News that one of the five Taliban fighters President Obama released from the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center contacted the Taliban with the intent of returning to combat has stirred up the indignation of the GOP. The former Gitmo detainee was part of the group released last year by President Obama in violation of federal law mandating congressional oversight. Congress is required to get a 30-day notice of an impending prisoner release in order to assess the threat to US forces and civilians. The president notified congress after the prisoner exchange occurred.
When the White House Press Secretary was asked if the president had regrets about the prisoner swap, the answer was a defiant “no”. The administration has taken the position that getting an American captive home has a value that is above any criticism. But my friend, Brian Torchin shared a link to his blog on aboutme.com that describes how GOP congressmen think otherwise. New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte pointed out that the five former detainees are residing in Qatar and are being monitored. However, the monitoring process is temporary. The senator asked aloud if one of the former captives was so brazen as to contact the Taliban during his probationary period, what will stop him from rejoining the Taliban after monitoring ends. The senator believes the prisoner exchange was not in the best interest of the nation. Texas Congressman Michael McCaul has asked the Obama administration to impose a moratorium on detainee releases citing the risk they will return to combat. President Obama is moving forward with plans to release as many detainees as possible.