Heritage Foundation expert Cully Stimson appeared on C-SPAN this morning to discuss the legality of the administration’s decision to negotiate Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release from Taliban captivity and to free five Guantanamo Bay detainees in exchange.

Stimson, who was the deputy assistant secretary in the Defense Department’s Office of Detainee Affairs before he joined Heritage, discussed who the prisoners are and gave some background on prior releases of Guantanamo detainees.

Bergdahl may face desertion charges, Stimson explained. In a recent report for the Daily Signal, Stimson laid out the process involved in determining guilt for desertion.

What do you think of the Obama administration’s exchange for one U.S. citizen for five Guantanamo prisoners?

Comments (78)

George H Baccash - June 5, 2014

I believe that SGT Bergdahl should be charged with desertion and, if established, collaborating with the enemy. In addition, I believe President Obama should be impeached for this action and for others he has so far committed.

Roger Conklin - June 5, 2014

WHO precisely were the Taliban “leaders” with which the US negotiated this prisoner exchange?

Samuel Clawser - June 5, 2014

obamantion just opened Pandora’s box on his way to destroy America while knowingly living like there is no tommorrow.

Penny - June 5, 2014

Obama new where this guy was and could of got him out a while ago. Obama said NO he wanted to swap terrorist for him instead. The worst of the worst now they are hero’s to the terrorist and now our country deals with the enemy and we Americans are all in danger now and especially our soldiers. The presidents job is to keep Americans safe he just did the opposite THAT’S TREASON / IMPEACH.

Art Emerson - June 5, 2014

What does it take for the citizens of the United States to wake up and see what this President is doing to this country. Not fully exploring the situation prior to making the determination to release 5 significant Terrorist leaders in order to release Bergdahl is a vivid example of what this president wants to do to this country. Regardless of the fact that he cannot run again, his current term of office should be terminated. There is a significant list of issues now that the American press refuses to hold him accountable to, so it is time for all Americans to make him accountable. We can make it just fine, and probably with some improvement if VP Biden has to fill out the balance of Obama’s term.

Peter Hopkins - June 5, 2014

“What do I think about the talliban prisoner exchange?” Illegal, not to mention stupid!

Arlin R. Johnson, Jr. - June 5, 2014

Preparing for the Korean “Military Action” (Bloody War!) My basic training was as Indian Town Gap. After a long day, that evening I was put on guard duty with my weapon. The officer in charge told me to keep a sharp eye and protect my buddies. I was then told if I fell asleep or did not perform my duty well I would be locked up or perhaps even shoot. I learned that deserting ones post is not done. Who even does that needs to pay the price.

Ronald podmilsak - June 5, 2014

When I think this inept administration can get no worse, they manage to get even worse. Not only are they deceitful but this president would do anything to preserve his woeful legacy. The disgraceful and frightening release of these 5 dangerous terrorists reflects not only his lack of understanding of global politics but distain for our military and those that died capturing these criminals!

W. B. - June 5, 2014

Breach of the precedent of not negotiating with terrorists has received little comment … It could be by far the greatest down-side of this action.

MR - June 5, 2014

One Deserter for Five Dangerous Terrorists, This is Treason.

Debra Shawver - June 5, 2014

I think what he did was against the Constitution and against the law and he and his minions MUST be held accountable , now, today! As for Bowe..I believe his platoon mates..he is a deserter and probable traitor to our country and should be treated as such! However with the current admin I do not believe justice will prevail. Americans need to watch their “6” This is very dangerous for us.

Mike - June 5, 2014

It goes against our countries basic belief that we do not negotiate with terrorists because it only opens us up for kidnappings to get other terrorists released. However, since this president does not abide by the LAWS of this country, his unilateral action in this case is not unexpected.
The president and congress should be focused on resolution of the travesty of medical care NOT given to our veterans than increasing the possibility that there will be more wounded and maimed individuals to be cared for because of their actions and inaction.

Gregory Cambi - June 5, 2014

The irony here is they didn’t lift a finger for our people in Benghazi. Now it seems to be a big deal for an alleged deserter. I’m thankful he was not my Commander in Chief!~

Zack Taylor - June 5, 2014

If according to past experiences, the Prisoner Swap was designed to deflect negative attention away from an administration screw up the ploy ended up being an even bigger screw up.

Welcome to Obamaville where everything is politically motivated and seen through rose garden colored glasses.

