Ransom Cover up at White House?
According to California Congressman Duncan Hunter, he is in possession of evidence that the Obama Administration paid a ransom, before the prisoner exchange, for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Included in a letter written to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel…
I recognize the reluctance to describe a payment as ransom, but regardless of how the transaction is described, it has been brought to my attention that a payment was made to an Afghan intermediary who ‘disappeared’ with the money and failed to facilitate Bergdahl’s release in return,” he wrote to Hagel. “The payment was made in January-February 2014, according to sources, through Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).”
“Given the significance of this matter, as well as the fact that Pentagon officials have denied that a payment was even considered, and you also said you were unaware of any such attempt, I ask that you immediately inquire with JSOC to determine the specific order of events,”
At the time, many GOP lawmakers criticized the trade for a variety of reasons, one of which was the policy against negotiating with terrorists. The ‘trade’ of five Taliban prisoners who were said to have the most serious ties to terrorism among the prisoners currently held at Guantanamo Bay, was also without the required prior notice to Congress.
“America has maintained a prohibition on negotiating with terrorists for good reason,” said Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the top Republicans on the armed services committees in their respective chambers. In their joint statement, the lawmakers said terrorists now have a “strong incentive” to capture American soldiers and warned: “That incentive will put our forces in Afghanistan and around the world at even greater risk.”
Lt. Col. Oliver North (ret.) claimed that there was likely a ransom paid for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the American deserter who was released by the Haqqanis, a terrorist organization with close ties to Al Qaeda, after the Obama Administration released five high-level terrorists from Guantanamo Bay. But the speculation at the time was that there was a financial as well as personnel incentive.
This letter seems to suggest that a failed ransom attempt was made prior to the release. Making this whole situation even more egregious.