Thursday, July 30, 2015

Obama: Our Law Breaking President. Reject The Bad Iran Deal!

Kerry has dissed Israel, considering the broken relationship Obama has imposed and  is comfortable to have achieved.

In the short term,  Israel will again become the world's pariah and Obama will attack them for building homes, failing to cave to pressure from Palestinians and other Arab and Muslim nations wanting to eliminate them but eventually the world will pay for its prejudice and feckless behaviour and Obama will be right at the top of the heap.  Why?  Because whenever the collective world disregards what is right and decent it ultimately pays a terrible price.  History cannot be ignored and when it is it exacts  a painful  price.(See 1 below.)
What a  great idea and it did not come from government:

I listened to a discussion of the Iran Deal today and the presenter boiled it down to: ' did the deal meet five basic criteria' and concluded  it has not met any. It all boils down to: "Money, weapons inter-continental missile and nuclear bombs."

 Why is the deal so bad?

1) Sanctions go away and $100 billion is available for Iran to enhance their current program of sponsoring terrorism.  No reason to believe Iran will invest in their people.

2) In the fifth year, Iran can buy all the arms they wish and in year 8, the  ban on their ability to possess inter -continental missiles disappears.

2) In years 10 to 15,  nuclear restrictions go away and with the  blessing of the international community Iran can develop as many nuclear bombs as they wish. Meanwhile, Iran can still do advanced work with respect to enrichment while building advanced centrifuges and thus their break up time narrows from a year or so to a few days because they will have achieved weaponization capability.  

3) The deal does not result in preventing Iran to build a bomb but rather enhances it.

4) Based on history it is ludicrous to believe Iran can be trusted to adhere to the terms of the deal and, in fact, Iran has already signaled where their intent is because of their continued rhetoric and threats and statements they remain in total disagreement with out interpretation of the terms, specifically with respect to inspection.

Therefore, Congress should pass a resolution of disapproval which would freeze Obama's ability to allow Iran to move forward.

Disapproval allows Congress to maintain all our prior options.

Once again ask yourself  why does Iran seek intercontinental missiles armed with nuclear bombs? Why does Iran need nuclear power when they are richly endowed with extensive oil reserves? Finally, why does Obama and Kerry want to reward Iran when they are the main sponsor of world wide terrorism?

The more that comes out about this deal the  likelihood of support for it, by all logic, should decline. 

Furthermore, the IAEA has negotiated side deals with Iran and their content remains unknown and this has become another matter of serious concern.

Once again, ask yourself  why does Iran seek intercontinental missiles armed with nuclear bombs? Why does Iran need nuclear power when they are richly endowed with extensive oil reserves? Finally, why does Obama and Kerry want to reward Iran when they are the main sponsor of world wide terrorism?  (See 2 and 2a below.)
One of the distinguishing features of our nation from all others is we are a nation of laws.  Americans are committed to adhere to our laws and when we have failed to do so we are in violation of one of the moral principles that under gird our nation.

Obama took an oath and  swore to uphold our laws and has failed to do so.  His attorney generals have failed to act independently and to investigate those who have engaged in activities that, at the very least, are questionable.  They failed enforcing laws pertaining to protecting our borders, The IRS' attack on conservative organizations and groups, transference of arms to criminals, the current Planned Parenthood matter and a host of other acts bordering on disregard and contempt for our laws.

This administration has proven its  unwillingness to investigate itself and that makes Obama a law breaker but no one has the guts to call his hand.

Yes, Obama has transformed our nation from one anchored in obeying laws to one that has freed itself and  selectively chooses which to obey.
Off to New York for wife's aunt's 93rd birthday celebration.

It’s the perfect metaphor for American foreign policy these days. Secretary of State John Kerry is heading to the Middle East next week to discuss the Iran deal with various American allies,  but he’s leaving out one important stop: Israel. According to Israel Army Radio, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the snub by saying, “He really has no reason to come here.” Unfortunately, the prime minister is right. Though the trip is just one of many that Kerry has made, it is a telling symbol for the approach of the Obama administration on the most important issue facing both countries: the Iran nuclear deal. President Obama and Kerry kept Israel out of the loop during the negotiations and ignored its vital interests when signing off on Iran’s demands. Combined with the rhetoric coming out of both men that seeks to isolate and threaten Israel, Kerry’s pointed omission of the Jewish state on his tour is just one more indication that they seek to expand what is already a serious rift between the two countries. Though friends of Israel are rightly focused on persuading Congress to vote down a terrible Iran deal, they must also ponder the long-term impact of the administration campaign against the Jewish state.

Throughout the six and a half years as well as during the course of the negotiations with Iran, President Obama has maintained that he is a steadfast friend of Israel and will always look out for its security. If he criticized or sought to pressure its government it was, he has told us, only for its own good or because, as he noted in his recent speech to a Washington, D.C. synagogue, he wanted to help return Israel to a mythical past when it had the affection of Western liberals.

At this point, that pretense of friendship is wearing very thin. Secretary Kerry can quote a few stray retired Israeli security experts who endorse the Iran deal, but these largely disgruntled figures with political axes to grind against Netanyahu don’t speak for an Israel whose political leadership from right to left has united against the Iran deal. But the problem here goes deeper than even the profound differences over a pact that grants Iran’s nuclear program Western approval along with the end of sanctions and a vast cash bonus. The crisis in the alliance also transcends the personal disputes between Obama and Netanyahu.

The fact that  the United States refused to give Israel all the details on the Iran deal that were part of its confidential appendices even after it was concluded also speaks not merely to the lack of trust between the two governments but also to the desire of the administration to cover up the extent of its effort to appease Tehran. Though it asserted there were no side deals with Iran, the appendices and the failure to make them available to Congress or the public compromise that claim. Even now, European diplomats visiting Israel are still refusing to divulge the contents of these documents to their hosts, making it difficult, if not impossible, to fully gauge the problem facing the Jewish state. All the Israelis do know at this point is that the U.S. has agreed to protect the Iranian program against further efforts to sabotage it. Along with the cooperation that now exists in Iraq and Syria between Washington and Tehran, it now appears that Israel is just one more American ally in the region and not the most influential one. Under the circumstances, Netanyahu’s bitter reflection about Kerry having no reason to come to the country may be unfortunate but it is also accurate.

The administration’s arguments that the alternative to the deal is a quicker Iranian path to a bomb or war are unpersuasive. Congress knows that tougher sanctions brought Iran to the table but that Obama’s abandonment of Western economic and political leverage over Iran during the talks is what left the U.S. with such dismal choices, not an inevitable need to bow to the dictates of the Islamist regime. But just as dangerous are Obama and Kerry’s other arguments aimed at silencing Israel and its friends.

