The complicated story of Bowe Bergdahl's release

Jun 6, 2014

Credit U.S. Army Photo

  On Saturday, May 31, President Barack Obama stood on the White House lawn flanked by Bergdahl's parents, to annnounce his release. Since then, the story has taken several twists and turns. Missouri School of Journalism faculty Amy Simons, Lynda Kraxberger and Jim Flink discuss the issue.

Check out this week's full program, and for more, follow Views of the News on Facebook and Twitter.

The Taliban freed Bergdahl as part of a prisoner swap.  In exchange for his release, the U.S. government agreed to release five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.

That part of the story caught fire quickly, as Republicans accused the Obama administration of negotiating with terrorists -- a claim the president denies.  

In an opinion piece written for Fox News, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said the agreement for Bergdahl's release was a "major departure from American policy."

When terrorists and criminals unequivocally know, as they did prior to this week, that the United States of America does not negotiate with them, they have far less incentive to abduct our citizens.

By its actions has the Obama administration inadvertently put a target on the backs of all Americans traveling abroad? Let's hope not.

But Jim Flink of the Reynolds Journalism Institute said these critiques only address one aspect of the story.


This is obviously a much more complex issue than just do we negotiate as a nation with terrorists or not. There are so many different layers to this that depending politically on your affiliation or the expediency of the matter, your going to seize a story line and try to carry that for whatever advantage you might see.