Obama’s Betrayal of His Oath of Office — Traitorous Terrorist Treaty — Iranians Inspect Their Own Military Installations Building Nuclear Weapons –Obama Legacy Is A Sellout of The American People And Unconditional Surrender To Iran’s Demands — Not A Joke — Treason! — Not Trust, Not Verification — Obama Lied And Americans Will Die — Videos
Posted on September 5, 2015. Filed under: American History, Babies, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crisis, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Documentary, Economics, Education, Elections, Energy, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government spending, history, Homicide, Investments, Islam, Law, liberty, media, Money, Narcissism, National Security Agency (NSA), National Security Agency (NSA_, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Non-Fiction, Nuclear Power, Nuclear Proliferation, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Psychology, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Resources, Shite, Spying, Strategy, Sunni, Talk Radio, Taxation, Technology, Terrorism, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: 20 August 2015, Harms Way, IAEA, Instability, Iran, Iran Nuclear Deal, Islamic Republic of Iran, Mark Levin, Michael Ledeen, Middle East, New George S Patton speech!, No Inspections of Military Bases, Nuclear Bombs, Nuclear Deal, Nuclear Explosion, Nuclear Proliferation, Obama is on Iran's side, President Barack Obama, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Senate, Senate passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act 98 to 1, terror, Terrorism, The Pronk Pops Show 518, Traitorous Terrorist Treaty, Treaty Clause, United States Constitution, War in Middle East |
The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts
Story 1: Obama’s Betrayal of His Oath of Office — Traitorous Terrorist Treaty — Iranians Inspect Their Own Military Installations Building Nuclear Weapons –Obama Legacy Is A Sellout of The American People And Unconditional Surrender To Iran’s Demands — Not A Joke — Treason! — Not Trust, Not Verification — Obama Lied And Americans Will Die — Videos
The President… shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur….
ARTICLE II, SECTION 2, CLAUSE 2
“International inspections should be done by international inspectors. Period.”
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce
“Trusting Iran to inspect its own nuclear site and report to the U.N. in an open and transparent way is remarkably naive and incredibly reckless. This revelation only reinforces the deep-seated concerns the American people have about the agreement.”
~John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican senator
“President Obama boasts his deal includes ‘unprecedented verification.’ He claims it’s not built on trust. But the administration’s briefings on these side deals have been totally insufficient – and it still isn’t clear whether anyone at the White House has seen the final documents.”
~House Speaker John Boehner
Iran Secret Deal “Self Inspection”
Krauthammer: Iran Self-Inspecting Nuclear Facility Is ‘Scandalous, Farcical’
Megyn Kelly – Amb. Ron Dermer responds to Donald Trump’s Iran strategy
Side Deal Allows Iran To Conduct Its Own Nuclear Inspections
Iran Nuclear Side Deal – Iran Can Conduct Its Own Nuclear Inspections
IAEA: Iran has to allow inspection of country’s military sites
The Iran nuclear deal. Good deal or bad deal?
The Iran Nuclear Deal
MM160 – Iran Side-Deal Exposed
CBN NewsWatch: August 20, 2015
CNBC: Inspections program for Iran nuclear activity ‘a whole lot of bunk’
White House ‘Confident’ IAEA Can Investigate Iran
President Obama: Iran deal not built on trust, but verification
2015 – CNN World News – Obama On Iran Nuclear Deal – Full Speech
Larry Elder Interviews Michael Ledeen
Top three consequences of the Iran nuclear deal
Malzberg | Patrick J. Buchanan weighs in on the Iran Deal
FDD Freedom Scholar Michael Ledeen comments on Iran and radical Islamist ideology.
NETANYAHU on IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL – “One of the Darkest Days in World History”
Malzberg | Dr. Michael Ledeen: “Obama is on Iran’s side”
Michael Ledeen: Bring Down the Iranian Regime
Federal Prosecutor: Obama’s Iran Nuke Deal Clearly Treason
In a interview with Frank Gaffney, Former Federal Prosecutor Andy McCarthy lays out why the Iran nuclear deal put forth by the Obama administration is clearly a act of treason against the United States.
General: Obama’s Iran Deal Is ‘A Treasonous Act Under The Constitution’
Major General Paul Vallely (Ret.) blasted Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran while being interviewed by Alan Colmes on Fox News. The General stated that Obama, Kerry and the State Department are ‘aiding and abetting an enemy of the United States’ and is ‘a treasonous act under the constitution’ in his opinion.
Secret Side Deal “Iran, IAEA Deal” ?
Iran’s parliament upholds ban for IAEA to access military sites, scientists ‘at will’
Iran’s Supreme Leader refuses access to military sites and scientists
Iran’s Guardian Council ratifies bill banning inspection of military sites
Top commander: Iran never to allow foreigners to inspect military sites
Amid nuke talks, Ayatollah says ‘death to America’
IAEA: Iran has to allow inspection of country’s military sites
McConnell Calls for Senate Passage of Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act
US Republican-led Senate passes Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act
Mark Levin: “Obama Has Now Planted The Seeds Of World War III” With Iran Deal
Mark Levin: Senate passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act 98 to 1 (audio from 05-07-2015)
Incredible! New George S Patton speech! Iran & modern warfare
AP Exclusive: UN to let Iran inspect alleged nuke work site
Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work, according to a document seen by The Associated Press.
