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Has the president gone rogue?

Published: 6/9/14 @ 12:00


WASHINGTON

What Winston Churchill said of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles — that he was a bull who carried his own china shop around with him — is true of Susan Rice, who is, to be polite, accident prone. When in September 2012 she was deputed to sell to the public the fable that the Benghazi attack was just an unfortunately vigorous movie review — a response to an Internet video — it could have been that she, rather than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was given this degrading duty because Rice was merely U.N. ambassador, an ornamental position at an inconsequential institution. Today, however, Rice is Barack Obama’s national security adviser, so two conclusions must be drawn.

Perhaps she did not know, in advance of the swap of five terrorists for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the, shall we say, ambiguities about Bergdahl’s departure from his platoon in Afghanistan, and the reportedly deadly consequences of his behavior. If so, then she has pioneered a degree of incompetence exotic even for this 10-thumbed administration. If, however, she did know, and still allowed Obama to present this as a mellow moment of national satisfaction, she is condign punishment for his choice of such hirelings.

Perhaps this exchange really is, as Obama said in defending it, an excellent thing “regardless of the circumstances, whatever those circumstances may turn out to be.” His confidence in its excellence is striking, considering that he acknowledges that we do not know the facts about what would seem to be important “circumstances.”

Expressions of anger

Such as the note Bergdahl reportedly left before disappearing, in which he supposedly said he did not approve of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. And the notably strong and numerous expressions of anger by members of Bergdahl’s battalion concerning his comportment and its costs.

Obama did not comply with the law requiring presidents to notify Congress 30 days before such exchanges. Politico can be cited about this not because among the media it is exceptionally, well, understanding of Obama’s exuberant notion of executive latitude but because it is not. Politico headlined a story on his noncompliance with the law “Obama May Finally Be Going Rogue on Gitmo.” Politico said Obama’s “assertive” act “defied Congress” — Congress, not the rule of law — in order “to get that process [of closing Guantanamo Bay prison] moving.”

The 44th president, channeling — not for the first time — the 37th (in his post-impeachment conversation with David Frost), may say: “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” Already the administration says events dictated a speed that precluded complying with the law.

This explanation should be accorded open-minded, but not empty-minded, consideration. It should be considered in light of the fact that as the Veterans Affairs debacle continued, Obama went to Afghanistan to hug some troops, then completed the terrorists-for-Bergdahl transaction. And in light of the fact that Obama waged a seven-month military intervention in Libya’s civil war without complying with the law (the War Powers Resolution) that requires presidents to terminate within 60 to 90 days a military action not authorized or subsequently approved by Congress.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, says the administration told him he would be notified about negotiations for the release of terrorists. He now says he cannot “believe a thing this president says.”

No consultations

Obama says his agents “consulted with Congress for quite some time” about prisoner exchanges with the Taliban. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, says there have been no consultations since 2011. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., says “I don’t like it when the White House says the intelligence committees were briefed. Because we weren’t.” He says Obama is “referring to ... 2011-2012, when I was still in grade school.”

Now, now. “Assertive” presidents can’t be expected to “go rogue” without ruffling feathers.

This episode will be examined by congressional committees, if they can pierce the administration’s coming cover-up, which has been foreshadowed by the response to congressional attempts to scrutinize the politicization of the IRS. If the military stalls on turning over files to Congress pertaining to the five years of Bergdahl’s absence, we will at least know that there is no national institution remaining to be corrupted.


Comments


Posted by parlayhenry (anonymous) on June 9, 2014 at 9:10 a.m.

For RepubliKKKans, EVERYTHING Obama does is an impeachable offense. The trailer-trash on the right are Constitutional experts, in their own minds. For them, "Bergdahl" is the new "Benghazi". Or is he the new "IRS Scandal"? Or is he the new Affordable Care Act? Or is he the new "birth certificate" conspiracy theory?
The funny thing is that all of the nutcases who are acting like rabid dogs today were excoriating Obama for NOT getting Bergdahl's release on Twitter just a month ago. Thousands upon thousands of Obama haters wanted Obama impeached for NOT getting Bergdahl freed. Now that Bergdahl is freed, they want Obama impeached for freeing him. John McCain flipped-flopped on the release so quickly that Circue De Sole wants to hire him.
Here's the funny thing; Obama has the Taliban hiding in caves because he has dropped so many drones on their behinds. When Mullah Omar hears a dragonfly buzzing he wets his pants. Remind me, wasn't it Obama who got Osama Bin Laden after Bush tried and failed for 7 years? Yet you crazies accuse Obama of helping his Muslim buddies, even though he is Christian, which you nuts espouse to be but are anything but.
Some more: The Army thought so much of Bergdahl, they raised his rank from private to sargeant when he was in captivity. The person you loons call a traitor, even though you don't have a clue as to what happened, except the manufactured story from Fox News and the madmen in the right-wing blogosphere.
Some more: You RepubliKKKan nuts seem to think those five Taliban dead-enders are superheroes out of Marvel comics. Oh my, they are going to harm us now that they're out!!! Those five are going to tip the scale to the terrorists!! LOL!!! Those bums will be hiding in caves right along with Mullah Omar. Just more right-wing nonsense to fan the flames.
Some more: What would the indignation from the right have been if Obama was the President instead of Bush when 9/11 occurred, IN THIS COUNTRY, KILLING THOUSANDS, AND WE HAD FOREWARNING THAT WE IGNORED? Would you lunatics have dragged Obama into the streets?
What the reaction to Bergdahl from the RepubliKKKan rabble demonstrates is that within every nation, there is a faction of madmen who would do the most heinous acts if given the power to do so. It shows how a country like Germany in the 1930's could change from a nation into rabid mob. Bergdahl is the example historians will cite that the American right-wing in 2014 had descended into madness.
But, just like "Benghazi", Obama's citizenship, The "IRS non-scandal", The Affordable Care Act and whatever comes next that will have you jackals howling at the moon for Obama's impeachment, Obama will go merrily along, laughing all the way at you right-wingnuts as he lines you up like Russians at a bakery and sinks you like a 3 foot putt. Obama beat the RepubliKKKans like a rented mule. Intellect wins every time. Go and howl at the moon, jackals, it won't do you a bit of good. Obama isn't going anywhere. LOL!!!!


Posted by parlayhenry (anonymous) on June 10, 2014 at 12:37 a.m.

steivo...besides the fact that Obama is black and has a funny name, why is he the worst President?
Because he saved the economy?
Because he ended the wars and brought our troops home? Because we have not experienced a terrorist attack on our shores while he's been POTUS?
Because the stock market has never been higher under any other POTUS?
Because he responds quickly to natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy and not like Bush with Katrina?
Because he expanded health care coverage to millions?
Because he expanded the drone program and has terrorists hiding in caves?
Because he got Osama Bin Laden?
I think it must be because he is black and has a funny name.
Oh, that, and the fact the you and the haters are incapable of rational thought or expression.


Posted by borylie (anonymous) on June 10, 2014 at 10:10 a.m.

parlayhenry, Did you vote for President Obama because he was black,like so many others did? What qualifications of his persuaded you to vote for him?