I Am A Proud Member of Vets For Freedom

For up to date progress in the War In Iraq, please visit Vets For Freedom, an organization I am proud to be a member in good standing of.

Veteran's Suicide Hot Line Number!

1-800-273-TALK (8255) Call this number if you need help!!

A Vast Collection Of Buzzings At Memeorandum

If you wish to catch a buzz without the usual after affects, CLICK TO MEMEORANDUM. (It will not disturb the current page) That will be all. We now return to regular programming.

This Blog Is Moving

Greetings. After this weekend, this Take Our Country Back Blog will be moving to the new web site. Too many conservatives are getting zapped by the intolerant dweebs of the Obama Goons and seeing that this editing platform is a free site, Blogger can do pretty much what it feels like doing. Hence, I now have a paid site and will be migrating the last 1400+ posts shortly.

So, one day, you just may click this page somewhere and it will show up as "private". It has been fun but the intolerant Czarbie Goon Squads are brain dead idiots. They can come play at the new site which I OWN outright.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The "Quit Iraq" Caucus

Such a grand title for an article, yes? Ralph Peters of the NY Post says it very well.
EVEN as our troops make serious progress against al-Qaeda-in-Iraq and other extremists, Congress - including Republican members - is sending the terrorists a message: "Don't lose heart, we'll save you!"

Iraq's a mess. Got it. The Bush administration has made so many mistakes I stopped counting a year ago. But we've finally got a general in Baghdad - Dave Petraeus - who's doing things right. Iraqi politicians are still disgracing themselves, but our troops are killing America's enemies - with the help of our former enemies.

Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq is suffering a humiliating defeat, as fellow Sunni Muslims turn against the fanatics and help them find the martyrdom they advertise. Yet for purely political reasons - next year's elections - cowards on Capitol Hill are spurning the courage of our troops on the ground.

The frantic political gamesmanship in Congress would nauseate a ghoul. Pols desperate for any cover and concealment they can get have dragged the Iraq Study Group plan from the grave.

Masterminded by former Secretary of State Jim "Have Your Hugged Your Saudi Prince Today?" Baker, the report is a blueprint for a return to yesteryear's dictator-smooching policy (which helped create al Qaeda - thanks, Jimbo!).

That Baker report reminds me of cheap horror films where the zombies just keep coming back - except that zombies retain a measure of integrity.

But if Republicans are rushing to desert our troops and spit on the graves of heroes, the Democratic Party at least has been consistent - they've supported our enemies from the start, undercutting our troops and refusing to explain in detail what happens if we flee Iraq.

So I'll tell you what happens: massacres. And while I have nothing against Shia militiamen and Sunni insurgents killing each other 24/7, the overwhelming number of victims will be innocent women, children and the elderly.

Why anyone with any kind of intelligence levels are listening to a group of people whose approval ratings is HALF of GWB's is a odious concept.

BlandlyUrbane of DeMediacratic Nation has some things to say as well.

Perhaps bringing up the laws which are being violated by the "Quit Iraq" caucus is in order.

In posts here, and here, we find the following:


Expulsion, Censure, Reprimand, and Fine: Legislative Discipline in the House of Representatives

Summary

The House of Representatives is expressly authorized within the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 5, clause 2) to discipline or “punish” its own Members. This authority of the institution of the House to discipline a Member for “disorderly Behaviour” is in addition to any criminal or civil liability that a Member of the House may incur for particular misconduct, and is a device or procedure designed not so much as merely a punishment of the individual Member, but rather ultimately as a measure to protect the institutional integrity of the House of Representatives, its proceedings and its reputation.

Congressional discipline of a Member by the House of Representatives is done by the House itself, without the necessity of Senate concurrence, and may take several forms. The most common forms of discipline in the House are now “expulsion,” “censure,” or “reprimand,” although the House may also discipline its Members in others ways, including fine or monetary restitution, loss of seniority, and suspension or loss of certain privileges. In addition to such sanctions imposed by the full House of Representatives, the standing committee in the House dealing with ethics and official conduct matters, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, is authorized by House Rules to issue a formal Committee reproach in the form of a “Letter of Reproval” for misconduct which does not rise to the level of consideration or sanction by the entire House of Representatives. Additionally, such Committee has also expressed its disapproval of conduct in informal letters and communications to Members.

The House may generally discipline its Members for violations of statutory law, including crimes; for violations of internal congressional rules; or for any conduct which the House of Representatives finds has reflected discredit upon the institution. Thus, each House of Congress has disciplined its own Members for conduct which has not necessarily violated any specific rule or law, but which was found to breach its privileges, demonstrate contempt for the institution, or which was found to discredit the House or Senate. When the most severe sanction of expulsion has been employed in the House, however, the conduct has historically involved either disloyalty to the United States Government, or the violation of a criminal law involving the abuse of one’s official position, such as bribery.