The revelation on Wednesday newly riled Republican lawmakers in the U.S. who have been severely critical of a broader agreement to limit Iran’s future nuclear programs, signed by the Obama administration, Iran and five world powers in July. Those critics have complained that the wider deal is unwisely built on trust of the Iranians, while the administration has insisted it depends on reliable inspections.
A skeptical House Speaker John Boehner said, “President Obama boasts his deal includes ‘unprecedented verification.’ He claims it’s not built on trust. But the administration’s briefings on these side deals have been totally insufficient – and it still isn’t clear whether anyone at the White House has seen the final documents.”
Said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce: “International inspections should be done by international inspectors. Period.”
But House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi shrugged off the revelation, saying, “I truly believe in this agreement.”
The newly disclosed side agreement, for an investigation of the Parchin nuclear site by the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, is linked to persistent allegations that Iran has worked on atomic weapons. That investigation is part of the overarching nuclear-limits deal.
Evidence of the inspections concession is sure to increase pressure from U.S. congressional opponents before a Senate vote of disapproval on the overall agreement in early September. If the resolution passes and President Barack Obama vetoes it, opponents would need a two-thirds majority to override it. Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, has suggested opponents will likely lose a veto fight, though that was before Wednesday’s disclosure.
John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican senator, said, “Trusting Iran to inspect its own nuclear site and report to the U.N. in an open and transparent way is remarkably naive and incredibly reckless. This revelation only reinforces the deep-seated concerns the American people have about the agreement.”
The Parchin agreement was worked out between the IAEA and Iran. The United States and the five other world powers were not party to it but were briefed by the IAEA and endorsed it as part of the larger package.
On Wednesday, White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said the Obama administration was “confident in the agency’s technical plans for investigating the possible military dimensions of Iran’s former program. … The IAEA has separately developed the most robust inspection regime ever peacefully negotiated.”
All IAEA member countries must give the agency some insight into their nuclear programs. Some are required to do no more than give a yearly accounting of the nuclear material they possess. But nations— like Iran — suspected of possible proliferation are under greater scrutiny that can include stringent inspections.
The agreement in question diverges from normal procedures by allowing Tehran to employ its own experts and equipment in the search for evidence of activities it has consistently denied — trying to develop nuclear weapons.
Olli Heinonen, who was in charge of the Iran probe as deputy IAEA director general from 2005 to 2010, said he could think of no similar concession with any other country.
The White House has repeatedly denied claims of a secret side deal favorable to Tehran. IAEA chief Yukiya Amano told Republican senators last week that he was obligated to keep the document confidential.
Iran has refused access to Parchin for years and has denied any interest in — or work on — nuclear weapons. Based on U.S., Israeli and other intelligence and its own research, the IAEA suspects that the Islamic Republic may have experimented with high-explosive detonators for nuclear arms.
The IAEA has cited evidence, based on satellite images, of possible attempts to sanitize the site since the alleged work stopped more than a decade ago.
The document seen by the AP is a draft that one official familiar with its contents said doesn’t differ substantially from the final version. He demanded anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the issue in public.
The document is labeled “separate arrangement II,” indicating there is another confidential agreement between Iran and the IAEA governing the agency’s probe of the nuclear weapons allegations.
Iran is to provide agency experts with photos and videos of locations the IAEA says are linked to the alleged weapons work, “taking into account military concerns.”
That wording suggests that — beyond being barred from physically visiting the site — the agency won’t get photo or video information from areas Iran says are off-limits because they have military significance.
While the document says the IAEA “will ensure the technical authenticity” of Iran’s inspection, it does not say how.
The draft is unsigned but the proposed signatory for Iran is listed as Ali Hoseini Tash, deputy secretary of the Supreme National Security Council for Strategic Affairs. That reflects the significance Tehran attaches to the agreement.
Iranian diplomats in Vienna were unavailable for comment, Wednesday while IAEA spokesman Serge Gas said the agency had no immediate comment.
The main focus of the July 14 deal between Iran and six world powers is curbing Iran’s present nuclear program that could be used to make weapons. But a subsidiary element obligates Tehran to cooperate with the IAEA in its probe of the past allegations.
The investigation has been essentially deadlocked for years, with Tehran asserting the allegations are based on false intelligence from the U.S., Israel and other adversaries. But Iran and the U.N. agency agreed last month to wrap up the investigation by December, when the IAEA plans to issue a final assessment.
That assessment is unlikely to be unequivocal. Still, it is expected to be approved by the IAEA’s board, which includes the United States and the other nations that negotiated the July 14 agreement. They do not want to upend their broader deal, and will see the December report as closing the books on the issue.
