Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/5/2014 (8 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 (8 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2015
General Intention:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Missionary Intention: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

Modern day plague: Swine flu deaths pass 800 in India Watch

Image of A lack of knowledge about swine flu in India is helping to stoke panic.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is heightened concern - if not outright panic at the alarming cases of swine flu being reported in India. At least 800 known people have died of the disease, and medical authorities there are struggling to contain the current outbreak. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Would you spend two months on a train? World's largest railway opens in China Watch

Image of China has opened a railroad that runs to Spain, in order to bring cheap goods to Europe faster and cheaper.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China has successfully built and tested the world's largest railway line, sending a cargo train on a 16,156-mile round trip to Spain and back. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The train arrived with cheap goods and returned with expensive olive oil during the ... continue reading


At nearly $305 million, Gauguin becomes most expensive painting of all time Watch

Image of The painting depicts two young women wearing brilliant colors before a landscape. One is in native dress, the other in a colonial, missionary style dress.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Paul Gauguin oil painting of two Tahitian girls, staring out into space with questioning glances, appropriately entitled "Nafea Faa Ipoipo" or "When Will You Marry?" has gone on to become this world's single most expensive painting. The nation of Qatar bought ... continue reading


Climate change disasters forcing Indian parents to sell children into slavery Watch

Image of Uprooted by climate-related disasters, many Indian children are tricked, forced into prostitution or forced labor.

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Disasters resulting from climate change are pushing poor Indian families into poverty so deep that they are lured by traffickers into selling their children into bonded labor or prostitution, Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi said on Thursday. NEW DELHI ... continue reading


Name and shame: Smartphones join the forceful battle against sexual harassment in India Watch

Image of In India, there were 309,546 crimes against women reported to the police in 2013, up from 244,270 the previous year, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Indian women armed with Smartphone's are using the influence of social media to fight sexual harassment by filming and publicly shaming men who molest them as greater awareness of violence against women spreads. NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In the ... continue reading


Terrifying TransAsia plane crash, caught on tape, adds to the list of fatal Asian air tragedies Watch

Image of A TransAsia Airways ATR 72-600 crashes into a Taipei river, killing at least 26 with 17 still missing.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

26 people are reported dead after a TransAsia Airways airplane crashes into the Keelung River. Following its takeoff from the Taiwanese capital Taipei, the plane clipped its wing on a bridge. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The terrifying crash, that leaves 17 ... continue reading


Angry North Korea makes first credible threat to U.S. in decades, officials alarmed Watch

Image of North Korea has vowed to annihilate that United States because of remarks made by President Obama.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

North Korea is up to its old and familiar tricks, threatening to attack the United States with nuclear weapons and cyber attacks, and rejecting any further negotiations. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These threats appear to be a desperate act of retaliation ... continue reading


Lake Baikal, one of world's biggest freshwater sources, falls to lowest level in 60 years Watch

Image of Lake Baikal stretches for 400 miles through southeastern Siberia, north of the Mongolian border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lake Baikal in Siberia, one of world's biggest freshwater sources is currently at its lowest levels in 60 years. A hydroelectric station is being blamed for the "excessive drainage" of the lake's resources. Communities in the surrounding area are under a state ... continue reading


Indian child workers rescued from illegal 'sweatshops' that make bangles Watch

Image of Police said the children were mainly from the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in northeastern India, and those traffickers had given their impoverished parents 5,000 rupees ($80) as payment for the children.

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Police in a series of early morning raids in the southern city of Hyderabad rescued hundreds of Indian children trafficked and enslaved to make bangles. NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Police found 87 children - mostly boys and some as young as 6 years ... continue reading


China's generosity is welcome - and very worrying Watch

Image of China then announced the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and launched the Silk Road Fund, backed by yet another development bank. While none has begun operating, China has pledged more than $140 billion to these new institutions.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Asian powerhouse of China has risen to the occasion to grant cash loans to strapped nations. China's purse strings are loose, and many of its loans immediately help the needs of ailing nations. While this has taken some of the pressure off the International ... 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, Psalms 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
4 I pleaded with Yahweh my God and made this ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
15 Costly in Yahweh's sight is the death of his ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 9:2-10
2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 8:31-34
31 After saying this, what can we add? If God is for ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 1st, 2015 Image

St. David
March 1: According to tradition, St. David was the son of King Sant of ... 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