After details of the Bergdahl/Taliban trade had been released, many lawmakers were dismayed at the possible lawlessness in which it was handled.
The Washington Post reported:
The law requires the defense secretary to notify relevant congressional committees at least 30 days before making any transfers of prisoners, to explain the reason and to provide assurances that those released would not be in a position to reengage in activities that could threaten the United States or its interests.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel claimed that the reason for circumventing Congress was that Bergdhal’s life was in danger. But Bergdahl had been in captivity for five years, so there was little chance his life was in such imminent danger that the administration had to negotiate with terrorists in such an unlawful manner.
A Fox News report indicates however, that the determination of Bergdahl’s deteriorating health was actually made based on a 6-month old video.
Now, Tom Coburn, the Republican Senator from Oklahoma who also happens to be a physician, has claimed that Bergdahl was very clearly drugged in that video, not sick or badly beaten.
But in an exclusive interview with CNN, Coburn said he is convinced that Bergdahl “had been drugged” in the video, “either with an anti-psychotic or hypnotic drug,” he said.
How could he tell?
“It’s easy,” Coburn replied, “His speech was slurred, he was having trouble reading, and he had what’s called ‘nystagmus.’ I mean, he’d been obviously drugged. “
Coburn went on to emphasize that he was making that observation as a physician.
Coburn would also reveal that Bergdahl had cleared a health check in Germany, and that “his physical health is fine.”
It appears the administration not only broke the law, but lied about their reasons for doing so. Fortunately for them – s happens quite frequently – a new story as to why they broke the law has been concocted. The AP reported via Twitter that “Congress not told of swap because Taliban threatened to kill Bergdahl if it leaked.”
Is anybody buying that? If that were the case the administration would have said that from the onset, having secured custody of Bergdahl. There was no reason to say the trade and the lack of communication with Congress was due to health concerns. In fact, in 2013 Jay Carney assured reporters that the White House “would not make any decisions about transfer of any detainees without consulting with Congress, and without doing so in accordance with U.S. law.”
It’s time we call this what it is – a well-crafted diversion from numerous scandals besetting President Obama.
We have a midterm election pending in a few months. We have a special committee investigating Benghazi. We have the IRS voter suppression issue still being looked at, and we can add the VA healthcare debacle to the list of the current administration’s scandals. What could be a better favorable story than getting an American soldier released after five years of captivity?
This, much like many of the President’s previous lawless moves, has backfired. The web of lies never seems to end.
Cross-posted at The Political Insider