The problem with writing a book about President Obama’s lawlessness, as I have just done in Faithless Execution (which will officially be published Tuesday), is that eventually the author has to stop writing so the book can be printed. The administration’s illegal conduct, by contrast, rolls right along — so by the time the book comes out, I find myself several impeachable offenses behind.
At the moment, we are still processing the latest executive malfeasance: the president’s release this weekend of five senior Taliban jihadists in exchange for a U.S. soldier who is alleged to have abandoned his post in 2009 after complaining that “the horror that is America is disgusting” (and whose father is on a campaign to free all anti-American terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay).
Some lawmakers have pointed out that the release, which flouts American policy against negotiating with terrorists (Obama is a recidivist offender on that score), also violates federal law. Specifically, the president must give Congress 30 days’ notice before transferring detainees out of Gitmo, in addition to explaining how the threat to the United States has been mitigated so that the release is justified. Obviously, the president disregarded the law because complying would have made it clear that the transfer exacerbates the threat to the United States, sparking public and congressional protests that would have scotched the deal. It is a swap that the administration, which is delusionally courting the Taliban in hopes of an Afghan peace settlement, has been trying to make for years. So Obama did what Obama does when the law is against him: He ignored it, claiming not to be bound by it if he concludes the circumstances are “unique and exigent,” as a White House spokesman put it.
The swap, it should be noted, also violates federal laws prohibiting material support to terrorism. The Obama administration may think it can sidestep this inconvenience by its longstanding refusal to designate the Afghan Taliban as a terrorist organization. Federal law, however, bars giving support — including providing personnel, as Obama has done here — not only to formally designated terrorist organizations but to groups known to engage in terrorist activity, whether the State Department gets around to designating them or not. (See Sections 2339Aand 2339B of Title 18, U.S. Code.) There is no doubt that the U.S. government knows the Taliban and its confederates engage in terrorist activity — it has been telling us for 13 years that this is why we must have thousands of American troops in Afghanistan. Even as we come to grips with the administration’s newest outrage, though, it is necessary to look ahead to the next one — actually, an ongoing one that is about to get even worse: our government’s material support to the Hamas terrorist organization. Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, announced Saturday that a “unity government” has been formed between his faction, Fatah, and Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas is formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization under U.S. law. It is pledged by charter to the destruction of Israel. As noted above, federal law makes it a felony to provide material support to a terrorist organization. When the organization in question has been formally designated as a terrorist group, as Hamas has, the relevant penal statute (section 2339B of Title 18, U.S. Code) is crystal clear:
Whoever knowingly provides material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both, and, if the death of any person results, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life. To violate this paragraph, a person must have knowledge that the organization is a designated terrorist organization . . . , that the organization has engaged or engages in terrorist activity . . . , or that the organization has engaged or engages in terrorism.
The federal government has convicted numerous people in the United States for providing material support to Hamas. Not only is the law explicit; the government has made a compelling public case that Hamas is dedicated to violent jihad. Indeed, here is just some of what the Justice Department alleged (and later proved) about Hamas, as set forth in the 2004 Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financingindictment:
1. The Harakat al-Muqawamah al-lslamiyya is Arabic for “The Islamic Resistance Movement” and is known by the acronym HAMAS. HAMAS, which is sometimes referred to by its followers as “The Movement,” is a terrorist organization based in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Gaza). HAMAS was founded in 1987 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin as an outgrowth of the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood is an international Islamic organization founded in Egypt in 1928 and is committed to the globalization of Islam through social engineering and violent jihad (holy war). HAMAS’ published charter states that HAMAS’ purpose is to create an Islamic Palestinian state throughout Israel by eliminating the State of Israel through violentjihad.