Aug. 19, 2015 7:20 p.m. ET
Three more Senators have declared against President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal in recent days, and don’t be surprised if more follow after Wednesday’s bombshell from the Associated Press. The news service reports that Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors at the secret Parchin nuclear site under its secret side agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
This is a new one in the history of arms control. Parchin is the military complex long suspected as the home of Iran’s nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile development. The IAEA has sought access to Parchin for more than a decade, and U.S. officials have said the deal requires Iran to come clean about Parchin by agreeing on an inspections protocol with the IAEA by the end of this year.
But that spin started to unravel three weeks ago with the discovery that the Parchin inspections were part of a secret side agreement between the IAEA and Iran—not between Iran and the six negotiating countries. Secretary of State John Kerry has said he hasn’t read the side deal, though his negotiating deputy Wendy Sherman told MSNBC that she “saw the pieces of paper” but couldn’t keep them. IAEA Director GeneralYukiya Amano has told Members of the U.S. Congress that he’s bound by secrecy and can’t show them the side deals.
That secrecy should be unacceptable to Congress—all the more so after the AP dispatch. The news service says it has seen a document labelled “separate arrangement II.” The document says Iran will provide the IAEA with photos and locations that the IAEA says are linked to Iran’s weapons work, “taking into account military concerns.”
In other words, the country that lied for years about its nuclear weapons program will now be trusted to come clean about those lies. And trusted to such a degree that it can limit its self-inspections so they don’t raise “military concerns” in Iran.
Keep in mind that the side deal already excludes a role for the U.S., and that the IAEA lacks any way to enforce its side deal since it has no way of imposing penalties for violations. Iran has also already ruled out any role for American or Canadian nationals on the inspection teams.
Why not cut out the IAEA middle man and simply let Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force, sign a personal affadavit?
The AP report hadn’t been contradicted by our deadline on Wednesday, and a White House spokesman told AP merely that the U.S. is “confident in the agency’s technical plans for investigating the possible military dimensions of Iran’s former program.” That sounds like a confirmation.
The news raises further doubts about a nuclear pact that is already leaking credibility. Unfettered access to Parchin is crucial to understanding Iran’s past nuclear work, which is essential to understanding how close Iran has come to getting the bomb. Without that knowledge it’s impossible to know if Iran really is a year or more away from having the bomb, which is the time period that Mr. Kerry says is built into the accord and makes it so worth doing.
Earlier this year President Obama signed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which says Congress must receive all documents related to the deal, including any “entered into or made between Iran and any other parties.” That has to mean the IAEA.
By the way, the reference in the IAEA document to “separate arrangement II” suggests there may be more than one side deal. Congress should insist on seeing every such side deal or else pass a resolution of disapproval on the principle that it can’t possibly approve a deal whose complete terms it hasn’t even been allowed to inspect.
Meanwhile, bipartisan opposition continues to build in Congress. New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez on Tuesday became the second Senate Democrat to oppose the deal, following announcements from Republicans Jeff Flake (Arizona) and Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker. Mr. Flake in particular was inclined to support the pact and was lobbied hard by the President.
“For me, the Administration’s willingness to forgo a critical element of Iran’s weaponization—past and present—is inexplicable,” said Mr. Menendez in explaining his opposition. “Our willingness to accept this process on Parchin is only exacerbated by the inability to obtain anytime, anywhere inspections, which the Administration always held out as one of those essential elements we would insist on and could rely on in any deal.”
Public opposition is also growing. And it will increase as Americans learn that the deal’s inspections include taking Iran’s word about its previous weaponization work at its most crucial nuclear-weapons site.
The latest Iran revelation is utterly humiliating
By Jennifer Rubin
The day after a devastating take-down of the Iran deal from Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the Associated Press reports:
Iran, in an unusual arrangement, will be allowed to use its own experts to inspect a site it allegedly used to develop nuclear arms under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work, according to a document seen by The Associated Press.
The revelation is sure to roil American and Israeli critics of the main Iran deal signed by the U.S., Iran and five world powers in July. Those critics have complained that the deal is built on trust of the Iranians, a claim the U.S. has denied.
It surely will. “This establishes the exact precedent that Iran always sought and repeatedly claimed: IAEA weapons inspectors will never get physical access into any military sites,” says sanctions expert Mark Dubowitz in an email. “That the Obama administration agreed to Iranian self-inspections tells you everything you need to know about how far it caved on the essential elements of a verifiable and enforceable nuclear agreement.”
The inspection regime and dispute resolution system was already riddled with loopholes that Iran will exploit. But with this there is not even the pretense that there is a viable inspection process. With self-inspection comes the open door for Iran to cheat with impunity. The AP report continues:
The Parchin deal is a separate, side agreement worked out between the IAEA and Iran. The United States and the five other world powers that signed the Iran nuclear deal were not party to this agreement but were briefed on it by the IAEA and endorsed it as part of the larger package. Without divulging its contents, the Obama administration has described the document as nothing more than a routine technical arrangement between Iran and the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency on the particulars of inspecting the site.
