Lots of unanswered questions about the prisoner swap of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay military prison.
Will negotiating this swap cause more Americans to be taken prisoner?
Did Sgt. Bergdahl desert his unit five years ago? Was he responsible for the deaths of other soldiers who had to search for him in dangerous terrain?
“[Bergdahl] served with honor and distinction,” National Security Advisor Susan Rice told the media.
How dangerous are the five released prisoners? Can we be confident they won’t return to the battlefield?
Only one question has been clearly answered: the Administration broke the law.
By law, the president must notify Congress 30 days before the release of anyone held at Gitmo. Obama didn’t do so.
“Oh I think he clearly broke the law,” said CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin. “The law says 30 days notice. He didn’t give 30 days notice.”
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley concurred, telling CNN, “I don’t think there’s much debate that they’re in violation of the law.”
Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM), a former Ambassador to the United Nations, admitted as much, but called the law “impractical,” asking, “What is [Obama] supposed to do, give them 30 days?”
The law, after all, was passed by a Republican House and Democratic Senate, and signed by Obama himself.
The president added a signing statement, at the time, expressing his view that Congress didn’t have the power to so limit him. Obama, like his predecessor, ignores the law, pretending that a president’s signing statement is an all-powerful pocket veto.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.