- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 3, 2014

While emphasizing he was not prejudging the circumstances under which Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was taken by the Taliban, Sen. Bill Nelson said Tuesday that there’s a “real question” of whether the prisoner swap should have been made if Sgt. Bergdahl deserted.

“Remember I said I’m not prejudging, but … if he did desert, then I think there’s a real question of whether you would go in and trade one for five,” Mr. Nelson said on MSNBC.

Mr. Nelson, Florida Democrat and a member of the Senate Armed Services committee, said it’s important to remember the statement Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made Tuesday that questions about soldiers’ conduct are separate from the military’s effort to recover any U.S. serviceman or servicewoman.

In order to secure Sgt. Bergdahl’s release from the Taliban in Afghanistan, five former Guantanamo Bay detainees were transferred to Qatar. Since the deal was announced Saturday, Sgt. Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers have raised questions about the circumstances under which he left in 2009, with some saying he simply left his post.