Tag Archives: POTUS


12 Mar

doug smith

DOUG SMITH: Author, Historian and a regular contributor to FSP

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Political language — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” The oldest political speech I can recall was from Cain: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Short, but all the elements. The Lie: I have no idea if his body is where I left it when I killed him. The respectability of the murder: I’m not responsible for him. He’s the one who put his head in the way of my fist. Unfortunately, his audience (God) was not easily swayed. But Cain showed the way. Politicians, in particular progressive ones, have been busily perfecting the art the political speech ever since.

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Language is important. That is how we communicate our ideas. If I tell my kid “You cannot have a cookie.”, and he counters with “I didn’t. I only took a baked confection.”, then we have a problem. Words have meaning, and those who twist and shade those meanings are not trying to tell the truth. In the Dark Ages in Britain, from the fall of Rome to the beginnings of the Renaissance, the art of writing was all but lost. Few outside Irish monasteries could either read, or write, and thus, be aware of their history and culture. Communication devolved to the bare minimums needed for survival and civilization to a mean and barbaric existence. (Thank God for the Irish, who preserved the core of written knowledge in monasteries to form the yeast from which the Renaissance rose.) Words have meanings. The written word lets us record those meanings for others besides those sitting near enough to hear us speak. Words, meanings, are the lubricant without which our social interactions cannot rise above barbarism. But, as with Cain, so with many today, there is an assault on language. When words have no meaning, or when they can mean anything, then scoundrels can hide their meanings and intentions from people. Take the word, Democrat, for example. A country that says it is Democratic is meant to be perceived as having a free and benevolent government. However, few people, even those on the progressive left, would describe Die Deutsche Demokratische Republik as anything but oppressive. Fidel Castro was elected over and over by voters with guns to their head, but elected he was. Yet “his” democracy remains one of the most brutal, repressive regimes in the world. He and his cohorts came to power with ruthless murders, and maintained it with a police state, political prisoners, and the theft of wealth of citizens. Just tossing the word democratic at a Gulag does not make it Coney Island.

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But if people can hijack language, destroy meaning, than they can avoid calling evil or stupidity what it is. They can avoid making rational arguments for nonsensical goals. In short, they can be progressives. Hence, an Army deserter is said to have served with honor and distinction. Taxing and spending become investing and paying your fair share. One who is Rich has steady work and a paycheck that can be robbed. Anyone who opposes higher taxes and out of control spending is a right wing extremist. Conversely, Muslim terrorists who murder children with an electric drill are NOT Muslim terrorists, but just extremists. (I guess they REALLY hate taxes.) A backward, corrupt, poor country with tribal warfare and warlords who confiscate any foreign aid becomes a developing country. (One might ask, in fairness, into what they are developing.) A self-serving shakedown artist becomes a civil rights leader. (Again, one might ask, whose rights, other than his own rights to a fat bank account, has Al Sharpton led?) Patriotism becomes a joke, a synonym for a bumpkin, or in the opposite extreme it becomes a blind following of a party or person, rather than a nation. Affordable housing and Affordable Health care provide neither, but put control of both in government hands, where both are ravaged.

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Words become so imprecise that they mean nothing, or everything, or whatever a dishonest speaker or writer wishes them to mean. Thus, they can never be held to account for what they say, or promise, or swear. Reporters cannot even manage to write a simple paragraph or sentence, and readers become accepting of sloppy writing, and reporting, and outright lies. Imprecise and meaningless language makes people vulnerable to nonsense phrases that say nothing but sound good. Hence, “I feel your pain” makes us feel you are one of us. “Hope and Change”, uttered with Greek Columns and fireworks, sounds profound. In reality,both phrases are semantically null: they mean absolutely nothing. So the hearer can project into them whatever he or she wishes to believe, and the slick politician can never be held to account for his promises, because he has promised precisely nothing. But it sounded like something! To quote Orwell again: “the slovenliness of our language makes it easier to have foolish thoughts.” Foolish thoughts lead to foolish actions, foolish decisions, and foolish leaders, leading foolish people off a foolish cliff. We need to take back our language. We can start with simple words. Halt. About face.

