Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey says the Army may still pursue an investigation that could lead to desertion charges against Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was freed from five years of Taliban captivity in a prisoner exchange over the weekend.
Dempsey also told The Associated Press Bergdahl's next scheduled promotion is not automatic because he is no longer missing in action. He noted that U.S. military leaders "have been accused of looking away from misconduct" and said "it's premature" to assume they would do so in Bergdahl's case, despite his five years as a Taliban detainee.
America's top general says the Army will not ignore any evidence of misconduct on the part of newly freed soldier Bowe Bergdahl. Dempsey took to Facebook Tuesday and said questions about Bergdahl's conduct are completely separate from efforts to rescue him.
The U.S. secured his release by agreeing to swap five Taliban prisoners. Dempsey said the Army will learn the facts about Bergdahl's capture when he is able to provide them.
Hillary Clinton says she won't second guess the Obama administration's decision to swap the five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, but she notes that America's allies often make such deals. Clinton was asked whether she would make such a trade if she were in office. Clinton said she couldn't answer directly but that it is a "noble'' tradition that the United States tries not to leave soldiers on the battlefield.
She also noted worries that Bergdahl may not survive much longer after five years in captivity. Republicans have criticized the deal as capitulating to terrorists. The former secretary of state and potential presidential candidate made the statements at an event in a Denver suburb Monday night.
Senator John McCain says the five Taliban detainees being released from Guantanamo "are the hardest of the hardcore. These are the highest high-risk people." A local military expert agrees and says the calls for hearings into the decision to trade Sgt. Bergdahlare justified.
John Ubaldi with the Ubaldi Report says Congress requires 30 days notice for release of any Gitmo prisoners and it's not a partisan issue.
"He should have...get the defense authorization act when it regards Gitmo detainees that he has to let Congress know. Now, when the negotiations, from what I've been reading had been starting since February, he should have at least let the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (know), which is Diane Feinstein, California Senator, and also Mike Rogers from the House from Michigan. It sets such a dangerous precedent, though when you just unilaterally act, because at some point there's going to be a Republican President, and do you want the Republican President to do the same thing? Just use executive order, do what he wants, that has constitutional questions that are going to be decided when they possibly have hearings or look deeper into this."
The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee insists there will be hearings over the decision to trade five Guantanamo Bay detainees for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.