Hillary Clinton defends deal to release Bergdahl


"The idea that you really care for your own citizens and particularly those in uniform, I think is a very noble one," Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday defended President Obama's decision to trade the release of five prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay for the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from captivity in Afghanistan.

"This young man, whatever the circumstances, was an American citizen — is an American citizen — was serving in our military," Clinton said Monday evening, according to the Associated Press. "The idea that you really care for your own citizens and particularly those in uniform, I think is a very noble one."

Clinton made her remarks at a suburban Denver event hosted by the Denver Post and Unique Lives & Experiences.

Bergdahl was released from Taliban custody Saturday after nearly five years in captivity. In exchange, the U.S. government released five Afghan inmates, who must remain in Qatar for at least a year.

Some Republican lawmakers are concerned that Congress was not notified in advance of the release as required by law and about the precedent the deal could set. They have vowed hearings into the matter.  Obama defended his decision Tuesday, saying, "We saw an opportunity, and we were concerned about Bergdahl’s health."

Clinton added, according to the AP: "You don't want to see these five prisoners go back to combat. There's a lot that you don't want to have happen. On the other hand, you also don't want an American citizen, if you can avoid it, especially a solider, to die in captivity. I think we have a long way to go before we really know how this is going to play out."

Sean Sullivan covers national politics for “The Fix.”
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