As a vet, I am delighted at the return of POW Bowe Bergdahl to US custody. While the circumstances of how he got to be a POW need clearing up, first things first..welcome home!
The President may well have violated the law in his case. Congress passed a law requiring 30 days notice before a President can make such a deal. Def. Secy. Hegel said it had to be done for the soldier’s health..and just maybe Congress wrote a too restrictive law, given the way things in wartime often are accelerated.
I do not, however, approve of the President’s signing that bill into law, while issuing a “signing declaration” that he might not enforce all its provisions..a nefarious practice started by the last President Bush. Mr. President, either sign the law or don’t, or challenge it in court..such signing declarations may well be unconstitutional and need a legal decision.
OK, to get one GI home we shipped 5 suspected Taliban leaders overseas. They had been held in Gitmo for 10 years without ever being indicted, charged or taken to court. This is military justice? This is American justice? This is what our legal traditions are? Nonsense!
The military claims the 5 were “high risk” suspects, But that it did NOT have enough proof to make their “suspicions” stand up in court. So they just kept them in jail, in limbo. This isn’t the way the USA used to work, pre 9/11..and if you have any doubt that our traditional rights and liberties are being eroded away..no matter how much we dislike the Taliban, use the Golden rule…would you like to be held in jail for 10 years because some government official has “suspicions” you are a terrorist? You would demand proof under our laws. That’s not what’s been happening in Gitmo and someday it will come back to haunt a non-Taliban suspect American citizen.
Think on these larger issues as we welcome Bowe home.
Last week I speculated Pure Politics on TWC’s channel 2 might disappear when its founder Ryan Alessi leaves for Murray State. Ryan assures me plans are in place to continue that ground-breaking show. Let’s hope so.
I'm just sayin'...