Rep. Buck McKeon: Still in dark on details of Gitmo detainee transfer

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House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, California Republican, said Monday he’s still in the dark on the details of the transfer of five former Guantanamo Bay detainees to Qatar in exchange for the freedom of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held as a prisoner of war in Afghanistan for nearly five years.

“Seventy-two hours after this deal has been done, we have still have not been told what they’re going to do to ensure that these top five Taliban leaders do not re-enter the fight,” Mr. McKeon said on Fox News. “I mean, they have blood of thousands of Afghans and Americans on their hands, and we’re releasing them to Qatar. That’s all we know. Our information is coming from the media. We’re not hearing from the administration.”

National Security Adviser Susan Rice said on ABC’s “This Week” that the administration has had extensive consultations with Congress and that they were “well aware” the prospect of such a move was being seriously considered by the administration — a characterization Mr. McKeon disputed.

“They talked about the fact that they were negotiating with the Taliban for a future peace — never talked about Sgt. Bergdahl,” he said. “And if they [have] been talking for three years, you’d think they could have let us know at least 30 days before what they had in mind.”

Administration officials have said Congress was not informed at least 30 days ahead of time, as the law requires for such transfers from Guantanamo, because the life of Sgt. Bergdahl was at risk.

“We will be holding hearings; we will look into this,” Mr. McKeon said. “We will try to get to the bottom of this.”

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