Some of Netanyahu’s Israeli political opponents blame him for the estrangement between the countries. Those criticisms are not entirely off base because there is no secret about the fact that Obama and Netanyahu have a terrible relationship that has been exacerbated by the prime minister’s prickly personality. But the U.S.-Israel crackup isn’t a tabloid romance gone sour. The differences between the two countries are rooted in the administration’s reckless pursuit of an entente with Iran at the cost of its friendships with both Israel and moderate Arab states. That pursuit began in Obama’s first months in office, and nothing Netanyahu could have done or said would have deterred the president from this course of action. His success was achieved by a series of American concessions on key nuclear issues and not by pique about Israel’s stands on the peace process with the Palestinians or perceived rudeness on the part of Netanyahu.

Despite the attempt to portray Netanyahu’s interventions in the debate about Iran as a partisan move or an insult to Obama, keeping silent would not have advanced Israel’s interests or made more U.S. surrenders to Iran less likely. At this point, Israel has no choice but to remind U.S. lawmakers of the terrible blow to American credibility and regional stability from the Iran deal. It is the White House that has turned the Iranian nuclear threat — which was once the subject of a bipartisan consensus — into a choice between loyalty to the Democratic Party and its leader and friendship for Israel.

It is almost a given that the next president — no matter who he or she might turn out to be — will be friendlier to Israel than Obama. But the president’s legacy may not only be the strengthening of a terror state in Tehran. It has also chipped away at the U.S.-Israel alliance in a way that will make it that much harder to maintain the across-the-board pro-Israel consensus in Congress in the coming years. Given the growing dangers that the deal poses to Israel this is something that should have both Republicans and Democrats deeply worried.


Kerry Explains Why Iran Deal Isn’t a Treaty: Because You Guys Would’ve Said No!

Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged to the House Foreign Affairs Committee today why the administration was insistent that the Iran nuclear deal is not a treaty subject to ratification by the Senate.

Simply put, they counted on Congress not being compliant enough.

“For 228 years the Constitution provided a way out of that mess by allowing treaties to be with the advise and consent of 67 U.S. Senators. Why is this not considered a treaty?” Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) asked Kerry at today’s hearing.

“Well Congressman, I spent quite a few years ago trying to get a lot of treaties through the United States Senate. Frankly, it’s become physically impossible. That’s why,” Kerry said.
“Because you can’t pass a treaty anymore. And it’s become impossible to, you know, schedule. It’s become impossible to pass. And I sat there leading the charge on the disabilities treaty, which fell to basically ideology and politics, so I think that’s the reason why.”

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) confirmed Kerry’s answer: “This isn’t a treaty because it was difficult to pass. Is that — is that correct?”

“Well, it’s not — there are a lot of other reasons. We felt, we don’t have diplomatic relations with Iran. It’s very complicated with six other countries. It’s this very complicated process,” Kerry said. “So we thought that the easiest way to get something that had the leverage, had the accountability, could achieve our goal was through a political agreement. That’s what we have.”
Kerry got into a testy exchange earlier in the hearing with Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), who called out the secretary of State’s perpetual response that Congress needs to offer a better option if they don’t like the nuclear deal.

“Mr. Secretary, with all due respect, it is not Congress’s job; this is the administration. And if you would use the treaty process as provided by the constitution, maybe we wouldn’t be in this situation,” Perry said. “Furthermore, you know, you say, ‘Well, this is the only deal we could get, that there’s no better deal.’ Congress has a long history of instituting better deals. Example, 280 treaties, including 80 multilateral accords modified by Congress, including the arms control agreement, SALT II and the Threshold Test Ban treaty that failed to reach a vote and were modified.”

“So there is a history for that, of getting a better deal. And if the ayatollah doesn’t like it and doesn’t want to negotiate it, oh, boo-hoo. We’re — we’re here for America. We stand for America. You represent America.”

“Congressman, I don’t need any lessons from you about who I represent. I’ve represented and fought for our country since I was out of college,” Kerry snapped back. “Don’t give me any lessons about that, OK?”

“Now, let me just make it crystal clear to you. This is America’s interest, because America is the principal guarantor of security in the region and particularly with respect to some of our closest friends. Now, we believe that Iran was marching towards a weapon or the capacity to have a weapon, and we’ve rolled that back, Congressman,” he continued.

“OK, that’s your opinion,” Perry interjected.

