A sometimes commenter and full time critic of The Elephant Bar, habu, posted a comment that stated,
Will someone tell me how you can conduct an entire thread on whether Nancy Pelosi stepped over the line in leading a trip to Syria and NO ONE mentions the Logan Act?"
Habu received a response:
Mrs. Pelosi does not fall under the Logan Act because she is NOT a regular citizen; rather, she is the Speaker of the House, third in line in ascendancy. If we wish to exclude Mrs. Pelosi, we must first change the Constitution - .a small detail, to be sure, but one that sticks in the craw. Of course, we could make things up as is the way of DR, but that would not be Constitutional.
Sat Apr 07, 02:55:00 AM EDT
There is a difference between custom and law. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have broken a custom of past presidents not criticizing the sitting president. Bush Senior and Richard Nixon adhered to the tradition. Distasteful activity is not criminal activity. Clinton and Carter are not going to be charged with the Logan Act because they are not ordinary citizens.
Jesse Jackson has clearly broken the Logan Act. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan stated that Jackson had probably broken the act. Jackson traveled to Cuba and Nicaragua that year and had returned with several Cuban political prisoners. Jackson was never charged.
It has become a custom for presidential candidates to establish their bona fides by visiting foreign leaders. They make statements about foreign policy and criticize the current leadership. John Kerry did it and was never charged.
Pelosi is the Speaker of the House. She pays the bills for the US. She has every right to go where she wants when she wants. She received that right when she was elected by a majority of voters.
Elections have consequences. Poor leadership by George Bush got the Republicans a good shellacking and Nancy Pelosi is the consequence.
That is the law.
There are a lot of laws I do not like. There are many people in government of whom I do not approve. It seems that there are many people that agree with me, and increasingly more that do not.
Many of those on both sides do not bother to vote. Under our system that is the only legal recourse we have. We all have to live under laws we would never have created or approved. Politicians who write laws and then selectively enforce them rule us. Some of us ordinary citizens, when selected and targeted by the extraordinary citizens, that hold government power, can be sent to prison and have our property taken for almost anything our oppressors care to charge us with. Scooter Libby is a current example, and he is far from being an ordinary citizen.
Nancy Pelosi is a very powerful elected US Governmental official and a leader of the most powerful political party in the United States. She is not covered under the Logan Act.
Where do you stand on Speaker Pelosi?
Well, she is a nice looking woman, in her way, but dangerous. Ask Mat.ReplyDelete
President John Adams requested the statute after a Pennsylvania pacifist named George Logan traveled to France in 1798 to assure the French government that the American people favored peace in the undeclared "Quasi War" being fought on the high seas between the two countries.ReplyDelete
In proposing the law, Rep. Roger Griswold of Connecticut explained that the object was, as recorded in the Annals of Congress, "to punish a crime which goes to the destruction of the executive power of the government. He meant that description of crime which arises from an interference of individual citizens in the negotiations of our executive with foreign governments."
But conside this statement by Albert Gallatin, the future Secretary of the Treasury under President Thomas Jefferson, who was wary of centralized government:
"it would be extremely improper for a member of this House to enter into any correspondence with the French Republic . . . As we are not at war with France, an offence of this kind would not be high treason, yet it would be as criminal an act, as if we were at war."
Indeed, the offense is greater when the usurpation of the president's constitutional authority is done by a member of the legislature--all the more so by a Speaker of the House--because it violates not just statutory law but constitutes a usurpation of the powers of a separate branch and a breach of the oath of office Ms. Pelosi took to support the Constitution.
The debate on this bill ran nearly 150 pages in the Annals. On Jan. 16, 1799, Rep. Isaac Parker of Massachusetts explained, "the people of the United States have given to the executive department the power to negotiate with foreign governments, and to carry on all foreign relations, and that it is therefore an usurpation of that power for an individual to undertake to correspond with any foreign power on any dispute between the two governments, or for any state government, or any other department of the general government, to do it."ReplyDelete
Of course, not all congressional travel to, or communications with representatives of, foreign nations is unlawful. A purely fact-finding trip that involves looking around, visiting American military bases or talking with U.S. diplomats is not a problem. Nor is formal negotiation with foreign representatives if authorized by the president. (FDR appointed Sens. Tom Connally and Arthur Vandenberg to the U.S. delegation that negotiated the U.N. Charter.) Ms. Pelosi's trip was not authorized, and Syria is one of the world's leading sponsors of international terrorism. It has almost certainly been involved in numerous attacks that have claimed the lives of American military personnel from Beirut to Baghdad.ReplyDelete
The U.S. is in the midst of two wars authorized by Congress. For Ms. Pelosi to flout the Constitution in these circumstances is not only shortsighted; it may well be a felony, as the Logan Act has been part of our criminal law for more than two centuries. Perhaps it is time to enforce the law.
