Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Did Rounds and Thune Break the Law?

The blogosphere and the news are abuzz over a letter that the GOP have sent to Iran because they feel that Iranians are too stupid to understand and know how United States can enact treaties.  In the letter which includes 47 signatures (including Rounds and Thune) has a lot of people angry and confused.  The GOP claimed that they could work to get things done, but are still stuck in "HELL NO" mentality.  In the middle of talks which involve several countries other than the US and Iran, talks that have no deal established yet, talks that will try and continue on March 15, the GOP feels the need to tell Iran that they simply don't know how to govern or how to work with anyone and that the US government is broken.  

The Iranian Foreign Minister calls out the GOP and explains that he is well aware of how the US government functions and then is forced to explain to Mike Rounds, John Thune, and the rest of the children, I mean GOP,  how international law works:
"I should bring one important point to the attention of the authors and that is, the world is not the United States, and the conduct of inter-state relations is governed by international law, and not by US domestic law. The authors may not fully understand that in international law, governments represent the entirety of their respective states, are responsible for the conduct of foreign affairs, are required to fulfill the obligations they undertake with other states and may not invoke their internal law as justification for failure to perform their international obligations."
 The GOP not only don't understand international law, but damage the US by making us look as untrustworthy,
 “In this letter, which is an undiplomatic work, we are told that the United States is untrustworthy,” said Mr Zarif. “This kind of communication is unprecedented.”
This is about as smart one of my students declaring to the other basketball team that they won't followed agreed upon rules and even if they do at first, they will probably back out of them in the middle of the game.  It makes no sense.

To top everything off, it appears that John Thune, Mike Rounds, and the other GOP senators broke the law by communicating with Iran.  The US News and World Report points to the Logan Act of 1799:
The act bans U.S. citizens from engaging “without authority of the United States” in “correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government ... with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government ... in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States.”
The article continues and points out that there is no threat of being prosecuted under this outdated and unconstitutional law, but the GOP has never meet a legal loophole they couldn't exploit.  Maybe they should be called out and prosecuted for these actions.  If they wanted to make their stance clear, they could have gone on talk radio or wrote and editorial, but they actually sent the letter to Iran.  

No matter what happens in the courts, the actions of the GOP have damaged the United States.  Jay Bookman with the Atlanta Journal and Constitution states:
But in their stubborn righteousness, in their self-satisfied belief that they and only they are the wise and proper spokesmen for this country, they have made the United States look weak in the eyes of the world. They have taken the true source of whatever influence we might carry — our unity — and they have debased it. They have done real harm to this country.... 
And at the national level, the problem is that once such understandings are violated, once such taboos are broken, they become much more difficult to reinstate. With this example now set, it becomes much easier for malcontents of either party to follow it in the future. 
And other nations, having watched this play out, will now begin to factor it into their own calculations. If they are told “no” by an American adminstration, they now have hope of being told “yes” by another branch of that government. If they are told “yes” by an administration, they now have cause to doubt whether that “yes” can really be counted upon.
For shame on hurting the United States, John Thune and Mike Rounds, for shame.  Your childish behavior is not becoming of a United State's Senator.  Too bad we can't impeach all 47 Senators that have proven they are not fit to be Senators.


  1. Please help us hold them account and answer us - the public, their employers - for their rationale on their actions

  2. They can't even figure out why they signed the letter in the first place.