Where Is The Outrage?

Adam's Apple

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Unauthorized Diplomacy--Where's the Outrage?
By David Limbaugh, World Net Daily
December 16, 2006

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson traveled to Syria and met with its president, Bashar Assad, without the authority and contrary to the wishes of the Bush administration, including the State Department.

The well-known policy of the Bush administration is that the United States has limited diplomatic ties with the Syrian government because of its support for terrorist organizations Hezbollah and Hamas, its support of terrorism and ethnic strife in Iraq, and its policy toward Lebanon.

The Constitution firmly places the conduct of U.S. foreign policy in the hands of the executive branch because the Framers understood the pitfalls of conducting foreign policy by committee.

Legislators, no matter how personally popular or professionally respected, and irrespective of the wisdom or foolishness of the policies they are seeking to promote, have no business – as a matter of constitutional law, historical practice and common sense – meeting with foreign leaders without executive permission. (Some would even argue that Nelson's unilateral junket violates the Logan Act – which carries criminal penalties – but there's insufficient space to address that here.)

A nation can't effectively conduct foreign policy when it speaks with more than one voice any more than a private business can optimally negotiate a transaction when two of its principals are sending mixed signals to the other side. You must speak with one voice, or you will allow the other side to divide and conquer you.

for full article:
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53398
 

CSM

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You would think that some of the posters on this board would be all over this...especially since they are so quick to point out the current President's abuse or outright dismissal of the US Constitution....

Just one more example of the hypocricy of some of our more liberal posters. Right Jillian and Bully?
 

90K

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:wtf: It would be interesting to see if an investigation is done over the misappropriation of funds for starters, and next if this Senator would be relieved of his job and positional authority just because of the lack of concern over the White House set standards on such a move. I guess this is a blatant disregard for authority and he'll be allowed to continue this type of stuff in the future and in fact both Democrats and Republicans with start this type of deal.
 

Dirt McGirt

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Here's a better link.

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Democrats challenge Bush doctrine on Mideast tour By Dan Murphy, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
Tue Dec 19, 3:00 AM ET

CAIRO - Last week, Bill Nelson (D) of Florida became the first US senator to visit Syria's President Bashar Assad in nearly two years. Tuesday, Democratic Senators John Kerry of Massachusetts and Christopher Dodd of Connecticut are due in Syria for high-level talks.

Since the Democrats seized control of Congress, they're tackling the thorny issues of the Middle East head on, particularly Iraq. And to these Democrats, that means talking to regimes like Mr. Assad's.

While the Bush administration may not like it - White House spokesman Tony Snow said Senator Nelson's visit with the Syrian leader was "not appropriate" and charged that it lends "a further specter of legitimacy to that government [which] undermines the cause of democracy in the region" - these senators are providing a glimpse of the approach the US would take if Democrats were to seize control of the White House.

Out would be the "no talking" approach to Iran and Syria, and in would be direct engagement on issues like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the instability that's roiling Iraq.

In a meeting with a small group of reporters in Cairo on Friday before heading on to Iraq and Syria, Senator Kerry was defiant about criticism that he was undermining the Bush administration's policies.

He said refusing to talk to these regimes is "a mistake ... the kind of policy that's got us into trouble in the region, and it needs to change."

He also was clear about what's prompting these sorts of visits. "Now that the Democrats are in control of Congress, we have an even larger responsibility to set a direction ... as a counterbalance."

p: Iran?
Mr. Kerry said he would be willing to travel to Tehran to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, implying it had been under consideration for this trip. "We were not able to make arrangements in the short time we had, but I would be willing to go,'' he said.

While such contacts have been quietly urged by members of the State Department for years, and were among the key recommendations of the Iraq Study Group's (ISG) report on Bush Administration policy in Iraq, it's not clear how much they could actually accomplish for Iraq.

While foreign Sunni fighters have passed through Syria into Iraq, and Iran has been persistently accused by US officers of providing support to Shiite militias, most experts believe Iraq's war is now largely being driven by domestic factors, with an increasing number of commentators describing it as primarily a civil war between the country's dominant Shiite sect and the Sunni Arabs who, though a minority, were a favored class under ousted dictator Saddam Hussein.

What Syria and Iran want
Both Syria and Iran are likely to demand a heavy price for their cooperation, something that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addressed in an interview with The Washington Post. Syria would like less US pressure over its involvement in Lebanon, she said, while Iran would like more freedom to pursue its nuclear program.

"Do you really want to get yourself into a situation in which you're talking about allowing the Iranians to continue to acquire the nuclear technology that will allow them to build a nuclear weapon to try and ... get their support in Iraq?'' Ms. Rice said. "If they have an interest in a stable Iraq, they'll do it anyway."

Kerry said he has "no illusions about our differences with these countries" and said "talking to somebody is not rewarding their behavior." He defended his meeting with Assad saying: "It's very hard to move the ball if you don't know what people's needs are, what their own perceptions are."

Kerry was also highly critical of President Bush's democracy agenda in the region, which he said has failed to take into account that "elections don't equal democracy ... in fact, it can create chaos."

Both senators described their visits to the region as "fact-finding" efforts that will guide their decisions on what new policies they favor for Iraq, particularly in light of the recent ISG report.

Senator Dodd, like Kerry, is considering a presidential bid in 2008. Both men are clearly seeking to forge their own proposals for stabilizing Iraq, an issue that is likely to dominate the presidential campaign.

