Udall Defends Obama’s Actions on Bergdahl, but Wants Full Account

June 11, 2014

Sen. Mark Udall

Sen. Mark Udall

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Udall defended President Barack Obama’s controversial prisoner swap for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five high-level Taliban detainees but added that the administration will have to answer for its actions.

“We don’t leave anyone on the battlefield, and we should have a full accounting,” Udall said during a rare interview Monday night.

The Senate Armed Services Committee, on which Udall is a subcommittee chairman, was briefed by the administration during a closed-door session Tuesday. The first public hearings begin Wednesday in the House Armed Services Committee.

Udall’s comments represent the first time Colorado’s senior senator has weighed in on the prisoners swap with the Taliban, which has sharply divided Congress. Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet on Tuesday declined to discuss the issue.

Members of Colorado’s Republican delegation in the House have publicly criticized the administration’s actions. Rep. Cory Gardner, who is challenging Udall for the Senate seat, released a statement Tuesday calling on the Democrat to use his position and demand an investigation.

“Sen. Udall, however, has refused to state whether or not he believes the president violated the law when he failed to notify Congress of the recent prisoner exchange,” Gardner said in a statement. “He has also refused to call for an investigation into the details of the exchange.”

Colorado Reps. Doug Lamborn and Mike Coffman are members of the House panel opening its inquiry Wednesday with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. The Republicans have been critical of the administration’s actions and question whether the law was broken when Congress was not notified.

Sen. Dick Durbin, the second ranking Democrat in the upper chamber, scolded lawmakers from both parties who wanted the administration to notify Congress 30 days before detainees from Guantanamo Bay are released saying it could have endangered Bergdahl’s life.

Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, a Republican on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, suggested that Congress would have tried to block the exchange if lawmakers had been notified within 30 days.

“They have consulted about swaps before and Congress has rejected the swaps,” Burr said. “The administration has been reluctant to say how they came around to the conclusion to release these five Taliban official. For me, it’s not about Bergdahl, but how they came to the conclusion to release these five detainees.”

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

5 Responses to Udall Defends Obama’s Actions on Bergdahl, but Wants Full Account

  1. Brian Mcfarlane
    June 11, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Congress was not notified, there really isn’t any doubt that the law was broken, the question is whether to enforce it. This exchange was being debated about a year ago, there was plenty of time to notify congress. The reason they rushed this was to get people to “watch the other hand” and quit looking at the VA scandal.

    It is amazing how Obama and Obamacare supporters like the phrase “the law of the land” … I guess when they use that it means us peasants must follow the law and don’t worry that this administration breaks it at will. Udall apparently doesn’t care for rule of law either.

  2. Ken Largent
    June 11, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    If Udall sits on the fence much longer he is likely to get splinters in his ass. We should kick him off.

  3. Bob Simons
    June 11, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Udall only supports Obimbo; he won’t support Coloradans! Just like he did for obozocare and the keystone pipeline. FIRE THE LIAR IN 2014!

  4. Norton Kramden
    June 13, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    The Supreme Leader will set Udull down and simply explain that as the most Highly Advanced Being the Universe has ever produced, nobody in this Realm has the Intelligence to question or understand the infinitely complex decisions that come from a Brain so Vast that part of it must reside in other Dimensions. Udull will bow down to hid God and beg forgiveness while pledge undying devotion.

  5. Bob Simons
    June 13, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Hey Udall….Obama broke the law! Again! And you won’t do sh*+ about it, as usual.


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