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Rupert Murdoch: a seven-point plan for rehabilitation in British life
By Jane Martinson
How the News Corp mogul restored public links with David Cameron after the turbulence of the phone-hacking scandal and Leveson inquiry
Cameron, Osborne and Murdoch back together at mogul’s Christmas knees-up
Rupert Murdoch’s Christmas’s party – which drew David Cameron, George Osborne and other ministers on Monday – marks his return to the centre of power, the culmination of a seven-step process that has seen him regain his position at the top of British life:
1 A profession of humility
Psychologists say acknowledgement is always the first step on the road to recovery but it took Murdoch 12 days after the Guardian revealed that Milly Dowler’s phone was hacked to take out a full-page advert on 16 July 2011 saying: “We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred”. Andy Coulson had already resigned as Cameron’s spin doctor in January 2011 but within days of the Dowler revelations, Murdoch closed the 168-year-old News of the World and scrapped his plan to take over the whole of satellite broadcaster Sky. Brooks resigned to face charges and, by 19 July, a surprisingly frail-looking Murdoch told a House of Commons committee that he was facing “the most humble day of my life”.
2 A fistful of dollars
In total, News Corp spent $512m (£345m) on the closure of its Sunday tabloid and legal settlements for at least 377 victims of voicemail interception. Nine of the 12 journalists charged with phone hacking were convicted, while public officials were found guilty for accepting payments for information. After an eight-month trial, Coulson was found guilty of conspiring to hack phones, while Brooks was cleared of all charges in June 2014. (Having eventually served five months of his sentence, Coulson is now writing the odd piece for the Telegraph. The newspaper group denies that he is on a contract to advise chief executive Murdoch MacLennan). 3 A job for a friend
From the very beginning of the scandal, Murdoch said his top priority was looking after Rebekah Brooks. Within months of the end of her trial, Murdoch was looking at a range of senior jobs for Brooks, firstly in the US. Initial reports that she would rejoin the company were met with disbelief from senior insiders but, after her husband Charlie was understood to have ruled out a move to the US, Murdoch and Brooks started to think that a return to her old job was the best option. She was reappointed chief executive of News UK in September 2015 and, having spent weeks working long hours in the office, she is only now ready for meetings with her old contacts.
4 Let the authorities complete their work
The biggest fear all along for the News Corp boss was the possibility of corporate charges being pressed for phone hacking. Murdoch had already split his publishing arm, which includes the British newspapers as well as the Wall Street Journal, from the Fox film and television business, partly to protect the latter from any possible charges. In February, the Department of Justice declared that News Corp would not face any charges in the US in relation to phone hacking and payments to public officials, and earlier this month the Crown Prosecution Service dropped all corporate charges against News Corp. However, given the appeals against the decision launched by victims, the final curtain has not quite come down. Although no one expects the government to go ahead with “Leveson part two” into the “extent of unlawful and improper conduct”, it cannot confirm this until all criminal proceedings, including appeals, are dealt with. 5 A clear political order
Labour party leaders may have attended Murdoch soirees but the opposition went into the May general election with concern over media domination written into its manifesto. In contrast, the Conservatives’ first manifesto promise on the media was to warn the BBC that it would face a licence fee freeze. Osborne’s comments about Auntie’s “imperial ambitions” reminded everyone that the Liberal Democrats were no longer in government to argue against imposing the cost of free licence fees for the over-75s on the corporation.
Even so, the appearance of Cameron at a party attended by Murdoch and Brooks is remarkable, given the fact that few politicians were as embarrassed by phone hacking as he was. The prime minister’s close links with Brooks and the Murdochs – with their Christmas gatherings, country suppers and “LOL” texting – were revealed in some detail during the Leveson inquiry, which he launched in November 2011. It later emerged that he had ignored those warning him against appointing a man who had stood down from his role as editor of the News of the World as his spin doctor. Having accepted Coulson’s denials, Cameron said he warranted a “second chance”.
Chris Bryant, the former shadow culture secretary and phone-hacking victim, who has recently attended a party at the home of Evgeny Lebedev, said: “There is nothing intrinsically wrong with meeting a proprietor socially. However, I would have thought that Cameron in particular, as well as Osborne, would have learnt from the whole sorry saga that these informal contacts just start to smell dodgy.