Mark Caserta: Broken promises caused election losses

11 Dec

Lying is simply part and parcel of the progressive movement

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Dec. 11, 2014 @ 12:01 AM

Apparently honesty, integrity and the rule of law have little meaning for liberals. For they would have you believe these missing qualities in the Obama administration had nothing to do with the shellacking Democrats took in the November election.

Despite the fact that the pattern of disingenuous governing by Barack Hussein Obama has become as evident as the nose on your face, liberals continue to make excuses for this president and ignore his lying in the interest of propagating progressivism.

And frankly it’s laughable for someone to blame “the poor” for not voting or the two-thirds of the voters who didn’t go to the polls, rather than ask themselves “why” would many who had previously supported this president’s policies turn on him.

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Perhaps progressives should consider these presidential canards which they’ve never been able to plausibly explain to the American people.

n “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan period. No one will take it away. No matter what.” This was, of course, Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” for 2014. Yet, for liberals the end justifies the means.

n “My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government.” But the Obama administration has set a new standard for deceptive governing. Some recall during his 2008 campaign the president repeatedly promised health care negotiations in Congress would be televised on C-SPAN. But it never happened and liberals looked the other way.

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n “We agree on reforms that will finally reduce the costs of health care. Families will save on their premiums…” Barack Obama repeatedly promised Americans that Obamacare would cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year. But as rates spike across the nation, liberals just keep marching.

n “We’ve got shovel-ready projects all across the country that governors and mayors are pleading to fund. And the minute we can get those investments to the state level, jobs are going to be created.” Obama later referenced this failed objective of his stimulus package during a jobs council meeting and joked about the promise saying, “Shovel-ready was not as… uh … shovel-ready as we expected.” Liberals just laughed it off.

n “I don’t want to pit Red America against Blue America. I want to be the president of the ‘United States of America.'” Really, Mr. President? You’ve helped renew racial tensions that are sweeping the nation! And while Barack Obama counsels with Al Sharpton for a plan to “unite” America, progressives are silent.

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Do you suppose liberals would be “deaf and mute” to this fraudulence if it was a GOP president? They simply know they can’t deliberate these points on their merits, so they predictably play the race card or the blame game. Anyone not in denial can easily figure this out.

The American people have simply had enough of this president’s lies and broken promises, and Barack Obama’s “chickens are coming home to roost.”


19 Nov

Emperor Obama tests his executive power

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WASHINGTON (AP) — In a broad test of his executive powers, President Barack Obama declared Wednesday he will sidestep Congress and order his own federal action on immigration — in measures that could spare from deportation as many as 5 million people illegally in the U.S. and set up one of the most pitched partisan confrontations of his presidency.

Obama declared that Washington has allowed America’s immigration problem “to fester for too long.”

The president will use an 8 p.m. EST address Thursday to announce his measures and will sign the executive actions during a rally in Las Vegas on Friday. In doing so, Obama will be taking an aggressive stand that he had once insisted was beyond his presidential power.

As many as 5 million people in the country illegally are likely to be protected from deportation and made eligible for work permits under the plan. They would not have a path to citizenship, however, and the actions could be reversed by a new president in two years. Officials said the eligible immigrants would not be entitled to federal benefits — including health care tax credits — under Obama’s plan.

The 5 million estimate includes extending deportation protections to parents and spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in the country for five years. The president also is likely to expand his 2-year-old program that protects young immigrants from deportation. The administration had considered extending the executive action to parents of young immigrants covered under the 2012 Obama directive, but immigration advocates said they did not expect the parents to be included in the final plan.

“What I’m going to be laying out is the things that I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system better, even as I continue to work with Congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem,” Obama said in a video on Facebook.

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Laying the groundwork for his actions, Obama invited 18 Democratic members of the House and Senate — but no Republicans — to dinner at the White House on Wednesday. Among the networks airing his Thursday speech will be Univision, which will interrupt the Latin Grammys to carry his remarks, assuring him a huge Spanish-speaking audience. The major broadcast networks — ABC, CBS and NBC — were not planning to air the speech, but cable news networks were.

