Clinton defends Obama’s prisoner exchange

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton defended the Obama administration’s hotly debated prisoner swap Sunday, saying the circumstances behind the American soldier’s capture don’t matter.

“It doesn’t matter how they ended up in a prisoner of war situation,” Mrs. Clinton said in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer. “It does not matter. We bring our people home.”


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The administration has come under fire for its May 31 deal to exchange five Taliban terrorists being detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been held by the Islamist guerrilla movement for five years.

A Pentagon investigation concluded in 2010 that there was “incontrovertible evidence” that Sgt. Bergdahl had walked away from his unit, although the report didn’t formally accuse him of desertion, according to the Associated Press.

Mrs. Clinton said the Obama administration was faced with a difficult decision, and cited her latest book, “Hard Choices” (Simon & Schuster) which is scheduled to be released Tuesday.

“I think this was a very hard choice, which is why my book was so aptly named,” said Mrs. Clinton. “If you look at what the factors were going into the decision, of course there are competing interests and values. And one of our values is we bring everybody home off the battlefield the best we can.”

She also said she’s on schedule to make a decision on whether to run for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president by the end of the year.

“Certainly not before then,” Mrs. Clinton said, referring to the end of 2014. “I just want to kind of get through this year, travel around the country, sign books, help in the midterm elections in the fall, and then take a deep breath and kind of go through my pluses and minuses about what I will — and will not — be thinking about as I make the decision.”

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