“I have always known that, if they won the general election, the Tories would just bide their time before ushering Rupert back through the front door. It was one of the reasons I was so desperate for them not to win.”
6 Rediscover the contacts book
Under disclosure rules brought in by Cameron, we now know when he meets interested parties. So we know that Murdoch and senior News Corp executives met government ministers 10 times in the year to the end of March 2015, more than any other newspaper group. Murdoch also met Osborne twice in the month before the chancellor imposed the aforementioned costly financial settlement on the BBC in July. 7 A model relationship
With his sons busy in the US, a new woman has made the family patriarch a more frequent visitor to the UK. Having split with his third wife, Wendi Deng, in 2013, Murdoch happily posed for pictures at the Rugby World Cup in October alongside his new flame, the London-based Jerry Hall, 59-year-old former wife of Mick Jagger.
Rupert Murdoch, arguably the world’s most powerful media tycoon, stepped down from the CEO role at cable TV and broadcasting giant 21st Century Fox in July 2015 but remains executive co-chairman alongside his son Lachlan; his son James Murdoch took over as CEO. Rupert Murdoch also continues to chair News Corp, which owns The Wall Street Journal and other print operations. He built a media empire out of Adelaide, Australia; at 22 he inherited two newspapers when his father died. Today, the Murdoch family controls 120 newspapers in five countries; a large cable TV network comprised of the Fox channels in the U.S. and Fox International Channels across Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia; book publishing powerhouse HarperCollins; a movie studio and a large broadcasting and satellite TV arm.
In the 1950s and ’60s, he acquired various newspapers in Australia and New Zealand, before expanding into the United Kingdom in 1969, taking over the News of the World followed closely by The Sun. He moved to New York City in 1974 to expand into the U.S. market, but retained interests in Australia and Britain. In 1981, he bought The Times, his first British broadsheet, and became a naturalised U.S. citizen in 1985 to satisfy the legal requirement for U.S. television ownership.
In 1986, keen to adopt newer electronic publishing technologies, he consolidated his UK printing operations in Wapping, causing bitter industrial disputes. His News Corporation acquired Twentieth Century Fox (1985), HarperCollins (1989) and The Wall Street Journal (2007). He formed the British broadcaster BSkyB in 1990, and during the 1990s expanded into Asian networks and South American television. By 2000, Murdoch’s News Corporation owned over 800 companies in more than 50 countries with a net worth of over $5 billion.
In July 2011, Murdoch faced allegations that his companies, including the News of the World, owned by News Corporation, had been regularlyhacking the phones of celebrities, royalty and public citizens. He faces police and government investigations into bribery and corruption by the British government and FBI investigations in the U.S. On 21 July 2012, Murdoch resigned as a director of News International. On 1 July 2015, Murdoch left his post as CEO of 21st Century Fox.
Murdoch was born Keith Rupert Murdoch on 11 March 1931 in Melbourne, Australia to Sir Keith Murdoch (1885–1952) and Elisabeth Joy Greene (1909–2012), daughter of Rupert Greene. He is of English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. His parents were also born in Melbourne. Keith Murdoch was a war correspondent and later a regional newspaper magnate owning two newspapers in Adelaide, South Australia, and a radio station in a faraway mining town. Later in life, Keith Rupert chose to use Rupert, the first name of his maternal grandfather.
Keith Murdoch the elder asked to meet with his future wife after seeing her debutante photograph in one of his own newspapers and they married in 1928, when she was aged 19 and he was 23 years older. In addition to Rupert, the couple had three daughters: Janet Calvert-Jones, Anne Kantor and Helen Handbury (1929–2004). Murdoch attended Geelong Grammar School, where he was co-editor of the school’s official journal The Corian and editor of the student journal If Revived. He took his school’s cricket team to the National Junior Finals. He worked part-time at the Melbourne Herald and was groomed by his father to take over the family business. Murdoch read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Worcester College, Oxford in England, where he supported the Labour Party, stood for Secretary of the Labour Club and managed Oxford Student Publications Limited, the publishing house of Cherwell. After her husband’s death from cancer in 1952, Elisabeth Murdoch did charity work, as life governor of the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne and established the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. At the age of 102 (in 2011), she had 74 descendants. Murdoch completed an MA before working as a sub-editor with theDaily Express for two years.
