House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers (R., Mich.) said this morning that the deal reached for the release of Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, which involved releasing five senior Taliban leaders, wasn’t the only way to get him home.
“There were other options on the table — many still classified — that never even rose to the level of discussion,” Rogers told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. The problem, the congressman suggested, was that the Obama administration made its decision unilaterally and didn’t consult Congress, which could have suggested other options, consulted the intelligence and military communities, and more.
“This was what so angered those of us who’ve followed it for years — this was not the only option,” Rogers said. “The administration has this theory that you’re either with them or you’re for thermonuclear war, and there’s nothing in between. That’s just wrong.”
When critics of the deal have suggested that releasing five senior Taliban members was too high a price to pay for Bergdahl, the Obama administration has maintained that the U.S. military’s commitment to rescue all of its members held in captivity meant that the deal was unavoidable. Rogers made it clear that he disagrees.