The Obama administration has produced three different versions of its reason for making the Bowe Bergdahl deal without the necessary 30-day notice to Congress. The first excuse was that Bergdahl was too sick to wait, the second that Congress was told, and even if they weren't, Barack Obama had added a signing statement that he did not agree with the 30-day notice, and finally, the Administration said they were told by the Taliban if Congress leaked word about the deal they would kill Bergdahl. Asked about the latest excuse on Friday Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) dismissed the White House claim, saying, “No, I don’t think there was a credible threat."
Feinstein, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is in a position to know the truth about the Bergdahl-for- Taliban-leaders deal which took place last weekend. The Hill reported on Friday:
Feinstein said it was clear from past negotiations that the Taliban’s leadership was so eager to free five of its commanders from the detention camp that they would not have risked Bergdahl’s life, their biggest bargaining chip.
She said the same prisoner exchange was discussed as part of preliminary peace talks in 2011.
“We were brought in, in November 2011, when this was part of a bigger effort. And that bigger effort was a reconciliation with the Taliban. And this was proposed as a confidence building measure,” she said of the five-for-one prisoner exchange that was first floated several years ago.
“Well, it was very clear at the time that the Taliban really want these five back. And of course history has verified that,” she added.
Feinstein told reporters earlier in the week that the administration proposed trading the five Taliban commanders at Gitmo for Bergdahl in 2011 as part of peace talks and that she and other senior lawmakers were nearly unanimously opposed.
She argued Friday that the Taliban’s persistence in seeking to free its leaders from the camp, including Mohammad Fazl, the chief of staff of the Taliban army, suggests they would not have squandered their leverage by killing Bergdahl.
Feinstein also questioned whether Bergdahl’s life was in serious jeopardy despite a short video administration officials showed to senators during a classified briefing depicting the American POW in apparent poor health.
"Well, that’s hard for me to tell. I don’t think that was — had a clear distinction in the briefing we’ve had,” she said.
Based on the rejection of their latest excuse by an administration supporter such as Diane Feinstein, look for the White House to try a fourth explanation for breaking the law and not giving Congress 30-day notice.