The Note’s Must-Reads for Monday, June 09, 2014

By Jayce Henderson

Jun 9, 2014 3:20am

The Note’s Must-Reads are a round-up of today’s political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News’ Jayce Henderson and Cristian Roscher

BERGDAHL
The New York Daily News’ Adam Edelman: “Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl claims he was tortured, locked in a cage for weeks by Taliban captors: report” Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has told the medical officers treating him that he was tortured, beaten and kept in a cage for large periods of his captivity in Afghanistan, officials said Sunday. Bergdahl, who was released last Saturday to U.S. forces in exchange for the freeing of five high-profile Taliban commanders who had been detained at Guantanamo Bay, reportedly told military doctors in Germany, where he is hospitalized, that his captors brutally punished after he tried to escape. LINK

Wall Street Journal’s Andrew Ackerman: “Intelligence Panel Senators Critical of Bergdahl Deal” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) criticized the White House for failing to brief lawmakers before the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, while also acknowledging that President Barack Obama was “justifiably proud” of the deal to swap the American soldier for five top Taliban detainees. “This whole sort of deal has been one that the administration has kept very close, and in the eyes of many of us, too close,” Ms. Feinstein said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” LINK

The Washington Times’ Rowan Scarborough: “Bergdahl’s parents got rare access to insiders” The Obama administration gave the parents of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl extraordinary insider access to the military’s hunt for their son by having them take part in a series of secure video conferences with senior commanders as well as White House and State Department officials. A former government official involved in American hostage issues said he had never heard of giving a family such access and questioned whether sensitive information could have been conveyed to Robert and Jani Bergdahl and somehow leaked out. A family spokesman said he knows of no such breach. LINK

USA Today’s Adam Edelman: “Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl claims he was tortured, locked in a cage for weeks by Taliban captors: report.” Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has told the medical officers treating him that he was tortured, beaten and kept in a cage for large periods of his captivity in Afghanistan, officials said Sunday. Bergdahl, who was released last Saturday to U.S. forces in exchange for the freeing of five high-profile Taliban commanders who had been detained at Guantanamo Bay, reportedly told military doctors in Germany, where he is hospitalized, that his captors brutally punished after he tried to escape. LINK

AFGHANISTAN / P.O.W. SWAP
The New York Times’ David Sanger & Matthew Rosenberg: “Critics of P.O.W. Swap Question the Absence of a Wider Agreement” When the heads of the two major intelligence committees criticized the Obama administration on Sunday for swapping Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five members of the Taliban, they homed in on one part of the deal that the White House has struggled for a week, unsuccessfully, to explain. The question is why the five were released without any commitments to a larger agreement, under which the Taliban would renounce international terrorism, and begin a process of reconciliation with the government of Afghanistan. LINK

The Hill’s Ferdous Al-Faruque: “GOP warns of detainees returning to Afghanistan” Republicans took to the airwaves on Sunday to warn that five Taliban fighters swapped for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are likely to rejoin the war in Afghanistan against the U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he was “absolutely certain” at least three of the released Guantanamo detainees would get back to the war once their one-year travel restriction in Qatar was lifted. Talking on “This Week,” Rogers also said the Obama administration had not vetted all the available options to get Bergdahl home before making the prisoner swap. LINK

HILLARY CLINTON
ABC News’ Chris Good: “Hillary Clinton Reveals 2016 Timetable, Won’t Say Whether She’ll Testify On Benghazi” Hillary Clinton wants more time through the end of the year to think about whether she’ll run for president in 2016, the former secretary of state told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview in advance of Tuesday’s release of her new memoir, “Hard Choices.” “I will be on the way to making a decision by the end of the year, yes,” she told Sawyer. But first, Clinton said, she’ll go on a book-signing tour beginning this week and she plans to campaign for Democratic candidates running in 2014. LINK

USA Today’s Adam Edelman: “Hillary Clinton could wait until 2015 to make decision on presidential run” Hillary Clinton hinted that her decision on whether to run for President could stretch into 2015, saying only that she’ll make the call “when it feels right.” “I will be on the way to making a decision by the end of the year,” the former secretary of state told ABC news in a clip from a taped interview that aired Sunday, adding that it’s “probably likely” she’ll wait until 2015 to make up her mind. LINK

Bloomberg’s Jonathan Allen & Annie Linskey: “Clintons Hit $200 Million for Endowment Before 2016 Race” Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton raised $200 million in 10 months for their foundation’s endowment, positioning the nonprofit to survive even if its cash-collecting namesakes engage in a 2016 presidential run. With four-fifths of their $250-million target in the bank, they are also changing fundraising strategies to include small donors — a tactic that would create a list that could be politically useful, as well. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Paul Richter: “In new book, Clinton predicted furor over Taliban prisoner deal” Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton acknowledged in her new book that negotiations with the Taliban were bound to be hotly controversial with Americans, but wrote that bringing home captive Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had to be a top priority.Clinton writes in “Hard Choices” that “opening the door to negotiations with the Taliban would be hard to swallow for many Americans after so many years of war,” according to an account of excerpts published Thursday by CBS News. LINK

EDUCATION DEBT
Politico’s Nirvi Shah: “President Obama to order help for student loan debtors” The president will issue an executive order Monday in the name of easing student borrowers’ debt loads by capping repayments at 10 percent of their monthly income, the White House confirmed to POLITICO. President Barack Obama said in his weekly address Saturday that he would take action on student loan issues in the coming days, but gave no details. The executive order, first reported by the New York Times, will expand on a 2010 law that capped borrowers’ repayment but left a hole in eligibility for people with older loans. Those left out of that relief include people who borrowed before October 2007 or stopped borrowing by October 2011. LINK

TOM STEYER
The Washington Post’s Carol D. Leonnig, Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman: “Tom Steyer’s slow, and ongoing, conversion from fossil-fuels investor to climate activist” At the base of the mountain, Tom Steyer was a billionaire hedge-fund manager with oil and gas investments and a seemingly conflicted conscience. But by the time he and environmentalist Bill McKibben finished a hike up two tall Adirondacks peaks on that summer day in 2012, Steyer had revealed that he was ready to change his life — he would unload his investments in fossil fuels and become an activist in the fight against global warming. LINK

TED CRUZ
The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty: “Ted Cruz returns to the Texas Republican convention a conquering hero” FORT WORTH — The last time Sen. Ted Cruz showed up at a Texas Republican Party convention, it was as the scrappy insurgent who had come from nowhere to force the establishment’s anointed one into a run-off for a U.S. Senate seat. More than 8,000 Republicans gathered here again Thursday for their three-day biennial meeting. LINK

BOOKMARK
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