President Obama has given his own military a reason to hate him — not just be skeptical of him, but actively hate him — for releasing five senior Taliban commanders in exchange for a captured US soldier who appears to be a deserter.
Here’s another. Those five Taliban commanders arrived in Qatar, under no evident guard of any kind, and got a hero’s welcome.
The politics and legalities of all this are bad enough. We have a president knowingly breaking laws because he knows he can get away with it, and we have a government that has set the precedent of negotiating with terrorists to obtain the release of a worthless US soldier (if he is a deserter, as his fellow soldiers maintain). We have now freed five terrorists who ABC’s Brian Ross points out in the video were once deemed too dangerous to release. It’s highly likely that they will return to the battlespace in one way or another. What does the government then say to Americans who get killed because these five Taliban commanders were set free? How do we maintain confidence that our government is defending us, when it did such an obviously harmful and stupid thing?
All of that is terrible. But a commander-in-chief giving the military he commands reasons to hate him, is positively dangerous for the country. If I was still in the military at this point, I would have an extremely hard time finding anything about Obama to respect, other than the office he happens to hold. He is intentionally flouting the laws that he demands his subordinates follow, and he may be intentionally endangering their lives. At best, he is endangering our troops and our citizens for what he expected would be, at most, a fleeting boost in his own job approval. And he badly misjudged even that.