Though it has turned into yet another scandal for the Obama administration, Texas Gov. Rick Perry believes the White House deal to return Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl might have been rushed for a reason. A number of Republican leaders and other officials criticized Obama for failing to provide Congress with the requisite 30 days’ notice prior to releasing five potentially dangerous terrorists from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Bergdahl.
In a recent appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” Perry wondered if a desire to shift attention away from public outrage over the Department of Veterans Affairs’ alleged cover-up of healthcare delays was behind the ostensible need for immediacy.
“Here’s the bigger concern for me,” he told host Sean Hannity; “and I really would like for somebody to take a look at this and answer it. Was this done to take the VA off the front page of the newspapers?”
He called the scandal, which has been blamed for dozens of veteran deaths, an “absolute debacle,” explaining the Bergdahl narrative “kind of happened all of a sudden it seems like.”
Perry noted the fact that officials believe the deal violated a law requiring congressional notification, expressing a desire to determine the impetus behind it.
“What is the foreign policy that’s going into place here?” he asked. “Is it just haphazard? Is it just whatever we need to do to move a press story a day to get something off the front page of the papers? I don’t know – but it’s troubling.”
He went on to express outrage over the fact that the five prisoners released in the exchange were considered among Guantanamo Bay’s most dangerous.
“If they knew all of these things and they still went forward with this,” Perry continued, “I think there’s just a lot of questions that are incredibly troubling for the American people.”
He concluded by lamenting the fact that this ordeal could easily lead to future hostage crises initiated by America’s enemies.
“Every American citizen,” he said, “every man and woman in uniform now is going to be trade bait for people like the Taliban. And if that’s how we’re going to be conducting foreign policy in the future, I think we’ve got big, big problems in front of us.”
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)