“That’s indisputable — no,” Kerry countered. “That’s a fact.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
2)---Huckabee's Critics
By Rabbi Aryeh Spero
Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has warned that the Obama/Kerry deal with Iran could lead to an Iranian-lead nuclear Holocaust against Israel that would, "take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven."
Hillary Clinton, who has endorsed the Iranian deal, has denounced Mr. Huckabee, saying Huckabee’s comments are “personally offensive”. President Obama is likewise offended, as is Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a congresswoman from Florida who is the go-to Jewish member of Congress Mr. Obama uses when he wishes to bar Mr. Netanyahu from speaking or when he needs “Jewish” support for policies and actions that appear harmful to Israel.
Mrs. Clinton seems more offended by a few words than by the actual rockets that Iran has aimed at Israel. Instead of wasting our time on this side issue of phraseology, she should be working to stop this catastrophe. Instead of denouncing her opponent’s choice of words, she should be decrying an arrangement that gives Iran $150 billion, allows it to spin nuclear centrifuges, has no worthy verification system to stop Iranian nukes, and, worse, has the U.S. pledging to teach and help Iran defend itself from any necessary attack Israel might make to defend herself from Iran. A true friend of Israel should, would, be opposed to any such deal.
The Obama deal says we, the U.S., will teach Iran the fine points of nuclear science and its implementation. That is most definitely something that should concern us regarding a potential Holocaust, especially since Iran has declared its Number One Goal to be the destruction, the incineration, of Israel’s Jews. Someone, a real friend, concerned with a future Holocaust would be alarmed about that, not remain silent and pipe up only when words are used that "offend" her and President Obama.
In fact, the best way to avert a planned Holocaust is by evoking the language of Holocaust. What is so hard to understand about that?  The best way for Paul Revere to announce the British are coming was by warning: “The British Are Coming”. Iran has declared its intentions to wage a Holocaust against Israel. This is “Holocaust” language. They and other Muslim radicals speak of "ovens”. Too many on Obama’s team seem more concerned about the feelings of Obama and Clinton, supporters of the Iran deal, than the actual threat posed to Israel and her population, including Israel’s children who’ll bear the brunt of the incineration. The Clinton and Schultz horror should be directed not at Mr. Huckabee, who truly loves Israel and her people, but at Iran and this dangerously concocted deal.
Let me publicly state: Of the three, Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton, and Mr. Huckabee, the one I bet on for supporting Israel is Mr. Huckabee. He has always been there for Israel and the Jewish people, while the other two have not.
Meanwhile, Ms. Wasserman Schultz has demanded an apology from Mr. Huckabee, doing so in the name of the Jewish people. Well, Mr. Huckabee, you owe this rabbi no apology. I am grateful that you have focused and brought the inherent danger and disaster of this capitulation to the ears of the American people… and the world. It is Debbie Wasserman Schultz who owes the Jewish community an apology for defending anti-Israel Obama polices that are indefensible. It is Wasserman Schultz who warned Prime Minister Netanyahu not to say anything negative about Mr. Obama’s policies that might hurt Democrats in the 2014 election.  It is she who prefers that we Jews be kept in the dark rather than know the truth. She doesn't want us to make informed decisions and thereby push back. She didn’t then in 2012 or 2014 and she doesn't now in 2015, with this Iran betrayal.
Wasserman Schultz's party loyalty appears to override everything else, including Jewish survival and American survival. She attempted to publicly humiliate Mr. Netanyahu when he came to America to speak, labeling his speech a re-election gimmick, disregarding his need to defend and plead for his people. It is she who owes the Jewish community an apology for consenting to be the attack dog against those who love Israel and the Jewish people, while defending harmful policies if coming from liberals and Democrats. The Talmud says: “Do not use faith as a shovel in service to your own personal ambitions”. Wasserman Schultz invokes “Jewishness” to thwart and nullify our attempts at protecting Israel, and Jews, if it stands in the way of her political ambitions.
Unfortunately, there are a few establishment Jewish organizations that can always be counted on to assail great friends of the Jewish people and Israel. Why? Because they have become arms of the Democrat Party. They long ago traded in concern for Jewish survival for the liberal and Democrat agenda and then have the chutzpah to redefine “Jewishness” as liberalism or Obamaism. By now, most of us simply ignore their predictable, partisan statements.
Mrs. Clinton, Mrs. Wasserman Schultz, and Mr. Obama: if you truly cared about anti-Semitism, you’d be out there denouncing Mr. Kerry for dredging up those tired old canards used by anti-Semites that Jews control Congress and Israel is at fault for harming U.S. foreign policy. Mr. Kerry in recent testimony warned: “Israel will be blamed if the deal doesn’t go through Congress”. Team Obama is whispering some talking points about “Jewish donors”, Congress under Jewish and AIPAC control… hinting about dual loyalty.
It’s not Mr. Huckabee’s heartfelt emotion regarding a potential Holocaust that bears watching. On the contrary, his words of warning are an expression of love and concern. No, it is those who stand by or participate in smear campaigns, using the oldest, anti-Jewish stereotypes and accusations that are indifferent and worrisome to the Jewish people.
Rabbi Aryeh Spero is author of Push Back as well as Why Israel Matters to You , and is president of Caucus for America.


Saudi Arabia Responds to Iran Deal: Give Us 600 Patriot Missiles

Just two weeks after Western nations and Tehran struck a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program, the Pentagon says Saudi Arabia wants to buy 600 new Patriot missile interceptors.
The $5 billion-plus purchase is likely just the first of many more as America’s Middle Eastern allies arm themselves in response to the nuclear deal, which would lift Iran’s conventional-arms embargo sanctions in five years and sanctions on long-range missile projects in eight.
“We saw this coming,” said Thomas Karako, a missile defense expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “This is the consequence of leaving the Iranian missile program intact and in fact signaling sanctions will go down on it.”
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council allies have been upping their missile defenses in recent years. In April, Riyadh bought $2 billion worth of Patriots, and just last week, the Pentagon bought $1.5 billion worth of Patriots for Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, South Korea — and Saudi Arabia again.

“We’re going to see more of this,” Karako said. “So long as the Iranian missile threat exists, GCC and other countries in the region are going to have to invest in counters offensive and defensive.”
Iran has the largest and most diverse missile program in the Middle East, made up of short-range, long-range, anti-ship and cruise missiles, experts say. Middle Eastern nations have as little as four minutes to act if Iran fires one of these missiles their way.
Middle Eastern nations are also likely to boost buys of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, interceptors, which can reach farther than Patriot to shoot down missiles.
UAE has already purchased THAAD and Saudi and Qatar are interested in the system. Also likely to pick up steam is the sale of a massive missile-tracking radar to Qatar.
The U.S. has been urging the GCC members to network their missile defense equipment together to better detect launches and so multiple countries don’t fire interceptors at the same missile.
The Saudi deal announced Wednesday is for the newest version of Patriot, called PAC-3. “The proposed sale will modernize and replenish Saudi Arabia’s current Patriot missile stockpile, which is becoming obsolete and difficult to sustain due to age and limited availability of repair parts,” the Pentagon wrote in its required notification to Congress of the deal. “The purchase of the PAC-3 missiles will support current and future defense missions and promote stability within the region.”
In June, Saudi Arabia used a Patriot to shoot down a Scud missile launched by Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Marcus Weisgerber is the global business reporter for Defense One, where he writes about the intersection of business and national security. He has been covering defense and national security issues for nearly a decade, previously as Pentagon correspondent for Defense News and chief editor of Inside the Air Force. He has reported from Afghanistan, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, and often travels with the defense secretary and other senior military officials.


