Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/5/2014 (4 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Many are skeptical that Taliban threatened to kill Bowe Bergdahl

The White House is reportedly telling lawmakers that the Taliban threatened to kill Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl unless a swap of five suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay was made. One Senate aide says that senators were told at a briefing that "the U.S. obtained credible information that, if anything about the swap became public, Bergdahl would be killed." Already there is a hue and cry: that's no excuse to keep lawmakers in the dark.

Administration officials maintain that Congress was not really kept in the dark.

Administration officials maintain that Congress was not really kept in the dark.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/5/2014 (4 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Bowe Bergdahl, Taliban, Congress, secrets


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Several congressional officials say they were told the same story. The White House is currently struggling with a growing bipartisan backlash over trading five Taliban leaders for Bergdahl's freedom.

President Obama has been adamant in stating that the U.S. doesn't abandon its troops. Bergdahl's safety was paramount when making arrangements for the swap.

Several lawmakers say that the administration failed to notify them of the deal in advance. The administration is currently claiming that the threat on Bergdahl's life drove the administration to quickly make the deal to rescue him.  

One senior official calls this claim is "ridiculous," since "notifying Congress does not make it public."

Congressional sources say that leaders of the congressional intelligence committees were able to keep the secret when they were told "months in advance" about plans to go after Osama bin Laden.

Lawmakers, they say are "regularly trusted with sensitive information that is not made public."

Asked about the notion that a threat on Bergdahl's life was the reason for not notifying Congress, one House Republican aide said, "That's a flimsy, and frankly offensive, argument."

One source familiar says that information about the swap was not briefed to staff. "The Taliban did say Bergdahl was near his death bed, but not that they threatened to kill him," the source said.

A senior administration official would not comment directly on the claims, but said in a statement:

"Our judgment was that every day Sergeant Bergdahl was a prisoner his life was at risk, and in the video we received in January, he did not look well. This led to an even greater sense of urgency in pursuing his recovery.

"We can't disclose classified comments from a closed congressional briefing. However, we are able to say that the senators were told, separate and apart from Sergeant Bergdahl's apparent deterioration in health, that we had both specific and general indications that Sgt. Bergdahl 's recovery -- and potentially his life -- could be jeopardized if the detainee exchange proceedings were disclosed or derailed."

Administration officials maintain that Congress was not really kept in the dark.

"This was not a new deal," one official said, claiming it was essentially the same deal that was briefed to Congress in 2011 and early 2012.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

New Indonesian president promises a 'people-centric' government Watch

Image of Indonesia's new president, Joko Widodo, during his inaugural parade.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Indonesia got a new president, Joko Widodo, a 53-year-old man who was sworn in on October 20 after Bambang Yudhoyono stepped down after having served two five-year terms. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The man from the Javan slums already has a plan for his ... continue reading


Even state-recognized church in China targeted for persecution Watch

Image of The Chinese government has infringed upon the freedom of its citizens, including gross violations of human rights and targeting churches.

By CNA/EWTN News

The state of religious freedom in China is moving from bad to worse, said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), responding to a new report by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. (CNA/EWTN News) - "There's a huge gulf now" between China and the Catholic ... continue reading


Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death by hanging on blasphemy charges Watch

Image of In spite of international outrage and hundreds of thousands of people signing a petition for her release, Asia Bibi lost an appeal to have her sentence overturned. She now faces death by hanging.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Pakistani Christian woman has been sentenced to death by hanging following accusations that she made blasphemous comments about the prophet Mohammed. While harvesting berries in 2009, 46-year-old Asia Bibi got into a fight with a group of Muslim women who ... continue reading


Persecuted Indonesian Christians worship in strip mall Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Evangelical Christian Church in Bekasi, Indonesia is held in a most unusual place. Driven from traditional houses of worship on account of hardline Islamists, many Christians here have taken to worshiping in out-of-the-way places, such as this strip mall.  LOS ... continue reading


It's getting harder to be a Christian in Indonesia - hardline Muslims prevent the opening of churches, burn others Watch

Image of Indonesian Muslims demonstrate against Christians on Christmas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christians in Indonesia are facing increasing persecution as hardline Muslims gain more influence in government. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country and is moving increasingly towards Sharia law. JAKARTA, INDONESIA (Catholic Online) - Indonesia is the ... continue reading


Aware of Islamic State, Filipinos pray daily for Pope Francis' safety during January visit Watch

Image of General Gregorio Catapang Jr. asked in a statement that all Catholic service members to also pray a rosary daily for the Pope's safety when he visits the Philippines from January 15 to 19.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The head of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Gregorio Catapang Jr. asked in a statement that all Catholic service members to also pray a rosary daily for the Pope's safety when he visits the Philippines from January 15 to 19. Military and government ... continue reading


Jesuit social activists meet to ask -- have we failed the poor? Watch

Image of Secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace Teesta Setalvad drew the Jesuits' attention to the emerging socio-political situation in India that imperils Dalits, Adivasis and minorities.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A recent convention of Jesuits engaged in social work in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka met in Bhopal. The question asked was, following decades of work, have we failed the poor? Much remains to be done, and a clear, ... continue reading


North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un believed still in charge, in spite of low profile Watch

Image of Speculation is running rampant about why Kim Jong Un has been out of the public eye. Kim had been seen hobbling earlier in the summer, prompting theories ranging from weight gain to gout.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Many North Korean experts agree that 31-year-old dictator Kim Jong UN is still in power, in spite of not being seen in over a month. The leader was last seen on September 3 attending a concert with his wife. Analysts say that if Kim was no longer in power, ... continue reading


An Indian sex worker strikes back at the dirty cop who forced her into prostitution Watch

Image of An unidentified sex worker in India got revenge on the body of a police officer who forced her intro prostitution, murdering him and burning his body in Mumbai.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The body of an Indian constable was found partially burned in a slum in Mumbai, but the circumstances surrounding the death are horrifying. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A 29-year-old sex worker was arrested for the murder, and she told police that she killed ... continue reading


Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi share Nobel Peace Prize award Watch

Image of According to the Nobel committee, Malala Yousafzai at 17 is the youngest ever peace prize winner.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A brave Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot and injured for daring to attend school is sharing the Nobel Peace Prize. Both India's Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai were recognized for their struggles against the suppression of children and for ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:12-22
12 do not forget, I say, that you were at that time ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
9 His saving help is near for those who fear him, his ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:35-38
35 'See that you have your belts done up and your ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 21st, 2014 Image

St. Hilarion
October 21: Abbot and disciple of St. Anthony the Great, companion of St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter