First the obvious: negotiations with Iran are a multinational process. The Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council -- the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France (the "P5") -- have been talking for several years with Iran.
What the GOP47 do not understand begins with the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968.
The NPT. This is the document that provides the international legal structure under which nuclear weapons agreements for non-weapons States/countries are negotiated, approved and implemented. All such NPT actions are taken through the United Nations. The U.N. Security Council is the sovereign body for NPT-connected approval votes and for NPT-related actions.
The GOP47 do not understand the basics. Not a lick of it. The level of their incompetence raises issues; it is a mystery. How can so many United States Senators, many of them lawyers, take leave of competence?
Has something happened to them? NPT is simple enough for human children to understand.
The NPT is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. The Treaty represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States. Opened for signature in 1968, the Treaty entered into force in 1970. On 11 May 1995, the Treaty was extended indefinitely. A total of 190 parties have joined the Treaty, including the five nuclear-weapon States.
There is no way a "P5+1" deal with Iran goes to the U.S. Senate. It is not an American treaty. As noted all such deals are implemented through the Security Council. This would never be a bilateral treaty; it is not at all like a two-party trade agreement.
It is tempting to conclude that the GOP47 are idiots. Either that or, let's face it, we could be looking at an alien invasion. I do not mean to alarm you. But why not? Have the little white worms from "Men in Black" invaded the Senate?
It has come to our attention (as worms) while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our Constitution—the power to make binding international agreements and the different character of federal offices—which you should seriously consider as negotiations progress.
First, under our Constitution, while the president negotiates international agreements, Congress plays the significant role of ratifying them. In the case of a treaty, the Senate must ratify it by a two-thirds vote. A so-called congressional-executive agreement requires a majority vote in both the House and the Senate (which, because of procedural rules, effectively means a three-fifths vote in the Senate). Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.
Second, the offices of our Constitution have different characteristics. For example, the president may serve only two 4-year terms, whereas senators may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms. As applied today, for instance, President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then—perhaps decades.
What these two constitutional provisions mean is that we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.
We hope this letter enriches your knowledge of our constitutional system and promotes mutual understanding and clarity as nuclear negotiations progress.
Senator Tom Cotton, R-AR
Senator Orrin Hatch, R-UT
Senator Charles Grassley, R-IA
Senator Mitch McConnell, R-KY
Senator Richard Shelby, R-AL
Senator John McCain, R-AZ
Senator James Inhofe, R-OK
Senator Pat Roberts, R-KS
Senator Jeff Sessions, R-AL
Senator Michael Enzi, R-WY
Senator Michael Crapo, R-ID
Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC
Senator John Cornyn, R-TX
Senator Richard Burr, R-NC
Senator John Thune, R-SD
Senator Johnny Isakson, R-GA
Senator David Vitter, R-LA
Senator John A. Barrasso, R-WY
Senator Roger Wicker, R-MS
Senator Jim Risch, R-ID
Senator Mark Kirk, R-IL
Senator Roy Blunt, R-MO
Senator Jerry Moran, R-KS
Senator Rob Portman, R-OH
Senator John Boozman, R-AR
Senator Pat Toomey, R-PA
Senator John Hoeven, R-ND
Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL
Senator Ron Johnson, R-WI
Senator Rand Paul, R-KY
Senator Mike Lee, R-UT
Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-NH
Senator Dean Heller, R-NV
Senator Tim Scott, R-SC
Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX
Senator Deb Fischer, R-NE
Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV
Senator Bill Cassidy, R-LA
Senator Cory Gardner, R-CO
Senator James Lankford, R-OK
Senator Steve Daines, R-MT
Senator Mike Rounds, R-SD
Senator David Perdue, R-GA
Senator Thom Tillis, R-NC
Senator Joni Ernst, R-IA
Senator Ben Sasse, R-NE
Senator Dan Sullivan, R-AK
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March 9, 2015
This "open letter" is fundamentally miscast. It confuses the Senate's constitutional duty to advise and consent on American treaties with what happens under international law. Out there in the real world the Security Council and its Resolutions manage NPT compliance.
The Worms adopt a tone of lecturing Iran and the world. Face it: the GOP47 letter is absurd.
Never, ever, no way does the United States Senate have veto power over actions taken by the United Nations Security Council.
The GOP47 do not understand that. I'm not betting against the LWW hypothesis.
Even for U.S. "sanctions" against Iran, a Security Council Resolution of compliance for Iran makes other country's compliance with U.S. "sanctions" problematic at best. In the event, Iran will be within its rights to obtain an order through the Hague making such coercion illegal.
We will be able to refuse to buy or sell with Iran as a single country, of course. Other countries will have no reason to follow us.
These 47 GOPers, or the little white worms inhabiting them, certainly do not understand that, either.
In every case where a deal involving a non-nuclear weapons country goes through, the diplomatic product is generated under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, 1968. In no way can a Security Council Resolution be depicted legally as an American "executive agreement."
Seems more than likely that the "Men in Black" FX department and their little white worms would do better at the NPT civic lesson than the GOP47.
These conservative worthies have lost appreciation for what a fact is.
Let's review 10th Grade civics: the United Nations Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was approved in 1968 and ratified to be effective in 1970. It is the law for this planet (excluding non-ratifiers.)
This NPT is the sole instrument for enacting nuclear agreements at national level. Permanent Members of the Security Council ("the P5") do the negotiating. Agreements are ratified by votes of the 15 Members of the full Security Council.
Security Council. United Nations. Not the United States Senate.
We ratified this NPT on July 1st, 1968. North Korea ratified then withdrew. India, Israel, Pakistan and South Yemen never ratified. There's history for each of them. The other 190 countries consider NPT to be a critical element for global survival.
We've got 47 (R) or (LWW) Senators who fail the 10th Grade snap quiz on national and international agreements.
Corporate media cover up for them. Not one commercial media outlet has run an item explaining the difference between the United Nations NPT mechanisms and the fantasy claims of the GOP47's "Open Letter."
Amazed ??? Astonished? Not me.
They always do it. They always cover up for (R) or (LWW) disasters. They covered up for Bush43's WMD frauds until after the 2004 general election. They continue to this day to cover up for Ronald Reagan's blunders in Lebanon and his "teach them a lesson" hatred of Arabs. That he was responsible for the killing of ~5,000 civilians in Lebanon in 1982-1985.
They'll cover up for anything (R) or (LWW) that breaks totally bad. That runs out of control.
Utter incompetence at governance ain't news.... Not in America. So let's see how long their silence/self-censorship goes on. Three days and counting.