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U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Obama adamantly defends Taliban prisoner swap that freed U.S. soldier
Obama adamantly defends Taliban prisoner swap that freed U.S. soldier

The release of America's only prisoner of war in Afghanistan in a trade for five senior Taliban commanders in U.S. custody was over in minutes Saturday. But it followed 31/2 years of secret on-and-off negotiations that produced far less than the White House had hoped. The idea of swapping prisoners emerged in early 2011, Obama administration and congressional officials said Tuesday, when U.S. officials still sought to convince Taliban political leaders to come to the negotiating table to end the grinding war in Afghanistan. The peace talks never took place, and the prisoner exchange has now forced the White House to launch a fierce defense. President Obama and his top aides insist they...

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