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Congress not among top 90 to learn of Bergdahl trade

Members of Congress on Monday learned they were not among the top 90 people to be told of the deal President Obama cut with terrorists for the release of five top Taliban commanders at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for a U.S. soldier.

And they now have a few questions about that.

Congress held a behind-closed-doors hearing on the deal for Bergdahl. Some of the details presented were classified, others not.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told WND: “Today my colleagues and I were informed that as many as 80 to 90 Obama administration officials were aware of the plan to exchange Sgt. Bergdahl for five dangerous terrorists before a single member of Congress was informed.”

Meadows said it is “wholly unacceptable that President Obama knowingly chose to completely bypass Congress.”

The congressman said his question for the White House now is: “How many Qatar officials knew about the deal before a single member of Congress was made aware?”

WND has reported the strong criticism of Obama’s decision to go ahead with the terrorists-for-soldier swap.

For example, a commentary by WND CEO Joseph Farah on Monday points out that Obama’s decision “to trade five battle-hardened Taliban commanders, directly responsible for the deaths of thousands, for deserter-collaborator Bowe Bergdahl was unanimously rejected by both houses of Congress, including the Democrat-controlled Senate, when the proposal was brought to Congress in 2011 and 2013.”

Farah pointed out that after that rejection, administration officials “publicly and repeatedly vowed to return to Congress before taking any final action.”

“In other words,” he wrote, “not only was this an egregiously bad decision to yield to terrorist demands, thus providing incentives for future kidnappings of Americans, but it was yet another example of Obama deliberately defying the will of Congress and the rule of law – something his administration has been brazenly saying it will do more frequently.”

Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh bluntly said Monday Obama’s move boiled down to “replenishing the enemy.”

“What, at the end of the day, happened here?” Limbaugh asked rhetorically. ” Obama replenished the enemy.”

“The Taliban reaction to this is proof positive,” he added, citing the senior member of the Afghan Taliban who told NBC News that the exchange was a “historic moment for us.”

Obama’s move has prompted a petition that calls for Congress to move to impeach the president, and commentaries describe his actions as “treason.”

Former Republican Rep. Allen West called into question the basic operational ability of the president and his henchmen.

“Obama and his aides have lost their minds,” he said in an email for the Allen West Guardian Fund.

West’s outrage reverberated throughout his comments.

“One of his aides was quoted as saying the administration believed it had won another ‘kill bin Laden moment’ that would earn them praise,” West said, “Praise?!! Even Sen. John McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam, called the released terrorists the ‘hardest and toughest of all’ and ‘wanted war criminals.’

“One is suspected of war crimes including the murders of thousands and another was ‘directly associated’ with Osama bin Laden and was an Afghan drug lord,” West said.

“Consider this – this is Obama is his own words: ‘That’s been true of all the prisoners that were released from Guantanamo. There’s a certain recidivism rate that takes place. Is there a possibility of some of them trying to return to activities that are detrimental to us? Absolutely,” West said.

Analysts and commentators have pointed out that Obama’s actions in delivering to an enemy five top leaders appear to violate the federal National Defense Authorization Act, which specifically bans any “material help” to terrorists, whether is it equipment, money, advice or personnel.