Ironically, Menendez’s speech is more true in the wake of the AP report than it was when he delivered it:
For well over a decade, the world has been concerned about the secret weaponization efforts Iran conducted at the military base called Parchin. The goal that we have long sought, along with the international community, is to know what Iran accomplished at Parchin — not necessarily to get Iran to declare culpability — but to determine how far along they were in their nuclear weaponization program so that we know what signatures to look for in the future. . . .
With so much at stake, the IAEA — after waiting over ten years to inspect Parchin, speak to Iranian nuclear scientists, and review additional materials and documents — are now told they will not have direct access to Parchin. The list of scientists the P5+1 wanted the IAEA to interview were rejected outright by Iran, and they are now given three months to do all of their review and analysis before they must deliver a report in December of this year. How the inspections and soil and other samples are to be collected are outlined in two secret agreements that the U.S. Congress is not privy to. The answer as to why we cannot see those documents, is because they have a confidentiality agreement between the IAEA and Iran, which they say ‘is customary,’ but this issue is anything but customary.
“If Iran can violate its obligations for more than a decade, it can’t then be allowed to avail themselves of the same provisions and protections they violated in the first place. We have to ask: Why would our negotiators decide to negotiate access to other IAEA documents, but not these documents? Maybe the reason, as some members of Congress and public reports have raised, is because it will be the Iranians and not the IAEA performing the tests and providing the samples to be analyzed, which would be the equivalent of having an athlete accused of using performance enhancing drugs submit an unsupervised urine sample to the appropriate authority. Chain of custody doesn’t matter when the evidence given to you is prepared by the perpetrator.
Maybe this is why we did not get a look at the side deal. If Iran is going to inspect itself anyway it hardly matters if we know about PMD’s or how many days inspectors must wait.
Tellingly, according to Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein, the White House put out a weak-kneed statement saying it was “confident in the agency’s technical plans” and insisted if the IAEA was happy, it was happy. According to the Washington Free Beacon, Iran threatened an IAEA official if he revealed the nature of the side deals. No wonder.
It is hard to argue that the contents of the deal amount to anything approaching the stated aim of preventing Iran from going nuclear. Obama frankly wanted a document so badly he literally did not care what was in it, or at least what was in the critical side deal. The deal is an utter farce. Democrats who have not declared their intentions to date will be hard-pressed to justify supporting it.
UPDATE: Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, tells me, “This type of unorthodox agreement has never been done before by the IAEA and speaks to the great lengths our negotiators took to accommodate the Ayatollah despite repeated assurances from the administration that this deal is not based on trust.” House Speaker John Boehner put out a statement, which reads, “The Obama administration has a lot of explaining to do. Why haven’t these secret side agreements been provided to Congress and the American people for review? Why should Iran be trusted to carry out its own nuclear inspections at a military site it tried to hide from the world? How does this not set a precedent for future inspections at suspicious military sites in Iran?” He continued, “President Obama boasts his deal includes ‘unprecedented verification.’ He claims it’s not built on trust. But the administration’s briefings on these side deals have been totally insufficient – and it still isn’t clear whether anyone at the White House has seen the final documents. The American people and their representatives in Congress have serious questions about whether this nuclear agreement will keep our country safe, and it’s time for this administration to provide honest answers.”
The President… shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur….
ARTICLE II, SECTION 2, CLAUSE 2
The Treaty Clause has a number of striking features. It gives the Senate, in James Madison’s terms, a “partial agency” in the President’s foreign-relations power. The clause requires a supermajority (two-thirds) of the Senate for approval of a treaty, but it gives the House of Representatives, representing the “people,” no role in the process.
Midway through the Constitutional Convention, a working draft had assigned the treaty-making power to the Senate, but the Framers, apparently considering the traditional role of a nation-state’s executive in making treaties, changed direction and gave the power to the President, but with the proviso of the Senate’s “Advice and Consent.” In a formal sense, then, treaty-making became a mixture of executive and legislative power. Most people of the time recognized the actual conduct of diplomacy as an executive function, but under Article VI treaties were, like statutes, part of the “supreme Law of the Land.” Thus, as Alexander Hamilton explained in The Federalist No. 75, the two branches were appropriately combined:
The qualities elsewhere detailed as indispensable in the management of foreign relations point out the executive as the most fit in those transactions; while the vast importance of the trust and the operation of treaties as laws plead strongly for the participation of the whole or a portion of the legislative body in the office of making them.
Another reason for involving both President and Senate was that the Framers thought American interests might be undermined by treaties entered into without proper reflection. The Framers believed that treaties should be strictly honored, both as a matter of the law of nations and as a practical matter, because the United States could not afford to give the great powers any cause for war. But this meant that the nation should be doubly cautious in accepting treaty obligations. As James Wilson said, “Neither the President nor the Senate, solely, can complete a treaty; they are checks upon each other, and are so balanced as to produce security to the people.”
