That’s right, The administration went to Congress about this deal twice. Once in 2011 and again in 2012. The argument that the President flouted the law over this is probably moot. On the other hand, what isn’t moot is that on both occasions the Congress said no. Not only did they say no, they said no in a bipartisan fashion, unanimously.
President Obama’s aides met with unanimous opposition from Congress when they first raised the possibility of releasing five Taliban guerrillas from Guantanamo Bay in 2011 and 2012, and administration officials publicly and repeatedly vowed to return to Capitol Hill before making any final moves.
The administration promised to come back before making any final moves. Oh, and you can keep your health plan and your doctor, and you’ll be able to add the $2,500 savings on your health insurance to your retirement plan.
Now, apparently, the Democrats in Congress are all huffy about the President not following the law, as in a law he signed, about getting Congressional approval before playing the ever popular reality game, Terrorists for Traitors. The Chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee (no pun intended), that Tea Party favorite, Dianne Feinstein of California, was down right angry.
“I think that they expected everybody just to fall in line,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and one of those who received a personal apology from a senior White House aide.
Feinstein said the White House failed to anticipate that bypassing Congress would provoke anger on both sides of the aisle. The discovery that the five Afghans were top-ranking Taliban commanders has fueled concerns that the trade may endanger U.S. security.
“This is an issue that certainly those of us on the Intelligence Committee care a great deal about,” Feinstein said. “Because we believe that there is potential danger from certain of these five people.”
We really need a “come to Jesus moment” on this. We’re sure that it doesn’t matter if Obama broke the law. There’s no judicial redress available. What is a court, any court, going to do? Issue an order and demand that Qatar ship the Taliban 5 back to Gitmo? That’s not likely to happen. Of course, the House could fire up impeachment proceedings just a few months before the midterm elections. Anybody who thinks that Senate Democrats – that would be 15 of them assuming every Senate Republican voted for impeachment – make a list in the comments.
This will simply generate some ink and some pixels and go away. There’s a good case to be made that what he did was well within the job description of Commander-in-Chief. Whether it was a good idea is another discussion, but it’s certainly arguable that, despite what even some Democrats are willing to concede, he didn’t overstep his job description and this particular event isn’t impeachable. Despite what lots of people would like, he’s not going to be impeached over this. The best we’re going to see is that his approval ratings take hit and we get to enjoy the spectacle of Democratic Senators squirming.
Time to get back to the VA mess – which the American people are laying firmly at Obama’s feet, and the Benghazi House select committee.