Administration Response to GAO Report on Bergdahl

By Benjamin Wittes
Saturday, August 23, 2014, 12:00 PM

Here's the government's response to the GAO report, to which Wells linked yesterday, concluding that the Bergdahl trade violated the law. A statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby reads:

As Secretary Hagel has testified before Congress, the recovery of SGT Bergdahl was conducted lawfully. This decision was made after consultation with the Department of Justice.

The Administration had a fleeting opportunity to protect the life of a U.S. service member held captive and in danger for almost five years. Under these exceptional circumstances, the Administration determined that it was necessary and appropriate to forego 30 days' notice of the transfer in order to obtain SGT Bergdahl's safe return.

Along with the statement, the Pentagon also released this document, the administration's response to the GAO's questions on the law of the operation.