The fear of disadvantageous treaties also underlay the Framers’ insistence on approval by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. In particular, the Framers worried that one region or interest within the nation, constituting a bare majority, would make a treaty advantageous to it but prejudicial to other parts of the country and to the national interest. An episode just a year before the start of the Convention had highlighted the problem. The United States desired a trade treaty with Spain, and sought free access to the Mississippi River through Spanish-controlled New Orleans. Spain offered favorable trade terms, but only if the United States would give up its demands on the Mississippi. The Northern states, which would have benefited most from the trade treaty and cared little about New Orleans, had a majority, but not a supermajority, in the Continental Congress. Under the Articles of Confederation, treaties required assent of a supermajority (nine out of thirteen) of the states, and the South was able to block the treaty. It was undoubtedly that experience that impelled the Framers to carry over the supermajority principle from the Articles of Confederation.
At the Convention, several prominent Framers argued unsuccessfully to have the House of Representatives included. But most delegates thought that the House had substantial disadvantages when it came to treaty-making. For example, as a large body, the House would have difficulty keeping secrets or acting quickly. The small states, wary of being disadvantaged, also preferred to keep the treaty-making power in the Senate, where they had proportionally greater power.
The ultimate purpose, then, of the Treaty Clause was to ensure that treaties would not be adopted unless most of the country stood to gain. True, treaties would be more difficult to adopt than statutes, but the Framers realized that an unwise statute could simply be repealed, but an unwise treaty remained a binding international commitment, which would not be so easy to unwind.
Other questions, however, remained. First, are the provisions of the clause exclusive—that is, does it provide the only way that the United States may enter into international obligations?
While the clause does not say, in so many words, that it is exclusive, its very purpose—not to have any treaty disadvantage one part of the nation—suggests that no other route was possible, whether it be the President acting alone, or the popularly elected House having a role. On the other hand, while the Treaty Clause was, in the original understanding, the exclusive way to make treaties, the Framers also apparently recognized a class of less-important international agreements, not rising to the level of “treaties,” which could be approved in some other way. Article I, Section 10, in describing restrictions upon the states, speaks of “Treat[ies]” and “Agreement[s]…with a foreign Power” as two distinct categories. Some scholars believe this shows that not all international agreements are treaties, and that these other agreements would not need to go through the procedures of the Treaty Clause. Instead, the President, in the exercise of his executive power, could conclude such agreements on his own. Still, this exception for lesser agreements would have to be limited to “agreements” of minor importance, or else it would provide too great an avenue for evasion of the protections the Framers placed in the Treaty Clause.
A second question is how the President and Senate should interact in their joint exercise of the treaty power. Many Framers apparently thought that the President would oversee the actual conduct of diplomacy, but that the Senate would be involved from the outset as a sort of executive council advising the President. This was likely a reason that the Framers thought the smaller Senate was more suited than the House to play a key role in treaty-making. In the first effort at treaty-making under the Constitution, President George Washington attempted to operate in just this fashion. He went to the Senate in person to discuss a proposed treaty before he began negotiations. What is less clear, however, is whether the Constitution actually requires this process, or whether it is only what the Framers assumed would happen. The Senate, of course, is constitutionally authorized to offer “advice” to the President at any stage of the treaty-making process, but the President is not directed (in so many words) as to when advice must be solicited. As we shall see, this uncertainty has led, in modern practice, to a very different procedure than some Framers envisioned. It seems clear, however, that the Framers expected that the Senate’s “advice and consent” would be a close review and not a mere formality, as they thought of it as an important check upon presidential power.
A third difficult question is whether the Treaty Clause implies a Senate power or role in treaty termination. Scholarly opinion is divided, and few Framers appear to have discussed the question directly. One view sees the power to make a treaty as distinct from the power of termination, with the latter being more akin to a power of implementation. Since the Constitution does not directly address the termination power, this view would give it to the President as part of the President’s executive powers to conduct foreign affairs and to execute the laws. When the termination question first arose in 1793, Washington and his Cabinet, which included Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, embraced this view. All of them thought Washington could, on his own authority, terminate the treaty with France if necessary to keep the United States neutral.
A second view holds that, as a matter of the general eighteenth-century understanding of the legal process, the power to take an action (such as passing a statute or making a treaty) implies the power to undo the action. This view would require the consent of the President and a supermajority of the Senate to undo a treaty. There is, however, not much historical evidence that many Framers actually held this view of treaty termination, and it is inconsistent with the common interpretation of the Appointments Clause (under which Senate approval is required to appoint but not to remove executive officers).
The third view is that the Congress as a whole has the power to terminate treaties, based on an analogy between treaties and federal laws. When the United States first terminated a treaty in 1798 under John Adams, this procedure was adopted, but there was little discussion of the constitutional ramifications.
