CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 26, 2015 – If the Clarion Project is correct in its reporting that two key elements of the Iran nuclear deal are being kept secret from Congress, it is yet another glaring example of why Americans are so frustrated and angry with Washington.
According to Clarion, the first passage in question concerns inspections at the Pachin military installation, which has been a prime suspect for years when it comes to nuclear weapons research and the development of long-range ballistic missiles.
The second aspect of the agreement focuses upon separate negotiations that would resolve issues concerning the military size of the Iranian nuclear program.
Given the Obama administration’s cumulative track record on virtually every matter of policy both foreign and domestic, it is difficult to side with the president on just about anything. What matters is not so much whether the White House has actually stashed secrets amid the negotiations with Iran, but the fact that the American people are never able to get the straight scoop about anything.
There is no question our government cannot release the nuanced specifics of every diplomatic undertaking to the public. It would be foolish to think so. However, all it would take to alleviate much of the doubt and cynicism about such negotiations is to say that some aspects of the deal must remain classified as a matter of national security. It’s that simple.
Instead we get endless speeches filled with glorified meaningless rhetoric. And therein lies the suspicion.
According to the Clarion Project, two congressmen issued a statement after meeting with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., and Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., stated that the IAEA indicated that two side deals had resulted between Iran and the IAEA that will remain “secret and will not be shared with other nations, with Congress, or with the public.”
Thus, once again, the Obama administration has taken it upon itself to attempt to bypass Congress by making decisions without regard for the law.
The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which was signed into law by Obama himself, mandates a review of any agreement by Congress. Not that such a review means that Congress has better instincts or insights into the matter than the administration, but, at the very least, it does encourage open and honest debate. According to the two congressmen, “The bill requires the president to submit to Congress the agreement and all related documents (emphasis added), including specifics on verification and compliance. This ensures Congress will get to see the entire deal and make an independent judgment on its merits.”
Of course, it is part and parcel of the ridiculous gamesmanship the president always employs to obfuscate, confuse and distract from the reality of any legislation. By entering into a “secret” phase of the deal, Obama has cleverly stalled the ability of Congress to get to the nuts and bolts of the agreement. That is precisely what the president desires.
Said Pompeo, “Not only does this violate the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, it is asking Congress to agree to a deal it cannot review. Even members of Congress who are sympathetic to this deal cannot and must not accept a deal we aren’t even aware of.”
Does that sound anything at all like the way Obamacare was enacted?
Cotton added, “That we are only now discovering that parts of this dangerous agreement are being kept secret begs the question of what other elements may also be secret and entirely free from public scrutiny.”
It’s a fair question. Most important, however, the debate becomes derailed by an unnecessary distraction that overrides the importance of achieving a complete understanding of what was negotiated between the West and Iran.
Meanwhile, Iran continues happily rolling along while the rest of the world dithers over important provisions of the arms agreement.
Understandably, the majority of the American people who are informed enough to be paying attention are extremely skeptical about John Kerry’s folly. A recent Pew poll found that 79 percent of Americans are informed to some degree about the deal with a 48 percent disapproval rate compared to 37 percent who agree with it. However, 73 percent of those who were polled either have no confidence or only a slight hope of Iran’s keeping its promises about the deal.
As with all things Obama, it is more of the same where the president decides what is best for us all, purely and simply because “it’s good to be the king.”
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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