Monday, June 2, 2014

Commander in Chief
     As commander in chief the president of the United States is required to make difficult decisions.  The decision to exchange five detainees held for more than ten years at Guantanamo Bay for an American soldier held by the Taliban for five years was the right call.  Critics of the decision argue that these five were really bad actors.  If so, after ten years, why have they not been tried in a court of law or military tribunal?  They also argue that the release was made without Congressional  approval 30 days in advance as required by law but overlook the fact that we went to war in Afghanistan and stayed for thirteen years without a declaration of war by Congress as required by law.  Finally, these critics argue that the five will probably return to terrorist activities.  They probably will.  But it is not as if the Taliban has suspended operations over the past ten years waiting for their return.  These same critics also seem to overlook the fact that 70% of those released from US prisons each year are arrested within three years of release and 50% return to prison in three years.
     It is easy for those who have no "skin in the game" to question the decisions of the commander in chief.  What if it were their son who volunteered to serve his country while most Americans went about their lives as limited liability patriots.  Let the critics make their case personally to the parents of Sgt. Bergdahl.  Politically motivated righteous indignation melts away in the face of the human suffering and sacrifice of a soldier and his family.

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