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article imageOp-Ed: Should Obama have swapped a soldier for Taliban detainees?

By Eliana Robinson     Jun 6, 2014 in Politics
No Man Left Behind — this policy is as old as America herself. Regardless the country or the outcome, we have routinely swapped captured enemy fighters in order to return our soldiers to American soil.
The United States has approved the trading of prisoners of war since the Revolutionary War. As the Civil War was ending Union troops released treasonous Confederate soldiers, allowing them to go home. During the end of WWII, America returned Nazi soldiers and Japanese pilots back to their command. From Vietnam to Somalia, the American government has always endeavored to bring back our military.
Premise: No Man Left Behind is sacred.
America trades POWs with enemies
Why – Because no man left behind is sacred.
America does not negotiate with terrorists
• Except when Carter did during the hostage crisis in Tehran
• Except when Reagan did during the hostage crisis in Lebanon
• Except when Bush 43 did in working with Sunnis during the Iraq War
Why – Because no man left behind is sacred.
So much is this creed a part of the America’s DNA that we go above and beyond to rescue tourists, missionaries, and other civilians under this same motto.
So, why is Sgt. Bergdahl’s homecoming at issue?
Did the president ask Congress for permission? No, the commander-in-chief did not ask permission from the non-commanders-in-chief. President Barack Obama chose to circumvent a down vote by Congress by activating the Necessary and Proper clause of the U.S. Constitution. Was this unconstitutional? Maybe. But the question of constitutionality will depend on the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Necessary and Proper clause, if it goes that far. But as a Harvard-educated lawyer, specializing in the Constitution, President Obama has probably mulled it over.
The real question is what was the alternative –
• Ask the same people who stated from the start they would not support this president, the same ones who tried to repeal Supreme Court-approved Affordable Care Act nearly 60 times? How many votes could Bergdahl last?
• Or leave Bergdahl to die, perhaps publicly, at the hands of the Taliban?
• Or let him “go native” and have the Taliban recruit him for a suicide attack?
Like every president, President Obama has a duty to bring back all of our soldiers, without conditions. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl may be a deserter or a patriot. He may be a sympathizer, a nutcase, and a wimp. But regardless of your opinion, the fact is that he is an American. If there is wrongdoing, he should face American justice. He is an American soldier who is presumed innocent until proven guilty and protected by the same Constitution that covers us all.
And thank God for it.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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