Anyone that believes anything that this administration says needs deep psychological counseling and reality therapy.

Charles Yahn - June 5, 2014

In a reckless attempt to relieve himself from his cesspool of blunders, Obama pulls the stupidest move a president has ever made. Impeachment is a must!

Herbert Swain - June 5, 2014

This exchange is wrong in so many ways. First is the precedent of negotiation with terrorists. Now that they know we will trade you should expect more kidnappings. Second is the exchange itself. Five senior officials for one deserter. Certainly, even though the WH now lies about it, they had to know Bergdahl’s situation. In chess terms, we traded five bishops for one pawn. Third is the fact that the president violated the law and did not inform Congress. An over-site? I think not. Another administration lie. They knew there would be no approval from Congress, and rightly so.

Dwight - June 5, 2014

One of the stupidest things he’s done yet…..and that’s saying a lot! The excuses?…Pathological liar as usual!

John Fernald - June 5, 2014

It is time to impeach Obama!

Jim Bourg, Louisiana - June 5, 2014

You don’t EVER negotiate with terrorists, PERIOD, end of debate. It will ALWAYS result in a bad conclusion!!
This administration is TOO naive, and just doesn’t “get it”

James V. Burnette - June 5, 2014

As with everything else with this administration, we don’t get the facts or truth about a piece of legislation or executive order or decision until its too late to do anything about it. All we can do “is” complain.
When we do, we are labled extremest, racist or conservatives that complain about everything the Democrats and this President want to do. When you break to laws of this country however, or try to change or ignore our Constitution, a Constitution that all elected officials give an oath to follow, you just changed the game.

John Stout - June 5, 2014

I am a 70 year old decorated Viet Nam veteran, and served as a combat squad leader. I was wounded in action and earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration using the G. I. Bill.

I think that the release of five documented and very dangerous terrorists in the mist of an ongoing armed conflict with the same enemy is an impeachable offense. The offense is impeachable regardless of the status of Bergdahl. Before I was wounded and evacuated out of Viet Nam our company was forced to withdraw without the body of a friend because it would have resulted in unacceptable loses of lives..

A real soldier realizes and accepts the fact that he or she is expendable, and that war is only justified by a clear and defined objective………..

DD - June 5, 2014

I am trying to understand how any sane person can think it is justified to let those 5 go under any circumstances, when they have clearly murdered innocent men, women, and children, yet we tried in court Saddam Husein and all of Hitler’s men at the end of WW2 for doing the same. There is something wrong with our evolving values.

Truman Trekell - June 5, 2014

I find it difficult to discuss Obama without using a lot of 4 letter words, so I’ll just say he is the absolute worst excuse for an American president we have ever had and to think that even the gullible, misinformed, and ignorant benefit hounds were stupid enough to elect him, let alone a second time. I fail to see how we will ever get back to where we were as a bounteous country like it was when Reagan was president. How I miss him.

Eric - June 5, 2014

We don’t negotiate with terrorists. Period.

The consequences are too destructive. Now that we have negotiated with them, it: 1) lends credibility to their organization as legitimate, 2) gives them reason to believe we will do it again in the future and makes kidnapping US military enticing, and 3) releases known terrorists to terrorize again!

This is detrimental to our National Security and puts our military in more dangerous situations. It is completely foolish.

Janice Crain - June 5, 2014

The most dangerous president in the history of our nation is a loose cannon with enormous executive power grabbing and downright anti-American agenda.

Edith Kurie - June 5, 2014

Mr. Obama’s actions were deceptive and treasonous. Clearly, since before the 2008 election and up to now his concerns are not for America.

Fred H. Peabody - June 5, 2014

We should not be surprised about anything Obama does. It seems like he hates our great Country and he has done everything he can to destroy everything we stand for. He is by far the most despicable president we have ever had BY FAR. He makes Carter look really great and we all know what Carter did to this Country. We better win both houses in Nov. or we all will be in for BIG, BIG trouble.

Lyons Williams - June 5, 2014

The Bergdahl swap was a mammoth mistake. The swap will ultimately cost more American lives. And this for a deserter?

John F Hageman - June 5, 2014

This is an absolute travesty. The ‘soldier’ may not have been proven, as yet, to be a deserter, but there are enough witnesses and intel reports that would at least cast some doubt on Rice’s ‘hero’ adjectives. Six soldiers were killed trying to ‘save’ Bergdahl, and he has admitted to a lackluster sense of patriotism. For this, we free five jihadists, that, in the words of Obama, are ‘dangerous’ to the security of America. Why was the health of Bergdahl paramount to the security of the American people as a whole?