Jews stood up to the U.S. government 40 years ago, and should again on Iran

Soviet Party leader Leonid Brezhnev and President Richard Nixon at talks in Ukraine in 1974.
These days, like many Israelis and American Jews, I find myself in a precarious and painful situation. Those of us who believe that the nuclear agreement just signed between world powers and Iran is dangerously misguided are now compelled to criticize Israel’s best friend and ally, the government of the United States. In standing up for what we think is right, for both our people and the world, we find ourselves at odds with the power best able to protect us and promote stability. And instead of joining the hopeful chorus of those who believe peace is on the horizon, we must risk giving the impression that we somehow prefer war.
As difficult as this situation is, however, it is not unprecedented. Jews have been here before, 40 years ago, at a historic juncture no less frightening or fateful than today’s.
In the early 1970s, Republican President Richard Nixon inaugurated his policy of detente with the Soviet Union with an extremely ambitious aim: to end the Cold War by normalizing relations between the two superpowers.
Among the obstacles Nixon faced was the USSR’s refusal to allow on-site inspections of its weapons facilities. Moscow did not want to give up its main advantage, a closed political system that prevented information and people from escaping and prevented prying eyes from looking in.
Yet the Soviet Union, with its very rigid and atrophied economy, badly needed cooperation with the free world, which Nixon was prepared to offer. The problem was that he was not prepared to demand nearly enough from Moscow in return. And so as Nixon moved to grant the Soviet Union most-favored-nation status, and with it the same trade benefits as U.S. allies, Democratic Sen. Henry Jackson of Washington proposed what became a historic amendment, conditioning the removal of sanctions on the Soviet Union’s allowing free emigration for its citizens.
By that time, tens of thousands of Soviet Jews had asked permission to leave for Israel. Jackson’s amendment sought not only to help these people but also and more fundamentally to change the character of detente, linking improved economic relations to behavioral change by the USSR. Without the free movement of people, the senator insisted, there should be no free movement of goods.
The Republican administration in the White House objected furiously. It also claimed that by improving relations with Moscow it would be better able to protect us personally and to ensure that some Jews could emigrate each year. This put Jewish activists inside the USSR in a difficult position. We feared opposing our greatest benefactor, yet we wanted freedom for all Soviet Jews, and we believed that would result only from unrelenting pressure to bring down the Iron Curtain. This is why, despite the clear risks and KGB threats, we chose to publicly support the amendment.
American Jewish organizations also faced a difficult choice. They were reluctant to speak out against the U.S. government and appear to put the “narrow” Jewish interest above the cause of peace. Yet they also realized that the freedom of all Soviet Jews was at stake, and they actively supported the policy of linkage.
Now all that was needed for the amendment to become law was enough principled congressional Republicans willing to take a stand against their own party in the White House. It was a Republican senator from New York, Jacob Javits, who, spurred by a sense of responsibility for the Jewish future, helped put together the bipartisan group that ensured passage.
Later, when Javits traveled to Moscow as part of a delegation of U.S. senators, he met with a group of Jewish refuseniks and asked us whether the policy of linkage truly helped our cause. Although we knew that we were speaking directly into KGB listening devices, all 14 of us confirmed that Jackson’s amendment was our only hope.
The Soviet authorities were infuriated by the law and did everything in their power to prove that the Americans had made a mistake. Jewish emigration was virtually halted, and the repression of Jewish activists increased. In 1977, I was arrested and accused of high treason, allegedly as a spy for the CIA; in the indictment, Jackson was listed as my main accomplice. Yet far from discouraging me or discrediting the senator, the many mentions of his name in my sentence gave me hope — hope that the free world would not permit Soviet dictators to continue denying their citizens basic rights and that in the end our cause would be victorious.
It was. The amendment made the principle of linkage the backbone of the free world’s relations with the USSR. The decaying Soviet economy could not support an arms race or maintain tolerable conditions without credit and support from the United States. By conditioning this assistance on the opening of the USSR’s gates, the United States would not only help free millions of Soviet Jews as well as hundreds of millions of others but also pave the way for the regime’s eventual collapse.
Today, an American president has once again sought to achieve stability by removing sanctions against a brutal dictatorship without demanding that the latter change its behavior. And once again, a group of outspoken Jews — no longer a small group of dissidents in Moscow but leaders of the state of Israel, from the governing coalition and the opposition alike — are sounding an alarm. Of course, we are reluctant to criticize our ally and to so vigorously oppose an agreement that purports to promote peace. But we know that we are again at a historic crossroads, and that the United States can either appease a criminal regime — one that supports global terror, relentlessly threatens to eliminate Israel and executes more political prisoners than any other per capita — or stand firm in demanding change in its behavior.
A critical question is, who, if anyone, will have the vision and courage to be the next Sens. Jackson and Javits.
Natan Sharansky, a human rights activist and former political prisoner in the Soviet Union, is chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hillarious Running A Gypsy Rose Lee Campaign! The Iran Deal Smells and The Smell Worsens!

More Tybee Beach and see the Dolphin Trip  pictures taken by Dagny and Blake's mother, Abby


Are Demwits willing to go down standing on the deck of an  Iranian ship? (See 1 below.)

$150 billion can buy lots of trouble and will but what difference does it make. (See 1a below.)
Boehner and McConnell beholden to corporate interests and Allen West is right - ditch the Export Import Bank! (See 2 below.)

While they are at it, defund tax payer money to Planned Parenthood and close the Department of Education for starters.
John's father, Norman,  predicted where things are likely to go in a marvelous and insightful book: "WW 4" and now one can argue Obama and Kerry are causing it to happen. (See 3 below.)
Now for some humor:

The following questions were in last year's GED (grade 12 equivalent) examination

(These are genuine answers).   

A.  Q.  What is a turbine?  Something an Arab or Sheik wears on his head.  Once an Arab boy reaches puberty,  he removes his diaper and wraps it around his head.   

B. Q.  In a democratic society, how important are elections? 
A.   Very important.  Sex can only happen when a male gets an election.

Q.  How can you delay milk turning sour? A.   Keep it in the cow.    
      (Simple, but brilliant)  

Q.  What is the most common form of birth control? A.   Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium.    
      (That would work.) 

e)   Q.  What is a terminal illness?    
A.   When you are sick at the airport.    

Q.  Name the four seasons   
A.   Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.
Must hear:
PolitiStick: D’Souza Reveals What We Should Expect in 2016

Then dial up Pat Condell and listen to "How To Insult a Progressive."

By now, anyone who believes Hillary is truthful I would suggest their own ability to tell the truth is suspect.

Hillarious has been lying her way to the top for decades.  

I am not going to allude to her non public school years. I will simply remind the reader her public display of lying began with Whitewater and has not stopped.

The woman lies so much she no longer knows what the truth really is, as if she ever did,  and thus zigs and zags. She is running what I would call a Gypsy Rose Lee campaign  in that she is in tight command  of what she is willing to expose because she is a control freak.

If the Demwits wish to nominate her it would signify how very little respect they have for both voters and the nation.  I am not likely to vote for any candidate they would nominate but they should at least try and make it a worthy contest.(See 4 below.)


1)Marty Peretz: The Democratic Party, on the Edge of the Abyss

Two of the most powerful members of the Democratic Party, former and current senators from New York, now hold the fate of the putative deal with Iran in their hands. Because they alone can overturn it, this means that presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and presumptive Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer carry a heavy burden that will deeply affect their personal reputations and, most probably, the trustworthiness of the Democrats in foreign policy for at least a generation.

Their former senatorial colleagues Barack Obama, Joe Biden and John Kerry already own their decision, though their logic still remains unclear to both the most diligent and the most casual observer. The president asserts that his piece of paper will prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, presuming both the honesty of a regime that has displayed mendacity and hostility for 35 years as well as the existence of a wide-ranging verification capability that his own agreement has fatally compromised. And then, of course, there is the sunset provision that enables Iran to acquire nuclear weapons anyway. As they congratulate themselves on the hard work that produced this bizarre document—Bloomberg 

News related that “[a]ll present were in a kind of awe”—have these former Solons stopped to wonder why Iran negotiated in the first place when their leaders still insist on claiming they don’t want nuclear weapons? The entire process is built on lies. If the Iranians didn’t want nukes, then why would they want a time limit?

Of course the Iranians are dissimulating—they want the funds that come from sanctions relief, the legitimacy that comes from press conferences with great powers in central Europe, and, finally, an eased path to nuclear weapons. They have managed to achieve all three, without having to pause their “Death to America” street rallies, return their American hostages, curb their aggression in the Middle East, or release their defrauded presidential candidates from house arrest. (Nor has the U.S. President seen fit to even mention these ongoing depredations.) On the U.S. side, the assertion is that Iran will modify its irredentist behavior, even as its last demand (to which Obama and Kerry shamefully caved) was to lift the arms and ballistic missile embargos. Not exactly evidence-based decision-making when you consider the Ayatollah Khamenei’s comment just this weekend: “Our policies toward the arrogant government of the United States will not be changed at all.”

Diplomats may be sent abroad to lie for their country, according to the saying, but they ought to be honest at least with themselves. Honesty is the most obvious ingredient missing in the aftermath of the agreement. The Administration’s apparent thinking, if that is not too dignified a term, is that Iran as a Persian Shi’ite power can serve as a counterweight to the Arab Sunni majority in the Middle East. The White House has occasionally let slip that former professor Obama has “gone to school” on the concept of balance of power. But what a weird way he has of balancing.

Consider the last six years of our President’s policies. Having supported the majority Shi’ite population in Iraq and strengthened Iranian influence there, he proceeded to avoid supporting the majority Sunni population in Syria, thereby strengthening Iranian influence there too. We also declined to leave even a modest troop presence in Iraq on the fatuous premise that we would thus “end the war.” On top of all of this, and emblematic of the lack of principle in our president’s vaporous philosophy of “change,” was his willingness to allow the famous Syrian red line against the use of chemical weapons to be casually crossed.

Taken together, these decisions produced a vacuum that has led to the rise of ISIS, fueled by a combination of grievance toward the mullahs and their Syrian and Iraqi proxies as well as American incompetence and indifference. This result was not only foreseeable but was foreseen: Hillary Clinton was eager to admit in her most recent memoir that she wanted to do more for the Syrian opposition.
Whatever else the U.S. has done in the Middle East under Obama, it has certainly not balanced any power. We have not required nor even apparently requested any change of Iranian behavior in the region, so the mullahs and their gunmen continue energetically disrupting the status quo, from Yemen to Lebanon, from Gaza to Bahrain. And predictably, as Iranian efforts expand, ISIS grows stronger. Perhaps the president shares the excitement of this disruptive revolutionary moment, but it clearly has nothing to do with the protection of American interests or the improvement of life for the average Sunni or Shi’a Muslim.

This dissonance between Administration aims and the facts on the ground has reached its nadir in the negotiations with Iran. Strangely, the President and the Secretary of State wanted to separate the issue of the nature and conduct of the Iranian regime from the nuclear issue. Most would think that a negotiation over the details of uranium enrichment would take into account the behavior of those who will control the uranium once it is enriched. And that the government of the United States, which provides hundreds of billions in sanctions relief, might also want to consider how that money would be spent. The Iranians certainly recognized these two issues as linked, and used that linkage to their advantage, insisting, with Russia’s predictable help, on the easing of the arms embargo. (No surprise there: The Russians are delighted to constrain American power and undermine American interests.) This was the capstone achievement of our team’s incompetent approach: The U.S. excluded nonnuclear issues that conduced to our interests in order to get a deal, while Iran then included nonnuclear issues to their benefit because the U.S. wanted to get a deal. Obama calls this “negotiating from strength.”

To see how confused and even absurd the Democratic approach has been to Iran, consider the case of Korea. Does anyone think that if Obama withdrew the 30,000-odd U.S. troops in South Korea that he would “end the war”? On Obama’s logic, we should be exiting our troops immediately and freeing up hundreds of billions of dollars of funds over the next decade for North Korea, while enabling a sponsor like China to sell them conventional arms and ballistic missile technology. Then we can sit back and “hope” that North Korea will “change.”

Two decades ago, the North Koreans challenged the administration of our last Democratic president in the same way as Iran challenges our current one. Who can forget The New York Times’s editorial judgment in 1993 that “President Clinton is adopting a sound diplomatic strategy for coaxing North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions” by “rightly resisting pressure to get tough with Pyongyang”? This month, one day after the Ayatollah said emphatically the deal will not change his country’s attitude toward the U.S., the Times asserts that President Obama “was right to keep the focus on restraining” the Iran nuclear program, but that if the sanctions are not lifted quickly enough, the so-called Iranian “moderates” could be discredited, “boosting the hard-liners.” Cognitive dissonance seems to be the official editorial policy of the Democratic elite.

The obvious point is that the nature of the Iranian regime matters, just as the nature of the North Korean regime matters. While our leaders take a holiday from history, the bad actors of the world do not take much of a vacation. American voters know this, which is likely why Obama did not disclose his detailed intentions regarding Iran in his 2012 re-election campaign. But now many Democrats complain that supporting the deal is their only choice. Moreover, the president, this time through the agency of his UN ambassador, the putative idealist Samantha Power, has laid a procedural trap for the wavering Democrats by introducing the big power treaty to the Security Council where it has already passed. This will make congressional review doubly difficult, and more than doubly important. In any case, the compact deserves negation on its own terms. But, as it happens, the Ayatollah who truly runs Iran declared on the morrow of the announcement of the agreement his intention to wage war. On Israel, no surprise. And on us, the U.S., the very architect of this peace.

Obama the star negotiator has told us that the only other alternative to this treaty is to resolve the Iranian issue “through force, through war.” But, of course, there are other alternatives to war than deficient deals that damage our interests. Fortunately, America is full of talented, responsible, creative negotiators who can improve on the woefully low bar set by Obama, Biden, and Kerry in this catastrophic bargaining process. There is no reason Senator Schumer, with Secretary Clinton’s backing, cannot lead a consensus in Congress to tie a set of focused, reasonable conditions to their support for the existing deal. Since Iran was happy to trade and re-trade right up to the negotiators’ self-imposed deadline, and then extend the deadline, there is no reason Congress cannot exercise its constitutional prerogative and send the administration back to the table with some improvements. For starters: Cancel the automatic removal of the conventional arms embargo in five years and the ballistic-missile ban in eight years and link them to a future vote in Congress, which will depend crucially on concrete Iranian behavior; release immediately all American hostages held in Iran; insist that Iran come clean immediately about prior illegal military nuclear activities; and enhance the verification procedure to ensure quick inspector access to any suspect Iranian site upon demand within a week. If those four conditions are incorporated in the deal, the U.S. Congress will then lift American sanctions.

Obama and Kerry will naturally protest, as will the allies, that we are re-opening the so-called agreement. The “awe” reported by Bloomberg might dissipate. But Iran happily reneged upon the April agreement, so why do Americans and the Democratic Party have to be shackled permanently to a poorly conceived and weakly negotiated deal? The outcome will be imperfect. You could anticipate a situation where the Europeans lift sanctions and the U.S. does not. Such are the consequences of incompetence. But U.S. sanctions do matter, and their continuation (in the absence of reasonable satisfaction of congressional conditions) will affect Iranian calculations. Moreover, the uncertainty created in the Iranian leadership will restore some leverage to the next American president. If Schumer and Clinton instead passively capitulate to the flawed approach of the administration, they will bear their full share of responsibility for the substance of the deal and the consequences for their party.

About this matter of political consequences: has the Democratic Party forgotten the McGovernite legacy from which it fought for so long, and for a time so successfully, to free itself? The George W. Bush Administration’s post-invasion missteps in Iraq, and their grisly consequences, have given the Democrats a dangerous sense of their own freedom: Americans may oppose aggression without strategy, but history has shown that they also oppose idealism without strength and pragmatism without principle.

Our current president flatters himself with comparisons to Abraham Lincoln. But Lincoln knew about confronting adversarial regimes possessed of corrupt, intolerant and militant principles. Even as he worried about losing his re-election bid 151 years ago this summer to New York Democrat Gen. George B. McClellan, who advocated a quick peace with the South and an end to emancipation, he sent Gen. Philip Sheridan to destroy the economic infrastructure of the Shenandoah Valley and Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman to do the same in Georgia. Lincoln understood that there are some illegitimate regimes that demand resistance rather than compromise.

Martin Peretz was editor-in-chief of The New Republic from 1974 to 2013.  This article was originally published by The Tower.


Iran Deal: $150 Billion to Fund Obama's War

Iran DealIn 1947, U.S. President Truman made history by launching the Marshall Plan, sending $13 billion (about $140 billion in today's dollars) to help rebuild post-war Europe, in order to prevent Western Europe from falling to Communist expansion.
Today President Obama is trying to make history through an Iranian nuclear deal that will give an astounding $150 billion of sanctions relief to a regime that was in 2014 considered by the U.S. Department of State, along with Sudan and Syria, one of the world's leading sponsors of terrorism.
The Marshall Plan was spread out over 17 countries that were U.S. allies and considered critical in the long struggle that would put Soviet communism on the “ash-heap of history,” in the words of President Ronald Reagan.
Under the President Obama's disastrous Iran nuclear deal, $150 billion would go to a single regime that has been a state sponsor of terrorism for the entire 36 years of its existence. $150 billion is an enormous amount of money to the Iranian regime, whose failed statist economic policies, ongoing expansionism and internal mismanagement — not even to speak of its horrifying human rights record in imprisonments, torture, and widespread executions — have led to a stagnant economy.
How might Iran spend the $150 billion? Iran has brutally cracked down on dissent in its own country. It brutally imprisoned, tortured, and murdered those in the Green Movement, whose peaceful demonstrations, begun in 2009, had brought together up to three million protesters, and which threatened to topple the regime.
With the new inflow of money, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) will have many more resources at its disposal to crush dissent and tighten its grip on power, making regime change — which should be our urgent and ultimate goal, rather than a fleeting nuclear deal — all the more unlikely.
Iran has backed the Assad regime in Syria, helping it keep control in a brutal civil war that has cost over 210,000 lives. Assad even wrote a congratulatory letter to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei about the deal, probably in the likely assumption that he will get a substantial boost from this $150 billion boom.
A flush $150 billion in the hands of the Iranian regime will also likely give a boost to the Iranian-sponsored Houthi rebels trying to take over Yemen. Iran has in the past used its Shia militias to kill an estimated 500 Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan.
While the Iraqi Shia militias may be fighting ISIS now, they almost certainly will be fighting and killing more moderate Sunnis in Iraq, who worked with the U.S. government and are willing to work for a peaceful Iraq.
Iran has long backed Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist groups trying to destroy Israel. Iran is already sending millions of dollars to Hamas to build and repair tunnels for use in kidnapping and murdering Israelis, and to rebuild Hamas's missile supply. Iran's Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, already has an estimated 100,000 missiles it could use to attack Israel.
With $150 billion, Iran can fund a massive new war against Israel through its terrorist proxies — using conventional weapons — to try to obliterate Israel even before Iran gets nuclear weapons. The fact that Iran pushed to have the UN arms embargo lifted as part of the nuclear deal shows its intentions for where to spend this $150 billion.
The Iran deal, in five years, will actually lift a ban on sending Iran conventional weapons, including (in eight years) intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of hitting the United States. But Iran is already wasting no time buying weapons and producing weapons on its own. Russia recently finalized the sale to Iran of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system — in violation of the existing embargo.
Although there may still be an official UN arms embargo on Iran, there is no ban the transfer of raw materials that they could use to make arms domestically. Iran already has an advanced weapons manufacturing industry.
If the Iran nuclear deal goes through, the mullahs will have to decide how much of the $150 billion will be used to boost their own arms manufacturing efforts and shore up their domestic reign of terror, and how much will be shared with their totalitarian and terrorist allies?
The Iran deal does not prevent a nuclear Iran. At best, it only delays it a few years.
Iran has brazenly vowed not to change its current policies and will continue to finance war, through its terrorist partners, against Israel and Sunni Muslim states. With ICBMs, Iran will not only threaten Middle East neighbors, but also the United States and Europe.
When President Obama leaves office, he may think that any catastrophe caused by the Iran deal will not “technically” be his, but the next president's. But it is his. It's as if someone is lighting a long fuse and will then say he was not near the dynamite when it detonated. Any explosions that result from this huge military and financial payday to Iran will, and should, be known as “Obama's war.”
Members of the U.S. Congress should move swiftly and boldly to vote this terrible deal down and try to stop the $150 billion from going to boost tyranny and terrorism and spread war throughout a region already on fire
2)The reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank is a bad idea on many levels. Yet, the Senate voted late Monday night to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank using a series of convoluted parliamentary procedures that blocked opposition and permitted the Export-Import Bank to bypass the normal law-making procedures. In effect, the Senate Majority Leader advanced the Export-Import Bank as an amendment to the unrelated highway reauthorization bill, while at the same time forbidding every other amendment.
The Senate Majority Leader used the same parliamentary tricks that he despised when the Democrats were in the majority, which might have been defensible if he were doing something laudable like reforming entitlements or lowering the deficit. Instead, the Senate Majority Leader used the strong-arm parliamentary tactics to promote crony capitalism at the expense of taxpayers. The highway bill, with the Export-Import Bank amendment attached, will now head over to the House of Representatives. We don’t endorse or oppose specific pieces of legislation, but we hope House leaders will recognize bad economic policy when they see it.
As I’ve explained before, America should ditch the Export-Import Bank. It duplicates private venture capital activities that the private lending industry should be doing. Worse yet, the Export-Import Bank has an unfair advantage over the private lending industry because it can artificially lower credit prices by shifting the cost of credit risk to the American taxpayer.
By offering credit that is less expensive than what is available in the marketplace, the Export-Import Bank allows businesses to profit at the expense of taxpayers, making it little more than a form of corporate welfare. That type of corporate welfare wouldn’t seem so bad if we were helping American small businesses. However, more than three-quarters of Export-Import Bank assistance goes to just a handful of big businesses, like Boeing, General Electric and Caterpillar.
Furthermore, the Export-Import Bank is perverse foreign aid. It encourages foreign countries to delay or avoid needed anti-corruption and other financial reforms, relying instead on the generosity of American taxpayers. In some foreign countries, credit risks are much higher because of weak private property laws and corrupt economic policies. Foreign governments should be working to create better investment environments to attract their own investment capital, instead of relying on the Export-Import Bank.
In addition to these and other arguments, I add one more reason not to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank: As a global economic leader, America should promote free markets based on sound economic principles to grow our manufacturing sector and trade with other nations, instead of promoting a worldwide system of trade that relies on the corrupt underpinnings of the Export-Import Bank.
America’s leadership and influence throughout the world is felt primarily through our economic might, fueled by a free economy, and backed by the strongest military on the planet. Our free-market economy, blessed with vast resources and largely unencumbered by government restrictions and regulations, was the envy of the world throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Pro-growth policies like low taxes, free trade and minimal regulation allowed U.S. manufacturers to grow and flourish in the United States and export their products throughout the world.
However, because other countries do not always rely on the strength of free markets, they create export credit agencies to make their own exports more attractive to international customers. These foreign export credit agencies redistribute the wealth of their citizens, artificially distort capital investment, and bend job creation toward government favorites.
The Export-Import Bank was ostensibly created to support America’s strong manufacturing sector and promote free trade. However, like so many misguided government departments and agencies, the Export-Import Bank has become little more than a corporate welfare program to compete against other corrupt export credit agencies throughout the world, a roadblock to American ingenuity and entrepreneurship. The Export-Import Bank doesn’t help U.S. manufacturing and trade as much as it simply participates in this worldwide racket of corruption and bad economics.
Supporters of the Export-Import Bank make a case in favor of this 80-year-old New Deal program, saying that our global leadership depends on a strong manufacturing sector that exports goods and services throughout the world. It is true that our leadership in the world largely depends on strong manufacturing and trade. But America is a global leader in spite of the Export-Import Bank, not because of it.
In fact, the Export-Import Bank finances less than two percent of U.S. exports. And by favoring some manufacturers over others, the Export-Import bank can actually harm innovative American manufacturers and hinder economic growth that might otherwise happen if it weren’t for the Export-Import Bank.
As a world leader, the United States should lead. Instead of participating in a corrupt system where governments pick winners and losers, the United States should ditch the Export-Import Bank and lead the world to a better system of free trade, low taxes and minimal regulation. Unfortunately, the Senate’s recent passage of the Export-Import Bank amendment signals that this probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

Israel’s Choice: Conventional War Now, or Nuclear War Later

There was no ‘better deal’ with Iran to be had. Now this calamitous one offers Tehran two paths

 to the bomb.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Likud faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, July 27, 2015. Photo: Zuma Press
By Norman Podhoretz - July 28, 2015 7:17 p.m. ET

Almost everyone who opposes the deal President Obama has struck with Iran hotly contests his relentless insistence that the only alternative to it is war. No, they claim, there is another alternative, and that is “a better deal.”

To which Mr. Obama responds that Iran would never agree to the terms his critics imagine could be imposed. These terms would include the toughening rather than the lifting of sanctions; “anytime, anywhere” nuclear-plant inspections instead of the easily evaded ones to which he has agreed; the elimination rather than the freezing of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure; and the corresponding elimination of the “sunset” clause that leaves Iran free after 10 years to build as many nuclear weapons as it wishes.

Since I too consider Mr. Obama’s deal a calamity, I would be happy to add my voice to the critical chorus. Indeed, I agree wholeheartedly with the critics that, far from “cutting off any pathway Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon,” as he claims, the deal actually offers Tehran not one but two paths to acquiring the bomb. Iran can either cheat or simply wait for the sunset clause to kick in, while proceeding more or less legally to prepare for that glorious day.

Unfortunately, however, I am unable to escape the conclusion that Mr. Obama is right when he dismisses as a nonstarter the kind of “better deal” his critics propose. Nor, given that the six other parties to the negotiations are eager to do business with Iran, could these stringent conditions be imposed if the U.S. were to walk away without a deal. The upshot is that if the objective remains preventing Iran from getting the bomb, the only way to do so is to bomb Iran.

And there’s the rub. Once upon a time the U.S. and just about every other country on earth believed that achieving this objective was absolutely necessary to the safety of the world, and that it could be done through negotiations. Yet as the years wore on, it became increasingly clear to everyone not blinded by wishful delusions that diplomacy would never work.

Simultaneously it also became clear that the U.S. and the six other parties to the negotiations, despite their protestations that force remained “on the table,” would never resort to it (and that Mr. Obama was hellbent on stopping Israel from taking military action on its own). Hence they all set about persuading themselves that their fears of a nuclear Iran had been excessive, and that we could live with a nuclear Iran as we had lived with Russia and China during the Cold War.

Out the window went the previously compelling case against that possibility made by authoritative scholars like Bernard Lewis, and with it went the assumption that the purpose of the negotiations was to prevent Iran from getting the bomb.

For our negotiating partners, the new goal was to open the way to lucrative business contracts, but for Mr. Obama it was to remove the biggest obstacle to his long-standing dream of a U.S. d├ętente with Iran. To realize this dream, he was ready to concede just about anything the Iranians wanted—without, of course, admitting that this was tantamount to acquiescence in an Iran armed with nuclear weapons and the rockets to deliver them.
To repeat, then, what cannot be stressed too often: If the purpose were still to prevent Iran from getting the bomb, no deal that Iran would conceivably agree to sign could do the trick, leaving war as the only alternative. To that extent, Mr. Obama is also right. But there is an additional wrinkle. For in allowing Iran to get the bomb, he is not averting war. What he is doing is setting the stage for a nuclear war between Iran and Israel.

The reason stems from the fact that, with hardly an exception, all of Israel believes that the Iranians are deadly serious when they proclaim that they are bound and determined to wipe the Jewish state off the map. It follows that once Iran acquires the means to make good on this genocidal commitment, each side will be faced with only two choices: either to rely on the fear of a retaliatory strike to deter the other from striking first, or to launch a pre-emptive strike of its own.

Yet when even a famous Iranian “moderate” like the former President Hashemi Rafsanjani has said—as he did in 2001, contemplating a nuclear exchange—that “the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world. It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality,” how can deterrence work?

The brutal truth is that the actual alternatives before us are not Mr. Obama’s deal or war. They are conventional war now or nuclear war later. John Kerry recently declared that Israel would be making a “huge mistake” to take military action against Iran. But Mr. Kerry, as usual, is spectacularly wrong. Israel would not be making a mistake at all, let alone a huge one. On the contrary, it would actually be sparing itself—and the rest of the world—a nuclear conflagration in the not too distant future.

Mr. Podhoretz was the editor of Commentary magazine from 1960 to 1995. His books include “Why Are Jews Liberals?” (Doubleday, 2009).

Forcing Clinton’s Emails Into the Open

Why we’re suing to make the government do what it seems disinclined to do: get to the bottom of this murky matter.

The Democratic presidential hopeful speaking at an event in New York City, July 24.ENLARGE
The Democratic presidential hopeful speaking at an event in New York City, July 24. PHOTO:DENNIS VAN TINE/ZUMA PRESS
The truth about Hillary Clinton’s email practices is murkier than ever.
On Friday news broke that the inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence community raised serious concerns about the mishandling of classified information in conjunction with Mrs. Clinton’s emails as secretary of state, all of which were routed through a private email account and server. This was followed by reports in this paper that, despite her claims to the contrary, she sent multiple classified emails via her private account. Speaking to a TV station in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday, Mrs. Clinton responded by saying “it’ll all work its way out.”

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Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot on the Democratic candidate’s stance on climate change, tax and trade. Photo credit: Getty Images.
It’s true—the federal court system will now see to that. On July 8 Cause of Action, where I am executive director, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It seeks to compel recovery of Mrs. Clinton’s personal email server and all of the federal records it may contain. Our suit takes a unique approach: It is the first asking the court to compel current Secretary of State John Kerry and National Archivist David Ferriero to seek the assistance of the attorney general to recover this material. The Federal Records Act requires them to do so.
We have reason to believe our case will proceed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held in 1991 that a private plaintiff may bring a lawsuit under the Administrative Procedure Act to require an agency head and the national archivist to initiate legal action for the recovery of records that were either destroyed or removed in violation of an agency’s guidelines and directives.
Before the court can rule on that question, however, it must first determine whether Mrs. Clinton’s emails are federal records—as defined by the Federal Records Act of 1950 and its amendments—and whether her exclusive use of a private email server constitutes an illegal removal of those records from the State Department’s official record-keeping system.
The State Department has already admitted that at no point during her four-year tenure as secretary of state did Mrs. Clinton turn over her email correspondence to the federal government, routing it instead through an account on her private email server in Chappaqua, N.Y. She turned over some 30,500 emails in December 2014, nearly two years after she left office. She apparently destroyed another 32,000 emails she admitted to sending between 2009 and 2013, claiming that they had no bearing on her work.
Unfortunately for her, Mrs. Clinton’s word is no substitute for federal law. Any employee—no matter how senior—who knowingly withholds or destroys government records has engaged in an illegal act. This is especially applicable to those who leave federal employ, who can face a criminal penalty for violating the Federal Records Act if they “remove Federal records from agency custody.”
Mrs. Clinton plainly violated these provisions of federal law. Moreover, as recent news reports show, she withheld all or part of at least 15 work-related emails from the trove she turned over to the State Department. It would thus strongly appear that Mrs. Clinton failed to differentiate between the official and personal emails sent via her private server.
Then again, such differentiation is the duty of Secretary Kerry and National Archivist Ferriero—which means they should already have recovered all federal records in Mrs. Clinton’s possession through full access to her private email server.
Federal agencies are legally required to maintain control over their employees’ records, including their electronic communications. The Federal Records Act does not give the State Department or any other agency discretion to delay or otherwise neglect this duty.
Pursuant to the law’s regulations, “agencies with access to external electronic mail systems shall ensure that Federal records sent or received on these systems are preserved in the appropriate record keeping system.” Agencies also must ensure “reasonable steps are taken to capture available transmission and receipt data needed by the agency for record keeping purposes.”
The law also plainly states that agency heads must collaborate with the national archivist to “initiate action through the Attorney General for the recovery of records the head of the Federal agency knows or has reason to believe have been unlawfully removed from that agency.” And if the agency itself will not act, it is incumbent upon the archivist to personally “request the Attorney General to initiate such an action, and shall notify the Congress when such a request has been made.”
Since neither Mr. Kerry nor Mr. Ferriero has abided by the law, the federal courts must now compel them to do so. And if the D.C. District Court will not do that, it should still rule on whether Mrs. Clinton illegally removed federal records from the government’s control.
The American public deserves answers and accountability from its government officials. Hillary Clinton’s exclusive use of a private email server while secretary of state is one of the great violations of government transparency in the modern era—a fact reinforced by the troubling developments of the past week. But until the emails stored on her private server are returned to the federal government’s possession, the truth will remain hidden behind a presidential candidate’s campaign-trail claims.
Mr. Epstein is the executive director of Cause of Action, a government-accountability organization.