Obama: "I make absolutely no apologies" for Bergdahl prisoner ex - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Obama: "I make absolutely no apologies" for Bergdahl prisoner exchange

  • CBS19.tv Web ExclusivesMore>>

  • Web Exclusive: Rob Lowe is getting "sharky" for a TV network

    Web Exclusive: Rob Lowe is getting "sharky" for a TV network

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:45 AM EDT2014-07-31 13:45:11 GMT
    Actor Rob Lowe is lending his comedic talents to the Discovery channel.  In a new promo for Shark Week he throws up chum while riding two sharks.More >>
    Actor Rob Lowe is lending his comedic talents to the Discovery channel.  In a new promo for Shark Week he throws up chum while riding two sharks.More >>
  • Web Exclusive: Company cancels class to nix Southern accents, y'all, after complaints

    Web Exclusive: Company cancels class to nix Southern accents, y'all, after complaints

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:00 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:00:17 GMT
    We live in the South, so some of us may have a Southern accent, but would you consider saying "goodbye" to "howdy, y'all"?
    The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee was going to offer a speech class for its workers next month to do just that, until it got canceled.
    More >>
    We live in the South, so some of us may have a Southern accent, but would you consider saying "goodbye" to "howdy, y'all"?
    The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee was going to offer a speech class for its workers next month to do just that, until it got canceled.
    More >>
  • Web Exclusive: Ultra HD TVs

    Web Exclusive: Ultra HD TVs

    (CNN) -Some people just have to have the latest in television technology. The newest TVs on the market- ultra-high definition TVs- or UHD TVs. They have higher screen resolution than current high def screens, and are also known as "4-K" sets. "More >>
    (CNN) -Some people just have to have the latest in television technology. The newest TVs on the market- ultra-high definition TVs- or UHD TVs. They have higher screen resolution than current high def screens, and are also known as "4-K" sets. "More >>

(CBS NEWS) - President Obama on Thursday said he makes no apologies for negotiating with the Taliban to secure the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, in spite of the political firestorm that has erupted.

"I make absolutely no apologies for making sure we get back a young man to his parents," Mr. Obama said during a press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron following the G-7 summit in Brussels, Belgium.

Members of Congress in Washington have questioned the motives for and the wisdom of securing Bergdahl's release in exchange for releasing five high-level Taliban detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay. They've complained that Bergdahl, who was a prisoner of war for five years, was only held captive after walking away from his post in 2009. They've also noted that the Obama administration did not consult with Congress before reaching the deal. Some lawmakers have suggested the deal may have been politically motivated by an administration interested in touting another positive story as the Afghanistan war comes to an end.

Bowe Bergdahl's hometown cancels celebration Court-martial against Bergdahl could be complicated

"I'm never surprised by controversies that are whipped up in Washington. That's par for the course," Mr. Obama said. He reiterated his earlier point that "we have a basic principle: we do not leave anybody wearing the American uniform behind."

He justified the prisoner exchange, remarking, "We had a prisoner of war whose health had deteriorated, and we were deeply concerned. We saw an opportunity, and we seized it. I make no apologies for that."

Mr. Obama said his administration did not consult with Congress ahead of time "because of the nature of the folks we were dealing with and the fragile nature of these negotiations."

"We felt it was important to go ahead and do what we did," he said. "We're now explaining to Congress the details of how we move forward."

The basic principle of not leaving soldiers behind, the president continued, "often means prisoner exchanges with enemies."

Some critics have specifically criticized Mr. Obama for celebrating Bergdahl's release in a White House Rose Garden announcement with Bergdahl's parents.

"I think it was important for people to understand this is not some abstraction, this is not a political football," the president said. "You have a couple of partners whose kid volunteered to fight in a distant land... As commander in chief of the United States armed forces, I am responsible for those kids."

Mr. Obama added that he gets "too many letters" from the parents of servicemen who never get to see their children again. "The American people understand this is somebody's child, and we don't condition whether or not we made the effort to get him back," he said.

In an interview with the BBC, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel similarly defended the prisoner swap. Hagel said that he and the rest of the administration unanimously agreed the administration had to act quickly.

Mr. Obama and Cameron on Thursday also addressed the Russia's ongoing interference in Ukraine, which was one of the primary subjects of discussion during the G-7 summit. The summit was initially scheduled to take place as a G-8 summit in Sochi, Russia, but Russia's inclusion was revoked after its incursion into Ukraine.

Obama defends U.S. contributions to sports, English language

The two leaders said Thursday that the G-7 is ready to impose further sanctions against Russia unless Russian President Vladimir Putin takes certain steps: recognize the recent Ukrainian presidential elections as legitimate, stop arms from crossing the border from Russia to Ukraine, and stop provoking violence from separatists in Eastern Ukraine."If Russia's provocations continue... the G-7 nations are ready to impose additional costs," Mr. Obama said.

"We are at a point where Mr. Putin has the chance to get back into a lane of international law," he said, remarking that Ukraine's President-elect Petro Poroshenko is someone Putin "can negotiate directly with."

Amid all the serious questions, Mr. Obama and Cameron did have one light-hearted exchange regarding sports.

Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.