GAO finds Obama administration actions unlawful in prisoner swap

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report stating the Obama administration acted unlawfully in transferring five Taliban commanders from their detention facility in Guantanamo Bay without notifying Congress.

The GAO report performed a legal analysis following a request from Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and eight other members of the Senate defense appropriations subcommittee. Members of the committee referred to a text from the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, which requires the secretary of defense to notify the necessary congressional committees at least 30 days before the transfer or release of individuals detained at the Guantanamo Bay facility.

“This GAO report confirms my belief that the administration violated the law when it released and transferred these dangerous Taliban detainees without notifying Congress as the law clearly and unequivocally requires,” Collins said.

She noted in a statement that the Obama administration’s intelligence experts suggest that these same individuals will resume the fight against the U.S. after their year at a facility in Qatar.

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The GAO office is at 441 G Street NW, Washington, D.C.