James K. Poole - June 5, 2014

Too many have refrred to Sgt. Bergdahl as a ‘POW,” while he is a captive or hostage of terrorist or irregular warfare group; by using this terminology nd exchnging him for 5 detainees from Gitmo, it gives the Taliban and Al Quaida a basis for rguing for POW status, which is not available to “unlAwful combatants.”

Jerry Davee - June 5, 2014

The latest of a series of disastrous decisions by the President. This trade has no upside and many, many downsides and risks. First, that we negotiate with terrorists which are what the Taliban are.Second, that it opens every American soldier in Afghanistan to kidnap and trade. Third, that we gave up 5 of the worst masterminds of Taliban killing we had ever captured with no assurance they will not be planning deaths again while in Qatar and then in Afghanistan when they are returned there. Fourth, that we are taking back a man who was not left behind. He left us behind! He deserted and apparently converted to Islam. He helped the enemy in a time of war. 6th: We lost many men trying to rescue this defector and many more were injured. He deserves to be tried, convicted and executed if the facts support his defection and assistance to the enemy. Its in the UCMJ.

Vayle M - June 5, 2014

More criminal slight-of-hand by our worst POTUS ever, the most inept to hold office and the most damaging to our interests, abroad and at home. He will end up destroying our American way of life, if allowed to continue, especially, and push to the bottom the greatest country, formerly, in the history of the world! I am truly sickened by him and his cohorts in crime bkz he is being tolerated versus arrested and prosecuted as should be the case! Treason is only one of the charges he has committed and he’s still spitting in the face of all those who died to make this country great! I am aghast!

Gail Martin - June 5, 2014

This President is taking our Country down with each and every decision he has made. Don’t be fooled, he knows what he is doing and is methodically changing our Republic with his “pen and paper”. Where are our Representatives and why can’t someone in Washington stop this corruption?

Maxine45 - June 5, 2014

Just when we think things can’t be any worse in the USA the prez comes up with another unbelieveable and un-American action. Time to rid the country of this anti-American!

DG Symmank - June 5, 2014

This again shows a complete disregard of the Congress by the Administration. It is a bad deal for the USA and makes no sense at all in giving up 5 top notch Taliban leaders for a low rank deserter. When will the Congress stand up to our imposter president and hold him accountable for impeachable offenses?

Henry Harbert - June 5, 2014

Thanks for the wonderful facts and information. I am ecstatic Stimson is working with you. Seems to be very talented and resourceful.

Richard Broyhill - June 5, 2014

The whole thing smells worse than a taliban goat. Looks like the liar-in-chief turning his muslim buddies loose to me.

Jim Keller - June 5, 2014

In the end I believe facts will show Obama traded one U.S. Military deserter who converted to Islam for (5) hardened Muslim criminals to satisfy his Muslim heritage which Obama continues to support over American Christians and Christians around the world.
Obama shows no concern for American’s security.

Darcie Wilbanks - June 5, 2014

This is just one more of many offenses that verifies the necessity for Constitutional conservatives – not middle of the road, go along to get along republicans – to be elected in 2014. We need people in congress who have the courage to defend the Constitution without wavering or withering and prosecute those citizens who think they are above it.

Frank D. Donner,Jr. - June 5, 2014

Personally, I think the trade stinks! However, nothing will be done about it for B.O. works independent of the Con-
stitution, Congress and none have the guts to stand up to him! That also stinks!

Pete Kutschenreuter - June 5, 2014


Norman August - June 5, 2014

The President either got totally tricked or he is in cahoots with the Taliban. Either way he should be drummed out of office for total stupidity.

JOHN WOOLLEY - June 5, 2014

Here wew go again! What the hell is wrong with our GOP Congress? Obama has been critically destroying OUR Country with his “executive decisions” and nobody says a word in Congress!!!

Ted Wagner - June 5, 2014

Negotiation with terrorists is always a bad idea. It gives them the image of credibility & rationality which they are not.

Salvatore R LaRosa - June 5, 2014

Stupid is as stupid does. We should stop focusing on Bergdahl for the moment and let the military handle his court marshal. However, we should bring impeachment charges against Obama. Broke the law and endangered our troops in the field by releasing these five terrorists and opened up more kidnappings of our troops. He is a ‘commander in chief’ and must be held responsible as any traitor would be.

