Meanwhile Tuesday U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said top members of Congress were briefed more than two years ago about the possibility of five terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for the captive soldier.

In a statement, Boehner said lawmakers raised serious concerns that were never satisfactorily answered about the potential swap.

Boehner welcomed Bergdahl's release, but said one of the greatest protections for Americans fighting overseas as well as diplomats is that the U.S. does not negotiate with terrorists.

In this case, however, he said that protection has been compromised.

Boehner said he supports efforts to hold hearings on the administration's failure to consult with Congress.


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