June 4, 2014
President Barack Obama is in hot water with members of his own party after Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) complained that the president did not inform her of the planned prisoner exchange. Feinstein was "surprised" and "dismay" that the transfers went ahead without her consultation "totally not following the law" in notifying the senatorial committee that is tasked with oversight of the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. Did the president violate the law in trading 5 Taliban commanders for POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl?
Fox News Contributor Charles Krauthammer claims that the president does have the authority to act unilaterally to perform a prisoner exchange. He argues that the congressional notification clause was meant to prevent the president from clearing out the entire base, not to stop him from a simple transfer. But Senator Marco Rubio of Florida disagrees, claiming that the president is acting like a monarch or an emperor in not fulfilling his obligations to notify congress that he was releasing prisoners from Gitmo.
Sgt. Bergdahl's former squad members have been taking turns pillorying him in the media, claiming that he deserted them and that their fellow soldiers died searching for him. The New York Times is reporting that Bergdahl left a note which stated his intentions in leaving his post. Some news outlets are also reporting that Bergdahl renounced his American citizenship.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel gave a speech to soldiers at Bagram Air Force base trying to extol the prisoner swap, but members of the military sat grim faced and silent over the news, seemingly unhappy with the deal that saw an alleged deserter traded for high level Taliban prisoners whose release could jeopardize American national security. President Obama is now backing away from claims that Sgt. Bergdahl served with "honor and distinction" as previously claimed.
Meanwhile, the Taliban has released a video of the hostage swap showing the dramatic helicopter evacuation of Sgt. Bergdahl. The Afghanistan based terror group is calling the entire operation a great success and declaring it a great victory against the United States.
Just what is going on in Washington D.C.? Find out on this exciting episode of the Freedom Report podcast!
June 3, 2014
Freed Prisoner of War Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is slated to be promoted, fueling speculation about whether or not he will be court martialed after it was revealed by the New York Times that he left a note that allegedly confirms he deserted his platoon. Fellow platoon members have been speaking out against him, claiming that men died in the hunt for Sgt. Bergdahl and suggesting that he should be put on trial.
Opponents of the Obama administration are rushing to condemn the president over the prisoner swap that saw five high-ranking Taliban commanders go free. Did Obama release Bergdahl to shield himself from the scandal at the Veterans Affairs administration? Has the president put the U.S. in danger by negotiations with terrorists? Did Obama break the law?
All that and more on the Freedom Report podcast.
June 2, 2014
The Washington Post dissected Reason Magazine editor-in-chief Nick Gillespie's article titled "Libertarianism 3.0," which analyzed three distinct epochs in the movement's history.
Gillespie posits that the first wave spans the 1960's and 70's, when groups were deciding what it really meant to be a libertarian. Then the second wave, libertarianism 2.0 was the last thirty years, when the movement became its own separate ideological entity, distinct from a conservative movement that saw it as something of a red-headed step child.
Now Gillespie sees the modern day movement as the third iteration, libertarianism 3.0, which he sees as following two distinct paths. The first path is the movement against identifying with a major party, which gives movement libertarians the ability to form short term coalitions with people who are of like mind on important issues. One example he draws is the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act and the senate version, the Protect Intellectual Property Act. Both of these initiatives were defeated by progressive/libertarian alliances.
The second path is the infiltration of the GOP by liberty-loving types who are infusing the party with more socially tolerant views on issues. Gillespie believes that soon libertarians could be driving the agenda on social and fiscal issues in the future. But is he right? Could a libertarian/conservative alliance work alongside a progressive/libertarian coalition? Can we set aside our differences on a variety of issues to be able to team up in the important areas where we actually agree?
All that and more on the Freedom Report podcast!