AL lawmakers, vets object to trade for captured soldier - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

AL lawmakers, vets object to trade for captured soldier

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Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was captured back in 2009. The reason why he left his post is still a topic of debate. (Source: NBC News) Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was captured back in 2009. The reason why he left his post is still a topic of debate. (Source: NBC News)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Multiple Alabama congressman, Alabama veterans, and a medal of honor winner all disagree with President Obama's decision to exchange five Guantanamo detainees for a captured U.S. soldier.

The Taliban made the exchange with the United States over the weekend. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was captured back in 2009. The reason why he left his post is still a topic of debate. 

Congressman Mo Brooks questioned why President Obama didn't alert Congress about the decision. According to Brooks, federal law requires Congress to have a 30 day notice prior to any Guantanamo detainee's status change. Brooks said that didn't happen. Congressman Brooks also questioned whether we gave up too much for the captured soldier.

"If these individuals do go back into terrorism and they take American lives, then the president is going to have to answer a question: Was the recovery of this one life worth the lives that were lost? It's a tough call," said Brooks.

Alabama Congressman Robert Aderholt also had questions and concerns about the decision. "While I am grateful that Sgt. Bergdahl is no longer a Taliban captive there are still some concerns and lingering questions that will continue to come to light in the coming days. I am particularly interested in learning not only how Sgt. Bergdahl was captured but, more importantly, the President's reasoning behind breaking America's long standing policy not to negotiate with terrorist," said Aderholt.

Korean War veteran Hollis Bridges thought the decision went against the "We don't negotiate with terrorists" policy the United States has been known for decades. Bridges said he was excited when he heard that Sgt. Bergdahl was back in American hands. However, he said if he was in that position, he would want American forces to try to free him and not negotiate with the Taliban.

"[The Taliban] are enemies and they will continue to be enemies the rest of their lives. They will do whatever they can, within whatever means they can derive, or with whatever connections they may have with Al-Qaeda or other groups that are detrimental to the United States of America," said Bridges.

Leo Thorsness spent six years in multiple Vietnam prisoner of war camps during the Vietnam war. He survived years of tortures and beatings. Thorsness was awarded the Medal of Honor. The retired United States Air Force colonel also disagreed with President Obama's decision to negotiate with the Taliban. Thorsness said he knows what the soldier is going through and said those years as a prisoner will stick with the Sgt. Bergdahl forever.

"What you're thinking is just freedom. How will you get home if the war ends? How will I be released? Will I be released? Will I spend the rest of my life here? Will I be executed? All those thoughts go through your mind and it does affect your rationale," said Thorsness.

Congressman Mo Brooks said he expects the Pentagon to debrief Congress on the circumstances surrounding Sgt. Bergdahl's capture during either a classified or public hearing. He was not sure when that would take place. 

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