Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Should Obama be prosecuted under Logan Act?


The above article is entitled “Obama Camp hits back at Double-Talk Claim” but the article includes the following:

But Obama's national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said Taheri's article bore "as much resemblance to the truth as a McCain campaign commercial."

In fact, Obama had told the Iraqis that they should not rush through a "Strategic Framework Agreement" governing the future of US forces until after President George W. Bush leaves office, she said.

Perhaps the blogger Ed Morrisy was the first to notice that Wendy Morigi hadn’t really contradicted Taheri’s claim. In fact she confirmed it. If AFP is quoting Morigi correctly that would seem to be true.

So the next question is what to do about it. Apparently the “respectable” news sources other than AFP have not dealt with this story yet . . . Some I’ve read are suggesting that since they are in Obama’s pocket, they won’t.

So other agencies are dealing with it. The National Review (see http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NWZlZjBhNDA0ODEzNWE2ZDMwMDk1MjZkMWE3NjUxZDM ) asked Andy McCarty to evaluate Amy Holmes article and his response was “First, I don't like the idea of Logan Act prosecutions. I addressed this back in 2007 when Speaker Pelosi tried to conduct foreign policy in the Middle East, and I haven't changed my mind. Like the Pelosi gambit, this Obama misstep would be a golden political opportunity for the McCain campaign and the GOP. It ought to be handled just that way — argue how despicable and hypocritical the conduct is, but refrain from calls for prosecution.

“Second, at this point we also have to be concerned about the overlay of this whole issue of criminalizing politics — which is banana-republic stuff and which Obama and Biden have threatened to do to their political opponents if they get their hands on the Justice Department. The editors addressed this in an editorial last week, and I think, for the reasons argued there, that the criminalization of our policy debates is to be avoided. That doesn't mean Obama would not have violated the law if he did this, or that such a violation would not merit our condemnation. But letting prosecutors decide our politics is a prescription for a very bad brand of politics.”

After the Obama camp denial which confirms the Taheri allegation, it seems safe to assume that Obama did do what Taheri said he did (unless the AFP article is a fake which doesn’t seem possible – all these qualifications only because Obama supporters are violently opposed to the implications of the Taheri report – and I don’t want another visit from the ATTF) does seem to be a violation of the Logan Act. The Logan act is summarized as follows:

The Logan Act, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 953, 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, 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.”

Andy McCarthy said that if we, (it would have to be the Attorney General I suppose), charged Obama with a violation of the Logan Act, we would be like a Banana Republic, conducting our political campaigns in the court. But is that true? Why did we create the Logan Act if we didn’t intend to enforce it?

What are the extenuating circumstances that would convince the Attorney General not to charge Obama with a violation of the Logan Act? I don’t know. Do nominees get a free ride? Do they have diplomatic immunity? We’ll see.

[I’ll do a quick Google-check before posting this, to see if any of the “reputable” news agencies have picked this story up yet – or if there are any smoking-gun denials – or if Taheri has been arrested by the Obama police for making the whole thing up . . . nope.]

Lawrence Helm

No comments: