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Thornberry on anniversary of 'Taliban 5' transfer
Release endangers troops abroad & families at home
Today, Chairman Thornberry (R-TX) and Rep. Hartzler (R-MO), Chairwoman of the Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement on the anniversary of the release of the five Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo Bay (GTMO):"One year ago, President Obama transferred five senior Taliban terrorists from GTMO to Qatar. Unless something changes, those terrorists will be free to return to the fight on Sunday. News reports suggest their activities since they left GTMO are already a cause for concern.
"The transfer was carried out in exchange for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. As Americans, we always want our troops to return home safe and sound, but that does not mean this transfer was wise, well-executed, or legal. Congress and the American people are right to be concerned about the increased risk to our Nation’s safety now that these five dangerous men are no longer securely held at GTMO.
"Since the transfer took place, the House Armed Services Committee has been investigating the swap. We want to know why the President and his advisors felt they could ignore a law designed to provide the people’s representatives advance warning of such transfers, not to mention the ability to ask commonsense questions related to the safety of our country.
"Our investigation has been hampered by the White House and the State Department, which have refused to allow DOD to turn over material critical to the investigation. The National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the House this month, and which President Obama has threatened to veto, compels the Pentagon to make a full disclosure. Our investigation continues, and we hope that we will soon be able to present our findings to the public.
"On Sunday, the Administration's flimsy restrictions on these terrorists will expire. This will endanger our troops abroad and our families at home. Understanding why and how this came about is the responsibility of the Congress, one we intend to carry out."