'Everyone thought this would be a January 1981 moment'

Taliban prisoner swap was ILLEGAL claims GOP as former federal prosecutor says it could lead to Obama’s impeachment

  • The president ignored a law – which he signed last year – requiring him to notify Congress 30 days before releasing anyone from Guantanamo Bay
  • The Obama administration never told Capitol Hill until after Bergdahl was in American custody and the US Taliban prisoners were preparing to leave
  • A former federal prosecutor told MailOnline that while the 30-day-notice law is probably unconstitutional, putting enemy combatants back in a position to harm Americans is an impeachable offense
  • A White House insider tells MailOnline that the West Wing didn’t anticipate how controversial Bergdahl’s recovery would be, comparing it to the 1981 release of 52 US hostages in Iran
  • Reports have swirled since his release on Saturday that Bergdahl was an Army deserter who aimed to join with the Taliban in Afghanistan
  • Official Pentagon report concluded he ‘walked away’ and so there was little effort to find him, sources told AP

 

 

David Martosko
The Daily Mail [UK]
2 June 2014

Barack Obama broke a federal law that he signed just six months ago when he authorized the release of five high-ranking Taliban terror targets from the Guantanamo Bay detention center in exchange for the return of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, senior congressional Republicans claimed today.

And the president may also have written a new chapter in the case for his own impeachment, according to a former federal prosecutor who helped bring the 1993 World Trade Center bombers to justice.

‘The return of senior terrorists to the Taliban [is] … a “high crime and misdemeanor”,’ author Andrew C. McCarthy told MailOnline.

His book ‘Faithless Execution: Building the case for Obama’s impeachment,’ is set to be published Tuesday…

…The administration may have believed it would win a PR victory that would eclipse any legalistic hand-wringing on Capitol Hill.

A White House official told MailOnline on Monday morning that Obama’s deputies were caught flatfooted by the intensity of public outrage in some quarters after Bergdahl’s rescue by Special Forces.

‘Everyone thought this would be a January 1981 moment,’ the insider said, referring to the negotiated release of 52 U.S. hostages in Iran after 444 days in captivity.

The United States won their freedom by releasing about $8 billion in Iranian assets that were frozen during the hostage standoff, and immunizing the Iranian government from any lawsuits that might be filed after the crisis was over.

‘Reagan negotiated with terrorists in the weeks before he took office,’ the official said. ‘I don’t remember anyone objecting at the time. They just wanted our people home.’…

 

 

The complete article, with video, is at The Daily Mail.

 

 

Dereliction of duty? Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (C) made press statements aboard a military aircraft but failed to notify Congress that five Guantanamo Bay detainees would be walking free

Dereliction of duty? Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (C) made press statements aboard a military aircraft but failed to notify Congress that five Guantanamo Bay detainees would be walking free

 

 

 

Update:  Law Professor Jonathan Turley: ‘I Don’t Think There’s Much Debate’ That Obama Broke Law With Prisoner Swap

…Turley spoke with CNN anchor Carol Costello on Monday about the weekend prisoner swap, which saw Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl released from Taliban custody in exchange for five top-ranking Taliban officials held at Gitmo. Republicans in Congress have already accused the White House of ignoring a law requiring a 30-day notification before any prisoners are transferred from the high-security Caribbean prison, and have promised to hold hearings on the issue.

“Did the White House violate federal law?” Costello asked Turley.

“They did,” the professor replied matter-of-factly. “I don’t think that the White House is seriously arguing that they’re not violating federal law. And to make matters worse, this is a long series of violations of federal law that the president’s been accused of. … This is going to add to that pile. I don’t think there’s much debate that they’re in violation of the law.”…

 

 

CAJ note:  Oh, someone in the administration gets an F in history. It was President Carter’s administration that had been negotiating with the Iranians for fourteen months. Reagan didn’t have to involve himself, though he had made it clear during his campaign what he would do to Iran if he became President. The hostages were released within an hour of his Inauguration as President.



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