Carrol Carraway - June 5, 2014

There is a tea party email indicating that Bergdahl and his father is Islamic. The president seems to historically gravitate towards Isam. Nothing in the news including, Fox includes any discussion of this fact. Why is Heritage using a c-span report from someone that repeatedly says he doesn’t know? Where does the treason lie? The American people deserve to eventually know the fact about the actions of our government and particularly our president. The congress has a duty to address these issues even if they affect members of their own ranks. Our government is based on SELF RULE. If the rulers are not ruling for the people that elected them or they represent then they should be removed, one way or another. There is a judiciary branch of our government and if there are enough complicit members of our government, then how do we proceed with correction if the ruling body is so infected with the problem that we are lost.

James Hovda - June 5, 2014

Disgusting – terrible – A slap in the face to the troops. The President is out of control – puts troops in danger.

JAMES BENSON - June 5, 2014

While the Bergdahl issue is extremely important, the most important focus must be on the release of the five high ranking terrorists. We must be careful not to let the Bergdahl aspect overshadow the terrorist release.

Richard Schlies - June 5, 2014

The administration put all Americans at risk by releasing these 5 terrorist leaders. He broke the law by releasing them unilaterally w/out congressional agreement! Any other president would be impeached and hopefully jailed for aiding our enemies. This president continues to divide America! He is unethical and has no moral character. Our nation has typical Chicago politics. Worst president ever.

Naomi Hunter - June 5, 2014

Unbelievable. It’s treason that should be answered as such. If this is not addressed there will be no stopping him in the future. Our Constitution is at stake. He must be stopped.

Steve Kennedy - June 5, 2014

This is well beyond ineptitude. It’s another example of smoke and mirrors to divert attention away from the scandal of the week. The VA scandal and many others are solid reasons for Congress to do what it is supposed to do – provide oversight and checks & balances in matters involving the Executive branch. The Supreme Court is equally guilty for not providing for checks and balances in the process of timely judicial review.

Elle - June 5, 2014

After watching this prisoner’s former army buddies agree that he deserted his duty I think this should be investigated by independent committees. If their allegations are true, desertion ts a serious offense that needs to be punished.

Pat Peters - June 5, 2014

Just another example of the incompetency of this administration. The libs that are backing this deal would stickup for this president no matter what he does. He doesn’t know what the US Constitution is. It’s Obamaway or no way. It is another sad and embarrassing day for this country.

Richard Nasternak - June 6, 2014

Cannot take credit for this statement: Swapping the five executioners for Bergdahl is the equivalent of swapping Eisenhower, Patton and Bradley for Sargent Shultz. No Offense to the latter men. I believe the GI s in the squad and platoon before anything the WH states. Respectfully, Nasty1

Anthony Sena - June 6, 2014

I do not understand how this administration can continue side stepping laws. If this was supposed to be a distraction then they are not smart at all. They constantly show weakness and a lack of understanding. Under this administration we have gone from a super power to a stupid power.

Carolyn Hall - June 6, 2014

The whole situation stinks, Obama should be removed from office and shipped to be with his friends the Taliban in Afghanistan, they can have a good laugh at our expense. Disgraceful!!

Wayde - June 6, 2014

I believe that there was nothing we could do with these prisoners while they were in a U.S. prison; now that they are free to reenter war zones, they can be hunted.

Thomas Clark - June 6, 2014

Sounds like a teenager trying to negotiate for his first car with an experienced used car salesman.

I was severely at a disadvantage, but that was over 50 years ago – remember when you thought you knew everything that was worth knowing?

Well – that’s our leadership does. Don’t listen to the adults, don’ t listen to anyone with real experience, because you already know all that is worth knowing.

M.D. Lewis - June 6, 2014

I think it is a travesty of justice and the laws of this country and the President should be impeached. He has gone entirely too far. The gutless b——ds we elected to Congress need to suck up what guts they have and vote to impeache OBAMA.

jackie bijansky - June 6, 2014

I feel that President Obama does not LOVE the United States like I do. He has done so many thing that are un-American. When he transferred 5 top Guantanamo detainees he shows that he only cares about his set of views. This will prompt more abductions and it will be his fault, and he doesn’t care. I feel that he is the worst president we have ever had. He needs to be stopped as he is doing a lot of damage to America, we need to impeach him, but that won’t be possible unless we win the Senate in the next election.