Mr. Turner was acting assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs in 1984-85 and is a former chairman of the ABA standing committee on law and national security.
I'm sitting out here in Idaho, and I am kind of shamed of myself, as I am not up to speed on the Logan Act. Why does an older guy like me have to know all this stuff? Can't I just, like, you know, not like Pelosi?ReplyDelete
If you'll let me make fun of you for thinking that Psyco-Freak is attractive!ReplyDelete
Others can take up their arguments w/my posts to:ReplyDelete
Mr. Turner, who was acting assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs in 1984-85 and is a former chairman of the ABA standing committee on law and national security.
Lawsuit Alleges Dead Rat Found in Alzheimer Patient's Mouth at California Senior CenterReplyDelete
Democrats are guilty of even more serious felonies: hurting the war on terror by leaking classified information in order to win the last election. Editorials urged President Bush to investigate. He was even asked about it in a press conference.ReplyDelete
The reason why Pelosi appears to be above the law is because of the choices Republican politicians make, the difference between Republican and Democratic politicians. One columnist said "It's the Boy Scouts vs. the Hell's Angels".
Democrats like Pelosi and Reid wake up every morning thinking "How can I tear out a Republican's guts and leave them in a steaming pile on the floor?" Republican pols talk about the importance of being good losers. Democrats find ways to break the law in order to "win". Republicans let them do it.
Every day for years Democrats including congressional leaders have called Bush a liar. Bush has never bothered to respond, or have one of his aides return the charges.
Last year when the Democrats were leaking a secret a day and the FBI found cash in a Democratic congressman's freezer, Democratic leader Pelosi responded by kicking him out of committees, while Republican House Speaker Hastert went on a bizarre "bipartisan" rampage where he argued that the FBI had no right to serve the warrant against the crooked Democratic congressman, who was above the law.
Democrats take action with billion dollar campaigns, law suits, and public protests funded by rich men like Soros, while Republicans are a debating society.
Democrats have a campaign to impeach Bush, even though he hasn't broken any laws, and took out Liddy during an investigation of a situation where no laws were broken (the alleged perjury came during the investigation itself) while Republicans ignore the real law breaking of the Democrats.
The good news is that two of the worst Republican leaders are out of power. Denny Hastert was a gentle Ben type who did a great job of pulling Republicans together, but simply didn't have it in him to be tough enough to stand up to Pelosi and the Democrats. Bill Frist was one of the worse Senate leaders in history, and I suspect one reason he is out of Congress is because he was told he wouldn't be reelected as leader. Mitch McConnell, the new Republican Senate leader, is as tough as any Democrat, and the most skilled and willing to use Senate parliamentary tactics.
Good work Doug and Wu certainly argues to the emotional side of the issue.ReplyDelete
Doug is very persuasive when he says..
""it would be extremely improper for a member of this House to enter into any correspondence with the French Republic . . . As we are not at war with France, an offence of this kind would not be high treason, yet it would be as criminal an act, as if we were at war."
Indeed, the offense is greater when the usurpation of the president's constitutional authority is done by a member of the legislature--all the more so by a Speaker of the House--because it violates not just statutory law but constitutes a usurpation of the powers of a separate branch and a breach of the oath of office Ms. Pelosi took to support the Constitution."
Anyone who thinks that all are equal under the practice and enforcement of the law, has not been paying attention.ReplyDelete
Imus: So, I watched the basketball game last night between — a little bit of Rutgers and Tennessee, the women's final.
Rosenberg: Yeah, Tennessee won last night — seventh championship for [Tennessee coach] Pat Summitt, I-Man. They beat Rutgers by 13 points.
Imus: That's some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and —
McGuirk: Some hard-core hos.
Imus: That's some nappy-headed hos there. I'm gonna tell you that now, man, that's some — woo. And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so, like — kinda like — I don't know.
McGuirk: A Spike Lee thing.
McGuirk: The Jigaboos vs. the Wannabes — that movie that he had.
Imus: Yeah, it was a tough —
Charles McCord: Do The Right Thing.
Imus: I don't know if I'd have wanted to beat Rutgers or not, but they did, right?
Rosenberg: It was a tough watch. The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the Toronto Raptors.
Rosenberg was twice fired from the Imus show, once for racist comments about Serena and Venus Williams, and again for remarks about singer Kylie Minogue, who was battling breast cancer.
