President Barack Obama is in hot water with members of his own party after Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) complained that the president did not inform her of the planned prisoner exchange. Feinstein was “surprised” and “dismay” that the transfers went ahead without her consultation “totally not following the law” in notifying the senatorial committee that is tasked with oversight of the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. Did the president violate the law in trading 5 Taliban commanders for POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl?
Fox News Contributor Charles Krauthammer claims that the president does have the authority to act unilaterally to perform a prisoner exchange. He argues that the congressional notification clause was meant to prevent the president from clearing out the entire base, not to stop him from a simple transfer. But Senator Marco Rubio of Florida disagrees, claiming that the president is acting like a monarch or an emperor in not fulfilling his obligations to notify congress that he was releasing prisoners from Gitmo.
Sgt. Bergdahl’s former squad members have been taking turns pillorying him in the media, claiming that he deserted them and that their fellow soldiers died searching for him. The New York Times is reporting that Bergdahl left a note which stated his intentions in leaving his post. Some news outlets are also reporting that Bergdahl renounced his American citizenship.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel gave a speech to soldiers at Bagram Air Force base trying to extol the prisoner swap, but members of the military sat grim faced and silent over the news, seemingly unhappy with the deal that saw an alleged deserter traded for high level Taliban prisoners whose release could jeopardize American national security. President Obama is now backing away from claims that Sgt. Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction” as previously claimed.
Meanwhile, the Taliban has released a video of the hostage swap showing the dramatic helicopter evacuation of Sgt. Bergdahl. The Afghanistan based terror group is calling the entire operation a great success and declaring it a great victory against the United States.
Just what is going on in Washington D.C.? Find out on this exciting episode of the Freedom Report podcast!