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GAO: Obama admin broke law in Bergdahl swap

GAO: Obama admin broke law in Bergdahl swap

So what are you going to do about it? Huh, Congress?

Now this is interesting.

The General Accounting Office has just issued a report concluding that the Department of Defense broke the law in the Bergdahl-Taliban swap (h/t @JakeTapper). It has to do with the requirement of congressional notification prior to transferring a detainee at Gitmo.

Bowe Bergdahl was swapped for 5 high level Taliban Gitmo detainees with no notice to Congress.

Here’s the Summary of the GAO report:

The Department of Defense (DOD) violated section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014 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. Section 8111 prohibits DOD from using appropriated funds to transfer any individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay unless the Secretary of Defense notifies certain congressional committees at least 30 days before the transfer. As a consequence of using its appropriations in a manner specifically prohibited by law, DOD also violated the Antideficiency Act.

The full report is here, and concludes as follows:

Our opinion in this matter rests upon the Secretary of Defense’s responsibility to comply with a notification condition on the availability of appropriations to transfer individuals from Guantanamo Bay. 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. See 31 U.S.C. § 1341(a). DOD should report its Antideficiency Act violation as required by law.

So what? Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch says the penalties are pretty significant:

Question: Who can be removed from office? I claim no familiarity with that law, but that would seem to be the question of the day. Hagel? Someone higher up, or lower down?

Or is this another, “so the administration broke the law, what are you going to do about it?” moment? Wait, don’t answer that.


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I am sure we can trust the DOJ to lead the enforcement effort with intergity and zeal! No, wait…

The Obama administration and DOD did not violate the law – persons within those organizations did. Congress needs to find out who was responsible, and the then prosecute them when and if they regain control of the DOJ in the next presidential election. The same goes for every other law-breaking employee, agent, and officer of this administration.

    Ragspierre in reply to DaveGinOly. | August 21, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    As Raylan Givens would say, “Why wait…???”.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Ragspierre. | August 21, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      Marshall Givens; “You take one more step and I am gonna shoot ya.”

      1/2 step later BANG!

      Deodorant in reply to Ragspierre. | August 21, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Duh, he is fictional. You would hate a real one being all libertarian. But it doesn’t matter. You aren’t doing squat.

      Reagan liked watching Rambo. But his big military move was Grenada.

        I thought I smelled vinegar… the douche nozzle is back!

        ‘Peace Through Strength’ is a concept you and your fellow prog drones should study up upon. The mess we have with ISIS right now would not have happened had Little Boy Barry and his Merry Band of Incompetent Sycophants understood this idea. Talk about screwing the pooch by failing to close the deal on the provisional force agreement. Yikes… that one’s going to leave a mark on an already heavily skid-marked legacy.

        But you and all the other Useful Idiots thought you could vote in The Smartest Man in the Room who would bring about world peace and lower the oceans all through his smooooth ability to read from a teleprompter. You’ll all too damn ignorant to understand that force and diplomacy are two ends of a continuum.

        Tell me, are you ready to admit what a bunch of hapless fucking idiots you prog drones are yet? The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

        people who deployed to panama and honduras may say differently.

        Don’t forget cutting and running from Beirut.

    ralphm27 in reply to DaveGinOly. | August 21, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Would the person to be charged be the SECDEF himself?

    Humphrey's Executor in reply to DaveGinOly. | August 21, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Then someone is going to have to cough up $988,400 to the US treasury, in addition to the other penalties.

PersonFromPorlock | August 21, 2014 at 4:39 pm

“If the President does it, that means it’s not illegal.”

Who knew that Obama was the one who’d make the Democrats love Nixon?

I’ll wager that this gets referred to the DoJ for possible prosecution. Then down the memory hole with it.

Ha! The Barry administration and law..

Diametrical Opposition

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to JP. | August 21, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Obama and Holder never met a law they didn’t want to break!

Henry Hawkins | August 21, 2014 at 5:36 pm

As the penalty, I’d take away one wood, one iron, one sand wedge, and a putter.

The Drill SGT | August 21, 2014 at 5:42 pm

NOT: “General Accounting Office”

GAO = Government Accountability Office

Is it common to return prisoners of war during an active conflict?