Finally, there is a question of the limits of the treaty power. A treaty presumably cannot alter the constitutional structure of government, and the Supreme Court has said that executive agreements—and so apparently treaties—are subject to the limits of the Bill of Rights just as ordinary laws are. Reid v. Covert (1957). InGeofroy v. Riggs (1890), the Supreme Court also declared that the treaty power extends only to topics that are “properly the subject of negotiation with a foreign country.” However, at least in the modern world, one would think that few topics are so local that they could not, under some circumstances, be reached as part of the foreign-affairs interests of the nation. Some have argued that treaties are limited by the federalism interests of the states. The Supreme Court rejected a version of that argument in State of Missouri v. Holland (1920), holding that the subject matter of treaties is not limited to the enumerated powers of Congress. The revival of interest in federalism limits on Congress in such areas as state sovereign immunity, see Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida (1996), and the Tenth Amendment, see Printz v. United States (1997), raises the question whether these limits also apply to the treaty power, but the Court has not yet taken up these matters.
Turning to modern practice, the Framers’ vision of treaty-making has in some ways prevailed and in some ways been altered. First, it is not true—and has not been true since George Washington’s administration—that the Senate serves as an executive council to advise the President in all stages of treaty-making. Rather, the usual modern course is that the President negotiates and signs treaties independently and then presents the proposed treaty to the Senate for its approval or disapproval. Washington himself found personal consultation with the Senate to be so awkward and unproductive that he abandoned it, and subsequent Presidents have followed his example.
Moreover, the Senate frequently approves treaties with conditions and has done so since the Washington administration. If the President makes clear to foreign nations that his signature on a treaty is only a preliminary commitment subject to serious Senate scrutiny, and if the Senate takes seriously its constitutional role of reviewing treaties (rather than merely deferring to the President), the check that the Framers sought to create remains in place. By going beyond a simple “up-or-down” vote, the Senate retains some of its power of “advice”: the Senate not only disapproves the treaty proposed by the President but suggests how the President might craft a better treaty. As a practical matter, there is often much consultation between the executive and members of the Senate before treaties are crafted and signed. Thus modern practice captures the essence of the Framers’ vision that the Senate would have some form of a participatory role in treaty-making.
A more substantial departure from the Framers’ vision may arise from the practice of “executive agreements.” According to the Restatement of Foreign Relations Law of the United States, the President may validly conclude executive agreements that (1) cover matters that are solely within his executive power, or (2) are made pursuant to a treaty, or (3) are made pursuant to a legitimate act of Congress. Examples of important executive agreements include the Potsdam and Yalta agreements of World War II, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which regulated international trade for decades, and the numerous status-of-forces agreements the United States has concluded with foreign governments.
Where the President acts pursuant to a prior treaty, there seems little tension with the Framers’ vision, as Senate approval has, in effect, been secured in advance. Somewhat more troublesome is the modern practice of so-called congressional–executive agreements, by which some international agreements have been made by the President and approved (either in advance or after the fact) by a simple majority of both houses of Congress, rather than two-thirds of the Senate. Many of these agreements deal particularly with trade-related matters, which Congress has clear constitutional authority to regulate. Congressional–executive agreements, at least with respect to trade matters, are now well established, and recent court challenges have been unsuccessful. Made in the USA Foundation v. United States (2001). On the other hand, arguments for “complete interchangeability”—that is, claims that anything that can be done by treaty can be done by congressional–executive agreement—seem counter to the Framers’ intent. The Framers carefully considered the supermajority rule for treaties and adopted it in response to specific threats to the Union; finding a complete alternative to the Treaty Clause would in effect eliminate the supermajority rule and make important international agreements easier to adopt than the Framers wished.
The third type of executive agreement is one adopted by the President without explicit approval of either the Senate or the Congress as a whole. The Supreme Court and modern practice embrace the idea that the President may under some circumstances make these so-called sole executive agreements. United States v. Belmont (1937); United States v. Pink (1942). But the scope of this independent presidential power remains a serious question. The Pink and Belmont cases involved agreements relating to the recognition of a foreign government, a power closely tied to the President’s textual power to receive ambassadors (Article II, Section 3). The courts have consistently permitted the President to settle foreign claims by sole executive agreement, but at the same time have emphasized that the Congress has acquiesced in the practice. Dames & Moore v. Regan (1981);American Insurance Ass’n v. Garamendi (2003). Beyond this, the modern limits of the President’s ability to act independently in making international agreements have not been explored. With respect to treaty termination, modern practice allows the President to terminate treaties on his own. In recent times, President James Earl Carter terminated the U.S.–Taiwan Mutual Defense Treaty in 1977, and President George W. Bush terminated the ABM Treaty with Russia in 2001. The Senate objected sharply to President Carter’s actions, but the Supreme Court rebuffed the Senate in Goldwater v. Carter (1979). President Bush’s action was criticized in some academic quarters but received general acquiescence. In light of the consensus early in Washington’s administration, it is probably fair to say that presidential termination does not obviously depart from the original understanding, inasmuch as the Framers were much more concerned about checks upon entering into treaties than they were about checks upon terminating them.
