Hanna not happy with deal that released Army sergeant in exchange for Taliban prisoners

Jun 9, 2014

Days after the U.S government exchanged five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the American solider who reportedly left his post in Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban, the decision doesn't sit well with Utica-area Rep. Richard Hanna. He says he's trying to make sense of the situation, but says it's difficult to understand the entire issue without all of the details.

"I understand he left a note, left his post and walked away," said Hanna. "So why we would allow five terrorists to essentially go free to go live their lives and potentially become terrorists again, against this country. I don't think it's right."

Hanna says it seems fairly cut and dried that this is something that shouldn't have happened. He also says the exchange may impact how the United States deals with other terrorist groups.  Hanna says he takes offense that the White House didn't involve Congress. He says President Barack Obama failed to adhere to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, which forbids the president from releasing people from Guantanamo Bay without congressional approval.

"This has become a bipartisan issue," said Hanna. "You watch [Sen.]Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), very upset over it. Other members are very upset, as am I."