FLASHBACK--Jay Carney 2013: No Transfer of Detainees Without Consulting Congress
On June 21, 2013, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney unequivocally assured reporters at that day's White House Press Briefing that President Obama “would not make any decisions about transfer of any detainees without consulting Congress and without doing so in accordance with U.S. law."
Appearing on Sunday's edition of NBC's Meet the Press, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel claimed that President Obama's weekend decision to do precisely what his official spokesman promised the country he would never do was based upon the need for secrecy and that informing Congress of the highly contentious prisoner exchange would risk scuttling it.
Saturday's release of five of the most dangerous terrorist masterminds detained at the U.S. Military Prison on the US Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – two of whom are accused by the UN of orchestrating the systemic murders of tens of thousands of Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan when they served as senior officials in the former Taliban regime – was an urgent matter of life and death for Bowe Bergdahl, the army private who is thought to have deserted his post in 2009.
Hagel claimed the White House couldn't inform anyone in Congress because, "We couldn't afford any leaks anywhere."