Rice: Why Obama didn't tell Congress about prisoner swap
By SCOTT WONG |
6/1/14 11:06 AM EDT
President Barack Obama didn’t notify members of Congress before releasing detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, because he didn’t want to risk the life of the American POW, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Sunday.
“In fact, what we had to do and what we did do, consistent with the president's constitutional authority as commander in chief, is prioritize the health of Sergeant Bergdahl,” Rice said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“We had reason to be concerned that this was an urgent and an acute situation, that his life could have been at risk. We did not have 30 days to wait,” Rice added. “Had we waited and lost him, I don't think anybody would have forgiven the United States government.”
Rice explained that members of Congress had been briefed in the past that a prisoner swap for Begdahl was a “prospect” the administration was looking at. But Defense and Justice officials determined that it was “appropriate and necessary” to carry out the swap quickly without informing Congress.
“As a consequence, we have Bowe Bergdahl back,” she said.http://www.politico.com/blogs/politico-live/?hp=
Rice: Too early to release info about POW's captivity
By SCOTT WONG |
6/1/14 10:50 AM EDT
It’s too early to release any information about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s years in captivity, including whether he’s having trouble speaking English, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Sunday.
“You know, there's a very refined and precise protocol for how we treat and support prisoners of war who have just been released,” Rice said on ABC’s “This Week.” “He going through this process of being supported and cared for and evaluated, but it's way too soon to get into the details of what transpired during his captivity."
At the White House Saturday, Bergdahl’s father mentioned that his son, who was captured in Afghanistan, was having difficulty speaking English after nearly five years of being held captive by the Taliban. But Rice offered no information about that.
“Our primary interest is in his health and well being and his full recovery and the opportunity for him to be reunited with his parents whom I had the privilege to meet yesterday,” she said. “They are overjoyed as any of us would be as parents, and all of us are as Americans, because finally after almost five years he'll be home.”
It was a “joyous day,” Rice said.