Activities in Australia and New Zealand
Journalist Sir Keith Murdoch (1885–1952), Rupert Murdoch’s father
Following his father’s death, when he was 21, Murdoch returned from Oxford to take charge of the family business News Limited, which had been established in 1923. Rupert Murdoch turned its newspaper, Adelaide News, its main asset, into a major success. He began to direct his attention to acquisition and expansion, buying the troubled Sunday Times in Perth,Western Australia (1956) and over the next few years acquiring suburban and provincial newspapers in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and theNorthern Territory, including the Sydney afternoon tabloid, The Daily Mirror (1960). The Economist describes Murdoch as “inventing the modern tabloid”,as he developed a pattern for his newspapers, increasing sports and scandal coverage and adopting eye-catching headlines.
Murdoch’s first foray outside Australia involved the purchase of a controlling interest in the New Zealand daily The Dominion. In January 1964, while touring New Zealand with friends in a rented Morris Minor after sailing across the Tasman, Murdoch read of a takeover bid for the Wellington paper by the British-based Canadian newspaper magnate, Lord Thomson of Fleet. On the spur of the moment, he launched a counter-bid. A four-way battle for control ensued in which the 32-year-old Murdoch was ultimately successful. Later in 1964, Murdoch launched The Australian, Australia’s first national daily newspaper, which was based first in Canberra and later in Sydney. In 1972, Murdoch acquired the Sydney morning tabloid The Daily Telegraph from Australian media mogul Sir Frank Packer, who later regretted selling it to him. In 1984, Murdoch was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for services to publishing.
Murdoch found a political ally in John McEwen, leader of the Australian Country Party (now known as the National Party of Australia), who was governing in coalition with the larger Menzies-Holt Liberal Party. From the very first issue of The Australian Murdoch began taking McEwen’s side in every issue that divided the long-serving coalition partners. (The Australian, 15 July 1964, first edition, front page: “Strain in Cabinet, Liberal-CP row flares.”) It was an issue that threatened to split the coalition government and open the way for the stronger Australian Labor Party to dominate Australian politics. It was the beginning of a long campaign that served McEwen well.
After McEwen and Menzies retired, Murdoch threw his growing power behind the Australian Labor Party under the leadership of Gough Whitlam and duly saw it elected on a social platform that included universal free health care, free education for all Australians to tertiary level, recognition of the People’s Republic of China, and public ownership of Australia’s oil, gas and mineral resources. Rupert Murdoch’s backing of Whitlam turned out to be brief. Murdoch had already started his short-lived National Star newspaper in America, and was seeking to strengthen his political contacts there.
Asked about the Australian federal election, 2007 at News Corporation’s annual general meeting in New York on 19 October 2007, its chairman Rupert Murdoch said, “I am not commenting on anything to do with Australian politics. I’m sorry. I always get into trouble when I do that.” Pressed as to whether he believed Prime Minister John Howard should continue as prime minister, he said: “I have nothing further to say. I’m sorry. Read our editorials in the papers. It’ll be the journalists who decide that – the editors.” In 2009, in response to accusations by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that News Limited was running vendettas against him and his government, Murdoch opined that Rudd was “oversensitive”. Murdoch described Howard’s successor, Labor Party Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, as “…more ambitious to lead the world [in tackling climate change] than to lead Australia…” and criticised Rudd’s expansionary fiscal policies in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 as unnecessary. Although News Limited’s interests are extensive, also including the Daily Telegraph, the Courier-Mail and theAdelaide Advertiser, it was suggested by the commentator Mungo MacCallum in The Monthly that “the anti-Rudd push, if coordinated at all, was almost certainly locally driven” as opposed to being directed by Murdoch, who also took a different position from local editors on such matters as climate change and stimulus packages to combat the financial crisis.
