Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Obama scared of "negotiating with Iraq" story

The Logan Act is a United States federal law that forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. It was passed in 1799 and last amended in 1994. Violation of the Logan Act is a felony....
American Spectator:
Published 9/17/2008 12:08:47 AM

The Obama campaign spent more than five hours on Monday attempting to figure out the best refutation of the explosive New York Post report that quoted Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari as saying that Barack Obama during his July visit to Baghdad demanded that Iraq not negotiate with the Bush Administration on the withdrawal of American troops.

Instead, he asked that they delay such negotiations until after the presidential handover at the end of January.

The three problems, according to campaign sources:
[1] The report was true, [2] there were at least three other people in the room with Obama and Zebari to confirm the conversation, and [3] there was concern that there were enough aggressive reporters based in Baghdad with the sources to confirm the conversation that to deny the comments would create a bigger problem.
Biden himself got involved in the shaping of the statement.
The Biden detail further indicates the Obamas are scared of this.

McCain is trying to drive the story. Major media are missing in action. Marginal media have issued a couple of misguided analysis. Right blogs are tentative, and beat their drums with medium conviction. If you say the truth: Obama violated the Logan Act, you sound like a wacko extremist, and a boring one at that. Most are leary of sounding boring.

Obama is mostly protected from criminal prosecution by his status as the Dem nominee. I think this is proper. Law should be applied with discretion. Obama only went to Iraq and spoke with Maliki and Zebari b/c he is the Dem nominee. It is proper that voters pass judgment on him (as opposed to a criminal jury).

This doesn't mean he didn't violate the Logan Act. He did. For a Constitutional Scholar, he is a dumbass.

This only means law should be applied with discretion. If Obama had gone to Iraq strictly as a Senator, and then violated the Logan Act, I would more seriously consider criminal charges as a proper response. Such a deed would have been more pernicious.

CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters fire chaff flares during an air power demonstration for Sailors, Marines and their friends and family aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert C. Long h/t

Military chaff is deployed by ships and aircraft to deter incoming missiles and rockets. Chaff is white noise. Chaff is interference. Chaff detours. h/t
Tom Maguire analyzed the Obama response which came out of the 5 hour meeting so you won't have to.

I analyze and summarize Tom Maguire so you won't have to:

1) Obama is lying;
2) Obama's chaff of esoterica give media space to cover for him;
3) most voters will throw up their hands amidst minutia about SOFA vs SFA.

Obama is counting on #2 and #3.

Obama says he was talking about SFA(Strategic Forces Agreement = long term agreement about military role in Iraq) instead of SOFA(Status of Forces Agreement = U.N. stamp of approval for U.S. forces to be in Iraq; SOFA expires 12/31/08).

When you look closely: Obama's rationale conflicts with itself, and you can clearly see he is lying. However, Obama has thrown out enough chaff that looking closely and identifying the truth takes some doing. Few major media reporters will look closely(in part b/c they don't want to hurt Obama), and Obama is depending on this. Few voters will sort through the minutia. How could they? Voters are busy living their lives. Voters depend on media, yet media doesn't want to do this job.

Obama's chaff of esoteric detail is Clintonian genius which has become classic Washington technique. This is change only if you are desperate to believe.

Dan Calabrese:

a U.S. senator ... attempts to undermine legitimate negotiations....

And he does not even deny doing so, not because he wouldn’t like to, but because he can’t.

Why is the mainstream media ignoring the story? Well, first and foremost, because they want Obama to win the election. But it goes deeper than that. They’re ignoring the story because they don’t see anything wrong with what Obama did.
They look at Bush’s poor approval ratings. They look at the unpopularity of the war. They look at the fact that Bush has only four months remaining in office.

And they ask, “Well, why should Bush get to negotiate anything? He’s leaving soon, we don’t like him and neither does anyone else. So what’s the problem?”

Which was part of the Obama campaign's argument in their flim-flamey statement, i.e. Barack didn't oppose U.S. negotiations; he opposed Bush Administration negotiations - see the difference?


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