CAMPAIGN REFORM URGENTLY NEEDED BEFORE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES INJURE UNITED STATES DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS
No matter what you think about George Bush or his Administration, he is the President of the United States and his Administration is charged with the safety and security of America.
It is downright dangerous for political candidates for any office, as well as private citizens, to interfere in United States diplomatic efforts with any foreign nation or leader.
First, well researched and in-place initiatives, especially those which require substantial compliance and have significant costs to implement, can be placed on hold while the foreign power awaits a change in administrations. Candidates who differ significantly with the current or proposed US policy actually encourage the delay.
Two, if a foreign power or leader believed that they could influence an election through back-channel support or funds transfers to U.S. entities, these methods for attacking the efforts of the United States become increasingly attractive and more probable.
Three, people with differing backgrounds like Obama and Clinton can send uncertain messages regarding their future positions as they do not represent their party at the present time, there is no guarantee of their nomination as a viable candidate, and, most importantly, they do not have the full scope of information and intelligence that is available to the President. Even lofty Senators do not have access to much of the classified material that is produced by the intelligence agencies -- even those specifically charged with intelligence agency oversight.
And four, there is a very large chance that any meeting would be used as a public relations ploy to demonstrate the foreign leader's strength or to point out the weaknesses of the United States.
For, good or bad, the President must choose carefully to whom he speaks -- lest he send the wrong signal or appear to be weak. If the President chooses not to speak directly to the leader of a foreign nation, this should not be interpreted as a sign of arrogance or weakness that must be immediately corrected by the potential political candidate -- if they ever assume office. Numerous back channel opportunities for message passing exist and diplomacy is often a painful one-step-at-a-time affair.
However, each candidate and their major campaign operatives need to read "Conducting Foreign Relations Without Authority: The Logan Act" which was prepared by the Congressional Research Service and can be found here.
"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."
"The Logan Act was intended to prohibit United States citizens without authority from interfering in relations between the United States and foreign governments.
"There appear to have been no prosecutions under the Act in its more than 200 year history."
"However, there have been a number of judicial references to the Act, and it is not uncommon for it to be used as a point of challenge concerning dealings with foreign officials. Although attempts have been made to repeal the Act, it remains law and at least a potential sanction to be used against anyone who without authority interferes in the foreign relations of the United States."
Considering the remarks of Barack Obama' who tangentially offered to meet without precondition with leaders of renegade nations such as Cuba, North Korea and Iran should serve to reinforce the need for the Logan act.
According to published reports, Obama feels that the leaders of these nations have been ostracized by the Bush Administration and that they should be engaged in a dialogue which may lead to understanding and ultimately to peace.
Which proves Obama is not a viable candidate for the Presidency of the United States. If you cannot recognize evil at first glance and have a faulty historical perspective, there is nothing you can say or do that will change the policies of these nations or their leaders. Nothing short of diplomacy backed by a show of force or a guarantee of economic support. All of which have been tried with poor results and are things which a private citizen cannot discuss with the leader of a foreign nation.
To be fair to Obama, his affirmative answer indicating his willingness to meet with foreign leaders was in response to a question asked by a member of the public via a "YouTube" debate and does not indicate any overt or covert action on Obama's part to meet with foreign leaders.
What can YOU do?
Do not consider Obama as being ready for prime time. His answer illustrates that he is irresponsible, naive and lacking in the broad historical perspective, experience and common sense required to lead America forward.
Suggest to your elected officials that the Logan Act should be re-examined and updated to reflect the sensibilities of our times. Specifically by adding "non-Administration" candidates or others who are seeking political office in the United States along with ordinary citizens to those targeted by the Act.
I would suggest that you contact Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, but his past performance has rendered him impotent as a leader in the Department of Justice and labeled him as being nothing more than another Janet Reno-style "political hack."
Recognize that there are numerous public forums to convey your willingness to meet foreign leaders... but again, any anti-Administration message is far more likely to have negative consequences than not.
A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell