The major question in the news is if Obama’s unilateral action of negotiating with a terrorist organization is legal? Recently, the POW, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was freed after the Obama administration released five high-level Taliban members from the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
The release of these terrorist combatants completely diverges from our current policy as noted by Senator Ted Cruz. “The reason why the U.S. has had the policy for decades of not negotiating with terrorists is because once you start doing it, every other terrorist has an incentive to capture more soldiers.”
Some have stated that since we’ve previously brokered deals with countries that harbor terrorist such as Iran and North Korea, there has been no unilateral breech in American foreign policy. However, those making the argument have failed to realize that the Taliban is not a sovereign nation.
Susan E. Rice, the president’s national security adviser, argued, “Sergeant Bergdahl wasn’t simply a hostage; he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield. We have a sacred obligation that we have upheld since the founding of our republic to do our utmost to bring back our men and women who are taken in battle, and we did that in this instance.”
Though Senator McCain welcomed the American soldier’s return, he called the five Taliban detainees, “the hardest of the hard core. It is disturbing that these individuals would have the ability to re-enter the fight, and they are big, high-level people, possibly responsible for the deaths of thousands” of Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan.
The question remains if this negotiation and trade were legal. Those that argue that Obama’s unilateral action was unjust simply point to the law. They note:
Congress requires official notice of any prisoner release from Guantánamo.
The secretary of defense is required to determine “the risk posed by the detainee” and certify that release or transfer “is in the national security interests of the United States,” according to U.S. law as written in the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Congressional committees must be notified by the administration at least 30 days before the release of any Gitmo inmate
The secretary of defense “must provide detailed information regarding the circumstances of the transfer or release along with the notification, including how the risk posed by the detainee will be substantially mitigated, the security arrangements in the receiving country, and an assessment of the capacity, willingness, and past practices of the receiving country”
Plus, the most important point made by Obama’s detractors was that the five terrorists will definitely jeopardize American safety and cause more death as a result of their release.
Some have argued that since we’ve previously brokered deals with countries that harbor terrorists such as Iran and Pakistan, there has been no unilateral breech in American foreign policy. However, those making the argument have failed to realize that the Taliban is not a sovereign nation.
When will the lawlessness of the Obama administration end? Have we entered a new era of tyranny? He is not above the law. Hold Obama accountable.