The polling is pretty consistent that the public is not buying Obama’s spin on the trade of 5 senior Taliban Gitmo detainees for alleged deserter Bowe Bergdahl.
Just over a week after U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was freed by the Taliban, a CBS News Poll shows 45 percent of Americans disapprove of the deal that saw him released in exchange for five Taliban militants, while 37 percent approve of it. About one in five do not have an opinion.
Views differ by political party: most Republicans disapprove of the deal, while just over half of Democrats approve. Among those who have served in the military, 55 percent disapprove of the prisoner swap.
Most Americans — 56 percent — say the U.S. paid too high a price to secure Bergdahl’s release. Among veterans, that figure rises to 65 percent.
Republicans and independents say the deal cost the U.S. too much, while Democrats are more divided: 42 percent think the terms of the agreement were reasonable, but almost as many — 39 percent — say the U.S. paid too high a price.
Pew Research further finds:
Overall, 43% say it was the wrong thing for the Obama administration to exchange five Taliban prisoners for captive soldier Bergdahl, while fewer (34%) say it was the right thing to do; 23% do not offer an opinion.
The new national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY, conducted June 5-8 among 1,004 adults, finds that while this specific prisoner exchange is viewed negatively on balance, most think the U.S. has a responsibility to do all it can to free captive U.S. soldiers in general, regardless of the circumstances of their capture.
Is it any wonder that the White House is laying the decision on Chuck Hagel’s lap? Via The Weekly Standard:
The last question asked at Monday night’s closed-door briefing of members of the House of Representatives was a simple one: Who made the decision to transfer five top Taliban officials held at Guantanamo Bay to Qatar in exchange for the return of the Taliban’s lone American POW, Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl?
According to Buck McKeon, the chairman of the House Armed Services committee, the Obama administration’s briefers told he gathered House members that the person responsible for the decision to make the deal was not President Obama but Chuck Hagel, the secretary of defense.
“Now wait a minute, are you saying it was Secretary Hagel that made this decision, or was this the president of the United States?” McKeon, a California Republican, said to reporters. “It was the president of the United States that came out with the Bergdahls and took all the credit. And now that there’s been a little pushback, he’s moving away from it?”
The administration’s claim that Hagel, not Obama, made the decision is at odds with what Hagel himself said on Meet the Press on June 1. “I signed off on the decision,” Hagel said. “The president made the ultimate decision.”
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.