Ed Henry to WH's Earnest: Why Free Bergdahl But Not Marine In Mexican Prison?


ED HENRY: A couple quick questions on Bergdahl: On Friday, the head of the VFW sent a letter to President Obama saying now that we've secured the release of Sgt. Berdahl, when are you going to secure the release of the Marine sergeant who's in a Mexican prison? Specifically, the head of the VFW asked, what is the president personally doing to get this Marine out of the Mexican prison?

JOSH EARNEST:Well let me draw a distinction between the Marine you are citing in the Mexican prison and Sgt. Bergdahl. Sgt. Bergdahl was being held by the Taliban, who is engaged in an armed conflict with the United States and coalition forces. And so what was conducted to free Sgt. Bergdahl was a prisoner exchange, and this is something that has been part of winding down conflicts for centuries. And as the president mentioned in his news conference in Europe, this is something that previous presidents going all the way back to Washington have had to grapple with. That exchanging prisoners at the end of an armed conflict is a necessary part of ending wars. And that's something that this president is committed to. So separately, I don't have a lot of information to provide you in terms of the current efforts under way.

HENRY: But is the president pressing to get him back or not?

EARNEST: Certainly the president is concerned about all detainees, Americans, held against their will in other countries. And this is something that the president is certainly concerned about, but in terms of what specific efforts are under way, I'd refer you to the Department of Defense.

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