Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Lawless Bergdahl Swap

My article from today's FrontPage magazine:

The Lawless Bergdahl Swap

By Matthew Vadum

Virtually no one in the nation’s capital now doubts that President Obama violated the law when he approved an unconscionable prisoner swap that repatriates an American deserter while freeing five Islamofascist terrorist field commanders.

Just throw it on the growing pile of impeachable offenses committed almost daily now by President Obama.

In yet another new historical first that paints a bulls-eye on the backs of U.S. citizens and military service members around the globe, Americans learned this week not only that Obama negotiates with Islamofascist terrorists — but that he does so with all the skill an 18-year-old boy who just won the lottery employs when dealing with a Porsche salesman.

Perhaps Obama thought that the release of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl who was held for five years by the Taliban in Afghanistan would be a sure-fire good news story to distract from the Veterans Affairs hospital waiting list scandal. If so, he guessed wrong.

Bergdahl, it turns out, expressed dismay about the war and walked off his base overseas in search of terrorists to whom he could surrender. There are conflicting reports, but it appears Bergdahl became an active collaborator with America’s enemies and fed them valuable information that helped them strike U.S. military targets in Afghanistan with enhanced efficiency.

Bergdahl, whom one of his former military colleagues described on TV as at best a deserter, and at worst, a traitor, was traded for five high-value Guantanamo Bay inmates in a clandestine transaction that might be the modern-day equivalent of swapping the high command of Nazi Germany’s armed forces for a wartime saboteur like Ernest Peter Burger or Herbert Hans Haupt.

Thanks to Obama and the same people who brought you and a growing list of governmental monstrosities, bearded unlawful combatants are now at liberty in Qatar where supposedly somebody is keeping an eye on them. They will, no doubt, return to plotting against the United States and orchestrating plans to kill Americans.

In carrying out the deal President Obama bypassed most of the congressional leadership and violated a statute he recently signed into law. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), ever the Obama water carrier, took time out from his ambitious hate speech campaign against the Koch brothers to claim the administration let him know of the operation in advance. Apart from Reid, just about nobody else on Capitol Hill makes the same claim.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he was not notified of the unseemly transaction until it had already happened. Boehner said the administration gave congressional leadership a heads-up about a prospective prisoner swap over two years ago but did not revisit the issue with lawmakers.

“Unfortunately, the questions and concerns we had were never satisfactorily answered and they remain today,” Boehner said. “At the time, the administration deferred further engagement because the prospects of the exchange had diminished.”