On Saturday, an unnamed senior administration official admitted the law was not followed in the release of five Guantanamo detainees, The Blaze reported. The prisoners were part of an exchange that secured the release of Bowe Bergdahl, a soldier held captive by the Taliban for five years.
According to a law signed by Barack Obama last year, lawmakers are supposed to be notified 30 days before any transfer of detainees. Obama, however, issued a signing statement claiming the notification requirement was an unconstitutional infringement on his powers as commander in chief and that he therefore could override it. In this case, lawmakers were not notified until after the transfer occurred.
“Due to a near-term opportunity to save Sergeant Bergdahl’s life, we moved as quickly as possible,” the official said, according to the Washington Post. “The administration determined that given these unique and exigent circumstances, such a transfer should go forward notwithstanding the notice requirement.”
Making matters worse, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the detainees released by the administration are "hardened terrorists who have the blood of Americans and countless Afghans on their hands."
"I am eager to learn what precise steps are being taken to ensure that these vicious and violent Taliban extremists never return to the fight against the United States and our partners or engage in any activities that can threaten the prospects for peace and security in Afghanistan," he added.
How dangerous are the men released by the administration?
According to the Daily Beast, the five men are "bad guys" who happen to be top Taliban commanders the organization has tried to free for over a decade. Moreover, a 2008 Pentagon dossier said all five would likely launch attacks on the United States if released, the Daily Beast added. According to Eli Lake and Josh Rogan, the five men are "some of the worst outlaws in the U.S. war on terror."
Two of the men, the Weekly Standard added, are wanted by the UN for war crimes.
Twitchy said that Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., was not happy about the prisoner exchange, and said the move could cost lives and lead to more Americans being taken hostage.
"I believe this decision will threaten the lives of American soldiers for years to come,” he said, according to Toby Harnden of the Sunday Times of London. He also questioned whether it is sound policy to negotiate with terrorists, the Post added.