A Brief Modern History On Congressional “Treason” (Ed Morrissey)

A Brief Modern History On Congressional “Treason” – Ed Morrissey

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Over the last couple of days, media outlets and some Democrats have lost their minds over the letter signed by 47 Republican Senators, sent to Iran to warn them that President Obama does not have the authority to create a lasting agreement without the participation of Congress. The New York Daily News ran a headline calling them “traitors,” a charge that has been bandied about on social media without any sense of either its legal sense or the history of Congressional influence on foreign policy. A petition on the White House website to arrest the 47 Senators has gathered over 136,000 signatures, in an apparent attempt of the ignorant to publicly self-identify.

Obviously, this situation requires a little history and perspective, as well as a civics lesson on the nature of co-equal branches of government, and on how this latest “treason” stacks up. The US and the Soviet Union conducted a 44-year “cold war” that often turned hot in places like Korea and Vietnam, and yet as Noah pointed out yesterday, Senator Ted Kennedy encouraged the Soviets to interfere in the 1984 election. Noah also mentions Nancy Pelosi’s trip to visit Bashar Assad in 2007 against the Bush administration’s express desires. But there are even more instances that speak more directly to Congressional interference with executive branch efforts on foreign policy.

Joe Scarborough pointed out one example this morning on Twitter from the Reagan era. The Reagan administration wanted to block Soviet influence in the Western hemisphere by backing rebellions against Communist dictators, especially in Nicaragua. Reagan supported the contras against Daniel Ortega, a policy which Democrats opposed and for which they later passed the controversial Boland Amendment in an attempt to restrict Reagan’s options in foreign policy (and which led to the Iran-Contra scandal.) Before Boland, though, 10 Democrats in the House – including Edward Boland (D-MA) – wrote a letter to Ortega called the “Dear Commandante” letter pledging their support to his government. See if this sounds familiar:

The 10 authors include Jim Wright of Texas, the majority leader; Edward P. Boland of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and other senior Democrats in the foreign policy field. The letter tells Mr. Ortega that it was written ”in a spirit of hopefulness and goodwill” and voices regret that relations between Nicaragua and Washington are not better.

The writers stress that they all oppose further money for rebel campaigns against the Sandinista Government. In a veiled reference to the Reagan Administration, the letter says that if the Sandinistas do hold genuine elections, those who are ”supporting violence” against the Nicaraguan leaders would have ”far greater difficulty winning support for their policies than they do today.”

In his retort, Representative Gingrich argues that the letter writers ”step across the boundary from opposition to a policy, to undercutting that policy.”

He also notes that the members of Congress offer to discuss these issues with Mr. Ortega and the junta. In Mr. Gingrich’s view, ”This clearly violates the executive branch’s exclusive prerogative of negotiating with a foreign government.”

Not convinced? Well, let’s look to more recent events. In September 2002, the Bush administration was preparing its case for war against Saddam Hussein, both with Congress and at the UN, for continuing violations of the cease-fire agreement that had ended war operations in 1991. Hussein’s forces repeatedly locked anti-aircraft radar on US and British fighters enforcing the no-fly zones in the south and north of Iraq. Hussein repeatedly and belligerently refused to fully comply with what would eventually be 17 UN Security Council resolutions aimed at settling the conflict. In the midst of that scenario, three House Democrats flew to Baghdad to meet with Iraqi officials and lecture George W. Bush on trusting Hussein and his regime:

IT’S A RARE POLITICAL MOMENT when Terry McAuliffe says no comment. Yet McAuliffe, the garrulous chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said just that last Wednesday at the Brookings Institution after a speech by Al Gore. Asked about the trip to Baghdad taken by three of his fellow partisans – Representatives David Bonior, Jim McDermott, and Mike Thompson – McAuliffe was nonplussed…

Problem is, the elected officials aren’t saying much either. Bonior was until recently the second-ranking Democrat in the House, and yet it’s nearly impossible to get Democrats to say anything about his and the others’ trip to Baghdad.

But if other Democrats aren’t talking about the Baghdad tour, Bonior and McDermott themselves won’t shut up. And the more they talk, the more scrutiny they invite.

The controversy ignited on September 29 when Bonior and McDermott appeared from Baghdad on ABC’s “This Week.” Host George Stephanopoulos asked McDermott about his recent comment that “the president of the United States will lie to the American people in order to get us into this war.”

