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The Boston Globe


Administration defends prisoner swap with Taliban

WASHINGTON — Top Obama administration officials pushed back Sunday against Republican criticism that a deal freeing the last American held prisoner in Afghanistan could allow dangerous Taliban leaders to return to the fight, might encourage terrorist groups to seize American hostages and possibly violated a law requiring notification of Congress.

Susan E. Rice, the president’s national security adviser, spoke a day after years of fitful negotiations had finally yielded the release in Afghanistan of the prisoner, Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. The deal, brokered with Qatari help, also freed five high-level Taliban members from the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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