Many Americans were outraged when, after over a decade of fighting terrorism, the Obama Administration swapped five highly-dangerous terrorists for one American deserter who, according to numerous reports, was believed to have either deserted his post or defected.
The Government Accountability Office issued a finding on Thursday that detailed how the Obama Administration broke the law by failing to notify Congress 30 days in advance of the prisoner swap- a mandate that is codified in law and does not allow for supposed exigent circumstances that the Obama Administration has repeatedly claimed existed and thus justified the illegal act.
Calling the law’s language “clear and unambiguous,” the report found that the Obama Administration has “dismissed the significance of the express language” in the law and that the Pentagon also broke the law by using funds that were not actually available to them.
“When DOD failed to notify specified congressional committees at least 30 days in advance of its transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to Qatar, DOD used appropriated funds in violation of section 8111,” the report further detailed.
The report was requested on behalf of several prominent lawmakers who wanted a nonpartisan report to detail if the president broke the law. Alaskan Senator. Lisa Murkowski, one of the lawmakers who had requested the report, stated on Thursday,
“We have all seen the President decide to override the concept of checks and balances in many questionable executive actions, but the GAO opinion confirms that by doing so in connection with the release of Bowe Bergdahl, he engaged in a clear violation of the law. I hope this opinion by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office sends a clear signal to the President that his recent shift towards unilateral action is not consistent with this nation’s principles and our carefully designed separation of powers.”
While the president is guilty of violating a technical aspect of the law, many would argue that the president is guilty of a much more serious offense: treason or, perhaps, aiding the enemy.
At the core of the decision is the unescapable truth that President Obama, without notifying Congress who might try and stop him, resupplied the enemy with top terrorist commanders. Whatever the justification, this simple truth can be construed as a treasonous act or, at the very least, an act that provided aid to the enemy that has been engaged in the killing of American citizens.
The president is not likely to have to answer for his crime, however, as the Senate remains in Democrat hands and the House GOP remains divided in a civil war that pits moderates against conservatives. Still, the Senate is considering a nonbinding resolution of disapproval, something that is likely not to pass at this stage and even if it does, serves as little more than a stern warning.