Report: Obama’s Bergdahl swap violated the law

posted at 6:41 pm on August 21, 2014 by Noah Rothman

You suspected it, members of Congress alleged it, but only now has it been confirmed: Barack Obama’s administration broke the law when it negotiated the release of five Guantanamo Bay prisoners in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl without providing Congress with appropriate notice.

According to the independent Government Accountability Office, the Pentagon did not give Congress the required 30-day notice before releasing the five former Taliban commanders in U.S. custody. Moreover, the GAO alleges that Defense Officials illegally used funds for that prisoner transfer that had not been appropriated for that purpose.

The Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo provides more context:

The Pentagon was found to have “violated” the 2014 Department of Defense Appropriations Act “when it transferred five individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the nation of Qatar without providing at least 30 days notice to certain congressional committees,” according to the report.

The Defense Department also was legally prohibited from using congressionally appropriated funds to pay for the transfer of detainees from Gitmo without first getting approval from Congress, which the Obama administration failed to do, according to the report.

“Because [the Pentagon] did not provide written notice to the relevant congressional committees until 31 May 2014, the same day as the transfer,” the GAO noted, Defense officials clearly violated the law.

“Our opinion in this matter rests upon the Secretary of Defense’s responsibility to comply with notification condition on the availability of appropriations to transfer individuals from Guantanamo Bay,” the GAO report concludes.

This opinion does not address the Secretary’s decision to transfer the five individuals in this case as part of DOD’s efforts to secure the release of an American soldier. However, 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. As a consequence of using its appropriations in a manner specifically prohibited by law, DOD violated the Antideficiency Act.

Many Democrats in Congress spent much of the early summer dismissing Republicans’ claims as partisan and even callous, preferring to focus on the return of an American soldier held captive rather than the politically expedient removal of the “Taliban Five” from American custody.

But not all on the left favored partisanship over intellectual honesty. Some, like MSNBC.com’s Adam Serwer, called this situation out for what it was.

“When it comes to the legality of the Gitmo transfers however, the president’s Republican critics are correct,” he wrote. “The Bergdahl exchange appears to be a situation in which Obama did exactly what he promised he wouldn’t – used a signing statement to disregard a part of a law Congress passed by saying ‘I don’t agree with that part.’”

He is probably feeling pretty good about his decision to cut against the liberal grain today.


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Add two more to the long list of laws this administration has broken.

itsnotaboutme on August 21, 2014 at 6:45 PM

SHOCKER but yet he continues on and pays no consequences.

gophergirl on August 21, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Obama’s defense: “I couldn’t wait for Congress, the boys life was on the line.”

The media will eat it up and ask for seconds.

portlandon on August 21, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Meh…Who cares? Certainly not Barack Obama…OR the damned RINO Republican pukes who enable the lawless rat eared, dog eating Muslim from Kenya.

bimmcorp on August 21, 2014 at 6:45 PM

But Rick Perry vetoed some funds so there!

Jack_Burton on August 21, 2014 at 6:46 PM

And? What are you gonna do abt it?

Judge_Dredd on August 21, 2014 at 6:46 PM

So what? Lord Obama, King of all Golf Courses and Master of the Teleprompter, has no one who will do anything against him.

Obama could rip the beating heart of a 14 year old blond girl out of her chest while she screams, eat it raw, live every day at noon on CNN, and nothing would be done, other than the Dems, the media, and Boehner making excuses for Obama’s stress at fighting ISIS or something..

Vanceone on August 21, 2014 at 6:46 PM

As soon as one of the Gitmo 5 is linked to an ISIS attack or execution, the Won should be done. Which is why it won’t happen.

de rigueur on August 21, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Yeah, but it’s not like he’s Rick Perry or anything. /s

MT on August 21, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Mitch McConnell and Cap’n Morgan Orange Smokestack Boehner are crafting a strongly worded statement as we speak.

NWConservative on August 21, 2014 at 6:49 PM

I wonder which of the five is in charge of beheading journalists.

Ronnie on August 21, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Tell you what: I’d like to see Holder in prison after this fool’s gone.

Judge_Dredd on August 21, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Impeach Obama???

Gutless GOP goobers – what are you going to do?

