Bergdahl Debacle May Become Son of "Fast & Furious"

Bob Barr
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Posted: Jun 12, 2014 12:01 AM
Bergdahl Debacle May Become Son of "Fast & Furious"

Like most outrageous -- and likely illegal -- actions taken by the Obama Administration (Operation Fast and Furious, NSA snooping, IRS political targeting, Benghazi cover-up, etc.), we know very little about the reasoning behind Obama's decision to play "Let's Make a Deal" with the Taliban. In fact, all we really know is that Obama intentionally kept Congress in the dark for fear of "jeopardizing" the hostage release negotiations, and that those talks resulted in the release of five, high-level terrorists from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for a single Army enlisted man who apparently deserted his post and trekked off in search of the Taliban -- who ultimately found him.

Rushing to the defense of his Negotiator-in-Chief, Secretary of State John Kerry naively defended the swap, while casually admitting it is entirely possible the freed terrorists can rejoin the attack on U.S. targets overseas and here at home. "I'm not telling you that they don't have some ability at some point to go back and get involved (in fighting)," Kerry babbled, "but they also have an ability to get killed doing that." Kerry' gobbledygook essentially translates to: "We're crossing our fingers this doesn't turn into the Middle East version of Fast and Furious."

Reality is far different from the fanciful world envisioned by Kerry -- a world in which Bergdahl's release would be met with celebration and adoration for the Administration. The Taliban, unfortunately for Obama, operate in the real word. Their reaction to the Bergdahl Swap is far more realistic than Kerry's: "It's better to kidnap one person like Bergdahl than kidnapping hundreds of useless people," a Taliban source supposedly close to the negotiations told Time magazine. "It has encouraged our people. Now everybody will work hard to capture such an important bird."

Even if such an obvious conclusion was lost on the clueless bureaucrats wandering the corridors of the West Wing and Foggy Bottom, Congressmen with much more experience in such matters could have sounded the alarms. Congress, however, was afforded no opportunity to weigh in, and now all we are left with is Kerry's absurd reassurance that if the released terrorist leaders re-engage their Jihad, they "have an ability to be killed."

The Obama Administration threw several bogus justifications for its furtive dealings up against the wall, hoping something would stick; they did not. Obama claimed that a leak of negotiations might cause Bergdahl's death, or that his so-called "deteriorating health" necessitated precipitous action. Of course, the real reason is obvious: Obama's arrogance, and his aversion to dissent. According to Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, Obama pitched the idea of a prisoner swap to top lawmakers as early as 2011, garnering the same result seen today. "There were very strong views and they were virtually unanimous against the trade," Feinstein told reporters last week.

Now that the chips are down and the heroic narrative Team Obama hoped to create has fallen like a house of cards, Administration officials are backtracking furiously, calling the failure to notify Congress a mere "oversight." in fact, the law is clear that Congress must be notified 30-days prior to the transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. Blatantly violating the law - regardless of the excuses proffered by Administration apologists - cannot be tolerated if Congress expects to ever reestablish the ability to check Executive power.

Beyond the serious legal and constitutional questions thus raised, are major national security concerns. As we have heard directly from the Taliban itself, Obama's violation of the law will have lethal consequences for U.S. troops and citizens overseas. Obama has created the son of "Fast and Furious," and it is potentially far more dangerous than its parent.

Still, Obama's Senate shills, such as Sens. Dick Durbin and Harry Reid, applaud the President for his unilateral and illegal action. Senator Lindsay Graham, on the other hand, warned the Administration last week that further action regarding releases from Guantanamo without congressional approval, could lead to talks of impeachment.

The Bergdahl shuffle erases all doubt about where Obama stands on the issue of following the law in regard to decisions he makes. Furthermore, sidestepping Congress in the exchange also illustrates that even the checks and balances on government power -- an indispensable pillar of the Republic -- is of no importance to this Administration.

Given that Attorney General Eric Holder considers improving voter access for Native Americans to be a higher priority than reining in the growing list of abuses of power by the President, it is up to Republicans in Congress to assert their proper constitutional responsability to hold a president accountable, who believes himself above the law.

While it may be premature to draft "articles" of impeachment as I have stated previously in regard to Obama's lawlessness in office, it is not only appropriate for Republicans to officially begin "inquiring" into possible impeachable offenses, but it would be irresponsible not to do that regarding the Bergdahl scandal -- the most recent and most blatant violation of the law and the Constitution by this President.