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Chambliss on Bergdahl swap: al-Qaida got its 'new board of directors'

The Georgia Republican also said much of what has been reported about Bergdahl may not be true.
By Matt Bradwell Follow @mckb26 Contact the Author   |   Updated June 5, 2014 at 1:39 PM
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NEW YORK, June 5 (UPI) -- Appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss became the latest to condemn President Obama's prisoner swap, saying al-Qaida is celebrating the return of its most powerful commanders.

"Two of them were extremely close to bin Laden, very high in the al-Qaida echelon," the Republican told MSNBC. "Three of them are very close to Mullah Omar, the guy that founded the Taliban.

Chambliss, the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, co-signed a letter with Democrat Dianne Feinstein three years ago requesting the five men released this week be kept in American captivity.

"Mullah Omar is celebrating today cause he's got his new board of directors with these five guys. They say the Qataris are going to monitor them -- you think I believe that?"

Despite strong words for the White House, Chambliss urged the public to exercise caution with their judgement as facts about released prisoner of war Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's service become clearer. Chambliss echoed yesterday's comments by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, saying much of the information being reported remains unsubstantiated.

"There was nothing in that file relative to any letter he left," Chambliss said, alluding to reports that claim Bergdahl left a "resignation" letter upon his alleged desertion. "So when I saw the article in the press the other day about that I was really surprised by it because the army doesn't play games with us on something like this. Yesterday in the hearing we did get confirmation that there was in fact no letter that they're aware of."

When asked if he knew of any military casualties incurred during efforts to rescue Sgt. Bergdahl, Chambliss said he did not.

"The short answer to that is no I dont."
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