June 6, 2014. When five Taliban prisoners were secretly exchanged for Bowe Bergdahl, was it legal? “No”, says Judge Andrew Napolitano. The statute Obama is accused of violating, NDAA H.R. 1960, is one he actually signed into law. Unlawfully spending tax payer money to transport military prisoners without notifying Congress 30 days in advance is trouble for the President.
Bigger problems, however, seem to be in the details of the actual prisoner exchange. By releasing jihadists into the theater of war, he is aiding and abetting the enemy. Materially aiding, by replenishing troops, a terrorist organization is a form of treason punishable by up to 10 years in prison. There is no exception to this law, even for the President. When asked if he thought the President should go to prison, Napolitano was reluctant to answer.
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Qatar has agreed to hold these 5 detainees for one year. The real question is, what happens then? After one year, if Qatar is able to house them that long, where will they go? Likely back to jihad. Returning people back to the field of battle is a unique challenge to the law in question. It seems that in the past it has only been applied to monetary and weaponry “aid”. Napolitano is quick to point out that if these men were going to be detained in a foreign country indefinitely, then the argument may not hold up.
The most frightening component of this story is how it stacks up to the behavior of President Obama in so many other areas of his tenure. He has effectively rewritten laws he himself has signed with Obamacare and now this. His pen and his phone are another concern, but executive orders are a separate matter than actually ignoring law. Whether he should go to jail or not will be decided by the powers that be, but the American people need to at least be made aware of this President’s inability to operate within the confines of U.S. law.
H/T: Conservative Tribune