Obama is to speak at Las Vegas’ Del Sol High School on Friday, a school with a large population of non-English speaking students where Obama unveiled his blueprint for comprehensive immigration legislation in 2013.

Republicans vehemently oppose the president’s likely actions but are deeply divided and have spent much of the week intensely debating how to respond. Some conservative members have threatened to pursue a government shutdown and one — two-term Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama — raised the specter of impeachment on Wednesday.

House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman criticized Obama’s planned announcement, noting that the president himself had said in the past that he was not “emperor” and was limited in his ability to act.

“If ‘Emperor Obama’ ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for congressional action on this issue — and many others,” the spokesman, Michael Steel, said.

A wide-ranging immigration bill passed the Senate last year, but stalled in the Republican-led House. Senate Democratic leaders on Wednesday took turns declaring their support for Obama’s unilateral action, blaming Republican inaction for forcing Obama to act.

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“There’s one more chance: Just put the bill on the floor, Speaker Boehner,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a lead author of the bill that passed the Senate. “Pass the bill and we will not even have to debate executive action.”

Even Republicans who supported the Senate bill that would have overhauled immigration laws said Obama’s go-it-alone approach would backfire. Still, they cautioned their party colleagues not to overreach in their response.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who worked on the Senate legislation, said the executive actions would leave the status of millions of immigrants unresolved and would not address what he called a broken immigration system.

“Our response has to be measured — can’t capitulate, can’t overreact,” he said. “Impeachment or shutting down the entire government would be an unwise move.”

Adjustments also are expected to a 2012 program that allowed immigrants under 31 who had arrived before June 2007 to apply for a reprieve from deportation and a work permit. More than 600,000 young immigrants have been shielded from deportation to date under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Removing the upper age limit so that applicants don’t have to be under 31 — one option under consideration — would make an additional 200,000 people eligible.

In one specific example, about 250,000 farm workers in the United States illegally would receive work permits under Obama’s actions, according to Giev Kashkooli, the national political legislative director of the United Farm Workers who met with White House officials and with Obama on Wednesday. The UFW had been hoping for a specific program that would provide work permits to more farm workers.

The 250,000 farm workers would be eligible by being parents of children who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

The beneficiaries of Obama’s new executive action would be treated in the same manner as those immigrants who were shielded from deportation in his 2012 directive, according to one official who discussed the limits of Obama’s action on the condition of anonymity, lacking authority to speak on the record at this point.

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Those young immigrants covered by the 2012 action can obtain work permits but are not eligible for food stamps, federal welfare benefits or disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income program. They also are ineligible for tax credits under Obama’s health care law, though they can buy health coverage at full price on the exchanges created by the law. They may be eligible for public benefits provided by some states.

Mark Caserta: Senate shift in power may not be enough

6 Nov

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Nov. 05, 2014 @ 11:24 PM

The shift in the balance of power in the U.S. Senate affirms the disdain most Americans have for the policies of Barack Obama.

Unfortunately, Congressional balance of power could mean very little during the remaining two years of this administration. Obama’s intended reliance on his executive powers and his bully pulpit highlight his shortcomings in working with Congress.

Liberals blame a gridlocked Congress for Obama’s failures but conveniently forget that Democrats controlled Congress during the first two years of Obama’s presidency. Since then, his incapacity to reach across party lines and create any semblance of bipartisanship is the true reason for our congressional cul-de-sac.

Such an impasse never occurred under Bill Clinton, who faced a GOP majority during the bulk of his presidency, or Ronald Reagan, the “great communicator” who consistently placed people above big government. The inability to muster even the slightest “Clintonesque” or “Reaganesque” presidential leadership qualities has essentially rendered Obama a lame duck president.

But then there’s the executive order.

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Just two weeks before delivering his 2014 State of the Union address, Obama doubled down on his commitment to fundamentally change America with or without the elected voice of the people.

“We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone.” Obama said during a White House cabinet meeting. “And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward.”

Now it’s true other presidents have leveraged the “grant of executive power” provided in Article II of the Constitution, some more than Obama. But it isn’t the “quantity”; it’s the ultra-progressive “quality” of his actions that concern most Americans.

