GOP Congressman Callously Claims He’d Have Left Bergdahl With The Taliban Indefinitely

mike rogers this weekedited


During yet another appearance on a Sunday show, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) appeared on ABC’s This Week to discuss the prisoner exchange that allowed the United States to retrieve Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last American prisoner of war, from the Taliban. Rogers, who appeared as a guest on Sunday shows more times than anyone else in 2013, insisted that now was not the right time to bring Bergdahl home. He also stated that he would not have traded the Gitmo detainees to obtain Bergdahl and that the White House should have looked at other options to obtain Bergdahl’s release. He said this despite the fact that the White House and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel have insisted that there were no other options available at this time or the immediate future.

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Below is the transcript of Rogers’ interview with George Stephanopolous, courtesy of ABC News:


STEPHANOPOULOS: Lots of questions now for the chair of the House intelligence committee Mike Rogers. He joins us now. And congressman, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

Let’s begin with those five Taliban leaders in Qatar right now. You’ve seen the intelligence on these five men. What’s your sense of what they’ll do after this year is up?

ROGERS: Well, and we’re not even sure they’ll — they’ll wait a year. Their real value in the next 51 weeks is propaganda by the Taliban. We’ve already seen that start.

So they can meet with the Taliban political leaders in Qatar. They can have family members travel to Qatar and back to Pakistan and Afghanistan and we believe that’s certainly an opportunity for a courier network, to get them prepared for what’s next.

I don’t think you’ll see any operational activity right now by them. They’re smart enough to — to know better. But it allows them to proper for what’s next. And that’s going to be join the fight against what Americans are left in Afghanistan in 51 weeks.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’re convinced of that?

ROGERS: I am convinced, absolutely convinced of that. We’ve already seen, both in their rhetoric and their actions, and certainly the information that we see coming out of the Taliban, including the Haqqani network in Pakistan, would suggest that’s absolutely going to happen, maybe all not — not all five. But I do believe three, for sure, likely four. And that fifth one is on the fence, but will probably play some role in…


ROGERS: — in active operations…

STEPHANOPOULOS: — but is there anything we can do…


STEPHANOPOULOS: — to prevent that?

ROGERS: I — well, unfortunately, the deal is done. And that’s what — what is the problem. Here. And I think here’s one thing about this, George. The focus have all been should — you know, is this — is one soldier worth it, it — not worth it?

I think that completely misses the problem here. This is a huge regional and geopolitical problem for the United States moving forward. Hostages are now currency in this war on terror. That’s always dangerous for both diplomats, aide workers, soldiers on the battlefield.

But secondly, think about what happened in the last week. America said we’re leaving in 2016 completely. We negotiated with the terrorist Haqqani network. Oh, and by the way, this happened before the election even occurred.

This weekend, this weekend, the Taliban tried to assassinate one of the political leaders, Abdullah Abdullah, who’s running for office in Afghanistan. This was the wrong message at the wrong time and we are going to pay for this decision for years.

Again, this shouldn’t be about did — did Congress get invited to the party. This is all…


ROGERS: — about this — this honest discussion about what the ramifications of this (INAUDIBLE)…

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you’re very clear. You’ve — you’ve been very clear. You said you would never have made the trade.

But what about that bedrock principle of the soldier’s creed, I will never leave a fallen comrade?

ROGERS: But the problem, George, is that hostilities haven’t stopped. Normally, that’s if the hostilities have stopped. There are other options. And this was what so angered for those of us who have followed this for years. This was not the only option that was available to…

STEPHANOPOULOS: The administration says it was.

ROGERS: — no, well, the administration has this theory that you’re either with them or you’re for thermonuclear war and there’s not in between. That’s just wrong. And so the reason they avoided Congress, this isn’t about we didn’t get invited to the party, so — so we shouldn’t have our feelings hurt, it is because we can empower all of the people — diplomats — who disagreed with this decision, uh, intelligence folks who disagreed with this decision, military folks. That voice never got heard in the final discussions leading up to this deal.

That’s why you engage with Congress. We can empower those voices. We can get those questions asked so you don’t make a mistake that actually might jeopardize diplomats, aide workers and soldiers as we move forward.

And that’s what my fear is, as we move forward in this.


If it were up to Rogers, we’d never have retrieved Bergdahl. In his opinion, it is already a mistake that the President has said that the United States will completely leave Afghanistan by 2016. In his mind, we should be there indefinitely. At the same time, he states that you can’t trade prisoners during a period of hostility. Therefore, in Rogers’ view of the world, our prisoners of war can only be obtained via rescue missions or by the good grace of our enemy. We cannot trade away prisoners which we hold for our own soldiers that are held in captivity by the enemy unless all fighting has ceased. He says this because he believes prisoners released by the U.S. will return to fight against America.

