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Party leader criticizes deal that freed soldier
Pittsford, N.Y. -- Monroe County Conservative Party Chairman Thomas Cook is not happy with the deal resulting In the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from Taliban forces in Afghanistan.
"It has nothing to do with Monroe County and everything to do with America," he said, referring to the release of five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay exchanged for Bergdahl's release. "These five are going to go back and they're going to try and kill Americans (in Afghanistan)."
Across the political aisle, some Democratic members of Congress are also concerned about the deal struck by the Department of Defense and the Obama administration.
"Bringing home an American is a fundamental value, and I am glad he is coming home," said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in a statement to 13WHAM News. "But I do have concerns about the national security risks involved, and there are legitimate questions that still need to be answered. For example, whether there were viable alternative options to achieve this same goal."
A press secretary for Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) told 13WHAM News that Schumer is expecting to be briefed next week by officials on the situation regarding the swap made for Bergdahl's freedom.
Some have expressed criticism toward Sgt. Bergdahl.
The Defense Department acknowledged he left his base in Afghanistan without his weapon or armor before being taken hostage by members of the Taliban. Some have suggested Bergdahl deserted his fellow troops, but he has not been charged with treason.
Cook said he wants to see Bergdahl held accountable.
"I'd like to see the military code of justice applied to him," he added. "I'd like to see him charged with desertion."
According to CNN, Army officials said they plan to conduct "a comprehensive, coordinated" review of Bergdahl's case, but that Bergdahl's health and reintegration process would come first.