WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he does not think the trade of five Taliban leaders who’d been detained at Guantanamo Bay for the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was a good deal or even the right deal for the United States.

“It’s very disturbing,” said Manchin on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.” On Wednesday evening, he attended a closed-door briefing for lawmakers from senior Pentagon officials in Washington, D.C. amid the mounting criticisms of the Bergdahl exchange.

“These are not just run-of-the-mill Taliban. These are people who have the ability to plan, who are high level and everyone believes will go back into that same scenario as soon as they can,” Manchin said.

The Taliban held Bergdahl in captivity for five years. Investigations into the circumstances leading to his capture are ongoing, but soldiers who served with Bergdahl — an Idaho native — have said he had become disillusioned about the U.S. role in Afghanistan and was captured when he left his post in eastern Afghanistan in 2009 without a weapon or body armor.

According to reports, Bergdahl’s declining health was one of the driving factors for the exchange which was made without required advance notification to Congress. The National Defense Authorization Act specifies 30 days notice.

On Thursday, Manchin said he was drafting a letter to send to President Barack Obama and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. In it, he was calling for all American military members to be moved out of Afghanistan by the end of the year.

“Don’t leave 9,800. We’re at 32,000 right now. They said we’re going to leave another 9,800 there for another year. Bring ’em all home, Mr. President. If that’s our policy, bring ’em all home now. Don’t put them in harm’s way any longer,” said Manchin.

“If we’re going to return five of the most notorious planners (from the Taliban) who have killed thousands and thousands of human beings, knowing that their only lot in life is to harm America and destroy America and we willingly made a trade, them bring everybody home, Mr. President.”

Hagel is scheduled to attend a hearing of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee next Wednesday to take questions from lawmakers about the trade.

Bergdahl was still receiving medical care in Germany earlier this week.

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  • Sandra Ford

    Special pleading for defeatism and surrender. A great deal for our enemies, not so good for American security. Remember the old saying "Who benefits?" Only our enemies: Al-Quaeda and the Taliban. Who is harmed by trading a deserter/collaborator for 5 enemy 4-star generals: every patriotic American citizen. Who benefits from this betrayal of our country: Our enemies, both foreign and internal, who work--each in his own way--for the defeat and humiliation of the USA.
    In the past, the U.S. has traded for POWs, which Bergdahl was not; and only after we were victorious, not during the war. There is a difference between a POW and a deserter-traitor, which the writer deliberately obscures, pretending the war with radical Islam, including al-Quaeda and the Taliban, is over. They get a vote.

    Surrender by appeaser Obama does not win the war but rather increases the likelihood of losing the war. Bergdahl's bearded father, at the Rose Garden ceremony in Obama's smiling presence, thanked Allah in Arabic for Obama's trade. This is the equivalent to a member of the German-American Bund in 1943 ending his thanks to President FDR with the Hitler salute, "Heil Hitler" in the Rose Garden. However, during WWII, the leaders of the German-American Bund were in a prison camp in Texas. The equivalent to those traitors during WWII now dominate the MSM.

    When we see a 5th column of MSM defeatists and appeasers working for American defeat and for the triumph of radical Islam, then we know that our internal enemies, giving aid and comfort to radical Islam, are at least as dangerous as the Taliban and al-Quaeda and all the jihadists in the world.

  • Hillbilly

    Our political leaders in Washington are all fools and idiots , or , are they . Hummmm.

  • Greg

    Joe just needs to come back to WV. Change his registration to Republican and be the Governor again. Nobody seems to care what he thinks because he never says until he sees how everyone is reacting. Never a truer politician.

  • Vet

    Spoken like a true, "ChickenHawk."

  • TB

    Maybe he should go on a "fact finding" tour of Afghanistan on our backs!

  • Brian

    1 American does not equal 1Taliban. Beyond that I'm not sure what to think. Disillusion with the mission in the rock pile is fully understandable when the chain of command can't decide what the ROEs are from one month to the next. Leave the gloves off or let our troops leave. They're not ambassadors or social workers.

  • Pickle Barrel

    Joe, you've got a firm grasp of the obvious.

    • ViennaGuy

      He's becoming quite good at stating the obvious, isn't he?

  • DAVE

    thank you captain flip flop....so your best answer now is to run.. a full retreat. typical of the democrats to want to run away.

  • DP

    I 100% AGREE WITH MOJOE's ASSESSMENT! As always, he's one of the VERY FEW Dems who openly disagrees with the POTUS and the Far Left Wingers in the Democratic Party!!!

    Senator, I'm a registered Republican (having been a life long Dem, but changing parties 1 year into the Clown in Chief's presidency) and you will ALWAYS have my vote for whatever office you choose to seek!!!!!

  • North Central WV Lady

    Absolutely correct assessment of the situation, Senator Manchin. And I couldn't agree more with your recommendation to bring all our troops home from Afghanistan - leaving a military presence is not effective and eventually causes the loss of more American lives.

  • Another WV Boy

    I have never met a person who can say so much, and yet everything that comes out of his mouth is below common sense. Seriously Joe, did anyone ask for your opinion?

  • RogerD

    Mr. Obvious speaks again. Thanks, Joe for all you do for West Virginia. Are you still thinking coming home to be governor?

  • Damion45

    Not a good deal? Really? So now what?
    What I find interesting about this whole mess is that I am sure Obama knew all the background on this guy's behavior and opinions. At the very least he read it in Rolling Stone if he didn't hear it from the Defense Department.
    But what I am sure is confusing him is the outrage. That is because he "understands" Bergdahl's disillusionment with the war and why he would leave his combat unit. Obama sees that as perfectly rational and his abandoning his combat post should not be seen as a negative. It is probably one of the reasons he believed it was worth the trade. Obama lives in his own mind and believes what he feels is reality. Unfortunately for the rest of us, it isn't.

    • Brian

      Couldn't have said it better. Thanks, Damion45

      • Damion45


  • mikeyd

    wonder how long it will take joe to flip flop on this issue like he always does he is a joke

  • Shawn H

    I'm glad you finally chimed in Joe. Of course, you waited to see how the general public viewed this deal, and then went with them. Thanks, Jobama.