Additional Thoughts on the Iran Letter

March 17, 2015

Apologies! MRW posted 47 Again – The Letter to Iran on Friday, March 13. In the post we noted several lame, after-the-fact attempts to explain and justify the Iran letter, including a rush to leave town on account of snow. (I’ve lived in DC; two flakes and the schools close.)

Now, finally, a week after the letter came out, the National Review has cleared everything up. In The Cotton Letter Was Not Sent Anywhere, Especially Not to Iran, Deroy Murdock notes the fact—I assume it’s a fact—that freshman Senator Tom Cotton (Rep.-Ark.) and did not put the letter in an envelope, use a first-class stamp, and deposit it with the U.S. Postal Service (which he and fellow signers want to defund, by the way.) They also didn’t even use a Swiss diplomatic pouch!

Mr. Murdock takes umbrage at the MSM for not recognizing this fact. He’s also troubled by the notion that anyone has mentioned treason, given the absence of any physical delivery.

Now, as it happens, the Logan Act was written in 1799, 216 years ago. But its drafters were, shall we say, prescient. No, they didn’t conjure up 47 Senators interfering with delicate negotiations involving the United States and six other nations, and using to one of their websites as the platform for interfering. But the drafters used these words to describe unlawful activity: “… directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, … .”

I don’t think the senators violated the Logan Act, for the several reasons mentioned in a link in the prior post. That said, and taking into account the broad language in the statute, any alleged violation surely doesn’t rest on a failure to post or hand-carry the letter.

Once upon a time, we had leaders who stood by their positions, for better or worse. We also lived in a world where new senators waited for more than 65 days to spout off. Alas, the times have changed! And more’s the pity!!!

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