The Bergdahl swap puts the American public at risk

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Regarding the June 1 front-page article “U.S. swaps 5 Taliban detainees for captive soldier”:

On June 30, 2009, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl walked away from his forward operating base in Afghanistan. According to a soldier in his unit, Sgt. Bergdahl was clear about his plans before he deployed to Afghanistan: “If this deployment is lame, I’m just going to walk off into the mountains of Pakistan.” His departure violated military law. He also endangered his comrades who attempted to rescue him. I await his court-martial.

In exchange for a man I regard as a deserter, the Taliban got back five senior commanders, the capture of whom required risk by U.S. heroes. The release of the Taliban leaders endangers U.S. troops and, based on the Taliban’s support of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the American public.

Tom O’Rourke, Millersville

Why was the Obama administration willing to swap one relatively low-ranking soldier who might have disobeyed orders for five high-ranking Taliban leaders? The Taliban would have been thrilled to get just one of its officials back in a one-for-one swap; why trade five? Is it because the administration has been trying to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for years? The disposition of these Taliban would have been extremely difficult. The swap means we are just a bit closer to disposing of all of the Guantanamo prisoners.

Frank Cohn, Alexandria

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