Sen. Kirk and Illinois stepfather question Bergdahl deal

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Ken Luccioni says his stepson died in 2009 while on a mission searching for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, and wants an explanation for the deal the president made for his release. (WLS)

Ken Luccioni of Bartlett, Ill., has been asking himself the same question since the release of five Guantanamo Bay-detained senior Taliban leaders in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl: was it worth it?

Luccioni says Bergdahl is the man his stepson, Private First Class Matthew Martinek, died for in 2009. Martinek was part of a mission searching for the missing soldier. He was 20 years old. Bergdahl was released by the Taliban in May after five years in captivity.

"We need to bring him back, I don't question that," Luccioni said. "I question what we gave for that."

Luccioni was joined by Republican U.S. Senator Mark Kirk Friday in calling on President Obama and his administration to explain why the action was taken.

"It really wasn't the Taliban that held Bergdahl," said Luccioni. "What about the negotiations? Whose idea was it to let these five go?"

"Letting these five guys get away has put a bounty on Americans abroad," said Kirk.

Senator Kirk says the president ignored both the law and the recommendations of his own panel of advisors. Now he, along with nearly a dozen other senators, have sent a letter to the President demanding answers while requesting that the other 149 Guantanamo detainees remain in custody until further notice.

However, President Obama says he stands behind the exchange.

The U.S. Army has appointed a two-star general to investigate how and why Sgt. Bergdahl left his base in Afghanistan, resulting in his capture, a senior defense official said Saturday.

Sen. Kirk is an original cosponsor of Senate Resolution 469, which calls for a full investigation into the swap.

Related Topics:
politicspresident barack obamamark kirkafghanistan warBartlett
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