The blowup continues over the fact that President Barack Obama swapped Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for the five Taliban terrorist officials who were detainees in Guantanamo Bay. The stories that are extremely critical of the president and his administration continue to come out. It is now reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid learned of the deal – either the day of the swap or the day before – as Reid says he doesn’t remember exactly when he was told, according to a Politico report on Tuesday. Other members of Congress were not informed.
Other high-ups in the United States Congress say they weren’t told and only learned of Obama’s move when it came out in the media. Of those speaking out with concern regarding the hushed deal, Sen. Dianne Feinstein – a Democrat from California who is the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence committee – said she did not hear directly about the deal Obama made with the Taliban to release the Army sergeant for the release of the five terrorists at Gitmo. She says she learned after the fact when the news broke. Discontent of the procedure, she said it is very disappointing that there was not a level of trust sufficient to justify altering Congressional leaders such as herself. She also said that she thinks the notification to her and her ilk is important.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – a Republican from Kentucky – said, via an aide, that he did not know of the plan for the prisoner swap before it happened. Nancy Pelosi, the Minority Leader in the U.S. House, refuses to say whether or not she knew ahead of time. The assumption is that she was not briefed and is once again covering for Obama. House Speaker John Boehner knew nothing of the swap either. Even Sen. John McCain, the former top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he was not given specific information to the deal.
Therefore, it looks as if – beyond Sen. Harry Reid – the members of the United States Congress were not informed whatsoever about Obama’s secretive negotiations with the Taliban through Qatar. There are those who are stating that President Barack Obama broke the law by not informing Congress 30 days before he acted on this swap. There is no report as to whether or not Vice President Joe Biden was even made privy to the information as Harry Reid was either.
Republicans, in particular, are extremely upset that the Obama administration failed to follow the law by not informing them 30 days prior to the action. President Obama claimed, at a press conference in Poland on Tuesday, that the administration had consulted Congress for some time, but he was not specific with the date. Intelligence leaders in Congress argue that they had not been briefed on the Bergdahl for several years. The calls that state President Obama broke the law continues to grow throughout political and civilian circles, according to USA Today.