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Obama’s fine legacy already has been written - The Galveston County Daily News: Guest Columns

October 26, 2016

Obama’s fine legacy already has been written

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Posted: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 12:00 am

What private individual has the authority to act as the judge and jury of Bowe Bergdahl and his parents?

Who knows all the details of the capture and tenure of this young man in the hands of the Taliban? Who would not attempt to move heaven and earth to secure the safety and freedom of their child?

The Opinion page is a forum for people to present their ideas and views. However, it is the responsibility of the contributor to be truthful and factual. Unfortunately, much of what is used as the basis for opinions is flawed. A little research on war, prisoners and exchanges yields a wealth of information.

An evil result of war is the capture of soldiers by the opposing forces. It is so unbelievably evil that even world governments could not tolerate an unregulated system of holding prisoners. After centuries of war in Europe, the nations convened in The Hague in 1899 and again in 1907 to institute the Laws and Customs of War.

Chapter Two of the second pact established that prisoners of a government must be treated humanely.

In 1929, the Western nations established the Geneva Convention. After World War II, the wording of Article Four established the title of P.O.W., or Prisoner of War. This term was expanded to all captured personnel including military, civilian and irregulars or guerrilla forces.

The United States is a signatory to these pacts. None of these documents dating back for more than 100 years allows, condones or qualifies any actions against a prisoner such as “enhanced interrogation.”

There is an American tradition of negotiating for prisoners. During the American Civil War, neither side could secure and care for large numbers of prisoners. Negotiations established a system of releasing a prisoner if he promised not to fight. He was pardoned and allowed to return to battle when a prisoner of the other side was freed.

In 1865, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant freed 3,000 prisoners each week until the prisons were empty.

The Taliban prisoners have been in our custody since 2001. Are we planning to keep them in captivity forever? Are we willing to risk the life and limbs of future captured Americans to a new paradigm of the Laws and Customs of War?

President Barack Obama’s legacy is already written. He is the Commander in Chief in office when Osama bin Laden was found and eliminated.

The successful Affordable Health Care Act bears President Obama’s signature. In six years, the American economy has now recovered to 2008 levels.

Our soldiers are out of Iraq. By 2015, our military will complete their mission in Afghanistan.

LGBT citizens are getting equal rights. Green energy is a growing segment of the economy.

Additionally, no other president has had to bear the burden of attending and comforting so many grieving families mourning victims of rampant gun violence.

One question begs an answer: What has been gained by trying to make President Obama fail?