Neither has been specific on what course he favors now, though Dodd said while in Iraq that he would back a plan to "surge" in up to 30,000 more US troops to the Baghdad area in an effort to secure the capital if he becomes convinced that Iraqis themselves are coming together to end the country's sectarian war.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1219/p10s01-wome.html
 

Dirt McGirt

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:wtf: It would be interesting to see if an investigation is done over the misappropriation of funds for starters, and next if this Senator would be relieved of his job and positional authority just because of the lack of concern over the White House set standards on such a move. I guess this is a blatant disregard for authority and he'll be allowed to continue this type of stuff in the future and in fact both Democrats and Republicans with start this type of deal.
It would depend on what capacity Bill Nelson acted upon when he went to Syria. He's a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and if he went on a "fact finding" mission, he's well within the scope of his duties as a Senator. It's been reported that John Kerry, Christopher Dodd, and Arlen Specter will also be going to Syria in similar capacities. Personally, I think this was just a political move to put pressure on Bush to reach out to Syria based on the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group.
 

Mr.Conley

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BS, Senators don't forfeit the right to visit other countries or even other nations' leaders upon assumption of the office. For one, the executive shares control of foriegn policy with the Senate. He doesn't retain full power, and he certainly can't tell Senators where they can and can not go. This is retarded.
 

trobinett

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BS, Senators don't forfeit the right to visit other countries or even other nations' leaders upon assumption of the office. For one, the executive shares control of foriegn policy with the Senate. He doesn't retain full power, and he certainly can't tell Senators where they can and can not go. This is retarded.
Well, if they don't forfeit the right to act on the behalf of the United States when they take office, they should.:eusa_naughty:

You can't have Senators flying all over the world making up shit on their own, hell most of the turds can't even tie their shoes without help.:eusa_shhh:

As to "fact finding", being a duty of Senate committee members, it MAY be, but only with the blessing of the executive branch of government.
 

Mr.Conley

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Well, if they don't forfeit the right to act on the behalf of the United States when they take office, they should.:eusa_naughty:

You can't have Senators flying all over the world making up shit on their own, hell most of the turds can't even tie their shoes without help.:eusa_shhh:

As to "fact finding", being a duty of Senate committee members, it MAY be, but only with the blessing of the executive branch of government.
Really? Where the hell in the Constitution is the executive given any say over the movement of Senators? This is riddiculous.
 

Gunny

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Really? Where the hell in the Constitution is the executive given any say over the movement of Senators? This is riddiculous.
Hardly. The President is "the" foreign ambassador for the US. ANY infringement on that by Congress is crossing the line of separation.
 

trobinett

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Really? Where the hell in the Constitution is the executive given any say over the movement of Senators? This is riddiculous.
Mr. Conley, this is a "common sense" issue, more than a "rights" issue, I for one, would like to see a lot more of the former.:idea:

As to your question, your quite capable of finding the answer yourself, but if you need a "heads up", Google "executive branch", and follow the links.
 

Mr.Conley

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Mr. Conley, this is a "common sense" issue, more than a "rights" issue, I for one, would like to see a lot more of the former.:idea:

As to your question, your quite capable of finding the answer yourself, but if you need a "heads up", Google "executive branch", and follow the links.
Rights ought to beat "common sense" anyday of the week. Common sense is just about as nebulous an idea as ideas can get. Rights are more fundamental, more necessary, more important. The purpose of government isn't to protect common sense, it's to protect rights. As such, we can only look at this from a rights perspective.

Also, I forget, who is it that actually has to approve treaties and confirm ambassadors that the President appoints? I forget. Minor point, but I would imagine that the group responsible for overseeing the President's diplomatic efforts might have an interest in going to other countries, with or without the President's approval, to better understand the situation.
 
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Adam's Apple

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Where the hell in the Constitution is the executive given any say over the movement of Senators? This is riddiculous.
Where in the Constitution does it authorize senators of the opposition party to meet with foreign leaders and undermine the duly elected President’s policies? This is worse than ridiculous.
 

Dr Grump

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Of course a politician can visit who he or she wants. Ridiculous to suggest otherwise. It is their duty to find out what is going on, especially when you have a current admin whose foreign policy is vacuous at best...
 
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Adam's Apple

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Of course a politician can visit who he or she wants. Ridiculous to suggest otherwise. It is their duty to find out what is going on, especially when you have a current admin whose foreign policy is vacuous at best...
Oh, I see--the lefties' way to conduct foreign policy. Heaven forbid that there be restraints of any kind on anyone's actions.

And speaking of a vacuous foreign policy, how about that conducted by Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger, Madeleine Albright & Co.?
 
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Adam's Apple

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Where does it say they can't meet foreign leaders??
The problem is not meeting with foreign leaders. The problem is meeting with foreign leaders for the purpose of undermining the policies of the current President. At least that's what I got out of the posted article.
 

Annie

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It doesn't.
I agree. At the same time, conducting foreign policy is given to the executive, with the Senate having the 'advise and consent' on treaties, etc.

It's not ok for each Senator or a bloc of Senators to go around trying their hand at diplomacy.
 

Dirt McGirt

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I agree. At the same time, conducting foreign policy is given to the executive, with the Senate having the 'advise and consent' on treaties, etc.

It's not ok for each Senator or a bloc of Senators to go around trying their hand at diplomacy.
I agree with you that it's not okay for Senators to go on rogue diplomacy missions with other nations. However, I haven't seen any report that Bill Nelson was carrying a free trade agreement or a military proposal when he went to the Middle East. A line exists on what constitutes setting US foreign policy and I can't find anything specific showing that he crossed over that line. Going over to the Middle East to gauge foreign relations or evaluating the on-the-ground conditions is well within the scope of his advise and consent role as a Senator. Whether the White House thinks that he was wrong for undermining a formality, that still doesn't legally translate to needing permission from the Executive Branch to engage in a "fact finding" mission.
 

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