In 1968 Murdoch entered the British newspaper market with his acquisition of the populist News of the World, followed in 1969 with the purchase of the struggling daily broadsheet The Sun from IPC. Murdoch turned The Sun into a tabloid format and reduced costs by using the same printing press for both newspapers. On acquiring it, he appointed Albert ‘Larry’ Lamb as editor and – Lamb recalled later – told him: “I want a tearaway paper with lots of tits in it”. In 1997 The Sun attracted 10 million daily readers. In 1981, Murdoch acquired the struggling Times and Sunday Times from Canadian newspaper publisherLord Thomson of Fleet. Ownership of The Times came to him through his relationship with Lord Thomson, who had grown tired of losing money on it as a result of much industrial action that stopped publication. In the light of success and expansion at The Sun the owners believed that Murdoch could turn the papers around. Harold Evans, Editor of the Sunday Times from 1967, was made head of the daily Times, though he stayed only a year amid editorial conflict with Murdoch.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, Murdoch’s publications were generally supportive of Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. At the end of theThatcher/Major era, Murdoch switched his support to the Labour Party and its leader, Tony Blair. The closeness of his relationship with Blair and their secret meetings to discuss national policies was to become a political issue in Britain. This later changed, with The Sun, in its English editions, publicly renouncing the ruling Labour government and lending its support to David Cameron‘s Conservative Party, which soon afterwards formed a coalition government. In Scotland, where the Tories had yet to recover from their complete annihilation in 1997, the paper began to endorse the Scottish National Party (though not yet its flagship policy of independence), which soon after came to form the first ever outright majority in the proportionally elected Scottish Parliament. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s official spokesman said in November 2009 that Brown and Murdoch “were in regular communication” and that “there is nothing unusual in the prime minister talking to Rupert Murdoch”.
In 1986, Murdoch introduced electronic production processes to his newspapers in Australia, Britain and the United States. The greater degree of automation led to significant reductions in the number of employees involved in the printing process. In England, the move roused the anger of the print unions, resulting in a long and often violent dispute that played out in Wapping, one of London’s docklands areas, where Murdoch had installed the very latest electronic newspaper purpose-built publishing facility in an old warehouse. The bitter dispute at Wappingstarted with the dismissal of 6,000 employees who had gone on strike and resulted in street battles and demonstrations. Many on the political left in Britain alleged the collusion of Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government with Murdoch in the Wapping affair, as a way of damaging the British trade union movement. In 1987, the dismissed workers accepted a settlement of £60 million.
Murdoch’s British-based satellite network, Sky Television, incurred massive losses in its early years of operation. As with many of his other business interests, Sky was heavily subsidised by the profits generated by his other holdings, but convinced rival satellite operator British Satellite Broadcasting to accept a merger on his terms in 1990. They were quick to see the advantages of direct to home (DTH) satellite broadcasting that did not require costly cable networks and the merged company, BSkyB, has dominated the British pay-TV market ever since. By 1996, BSkyB had more than 3.6 million subscribers, triple the number of cable customers in the UK. British financier Lord Jacob Rothschild, a close Murdoch friend since the 1960s, served as deputy chairman of Murdoch’s BSkyB corporation from 2003–2007, and Murdoch jointly invested with Rothschild in a 5.5 percent stake in Genie Oil and Gas, which conducted shale gas and oil exploration in Israel.
In response to print media’s decline and the increasing influence of online journalism during the 2000s, Murdoch proclaimed his support of the micropayments model for obtaining revenue from on-line news, although this has been criticised by some.
The Labour Party, from when Tony Blair became leader in 1994, had moved from the Left to a more central position on many economic issues prior to 1997. Murdoch identifies himself as alibertarian, saying “What does libertarian mean? As much individual responsibility as possible, as little government as possible, as few rules as possible. But I’m not saying it should be taken to the absolute limit.”
In a 2005 speech delivered in New York, Murdoch said that Blair described the BBC coverage of the Hurricane Katrina disaster as being full of hatred of America.
In 1998, Rupert Murdoch made an attempt to buy the football club Manchester United F.C., with an offer of £625 million, but this failed. It was the largest amount ever offered for a sports club. It was blocked by the United Kingdom’s Competition Commission, which stated that the acquisition would have “hurt competition in the broadcast industry and the quality of British football”.
On 28 June 2006 the BBC reported that Murdoch and News Corporation were considering backing new Conservative leaderDavid Cameron at the next General Election – still up to four years away. In a later interview in July 2006, when he was asked what he thought of the Conservative leader, Murdoch replied “Not much”. In a 2009 blog, it was suggested that in the aftermath of the News of the World phone hacking scandal which is still ongoing in 2012 and might yet have Transatlantic implications Murdoch and News Corporation might have decided to back Cameron. Despite this, there had already been a convergence of interests between the two men over the muting of Britain’s communications regulator Ofcom.
In 2006, Britain’s Independent newspaper reported that Murdoch would offer Tony Blair a senior role in his global media company News Corporation when the prime minister stood down from office.
He is accused by former Solidarity MSPTommy Sheridan of having a personal vendetta against him and of conspiring with MI5 to produce a video of him confessing to having affairs – allegations over which Sheridan had previously sued News International and won. On being arrested for perjury following the case, Sheridan claimed that the charges were “orchestrated and influenced by the powerful reach of the Murdoch empire”.
In August 2008, British Conservative leader and future Prime Minister David Cameron accepted free flights to hold private talks and attend private parties with Murdoch on his yacht, theRosehearty. Cameron has declared in the Commons register of interests he accepted a private plane provided by Murdoch’s son-in-law, public relations guru Matthew Freud; Cameron has not revealed his talks with Murdoch. The gift of travel in Freud’s Gulfstream IV private jet was valued at around £30,000. Other guests attending the “social events” included the then EU trade commissioner Lord Mandelson, the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and co-chairman of NBC UniversalBen Silverman. The Conservatives have not disclosed what was discussed.
In July 2011, it emerged that Cameron met key executives of Murdoch’s News Corporation 26 times during the 14 months that Cameron had served as Prime Minister. It was also reported that Murdoch had given Cameron a personal guarantee that there would be no risk attached to hiring Andy Coulson, the former editor of News of the World, as the Conservative Party’s communication director in 2007. This was in spite of Coulson having resigned as editor over phone hacking by a reporter. Cameron chose to take Murdoch’s advice, despite warnings from Nick Clegg, Lord Ashdown and The Guardian. Coulson resigned his post in 2011 and was later arrested and questioned on allegations of further criminal activity at TheNews of the World, specifically the News International phone hacking scandal. As a result of the subsequent trial, Coulson was sentenced to 18 months in jail.
In July 2011 Rupert Murdoch, along with his son James, provided testimony before a British parliamentary committee regarding phone hacking. In the U.K., his media empire remains under fire as investigators continue to probe reports of other phone hacking.
On 14 July, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons served a summons on Murdoch, his son James, and his former CEO Rebekah Brooks to testify before a committee on 19 July. After an initial refusal, the Murdochs confirmed they would attend after the committee issued them a summons to Parliament. The day before the committee, the website of the News Corporation publication The Sun was hacked, and a false story was posted on the front page claiming that Murdoch had died. Murdoch described the day of the committee “the most humble day of my life”. He argued that since he ran a global business of 53,000 employees and that the News of the World was “just 1%” of this, he was not ultimately responsible for what went on at the tabloid. He added that he had not considered resigning, and that he and the other top executives had been completely unaware of the hacking.
On 15 July, Murdoch attended a private meeting in London with the family of Milly Dowler, where he personally apologized for the hacking of their murdered daughter’s voicemail by a company he owns. On 16 and 17 July, News International published two full-page apologies in many of Britain’s national newspapers. The first apology took the form of a letter, signed by Rupert Murdoch, in which he said sorry for the “serious wrongdoing” that occurred. The second was titled “Putting right what’s gone wrong”, and gave more detail about the steps News International was taking to address the public’s concerns. In the wake of the allegations Murdoch accepted the resignations of Rebekah Brooks, head of Murdoch’s British operations, andLes Hinton, head of Dow Jones who was chairman of Murdoch’s British newspaper division when some of the abuses happened. They both deny any knowledge of any wrongdoing under their command.
On 27 February 2012, the following day after Murdoch’s controversial release of the Sun on Sunday, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers informed the Leveson Inquiry that police are investigating a “network of corrupt officials” as part of their inquiries into phone hacking and police corruption. She said that evidence suggested a “culture of illegal payments” at the Sun newspaper and that these payments allegedly made by the Sun were authorised at a senior level.
In testimony on 25 April 2012, Murdoch did not deny the quote attributed to him by his former editor of The Sunday Times, Harold Evans: “I give instructions to my editors all round the world, why shouldn’t I in London?” On 1 May 2012, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee issued a report stating that Murdoch was “not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company”.
On 3 July 2013 Exaro and Channel 4 news broke the story of a secretly recorded tape. The tape was recorded by Sun journalists and in it Murdoch can be heard telling them that the whole investigation was one big fuss over nothing, and that he, or his successors, would take care of any journalists who went to prison. He said: “Why are the police behaving in this way? It’s the biggest inquiry ever, over next to nothing.”
