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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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    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.

    kenoshamarge | August 22, 2014 at 7:44 am

    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.

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