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Lions for jackasses, pt. 3: Carl Levin says Obama right to ignore dumb 30-day law

by: Eric B.

Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 17:29:32 PM EDT


Have rightwingers simmered down yet about the prisoner swap that brought home Bowe Bergdahl? Last week at this time, you'd have thought that bringing him home was the worst crime by this administration since Benghazi, which as we all know is the worst thing ever in the history of humanity. Unfortunately, it's still a dumb political issue. Fortunately, Carl Levin still sits in the Senate.

Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said Congress should not have been surprised that Obama evaded the 30-day law — citing warnings Obama had in mind when signing the law that he might not be able to comply with the requirement if “there were circumstances which didn’t give him enough time.”

“That’s exactly what happened here,” Levin said.

This is the thing that last week Republicans were bellowing was an impeachable offense, even more impeachable than the IRS, Fast and Furious and the murder of Vince Foster all rolled into one.

The worst thing about this entire spectacle is that it's turned everyone into an expert not only in prisoner negotiations but also in the Taliban. This, a nation most of whose citizens can't even find Afghanistan on a map. There's nothing dumber than having the administration on one hand negotiate with the Qataris, who are intermediating for the Taliban, and then getting Congress to sign off on it. That's not proper command and control. That's war fighting by committee and it can't work. Like this.

One question that few if any lawmakers inclined to criticize the swap appear to have answered: If this was too high a price to pay for Bergdahl’s release, what would the right price have been?

These are not questions that are asked in a serious nation. In a serious nation, it's assumed that someone got the best deal they could under difficult circumstance. Who the hell is actually qualified to set this kind of price?

It should also get mentioned that once we leave Afghanistan, we're going to have to give Afghanistan back all its people we can't connect to some specific crime. To do otherwise turns us into a nation of kidnappers, which I'm sure wouldn't bother lots of people, but in the community of nations this is generally frowned upon behavior not that we give a shit. It also has the potential to send a message to people who we might have hostitlies with in the near future that there isn't any real upside to giving back our people since we won't give them theirs. But, thinking things through hasn't been our forte for at least a minute.

Eric B. :: Lions for jackasses, pt. 3: Carl Levin says Obama right to ignore dumb 30-day law
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