House committee hearing probes Bergdahl exchange implications
WASHINGTON (ABC News) -- Two subcommittees from the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a joint hearing Wednesday afternoon to examine the implications the exchange could have on U.S. national security and the global war on terrorism.
Among those testifying was the father of Army 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrew,s who believes his son was killed in a Sept. 4, 2009 attack while on a mission to find Bergdahl - just a few months after he had slipped into the hands of the Taliban after apparently leaving his base in Paktika.
At the time Andrews' death, his parents were told their son was killed on a mission to capture a senior Taliban commander. But after Bergdahl was exchanged for five Taliban prisoners on May 31, a congressional source who helped arrange Andy Andrews' testimony said the family was contacted by several members on Darryn's team who told them the true intent of the mission was to locate and rescue Bergdahl.
The soldiers, according to sources, had signed a non-disclosure document and the family was initially given an alternative narrative in order to protect Bergdahl while preserving the opportunity to rescue him in the future.
"This hearing comes at a critical time," said Rep. Ted Poe, chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade. "We are holding this hearing to get the ground truth from those who were in Afghanistan when it happened, those who suffered losses from this ordeal and to try and understand what the consequences of this deal will be."
"The five members of the Taliban that the Administration released are extremely dangerous and their release can harm our national security interests in the region," added Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. "This hearing will help us understand what the implications of this decision may be, both for our troops in Afghanistan and for our ongoing fight against terrorism."
Retired Spc. Cody Full, who served with Bergdahl in Blackfoot Company, Second Platoon, was also among the witnesses who testified Wednesday on the implications of the Bergdahl exchange.