US Daily Review asked a leading policy authority on national security to discuss the controversial “prisoner exchange” of Sgt. Bow Bergdahl for five top Taliban leaders.
Ben Lerner is Vice President for Government Relations at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. His articles have appeared in The American Spectator, The Washington Times, Townhall, The Washington Examiner, and in Focus Quarterly, and he has been a guest lecturer at the U.S. Army War College.
“The negotiated release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five top Taliban leaders detained at Guantanamo Bay is the latest and strongest indicator that President Obama is going to attempt to shut down Gitmo by releasing the detainees to third countries, now possibly on an accelerated basis.
“The majority of legislators and their constituents do not want to bring Gitmo detainees into the United States, for all sorts of legal and security reasons. The prospect that these unlawful enemy combatants would receive civilian criminal trials, and the constitutional protections typically given to criminal defendants in such cases, is too much for most Americans to swallow. Just recently, the House of Representatives, on a bipartisan vote, beat back an amendment to the FY 2015 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill that would have enabled the transfer of Guantanamo detainees into the United States.
“Releasing the Gitmo detainees to third countries is equally problematic, given that detainee recidivism rates are now at almost 30% according to US intelligence, and terrorist prison breaks have happened in places like Yemen and Iraq. Despite this, the president remains committed to his ill-conceived pledge to close Gitmo, and the Bergdahl exchange will likely embolden him to proceed without involving Congress. Congress will likely have something to say about that.”