Saturday, September 20, 2008

OBAMA: Logan Act - unindicted co-conspirator!

Negotiating with foreign governments and/or foreign officials on behalf of the United States of America is restricted to a universe of only a few individuals. We have a federal law to spell this out ...
The Logan Act is a United States federal law that forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. It was passed in 1799 and last amended in 1994. Violation of the Logan Act is a felony, punishable under federal law with imprisonment of up to three years.

The text of the Act is broad and is addressed at any attempt of a US citizen to conduct foreign relations without authority. However, there is no record of any convictions or even prosecutions under the Logan Act.
[Wikipedia; CRIB emphsis]
On September 16, the New York Post's Amir Taheri charged in an OpEd piece ...
WHILE campaigning in public for a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence.
If true, a clear violation of the Logan Act.

On September 20, Taheri again addressed the issue, only this time he had an Obama campaign response to his original charge ...
The Obama campaign has objected. While its statement says my article was "filled with distortions," the rebuttal actually centers on a technical point: the differences between two Iraqi-US accords under negotiation - the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA, to set rules governing US military personnel in Iraq) and the Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA, to settle the legal basis for the US military presence in Iraq in the months and years ahead).

The Obama camp says I confused the two. [...]

If there is any confusion, it's in Obama's position - for the two agreements are interlinked: You can't have any US military presence under one agreement without having settled the other accord.
In other words, not only did he violate the Logan Act but he was now attempting to obfuscate on the whole matter by twisting the truth to his satisfaction.
[Taheri's] account of Obama's message to the Iraqis was based on a series of conversations with Iraqi officials, as well as reports and analyses in the Iraqi media (including the official newspaper, Al Sabah) on the senator's trip to Baghdad. It is also confirmed by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.

In a long interview with the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, Zebari says: "Obama asked me why, in view of the closeness of a change of administration, we were hurrying the signing of this special agreement, and why we did not wait until the coming of the new administation next year and agree on some issues and matters."

Again, note that Zebari mentions a single set of agreements, encompassing both SFA and SOFA.

Zebari continues: "I told Obama that, as an Iraqi, I believe that even if there is a Democratic administration in the White House it had better continue the present policy instead of wasting a lot of time thinking what to do."

In other words, Obama was trying to derail current US policy, while Zebari was urging him not to "waste time."
Why haven't the Justice Department or the Senate Ethics Committee taken up this issue? Where is the old media on this?

Now this other matter of Governor Palin meeting ...
... next week in New York City with Afghan President Hamid Karzai during the opening of the United Nations General Assembly ... .
Let me suggest, if Palin even hints at influencing US foreign policy in Afghanistan, the Democrats, old media, Obama's campaign staff, Bill Maher, and Keith Ubermanheim will all have a symbiotic cow.

Sadly, as Wikipedia indicated and RedState reiterated, there's little chance anything will come of this incident.

However, the bottom-line for me is of trust ... Obama said he will not meet with Iranian President Amadinajab, or Cuba's Castro, or North Korean officials, etc., etc. Can we believe him over against his own political ambitions?

Others commenting:
Fried Green Onions
PUMA Pundit
Rabble Rouser Ruminations
Purplechiten's Weblog

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