No Time Like Present for 1799 Act
By the Staff at AFP —
Almost half the now-GOP-led Senate sent a letter to Iran’s leaders, trying to undo the Obama administration’s touchy negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program.
The grand irony is that the leading senator in that effort, newly-elected Thomas Bryant “Tom” Cotton, an Arkansas warmonger, is being seen as a possible violator of the Logan Act. Some believe that the federal law enacted in the late 18th century forbids these senators from conducting diplomacy with a foreign government.
Enacted on January 30, 1799, the Logan Act forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments having a dispute with the U.S., to prevent undermining the government’s position. The Act is named after George Logan, whose unauthorized negotiations with France in 1798 spurred the legislation, which was signed into law by President John Adams and last amended in 1994, which made a violation a felony.
THE LOGAN ACT
- 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
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.
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.
Some others have argued that the senators did not violate the Act, because as elected United States officials they sent an open letter without entering into dialogue with Iran.
American private citizens (CEOs, bankers, think-tankers and academics, as well as some elected U.S. officials) who are with Bilderberg do fraternize, discuss issues and correspond with other Bilderberg members, some of whom are foreign officials who currently hold office with official duties and powers. Plus it’s all very hush-hush.
So wherever Cotton and the other letter-signing senators may stand regarding the Logan Act, the case of Bilderberg members from the U.S. breaking that law appears much more clear cut, which should subject certain attendees to prosecution, as this newspaper has insisted for years, during the decades of coverage by AMERICAN FREE PRESS’s late “Bilderberg Hound” Jim Tucker, onward to the present.
In regard to the Bilderberg 2015 meeting, the high-rollers of Bilderberg will huddle in June from Thursday to Sunday, in this, their 63rd meeting in 61 years, in order to conduct what over the years has become a trans-generational global-planning and coordination forum held in much stricter secrecy than the meetings of its global cousins, such as the Trilateral Commission (TC).
Speaking of the Trilats, they’re meeting in Seoul, South Korea this spring—coming out of their Washington meeting in 2014 where this newspaper was the only media in attendance.
Containing Russia was a key 2014 TC topic, according to a special report leaked during the meeting; and at Bilderberg 2014 in Denmark, one of the topics listed on the group’s as-usual superficial press release was Ukraine, indicating coordination between two groups that both have TC founder David Rockefeller as a member—the same David Rockefeller who worked with Trilateralist co-founder and former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski to hand-pick Jimmy Carter for the White House from behind the scenes. Brzezinski held that security post for Carter himself.
A Short History of the Logan Act
• Why have it, if you aren’t going to enforce it?
By late March, the buzz had faded on Capitol Hill over prosecuting senators under the Logan Act for sending a letter to Iranian officials in an attempt to undermine international negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program.
The 1799 Logan Act had made unexpected headlines because some people argued it was violated by freshman Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and 46 other Senators—due to their March 9 letter to Iran.
The open letter, signed by all but seven Republicans—in a Senate that the GOP just took over—was sent with the central purpose of informing Iran’s leaders that any nuclear deal reached with the Obama administration would not outlive his presidency.
The letter also gave its recipient a short crash course on the Constitution by explaining, for instance, that U.S. presidents are limited to two terms but Congress members may be in office for life. Therefore, the letter added that any accord reached with the Obama White House would be treated as “nothing more than an executive agreement.”
The letter also states: “The next president could revoke such an agreement with the stroke of a pen, and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”
In terms of the American people having a Congress that will quell and not swell the warfare state, the letter is worrisome, since for many of these senators, the “pen” is a precursor to the sword against Iran.
That’s partly borne out by the fact that the upper chamber’s two most war-mongering senators, Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and John McCain (Ariz.), are among the signers. What’s troubling is that Senator Rand Paul (Ky.) let his 2016 presidential aspirations seduce him into signing the letter, when we can be sure that his father, former Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), would never have signed it—even while making a run for the White House.
Famed (late) Chicago Tribune columnist Michael “Mike” Royko used to say, “No self-respecting fish would want to be wrapped in a Murdoch paper,” referring to sleazy neoconservative publisher and Fox News mogul Rupert Murdoch. In like fashion, no self-respecting senator, presumably Rand, should want to put his name alongside those of war hawks like Graham and McCain.
Senators Marco Rubio (Fla.), Charles Grassley (Iowa) and Richard Shelby (Ala.) also traded their reasonably respectable personages for saber rattling toward Iran while America’s military and national finances approach the breaking point.
The seven Republican senators who did not sign were Senators Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Susan Collins (Maine), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Dan Coats (Ind.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).
As for Cotton—at 37, he’s the youngest senator—even a brief peek at his background is a bit unsettling. According to the generally pro-war New York Times, Cotton, who attended Harvard, joined the Army due to the 9-11 attacks and spent almost five years on active duty.
While in Iraq as a platoon leader, “Cotton reached out to Mr. [William] Kristol to compliment him on his magazine,” the neoconservative Weekly Standard, that champions gun-barrel democracy for the protection and furtherance of Zionism, among other nefarious goals.
“Back home, Mr. Cotton began to attend events at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and became closer to Mr. Kristol and others who saw his potential,” the Times added.
The Times forgot the prefix “neo” before “conservative” for describing the pro-interventionist, pro-Zionist institute.
As can be seen, most of the Senate GOP—nearly half the members of the chamber—have a jaundiced view of diplomacy, while stumbling over themselves to fawn over Israel.
This is not the first time the Logan Act has been brought up in official Washington.
The Logan Act, designed to prevent private citizens from directly or indirectly influencing policy in any manner with foreign governments without official permission, has been invoked in recent times:
• President Ronald Reagan accused the Reverend Jesse Jackson in 1984 of violating it when Jackson traveled to Moscow to press the Soviets for the release of a political prisoner.
• House Speaker Jim Wright (D-Texas) in 1987 clashed with the Reagan White House over U.S. policy when he met personally with Nicaragua’s Sandinista president.
• Most recently, in 2007, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was accused of violating the Logan Act by traveling to Syria to meet with President Bashar al-Assad.
AFP readers would do well to try and keep the Logan Act discussion alive in their correspondence with their Senate and House members, in letters to the editor and to legal scholars and other contacts who could help focus the Logan Act spotlight not just on legislators who dialogue with foreign dignitaries but especially U.S. officials who attend secret meetings like the shadowy Bilderberg Group.