Barrow, Wilson condemn swap of detainees for soldier

U.S. Rep. John Barrow on Wednesday joined forces with three other House lawmakers – two Republicans and one Democrat – to introduce a resolution condemning President Obama’s decision to release five Taliban detainees in exchange for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

The resolution, also signed by Reps. Scott Rigell, R-Va., Reid Ribble, R-Wis., and Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., expresses concern over national security implications stemming from the May 31 release and ramifications that might follow from negotiating with terrorists, according to a news release from Barrow’s office.

It serves as official repudiation of Obama’s actions by the House for the president’s failing to notify the appropriate committees of Congress at least 30 days before the transfer or release of any detainee held at Guantanamo Bay, as required by law.

“After receiving a classified briefing from the Administration, I disagree with how the Administration negotiated with terrorists for the transfer of terrorists we already had in custody,” Barrow said in the release. “I’m concerned that they failed to follow the law to give proper notice to Congress. Checks and balances aren’t negotiable. Congress is ready to listen, and it’s critical that the Administration not treat Congress as an adversary or as an afterthought.”

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., the chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, also issued a statement after the House Armed Services Committee received testimony from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Department of Defense general counsel Stephen Preston.

“The United States must never negotiate with terrorists,” Wilson said in his remarks.

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