Obama, Standing Next to POW’s Parents, Praises the Return of Missing Soldier

While being held captive for five years, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl “was never forgotten,” the president said.

President Obama, speaking to the parents of American POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, at the White House Rose Garden Saturday.
National Journal
Matt Vasilogambros
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Matt Vasilogambros
May 31, 2014, 2:41 p.m.

Stand­ing next to the par­ents of re­covered Amer­ic­an POW Sgt. Bowe Ber­g­dahl, Pres­id­ent Obama re­af­firmed the com­mit­ment the United States has to its miss­ing sol­diers of war.

“This morn­ing, I called Bob and Jani Ber­g­dahl and told them that after nearly five years in cap­tiv­ity, their son Bowe is com­ing home,” Obama said, saddled by the par­ents in the White House Rose Garden. “While Bowe was gone, he was nev­er for­got­ten.”

The pres­id­ent thanked both the gov­ern­ment of Afgh­anistan for its sup­port as the war winds down, and the gov­ern­ment of Qatar, which helped fa­cil­it­ate the ex­change of Ber­g­dahl and five pris­on­ers from the de­ten­tion cen­ter at Guantanamo Bay. Obama con­firmed that he spoke to the emir of Qatar last week about the ex­change.

Ber­g­dahl was held in cap­tiv­ity by the Taliban for the last five years after he re­portedly left a U.S. base. Right now, he is cur­rently at a base in Afgh­anistan un­der­go­ing a med­ic­al eval­u­ation. Obama said his “top pri­or­ity” is to give Ber­g­dahl the care he needs.

“The United States does not ever leave our men and wo­men in uni­form be­hind,” the pres­id­ent con­tin­ued. “I am mind­ful that there are many troops who re­main miss­ing from wars past. That’s why we will nev­er for­get, nor give up our search.”

Ber­g­dahl’s par­ents met with Obama in the White House on Sat­urday. After speak­ing, the pres­id­ent gave the par­ents a chance to speak.

“We will con­tin­ue to stay strong for Bowe,” his moth­er Jani said, smil­ing.

Bob Ber­g­dahl, speak­ing next, said his son is hav­ing trouble speak­ing Eng­lish, and had a mes­sage, say­ing it in Pashto and in Eng­lish.

“I am your fath­er, Bowe,” he said.

As the three left the Rose Garden, Obama hugged both par­ents. “Yes, it’s a good day,” Jan said hug­ging the pres­id­ent.

What We're Following See More »
FUNDING RUNS OUT ON FRIDAY
Federal Agencies Prepare for Govt Shutdown
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

As Congress continues to bicker on riders to a continuing resolution, federal agencies have started working with the Office of Management and Budget to prepare for a government shutdown, which will occur if no continuing resolution is passed by 11:59 p.m. on Friday night. The OMB held a call with agencies on Sept. 23, one that is required one week before a possible shutdown. The government last shut down for 16 days in 2013, and multiple shutdowns have been narrowly avoided since then. It is expected that Congress will reach a deal before the clock strikes midnight, but until it does, preparations will continue.

Source:
OBAMA’S ENVIRONMENTAL LEGACY IN THE BALANCE
Obama’s Clean Power Plan Faces Courts
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

President Obama's Clean Power Plan, a large pillar of his efforts to leave a lasting environmental legacy, "goes before the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today." The plan "imposes the first national limits on carbon pollution from power plants." A number of consolidated cases finds 27 states challenging this plan, which was blocked by the Supreme Court in February pending decisions from lower courts. The states will argue that the government doesn't have the right to impose restrictions requiring them to shutter plans and restructure full industries.

Source:
UNCLEAR IF THIS WILL AFFECT POLLS
Instant Reaction: Clinton Won Debate
1 hours ago
DEBATE UPDATE

There seems to be a clear consensus forming about Monday's debate: Hillary Clinton was the winner. One focus group of undecided Pennsylvania voters, conducted by GOP pollster Frank Luntz, found 16 favored Clinton while five picked Donald Trump. In a Florida focus group organized by CNN, 18 of 20 undecided voters saw Clinton as the winner.

DIDN’T BECAUSE CHELSEA WAS IN THE ROOM
Trump Wanted to Bring Up Bill Clinton
2 hours ago
DEBATE UPDATE

As both candidates walked off the stage, Donald Trump lauded himself for being restrained and for not bringing up Bill Clinton. "I didn’t want to say—her husband was in the room along with her daughter, who I think is a very nice young lady—and I didn’t want to say what I was going to say about what’s been going on in their life," Trump said. Trump claims he stopped himself from hitting Bill Clinton because daughter Chelsea was in the room.

Source:
REPEATS CONTROVERSIAL CLAIM
Trump: Clinton “Doesn’t Have The Stamina” to be President
13 hours ago
DEBATE UPDATE

At the end of the debate, moderator Lester Holt asked Donald Trump if he stands by his statement that Hillary Clinton didn't have the look of a president. Trump responded by saying Holt misquoted him, instead saying that Clinton "doesn't have the stamina." Clinton responded by saying that when Trump visits 112 countries as secretary of state, he can talk to her about stamina.

×