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Jerry Cornfield | jcornfield@heraldnet.com
Published: Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 12:29 p.m.

Larsen calls prisoner swap for Bergdahl a 'legitimate action'

Democratic Congressman Rick Larsen today said the decision to free five Taliban prisoners to secure the return of captured soldier Bowe Bergdahl was a "legitimate action" by President Barack Obama.

"Bowe Bergdahl is a prisoner of war and it is entirely appropriate for a president to get a POW home regardless of the circumstances about why he is a prisoner of war," Larsen said in his first comments on the matter.

But Larsen isn't confident that will be the focus when the Republican-led House Armed Services Committee holds a hearing on the exchange next week. Larsen is a member of the committee.

"Congress is approaching this Bergdahl issue the way it usually approaches (issues)," he said. "Self-righteous indignation should not get in the way of any facts."

Larsen said the hearing should examine the circumstances under which Bergdahl was captured. And House members should consider whether the president's willingness to bring this prisoner of war home is any different than any other president's actions at the end of a military conflict.

As far as concerns that Obama failed to provide the required notification to Congress of the release of prisoners from Guantanamo, Larsen said: "I think that's more of an academic question because Bergdahl is home now."


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