Carney: Obama administration made Bergdahl rationale clear to Congress

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White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that the administration has made it clear to members of Congress why they bypassed a rule requiring 30 days of notification for prisoner transfers such as the moving of five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to Qatar to secure the freedom of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from Afghanistan.

Mr. Carney’s comments came after Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat and chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters that Tony Blinken, President Obama’s deputy national security adviser, said to her Monday evening that the lack of notification was an “oversight.”

“I would say that we have made clear to leaders of Congress, including Senator Feinstein, our reasoning behind not deploying the 30-day notification in this case, because this was a unique circumstance that involved recovering Sergeant Bergdahl,” Mr. Carney said on CNN.

Mr. Carney reiterated the rationale laid out by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel that proceeding with a 30-day notification could have potentially jeopardized Sgt. Bergdahl’s life.

“This was the right thing to do and, again, this was a unique circumstance that didn’t just have to do with moving detainees out of Guantanamo Bay but had to do with recovering the last prisoner from either armed conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said.

Mr. Carney added that he wasn’t privy to the conversation between Mrs. Feinstein and Mr. Blinken.

“My understanding is Tony Blinken and others on the national security team have been communicating with members of the Senate and leaders in Congress about our rationale for proceeding the way we did,” he said.

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