Jefferson’s strictly construed exceptions to the president’s foreign-affairs primacy will not help us halt the release of terrorists from Gitmo. This is not a treaty situation, so the Senate’s power to deny ratification of international agreements is irrelevant. And while Congress may deny funding for foolish executive initiatives — Republicans, for example, did not have to sign off on Obama’s provision of military aid to the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt (although they did) — the president does not need funding to release prisoners. Doing so actually saves money . . . at least until they blow something up.
Short of impeachment, there is really nothing Congress can do.
Republican senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire is one of our country’s most serious thinkers on national security and the legal aspects of our war against jihadist terror. Duly horrified by the president’s unconscionable releases of anti-American jihadists from Gitmo, Senator Ayotte proposed legislation this week to prohibit the release of detainees who have been assessed as likely to return to terrorist activity (i.e., most of the remaining 122). She would also forbid transfers to countries such as Yemen that are al-Qaeda strongholds.
I wish it had a prayer of working. It doesn’t.