American Values With Gary Bauer: Al Qaeda On The Rise; Islamists Or Congress?; The Spin Continues; What Do The People Think?; Our Open Borders Policy

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

From: Gary L. Bauer
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Al Qaeda On The Rise

The Wall Street Journal reports that Iraq’s second-largest city fell to Al Qaeda jihadists today. Fallujah — less than 40 miles from Baghdad — fell in January.

Look around the Middle East, my friends. Libya. Syria. Iraq.

Al Qaeda is on the rise and on the verge of taking Iraq. Into this cauldron of chaos, we have just released five jihadi generals, including two wanted war criminals.

Islamists Or Congress?

Whom do you trust more — radical Islamists or members of Congress? This really isn’t a bad joke. That was exactly the question facing the Obama White House in the Bergdahl/Taliban prisoner deal.

Stephen Hayes at The Weekly Standard reports that in the days leading up to the release of the Taliban 5, security at Guantanamo Bay was ramped up considerably. The detainees were reportedly told that the extra security precautions were due to a coming hurricane. But they “knew something big was up.”

There is a process that every released detainee goes through — a physical exam, an exit interview, etc. In addition, Hayes notes that Arab media reports indicated that representatives of the Qatari government “had been at Guantanamo for three days prior to the transfer.”

So, the Taliban detainees likely knew they were being set free. The Qataris obviously knew days in advance that the Taliban 5 were being set free.

Who didn’t know? Members of Congress.

The White House chose to trust radical Islamists and hardline regimes, but did not trust the people’s elected representatives. Adding insult to injury, officials briefing members of Congress last night admitted that roughly 80 to 90 members of the administration also had advance knowledge of this deal.

Some liberals argue that the administration couldn’t comply with the law’s 30-day notice requirement because Congress couldn’t be trusted to keep the deal a secret. Members of Congress aren’t buying that explanation given that several of them were kept in the loop during the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

No one would object to killing bin Laden. But Obama’s team already knew that everyone was “virtually unanimous” against releasing the Taliban 5 and that they would be furious if they were told the deal was five generals in exchange for a likely deserter.

The Spin Continues

As the White House shifts from its Rose Garden victory lap to damage control mode, its explanations are shifting too.

First, Susan Rice told us that Bergdahl had to be rescued because of his declining health. That story unraveled when the Taliban released video showing Bergdahl walking on his own and appearing to be relatively healthy.

Then administration officials told Congress that they had to break the law and move quickly because Bergdahl’s life was in danger. But Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, disputes that, saying, “I don’t think there was a credible threat [against Bergdahl’s life.] I have no information that there was.”

Friday, President Obama defended his decision to swap Bergdahl for the Taliban 5. He told NBC News, “I make no apologies for it. This is something that I would do again and I will continue to do wherever I have an opportunity…”

So it was Obama’s decision and he stands by it. Well, maybe not so much.

At the closed-door briefing last night, members of Congress asked who signed off on the final order to release the Taliban 5. They were told that it wasn’t Barack Obama but instead Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel who was to blame, uh, who was responsible.

Of course, that is ludicrous. A decision of this magnitude had to come from the Oval Office. So why even try to blame Hagel?

As this deal turns into a disaster Hagel may soon be joining Kathleen Sebelius and Eric Shinseki in the unemployment line.

What Do The People Think?

Members of Congress aren’t the only ones upset by the decision to free the Taliban 5. The American people, and especially our veterans, are ticked off too.

 

  • Days after the deal was announced, a Rasmussen poll found that only 40% of likely voters approved of the swap.
  • A CBS News poll released today found that just 37% of Americans support the deal. Fifty-six percent believe the price (a likely deserter for five Taliban leaders) was too high. And 72%, including 55% of Democrats, believe Obama should have consulted with Congress.
  • A USA Today Pew Research poll found that 34% of Americans felt the trade was “the right thing to do.” The poll also found that only 26% of veterans felt that swapping Bergdahl for the Taliban 5 was “the right thing to do.”Our Open Borders PolicyIllegal immigrants are pouring across the southern border and overwhelming our Border Patrol agents. The situation is so bad that three military bases are reportedly housing illegal immigrants and the federal government is flying illegal immigrants captured in Texas to Arizona because they are out of space. How’s that for catch and release?The Associated Press reports that nearly 150,000 arrests were made in the Rio Grande Valley from October to May of this year. Worse, the Financial Times reports that 47,000 children have crossed the border THIS YEAR — twice as many as last year.President Obama has declared this surge “an urgent humanitarian crisis.” But it is a crisis he created when he unilaterally decided to stop enforcing our immigration laws.Unfortunately, leading Republicans like Paul Ryan and some others continue to encourage it too. They want to help the “Dreamers.” But they have lost touch with the law of unintended consequences. As everybody keeps talking about the inevitability of some kind of amnesty, especially for children, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that more and more illegal immigrants keep coming.

    In 1980, Fidel Castro manipulated U.S. immigration policy, opened his jails and launched the Mariel boatlift to embarrass Jimmy Carter. This “humanitarian crisis” isn’t the fault of a foreign dictator. It’s not the fault of the children making the dangerous journey. And it’s not the fault of the American taxpayer.

    It is the fault of politicians who will do anything to advance their agenda of bigger government. It’s clear why liberals want open borders. What is not clear is why some Republicans — especially when this administration keeps demonstrating its disregard for Congress and the rule of law — keep trying to find common ground with the left on this issue.

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