Bergdahl Swap: Obama Administration Allegedly Broke Laws

Bergdahl Swap: Obama Administration Allegedly Broke Laws

Bergdahl Swap: Obama Administration Allegedly Broke Laws

Well, label me shocked. Apparently the Bergdahl swap wasn’t completely above board, and this from the most transparent administration yet. Yes, I am sarcastic in the morning.

Back in 2014, the President wasn’t particularly thrilled over accusations surrounding the Bergdahl swap, and he spoke out against those who said it might have been a bit, well, unlawful. From back in 2014:

The White House on Friday rejected findings by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) that President Obama broke the law when he swapped Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders from Guantánamo Bay.

“We strongly disagree with GAO’s conclusion, and we reject the implication that the administration acted unlawfully,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said. “The president has the constitutional responsibility to protect the lives of Americans abroad, and specifically to protect U.S. service members.”

Now here we are in 2015, and after a yearlong investigation by the House Armed Services Committee, the previous findings from the Government Accountability Office are coming to the surface yet again. From The Hill:

The report said the administration broke a law requiring it to give members of Congress 30 days’ advance notice of any detainee transfers from the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, where the senior Taliban leaders were held.

It also found that it misled reporters and lawmakers about a potential prisoner exchange. Congress was instead notified just hours before the May 2014 transfer took place.

They continue:

While Democrats on the committee agreed that the administration broke the law, they strongly objected in a dissenting report to the broader conclusions that the administration kept the swap secret for a political motive.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), chairwoman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, said the “most disturbing” finding of the report “are the calculated decisions and plans to mislead Congress and the American people as to the details and necessity of this transfer.”

“After rigorous investigation, there are still some unknowns. We still do not know if we negotiated for less than five detainees. We do not know how five was determined to be the ‘right’ number in this exchange,” she said. “However, we now know to what extent this Administration is willing to go to achieve political goals.”

While Josh Earnest continues to tell us that there was a “unique opportunity,” the legality of the transfer is questionable for various reasons, one being that Bergdahl willingly left his post.

The legality of the transfer falls on whether Bergdahl can be formally considered a “prisoner of war”, a distinction that would grant President Obama constitutional authority to secure his release. In the report, Republicans argued that it was an improper interpretation of that authority, and that the president was legally bound to notify Congress 30 days in advance of any Guantánamo transfer, per a 2014 defense spending act provision.

On a more comical note, while the legality questions hit the news again yesterday, they weren’t the only Bowe Bergdahl stories to make us all shake our heads. Bergdahl is making a splash with the comments he made on an incredibly popular podcast known as “Serial.”

“Doing what I did is me saying that I am like, I don’t know, Jason Bourne…. I had this fantastic idea that I was going to prove to the world that I was the real thing,” Bergdahl said. “You know, that I could be what it is that all those guys out there that go to the movies and watch those movies, they all want to be that, but I wanted to prove that I was that.”

No.

So, tell us what you think. This man is regarded by many, some in his own platoon, as a deserter. While the military is still investigating whether a court-martial is in order, the Obama administration – despite bipartisan agreement – is still defending their actions. I highly doubt that anyone will be held accountable, what do you think?

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