NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Thursday, May 10th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.
MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.
CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: We have only one president at a time. Remember that statement? It was a truth that President Obama reminded the Trump transition team following the 2016 election. The Trump team got the memo. But it appears former Secretary of State John Kerry did not.
REICHARD: Commentary now from WORLD Radio’s Cal Thomas.
THOMAS: On Wednesday, President Trump followed through on a campaign promise to end the Iran nuclear deal.
That didn’t stop President Obama’s former secretary of state, John Kerry, from trying to thwart it. Kerry met in secret with Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, at the official residence of the Iranian Ambassador to the UN in New York. His goal, evidently, was to “save” the Iran nuclear deal.
It was precisely to keep American citizens who are not in office from freelancing on foreign policy that the Logan Act was enacted in 1799. It makes it a criminal offense for unauthorized persons to negotiate with foreign governments that have a dispute with the United States.
Is John Kerry an authorized person? No.
Is Iran a foreign government? Yes.
Does Iran have a “dispute” with the United States? It does.
Has John Kerry committed a criminal offense?
I’m no prosecutor, but it sure seems so.
Kerry isn’t the first person to attempt to undermine the policies of an administration.
In 1983, Senator Teddy Kennedy sent a letter to the head of the KGB in what was regarded as an effort to counter President Reagan’s arms buildup.
As reported by The Daily Signal, this is how the KGB’s Viktor Chebrikov described Kennedy’s proposal: “Kennedy believes that in order to influence Americans it would be important to organize … televised interviews with [Soviet leader Yuri] Andropov. …”
Kennedy clearly was in violation of the Logan Act, yet he paid no price for his meddling.
Congress needs to clarify this old law.
If people like Kerry and Kennedy can get away with their actions, then the Logan Act is irrelevant.
But it isn’t, and Congress needs to reaffirm this law, in order to prevent a recurrence of this dangerous practice.
For WORLD Radio, I’m Cal Thomas.