Chickenhawks, Armchair warriors, victims of Obama Derangement Syndrome – what are you going to do about it?

How will you deal with your impotent rage?

Ned Pepper on August 21, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Barack Obama’s administration broke the law when it negotiated the release of five Guantanamo Bay prisoners in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl without providing Congress with

Relax, he only breaks the law on days that end in “y.”

rbj on August 21, 2014 at 6:51 PM

After Obama’s vacation is over the White House will be gearing up the “Feel sorry for Obama because the world just does not cooperate with his greatness” pity campaign…

#NobelPeacePrize…
LOL.

albill on August 21, 2014 at 6:52 PM

Chickenhawks

Ned Pepper on August 21, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Hey Ned, I just busted you again on the other thread for cutting and pasting something and posting it without attribution.

Your great-grandfather Joe Biden must be so proud of how you’ve picked up the family trade!

By the way, did Great-Grandpa Joe ever tell you the story about how he dodged the draft just as many times as Dick Cheney? Talk about a chickenhawk!

F+

Del Dolemonte on August 21, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Let’s remember all this when the sears Tower or half of DC goes up in smoke and the guys behind it turn out to be some of the clowns Barry set free.

How will you deal with your impotent rage?

Ned Pepper on August 21, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Don’t you know, Ned?

Barry’s the best thing to happen to Conservatives, Republicans, Tea Partiers, and Libertarians since Communism.

He’s our Hitler. Just let him stay there, making one disaster after another. Every time we come a little closer to the abyss, more people wake up. Think of all the black people in Ferguson telling Barry to stick it in his 19th hole.

He’s the best thing we could have hoped for.

formwiz on August 21, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Yeah, but I got a half point bounce in my ratings, so it was worth the risk.

- Bamster

antipc on August 21, 2014 at 6:57 PM

*Yawn*…..

vnvet on August 21, 2014 at 6:57 PM

King Barack isn’t concerned about ‘breaking the law’.

And he has Eric Holder and his Department of “Justice” to back him up.

GarandFan on August 21, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Obama could rip the beating heart of a 14 year old blond girl out of her chest while she screams, eat it raw, live every day at noon on CNN, and nothing would be done, other than the Dems, the media, and Boehner making excuses for Obama’s stress at fighting ISIS or something..

Vanceone on August 21, 2014 at 6:46 PM

coolrepublica would be here to LOL that conservatives complained when he played too much golf, and now they complain when he eats a few white-chick hearts- Obama just can’t win with us!

Dolce Far Niente on August 21, 2014 at 6:59 PM

From his spittle-flecked screeds, it seems to me that Ned Pepper is the impotent one here. ;)

TKindred on August 21, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Have the 5 terrorists and the Bergdahls joined ISIS yet?

forest on August 21, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Ded Pecker on August 21, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Cool post, bro. Where’d you copy this one from?

Dolce Far Niente on August 21, 2014 at 7:02 PM

And CNNs earlier headline “U.S. Violates Law in Bergdahl Swap”—ha, flipping knee-padders–couldn’t put Obama in the headline, instead blame all of us..

hillsoftx on August 21, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Ned Pepper on August 21, 2014 at 6:50 PM

You sorta like being ruled by a king, right, loser??

bimmcorp on August 21, 2014 at 7:05 PM

How will you deal with your impotent rage?

Ned Pepper on August 21, 2014 at 6:50 PM

By watching Harry Reid become minority leader because Dems can’t help themselves when it comes to the ends justifying the means.

antipc on August 21, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Poor Ned, still not an original thought between his narrow ears.

CW on August 21, 2014 at 7:06 PM

“So what? We’re both black men” — Holder

Schadenfreude on August 21, 2014 at 7:06 PM

Ned Pepper on August 21, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Simmer down, simmer down! First time I’ve ever seen spittle fleck the screen from the inside.

Which part of that rant was original with you, btw?

de rigueur on August 21, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Notice: Ned couldn’t care less that Obama broke the law.

CW on August 21, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Gee – Boehner sure was smart to take IMPEACHMENT “off the table”.

Pork-Chop on August 21, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Ned, you plagiarizer and liar, the way one deals with thugs…one waits for the tables to turn.

Your day will come, as the sun rises in the East, you lawless turkey.

