A defiant President Obama today said he is making no apologies for arranging the release of Sgt. Bowe Berdahl by freeing five bloodthirsty Taliban leaders who may soon be working on plans to attack American soldiers.
Speaking at a press conference in Brussels today with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama claimed he was right to act – and to act fast, without telling Congress.
We had a prisoner of war whose health had deteriorated and we were deeply concerned about and we saw that we had an opportunity and we seized it and I make no apologies for that . . .
But because of the nature of the folks we were dealing with and the fragile nature of these negotiations, we felt it was important to go ahead and do what we did. And we’re now explaining to Congress the details of how to move forward.
Obama suggested that the matter had become personal to him, saying Bergdahl is “somebody’s child” and noting the letters he has to write to the parents of the fallen.
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 . . .
You have a couple of parents whose kid volunteered to fight in a distant land who they hadn’t seen in five years and they didn’t know if they would ever see again . . .
I write too many letters to folks who unfortunately don’t see their children again after fighting a war.
He added that is was his job as commander in chief to “make sure that that child is being taken care of.”
I can understand his grief and concern for American soldiers. But mawkishness is not exactly a good basis for policy. And this exchange may well force him – or the next president – to write more such letters.
And as usual, Obama suggested that criticism directed his way for actions he has taken is political.
I’m never surprised by controversies that are whipped up in Washington. That’s par for the course . . . .
I think it was important for people to understand that this is not some abstraction, this is not a political football
We have a basic principle: we do not leave anybody wearing the American uniform behind.