New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler weighed in on the controversial prisoner exchange that led to the return of accused Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl with a statement many Americans would likely deem indefensible.
Addressing his fellow congressmen earlier this week, he opined that Taliban terrorists – with whom the Obama administration negotiated the deal that freed five of its most dangerous fighters – are in some ways similar to those who fought for a fledgling America during the Revolutionary War.
According to reports, House members responded with widespread groans of disapproval.
In the interim, Nadler has apparently thought better of his bizarre comparison and has sought to distance himself somewhat from his own words.
“I was told they were unprivileged combatants,” he said of the released Guantanamo Bay prisoners; “and I was trying to figure out the extent of that legal distinction.”
He went on to conclude that “they wore no uniform,” which made him wonder “if that gave them the legal status of legal militias in the American Revolution – who also did not wear uniforms.”
Though he defended Obama’s decision to make the deal with the Taliban, he insisted in his subsequent clarification that he was not trying to justify the actions of terrorists.
“In no way was I comparing their values, their efforts, and their cause to that of our founding fathers; and to suggest otherwise is absurd,” he said. “Obviously, I strongly oppose everything this Taliban stands for – from their horrendous support for terrorists and their suppression of human rights to their treatment of women and murderous hatred of America.”
Despite his attempt to walk back his original comment, some social media users responded to his analogy with decisive condemnation.