Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress on Wednesday that the trade of five Taliban detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl represented “our last, best opportunity to free him” and complied with both the law and the fundamental values of the military.
As the handoff drew near, American officials were concerned for the soldier's health and were increasingly worried that a leak would derail the deal, Hagel told the House Armed Services Committee.
Hagel made no secret that wars necessitate uncomfortable decisions.
“War is a dirty business,” he said. “And we don’t like to deal with those realities, but realities they are.”