June 1st, 2014
10:55 AM ET
4 years ago

Rogers on negotiating for soldier's release: 'We have now set a price'

(CNN) – Releasing five Guantanamo Bay detainees in exchange for the return of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was a "dangerous" decision that could set a risky precedent for future kidnappings of Americans, according to Rep. Mike Rogers, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee

"We have now set a price," the Michigan Republican said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "We have a changing footprint in Afghanistan, which would put our soldiers at risk for this notion that 'If I can get one, I can get five Taliban released.'"

Bergdahl, who was held for five years by Afghan militants, arrived Sunday morning at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany as part of his return to the United States.

U.S. special operations forces recovered Bergdahl without incident early Saturday local time at a pickup point in eastern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan. American officials said the government of Qatar brokered the deal.

Hagel: U.S. acted fast to save Bowe Bergdahl's life

While Rogers was happy about the return of Bergdahl, he said the "methodology" that was used to get him back is "very troublesome."

"You've sent a message to every al Qaeda group in the world that says - by the way, there are some who are holding U.S. hostages today - that there is some value now in that hostage in a way that they didn't have before," he told CNN's chief political correspondent Candy Crowley. "That is dangerous."

He added that the primary way al Qaeda affiliates in Northern Africa raise money is by kidnapping and ransom.

Rogers' comments add to a chorus of congressional Republicans who are raising questions about the swap of five Guantanamo Bay detainees, who will now live in Qatar under undisclosed restrictions for at least a year.

Obama administration officials defend the handling of the situation. White House national security adviser Susan Rice argued that if it hadn't brought Bergdahl home, the administration would not be following U.S. policy of leaving no soldier behind.

"We would be in a whole new era for the safety of our personnel and for the nature of our commitment to our men and women in uniform," she said on "State of the Union."

"Because it was the Taliban that had him did not mean that we had any less of an obligation to bring him back," she added.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Mike Rogers • Terrorism • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. jboh

    From the man who is leaving a position, from which he has the authority to actually do something, for a blabber job on hate radio.

    June 1, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. BradB99

    Wow, who could have predicted the Republicans leadership would criticize a humanitarian action to safely return a U.S. solder who was held captive for five years. And of course, if the soldier had died while at the hands of the Taliban, the Republicans would have been the first to criticize the administration for that too. You know, when it comes to bringing back captured soldiers, we really should leave the politics aside. But that would require an effort to part country over party. Crazy thought.

    June 1, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. CB FL

    Politics is more important than a soldiers life?

    June 1, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. MaryM

    Fool, release all of Getmo , and when they are all in one place, send in the drones, Getmo Problems solved

    June 1, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. don in albuquerque

    Please go host your radio show. America is done with you.

    June 1, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. What's in that Tea Anyway?

    The GOP/Tea clown car is riding knee deep in idiocy.... This isn't setting a precedence idiots. We have to bring back our soldiers (all of them), especially as we announce we are leaving Afghanistan for good. I personally think any American's life is worth more than one, or in this case five (5) would be Osama Bin Ladens. We'll find them again if we found OBL and he had a lot of resources to hide, and still didn't get it done as we all know is current living conditions. Count on it.

    June 1, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. Smitty

    Be nice to make it thru one day without Obumbles causing another disaster. Maybe tomorrow !!!

    June 1, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  8. Tampa Tim

    It would be great if we could make it through one day without republicans politicizing an event for the purpose of fundraising. Lower life forms will enjoy Rogers as he takes on his new role, Lil Rush.

    June 1, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. it must be said

    OK, so now a new Obama policy that the USA DOES negotiate with terrorists. And the cost of one sargent is FIVE HIGH LEVEL TERRORISTS. Can you image the excitement over there now. If they grab a high level officer, Obama might be able to empty out Gitmo all at once.

    BTW, Obama BROKE US LAW YET AGAIN by failing to report this release with 30 days notice to Congress. So all you leftists clowns in here (Sniffit especially) that keep claiming Obama doesn't break laws regularly, you have another case of it here.

    June 1, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. Tampa Tim

    It appears that congressional republicans and RWNJ posters want Bergdahl returned to the Taliban.

    June 1, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. ja

    The price was set when we lied about wmds, invade Iraq, and went to Afghanistan , supposedly to to hunt bin laden

    June 1, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    Well, WHAT DO YOU suggest mr Rogers???? Leave him there!??

    June 1, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. don in albuquerque

    it must be said
    Would you prefer we gave him back? And from one of the "leftist clowns", I wouldn't trust this congress with my wallet, or my wife, let alone information on the delicate negotiations involved here. Especially when someone else's life may be on the line. Read a little history on POW trades, you might learn something........but I doubt it. Why not write this soldier's family a letter and let them know how you feel, be sure and include your home address.

    June 1, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. TAG

    ...an ill wind is blowin'...

    June 1, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  15. The HAM

    I'm glad for him and his family... but at what true cost only time will tell... this could look bad if we see an increase in hostage taking...

    June 1, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. it must be said

    CB FL
    Politics is more important than a soldiers life?

    What about the lives of the soldiers that died to capture those five high level terrorists? What about the lives of all the Americans they killed or helped kill? What about the lives of all the people that these animals will kill in the coming years?

    Can the left please provide the person to blame for those future deaths? Answer: OBAMA.

    June 1, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. just asking

    The price was set when we lied about wmds, invade Iraq, and went to Afghanistan , supposedly to to hunt bin laden

    what weird bizarre planet are you living on?

    June 1, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. Thomas

    As a voting republican , why do we want one more sniveler in the VA ?

    Wouldn't it be cheeper to offshore medical cost to the Taliban ?

    June 1, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. Smitty

    Oh Timmy once again you have nothing to add but stupidity. The whole world knows Obumbles is a joke try to catch up.

    June 1, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    He's precisely correct. The price of negotiations has set a precedent, and that will become a problem in the time between now and the end of the year, when we pull out. I do NOT believe the Afghans will accept keeping any of our troops in the country EITHER. Obama made a huge mistake in that announcement, and he will be made to look foolish for it.

    June 1, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. allan

    Leave it to the GOP to put a damper on the soldier coming home. Obama should've throw 50 GOP Congressmen/Senators to the Taliban. Not sure getting stuck with the pariahs would've been as nice for the Taliban as it would have been for the U.S. to get rid of them though.

    June 1, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. Hard Truth

    The only way I would have released these five terrorists was if it was out the back of a C-130 at 30,000 feet without a parachute. If it was Allah's will that they should live, they would. They would have a few minutes of prayer to him on the way down.

    June 1, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. Pander Bear

    And if Bergdahl had died in captivity you'd be blaming Obama for not doing everything to get him released. Your hero Reagan gave freaking MISSILES to Iran in exchange for hostages and then funded an illegal war in Nicaragua.

    June 1, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. Hugo

    Just when you thought the Obama Progressive Liberals could go no lower or do something more inept, here they go again. This is just another Impeachable offense in a long line of impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors, some may even equate to TREASON, but hey, look at those arms on the Mooch!

    June 1, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. Mike in Texas

    Let's just send them arms instead like Reagan did. But of course he "didn't recall".

    June 1, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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