Attempting to minimize Senate seat losses, Obama postponed decisions on a host of contentious issues related to ObamaCare, immigration and the environment until after the midterm elections. But a tyrannical storm is brewing.

The administration announced that health-insurance premium rates on the ObamaCare exchange won’t be available until Nov. 15, when the Healthcare.gov website begins its 2015 enrollment. How politically convenient! It’s noteworthy that last year’s enrollment began on Oct. 1, making this year’s timetable clearly an intentional delay.

In June, Obama vowed “to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress,” but has taken no executive action on immigration before the midterms. The White House reportedly is preparing to provide amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants in late November.

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release new power-plant restrictions that will cost the industry some $366 billion, but the rules won’t be finalized until later this year.

If Barack Obama’s policies are so popular, why was he compelled to hide them from the American people prior to such an important election?

Nevertheless, after the bureaucratic smoke clears, only a two-thirds vote by Congress or a Supreme Court declaration of unconstitutionality can overturn a presidential executive order.

So fasten your seat belts, America. It’s going to be a rough ride.

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Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.


7 Oct


Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared President Barack Obama’s approach to be like a law professor, however without the aspect of rolling up his sleeves and to get the job done.

Instead he suggested Obama has given up.

Panetta said, “He [Obama] approaches things like a law professor in presenting a logic of his position. There is nothing wrong with that. We want to have a president who thinks through the issues. My experience in Washington is that logic alone doesn’t work. Once you lay out a position, you are going to roll up your sleeves and you have to fight to get it done. That is key in Washington. In order for presidents to succeed, they cannot just — when they run into problems, step back and give up.”

“There is a feeling and I have a feeling that the leadership and the president have given up on the big issues facing this country whether it’s immigration or a budget deal or infrastructure funding or trade or energy. there is a sense that you can’t deal with that. This country needs that. They can’t give up.”


12 Aug



Weasel Zippers has revived an old video of Barack Obama promising not to take vacations if he were elected president.

The video features then-Sen. Obama discussing his book “The Audacity Of Hope” with New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in 2008.

The future president was talking about how those running for president need to be prepared to “give their life to it.”

“The bargain that any president strikes with is, you give me this office and in turn my, fears, doubts, insecurities, foibles, need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure is gone,” Obama said. “I am giving myself to you.”

Obama went on to say that “the American people should have no patience for what’s going on in your head because you’ve got a job to do” and that people should only run for president if they’re willing to make that sacrifice.

When asked by the host if he could imagine himself making that kind of commitment, he said, “Sure.”

Weasel Zippers used the quote to criticize Obama, saying he “then proceeded to hit the golf course 186 times (and counting).”

The president has also been criticized for taking a vacation to Martha’s Vineyard while international crises are occurring.


27 Jul

Barack%20Obama-JTM-046564McALLEN, Texas – Observing what he could only describe as “chaos on the border” during a midnight tour of the Rio Grande on Friday, Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, concluded, “President Obama is begging to be impeached.”

“For all I know, Obama is preparing to process 5 million illegal immigrant kids and teenagers into the United States,” Stockman said upon observing border operations near McAllen, Texas.

“He wants us to impeach him now,” Stockman theorized, “before the midterm election because his senior advisers believe that is the only chance the Democratic Party has to avoid a major electoral defeat. Evidently Obama believes impeachment could motivate the Democratic Party base to come out and vote.”

Does Barack Obama WANT to be impeached? Sound off in the WND Poll.

Accompanied by a WND film crew, Stockman began the evening by stopping at a massive Department of Homeland Security detention facility a mile or two north of the Mexican border, only to be encountered by seven or eight armed Border Patrol agents who approached him and WND for questioning.

Though polite, a Border Patrol supervisor speaking from behind the chain-link fence that surrounded the facility refused to allow Stockman to tour the facility.

Through the chain-linked fence, the WND film crew took video of an active hangar-like open building cooled by two massive fans in which teenage illegal immigrants were being searched for concealed weapons as they were being processed into the detention facility.

Sign the petition demanding Congress follow through on impeaching Obama.

Within minutes, as Stockman began asking questions of the Border Patrol supervisor, the hanger-like intake facility was shut down and emptied of illegal immigrant teenagers being processed by more than a dozen Border Patrol agents.

