Dysfunction Begins With Thinking

Congress has been accused often of being a dysfunctional organization. Many times this dysfunction has been correlated with individual Congress members’ personal search for financial support. Other times, the dysfunction could be more associated with blind party loyalties.  American citizens’s needs, however, has been normally vague in Congressional action (or non-action).

The current brouhaha over the swap of 5 Taliban detainees for Sergeant Bowe Burgdahl has reinforced a third reason for Congressional dysfunction. Too many simply do not think.

President Obama has pointed out (in professorial tones) that the US military does not leave behind on the battle field any of its ranks if it is at all possible to recover them. Full stop.

This position has long been a core value of our military top command and represents nothing new or modified. What’s hard to understand about that?

“Well”, say the critics, “Bergdahl is a traitor”. Hmmm. What do these people think the words “we do not leave any US military” mean?

For those who might not argue about the Bergdahl repatriation, instead mount their high horse over the release of 5 former senior Taliban detainees. Some think 5 was too many and others think that anyone of them was too many. They infer these 5 will rejoin the Taliban and create havoc for the US.

The President has pointed out (again professorially) the nature of the agreement releasing these detainees (exile in Qatar for a year and a promise to not rejoin Taliban military operations).   There is of course always a chance the promises will not hold.

But think about it. Not releasing these detainees now begs the question “when”?

Our Constitution sets the standard of rule by law and prohibits indefinite detention (except in time of war). Guantanamo Detention Facilities represent internationally a dark smudge on the US reputation, and domestically, honesty with itself is missing.

Guantanamo represents a departure form American ideals and the potential onset of a two tier judicial system. It leaves open the possibility for future authorities to detain Americans indefinitely simply because they are charged with being a terrorist threat.

Congress members might be justified in holding the position that 5 was too many or the 5 individuals were the wrong 5, but they are irresponsible (and guilty of not thinking) if they do not have an equally clear position on how these 5 and the rest of the Guantanamo detainees are to be render a law based disposition of their status.

Dealing with the Guantanamo mess will require thinking and courage. Congress appears short on both qualities.

Explore posts in the same categories: Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Politics, Republican Party

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