Governor, Idaho delegation get calls about Bergdahl

June 3, 2014 

Idaho's governor and congressional delegation aren't weighing in yet on the controversy around Bowe Bergdahl's disappearance and his trade for Guantanamo detainees.

About 25 people have called Sen. Mike Crapo's offices, and about two-thirds of them are "happy he is free, but they are very unhappy with the process" of exchanging Bergdahl for detainees, according to Crapo spokesman Lindsay Nothern.

Nothern said the common complaint is that the U.S. had "negotiated with terrorists."

Crapo himself was pleased with Bergdahl's release but "hasn't said a lot" about the process of getting him released, Nothern said.

Congressman Mike Simpson, who represents Bergdahl's hometown, is "glad [Bowe] will be reunited with his family and the other questions surrounding the situation will be answered in due time," said Nikki Watts, his communications director.

Gov. Butch Otter is getting calls about Bergdahl's release - some expressing gratitude, some anger.

"There are still too many unknowns for me to weigh in on the specifics of how this prisoner exchange occurred," the governor said in an emailed statement. "I'm not going to speculate on anything beyond what I know - and what I know is that after almost five years, a young man from Idaho no longer is in enemy hands. There are processes in place within the military and in Congress for whatever happens next. Those processes need to run their course."

Spokesmen for Sen. Jim Risch and Rep. Raul Labrador could not be reached Tuesday. But Labrador talked to 670 KBOI on Tuesday morning, telling the radio station that “there are a lot of questions. And I think all those questions are going to need to be answered. But now is not the time for those questions.”

Labrador also criticized fellow Republicans for suggesting that the prisoner swap set a new precedent, noting that such swaps have happened at the end of other conflicts. “I am more concerned that the president might have violated the law by not talking to us in Congress.”

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