The release of an American POW stirs controversy - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

The release of an American POW stirs controversy

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Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has been a prisoner of war in Afghanistan for five years.  (Source: NBC News) Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has been a prisoner of war in Afghanistan for five years. (Source: NBC News)
The Obama Administration agreed to the release of these five Taliban leaders in exchange for Sgt. Bergdahl.  (Source: NBC News.) The Obama Administration agreed to the release of these five Taliban leaders in exchange for Sgt. Bergdahl. (Source: NBC News.)

(NBC News) – The release of an American prisoner of war in Afghanistan has the Obama Administration on defense about the price they paid to bring him home.

Five top Taliban leaders were freed, in return for one American POW.

Bergdahl's parents' reacted to the news that their son is free after five years in captivity in Afghanistan.

"I'm so looking forward to seeing your face after these last five and a half years," Jani Bergdahl said.

"I'm proud of how much you wanted to help the Afghan people," Robert Bergdahl said.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a prisoner of war, was freed in exchange for five of the most dangerous Taliban commanders at Guantanamo Bay.

"These are the hardest of the hard-core," Arizona Senator John McCain said. "These are the highest high-risk people,"

And Taliban commanders are already being welcomed home.

There are questions about whether this exchange put the U.S. at risk.

"The number one way al Qaeda raises money is by ransom, kidnapping and ransom," Michigan Representative Mike Rogers said. "We have now set a price."

"We didn't negotiate with terrorists," Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said. "That's a normal process in getting your prisoners back."

And lawmakers want to know why they didn't get 30 days notice of the exchange, as required by law. "

We did not have 30 days to wait and had we waited and lost him I don't think anybody would have forgiven the United States government," said National Security Advisor, Susan Rice.

Sgt. Bergdahl is recovering at Landstuhl medical center in Germany.

Copyright 2014 NBC News. All rights reserved.

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