Last I checked, no one had the three Democrats arrested for treason, even though they hadn’t just sent a letter to Saddam Hussein but cluelessly participated in his propaganda exercise for him. Why? Because it wasn’t treason, and it wasn’t even a violation of the Logan Act. It may have been ill-advised, but Congress and its members do a lot of ill-advised things, which is why we have regular elections to deal with them.

This letter may or may not be ill-advised, too. Jazz and Noah are split on that point, and I fall somewhere in between. The deal with Iran is just terrible on multiple levels, as is the attempt by the Obama administration to bypass Congress yet again instead of engaging the Senate to develop a stronger plan. It may have been politically wiser to put it in the form of an op-ed in the Washington Post rather than a letter to Ali Khameini, but the need to speak out comes from Obama’s mindless pursuit of a deal at all costs rather than allowing sanctions to force a capitulation – and to keep their support for terrorism bottled up as much as possible. But it’s not treason, and it’s idiotic to argue otherwise, especially with the long precedents set by Democrats and progressives in Congress over the last 30-plus years.

Yesterday I interviewed Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), one of the signatories, about his hearing today at Environment and Public Works on Obama’s Clean Power Plan. We also speak briefly about Iran and the letter toward the end of the interview.

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Kissinger Slammed Kerry For Negotiating With Sandinistas In 1985 – Daily Caller

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger hammered John Kerry in 1985 for interfering in diplomatic negotiations with Nicaragua’s Marxist government as a Massachusetts senator.

Thirty years later, Kerry is skewering Senate Republicans for their open letter to the Iranian leadership warning that any nuclear deal with the United States without the advice and consent of the U.S. Congress would not last beyond President Obama’s term.

Kerry and then-Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin visited Nicaragua in 1985 to cut a deal with the Sandinista government, which was close to the former Soviet Union. President Ronald Reagan, however, was already set on overthrowing the Marxist government in Nicaragua by sending aid to a group of Nicaraguan rebels – the contras.

“The Sandinista government would agree to a cease-fire and restore civil liberties if the US government ceased its support of the contras,” the Boston Globe reported.

“If the United States is serious about peace, this is a great opportunity,” Kerry said at the time.

Kissinger, though, hit back at Kerry on the CBS Sunday program “Face the Nation,” calling him a congressman rather than a senator.

“With all due respect to Rep. Kerry, he’s a congressman,” Kissinger said. “He’s not secretary of state, and if the Nicaraguans want to make an offer, they ought to make it in diplomatic channels. We can’t be negotiating with our own congressman and the Nicaraguans simultaneously. My own view is that what we want from the Nicaraguans is the removal of foreign military and intelligence advisers.”

According to the Globe, Kerry responded that he was only applying the lessons he learned in Vietnam to Reagan’s actions in Central America.

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Kerry, now secretary of state, appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee Wednesday and was asked by Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy how he reacted to the letter.

“My reaction to the letter was utter disbelief,” Kerry said. “During my 29 years here in the Senate I never heard of nor even heard of it being proposed anything comparable to this. If I had, I can tell you, no matter what the issue and no matter who was president, I would’ve certainly rejected it.”

“No one is questioning anybody’s right to dissent,” he continued. “Any senator can go to the floor any day and raise any of the questions that were raised. You write to the leaders in the middle of a negotiation – particularly the leaders that they have criticized other people for even engaging with or writing to – to write then and suggest they were going to give a constitutional lesson, which by the way was absolutely incorrect, is quite stunning. This letter ignores more than two centuries of precedent in the conduct of American foreign policy.”

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*VIDEO* AlfonZo Rachel: Black History Month Is A National Embarrassment


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*VIDEOS* Forget About Rudy Giuliani, Dinesh D’Souza Is The Real Expert On Obama’s Anti-Americanism


SPEECH ON OBAMA’S PERSONAL HISTORY, CHARACTER AND IDEOLOGY

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Click HERE to purchase Mr. D’Souza’s many good books on subjects ranging from the greatness of Christianity and America to racism and education in the U.S.

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OBAMA’S AMERICA [FULL DOCUMENTARY]

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Click HERE to watch Mr. D’Souza’s other ducementary titled ‘AMERICA: IMAGINE THE WORLD WITHOUT HER‘.