"She won't look so pretty when she's bald with one [breast]," Rosenberg said on air.
Each time, Imus rehired Rosenberg following on-air apologies.
> Anyone who thinks that all are equal under the practice and enforcement of the law, has not been paying attention.ReplyDelete
That's another part of this. Because of the double standards in today's society it would be politically impossible for an administration with a male president to file Logan Act charges against a female speaker of the House. Those charges would be portrayed as sexist, and the President's party would be destroyed in the next election. (A somewhat related example is the crooked Democratic Congressman mentioned above claiming the charges against him were racist. In his case though the FBI was involved, so that smear had less impact.)
So unless Condoleeza Rice becomes President, or maybe Attorney General, the Bush Administration doesn't dare do anything to Pelosi.
Well CRAP! Petraeus has gone soft now!ReplyDelete
BTW, nothing will be done about Pelosi. There's not enough testosterone in D.C. to make a neutered Yorkie!
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
tiger runs a web site, Observanda, and was too polite to make a direct link to his site which is here. Tiger and others who have their own blog and participate at the Elephant are always welcome to post and link to their site. This site was started on a whim and a fluke and the stated purpose is to give exposure to different ideas and opinions on world affairs.ReplyDelete
That is what we do here.
Habu, who is part of this post has never had a comment deleted. He is welcome to post but questioned what the rules are. They are stated at the banner head, conversation, civil and interesting.ReplyDelete
My wish is that one conducts himself as if you were standing at a bar and engaged in a lively conversation.
In my experience doing that, common sense sets a personal boundary that prevents you from saying something that will put you in the hospital, jail or the morgue. Personal attacks are the least interesting posts. This is not an AOL chat room.
"§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States,..."
authority of the United States
Does the Speaker of the House have the authority of the United States?
Well, this part of the Constitution would indicate she does
To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.
The President has no power that the Congress does not also have.
The Logan Act, which has never been tested in Court, would be found unConstituitonal, as applied by some to Ms Pelosi.
The powers of an Imperial Presidency not sanction by the Constitutin.
> The President has no power that the Congress does not also have.ReplyDelete
So there is no separation of powers, and each member of Congress is Commander-In-Chief of the US Armed Forces, like the President is? Each member of Congress can veto legislation? Each member of Congress can appoint Supreme Court justices and Ambassadors?
One never knows, though, how the Supremes will decide.ReplyDelete
"Tween Roe vs Wade, McCain-Feingold & Hamdan the Supremes obviously see things from a different perspective than mine
DR, the part you quoted is correct. It says the Congress has the power "To make all laws". It is nothing more than making laws. Pelosi is one of 535 members of Congress who can be part of passing a law, which then goes to the President for approval or veto.ReplyDelete
There is nothing in that quote about negotiating for the United States or being commander-in-chief.
No. not as Commander, wu, but as those that define the Mission, and regulate the use and rules of the MilitaryReplyDelete
To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
To provide and maintain a navy;
To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
What is regulation of, if not control over?
The President needs to do much more than the Logan Act. He should have the FBI investigate the ties between the Democrats and terrorist groups & countries.ReplyDelete
Immediately after the election, Al Qaeda said they were happy that the Democrats were elected, and could work with them. The first thing Democrats did was to send one of their committee leaders to a terrorist country.
The Democratic agenda in Congress, Pelosi's agenda, is Al Qaeda's agenda. They want us to pull out of Iraq, leaving it as a terrorist base camp. They want us to negotiate and befriend terrorist countries like Iran and Syria.
It needs to be investigated to see if it is a coincidence that the Democrats agree with Al Qaeda and the terrorists, or if money or some other illegal influence is involved.
No, wu, the Congress has every power the President has. That is what it says.ReplyDelete
You may find that inefficent, unproductive and confusing. No argument there.
But the various Speakers of the House can travel the World, speaking to whom ever they wish.
They have the authority of the Government, like it or not.
Yes, Congress does have regulatory powers over war. But my point is that Congress can only act as a group, by passing legislation. If Congress wants to control relationships with foreign countries, they need to do it by passing laws and treaties, not by Nancy Pelosi going to Syria. Congress passes laws which the President carries out, but it doesn't fly around the world pretending to be 535 Presidents.ReplyDelete
> They have the authority of the Government, like it or not.ReplyDelete
What does that mean to you: That the members of Congress can veto legislation? That they are commanders-in-chief of the military?
There's nothing in the Constitution that says they can do anything besides pass legislation.
They cannot bring an indictment against Mr Jefferson of LA.
After finding the "cold cash".
They cannot even operate within confines of the Patriot Act.
