BOISE-- There may be new hope for the release of captured Idaho solider Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. NBC's Chief Pentagon Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski confirmed with KTVB on Wednesday that Pentagon officials are discussing a possible prisoner swap with the Taliban.
According to his senior-level Pentagon sources, the swap would mean releasing five detainees from Guantanamo Bay for the return of Bergdahl.
"I can tell you something is definitely in the works," Miklaszewski said. "I talked to a senior Pentagon official today who said, look, I'm not going to talk to you about any of the details, and I won't be able to talk until I'm ready to make a formal, public announcement. So clearly there are negotiations underway to try to figure out how to make some kind of prisoner swap for Taliban who are currently in custody at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for the release of Bowe Bergdahl."
The international news service Reuters claims the U.S. is proposing this prisoner swap in hopes of coaxing the Taliban into peace talks. Miklaszewski says there is some criticism of the possible deal.
"Here's the problem. The Obama administration has reportedly offered to the Taliban to release five Taliban fighters, prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, but officials up on Capitol Hill say that the five that have been designated by the Obama administration are probably among the, if not the most dangerous Taliban being held there at Guantanamo Bay," Miklaszewski said. "So there's a lot of pushback from capitol hill trying to get the Obama administration to stop negotiations or keep them from releasing those five, but it's not clear that congress can do that legislatively or legally?"
Bergdahl has been held as a prisoner of war for a little over three years. Miklaszewski says the speculation amongst some in D.C. is the timing of a deal could be political in nature.
"The big question here is why now? Why such a push? Why such a rush after Bowe Bergdahl has been held in captivity for three years now, and unmistakably the speculation in this town is that the White House, the president and his campaign want to do this for political reasons in an attempt to bolster his chances for re-election in November," Miklaszewski said.
The Pentagon is taking this decision very seriously according to Miklaszewski. He says if a deal is struck, the Pentagon would likely stay quiet until a swap was complete.
"I would not be surprised that we don't hear anything officially until after the five Gitmo prisoners, those Taliban prisoners now being held in Cuba are on the ground and imprisoned in Qatar, and perhaps not even until after Bowe Bergdahl himself is released," Miklaszewski said.
Pentagon officials have said they would only make a prisoner swap if it were in full accordance with the laws of the United States, says Miklaszewski.
"There was a question raised because the U.S. policy forever has been we don't negotiate for the release of hostages, but in this case, they could declare the Taliban, in fact they are considered prisoners of war, and Bowe Bergdahl a prisoner of war. So that would be a prisoner swap as opposed to the release of a hostage," Miklaszewski said.
President Obama told Reuters he did not want to comment on the proposed prisoner swap. The Bergdahl family spokesperson said they also did not have a comment.