POLITICS: PennAve

Senator who worked on Bowe Bergdahl case keeps mum

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Congress,Barack Obama,Afghanistan,David M. Drucker,National Security,PennAve,Guantanamo Bay,Foreign Policy,Taliban,James Risch,Bowe Bergdahl

For the time being, one U.S. senator who might some poignant observations to make about the controversial Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap is choosing not to comment.

Idaho Sen. James Risch has spent his first term focusing on foreign policy and national security as a member of the Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees. An old-school Republican defense hawk, Risch has been persistent critic of President Obama on national security issues.

The senator also happens to represent Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and his parents, who are from the small, central Idaho community of Hailey. As such, Risch has been intimately involved for the past five years in efforts to rescue Bergdahl from captivity in Afghanistan.

The Washington Examiner caught up with Risch on Tuesday afternoon and asked for his thoughts on the Bergdahl prisoner swap, in which Pakistan-based terrorists traded the Army sergeant for five senior Taliban commanders who had been incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for several years. Risch suggested that he has plenty to say on the matter, and that it might not be all positive.

But for now, he would only offer this:

“Let me tell you where people in Idaho are on this: People are glad he’s no longer held by the Taliban. Beyond that, I’m not wading into that at this point. There’s a lot more stuff that needs to happen before I’m ready to tell you how I feel,” Risch said. “I’m not willing at this point to wade into either subject; that is the circumstances of his capture nor the trade. I’m not willing to go there at this point.”

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