U.S. soldier held in Afghanistan is released - CNN.com(CNN) -- Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier held captive for nearly five years by militants during the Afghanistan war, has been released in exchange for five Guantanamo detainees, authorities said Saturday.
"Today the American people are pleased that we will be able to welcome home Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl," the White House said in a statement.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in a separate statement that he had informed Congress of the decision to transfer five detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Qatar in exchange for Bergdahl, who was the only remaining American soldier captured from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"A few hours ago, the family of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was informed by President Obama that their long wait for his return will soon be over," Hagel said.
I'm extremely happy that this guy is coming home.
The White House says this was a prisoner swap, for five "terrorists" (my word, not theirs) being held at Gitmo.
That said, there are a lot of questions to be answered here. Just a few are:
Why did Bergdahl "wander off" from the base and get captured in the first place? He had sent a number of emails to his parents saying he was having second thoughts about joining the Army, for instance. Technically, he was AWOL when he left the base and got captured. Did he go off base just to take a walk and think? Or, was it desertion? We won't know until he's debriefed.
Why did we agree to release five terrorists? The names of the five released terrorists are Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Nori, Abdul Haq Wasiq and Mohammad Nabi Omari. Not just some enemy soldiers doing their job as members of another national army. These guys were hard core terrorists.
What happened to "We don't negotiate with terrorists?"
Did they pin these guys before releasing them?
Are they being tracked?
And, many other questions.
None of which should lessen the fact that we've finally lived up to our military creed of Leave No Man Behind. As I started my comments above: I'm extremely happy that this guy is coming home.