THE LOGAN ACT

The Republican Party, specifically Speaker John Boehner and now the 47 Senators who have sent an open letter to the leaders of Iran are in violation of the Logan Act.

The Logan Act was passed in 1799 under the Adams administration. The Act states the following:” Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authorization 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 of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies in the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States.” Any resulting act in violation of this measure is a felony whereby the offender may be sentenced up to 3 years in prison.

This is an important law because we only have one person elected by the people of the United States to represent all of us and that is the President of the United States. Only the President of the United States is the Commander-In-Chief. Only the President of the United States has the power to negotiate treaties. You can’t have 536 speak for the United States in the realm of foreign policy when you are speaking to and dealing with foreign governments. You would have absolute chaos if you did not abide by the Constitutional authority that the President was given by the Constitution.

First, there was the invitation by the Speaker of the House John Boehner to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress. We know what the real intent of the invitation was and that was to help scuttle the ongoing negotiations with Iran over Iran’s potential nuclear weapon development. He willfully intended to interfere in the negotiation process.

Now we have this open letter to Iran from 47 Republican Senators. As you can see this is a commencement of correspondence with a foreign government with the intent to influence the conduct of our own government in the dispute and controversies that exist in the United States. This is a direct violation of not only the spirit of the Logan Act but a clear violation of the language of the law. Just because only one person has been prosecuted under the Logan Act does not mean that we should have a bunch of Republican Senators run rough shod over the law. No one has given these 47 Senators the authority to negotiate with Iran. To be honest,they do not want a treaty or an agreement of any kind with Iran.

These acts by the Speaker of the House and by members of the opposition party in the Senate takes partisanship to a new dangerous level that we the people should not tolerate. Peace is at stake. A war with Iran should be unthinkable at this stage of our talks with Iran. But the intent of the Republicans who sent this open letter seems clear, they want to end any possibility of any nuclear agreement with Iran. Don’t forget there are 5 other European countries, our allies involved in these talks. The Republican Party would give us no choice but to have a war with Iran if these talks break down.

Yesterday, was the 50th anniversary of our sending the first combat troops, some 3,000 Marines, to Vietnam. That was the beginning of a tragic war that caused the death of 60,000 Americans, if you count the missing in action, and an untold amount of Vietnamese. It is estimated that up to 3 million Vietnamese died in that controversial war.

What we don’t need is another war. Let’s not kid ourselves about having a war with Iran, it would not be easy. Iran has nearly 80 million people, it is a nation that has millions of more people than Vietnam or Iraq.

Some of these irresponsible hawks are being told in fundamentalist churches that the end of times is supposed to start with a war with Iran. They are eager for the end, believing that life will be better if we end things. Sorry, I don’t want to be part of this ridiculous notion. We should work for peace in our time not in some after life that is not of my choosing nor the choosing of the majority of Americans. Let us choose life over death and Peace instead of War.

It is extremely dangerous to have anyone but the President negotiate with a foreign nation. If these chicken hawks are so eager for war, let them be ordered to go to each funeral and pay out of their pockets the money that will be needed to care for the wounded and sick. Let us prosecute the law breakers of the Logan Act to end their dangerous behavior.

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