Many Americans are lauding the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, held prisoner for the past five years by the Haqqani network, an insurgent group affiliated with the Taliban, probably somewhere in Pakistan.
His freedom came about via a prisoner exchange, with the United States trading five Taliban detainees being held in Guantanamo Bay.
The Guantanamo Bay detainees released are:
- Khairullah Khairkhwa, an early member of the Taliban whose most prominent post was as governor of the Herat province from 1999 to 2001.
- Noorullah Noori, who served as governor of the Balkh province and played a role in coordinating fighting against the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance.
- Fazl Muhammad, the commander of the main force that fought against the Northern Alliance in 2001 and served as chief of army staff under the Taliban. He was also accused of war crimes during the Afghan civil war in the 1990s.
- Abdul Haq Wasiq, deputy chief of the Taliban’s intelligence service.
- Muhammad Nabi Omari, a minor Taliban official from the Khost province.
The exact details surrounding Bergdahl’s capture are sketchy, with many sources reporting that Sgt. Bergdahl was not captured by insurgents, but that he deserted his post, and willingly joined the terrorist organization that just released him. But let’s for a moment set aside Sgt. Bergdahls’s disquieting story, and pay attention to the larger story surrounding his “release.”
The Washington Post brings up some rather significant and troubling aspects of the story.
Amid jubilation Saturday over the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from captivity by the Taliban, senior Republicans on Capitol Hill said they were troubled by the means by which it was accomplished, which was a deal to release five Afghan detainees from the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Top Republicans on the Senate and House armed services committees went so far as to accuse President Obama of having broken the law, which requires the administration to notify Congress before any transfers from Guantanamo are carried out.
“Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans. Our terrorist adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans. That incentive will put our forces in Afghanistan and around the world at even greater risk,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. McKeon (R-Calif.) and the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, James M. Inhofe (Okla.), said in a joint statement.
Lawmakers were not notified of the Guantanamo detainees’ transfer until after it occurred.
The law requires the defense secretary to notify relevant congressional committees at least 30 days before making any transfers of prisoners, to explain the reason and to provide assurances that those released would not be in a position to reengage in activities that could threaten the United States or its interests.
Before the current law was enacted at the end of last year, the conditions were even more stringent. However, the administration and some Democrats had pressed for them to be loosened, in part to give them more flexibility to negotiate for Bergdahl’s release.
A senior administration official, agreeing to speak on the condition of anonymity to explain the timing of the congressional notification, acknowledged that the law was not followed. When he signed the law last year, Obama issued a signing statement contending that the notification requirement was an unconstitutional infringement on his powers as commander in chief and that he therefore could override it.
President Obama, on the occasion of signing H.R. 4310, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013”, announced that he would refuse to abide by provisions of the law that he interpreted as being unconstitutional, because in his opinion, the duly enacted law placed unnecessary restrictions on his authority as head of the Executive Branch, and Commander in Chief of the nation’s military.
Section 1028 fundamentally maintains the unwarranted restrictions on the executive branch’s authority to transfer detainees to a foreign country. This provision hinders the Executive’s ability to carry out its military, national security, and foreign relations activities and would, under certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles. The executive branch must have the flexibility to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers. The Congress designed these sections, and has here renewed them once more, in order to foreclose my ability to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. I continue to believe that operating the facility weakens our national security by wasting resources, damaging our relationships with key allies, and strengthening our enemies. My Administration will interpret these provisions as consistent with existing and future determinations by the agencies of the Executive responsible for detainee transfers. And, in the event that these statutory restrictions operate in a manner that violates constitutional separation of powers principles, my Administration will implement them in a manner that avoids the constitutional conflict.
As my Administration previously informed the Congress, certain provisions in this bill, including sections 1225, 913, 1531, and 3122, could interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct the foreign relations of the United States. In these instances, my Administration will interpret and implement these provisions in a manner that does not interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct diplomacy. Section 1035, which adds a new section 495(c) to title 10, is deeply problematic, as it would impede the fulfillment of future U.S. obligations agreed to in the New START Treaty, which the Senate provided its advice and consent to in 2010, and hinder the Executive’s ability to determine an appropriate nuclear force structure. I am therefore pleased that the Congress has included a provision to adequately amend this provision in H.R. 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which I will be signing into law today.
Certain provisions in the Act threaten to interfere with my constitutional duty to supervise the executive branch. Specifically, sections 827, 828, and 3164 could be interpreted in a manner that would interfere with my authority to manage and direct executive branch officials. As my Administration previously informed the Congress, I will interpret those sections consistent with my authority to direct the heads of executive departments to supervise, control, and correct employees’ communications with the Congress in cases where such communications would be unlawful or would reveal information that is properly privileged or otherwise confidential. Additionally, section 1034 would require a subordinate to submit materials directly to the Congress without change, and thereby obstructs the traditional chain of command. I will implement this provision in a manner consistent with my authority as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and the head of the executive branch.
A number of provisions in the bill — including sections 534(b)(6), 674, 675, 735, 737, 1033(b), 1068, and 1803 — could intrude upon my constitutional authority to recommend such measures to the Congress as I “judge necessary and expedient.” My Administration will interpret and implement these provisions in a manner that does not interfere with my constitutional authority.
Here are my concerns…. and I have several.
Are we now, under the Obama administration, redefining “diplomacy” to include conducting secret negotiations by the Executive Branch with terrorist organizations?
Who exactly did the Obama administration negotiate with? It is blatantly obvious that under Obama’s direct order, members of our military met (directly or indirectly) and negotiated terms with known terrorists, under the guise of power of the Executive.
When did any President, or in fact, any member of any branch of any of level of government in the United States, gain the power to declare a duly enacted law as “unconstitutional” by decree, invalidating the Legislative Branch’s constitutional powers by an unstained opinion and the stroke of a pen? Obama talks about the law’s “violation” of the principle of separation of powers, even as he assumes unto himself the power of the Judicial Branch to decide on the constitutionality of duly enacted laws.
His are the actions of a Supreme Leader, who sees himself as standing above any and all other sources of power and authority in the government of the nation… a Führer.
Back in 2008, Ali Sina, an ex-Muslim, warned us who and what Obama was… and we failed to listen.
Something of that nature could never happen in the U.S.
Most people, caught up in the historical significance of the term Führer, never got past the title and into the substance of the article.
Go ahead and read it, and compare it to everything that’s gone on in this country since 2008.
We have a Führer in our White House.
Call it by any other name if that one makes you uncomfortable, but the end result are the same.
We have that type of a leader in charge of our military, and he recognizes no law other than his own.
When you fall for someone to the extent that Obama’s followers have fallen for him, you surrender your reason and individuality to him willingly. When millions of people surrender their hearts and their minds to one person the result can be catastrophic. This is what happened in Germany with Hitler, in China with Mao, in the Soviet Union with Stalin, in Cuba with Castro, in Iran with Khomeini, and so on and so forth. Today, we think these men were monsters, but that was not what millions of their worshipers thought. Those people loved them. Dictators can’t dictate, unless peole are willing to be dictated.
And that’s the last wire for Sunday, June 1st, 2014.
What was news before this moment, is now history.