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General Marie Harf Through History (Sonny Bunch)

General Marie Harf Through History – Sonny Bunch

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf suggested that “we cannot kill our way to victory” against ISIS on MSNBC last night. This flies in the face of literally the entirety of human history, through which, time and again, we have seen people killing other people lead to victory in armed combat.

But her dorm-room philosophizing did get me thinking. What if Marie Harf had access to a time machine? How would she have solved the world’s military conflicts?

MARIE HARF AT THERMOPYLAE

“This is where we hold them! This is where we discover the root causes for their anger at the western world! This is where we alleviate their poverty and increase their standard of living, thus reducing their desire to wage jihad!”
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ADVICE GIVEN TO ALEXANDER OF MACEDON BY MARIE HARF

“There is nothing impossible to him who will try to reduce the impoverishment of those in other corners of the world.”
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MARC ANTONY, AFTER DISCUSSING A FORTHCOMING BATTLE WITH MARIE HARF

“Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of equitable employment opportunities.”
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MARIE HARF’S DRAFT OF THE LETTER JULIUS CEASAR DELIVERED TO THE ROMAN SENATE

“I came, I saw, I provided significant social welfare benefits and jobs for the Gauls.”
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MARIE HARF TOLD NAPOLEON NOT TO HALF-ASS IT

“When you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna. But first, consider providing the Viennese with employment opportunities so as to lessen their agitation and mitigate the need for taking it at all.”
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SUGGESTED LANGUAGE FOR GEN. WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN PROVIDED BY MARIE HARF

“This war differs from other wars. We are not fighting armies but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor alike fat with material wealth in order to gain their support.”
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MARIE HARF TELLS CHURCHILL HOW TO RALLY THE BRITISH PEOPLE

“We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall give the Germans vacations on our beaches, we shall give them jobs in our landing grounds, we shall provide them with opportunities to work in our fields and in our streets, we shall give them places to live in the hills. We shall never surrender our commitment to the improvement of life for all!”
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GEN. GEORGE S. PATTON’S ADVISER MARIE HARF ON HOW TO WIN WAR

“No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by curing poverty in the other poor dumb bastard’s country!”
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(A mighty thanks to Andrew Stiles for help with the images.)

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Your Daley Gator Anti-Leftist Picture O’ The Day


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Obama Regime Blows Off Largest Anti-Terrorism Rally In The History Of France (Video)

Our Flag Was Not There: Obama And America Shamefully Skip Paris March Against Terror – New York Daily News

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Displaying powerful symbolic unity, in fitting and proper testament to the defense of civilization, more than 40 world leaders linked arms to lead the mass march in Paris in resolve against Islamist terror.

The United States of America, Barack Obama, President, was inexcusably absent from one of the most critical turning points in the war between radical Islam and the West since 9/11.

No Obama. No Joe Biden. No John Kerry from State. No Chuck Hagel or Ashton Carter from Defense. Not even Eric Holder from Justice, who happened to have been in Paris.

Yet there was British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Jordan’s King Abdullah and so many others – most extraordinarily including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

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All linked arms with French President Francoise Hollande, leader of the country where terrorists killed 17 in a deliberate attack on democratic values, leader of one of America’s most stalwart allies in the war on terror.

Still worse, Obama’s abdication of leadership reflects a larger presidential failure to convey the gravity of the Charlie Hebdo attack, even if the substance of his anti-terror policy remains strong.

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On Friday, shortly after the assault reached its fatal climax, Obama appeared at a campaign-style rally in Tennessee to tout economic good news. He opened with happy talk, then devoted 310 perfunctory words to the events in Paris. Two hours later, he delivered more happy talk at a second Tennessee rally.

On Saturday, he opened his weekly radio address: “Hi, everybody. About a year ago, I promised that 2014 would be a breakthrough year for America. And this week, we got more evidence to back that up.”

Bypassing Paris, the President closed, “Thanks, everybody, and have a great weekend.”

Not in Paris. Not in the U.S. Not in the world under siege.

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Most Corrupt, Racist Attorney General In American History Finally Resigns

Eric Holder Finally Throws In the Towel – Big Government

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Attorney General Eric Holder will resign on Thursday, several media outlets have confirmed. “Attorney General Eric Holder will on Thursday announce his plans to leave his post at the Justice Department once a successor is confirmed, a Justice Department official said,” Politico reported. “Holder has been in the job for nearly six years, since the start of the Obama administration.”