Beverly Lee - June 6, 2014

Obama is a traitor for releasing those prisoners who can harm us again. He is aiding and abetting the enemy and he should be impeached.

AMY SIMPSON - June 6, 2014

Obama is a disgrace to our nation. He not only released five top terrorists but maybe a sixth. What else will Obama do before he leaves office to weaken American defenses and our economy.
He either is the most incompetent President, disconnected President or here to destroy our nation from the inside.

John Estep - June 6, 2014

It stinks!
Definitely an insult to the military and a it shows how Guantanamo will be closed before the end of this administration.

Jean Allen - June 6, 2014

Obama continues to go rogue, ignoring the law, even the ones he signed and doing illegal and harmful things for America. He should be impeached.

Edward Griswold - June 6, 2014

I think words such as:
Asinine, deceitful, traitorous, and ferociously stupid about sums it up!

Brad Panvino - June 6, 2014

Just another administration failure in a very long line of failures.

I cannot get over the fact that the coverage of this is going on forever; not only in the mainstream media but the conservative talk radio shows. Considering that an American Citizen, Mariam IIbrahim has seen no such political coverage of any prominence.

She has been sentenced to be flogged and then hanged to death by a Sudanese judge for apostasy. This is the abandonment or renunciation of the governments religion, Islam. While she has always maintained that she is Christian.

Where are the conservative talk radio host?
Where do these conservative talk radio host stand on this all important issue?

Marjorie Taylor - June 6, 2014

That was a terrible deal. Trading five high value enemies for a deserter is stupid. Obama just wants to empty Guantanamo.He is such a liar. He had plenty of time to notify Congress, but he knew they wouldn’t agree. He should lose his job for his many lawless actions.

Pat Showalter - June 6, 2014

If my son-of course I wld want him hme-If milatry not fair exchange wld thnk twice. Thnk smthng shady.

Jim Morris - June 6, 2014

A stupid quick decision. Another instance of the Obama White House arrogantly doing as they pleased.. I am a veteran of 14 months in Korea The DoD needs to process their info properly without ‘political’ pressure.

Henry Williamson - June 6, 2014

My comment is one sided and maybe not fair, mainly because I believer our president leans more toward Moslem/Islam than American…

CDR Chuck Lentz USN Ret - June 6, 2014


Robert Quesenbury - June 7, 2014

According to latest information release, the “I” word is appearing in public discourse much more frequently than ever before. I do not see how this country and its citizens can stand much more of the un-Constitutional measures being taken by this president. At what point will this travesty be stopped, and by whom? As Jerry Clower’s famous recording so hilariously expressed a current truth that is anything but funny, “Well, shoot up in here amongst us – one of us has got to have some relief.”

Robert Quesenbury - June 7, 2014

This swap by the president was un-Constitutional because he totally avoided Congress, breaking the law, and meanwhile endangering the lives of our sons and daughters in Afghanistan and other parts of the world where they serve.
Additionally, in looking down the road, our entire nation is much less safe as a result of this insane decision.

rick - June 7, 2014

Hagel was right..we feared for his health. My take.. the Taliban to Obama we want some cash and those five only.if.We don’t get we will assasinate him in public Take it or leave it Mr tough guy!!! so Obama I’m okay with Islam givem the cash and the worst of the worst I’ll look like a hero…I got him back Impeach today

Holly Chapo - June 7, 2014

This exchange is going to have serious consequences and sadly, for the American people rather than this unconscionably naïve and destructive president. It is a slap in the face to our military personnel. It will put all Americans in harms way. It is the usual bypassing of Congress and ignoring the law. But no one is holding this president accountable, least of all Congress, and he just doesn’t care what he does as long as he gets his way.

Don - June 7, 2014

This guy cares nothing about our Constitution nor any other of our laws. He wants to weaken our country and empower his fellow muslims. In this case he has put six of them back among us!

Pat O’connor - June 8, 2014

No surprise here. If any of you have any doubts about BHO and his fundamentals this episode should expose attitude of one man rule. As long as the MSM give him adoration his kingdom will prevail. Thanks to Heritage for their objectivity.

Rev. - June 9, 2014

I believe the President is pushing the envelope a little farther open with each decission with the purpose to de-sensitize the nation to the point that we offer no response to his actions then he will explode on us with huge supressions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *