There’s not much for me to say.
Everything that needs to be said is being said and from nearly all wings of the media.
The Daily Beast was among the first to report exactly who President Obama released from Guantanamo:
“They are undoubtedly among the most dangerous Taliban commanders held at Guantanamo,” said Thomas Joscelyn, a senior editor at the Long War Journal who keeps a close watch on developments concerning the detainees left at the Guantanamo Bay prison.
Fazl, for example, was the Taliban’s former deputy defense minister and is wanted by the United Nations for his role in massacres targeting Afghan’s Shi’ite Muslim population.
According to the 2008 Pentagon’s dossier on Fazl disclosed by Wikileaks (PDF), Noori also was a senior Taliban military figure and, according to his Pentagon dossier, was asked personally in 1995 by Osama bin Laden (PDF) to participate in an offensive against northern alliance warlord Rashid Dostum.
Wasiq, a former deputy minister of intelligence, at one point tried to cooperate with U.S. forces in Afghanistan and asked for a GPS system as well as a special radio to communicate with the U.S. military after the U.S. invasion in 2001. His dossier (PDF) says that he was a crucial liaison between the Taliban and other Islamic fundamentalist groups while he was deputy intelligence minister. But the 2008 report also said he was holding out information he had on other top al Qaeda and Taliban leaders during interrogations.
Khairkhwa, a former Taliban governor of Herat, was considered by the Pentagon’s 2008 dossier to be a likely heroin trafficker (PDF). That dossier also says he likely participated in meetings with Iranian officials after 9-11 to help plot attacks on U.S. forces following the invasion.
Iran has worked in some cases with the government that has replaced the Taliban in Afghanistan, but also has been accused by the U.S. military of supplying the Taliban and other insurgent groups with roadside bombs known as improvised explosive devices of IEDs.
Nabi held several military leadership posts for the Taliban and helped organize the al Qaeda/Taliban militias that fought against U.S. and coalition troops in the first year of the war, according to his Pentagon dossier (PDF).
These men were traded for one American soldier, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. A soldier, the Administration claims served with “honor and distinction,” even as credible evidence mounts that he was a deserter whose actions resulted in “the deaths and woundings of several U.S. soldiers.”
Then, there is the fact that the release of the Guantanamo prisoners by President Obama was illegal and unconstitutional:
Article I Section 8 gives Congress the power “[t]o make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces”; to “raise and support Armies” (we’ll come back to that); and “[t]o define and punish…Offenses against the Law of Nations.” The President is denied power to do any of these things. Thus his power as Commander in Chief does not allow him total power over the armed forces or foreign policy. On the contrary, he is given an indefinite range of power to enforce laws and regulations that Congress may then define and limit. While the President can act on his own in many cases—particularly in cases where Congress has not spoken at all on the subject—that power is always subject to control by Congress…..
And if Guantanamo is seen as a prison for people who engaged in international terrorism (which I don’t believe is the government’s de jure position, though it is de facto), then it still falls within Congress’s power, not the President’s, to “punish…Offenses against the Law of Nations,” and therefore it is still for Congress, and not the President, to decide whom to remove from the there (except in cases of pardon).
It’s as simple as this, the Commander-in-Chief has to obey the law and the law requires 30 day notification of any prisoner transfers. Yet, as Susan Rice explained:
This was moving so fast, they couldn’t talk to the Congress. But they also say the president, when he signed this law, said he had the constitutional authority not to live by it, that he had the constitutional authority to go around Congress and simply do what he needed to do to get the detainees back to their home countries.
Just another example of President Obama’s attitude regarding the laws of our country.
The friends and family of Sgt. Berdahl rejoice at his homecoming and I’m glad that an American is no longer being held captive by our enemy, but I have to tell you; I think this whole thing stinks.