- Michael D. Ramsey
- Professor of Law
|This article is part of a series on the|
|Constitution of the
United States of America
|Preamble and Articles
of the Constitution
|Amendments to the Constitution|
|Full text of the Constitution and Amendments|
Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, includes the Treaty Clause, which empowers thePresident of the United States to propose and chiefly negotiate agreements, which must be confirmed by the Senate, between the United States and other countries, which become treaties between the United States and other countries after the advice and consent of a supermajority of the United States Senate.
Full text of the clause
One of three types of international accord
In the United States, the term “treaty” is used in a more restricted legal sense than in international law. U.S. law distinguishes what it calls treaties from congressional-executive agreements and sole-executive agreements. All three classes are considered treaties under international law; they are distinct only from the perspective of internal United States law. Distinctions among the three concern their method of ratification: by two-thirds of the Senate, by normal legislative process, or by the President alone, respectively. The Treaty Clause  empowers the President to make or enter into treaties with the “advice and consent” of two-thirds of the Senate. In contrast, normal legislation becomes law after approval by simple majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Throughout U.S. history, the President has also made international “agreements” through congressional-executive agreements (CEAs) that are ratified with only a majority from both houses of Congress, or sole-executive agreementsmade by the President alone. Though the Constitution does not expressly provide for any alternative to the Article II treaty procedure, Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution does distinguish between treaties (which states are forbidden to make) and agreements (which states may make with the consent of Congress). The Supreme Court of the United States has considered congressional-executive and sole-executive agreements to be valid, and they have been common throughout American history. Thomas Jefferson explained that the Article II treaty procedure is not necessary when there is no long-term commitment:
It is desirable, in many instances, to exchange mutual advantages by Legislative Acts rather than by treaty: because the former, though understood to be in consideration of each other, and therefore greatly respected, yet when they become too inconvenient, can be dropped at the will of either party: whereas stipulations by treaty are forever irrevocable but by joint consent….
A further distinction embodied in U.S. law is between self-executing treaties, which do not require additional legislative action, and non-self-executing treaties which do require the enactment of new laws. These various distinctions of procedure and terminology do not affect the binding status of accords under international law. Nevertheless, they do have major implications under U.S. domestic law. In Missouri v. Holland, the Supreme Court ruled that the power to make treaties under the U.S. Constitution is a power separate from the other enumerated powers of the federal government, and hence the federal government can use treaties to legislate in areas which would otherwise fall within the exclusive authority of the states. By contrast, a congressional-executive agreement can only cover matters which the Constitution explicitly places within the powers of Congress and the President. Likewise, a sole-executive agreement can only cover matters within the President’s authority or matters in which Congress has delegated authority to the President. For example, a treaty may prohibit states from imposing capital punishment on foreign nationals, but a congressional-executive agreement or sole-executive agreement cannot.
In general, arms control agreements are often ratified by the treaty mechanism. At the same time, trade agreements (such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and United States accession to the World Trade Organization) are generally voted on as a CEA, and such agreements typically include an explicit right to withdraw after giving sufficient written notice to the other parties. If an international commercial accord contains binding “treaty” commitments, then a two-thirds vote of the Senate may be required.
Between 1946 and 1999, the United States completed nearly 16,000 international agreements. Only 912 of those agreements were treaties, submitted to the Senate for approval as outlined in Article II of the United States Constitution. Since the Franklin Roosevelt presidency, only 6% of international accords have been completed as Article II treaties. Most of these executive agreements consist of congressional-executive agreements.
American law is that international accords become part of the body of U.S. federal law. Consequently, Congress can modify or repeal treaties by subsequent legislative action, even if this amounts to a violation of the treaty under international law. This was held, for instance, in the Head Money Cases. The most recent changes will be enforced by U.S. courts entirely independent of whether the international community still considers the old treaty obligations binding upon the U.S.
Additionally, an international accord that is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution is void under domestic U.S. law, the same as any other federal law in conflict with the Constitution. This principle was most clearly established in the case of Reid v. Covert. The Supreme Court could rule an Article II treaty provision to be unconstitutional and void under domestic law, although it has not yet done so.
In Goldwater v. Carter, Congress challenged the constitutionality of then-president Jimmy Carter‘s unilateral termination of a defense treaty. The case went before the Supreme Court and was never heard; a majority of six Justices ruled that the case should be dismissed without hearing an oral argument, holding that “The issue at hand … was essentially a political question and could not be reviewed by the court, as Congress had not issued a formal opposition.” In his opinion,Justice Brennan dissented, “The issue of decision making authority must be resolved as a matter of constitutional law, not political discretion; accordingly, it falls within the competence of the courts”. Presently, there is no official ruling on whether the President has the power to break a treaty without the approval of Congress, and the courts also declined to interfere when President George W. Bush unilaterally withdrew the United States from the ABM Treaty in 2002, six months after giving the required notice of intent.