Schadenfreude on August 21, 2014 at 7:08 PM

If DogEater hadn’t done this, you’d all be criticizing him if Bergdahl had been beheaded!

Oh crap — yet another reason why he shouldn’t have done it …

ShainS on August 21, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Thank you, President Obama!
Ned Pepper on August 11, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Actually Obama’s azz is a pretty safe place to be.
Ned Pepper on August 11, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Schadenfreude on August 21, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Ned picked the nom of a murdering, kidnapping, rapist, thief, who tried to kill John Wayne in True Grit.

Schadenfreude on August 21, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Rex Lex

kcewa on August 21, 2014 at 7:14 PM

um, obama is the king. laws don’t apply to him. duh.

Sachiko on August 21, 2014 at 7:16 PM

You guys always blame Obama when his administration breaks the law, but never gave him credit when he single-handidly decapitated Osama bin Laden or kept GM solvent and producing the highest quality vehicles on the road.

/

Left Coast Right Mind on August 21, 2014 at 7:17 PM

How will you deal with your impotent rage?

Salt n’ Pepper on August 21, 2014 at 6:50 PM

You do realize that multiple posters here have pasted your comments into a safe location to hurl back at you when the inevitable comes to pass, right?

As far as I am concerned, impeachment, conviction and removal from office should be the least of Obama’s worries.

turfmann on August 21, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Barack Obama’s administration broke the law

AGAIN! I don’t believe that the constitutional law professor (lowercase?) would do that. He is, after all, the smartest POTUS evah.

socalcon on August 21, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Since when has Obama cared about the law. All he will do is quote the Shrill One, “What difference does it make now?”

It is only a matter of time when one of these “angels” commits a “man made disaster”, and the Dems and MSM will make excuses for The One.

Tinker on August 21, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Tell you what: I’d like to see Holder in prison after this fool’s gone.
Judge_Dredd on August 21, 2014 at 6:49 PM

I’d like to see more than WitHolder in prison BEFORE this fool’s gone…

Newtie and the Beauty on August 21, 2014 at 7:27 PM

The law is totally meaningless nowadays. Think about it. People (republicans and those that may be useful to them) can be arrested for nothing, and others (…)can get away with anything at all.

Is there any way back?

dhouse on August 21, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Tell you what: I’d like to see Holder in prison after this fool’s gone.
Judge_Dredd on August 21, 2014 at 6:49 PM

To do that the wimp GOPe better not do anything to convict him before oboobie leaves office so he can issue a pardon. My guess us that they will do exactly the opposite so that holder does get a pardon. It all depends on who’s coming into office. If it’s Cruz, you can bet they will maneuver it so holder gets his pardon. If cHillary or a RINO POTUS elect probably nothing at all since he won’t be tried on anything at all.

AH_C on August 21, 2014 at 7:28 PM

Impeach Obama???
Gutless GOP goobers – what are you going to do?
Chickenhawks, Armchair warriors, victims of Obama Derangement Syndrome – what are you going to do about it?
How will you deal with your impotent rage?
Ned Pepper on August 21, 2014 at 6:50 PM

You better see your Mommy about that filled diaper QUICK before it gets all over everything!

Signed,

The HA Janitorial Staff

Newtie and the Beauty on August 21, 2014 at 7:31 PM

And?

Is there some corrective mechanism that Congress can take?

Perry was indicted for bogus reasoons. There is nothing to suggest this is a high crime or misdemeanor worthy of impeachment, but Obama has done a lot of lower level crimes. Can he be indicted? Fined-as Newt Gingrich was fined?

Surely there must be some intermediate remedy between nothing and impeachment.

talkingpoints on August 21, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Actually, although Ned may be cutting and pasting Leftist talking points from way back (“I won” comes to mind), he does raise a point – at least with regards to the GOPe: the Obama administration’s record of breaking the law is long, yet congressional republicans are so paralyzed by Flying Nun Syndrome (that is, hoping the public will see their “me too” obeisance to Leftist positions ranging from immigration policy to energy policy and healthcare policy, and miraculously declare, “They like us, they really LIKE us!!!”) that the best we get is a lawsuit against the administration that is essentially meaningless.

