U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has called for a hearing into the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five high-ranking Taliban leaders.

"In effect, we released the 'Taliban Dream Team.' " Graham, R-S.C., said Monday.

In a letter to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., and its ranking member, Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Graham requested an immediate investigation.

"While I appreciate an American was released from captivity, this decision by the Obama administration has serious implications for our future national security," his letter says.

He added "the five terrorists released were the hardest of the hard-core," naming the chief of staff of the Taliban army and the Taliban deputy minister of intelligence.

"They have American blood on their hands and surely as night follows day they will return to the fight," said Graham, who added the U.S. "is less safe because of these actions."

The White House defended the release and exchange for the lone American prisoner of war in Afghanistan by saying the law that Congress should be given 30 days to review such a deal was "not an option."

"Unique and exigent circumstances" required a quick resolution, press secretary Jay Carney said.

South Carolina's other senator, Republican Tim Scott, also said Monday he had concerns about the release of the Taliban leaders.

"Frankly, allowing these terrorists back into the theater of war puts more Americans at risk and puts a price on our troops around the world," Scott said.

"Beyond that, I'm concerned the White House did not notify Congress as the law requires, something this administration seems to continue to forget."

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.