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The Boston Globe

Nation

Hagel defends Bergdahl swap in testimony

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel defended the prisoner exchange that brought the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl after years of captivity with the Taliban, telling skeptical lawmakers on Wednesday that the operation had needed to be kept secret from Congress to ensure that the soldier was not killed by his captors in the days leading up to the swap.

In the first public testimony before Congress by a senior member of the Obama administration since Bergdahl’s release, Hagel described the exchange as a “military operation” that was in doubt until the very end. He called prisoner swaps part of the “dirty business” of war.

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