“Eric Holder Jr., the nation’s first black U.S. attorney general, is preparing to announce his resignation Thursday after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and five and a half years of fights with Republicans in Congress,” National Public Radio added.

Holder was voted on a bipartisan basis into both criminal and civil contempt of Congress for his failure to comply with a congressional investigation into the gun walking program Operation Fast and Furious, run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) with oversight from senior Department of Justice (DOJ) officials. A total of 130 members of the House of Representatives called for him to resign in 2011 and 2012, as did eight U.S. Senators and every GOP presidential candidate in 2012, including the eventual presidential nominee Mitt Romney and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

As the House Oversight Committee voted to hold Holder in contempt on both the criminal and civil citations, President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege over the Fast and Furious documents that Holder refused to provide to Congress pursuant to subpoenas from chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Ron Machen, declined to prosecute Holder on the criminal contempt of Congress citation, but the House of Representatives is currently pursuing ongoing legal action against the administration using the civil contempt citation to fight to have the president’s executive privilege overturned.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Issa have both argued the president’s privilege assertion over those Fast and Furious documents is invalid and illegal because he used the lower form of the two types of executive privilege – deliberative process privilege – rather than presidential communications privilege. If Obama used the higher form, it would have meant that either he or his senior White House staff was aware of the gun walking tactics employed in Operation Fast and Furious, something that both Obama and Holder have denied. Usually, deliberative process privilege claims are considered invalid when there is even a suspicion of government wrongdoing – something Issa and Grassley have noted time and again – and in this case the government has admitted to wrongdoing.

Nonetheless, President Obama continues to hide these documents from the American people and from Congress.

Holder accused this reporter in November 2011 at a White House press conference of being “behind” the calls for his resignation because this reporter had contacted various members of Congress, asking if they agreed with the surging calls for him to resign.

“You guys need to – you need to stop this. It’s not an organic thing that’s just happening. You guys are behind it,” Holder said of this reporter’s efforts while working for The Daily Caller.

Calls for Holder’s resignation have continued since 2011 for reasons other than Operation Fast and Furious.

Holder’s press team also coordinated against various media outlets using far left-wing advocacy groups like the George Soros-funded Media Matters for America (MMFA). MMFA, which is led by pro-Hillary Clinton activist David Brock, used talking points and direction provided by then-Holder spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler to smear this reporter, Issa, Breitbart News reporters, ex-DOJ officials and whistleblowers, and reporters from across the media.

Emails recently uncovered via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by The Daily Caller found that Holder’s press aide Schmaler specifically singled out and targeted this reporter.

“As revealed in the FOIA docs, Media Matters Deputy Research Director Matt Gertz sent a post concerning the NRA’s growing contributions to Holder’s critics to DOJ spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, Holder’s top press flack who resigned in March, 2013,” the Daily Caller’s Betsy Rothstein wrote.

In response to that email, Schmaler wrote back to Gertz: “Thanks, you know boyle has been doing robo calls to top members right? This is campaign mounted by daily caller. He has called 60 offices and gotten to 8 last week.”

“Yeah, that was what my original piece on the story was about,” Gertz replied.

The terminology that was provided to Media Matters by the Department of Justice about this reporter – the word “campaign” specifically – appeared in subsequent Media Matters posts about this reporter.

The efforts to silence reporting on Fast and Furious are not the only questionable activity Holder and his team have been involved in with regards to the media. The DOJ labeled Fox News’ James Rosen a “co-conspirator” in an effort used to monitor him and targeted the Associated Press by monitoring the news agency’s communications.

Holder has been a lightning rod for scandal since he was confirmed in 2009. Right off the bat, he declined to prosecute the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) for voter intimidation at voting stations in 2008 in Philadelphia, despite efforts by career prosecutors at the DOJ to do so. He has been involved in the Trayvon Martin case in Florida in 2012, the Michael Brown case in Missouri this year, and in allegations by whistleblowers that Holder stopped the prosecution of alleged financial criminals, politicians, and DOJ officials who are accused of having taken bribes in connection with a U.S. Virgin Islands telecom cooperative. Just like how the DOJ originally denied guns were walked in Fast and Furious and has since retracted that denial, the DOJ denied the Virgin Islands scandal’s early report.

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