Activities in the United States
Murdoch made his first acquisition in the United States in 1973, when he purchased the San Antonio Express-News. Soon afterwards, he founded Star, a supermarket tabloid, and in 1976, he purchased the New York Post. On 4 September 1985, Murdoch became a naturalized citizen to satisfy the legal requirement that only US citizens were permitted to own US television stations. This resulted in Murdoch losing his Australian citizenship.
In 1987 in Australia, he bought The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd, the company that his father had once managed. By 1990 News Corporation had built up debts of $7 billion (much from Sky TV in the UK). forcing Murdoch to sell many of the American magazine interests he had acquired in the mid-1980s. In 1993, it took exclusive coverage of the National Football League (NFL) from CBS and increased programming to seven days a week. In 1995, Murdoch’s Fox Network became the object of scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), when it was alleged that News Ltd.’s Australian base made Murdoch’s ownership of Fox illegal. However, the FCC ruled in Murdoch’s favour, stating that his ownership of Fox was in the best interests of the public. That same year, Murdoch announced a deal with MCI Communications to develop a major news website and magazine, The Weekly Standard. Also that year, News Corporation launched the Foxtel pay television network in Australia in partnership with Telstra. In 1996, Murdoch decided to enter the cable news market with the Fox News Channel, a 24-hourcable news station. Ratings studies released in 2009 showed that the network was responsible for nine of the top ten programs in the “Cable News” category at that time. Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner (founder and former owner of CNN) are long-standing rivals. In late 2003, Murdoch acquired a 34 percent stake in Hughes Electronics, the operator of the largest American satellite TV system, DirecTV, from General Motors for $6 billion (USD). His Fox movie studio would go on to have global hits with Titanic and Avatar.
In 2004, Murdoch announced that he was moving News Corporation headquarters from Adelaide, Australia to the United States. Choosing a US domicile was designed to ensure that American fund managers could purchase shares in the company, since many were deciding not to buy shares in non-US companies.
News Corporation logo
On 20 July 2005, News Corporation bought Intermix Media Inc., which held Myspace, Imagine Games Network and other social networking-themed websites, for $580 million USD, making Murdoch a major player in online media concerns. In June 2011, it sold off Myspace for US$35 million.On 11 September 2005, News Corporation announced that it would buy IGN Entertainment for $650 million (USD).
In June 2014, Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox made a bid for Time Warner at $85 per share in stock and cash ($80 billion total) which Time Warner’s board of directors turned down in July. Warner’s CNN unit would have been sold to ease antitrust issues of the purchase. On 5 August 2014 the company announced it had withdrawn its offer for Time Warner, and said it would spend $6 billion buying back its own shares over the following 12 months.
On 8 May 2006, the Financial Times reported that Murdoch would be hosting a fund-raiser for Senator Hillary Clinton‘s (D-New York) Senate re-election campaign. In a 2008 interview with Walt Mossberg, Murdoch was asked whether he had “anything to do with the New York Post‘s endorsement of Barack Obama in the democratic primaries.” Without hesitating, Murdoch replied, “Yeah. He is a rock star. It’s fantastic. I love what he is saying about education. I don’t think he will win Florida… but he will win in Ohio and the election. I am anxious to meet him. I want to see if he will walk the walk.” Murdoch is a strong supporter of Israel and its domestic policies.
Murdoch is a supporter of more open immigration policies in western nations generally. In the United States, Murdoch and chief executives from several major corporations, includingHewlett-Packard, Boeing and Disney joined New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to form the Partnership for a New American Economy to advocate “for immigration reform – including a path to legal status for all illegal aliens now in the United States.” The coalition, reflecting Murdoch and Bloomberg’s own views, also advocates significant increases in legal immigration to the United States as a means of boosting America’s sluggish economy and lowering unemployment. The Partnership’s immigration policy prescriptions are notably similar to those of the Cato Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—both of which Murdoch has supported in the past.
The Wall Street Journal editorial page has similarly advocated for increased legal immigration, in contrast to the staunch anti-immigration stance of Murdoch’s British newspaper, The Sun. On 5 September 2010, Murdoch testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law Membership on the “Role of Immigration in Strengthening America’s Economy.” In his testimony, Murdoch called for ending mass deportations and endorsed a “comprehensive immigration reform” plan that would include a pathway to citizenship for all illegal immigrants.
