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Lawmakers delete tweets welcoming Bergdahl home

A number of lawmakers have backtracked on their notes of welcome to Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after the details surrounding his return got politically sticky.
By Gabrielle Levy   |   June 5, 2014 at 12:33 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, June 5 (UPI) -- Nothing is ever truly deleted from the internet, especially in politics.

Members of Congress, who cheered the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl over the weekend after five years in Taliban captivity quickly moved to backtrack as the situation became mucked by questions of the legality of the prisoner swap and the circumstances of Berdgahl's capture.

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, facing a tough runoff against a tea party challenger, Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst, and Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Stephen Lynch were among those whose tweets were preserved by the Sunlight Foundation's Politwoops project.

And Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., removed a message from his Facebook page, accessed through internet archives.

While the initial response to the administrations announcement was jovial, the reaction turned sour as lawmakers began to question whether the White House had broken the law requiring it to give Congress 30 days notice before a prisoner swap, or had acted recklessly in exchanging Bergdahl for five Taliban detainees held in Guantanamo. The moment was further complicated when members of Bergdahl's unit accused him of deliberately deserting the Army and faulted him in the deaths of eight soldiers in attempted rescues.

The White House has so far strongly defended the rescue, while indicating it plans to pursue an investigation into whether Bergdahl deserted his unit.

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