United States Code
TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES
CHAPTER 115 - TREASON, SEDITION, AND SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES

Section 2382. Misprision of treason

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States and having knowledge of the commission of any treason against them, conceals and does not, as soon as may be, disclose and make known the same to the President or to some judge of the United States, or to the governor or to some judge or justice of a particular State, is guilty of misprision of treason and shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than seven years, or both.

Section 2388. Activities affecting armed forces during war

(a) Whoever, when the United States is at war, willfully makes or conveys false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies; or Whoever, when the United States is at war, willfully causes or attempts to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or willfully obstructs the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, to the injury of the service or the United States, or attempts to do so - Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

(b) If two or more persons conspire to violate subsection (a) of this section and one or more such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be punished as provided in said subsection (a).

(c) Whoever harbors or conceals any person who he knows, or has reasonable grounds to believe or suspect, has committed, or is about to commit, an offense under this section, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(d) This section shall apply within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States, and on the high seas, as well as within the United States.



Madame Traitor Pelosi has also violated The Logan Act:

Did Nancy Pelosi Violate the Logan Act?

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

That is the complete text of the Logan Act, passed by the U.S. Congress on January 30, 1799, and in force to this day.

Did Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (and others) violate that act during a much-publicized, self-authorized trip to Syria?

The answer, like the law itself, is simple and straightforward: Yes.

Nancy Pelosi qualifies as “any citizen of the United States,” with no exemption as Speaker of the House.

Nancy Pelosi acted “without authority of the United States,” which, in matters of foreign policy, resides solely and exclusively in the executive branch of the U.S. Government, meaning the President of the United States and his designees. The President of the United States specifically disapproved of the Pelosi trip to Syria, asked her not to go and criticized her thereafter.

Nancy Pelosi directly commenced “correspondence or intercourse” with officers and agents of a foreign government.

Nancy Pelosi, by her own statements, intended and attempted to influence the “measures or conduct” of that foreign government. Those measures and that conduct directly relate to disputes or controversies with the United States (and its allies).

That the measures and conduct of Syria are among the worst of nations is of considerable concern from the standpoint of U.S. foreign policy, but is irrelevant from the standpoint of the Logan Act, which does not grade the behavior of countries or delineate among them for the purposes of its strictures.

That Speaker Pelosi says she said nothing on her trip that differs from the positions of the President is also irrelevant, from the standpoint of the law, and either woefully ignorant or ignorant and spiteful, from the standpoint of international relations.

The current policy of the U.S., as made by the executive branch, is to isolate Syria. That may be right; it may be wrong; it may not even matter. It is not, however, anywhere within Speaker Pelosi’s prerogative to tangibly interfere or even interpose herself by meeting directly with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the purposes of any “diplomacy.”

Pelosi’s defenders make much of the fact that she is Speaker of the House of Representatives and only behind the Vice President in order of succession to the Presidency. That may get heads nodding on television talk shows, but falls with a thud against the words of the U.S. Supreme Court, recognizing the “exclusive power of the President as the sole organ of the federal government in the field of international relations” or “the decision of the executive is conclusive.”

(Contrary to the mistaken assertions of some, presidential succession is not specified in the Constitution, but in statutory law made by Congress, subject to change, as it has changed in the past. No Speaker has ever succeeded to the Presidency. Even if one ever does, that will never make the legislative branch the executive branch or allow anyone in the legislative branch to adventure past the separation of powers that is one of the cornerstones of our government.)

It is far more pertinent to ask another question regarding Pelosi’s role as Speaker of the House. What does it say to this country that she openly violates a law made by the very legislative body of which she is the putative leader? If she disagrees with the law, for any reason, it is her job to try to change it, not to violate it, no matter how much she may disagree with the foreign policy positions of a duly-elected President.

The Logan Act may be old and no one ever before prosecuted for violating it. But it is neither ill-founded nor archaic, particularly in a time of world unrest and significant domestic tension regarding U.S. policy toward that unrest. The law does not preclude all legislators’ discussions with foreign leaders, such as fact-finding, but only those which have the unauthorized intent to influence those leaders.

As recently as September 2006, the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct of the House issued a memo to all members and officers that cautioned against activities that implicate the Logan Act, albeit intended as a warning to outgoing members. Similarly, in February 2006, the Congressional Research Service prepared a survey of the Logan Act for Congress. While neither document is particularly respectful of the law, there should at least be no one in Congress claiming not to understand it (including Speaker Pelosi’s Republican fellow travelers).

There is no question that many Americans and many in Congress disagree strenuously with foreign policy positions of the Bush Administration. Any and all, including Speaker Pelosi, may say so, loudly and often, in Congress, in the public square. But none of us, including Speaker Pelosi, has the right to conduct any foreign policy, without specific authorization of the President.

Now, Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Tom Lantos, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, are openly discussing a diplomatic trip to “dialogue” with Iran. In the Byzantine world of foreign relations, that’s like trying to dismantle a nuke wearing only a head scarf for protection.

The Washington Post called Speaker Pelosi’s mission to Syria “foolish.” Vice President Cheney called it “bad behavior.” We call it felony