“We release all detainees under 14 years of age without taking any biometric identification, including no fingerprints,” the Border Patrol agent explained to Stockman. “We are prevented by law from taking fingerprints or other biometric information on these kids.”

The Border Patrol supervisor could not identify for Stockman the law in question.

“Then how do you know who these children under 14 years old are?” Stockman asked. “How do you know if you are releasing these kids to people who are truly family members in the United States or to pedophiles or other criminals posing as family members?”

“We only know who these children are by what they tell us,” the Border Patrol supervisor admitted. “Truthfully, we don’t really have any idea who they might be or where they came from other than what we can observe from questioning them. You’re right. If they give us false information, we have no way to know it or to follow it up without biometrics.”

Stockman asked what information the Border Patrol has on the people in the United States who claim to be relatives.

“That’s not what our department handles,” the Border Patrol supervisor again admitted.

Back in the vehicle, frustrated at seeing the facility going into rapid shutdown mode once he and the WND film crew set up to film, Stockman expanded on the impeachment theme.

Stockman observed that rather than begin impeachment proceedings now, what the House of Representatives should do is to take away money from the Obama administration.

“The only way we’re going to stop Obama from opening the border is to take away the money he needs to operate,” Stockman concluded. “What we should do is shut down the White House.”

The definitive case for removing Barack Obama from office is presented in “Impeachable Offenses” by Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott.

In a four-hour tour of McAllen roads leading to the Rio Grande that began at midnight, WND observed dozens of Border Patrol lock-up vehicles, with one marked “LICE” in large hand-written letters, transporting illegal immigrant detainees to destinations unknown to WND.

Every time WND’s vehicle approached the Rio Grande, Border Patrol trailed behind to engage in questioning once WND and Rep. Stockman stopped.

“Be careful, it’s a busy night out here,” one Border Patrol agent advised.

In another stop about a mile north of the border, WND observed a Border Patrol vehicle with an agent manning what appeared to be a 10-foot antenna scanning the surrounding open territory.

“It’s taking high-definition night-vision photographs,” the Border Patrol agent explained, as he dodged into the shadows to avoid being filmed in the bright lights of the WND film crew.

In a night in which Stockman described law enforcement presence on the McAllen border as “heavily active and in plain view,” the congressman and WND observed several Department of Public Safety state troopers patrolling the border in conjunction with the ever-present white-and-green-marked Border Patrol vehicles.

On Friday, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., told WND in a cell-phone call from the airport that she and Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, are planning to join Stockman at the border in McAllen, arriving at noon Saturday.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/07/congressman-at-border-obama-begging-to-be-impeached/#M7PqSA0x2If3joq4.99

This Romney – Obama debate moment now haunting the president! 45 seconds

23 Jul

http://conservativetribune.com/romney-makes-obama-foolish/romney obama

Mitt Romney saw this coming a long time ago, according to a video posted on IJ Review. “Russia does continue to battle us in the U.N. time and time again,” he said to Obama during the third presidential debate in 2012. “I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia or Mr. Putin. I’m certainly not going to say to him, ‘I’ll give you more flexibility after the election.’ ”

Romney predicted exactly how Putin would respond to such attempts at appeasement: “After the election, he’ll get more backbone.”

Hindsight is always twenty-twenty, of course. There are many pundits who claim now to have seen all along what would happen in U.S. – Russia relations under a continued Obama presidency, just as there are many who predicted then that only Obama could keep the peace between the two countries.

Obama’s response, that Romney wanted to return the U.S. to the Cold War is equally telling. The Cold War had been “over for 20 years,” as Obama said. The president seems to forget, however, that it was Ronald Reagan’s policy of dealing with the Soviet Union from a position of strength that ended the Cold War.

Just as Obama’s appeasement seems poised to start it up all over again.

Mark Caserta: Taliban trade may mar Obama legacy

12 Jun


Jun. 12, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

The Obama administration just released arguably the five most dangerous Taliban leaders detained at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. And it appears the president knowingly and willingly broke the law in doing so.