Investigate elected Congressmen for treason, they cannot bring indictments when they have the perp with the money.
The Skull & Boners are gettin' their way. They inhabit the highest echelons of both Parties.
The Congress commands the Commander, wu.ReplyDelete
They Declare War, they regulate the Army. The Commander commands within the confines of those Regulations.
If the Congress were to regulate the departure date of that Army, from a foreign adventure, it can.
If the Congress wishes to unDeclare War, it can.
So, yes, in a way, there are 535 commanders of the Military. They are out of the Chain of Command, but are co-equal to the President.
DR & othersReplyDelete
"The President has no power that the Congress does not also have."
This statement does not merit serious consideration.
Some of the posts on this thread areabsolutely astonishing in there mischaracterization and misunderstanding of the way our government functions, and the separation of powers.
This is mind boggling in it's incandescent ignorance.
Earlier someone tried to tell blog readers that Nancy was "head" of a co-equal branch of government.
MY questions was exactly when she became head of the US Senate? See it's one of the two components of the Legislative Branch of our government. That person, well it's just a pitiful statement of ignorance on their part.
Which branch of government negotitates treaties? What is the function of the State Department?
" Congress can make foreign policy through:
1) -- resolutions and policy statements
2) -- legislative directives
3) -- legislative pressure
4) -- legislative restrictions/funding denials
5) -- informal advice
6) -- congressional oversight.
Notice it doesn't mention NEGOTIATING FOREIGN POLICY
US Foreign Policy
I have said this many times before, it is IMPERATIVE and ACKNOWLEDGED by almost all political scholars that a citizen can not have an understanding of the functioning of our government as originally intended without reading the Federal Papers. Never to late to get started.
Yes, within the Rules of each body, legislation can be vetoed, appointments with held.ReplyDelete
If the House were not to approve Legislation, it would not be available for Presidental veto.
The Power of the Executive is diffused across the members of Congress. Right there, plain as day:
"for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof."
"for carrying into execution the foregoing powers"
They can go anywhere, do anything, that is not defined as Treason. The Logan Act violation falls short of Treason, maximum penalty of 3 years.
Let's deine negotiating vs visitingReplyDelete
Are the two the same?
What treaty did Ms Peolsi negotiate? What proposals did she advance, if any?
Funny, now the Constitution does not say what it says.
Must be why over 20 million US preCitizens have been killed with Constitutional sanction.
Things that are not there, well they can be read 'tween the lines, and what is there, don't mean nothin'.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
So much the Federals do is unConstitutional. If one believes that Amendment 10 is as viable as Amendment 16 or 17
Ms Glick, she's quoting Mr Bush:ReplyDelete
The footage of the British hostages thanking Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his hospitality and forgiveness, like the footage of Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi covering her head in a scarf while on a visit to Damascus, was enough to make you sick.
Must we lose this war?
On Tuesday, US President George W. Bush had some clear thoughts on Pelosi's visit. Bush said,
"Going to Syria sends mixed signals - signals in the region and, of course, mixed signals to President [Bashar] Assad... Photo opportunities and/or meetings with President Assad lead the Assad government to believe they're part of the mainstream of the international community when, in fact, they're a state sponsor of terror; when, in fact, they're helping expedite - or at least not stopping - the movement of foreign fighters from Syria into Iraq; when, in fact, they have done little to nothing to rein in militant Hamas and Hizbullah; and when, in fact, they destabilize the Lebanese democracy."
Other Syrian officials made clear that far from softening Syria's policies, Pelosi's visit, like those of European leaders, will only toughen Syria's positions. As Imad Moustapha, Syria's ambassador in Washington, put it, "Syria will not hurriedly offer concessions when it refused to offer them under much greater pressure from the United States in the past."
On Wednesday, Pelosi stated triumphantly, "We were very pleased with the assurances we received from [Assad that] he was ready to resume the peace process. He's ready to engage in negotiations for peace with Israel."
Yet this is a lie. Over the past several weeks, it has become abundantly clear that Syria is preparing to attack Israel in the coming months. If Pelosi had bothered to pay attention, she would have noted the terrorists from Gaza, Lebanon and Iraq passing her at the Damascus airport en route to training camps in Syria and Iran.
Europe is Teheran's largest trading partner. A quarter of Iranian exports go to Europe, and 40 percent of Iranian imports are from Europe.
Britain reportedly asked its EU sister-states to respond to this act of war by freezing their trade ties with Iran. Its request was met with immediate rejection. Reportedly, Germany led the pack in saying no. This is a shame since freezing European trade with Iran would effectively start the countdown for the fall of the mullahs.
Merkel's Germany is Iran's largest trading partner in Europe.
