afghanistan

White House Hits GOP's Legal 'Track Record' in Gitmo Standoff

Police remove protesters from the White House fence during a demonstration against the war in Afghanistan and torture in 2009. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House is firing back at congressional Republicans who are threatening to sue should President Barack Obama use his executive authority to close the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, terrorist detention center.  

As the White House prepares to send Congress a plan to shutter the facility perhaps as soon as Friday, congressional leaders have dubbed it dead on arrival. The Obama administration continued Thursday refusing to rule out another option: Using an executive action to close the prison, citing the president’s war powers under Article II of the Constitution. Asked about Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain’s declaration Wednesday that such a move would be “unconstitutional,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest grinned and replied, “Gives you a sense of what we’re up against  even our friends on this issue are threatening lawsuits.”  

Obama to Keep Troops, Bases in Afghanistan (Video)

Obama announced that he would leave 3,800 troops in Afghanistan after 2016. (Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images)

Updated 12:21 p.m. | The next president of the United States will inherit a substantial military presence in Afghanistan.  

President Barack Obama announced Thursday he will keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through most of next year and 5,500 at three bases after 2016.

Leak Could Have Killed Bergdahl, Administration Warns

The Obama administration is pushing back as frustrated senators question the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.  

Bergdahl could have been killed if word of the prisoner swap with the Taliban had leaked, a senior administration official told reporters, responding to lawmakers upset that President Barack Obama did not follow the law and notify Congress 30 days in advance.  

Obama: No Apology for Bergdahl Deal

Bergdahl Deal Didn't Break Law, White House Insists (Video)

The deal securing Bergdahl's release will be the subject of hearings in the House Armed Services Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The prisoner swap that freed Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was legal, the White House insisted Tuesday, as President Barack Obama defended the deal at a news conference in Poland.  

A statement from the White House said the president's power under the Constitution trumps a law requiring Congress get 30 days notice.  

Bergdahl 'Innocent Until Proven Guilty'

Dempsey said Bergdahl is "innocent until proven guilty." (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl could be prosecuted for the circumstances surrounding his capture by the Taliban, but is "innocent until proven guilty," the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff suggested Tuesday.  

"As for the circumstances of his capture, when he is able to provide them, we’ll learn the facts," Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said in a statement. "Like any American, he is innocent until proven guilty. Our Army’s leaders will not look away from misconduct if it occurred. In the meantime, we will continue to care for him and his family."  

White House Counsel to Review Naming of CIA Chief in Kabul

The White House will conduct an internal review of the circumstances leading to Sunday's disclosure to members of the White House press corps of the identity of a CIA station chief.  

The event transpired Sunday, when as part of President Barack Obama's surprise trip to visit with troops in Afghanistan, the Kabul "chief of station" was included on a list of participants in a meeting distributed to the traveling press pool and subsequently sent to a broader list of reporters, as explained by The Washington Post .  

Obama Plans to Keep Troops in Afghanistan Until 2016 (Updated) (Video)

Updated 3:26 p.m. | President Barack Obama announced Tuesday he intends to keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014, but would pull out most of the remaining forces by the end of 2016.  

Obama said he plans to keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan at the start of 2015, provided the next president of Afghanistan signs a new security agreement, as expected. The troop levels would be cut roughly in half by the end of 2015, with troops consolidated to Bagram Airfield.  

Obama Wants to Keep Troops in Afghanistan After 2014

Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. commands the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Obama indicated this weekend he intends to keep troops there past 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama is fond of saying the war in Afghanistan will "end" this year, but he still plans to keep troops in the country indefinitely.  

During his surprise four-hour visit to Afghanistan this weekend — under cover of darkness and with no prior notice and no visit with outgoing President Hamid Karzai — Obama suggested he'd still like to keep troops in that country.