By Joseph Schmitz:
The twin elephants in the living room of the ongoing debate over Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are President Obama’s release of five Taliban “commanders” while the Taliban is still waging war against us, and the President lying to the American People.
Sgt. Bergdahl’s status, whatever it is adjudged to be, is only tangential to the main event: a commander -in-chief who repeatedly aids and abets our enemies, disregards our laws, and lies to the American people.
As a former inspector general, I am well aware of the meaning of the word “lie,” which I use throughout this article with prudence, care, and clinical dispassion rather than as a polemic or demagogic instrument.
For example, one can repeat a falsehood without knowing that it is false without lying. But when one knows something is false and still repeats it, that is a lie. Our president and his national security advisor have unambiguously lied to us, once again.
Our Constitution is doomed unless “we the people” hold our commander in chief accountable for negotiating the release of Sgt. Bergdahl with terrorists in violation of the explicit statutory requirement of 30-days advance notice to Congress in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, §1028(d), and then misleading both Congress and the American people.
For the past 12 years, the Taliban has been an acknowledged enemy of the United States. Last week, according to ABC News, “White House National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden noted that the Taliban was added to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists(SDGT) by executive order in July 2002, even if it is not listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the State Department.”
On news of President Obama’s Taliban prisoner swap, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and according to NPR “a strong supporter of the Obama White House, lamented that the president ignored the law requiring that Congress be notified of the prisoner release from Guantanamo.”
Likewise, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), announced: “This is a complete change of our national security strategy of not negotiating with terrorists. … I think it sends a terrible national security message – not just to Afghanistan, but to the rest of the world.”
If this were the first time President Obama had negotiated with terrorists, things might be different. But this Commander in Chief in March 2011 authorized negotiations with Libyan terrorists, and then, with the help of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, agreed to arm Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) “rebels” whom they both knew were affiliated with operating under the cover of the Muslim Brotherhood. The LIFG has been on the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations List since December 17, 2004.
Eighteen months after President Obama authorized support for the Muslim Brotherhood (since acknowledged as a terrorist group by the governments of both Egypt and Saudi Arabia) and the arming of LIFG-associated “rebels,” terrorists attacked our Special Mission Compound and CIA Annex in Benghazi and killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Although we do know that the terrorists behind the Benghazi attack were affiliated with Ansar al-Shariah and Al Qaeda, to this day we still do not know for certain whether or not the Benghazi terrorists who killed four Americans on September 11, 2012, were affiliated with the same “rebels” previously supported by our commander in chief and, reportedly, to whom the commander in chief authorized the covert shipment of weapons in coordination with Qatar – the same country that authorized the Taliban to open a representational political office in 2013.
According to Bloomberg, in March 2014 “Saudi Arabia and two Arab allies recalled their envoys from Qatar, accusing the state that hosts Al-Jazeera television of undermining regional security … Qatar’s backing for the Muslim Brotherhood, especially in Egypt, has drawn criticism from other Gulf nations that have cracked down on the Islamist organization.”
The pattern is apparent – and Sgt. Bergdahl’s alleged desertion is but one important component of the latest manifestation of this pattern: negotiate with terrorists, disregard the law, and then lie about it.
As shameful as it may have been, Sgt. Bergdahl’s apparent desertion during his unit’s operations against the enemy in Afghanistan is not, however, the main event. By repeatedly negotiating with terrorists, our president has placed Americans around the world at greater risk.
Read more at Center for Security Policy