Grassroots Commentary


Bill Franklin · Jun. 16, 2014

After a constant stream of news following Obama’s “trade for terrorists” scheme made public May 31, we continue to see the most lawless President in the history of the Republic do what he said he would do before he was elected – transform America. We didn’t know trashing the Constitution was the transformation he had in mind.

George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley, a self-acknowledged liberal and faithful supporter of Obama, was to the point in his criticism:

Barack Obama is really the president Richard Nixon always wanted to be. He’s been allowed to act unilaterally in a way that we fought [against] so many decades.

Unilateral indeed. Obama intentionally chose not to notify members of Congress of the “Bergdahl for Bad Guys” prisoner swap as required by the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. Both Republicans and Democrats are rightly torqued with yet another contemptuous demonstration that Obama believes Congress is irrelevant in the governing process.

Again, Jonathan Turley:

What’s emerging is an imperial presidency, an über presidency, as I’ve called it, where the president can act unilaterally. He [Obama] told Congress he would go it alone. In our system, you’re not allowed to go it alone.

But Obama has gone it alone anyway. And not for the first time. In this case, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has accused the administration of breaking the law by failing to provide lawmakers with advance notice. Former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) was also less than thrilled with how the White House has handled the situation: “I don’t like it when the White House says the Intelligence Committees were briefed. Because we weren’t.”

When Richard Nixon went rogue 40 years ago, there were placard-carrying demonstrations in the streets and the leading members of his own party in Congress told the Prince of Darkness that he had to go. So, where’s the public outrage now? Why aren’t Democrat congressional leaders banging on the White House front door to tell the Maximum Leader that, like it or not, they aren’t hood ornaments?

We are beginning to learn that between 80 and 90 people in the Obama administration knew that the Bergdahl “trade for terrorists” was going down before it was made public on May 31. Furthermore, for three days prior to May 31 the Gulf Times newspaper published in Doha, Qatar was reporting it. Even the inmates in Gitmo knew it. They had figured it out from the extraordinary activities going on in the prison with the “Five Awfuls.” Yet Congress was out of the loop. It wasn’t briefed – as required by law – because Obama was “concerned” a congressional leak might have gotten Bergdahl killed – or so his talking heads later said.

Mike Pompeo (R-KS) said, “It’s phenomenal. They couldn’t brief a single member of Congress because they didn’t trust us, yet the Qataris knew about it.” And a lot of other folks too, Mike.

The law requires the President or his representative to “notify the appropriate committees of Congress … not later than 30 days before the transfer or release” of detainees from the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility. This wasn’t done because Obama knew the answer would be “no!” as it was every other time he has tried to engineer a release of Gitmo prisoners since 2010. The solution? Act unilaterally and hope that forgiveness will be easier to get than permission.

Of course, in the aftermath the Obots have given reasons for ignoring the law. There are always reasons why Obama does what he wants to do. Reasons for the unauthorized Libyan attack, reasons for the Benghazi slow-walk, reasons for the “Fast and Furious” illegal gun-running, reasons for IRS targeting, reasons for spying on citizens and reporters, reasons, reasons, and more reasons. And as critics exorcize the devils from the details of the reasons, the reasons change more often than Michael Jackson’s face.

Initially, Obama and his Obots said the health of Berghahl was failing so fast that they had to act without authorization. There wasn’t time to deal with Congress. Yet in testimony last week, the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, was asked whether Bergdahl’s rapidly failing health meant that the exchange had to be expedited. “The intel wouldn’t support that,” he replied. Moreover, videos of the release showed an undernourished Bergdahl, but otherwise able to walk on his own to the helicopter that came for him. Oops.

Next lie, please. The situation negotiated with the Qataris was developing so fast that Obama didn’t have time to inform Congress. The Obot who tried to pawn that cheap Persian rug on the Sunday shows was told by the show host that we’d been in negotiations with the Taliban and Qataris since 2010. Oops again.

Then came the “We were afraid of leaks” lie which lasted until a delayed briefing of leaders in Congress revealed they were the only people in the universe who didn’t know that the “Taliban Dream Team” had been unilaterally released – er, uh – traded for a traitor. Hmm. Oops again.

Eventually Obama and his Obot team gave up on the lies and simply admitted that releasing the Gitmo prisoners and closing the prison was an Obama priority regardless of what Congress thought of the idea. He said as much in his 2014 State of the Union speech:

… this needs to be the year Congress lifts the remaining restrictions on detainee transfers and we close the prison at Guantanamo Bay because we counter terrorism not just through intelligence and military action but by remaining true to our constitutional ideals and setting an example for the rest of the world.

True to our “constitutional ideals” and “setting an example for the rest of the world,” Obama released five of the meanest human beings (if you can call them human) alive to wreak murder and mayhem on the western world. Two of them are wanted by the UN for killing thousands of Shite Muslims and one is a drug lord that the Mexican and Colombian narcos aspire to be when they grow up.

Paul Rester, the former lead interrogator at Joint Task Force Guantánamo, said, “These are men who ran entire regions for the Taliban, they had thousands of fighters under their command. They survived the Soviets, they survived the civil war, they survived us, they survived Sam Scott’s Gitmo chicken.” Now they have survived America’s commitment to fight them on their turf instead of ours.

Even loyal Obots had recommended that out of the 149 current Gitmo prisoners, 48 should be held indefinitely. “The best military analysts on the planet looked at these [48] guys and they recommended against transfer,” one of them admitted. The 48 include the five Obama released.

Obama likes to beat his breast and boast that he – the warrior president – has broken the back of al Qaeda. Well, he’s hardly done that as the Benghazi raid demonstrated, but he did have five members of the al Qaeda Board of Directors locked up in Cuba (thanks to George Bush.) The reason the rules of war lock up enemy prisoners is twofold: (i) there is no practical way to prevent them otherwise from returning to fight again and (ii) if prisoners are high value types, as these five were, the enemy is less capable to continue the fight and thus has an incentive to end the bloodshed and bring the hostilities to a halt. The Taliban leaders knew this and that is why they negotiated so hard to get these five back. Now Obama has returned the five best commanders in the terrorists war against the west.

Our intelligence experts tell us that at least a third of the bad guys we’ve released so far have returned to fight us again. A classified assessment of the likelihood these guys would fight again has become public. The consensus of our spy spooks during the prisoner-swap negotiation concluded that two of the five would return to active leadership roles in the Taliban, while only one of the five was likely to retire from fighting to reestablish the Taliban and Sharia rule in Afghanistan. In a hearing on June 4, our chief spook, James Clapper, was asked what’s the chance these Nasty Boys will return to the fighting? On a scale of 1 to 10 Clapper gave one an 8 and the other four a 9.

Obama was quick to point out that we can monitor them. With what? Ankle bracelets? Moreover, the Naïve One assures us that they were released to the control of the Qataris. Wow! I feel better already. The Qataris are about as close an ally of the US as Vladimir Putin.

What should amaze any thoughtful person is Obama’s utter cluelessness in this entire affair. He justified the release by saying it is customary to return prisoners at the conclusion of hostilities. What? Is the war against terror over? Why wasn’t I told?

The war against terror isn’t over. Obama decided that America should stop fighting it. He announced that fact last week in the West Point speech he gave to our future military leaders. However, the Taliban and al Qaeda have not surrendered, settled, or signed a peace treaty. They will go on killing our troops. And given their hatred for the west, they will kill civilians – as they did on 9/11 – in the US.

In the meantime, Obama held a Rose Garden photo op to announce that he had just released hell on the western world. He considered it an achievement worth taking credit for.

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