By Ferdous Al-Faruque - 06/08/14 11:22 AM EDT
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, says he is “absolutely certain” at least three, if not all, of the Taliban fighters released in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will rejoin the Afghan war.
“We’ve already seen both in their rhetoric and their actions and, certainly, from the information that we see coming out from the Taliban including the Haqqani network in Pakistan would suggest that’s absolutely going to happen,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“Maybe not all five, but I do believe three for sure, likely four and that fifth one is on the fence but will probably play some role in active operations with the Taliban,” he added.
Rogers says, over the next year, the five released will be used as propaganda by the Taliban. Once their travel ban is up, they will return to fight, as U.S. troops begin to withdraw from Afghanistan, he added.
“This was the wrong message at the wrong time, and we’re going to pay for this for years,” he added.
When asked by George Stephanopoulos if Rogers would still oppose the deal if Bergdahl had been captured in battle, he said he would.
“There were other options on the table, many still classified, that never even rose to the level of discussion,” he added. “I think that’s the problem.”
Rogers also said the administration should conduct a through investigation into the circumstances of Bergdahl’s capture and stop leaking information to the new news media.
Rogers dodged the questions on whether he supported Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) recent comments the president might be impeached if more prisoners are released from Guantánamo without congressional approval.
However, he said the administration needs to come to Congress in future instances to talk about such issues.