Ed Driscoll

Obama and the Law

Yes, those continue to be mutually exclusive terms, as Roger Kimball notes today:

The latest instance of presidential lawlessness concerns the Taliban’s release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan in exchange for five high-level Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. Naturally, one rejoices at the release of an American solider after nearly five years of captivity in the savage hell-hole of Afghanistan. But as Rep. Howard McKeon and Sen. James Inhofe observed yesterday, “America has maintained a prohibition on negotiating with terrorists for good reason. Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans.” Prediction: you’ll see many more Americans captured and held for ransom now that the Taliban knows our policy of not negotiating with terrorists implies that, if you push a little, we will happily negotiate with terrorists.

There’s also the little matter of how the transfer was arranged. As the Washington Post reports, “Lawmakers were not notified of the Guantanamo detainees’ transfer until after it occurred.” But, the report continues, “the law requires the defense secretary to notify relevant congressional committees at least 30 days before making any transfers of prisoners, to explain the reason and to provide assurances that those released would not be in a position to reengage in activities that could threaten the United States or its interests.”

Moe Lane adds, “remember all that nonsense that the Democrats used to spout off about how awful signing statements were?  Yeah, you already knew that it was nonsense: but watch, and marvel, as the Left continues to studiously ignore their past rhetoric on the subject.  Because that all was apparently just pillow talk, baby:”

A senior administration official, agreeing to speak on the condition of anonymity to explain the timing of the congressional notification, acknowledged that the law was not followed. When he signed the law last year, Obama issued a signing statement contending that the notification requirement was an unconstitutional infringement on his powers as commander in chief and that he therefore could override it.

Moe adds:

Whether or not you agree with Barack Obama or not on signing statements, there’s something peculiarly amusing in the way that he keeps casually forcing his strongest supporters to do the political equivalent of eat dog feces in public and then declare it to be the finest pate. I mean, not just the signing statements: this guy campaigned on closing Gitmo. Which Barack Obama still hasn’t done.

I know, I know: the Activist Left collectively has no shame, or self-regard.  But it still burns them when we laugh and mock.  So there you go.

As if this story didn’t contain enough already, there was a tweet from Bergdahl’s father this past Wednesday, which he later deleted. I wonder why?

deleted_bergdahl_tweet_5-28-14-1

Roger Kimball adds, “Did you see the Rose Garden ceremony yesterday at which Bergdahl’s father, Robert Bergdahl, stood beside the president as he made the announcement about the son’s release? Note that he began by addressing his son in Arabic and then added a bit for the Afghanis in what news reports said was Pashtu.”

And then here’s his son, the man for whom five Taliban prisoners were removed from Gitmo; I’ll hand you over to Andy McCarthy at the Corner for his charming background:

In return, thanks to the president’s negotiations with the terrorists, we receive U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl—who, according to several of his fellow soldiers, walked off his post in 2009 before being captured by the Taliban. (For more on this, see Greg Pollowitz’s post at The Feed.) This was shortly after Sgt. Bergdahl reportedly emailed his parents that “The US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at”; that he was “ashamed to even be an American”; and that “The horror that is America is disgusting.”

Finally, Ed Rogers of the Washington Post’s left-leaning “PostPartisan” blog declares the past seven days to be “The worst week of the Obama presidency:”

President Obama’s foreign policy reboot failed, the economy is in the tank, the VA scandal is a growing cancer on the presidency, criticisms of the administration’s forthcoming gratuitous plan to raise everyone’s power bill via regulations that will essentially shut down coal-fired power plants have already emerged, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned this morning and just a short while ago solid but beleaguered White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said he is throwing in the towel.  How could things get any worse for Obama and the Democrats?

From one Ed to another a pro tip: Never ask questions that tempt fate like that.

Rogers wrote his lede on Friday — before yesterday’s news of fresh Obama disaster, as the administration continues to circle the drain.

Update: “What does that remind you of? Iran-Contra.”

More: “We knew Obama would pretty much do anything to get his scandals off the news, but this is ridiculous.”