By Tony Perkins
President Obama freed a deserter — only, it seems, to be deserted himself. The man behind could be the most foolhardy move in the War on Terror stands by his decision to release five of America’s enemies for one wayward soldier. And increasingly, he’s standing alone. After a few premature statements of support, Democrats are jumping ship on this foreign policy Titanic faster than you can say Uniform Code of Military Justice. Even some of the Senate’s most hardened liberals can’t back away fast enough.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was blunt about her frustration, despite the administration’s belated apology for its “oversight” in breaking the law where the 30-days notice to Congress is concerned. From the mainstream media to the President’s reliable friends, Feinstein seemed to speak for everyone when she said that there was not a “level of trust” with the administration. “The White House is pretty unilateral about what they want to do when they want to do it,” she said. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) called the deal that liberated Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl “very disturbing.”
And while the Left may just be coming around to the devastation this swap could do to national security, new reports suggest that military leaders raised red flags from the very beginning. In what insiders called “out of the norm,” the President didn’t allow any conversation on the plan, despite serious internal objections. “Obama’s move was an ultimate victory for those at the White House and State Department who had previously argued the military should ‘suck it up and salute.'”
Trending: Will Oregon Voters Defund Abortions?
Objectors, which TIME reporters say ranged from intelligence to Pentagon officials, insisted the five terrorists released were “a continuing threat.” “How much sense does it make to release your enemy when you’re still at war with him?” asked one insider. Still, the President charged ahead anyway, igniting exactly the kind of national firestorm Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release was intended to avoid. With all due respect to the commander-in-chief, our military leaders take an oath to defend the Constitution and the country — not the President’s personal agenda. It’s time for those leaders to put their careers on the line — just like those six soldiers put their lives on the line to find a man who intentionally left his post.
Otherwise, where is the comfort for those parents, whose children made the ultimate sacrifice to protect America from the very terrorists we released? Sondra Andrews, mom to 2nd Lieutenant Darryn Andrews — part of Bergdahl’s search team — is deeply convinced that her son would have willingly died to keep these Guantanamo Bay prisoners from being unleashed on the world. Instead, she told the Military Times, “This guy [Bergdahl] was worth my son’s life? My son who was patriotic? Who was a true soldier? Who defended his country with his life? [Bergdahl] was worth it? I don’t think so.”
Meanwhile, the same President who is crowing about leaving no American behind has done exactly that in Sudan where Meriam Ibrahim continues to waste away in a Khartoum prison awaiting execution for her faith. As Americans try to make sense of the Bergdahl trade, Meriam and her two tiny children cannot afford to be lost in the outrage. Britain continues to speak out more forcefully than the United States on a platform of freedom that America used to own. As the President’s grip on religious liberty slips, so too is the U.S.’s influence on the world’s conscience.
We can’t bring back those young warriors who died looking for a selfish defector, but we can pressure the Obama administration to fight for two innocent babies. Sign our WhiteHouse.gov petition here and call for the administration to start rebuilding its foreign policy credibility by showing the resolve on Meriam it has lacked on so many others.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.