The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Perspectives On "The 47": Eric Wattree And Playthell Benjamin



What follows is a set of writings from a couple of writers who garner my full respect. 

Tom Cotton and his freshman Senator quest for "dark money" and his "Carp fishing" 46 US Senators is an item for US History. 

It must be major shameful to know that one's name has been archived for an unprecedented level of obstruction coupled with evidence of a clear desire for war with Iran. While some of the "Carp" Senators are working to save face after signing the letter, the mere act is evidence of a chronic failure of competent governance and yet another example of hatred for President Obama.

The vast majority of us will not suffer the shame of knowing our grand kids or great-grand kids will attend schools that may impart lessons regarding Obama Derangement with "The 47" as prime examples of governance gone mad.

Do you think it possible all 47 "got paid?"


Eric L. Wattree

Eric L. Wattree


The Reason There's Even A Debate Over Whether The Republican 47 Committed Treason - Flag Pins And All
.
The New York Daily News ran a headline calling the 47 flag-waving Republican senators who signed the treasonous letter to Iran exactly what they are - TRAITORS. But some in the political establishment are trying to tiptoe around the issue. Why is that?
.

"Oran's Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as "...[a]...citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation]." In many nations, it is also often considered treason to attempt or conspire to overthrow the government, even if no foreign country is aiding or involved by such an endeavor" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treason).
.
In that regard, the freshman Republican senator, Tom Cotton, who spearheaded this effort to undermine the United States (or President Obama's) negotiations with Iran received a million dollar campaign contribution from a pro-Israeli organization. Thus, he was working as an agent of a foreign government to undermine the diplomatic efforts of the United States. That's Treason, and when you add the invitation to Netanyahu to speak before a JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS in opposition to the diplomatic efforts of the President of the United States, that serves to bolsters the case. Congress does play a role in their role of "Advise and Consent, but that's only AFTER negotiations. 
.
The only reason there's even a debate over this issue is because this Republican congress' actions was so outrageous and unprecedented that many can't even wrap their head around it . But the bottom line is, this bigoted Republican congress allowed themselves to be used as agents of a foreign government (Israel) to undermine the diplomatic efforts of the United States. That's treason, no matter how you look at it. 
.
But many so-called experts are stumbling over themselves over the issue for one reason, and one reason only - because it's so unprecedented and such an explosive issue. We're talking FORTY-SEVEN senators here - that's nearly half of the United States Senate. And then if you add the Netanyahu incident, you're also talking about going after the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Think of the institutional ramifications of that. If they went after these people - as they should, just for the sake of precedent - it could cause a Constitutional crisis, so the political establishment wants to duck this issue. Thus, it's very unlikely that any formal action will be taken, but the American people should make this Republican congress, and the Republican Party, pay a severe price for this blatant act of treasonous stupidity, because let there be no doubt about it, it was clearly treason.
.
"Accompanying the Daily News’ provocative headline was a scathing editorial calling all 47 Republicans who signed the letter “un-patriotic” and an “embarrassment to our nation.” The paper’s editorial board stated that while they aren’t in total agreement with the White House regarding the potential nuclear pact with Iran, they condemn the Republican Senate’s betrayal of the Constitution."

See more after the break below


Playthell G. Benjamin

A Clear Case of Treason?

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags  on March 13, 2015 by playthell
Joe Cotton
Tom Cotton: The Pugnacious Dork who is marching us into a war with Iran
 Some Constitutional Scholars think so and I agree
Anyone listening to the chatter on the right of our political spectrum will no doubt have heard the phrase “according to the Constitution” ad nauseum.  It is quoted among this crowd as if it were Holy Scripture.  Which, ironically, is quite fitting since the exact meaning of both is ambiguous and therefore open to multiple interpretations and endless speculation.  Hence many students of the evolution and character of this foundational document disagree on its meaning.

The letter to the leaders of Iran, written by Tom Cotton, an iconoclastic freshman Senator from Arkansas, and signed by 46 other Republican Senators who should have known better, advising their leaders against concluding the nuclear weapons agreement President Barack Obama is presently negotiating, begs questions about the division of powers between the various branches of government – the executive and legislative branches in the present case – and whether Senators must obey federal laws in the exercise of their prerogatives.

The law in question here is the Logan Act of 1799, which expressly states:
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.”
In the opinion of Temple University Law Professor Peter Spiro: “This letter seems squarely to satisfy the elements of the law.” If this is true, then 47 members of the US Senate are guilty of treason!  Let us consider the text of the Republican letter.  Titled An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the letter states:
“It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system.  Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our Constitution — the power to make binding international agreements and the different character of federal offices — which you should seriously consider as negotiations progress. First, under our Constitution, while the president negotiates international agreements, Congress plays the significant role of ratifying them.  In the case of a treaty, the Senate must ratify it by a two-thirds vote.  A so-called congressional-executive agreement requires a majority vote in both the House and the Senate (which, because of procedural rules, effectively means a three-fifths vote in the Senate).  Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.”

