Obama: no apologies for Bergdahl prisoner exchange

Obama: no apologies for Bergdahl prisoner exchange

Posted: Updated:
Bowe Bergdahl released in exchange for 5 detainees Bowe Bergdahl released in exchange for 5 detainees
BRUSSELS (AP) - President Barack Obama said Thursday he "absolutely makes no apologies" for seeking the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in a prisoner swap with the Taliban, vigorously defending an exchange that has caused a furor in the United States and has dogged the president on his European trip this week.

When it comes to getting soldiers back from war, Obama said, "We don't condition whether or not we make the effort to try to get them back."

He also said Bergdahl's health had been deteriorating and "We were deeply concerned about it.

"We saw an opportunity and we seized it. And I make no apologies for that," Obama said during a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Bergdahl was released following a deal between the U.S. and the Taliban that was brokered by Qatar. Five Taliban detainees held in Guantanamo were released as part of the exchange. Republicans and Democrats have objected to the swap.

Obama said his administration had discussed the possibility of such an exchange with members of Congress in the past. But he did not notify lawmakers in advance that he planned to release Guantanamo detainees. He is required to provide such notice 30 days ahead of a release.

"Because of the nature of the folks that we were dealing with and the fragile nature of these negotiations, we felt it was important go ahead and do what we did," he said.

He also defended his announcement of the release, which he did Saturday at the White House with Bergdahl's parents at his side.

"It was important for people to understand that this is not some abstraction, this is not a political football," he said. "You have a couple of parents whose kid volunteered to fight in a distant land, who they hadn't seen in five years and weren't sure whether they'd ever see again."

He said that as commander in chief of U.S. military forces, he has a responsibility for those soldiers.

"I make absolutely no apologies for making sure that we get back a young man to his parents and that the American people understand that this is somebody's child and that we don't condition whether or not we make the effort to try to get them back," he said.
  • More HeadlinesMore>>

  • Oklahoma County deputies save Harrah homeowners, release snake

    Oklahoma County deputies save Harrah homeowners, release snake

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:00 PM EDT2014-07-28 20:00:09 GMT
    Sgt. Shawn Shelby removes snake, and will safely release.Sgt. Shawn Shelby removes snake, and will safely release.
    The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office said deputies were called to handle an intruder at a home in Harrah Monday morning, and removed him by hand.
    The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office said deputies were called to handle an intruder at a home in Harrah Monday morning, and removed him by hand.
  • "I'm pregnant": Man, 80, to be charged for killing intruder claiming to be pregnant

    "I'm pregnant": Man, 80, to be charged for killing intruder claiming to be pregnant

    Monday, July 28 2014 5:00 AM EDT2014-07-28 09:00:02 GMT
    (CNN) -- Tom Greer says he fought back when he was attacked by intruders at his Southern California home. Then he got his gun and fired at them and they ran. The 80-year-old homeowner says one of the fleeing burglars, a woman, shouted, "I'm pregnant!" He shot her twice, killing her. The woman was not pregnant, Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office told CNN on Friday. The district attorney will decide whether Greer will face criminal charges. Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnel...
    (CNN) -- Tom Greer says he fought back when he was attacked by intruders at his Southern California home. Then he got his gun and fired at them and they ran. The 80-year-old homeowner says one of the fleeing burglars, a woman, shouted, "I'm pregnant!" He shot her twice, killing her. The woman was not pregnant, Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office told CNN on Friday. The district attorney will decide whether Greer will face criminal charges. Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnel...
  • Radar captures mayfly swarm on Mississippi River

    Radar captures mayfly swarm on Mississippi River

    Sunday, July 27 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-07-27 22:16:59 GMT
    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Mayflies have begun emerging from the Mississippi River in swarms that show up on radar like thunderstorms, coat roads and other surfaces, and leave behind a slimy mess.
    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Mayflies have begun emerging from the Mississippi River in swarms that show up on radar like thunderstorms, coat roads and other surfaces, and leave behind a slimy mess.
  • FOX25 Slideshows

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
Compiling list...
  • FOX 25 FeaturesMore>>

  • Tell Me Something Good

    Tell Me Something Good

    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
  • Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by 

WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOKH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.