I’ll add this too: for all of Allahpundit’s (and others) comments regarding how, somehow, Obama’s unilateral governance will someday bite Democrats on their collective asses, can anyone show me a single instance where Republicans fought as strenuously for their claimed policy positions as do Democrats?

Democrats can enjoy a “scorched earth” position of ramming through despised positions like Obamacare because they face no meaningful consequences to doing so. Replace a democrat congresswhore with a republican, and two things happen:

1. Newly elected republican congresswhore almost always panders to the notion that government should be bigger; and

2. Recently defeated democrat congresswhore finds a job on K-Street, NGOs, or the media, where (in all three cases) they are free to continue pushing their party’s agenda without any meaningful check or resistance from republicans.

The one place where house republicans could fight Obama back – the vaunted “power of the purse” – is one that was attempted with so much trepidation and backstage sellout prior to the shutdown last year that even Cruz’s actions eventually amounted to so much blather.

Compare this to democrats who, during the shutdown, ensured that the tiny percentage of funds in question were withheld from federal agencies in such a way that they rammed home a feeling of impending doom to every independent / low information voter in the country, consequences to life or health be damned.

My point is this: until Republicans believe and act on their stated policy positions with as much fervor and effort as do democrats, we’re screwed.

And, sadly, Ned’s talking point is proved right by the likes of Boehner and McConnell term after term, year after year, day after day.

Food for thought.

Wanderlust on August 21, 2014 at 7:42 PM

Fascist Democrats.

They are not liberals, they are not progressives, they are fascists.

Aizen on August 21, 2014 at 7:54 PM

This regime’s attitude: So what if it’s illegal, we did it anyway. Do something about it.

rpjkw11 on August 21, 2014 at 7:55 PM

Report: Obama’s Bergdahl swap violated the law

So, when is Barky going to be taken into custody? .. or, at least, impeached??

Yeah … that’s what I thought.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on August 21, 2014 at 8:01 PM

um, obama is the king. laws don’t apply to him. duh.

Sachiko on August 21, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Good deal. He can forget about that little thing he changed to provide SS protection for life instead of ten years.

News2Use on August 21, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Food for thought.
Wanderlust on August 21, 2014 at 7:42 PM

This. Cruz et al “failed” because the caucus refused to stand together and use their inherent constitutional powers.

AH_C on August 21, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Report: Obama’s Bergdahl swap violated the law

.
SURPRISE !!!!
.
And the penalty for this malfeasance is… NADA!
.
SURPRISE !!!!

ExpressoBold on August 21, 2014 at 8:27 PM

Barrack “It’s good to be the King” Obama needs to go to jail right now. Do not pass Go, do not collect any royalties.

sadatoni on August 21, 2014 at 8:30 PM

The law is totally meaningless nowadays. Think about it. People (republicans and those that may be useful to them) can be arrested for nothing, and others (…)can get away with anything at all.

Is there any way back?

dhouse on August 21, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Many Republicans stayed home on Election Day 2008, to allegedly “teach the Republican Party a lesson”. Many other Republicans also voted for O’bama because they refused to vote for McCain, or because of White Guilt.

Same thing happened in 2012. There are even some posters here who said if Romney was the candidate they would vote for O’bama. They know who they are.

It could even be argued that Republicans did the exact same thing in 1992 and 1996. In 1992, Clinton didn’t even get 50% of the popular vote, as I recall.

On the other hand, Democrats will hold their noses and vote for their Party’s “candidate”, no matter how much that candidate stinks. That’s one way they win elections.

I speak from personal experience. I was a Dem from 1976 (Mr. Peanut) until the Democrat Party left me in the 1990s. Just a stupid Low-Info (D) voter; I never did any GOTV or other such manure-spreading.

Del Dolemonte on August 21, 2014 at 8:41 PM

this is Obama … if he does not consider that the law is right
he doesn’t have to follow it.
he is the light bearer … laws are for little people …

conservative tarheel on August 21, 2014 at 9:43 PM

Del – you are probably correct.
I did not vote for McCain…. I voted Libertarian
IMHO the Dems would have pushed everything thru and the GOP
would have been blamed …
I voted for Mitt in the General because Obama is worse …
Perry was my candidate in the Primary ….

conservative tarheel on August 21, 2014 at 9:49 PM

violated the Antideficiency Act. That started when he was sworn in, didn’t it? I believe the sun can be found in its usual place, that bears poop in the woods and the Pope remains Catholic. Therefore, Obama violated the Antideficiency Act when he was sworn in, didn’t he?

