When the trade was under consideration in the past and Congress was in the loop, Feinstein strongly opposed letting those five Gitmo prisoners go free, as did others of both parties. I think it’s become clear that the lack of notification wasn’t a fear that Bergdahl would die from health issues or be killed by his captors, but a fear that Congressional leaders, having opposed this trade in the past, would oppose it now. The Administration decided it was better to ask for forgiveness, not permission.
“It is my belief, shared by many lawyers who have followed the legal battles over Guantanamo, that the president could have shut the prison down if he had really been determined to do so. One reason the prisoners can’t get out is that the courts have essentially ruled that a president has an absolute right to imprison anyone he wants during a time of war — with no second-guessing from either of the other two branches of government. by the same legal logic, a president can free any prisoner in a time of war. Had the president taken that stance, there would undoubetdly have been a court fight. but so what? Aren’t some things worth fighting for?”
In a letter to Congress today, Attorney General Eric Holder officially acknowledged for the first time that the U. S. killed four American citizens in drone strikes in Yemen (Anwar al-Awlaki, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, and Samir Khan) and Pakistan (Jude Mohammed).
Of the four, only Anwar al-Awlaki was specifically targeted.
The acknowledgment comes a day before President Obama’s major address on national security related topics like drones and Gitmo.