Top Republicans on the Senate and House Armed Services Committee criticized President Obama on Saturday for negotiating with the Taliban in freeing Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for the release of five Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
“Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Berghdal’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans,” said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the Senate Armed Services ranking member and House Armed Services chairman, respectively, in a joint statement.
A senior White House official said the U.S. transferred five Afghan Guantanamo detainees to Qatar as part of a “broader reconciliation framework” that was part of “successful indirect talks with the Taliban’s political commission.”
“The five detainees transferred are in the custody and of Qatar and will be subject to restrictions on their movement and activities,” the senior official said.
“As the Administration has repeatedly affirmed, we will not transfer any detainee from Guantanamo unless the threat the detainee may pose to the United States can be sufficiently mitigated and only when consistent with our humane treatment policy,” the official added.
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