By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
LEAVENWORTH, KS (KCTV) -
The prisoner swap that resulted in freedom for the last remaining American prisoner of war in Afghanistan has prompted mixed emotions across the country, including in Kansas City.
Some believe it was vital to get Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, saying too many were left behind in the Vietnam and Korean wars. Others oppose the move, saying President Barack Obama negotiated with terrorists.
In exchange for Bergdahl's freedom, the U.S. released five high-level members of the Taliban from the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and sent them to Qatar. The five, who will have to stay in Qatar for a year before going back to Afghanistan, include former ministers in the Taliban government, commanders and one man who had direct ties to the late al-Qaida chief, Osama bin Laden.
Jeff Ammons, a veteran who was at the VA hospital in Leavenworth on Monday, is glad Bergdahl was freed.
"I believe that five is worth it, and you know what? America will get those five terrorists later," he said.
Shawnee resident Kent Zimmerman said there may be many questions about Bergdahl's capture, "but I think we were bound by duty to bring him back."
But Kansas City, KS, resident Michael Simmons said trades like this never work.
"Negotiating is a sign of weakness," Tyrone Wesson said.
Ty Nguyen disagrees.
"You can catch five bad guys and you can catch five, 10 more, but you can never save enough American soldiers," he said.
Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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