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Lord, make me an instrument of your peace . . .

12 March 2015

Logan Act

The Logan Act states:
§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
 Recently, a group of US Senators wrote a letter to the Supreme Leader of Iran stating among other things, that if this "executive agreement" is not approved by the Senate, then the next president could reverse its terms with the "stroke of a pen."  Well, from the new stories (The Daily Mail called these Senators traitors), this is an very unusual step for citizens of the US to take.  The Logan act specifically prohibits US citizens from interfering with discussions with foreign nations, especially with the intent to "influence the measures or conduct" of a foreign nation.  It appears that these Senators, in fact, broke this law.

The Daily Beast reports:
But even among Republicans whose offices have signed the letter, there is some trepidation that the Iran letter injects partisanship into the Iran negotiations, shifting the narrative from the content of the deal to whether Republicans are unfairly trying to undercut the president.
So, they wrote this letter, sent it, a big uproar ensued, and now some are privately saying, "Oops".

The acrimony is so bad in DC!  The GOP from the very beginning of this Presidency has wanted to do everything in its power to discredit this man as President (See Robert Draper book) that it has finally stooped to potentially breaking a federal law.

Now, the Supreme Leader of Iran, the Ayatollah Khamenei has made fun of the US.  The NY Times reports:
"All countries, according to the international norms, remain faithful to their commitments even after their governments change, but the American senators are officially announcing that at the end of the term of their current government, their commitments will be considered null and void,” Mr. Khamenei wrote. He said the letter was a “sign of declining political ethics."
So, now what?!  Not only have these Senators embarrassed themselves, they have brought ridicule from the International Community upon the United States.   How can we hold our head high as a nation now?  

Today's OT reading is from Jeremiah.  In part it says:

   This is the nation that does not listen
      to the voice of the LORD, its God,
      or take correction.
   Faithfulness has disappeared;
      the word itself is banished from their speech.
These Senators hold such contempt for the man who is President that they will do anything to discredit his efforts here and abroad.  These "Christian" men and women certainly affirm the passage from Jeremiah today.  Their hatred for the man who is President is so great that they betray their own "Christian" belief and, in so doing, appear to betray their country as well.
Republican aides were taken aback by the response to what they thought was a lighthearted attempt to signal to Iran and the public that Congress should have a role in the ongoing nuclear discussions. Two GOP aides separately described their letter as a “cheeky” reminder of the congressional branch’s prerogatives.
The Daily Beast; 11 MAR 2015
So, now it's King's X, I was just kidding around.  Well, that doesn't show a lot of maturity!  Forty-seven Senators signed this Joke.  Some of these guys are quite old enough and have been there long enough to know better.  One senior Senator (29 years in Senate) remarked,
 It was kind of a very rapid process.  Everybody was looking forward to getting out of town because of the snowstorm.
 I saw the letter, I saw that it looked reasonable to me and I signed it, that's all.  I  sign lots of letters.
 I am sorry, but I think that this whole thing was the wrong thing to do.  It demonstrates a clearly political motivation that has nothing to do with peacefully resolving issues at home or abroad.  Out of someone's deep seated disregard for the President, they have crafted this missive to embarrass the President and in the process have brought dishonor to our country.
There is even a theory that some ultra conservative groups are behind this letter and provided favorable advertising to Mr. Cotton to the tune of nearly 1 million dollars prior to this letter being written.  (See Mondoweiss article)  If this is true, then this further shows the unfavorable impact of unlimited political contributions favoring big business.    
Our whole purpose in the Iran negotiations is to prevent them from achieving nuclear weapons.   This should be done in a peaceful and diplomatic way. Feedback is achieved through regular updates by the Administration to the appropriate Senate committee, responsible for eventually ratifying the treaty.   Whatever happened to get this letter to see the light of day was inappropriate, self-serving, and just plain wrong.  I thought that we were better than this, but it appears that our country is getting ready to head down the tubes and fast.
I can hardly wait to hear the acrimony during the next two years as we face, yet another, presidential campaign.  It's started already.  Walker and Bush are already taking pot shots at each other.  When will we end the insanity?


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