The chairman of the Democratic National Committee accused Republicans of “grasping at straws” in their criticism of the Bowe Bergdahl case and “nitpicking” over the number of Taliban exchanged for his release.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) accused GOP senators, specifically Susan Collins (R-Maine), of saying “we should leave a member of our armed forces who was in the midst of an armed conflict, regardless of the circumstances that he will likely be tried for and considered innocent until proven guilty later.”
“That she would leave a soldier in an armed conflict behind when we had intelligence from everything that I understand that he was — this was our last best opportunity. That he was potentially on death’s door. You know, looking at grainy video is not a way for us to determine that. But from everything I understand, this was our last best opportunity. And throughout the entirety of our military history, we do not leave our military behind,” she told CNN.
“When we have captives we do everything we can to bring them home and we had the highest levels of our military serving now who also said, you know, General Dempsey said we don’t leave anyone behind, regardless of the circumstances. We should all be unified around that.”
Wasserman Schultz argued that “we have throughout the tenure of many Republican and Democratic presidents, including George W. Bush, including President Nixon, President George W. Bush released 500 detainees from Guantanamo.”
“So we should not be second-guessing the administration when they have intelligence available to them and military advice. And the last best opportunity, as we are actually winding down our involvement in Afghanistan, the bottom line is we don’t leave our soldiers behind. We deal with the situation behind his finding himself captive later and we bring him home,” she said.
“I think we are really putting the details under a microscope that are — that pale in comparison in terms of their importance than the fact that we brought one of our own home… to suggest that we’re going to nitpick the president of the United States as commander in chief, bringing one of our own home and standing with his parents to celebrate that fact that we were successful and to celebrate our soldiers to help bring him home is really utterly ridiculous. It’s offensive.”