Scope of presidential powers
Presidents have regarded the Article II treaty process as necessary where an international accord would bind a future president. For example, Theodore Rooseveltexplained:
The Constitution did not explicitly give me power to bring about the necessary agreement with Santo Domingo. But the Constitution did not forbid my doing what I did. I put the agreement into effect, and I continued its execution for two years before the Senate acted; and I would have continued it until the end of my term, if necessary, without any action by Congress. But it was far preferable that there should be action by Congress, so that we might be proceeding under a treaty which was the law of the land and not merely by a direction of the Chief Executive which would lapse when that particular executive left office. I therefore did my best to get the Senate to ratify what I had done.
A sole-executive agreement can only be negotiated and entered into through the president’s authority (1) in foreign policy, (2) as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, (3) from a prior act of Congress, or (4) from a prior treaty. Agreements beyond these competencies must have the approval of Congress (for congressional-executive agreements) or the Senate (for treaties).
In 1972, Congress passed legislation requiring the president to notify Congress of any executive agreements that are formed.
Although the nondelegation doctrine prevents Congress from delegating its legislative authority to the executive branch, Congress has allowed the executive to act as Congress’s “agent” in trade negotiations, such as by setting tariffs, and, in the case of Trade Promotion Authority, by solely authoring the implementing legislation for trade agreements. The constitutionality of this delegation was upheld by the Supreme Court in Field v. Clark (1892).
- Advice and consent
- Supremacy Clause
- Foreign policy of the United States
- List of United States treaties
- Jus tractatuum
- Treaties and other International Agreements: the Role of the United States Senate (Congressional Research Service 2001).
- [Article 2 Section 2 Clause 2]
- The Supreme Court has said that the words “treaty” and “agreement” were technical terms of international diplomacy, when the Constitution was written. See Holmes v. Jennison, 39 U.S. 540 (1840): “A few extracts from an eminent writer on the laws of nations, showing the manner in which these different words have been used, and the different meanings sometimes attached to them, will, perhaps, contribute to explain the reason for using them all in the Constitution….Vattel, page 192, sec. 152, says: ‘A treaty, in Latin foedus, is a compact made with a view to the public welfare, by the superior power, either for perpetuity, or for a considerable time.’ Section 153. ‘The compacts which have temporary matters for their object, are called agreements, conventions, and pactions. They are accomplished by one single act, and not by repeated acts. These compacts are perfected in their execution once for all; treaties receive a successive execution, whose duration equals that of the treaty.’ Section 154….After reading these extracts, we can be at no loss to comprehend the intention of the framers of the Constitution in using all these words, ‘treaty,’ ‘compact,’ ‘agreement.'”
- Jefferson, Thomas. “Report of the Secretary of State to the President” (January 18, 1791) quoted in The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia (1900).
- Medellin v. Texas, 2008
- Charnovitz, Steve. “Analysis of Congressional-Executive Agreements”, American Journal of International Law (2004).
- Hyman, Andrew. “The Unconstitutionality of Long-Term Nuclear Pacts that are Rejected by Over One-Third of the Senate”, Denver Journal of International Law and Policy(1995).
- Sherman, Roger. “Observations on the Alterations Proposed as Amendments to the New Federal Constitution” (1788) reprinted in Essays on the Constitution of the United States, Published During its Discussion by the People, 1787-1788 (Paul Leicester Ford ed. 1892), page 235: “It is provided by the constitution that no commercial treaty shall be made by the president without the consent of two-thirds of the senators present….” Retrieved 2008-04-12.
- Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1 (1957).
- Goldwater v. Carter, 444 U.S. 996 (1979).
- Ackerman, David. “Withdrawal from the ABM Treaty: Legal Considerations”, CRS Report for Congress (2002-12-31).
- Roosevelt, Theodore. An Autobiography, page 510 (1913).
- 1 U.S.C. 112(b). Via Findlaw. Retrieved 2008-04-12.
The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 510-518
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 500-509
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 490-499
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 480-489
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 473-479
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 464-472
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 455-463
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 447-454
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 439-446
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 431-438
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 422-430
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 414-421
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 408-413
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 400-407
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 391-399
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 383-390
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 376-382
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 369-375
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 360-368
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 354-359
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 346-353
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 338-345
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 328-337
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 319-327
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 307-318
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 296-306
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 287-295
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 277-286
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 264-276
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 250-263
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 236-249
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 222-235
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 211-221
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 202-210
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 194-201
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 184-193
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 174-183
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 165-173
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 158-164
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 151-157
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 143-150
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 135-142
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 131-134
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 124-130
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 121-123
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 118-120
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 113 -117
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 108-111
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 106-108
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 104-105
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 101-103
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 98-100
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 94-97
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 88-90
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 84-87
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 79-83
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 74-78
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 71-73
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 68-70
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 65-67
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 62-64
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 58-61
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 55-57
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 52-54
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 49-51
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 45-48
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 41-44
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 38-40
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 34-37
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 30-33
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 27-29
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 17-26
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 16-22
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 10-15
Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 01-09
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )