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Labrador: ‘Leave the Bergdahl family alone’

Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador was asked about the prisoner swap that freed Idaho Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl during his monthly “Conversations with Conservatives” session with reporters and the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. this morning, and about comments from Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe that the focus should be on who is released from Guantanamo.

Labrador responded, “Sgt. Bergdahl and his family, they’re from my state, and I know the family pretty well, and I have been very careful in my statements to the media about this because I don’t think we should criticize the sergeant right now. We don’t know all the details of why he left, whether he left voluntarily, and I think we should be very careful as members of Congress to not escalate the rhetoric that leads to Americans trying to decide what happened in this case. I actually agree completely with Sen. Inhofe that we should concentrate on the exchange, whether that exchange should have been done or not, and to leave the Bergdahl family alone.”

He added, “As we wind down, we have to decide what we’re going to do with the detainees in Guantanamo. Some of them are going to be prosecuted, if they have committed prosecutable acts. Some of them are being detained under different classifications, and some of them are going to have to be released if we don’t have any actionable intelligence on them. The question really is should these five have been released at this time, and I think that’s … what I think most people object to. But there’s no question that if we’re going to wind down the war and we’re going to end the war in Afghanistan, that some of these people are going to have to be released, and I think we all need to understand that.” You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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