The Congressman also claimed during the interview that the White House had other options available to secure Bergdahl’s release. Host George Stephanopolous did interject and point out that the Obama Administration has stated that no other options were available to them. However, Rogers got all snippy and argued that it’s really just the White House not wanting anyone to disagree with them and that is why the President avoided Congress. There were other ways to go about it. Rogers can’t answer what those other options were, he just knows they were out there.

The fact is, this prisoner exchange with the Taliban had been in negotiations since 2011 and that GOP members of Congress were fully aware of it the whole time. Now, maybe Rogers wasn’t aware because he spends all of his time doing news shows or prepping for his new career as the next Rush Limbaugh. Or perhaps it’s because the rest of the time he’s spent chasing red herring after red herring when it comes to Benghazi. Regardless, this is just another example of a Republican twisting themselves into knots in an attempt to make the recovery of an American solider into a huge scandal to damage the President.

40 Replies to “GOP Congressman Callously Claims He’d Have Left Bergdahl With The Taliban Indefinitely”

  1. How is this guy on the “intelligence” committee? An oxymoron if you ask me. He says that Obama should “engage with Congress.”, seriously, I think the president learned 6 years ago that Congress was closed for business as long as the black man was in the white house.

    I trust the presidents decision, after all he isn’t Dubya. If anyone thinks we let those people out to roam free they’re crazy. They’re probably assigned their own drone. The administration already said there would be no recapture. I know what that means, I’m sure the people they let go do too.

  2. I wonder if it is too late to give the Taliban Representative Mike Rodgers (MI)R for 5 years?

  3. Bachmann is also on Intelligence. It seems that the GOP puts anyone there that has an IQ below 85 and is willing to talk over TV pundits to get in their scripted views.

  4. Well he is leaving for hate radio so I guess he feels free to speak his mind. I couldn’t find how many Vets live in his district but I hope they are paying attention on this is what republicans think of you

  5. It is disappointing Rep. Rogers is on the intelligence committee. Perhaps he was not properly prepared. I mean, the other options he described were probably held in Dick Cheney’s mind. But since Rep. Rogers HAD to get to that television camera and give a counter point, well, those other options were not properly fleshed out.
    Wait ! Perhaps I am wrong, that after a week Rep. Rogers didn’t try to research the matter or did he just want to make his rash statement and go on. Leaving another talking point to be picked up like a dead carcass in the road, by another conservative talking head.

  6. Does anyone other than the MSM care what a Congress person has to say? The media needs to fill air time thus they talk with Rogers, McCain, Graham, and others.

  7. I don’t give too much credit on who serves on the Intelligence committee, hell Michelle(my batshit is this big) also served on that committee

  8. First, this “person” is a veteran himself, and should be hammered ceaselessly for his lack of consideration and camaraderie with fellow veterans.

    Second, I’m under the understanding that POTUS has the Constitutional authority to do what he did, has the advice and support of his legal and military advisers, and is only required within a certain time frame, not necessarily in advance, to notify Congressional leaders (i.e., Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader), who then notify their members.
    I’m delighted at the Republican circular firing squad over this matter, and like all the rest of the “scandals”, this one will also be to their detriment.

    The President outsmarts these yahoos on a regular basis, and it’s been seriously chafing their shorts for a long time. As Seinfeld would say, “Aw, that’s a shame”.

  9. These republicans have made the US shameful and disgusting before the world, there is no redemption for them, the hatefulness and vitriol aimed at this young soldier and his parents make me sick to my stomach.
    No parent should have to see their son join the military and go off to war for a country filled with such creatures, there should be a draft with no exemptions for the Romneys & Chambliss and those who would not serve.They deserve torture themselves and as for Chris Wallace asking if a death sentence is appropriate for this POW!
    I pray that this all comes back to bite them in the ass.

  10. God Bless America, eh?
    Is this what conservatives have in mind when they continually refer to America’s “exceptionalism”?

  11. I personally think all the GOP yahoos are acting a lot more like the “Taliban” than Americans.

  12. This clown is another one besides John McCain who proves that being a veteran doesn’t necessarily translate into empathy for other veterans. The more Republicans weigh in on this matter in order to discredit the president, the more effectively they dig a hole for themselves. With their cruel words about Bowe Bergdahl, they continue to deprive soldiers and veterans of any rational justification for voting for them. I hope that not only the Bergdahl family, but also other soldiers/veterans and their families are paying close attention and vote accordingly in the future.

  13. Sunday talk shows for Republicans are embarrassing. It’s as if it’s their public therapy to confess their hatred of President Obama that they want the whole world to know about it. Nothing new. Nothing surprise me anymore.

