Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday slammed the Obama administration for releasing five Guantanamo Bay prisoners in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, saying the U.S. could have instead used military force to rescue the American prisoner of war.
“I do not think the way to deal with terrorists is through releasing other violent terrorists,” Cruz said on ABC's “This Week.” “We can go in and use military force as needed to rescue our fallen compatriots.”
And like many Republicans, Cruz questioned the precedent the Bergdahl swap would have on future dealings with terrorist organizations.
“Can you imagine what [Bergdahl] would say to his fallen comrades who lost their lives to stop these people who were responsible, either directly or indirectly, for threatening or taking U.S. civilian lives?” Cruz asked.
“I mean, that's why we sent our soldiers there,” the Texan added. “And the idea that we're now making trades, what does that do for every single soldier stationed abroad? It says the reason why the U.S. has had the policy for decades of not negotiating with terrorists is because once you start doing it, every other terrorist has an incentive to capture more soldiers.”
The Obama administration said it handles negotiations for prisoners of war differently than discussions surrounding hostages. And the president said his primary focus was on ensuring Bergdahl’s safety.