Also, this isn’t the first time that Congress was left in the dark about major foreign actions. A notable intervention (i.e. regime change) occurred in Libya. Fortunately, the Syrian action was blocked, when the physical evidence was determined to have an ambiguous ownership.

Anyway, there is a judge, somewhere, who will validate their actions. Just one of the side-effects of an ambiguous or selective rule of law.

What will the Republican reaction be? Boehner will start crying like a little girl and McConnell will withdraw into his shell.

    MarkS in reply to Paul. | August 21, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    That was going to be my comment. Boehner doesn’t have the cojones to do anything about Obama and McConnell is Harry Reid’s eunuch.

“Or is this another, “so the administration broke the law, what are you going to do about it?” moment? Wait, don’t answer that.”

I am gonna guess its this one.

Also, has anyone heard whether they are gonna charge this deserter? I already pretty much know the answer.

Grand Old Partier | August 21, 2014 at 6:52 pm

I can already hear the hard drives crashing now as the subpoenas are being formatted.

Henry Hawkins | August 21, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Now, now, Boehner & McConnell & Co have to be careful not to upset anyone so close to the midterms. Wouldn’t be prudent. Stay the course.

The House Oversight Committe (Darrell Issa, R-CA, Chairman) will announce an upcoming announcement. That announcement will be that they are going to look at opening an investigation into this. Then an announcement will state that an announcement will come soon concerning whether they will investigate. After careful deliberation, they will announce they will indeed launch an investigation, right after Christmas.

After Christmas they will announce it’s now after Christmas, so please keep alert for an upcoming announcement. That announcement will be to explain how they plan to deliberate who will head the investigating subcommittee.

Along about Easter those deliberations will conclude, at which time they will announce that they’ll release their decision at the next announcement.

We’ll hear next to nothing other than assurances the investigation is ongoing and comment is discouraged, while a few nuggets of info are leaked to targeted media, followed by an announcement that, of course, the Committee is disturbed by leaks from within such an important investigation. They will call for everyone to get past this and to look few a new announcement soon, perhaps before Labor Day.

Shamelessly hoping to affect the presidential election just two months off, Issa announces a big announcement is coming tomorrow. The announcement is postponed a couple weeks because CNN and MSNBC don’t like it. Nonetheless, six weeks before the 2016 election, Issa announces that, yup, it’s quite possible two major laws were broken by the Obama administration back in the spring of 2014. A horrible thing, if true, he’ll say. But, what can you do, right?

Boehner will be encouraged on all sides to do something and announce he will caucus the situation and annouce an upcoming announcement on the matter.

About the middle of November 2016, Boehner will announce that reinvestigating the alleged law-breaking by the outgoing Obama administration would be like beating a dead horse, and that the House’s time would be better spent establishing a good working relationship with incoming President Al Franken.

nothing will happen.
too many cowards in both congress and the professional pundit crowd.

Tbe commander in chief has such power. Washington, CiC & General George when he served used it considerably. Not a valid law, rather than a law that was broken — the law itself is fatally flawed.

This issue, as with so many others, makes me laugh out loud when some politician, from either side of the aisle, spouts off about this being a “Nation of Laws”. Maybe we were once but that time is long past.

So long as the population votes for their “party”, no matter what it does, what laws it chooses to ignore or break, we will, IMHO, stray further and further from being a “Nation of Laws”.

We know that congress will do nothing. There will be a few outraged speeches and then nothing. SOP.

If only the Kenyan Usurper had authorized the sale of arms to Iran as a swap for Bergdahl …..

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Gus. | August 22, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Your anger is consistent and juvenile, Gus. Who was it? Dad? An uncle? Neighbor?

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Henry Hawkins. | August 22, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      Perhaps you’re simply not ready to talk about it yet. That’s OK.

        He is probably suffering from repressed memories… the molestation must have happened in the 1980’s. He probably got buggered while listening to Walter Kronkite talk about the Iran Contra Affair and now it keeps bubbling up every time he sees the Hanes ads in Sports Illustrated.

        Or maybe he is just confused and is thinking of Barry’s weapons running operation that went sideways in Libya.

        Either way, we know he got here on the Short Bus, because… “It’s Short Bus Gus!”

The corrupt coward John Boehner is proving more dangerous to America than Ebola Boy ever will be.