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Obama defends decision to free Bergdahl

Tuesday, June 03, 2014 - 00:51

June 3 - U.S. President Barack Obama says the country does not put conditions on what it takes to get an American soldier back from captivity. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. President Barack Obama pushed back on Tuesday (June 3) against mounting criticism over his administration's decision to swap five Taliban prisoners for a captured U.S. soldier in Afghanistan. "Let me just make a very simple point here. And that is, regardless of the circumstances, whatever those circumstances may turn out to be, we still get an American soldier back if he's held in captivity. Period. Full stop. We don't condition that," Obama said at a news conference in Poland, where he's on the first of a four-day European tour. Members of Congress have pressed for public hearings over how the administration decided to swap Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban detainees being held at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, and why they were not notified in advance. Fueling criticism of the decision were accusations by some soldiers that the Idaho native was a deserter who cost the lives of several comrades. The State Department said it considered Bergdahl "a member of the military who was detained while in combat." The Pentagon said it was unable to confirm media reports that troops had been killed in operations trying to locate Bergdahl following his June 2009 disappearance.

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Obama defends decision to free Bergdahl

Tuesday, June 03, 2014 - 00:51