First of all the letter is an embarrassment because of its misreading of the constitution on the relative powers of the President and the Congress in the conduct of US foreign relations.  Although much is made of the fact that Senator Cotton is a Harvard Law School grad, he nevertheless made a critical error when he argues that treaties with foreign countries must be “ratified” by two thirds of the Senate.  Yet one need only look at the explication of the role of the President and Congress provided on the Senate Webpage – which is easily accessible to the hubristic Senator – to recognize that he has inflated the Senate’s role.  The relevant passage reads:

“The Senate does not ratify treaties. Instead, the Senate takes up a resolution of ratification, by which the Senate formally gives its advice and consent, empowering the president to proceed with ratification.”

He is also dangerously wrong on his interpretation of the constitutional mandate for the Senate to “Advise and Consent” on questions of foreign relations.  For in the matter of treaties the Senate’s role is not invoked until after the President has completed his negotiations with a foreign power.  Hence what these Senator’s did was clearly illegal!  By my close reading of the Logan Act, I think Professor Spiro is right on the money in his opinion that the Republican letter “seems squarely to satisfy the elements of the law.”

As with all important federal legislation the intention of the architects of the law must be understood and considered in our interpretation of its meaning.  The Logan Act is named after Dr. George Logan, a member of the Pennsylvania State Legislature that was elected to the US Senate, who attempted to interfere in US foreign policy by holding negotiations with the French government in 1798, just 15 years after John Jay negotiated the Treaty of Paris officially ending the Revolutionary with England.

However the Bon homie that characterized the relationship between the French and the English colonies in North America during the revolutionary era had deteriorated to the point where the two nations were on the brink of war by 1798. This situation led the recently formed United State of America to pass several laws in order to insure the security of a country composed of many nationalities, some of them Frenchmen or sympathizers with France.

Hence Congress passed the “Alien and Sedition Acts” to prevent those who supported France from abusing the right to free speech through open advocacy of the French cause, especially aliens. They also passed the Naturalization Actwhich changed the residency requirements for naturalized citizens from five to fifteen years, and they passed theLogan Act to prevent American citizens from meddling in matters of foreign diplomacy, which is clearly defined as a presidential prerogative.

Viewed from this historical perspective the violation of the letter and spirit of the Logan Act by the Republicans becomes even clearer when we look at Supreme Court precedents in their ruling on the Constitutional separation of powers between the Executive and Legislative branches of our Federal Government: which is based on a three-fold division of power between the Executive, Judicial and Legislative departments that “check and balance” each other.

One of the definitive rulings cited by legal scholars on this question is the opinion of Justice George Sutherland, in the 1936 case of the United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp. “The President alone has the power to speak or listen as a representative of the nation” the Justice concluded.  “He makes treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate; be he alone negotiates.  Into the field of negotiation the Senate cannot intrude and congress itself is powerless to invade it.” So there you have it.

Although given the politics of the situation it is unlikely that these Republican Senators will be prosecuted. Yet their scandalous attempts to subvert the President’s efforts to conduct foreign policy negotiations with the intent of achieving a treaty with Iran regarding nuclear weapons, and avoid starting yet another war in the Muslim world, exceeds their constitutional authority and clearly violates the Logan Act.  Since they all pledged under oath to “defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic,” they are guilty of treason most foul!

However it is a safe bet that they will not be prosecuted for their crimes against the nation; indicting 47 Senators of the opposite party for treason would be too easy for right-wing bloviators in the media such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and their spawn to make it look like a partisan bloodbath.  Yet the reaction from the print press, even the conservative newspapers, has been caustic; the Republican Senators have become the objects of sustained ridicule.  The New York Daily News, a major daily with a large working class readership, greeted the Senators’ letter with the bold headline “Traitors!”

The intensity and contempt of the major media has conspicuously shaken many of those who signed Joe cotton’s letter.  Dr. Rachel Maddow of MSNBC reported last evening that some of the Republican Senators are now saying that they were not serious, and all the hoopla  results from the fact that “the Obama Administration can’t take a joke.”  It is clear that many realize that they have screwed up and it could cost them a shot at the presidency in the next election.  Hence the best way to chastise these reckless Republicans is to whip their asses at the polls.  Alas, while I have no doubt that these scoundrels have committed treason….I believe the problem will be solved politically: at the ballot box not the courtroom.

Captain America to the Rescue!
Tom Cotton
A real head ass Southern Peckerwood!
***********************
Playthell G. Benjamin
On the Road
March 13, 2015

No comments :

Post a Comment