Under the National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law by Obama last year, the administration was required to notify Congress 30 days in advance of any such action. And even if the president can somehow find “legal” justification for what he did, he did not abide by the law.

Even Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said that it was “very disappointing” that President Obama decided not to alert Congress about the deal, suggesting a low “level of trust” at the White House.

Taliban leaders are reportedly hailing the release of the five prisoners as a major victory over Obama and the U.S.

A senior member of the Afghan Taliban described the exchange for Bergdahl as an “historic moment for us.” He went on to tell NBC News this was the first time its “enemy” had “officially recognized our status.”

President Obama was defiant in his remarks that he will “make no apologies” for a trade in which he openly admitted the possibility that these leaders may “return to activities that are detrimental to us,” despite families who still mourn the loss of six brave American troops who died while searching for Bergdahl after he went missing five years ago.

So who were these five Taliban leaders Obama released?

One was Abdul Haq Wasiq, a Taliban deputy minister of intelligence who reportedly used his office to support al-Qaida and to “assist Taliban personnel in eluding capture.” Wasiq has been accused by Human Rights Watch of mass killings and torture.

Mullah Norullah Noori, a senior Taliban military commander, is described as a military mastermind who engaged in hostilities “against U.S. and Coalition forces.” Noori has been implicated in the murder of thousands of Shiites in northern Afghanistan and reportedly “does not express any regret” for his actions.

Mullah Mohammad Fazi, a former Taliban deputy defense minister, was held at Guantanamo after being identified as an enemy combatant by the United States. He’s also wanted by the United Nations on war crimes for the murder of thousands of Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan.

Mullah Khairullah Khairkhwa, the former governor of the Herat province, once had close ties with Osama Bin Laden. He “represented the Taliban during meetings with Iranian officials seeking to support hostilities against the U.S. and coalition forces.”

Mohammad Nabi Omari, a senior Taliban leader, once held multiple leadership roles in various terror-related groups. Nabi reportedly helped al-Qaida operatives smuggle missiles in Pakistan for use against the U.S. and coalition forces.

So what would prompt Obama to bypass Congress to trade these Taliban militants for a questionable soldier and risk retribution against the U.S.?

The president’s argument that “we don’t leave our men or women in uniform behind” is pretty hollow given his failure to act in Benghazi.

This is one decision which may return to haunt the Obama legacy.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Bergdahl release arrangement could threaten the safety of Americans, Republicans say

1 Jun


By Karen Tumulty, Published: May 31

Amid jubilation Saturday over the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from captivity by the Taliban, senior Republicans on Capitol Hill said they were troubled by the means by which it was accomplished, which was a deal to release five Afghan detainees from the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Top Republicans on the Senate and House armed services committees went so far as to accuse President Obama of having broken the law, which requires the administration to notify Congress before any transfers from Guantanamo are carried out.

“Trading five senior Taliban leaders from detention in Guantanamo Bay for Bergdahl’s release may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans. Our terrorist adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans. That incentive will put our forces in Afghanistan and around the world at even greater risk,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. McKeon (R-Calif.) and the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, James M. Inhofe (Okla.), said in a joint statement.

Lawmakers were not notified of the Guantanamo detainees’ transfer until after it occurred.

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.

Before the current law was enacted at the end of last year, the conditions were even more stringent. However, the administration and some Democrats had pressed for them to be loosened, in part to give them more flexibility to negotiate for Bergdahl’s release.

A senior administration official, agreeing to speak on the condition of anonymity to explain the timing of the congressional notification, acknowledged that the law was not followed. When he signed the law last year, Obama issued a signing statement contending that the notification requirement was an unconstitutional infringement on his powers as commander in chief and that he therefore could override it.

“Due to a near-term opportunity to save Sergeant Bergdahl’s life, we moved as quickly as possible,” the official said. “The administration determined that given these unique and exigent circumstances, such a transfer should go forward notwithstanding the notice requirement.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that the detainees transferred from Guantanamo to Qatar, where they are to stay for at least a year, “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.”

Beyond this individual instance, some raised the larger question of whether it is sound policy for the United States to have, in the words of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), “negotiated with terrorists.”

Rogers said the action marked a “fundamental shift in U.S. policy.”

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