I wrote a piece here detailing President Obama’s clear violation of the law in the Bowe Bergdahl-Taliban 5 swap. I was clear and specific in addressing the concern of a president unilaterally negotiating with a non-state, non-uniform belligerent terrorist organization, the Taliban.
Obama violated the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which he had signed. As well, when in U.S. military history have we returned senior leadership of the enemy, back to the enemy, while the enemy is still fighting our forces? And these five individuals are not prisoners of war (POWs), they are unlawful enemy combatants who are not even recognized with rights, other than food and shelter, by the Geneva Convention. This was a clear violation of U.S. Code to provide material support to the enemy as well as aiding and abetting the enemy.
Seems my former boss at the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), retiring Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-Ca) agrees. According the National Journal, “House Republicans are set to open another front next week in their efforts to publicly repudiate President Obama—this time for his decision in May to exchange five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Only this time it won’t be a purely partisan assault.”
“Some Democrats have signed on with Republicans to condemn Obama for approving the Bergdahl swap. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon says his panel will mark up a bipartisan resolution on Tuesday that accuses Obama of disregarding “America’s long-standing policy against negotiating with terrorists.”
Now to those who will point out the negotiations were with Qatar, well, the Qataris are the biggest financier of Sunni Islamic terrorist organizations including the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, al-Qaida and ISIS. And don’t forget the Hamas leader resides in Doha where the Taliban has a “consulate” or that the Obama administration just sealed the deal on the second installment of an $11 billion arms deal to Qatar — wonder where that support will go? Whose side are we on?
The National Journal says “the resolution will further declare that the transfer was in violation of a section of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014, which requires the Secretary of Defense to notify Congress at least 30 days before the transfer of a Guantanamo detainee.”
“When the president takes his oath of office, he is duty bound to follow the laws set by the American people,” McKeon said in a statement. “Here, his office broke a law that was originally adopted by his own party in the Senate, passed by a large bipartisan majority in Congress and signed by the president himself.”
McKeon added: “Just as the president must do his duty, so must Congress. Congressman Scott Rigell’s (R-Va) legislation sends the clear message that following the law isn’t optional.”
And I applaud Chairman McKeon and probably the most bipartisan committee on Capitol Hill, HASC, for sending a clear message on behalf of the American people. President Obama’s dismissal of the law in this case has national security implications for our country. Not to mention that these five senior Taliban members are clear to return to Afghanistan while our men and women in uniform — who are getting pink slips — will still be there.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul was even saying in June that the issue would have a long shelf life politically, according to the National Journal. “Not only is it [the resolution] a winner because it was horrible foreign policy,” McCaul said.
“There are also a lot of elements for lawmakers to cover in the Bergdahl controversy, he said. McCaul said those include the risks of negotiating with terrorists, why Congress wasn’t kept in the loop, and whether this swap signals plans by the Obama administration to release all prisoners and close the Guantanamo prison over congressional objections.”
Of course you just have to wonder — over in the Senate, would Majority Leader Harry Reid support a resolution such as this being brought up in committee and onto the Senate floor for a vote? Course not.
This unilateral action by Barack Hussein Obama was wrong, far outside his bounds and a violation of our rule of law. I won’t weigh in on all the other “impeachment” issues — but do I know this action by the president isn’t debatable. And it sets a very dangerous precedent.
This is regular order and how the Founding Fathers intended our system of checks and balances to work.