Libertarian pundit and and former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano has called for the impeachment of the President over the Taliban prisoner release, stating that he has aided the release of the worst terrorists in the world.Nevermind that according to this interview at Foxnews, John Berger, former advisor to President George Bush (who, let's remember, used signing statements to get away with an actual impeachable offense - torture), says:
I’m not saying this is clearly an easy choice but frankly I think a Republican, a president of either party, Republican or Democratic confronted with this opportunity to get back Sgt. Bergdahl, who is apparently in failing health, would have taken this opportunity to do this. I think we would have made the same decision in the Bush administration.But let's take a look at the guys released. Were they terrorists or were they POWs?
Here's an interesting thing to consider that a former Guantanamo Bay prosecutor said on Democracy Now!:
There is information available to the public about the five individuals and how they were captured. Two I believe surrendered to the Afghan government. There is one captured I believe in Pakistan. There’s no indication that any of these people — I think the picture that is trying — that’s being painted is that in the midst of battle that the U.S. forces captured these guys and lives were lost in the process, and that simply is not the case.Or this from ThinkProgress:
I think the president is right when he said, you can’t guarantee there will be no recidivism. I mean, if we’re waiting for the risk to be reduced to zero before you release people from Guantánamo, then they’re going to be doing a life sentence because we can never reduce the risk to zero then they’re going to be doing a life sentence, because we can never reduce the risk to zero. But, you have to take some reasonable risk. As for talking to and negotiating with terrorists? I’m just not aware of any war ever that has ended where the parties to the war don’t have negotiations and discussion. I just don’t know how you end a war without talking to the other side. And as for these five men, when I was chief prosecutor, we had screened all of the detainees and we had focused on about 75 that had the potential to be charged with a crime. When I saw the names the other day, wasn’t familiar with any of these names. So we had more than 12 years if we could have proven that they had done something wrong that we could prosecute them for I’m confident we would have done it, and we didn’t.
When wars end, prisoners taken custody must be released. These five Guantanamo detainees were almost all members of the Taliban, according to the biographies of the five detainees that the Afghan Analysts Network compiled in 2012. None were facing charges in either military or civilian courts for their actions. It remains an open question whether the end of U.S. involvement in the armed conflict in Afghanistan requires that all Guantanamo detainees must be released. But there is no doubt that Taliban detainees captured in Afghanistan must be released because the armed conflict against the Taliban will be over.Then there's this from Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey:
In response to those of you interested in my personal judgments about the recovery of SGT Bowe Bergdahl, the questions about this particular soldier’s conduct are separate from our effort to recover ANY U.S. service member in enemy captivity. This was likely the last, best opportunity to free him. As for the circumstances of his capture, when he is able to provide them, we’ll learn the facts. Like any American, he is innocent until proven guilty. Our Army’s leaders will not look away from misconduct if it occurred. In the meantime, we will continue to care for him and his family. Finally, I want to thank those who for almost five years worked to find him, prepared to rescue him, and ultimately put themselves at risk to recover him.You don't leave troops behind. You negotiate for POW releases at the end of conflicts. As distasteful as it may be here, that's what you do.
But the lesson here is this: the last guy (Bush) gets a pass from the right on the torture and doesn't get impeached. The current guy gets the release of a POW and now they're screaming about signing statements and impeachment.
Yea, go figure.