Reed, Whitehouse talk Bergdahl's release - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Reed, Whitehouse talk Bergdahl's release

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In this image taken from video obtained from Voice Of Jihad Website, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, A Taliban fighter speaks to Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, in eastern Afghanistan. (AP Photo) In this image taken from video obtained from Voice Of Jihad Website, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, A Taliban fighter speaks to Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, in eastern Afghanistan. (AP Photo)

As news surfaced about the release of the only American prisoner of war in Afghanistan, stories from his fellow soldiers spread diminishing the glory of his return.

Some of U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's fellow soldiers called him a deserter, blaming him for the deaths of other American soldiers who went looking for him.

Republicans were quick to criticize the president's decision to trade Bergdahl for five Taliban terrorists being held in Guantanamo bay.

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says the president should have at least consulted congressional leaders first.

"He absolutely should have spoken with a few people on these senior committees before he pulled this off," Whitehouse said.

But the Obama administration argues Bergdahl's safety could have been compromised if the president told anyone else about the negotiations. U.S. Sen. Jack Reed says the president did the best he could with a difficult situation.

"Frankly the critics today would be even more critical if they bungled an attempt to get him out of the hands of the Taliban," Reed said.

Whitehouse and Reed both agree the decision was the right one, and that we still have a lot of details to learn from Bergdahl about his five years in captivity.

"A lot of the things we've learned are conjecture or opinion. I think we need to wait until we have a factual review of the circumstances," Reed said.

"I think this is a lot of election politics and it's a shame because we should be welcoming this young man home," Whitehouse said.

President Obama stands firmly behind his decision, making no apologies for bringing any soldier home.

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