Obama under fire for Taliban prisoner swap
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The Republican-controlled US House of Representatives on Tuesday condemned President Barack Obama for swapping five Taliban prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention center for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl without notifying them.
In a resolution passed by 249-163 votes, the House condemned Obama for breaking the law, since he did not give Congress 30 days notice of the transfer.
“By releasing five senior Taliban terrorists in complete secrecy, President Obama ignored a statute he signed into law and put America at greater risk given that releasing these detainees in exchange for an American soldier held hostage risks incentivizing additional hostage-taking by groups like the Taliban and Haqqani network in Afghanistan or ISIL in Syria and Iraq,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
“This is unacceptable and only further erodes trust between this Administration and the American people and their representatives in Congress,” McCarthy said after the House passed the Resolution No 644, condemning the Obama Administration’s failure to notify Congress on the release of the Taliban Five.
Congressman Michael McCaul, chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, such an action by the Obama Administration was in direct violation of federal law. “Laws are established for a purpose – in this case to ensure the national security of the United States. The president himself acknowledged there is ‘absolutely’ a possibility these terrorists leaders will try to return to activities that are detrimental to us,” he said.
“One of the five released detainees has already reportedly pledged to return to fight Americans in Afghanistan and will most certainly re-group with Taliban Leader Mullah Omar, one of our biggest enemies in the region. By circumventing Congress, this administration silenced the voice of the American people and put American lives at risk,” he alleged.
“The unlawful actions unilaterally taken by this President are simply unacceptable,” said Congressman Paul A Gosar.
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