Investigators: Pentagon broke the law in swap for Sgt. Bergdahl - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Investigators: Pentagon broke the law in swap for Sgt. Bergdahl

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KHQ.COM -  Congressional investigators say the Pentagon broke the law when it swapped five Taliban leaders for Idaho native Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office said Thursday the Defense Department's failure to notify the relevant congressional committees at least 30 days in advance of the exchange broke the law.


The GAO also says the Pentagon's use of funds to conduct the transfer, when no money was available, was a violation of the Antideficiency Act which bars spending by agencies above the amount of money that Congress has obligated.

In May, five senior Taliban members were released from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for Sgt. Bergdahl. Under exchange terms, the five Taliban are to remain in Qatar for a year.

President Barack Obama had defended the swap as a legal use of his powers as commander in chief, and said he had to keep Congress in the dark in order to preserve secrecy in the delicate negotiations with the Taliban.

Sgt. Bergdahl disappeared in 2009, and was held captive in Afghanistan for five years. The U.S. Army is currently investigating allegations that Sgt. Bergdahl left his post while on duty, and whether he should be charged with desertion.

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