Blame Obama First

Column: The president’s national security team isn’t the problem. Obama is.
A series of bombs hit the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq / AP

On June 12, as al Qaeda forces marched toward Baghdad, John McCain spoke on the Senate floor. Noting that the al Qaeda affiliate ISIS has conquered a third of Iraqi territory, has overrun the city of Mosul, has captured abandoned American equipment, and has stolen more than $400 million in cash reserves, McCain said that the enemies of the United States are on the verge of a strategic victory. Only a major course correction, McCain went on, might prevent the emergence of an al Qaeda state that stretches from eastern Syria to the outskirts of Baghdad. “It’s time that the president got a new national security team,” he said.

Bill Would Reprimand Obama for Breaking Law on Taliban Swap

Resolution ‘condemning and disapproving’ White House secrecy
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel testifies before the House Armed Services Committee / AP

A bipartisan delegation of House lawmakers are circulating a measure to reprimand the Obama administration for violating a U.S. law mandating that the administration provide Congress with advance notice before releasing dangerous terrorists from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

Hagel Admits Obama Ignored Law in Taliban Release

‘The trust has been broken’ between Congress and White House
Chuck Hagel

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel admitted that “the trust has been broken” between the White House and Congress following the Obama administration’s decision to skirt U.S. law and release five top Taliban leaders without first consulting with lawmakers.

Chuck Hagel May Have Inadvertently Ordered the Bergdahl Trade

Gibberish to blame?
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (AP)

President Obama’s decision to announce the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap in a triumphant Rose Garden appearance suggests the White House had no inkling of the broad public skepticism that would follow.

On Monday, USA Today published a poll showing that more Americans oppose the Bergdahl trade than support it. That same day, administration official told members of Congress it was Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and not Obama, who made the final call.

That’s odd, given that Hagel himself said over the weekend that Obama “made the ultimate decision,” and Hagel merely “signed off” on it.