For President Barack Obama, it seemed like the right thing to do, according to officials in his administration: Release five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison in return for Bowe Bergdahl, the only known American prisoner of war inAfghanistan.
The officials said Obama himself decided to make the swap and chose to broadcast the news on national television with Bergdahl's parents at the White House. He wanted to send a clear signal to Americans that this was his decision and that he would uphold the maxim that the United States will always bring home all its troops from the battlefield, the officials said.
Talks with Qatar
The possibility of a deal emerged just after Obama returned from a lightning visit to Afghanistan on May 25, where he reiterated that the U.S. combat mission would conclude by year-end.
Clinching it was a phone call Obama made two days later, on May 27, with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who said Qatari officials had agreed to measures to prevent at least an immediate return to the battlefield of the five Taliban prisoners, the officials said.
[Read Full Article: Inside the White House Decision to free Bergdhal]