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Tuesday, September 02, 2014, 2:10 a.m.
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Senator: Bergdahl deal sealed day before swap

By The Associated Press

This article was published June 10, 2014 at 10:26 a.m.

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration finalized the exchange of the last remaining U.S. prisoner of war in Afghanistan for five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo only a day before the June 1 swap, a top Democratic lawmaker said Tuesday. He said American officials didn't learn the pickup location Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl until an hour ahead of time.

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2-ranked Democrat, presented the timeline as an explanation for why President Barack Obama didn't inform Congress 30 days before the deal. Republicans and some Democrats have sharply criticized the president for failing to notify them and claim he broke the law. Obama says he acted legally.

"They knew a day ahead of time the transfer was going to take place," Durbin told reporters in the Capitol, where military officials briefed the Senate Armed Services Committee behind closed doors. "They knew an hour ahead of time where it was going to take place."

His remarks came as a House panel overwhelmingly backed a measure barring U.S. funds for the transfer of detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, amid the congressional outcry over the swap.

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bbos42 says... June 10, 2014 at 11:19 a.m.

I wish Congress had locked the barn door before the horse was stollen!

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dman says... June 10, 2014 at 11:47 a.m.

They still continued to pursue this deal even though Congress, the Pentagon, previous Defense had already strongly said no. And he is not a prisoner of war - he walked to them.
And frankly, I wouldn't believe a word of what Durbin says.

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GrimReaper says... June 10, 2014 at 12:02 p.m.

Right! Would you buy a used car from a guy from Illinois named Dick Durbin?

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3rdWorldState says... June 10, 2014 at 12:05 p.m.

They always get caught with their knickers down. If they would show some respect and decency, wait for the facts, and then proceed, they would be better off. As would everyone. Govern the dang country and quit letting these little things interfere with everything! Compromise and get something done!

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djigoo says... June 10, 2014 at 2:16 p.m.

What's your point, GrammaRaper?

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Reason says... June 10, 2014 at 3:13 p.m.

ARTICLE II, SECTION 2. US CONSTITUTION

The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.
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He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.
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The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.

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Reason says... June 10, 2014 at 4:24 p.m.

Congress loves to point fingers but it is congress that NEVER declared war in the first place. What they did was pass a symbolic resolution called the War Powers Resolution. In 2001 congress also passed the Authorization of Use of Military Force against Terrorists (AUMF) which does not declare war either but provides the President with more authority upon which to exercise his constitutional powers as Commander in Chief. Or does it?
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The Bush/Cheney Administration rounded up the Taliban and others fighting against US forces and placed them in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba away from the jurisdiction of US federal courts. Or so they thought…. The US Supreme disagreed.
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Bush responded by permitting detainees to bring their petitions before military tribunals…
The US Supreme Court said, "No, you won't. The Commander in Chief lacks constitutional authority and the tribunals also violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Conventions." The Court also rebuked that AUMF expanded Presidential authority…. So Congress responded.
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Congress passed the Detainee Treatment Act which provides that "no court, court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider . . . an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by . . . an alien detained . . . at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
But the US Supreme Court said……
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"Congressional suspension of habeas corpus requires an explicit suspension of the writ and that merely stripping the federal courts of jurisdiction does not actually suspend the writ. The Court also stated that the detainees lacked proper procedural safeguards to ensure they obtained fair trials and the ability to ascertain the nature of the charges against them."

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3rdWorldState says... June 10, 2014 at 9:22 p.m.

Talk about trying to avoid any responsibility.

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