President Obama vs. George Washington On Prisoner Exchange (Part 2)

Last week, I spoke about how President Barack Obama justified his prisoner swap of five senior Taliban leaders for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl by saying former military leaders and presidents, including George Washington, have engaged in prisoner of war exchange, too.

Obama’s exact words were: “This is what happens at the end of wars. That was true for George Washington; that was true for Abraham Lincoln; that was true for FDR; that’s been true of every combat situation — that at some point, you make sure that you try to get your folks back. And that’s the right thing to do.”

From that statement alone, I revealed how Obama’s made grievous errors in judgment by concluding that 1) the war is over, and 2) he was engaging in a prisoner exchange like George Washington — to take just a single example among his list of stellar leaders.

What Obama didn’t tell you regarding Washington and prisoner exchange during the Revolutionary War is that both countries — England and the U.S. — exchanged prisoners of war because both had “few facilities to accommodate large numbers of prisoners,” according to the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, whose mission it is “to preserve, restore, and manage the estate of George Washington to the highest standards and to educate visitors and people throughout the world about the life and legacies of George Washington.”

As far as buying Americans back from captivity at the price of enemy combatants, Obama needs to follow the example of Gen. Washington, who “made sure that no states holding military prisoners should trade a British soldier for an American citizen. Washington believed that this would have legitimized the British capture of more citizens, most of whom were largely defenseless.”

Though no one is minimizing the understandable elation of Bergdahl’s family over his release, George Washington would not have traded for him because he didn’t believe in trading prisoners of war until after the war was in fact over, treaties were signed, and hostilities ceased, lest he risk the capture of further American people for ransom.

Here are my two additional grievances with Obama’s prisoner of war exchange:

3) As the commander in chief, George Washington wouldn’t have completely undermined the very heart and soul of the military as Obama did with his prisoner exchange, especially in light of how it is a cardinal sin in military culture to abandon one’s post and platoon during war.

A little over a week ago, The Washington Post reported, “Ralph Peters, a retired lieutenant colonel and intelligence officer, wrote in National Review that a ‘fundamental culture clash’ exists between the president’s team and those in the armed forces, as reflected by (national security adviser Susan) Rice’s remarks on Bergdahl’s honor.”

“Both President Obama and Ms. Rice seem to think that the crime of desertion in wartime is kind of like skipping class,” Peters wrote. “They have no idea of how great a sin desertion in the face of the enemy is to those in our military. The only worse sin is to side actively with the enemy and kill your brothers in arms. This is not sleeping in on Monday morning and ducking Gender Studies 101.”

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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

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