  14. When you drive down the George Washington Pkwy on the Virginia side of the Potomac at the exit for the CIA there is a sign that reads George W Bush center for intelligence that’s an oxymoron.

  15. just another ignorant slimy pos republican, pardon the redundancy. This is what to expect from republicans, they don’t have any effective policy, they lie and hate, and this clown is dumber than a cold turd.

  16. McCain said the POW,s we released were responsible for 9/11, if that is the case why have they not been brought to court?

  17. No, the exceptionalism is the GOP’s ability to pull their thumbs out of their ass and call it an opinion.

  18. What is so hilarious is that in this age of information where every fact is at your fingertips in seconds. These goofys trot out to the talk shows and blather on like we are so ignorant we will just believe what they say.

    I have learned in life that when people say “trust me” I need to beware. These snake oil salesmaen are living in the past. They think because they say it, we believe it.

  19. He’s on any news show that will have him, just to get his name recognition up. He’ no where near as stupid as he has been sounding the last few months. He’s doing it to get an audience lined up. He happens to be my congressman, so I notice what he’s been doing. It’s truly disgusting.

  20. Then that makes it even more sadder. He is still a sitting Congressman who is suppose to do his job. Oh hell, I just had a brain fart. A republican doing its job. I am sorry carry on

  21. Every person in uniform should now question the patriotism of every Republican after this dip stick spouts the GOP line. This tells me that unless you toe the GOP line, they are in favor of abandoning you in the field.

  22. The LA Times says that 3 of the Taliban that were released were politicians, pretty harmless, one of them was a mid level policeman and only one seems to have been a bad guy responsible for the deaths of civilians.

    John McCain has stated they were responsible for 9/11.

  23. This has been known since it was first discussed in 2011 we didn’t know it but John McCain did. As everyone who are critical the deal.They lie to instill fear in the American public like 911 because come hell or high water they want this war to continue and it has nothing to with these 5. It has everything to do with embarrassing the President but more importantly their stock options in the military industrial complex

  24. From the Chairman of The Joint Chief Of Staff Martin Dempsey:

    “In response to those of you interested in my personal judgements about the recovery of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The questions about this particular soldier’s conduct are separate from our effort to recover any U.S. service member in enemy captivity. LIKE ANY AMERICAN HE IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.”

  25. This is the man who is quitting politics in place for a radio talk show! Heaven help us. This is the way a typical Washington Republicans act.. No heart, no soul. W

    We all should be “loving” Sgt Berghdahl instead of being his judge and jury w/o any true evidence at all. For heavens sake, he was held prisoner for five years! this is the way a typical republican acts. No soul, not heart at all.

  26. Where are the hard nose news commentators that ask the hard questions. The ones that would challenge assholes who have the nerve to come on the program?

  27. One more thing, the ukdaily mail has an article and picture of Bergdahls unit who were apparently unmanagable and were wearing bandanas.

  28. I can’t bear to watch the Sunday “talking Republican head” shows anymore, I am happy to rely on Politicus and other progressive websites to watch the sausage being made for me.
    As for Rogers … he seems to be the media’s latest ‘star’ jackboot, replacing John McCain possibly …
    He’s been on tv all of the time, spewing his rightwing, treasonous opinions and the media, even MSNBC, loves to have him.
    Republicans and the mainstream media seem to be made for each other, don’t they?
    Is there a Democrat in the country who consistently gets even a fraction of the attention that Republicans get?

  29. If this pampered to by the media, media whore, boring drone of a fascist Rogers is so in love with the sound of his own voice that he wants to quit politics to join the totally corrupt American media, who am I to complain.
    Maybe all of the networks and cable channels will send this rightwing jackboot huge bouquets of flowers on his first day!

  30. Rep. Rogers Rep. Bachmanmnm and other TBaggers like them are on the intelligence committee thus President Obama couldn’t tell congress what was being done. If he had told congress he might as well as told the whole world before hand.

  31. It’s a misleading, dishonest grievous insult to us taxpayers.
    It brings to mind D.C.’s Reagan airport … the GOP’s president who smugly fired our air-traffic controllers.

    There is no question in my mind which party totally controls this country.

  32. The Obama haters have reached another low. Its not and has never been about this American soldier with PTSD, its about republicans hating President Obama. The GOP political party once again proves they would rather burn this country to the ground than admit President Obama made the right choice, and bring our American soldier home, the GOP would have shown the same outrage if he had been left with the Taliban. The hateful, hate filled, hate mongering Obama haters, the republican party, is disgustingly despicable. The republican party is everything that is wrong with this country, they must be voted out of office this November. The GOP stench that covers this country must be cleansed from this country.

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