There was urgency to get back Bergdahl: US
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): With a reported deteriorating health and fear of risk to his life, there was an increased sense of urgency to get Sgt Bowe Bergdahl released from clutches of the Taliban, the Obama Administration said Thursday as it defended its decision not to properly inform the Congress on its move.
“Our judgment was that every day Sgt Bergdahl was a prisoner his life was at risk, and in the video we received in January, he did not look well. This led to an even greater sense of urgency in pursuing his recovery,” a Senior Administration Official said a day after officials briefed Senators on this issue in a classified setting.
“We can’t disclose classified comments from a closed congressional briefing. However, we are able to say that the Senators were told, separate and apart from Sgt Bergdahl’s apparent deterioration in health, that we had both specific and general indications that Sgt Bergdahl 's recovery -- and potentially his life -- could be jeopardized if the detainee exchange proceedings were disclosed or derailed,” said the senior administration official requesting anonymity.
“The (US) President was very clear that it was the right thing to do, again, to share in the joy that those parents felt that they were going to be reunited with Sergeant Bergdahl,” the White House Deputy National Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes, said.
The State Department Deputy Spokesperson, Marie Harf, said there were a number of reasons in that video to believe that his health was declining.
“In terms of physical security, once we had in place the agreement through the Qataris about how this could proceed, there were real concerns that if this were made public first, his physical security could be in danger more by either the Taliban walking away or about an individual Taliban member who perhaps was guarding him,” Harf said.
In a statement Senator Ben Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, urged the US President Barack Obama to move swiftly to declassify as much information on the details of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release as possible.
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