DublOh7 on August 21, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Ned wants an Obama dictatorship and Ned doesn’t care if he breaks the law anyway. Ned would have George Washington, John Adams and the rest of the founding fathers shot because they favored a republic type of government. Ned wants a Maoist or Stalinist type of government of course led by Obama. He is such an ignorant ass.

garydt on August 21, 2014 at 9:53 PM

King Barack isn’t concerned about ‘breaking the law’.

And he has Eric Holder and his Department of “Justice” to back him up.

GarandFan on August 21, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Don’t forget Dirty Harry in the Senate. Impeachment would do no more than it did with Clinton. Captain Zero would still be there when he and Holder (and Reid – I’m no racist!) should be in jail.

IrishEyes on August 21, 2014 at 10:19 PM

The Iwon broke the law …. again … color me surprised
nothing will be done …. because it is good to be king …

Del I suspect you are right.
I voted for Mitt because I knew Obama was worse.
I did not vote for McCain the Dem congress
would have passed the same laws and the GOP would
have gotten blamed.
I voted Libertarian …

conservative tarheel on August 21, 2014 at 10:25 PM

“And, sadly, Ned’s talking point is proved right by the likes of Boehner and McConnell term after term, year after year, day after day.”

No, it is “proven right”. Or, “proved to be right”,

Techster64 on August 21, 2014 at 10:50 PM

Duh…this isn’t news…and no one is going to do a damn thing about it.

easyt65 on August 21, 2014 at 11:27 PM

You guys always blame Obama when his administration breaks the law, but never gave him credit when he single-handidly decapitated Osama bin Laden or kept GM solvent and producing the highest quality vehicles on the road.

/

Left Coast Right Mind on August 21, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Osama was decapitated? NOPE.

GM should have been left to fail just like all other corporations rife with mismanagement.

Get a clue.

Obama is 100% responsible for everything his staff does, whether he knows about it or not.

Hammie on August 22, 2014 at 12:39 AM

This regime’s attitude: So what if it’s illegal, we did it anyway. Do something about it.

rpjkw11 on August 21, 2014 at 7:55 PM

That sounds just like the supposed remark that Michael Brown made to Officer Wilson before he got his-self shot….(just a little off-topic).

Hammie on August 22, 2014 at 12:46 AM

It is treasonous to negotiate with terrorists… and insane to release 5 of them.

Getting only a deserter in return.

Not just a scofflaw fool but a traitor.

profitsbeard on August 22, 2014 at 4:04 AM

Who cares? Nothing will ever happen to them.

How’s that Fast and Furious investigation going?

Spiders from Mars on August 22, 2014 at 8:31 AM

So, can we impeach him now? Weren’t we waiting for an actual discernible violation of the law? Seems he’s committed a felony – or at least a “misdemeanor”.

We are so lost. L.I.B.

Hammie on August 22, 2014 at 12:39 AM

*psst* He used a sarc tag, even.

GWB on August 22, 2014 at 9:52 AM

We KNEW Obama broke the law the day after he made the swap. The GAO’s ‘official’ report only ends the discussion…or should…but it won’t. Obama-zombies will argue to the death for this CRIMINAL/dictator-wanna-be!

The acts perpetrated by this man that gives justifiable reason to IMPEACH him grows DAILY…yet RACE and fear of offending people has crippled this nation/government to the point where in the face of all of his crimes politicians are vocally shouting they will NOT Impeach the man, even though he mroe than deserves it.

easyt65 on August 22, 2014 at 10:09 AM

So, what else is new and what is anyone going to do about it?

Nada. ZILCH. NOTHING.

Pubs. are useless.

they lie on August 22, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Spiders from Mars on August 22, 2014 at 8:31 AM

You’re right. And then there’s Benghazi, the IRS and on and on and on.

dogsoldier on August 22, 2014 at 11:17 AM

So, he’ll be resigning, or impeached soon, right? People will be fired, jailed, consequences to be incurred soon, right?

lol

Midas on August 22, 2014 at 12:58 PM