"Some two-thirds of Iranian industry relies on German engineering products. The Iranians are certainly dependent on German spare parts and suppliers."
Germany's booming trade with Iran would have gone bust long ago had it not been for the largesse of the German government. The German government, which supposedly opposes Teheran's nuclear weapons program, provides export guarantees for 65% of German investments in Iran.
When seen in the context of her government's subsidization of the Iranian economy, Merkel's anti-Iranian and anti-jihad statements are exposed as farce.
bobalharb: I'm sitting out here in Idaho, and I am kind of shamed of myself, as I am not up to speed on the Logan Act. Why does an older guy like me have to know all this stuff? Can't I just, like, you know, not like Pelosi?ReplyDelete
Pelosi seems to be in violation of the clear text of the Logan Act:
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.
That being said, Bush's political capital is so low he can't even get a rise out of a captive military audience with his "oceans no longer protect us" stump speech, let alone prosecute a popular Democrat babe-a-loid who is the highest ranking woman ever in the US Government.
If you're looking for a reason not to like her, she gets a lower ACU rating than Patty Murray! WOW!
WASHINGTON — As U.S. officials seek a diplomatic solution to the Iranian regime's suspected nuclear weapons program, a growing chorus of critics on the right say the Bush administration is being soft on Iran and other so-called "enemies of freedom."
These critics, including some members of the U.S. Congress, say the administration's diplomatic strategy with Iran will likely come to naught and a more aggressive approach — including economic sanctions and regime change — should be pursued.
"Time after time, the regime in Tehran has defied the world's demands that it abandon it nuclear ambitions, even heralding its successful production of enriched uranium only a few months ago," said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House International Relations Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia.
And then there is:
Out-hawking Bush on Iran
Saber-rattling Evan Bayh has joined Hillary Clinton in running to Bush's right on Iran. Will this tough stance pay off in 2008 -- or backfire?
But then at GOPBlogger this is promoted:
On Iran, Bush Should Follow Dodd and Lantos
by Jon Roth at 08:42 PM
When Democrats are right, we're happy to showcase it (like this). Sen. Christopher Dodd and Rep. Tom Lantos are sponsoring a bill that the House ought to pass 435-0 and the Senate ought to pass 100-0. It should be a no-brainer, as Dick Morris explains.
"We should pass — and the president should sign — the Dodd-Lantos bill mandating economic sanctions on any foreign company that aids Iran’s energy industry. Domestic companies are already prohibited from such investments.
This Democratic bill, cosponsored by Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Rep. Tom Lantos (Calif.), is a bold piece of legislation that strikes at the core of Iranian vulnerability."
Guest blogger Duncan Hunter just signed on as a co-sponsor.
And, in a singular act of courage and dedication to principle, Republican presidential candidate Congressman Duncan Hunter (Calif.) has added his name to the legislation as a cosponsor.
So Merkle, touted as a Bush ally, in contrast to previous admins, heads govt of Germany, giving aid and trade to FASCISTS intent on murdering JEWS!ReplyDelete
I guess genocide by proxy is morally different than Genocide.
How come 'Rat never responded to some of Wu and Teresita's points?ReplyDelete
Wu Wei said...ReplyDelete
"Yes, Congress does have regulatory powers over war. But my point is that Congress can only act as a group, by passing legislation. If Congress wants to control relationships with foreign countries, they need to do it by passing laws and treaties, not by Nancy Pelosi going to Syria. Congress passes laws which the President carries out, but it doesn't fly around the world pretending to be 535 Presidents."
"So there is no separation of powers, and each member of Congress is Commander-In-Chief of the US Armed Forces, like the President is? Each member of Congress can veto legislation? Each member of Congress can appoint Supreme Court justices and Ambassadors? "ReplyDelete
Wait, wait... it seems to me that everyone is forgetting several things: 1) the USA has full diplomatic relations with Syria, including an embassy in Damascus. 2) We are not engaged in any military action against Syria. 3) Several days before Pelosi's trip, a Republican delegation visited Damascus and met with al-Assad, to little fanfare and no condemnation. 4) Pelosi did not engage in actual negotiations with the Syrian government. 5) Pelosi has stated that that she informed Bush of her visit in advance, and received no objections.ReplyDelete
If this trip violated the Logan Act, then so has just about any foreign visit by any member of Congress. In fact, the State Dept. has in the past found no fault with Congressional visits to Cuba, provided the executive branch was informed and no unauthorized negotiations took place.
Oh, and in the law's 208-year history, not a single person has been convicted under it.
So, in short... No. Even if somehow this thing came to court, it would never fly.