In October 2015, Murdoch stirred controversy, tweeting, “Ben and Candy Carson terrific. What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide? And much else.” After which he apologized, tweeting, “Apologies! No offence meant. Personally find both men charming.” 
Activities in Europe
Murdoch owns controlling interest in Sky Italia, a satellite television provider in Italy. Murdoch’s business interests in Italy have been a source of contention since they began. In 2010 Murdoch won a media dispute with then Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. A judge ruled the then Prime Minister’s media arm Mediaset prevented News Corporation’s Italian unit, Sky Italia, from buying advertisements on its television networks.
Activities in Asia
In 1993, Murdoch acquired Star TV, a Hong Kong company founded by Richard Li for $1 billion (Souchou, 2000:28), and subsequently set up offices for it throughout Asia. The deal enables News International to broadcast from Hong Kong to India, China, Japan and over thirty other countries in Asia, becoming one of the biggest satellite TV networks in the east.However, the deal did not work out as Murdoch had planned, because the Chinese government placed restrictions on it that prevented it from reaching most of China.
In 1956 Murdoch married Patricia Booker, a former shop assistant and flight attendant from Melbourne and they had their only child, Prudence, in 1958. Rupert and Patricia Murdoch divorced in 1967.
On 25 June 1999, 17 days after divorcing his second wife, Murdoch, then aged 68, married Chinese-born Wendi Deng. She was 30, a recent Yale School of Management graduate, and a newly appointed vice-president of his STAR TV. Murdoch has two daughters with her; Grace (born 2001) and Chloe (born 2003). Rupert Murdoch has six children in all, and is grandfather to thirteen grandchildren. On 13 June 2013, a News Corporation spokesperson confirmed that Murdoch filed for divorce from Deng in New York City, U.S. According to the spokesman, the marriage had been irretrievably broken for more than six months. Murdoch also ended his long-standing relationship with Tony Blair after suspecting him of having an affair with Deng while they were still married.
Murdoch has six children. His eldest child, Prudence MacLeod, was appointed on 28 January 2011 to the board of Times Newspapers Ltd, part of News International, which publishesThe Times and The Sunday Times. Murdoch’s eldest son Lachlan, formerly the deputy chief operating officer at the News Corporation and the publisher of the New York Post, was Murdoch’s heir apparent before resigning from his executive posts at the global media company at the end of July 2005. Lachlan’s departure left James Murdoch chief executive of the satellite television service British Sky Broadcasting since November 2003, as the only Murdoch son still directly involved with the company’s operations, though Lachlan has agreed to remain on the News Corporation’s board.
After graduating from Vassar College and marrying classmate Elkin Kwesi Pianim (the son of Ghanaian financial and political mogul Kwame Pianim) in 1993, Murdoch’s daughterElisabeth, along with her husband, purchased a pair of NBC-affiliate television stations in California, KSBW and KSBY, with a $35 million loan provided by her father. By quickly re-organising and re-selling them at a $12 million profit in 1995, Elisabeth emerged as an unexpected rival to her brothers for the eventual leadership of the publishing dynasty’s empire. But after divorcing her first husband in 1998 and quarrelling publicly with her assigned mentor Sam Chisholm at BSkyB, she struck out on her own as a television and film producer in London. She has since enjoyed independent success, in conjunction with her second husband, Matthew Freud, the great-grandson of Sigmund Freud (the founder of psychoanalysis) whom she met in 1997 and married in 2001.
It is not known how long Murdoch will remain as News Corporation’s CEO. For a while the American cable television entrepreneur John Malone was the second-largest voting shareholder in News Corporation after Murdoch himself, potentially undermining the family’s control. In 2007, the company announced that it would sell certain assets and give cash to Malone’s company in exchange for its stock. In 2007, the company issued Murdoch’s older children voting stock.
Murdoch has two children with Wendi Deng: Grace (b. New York, 19 November 2001) and Chloe (b. New York, 17 July 2003). It was revealed in September 2011 that Tony Blair is Grace’s godfather. There is reported to be tension between Murdoch and his oldest children over the terms of a trust holding the family’s 28.5 percent stake in News Corporation, estimated in 2005 to be worth about $6.1 billion. Under the trust, his children by Wendi Deng share in the proceeds of the stock but have no voting privileges or control of the stock. Voting rights in the stock are divided 50/50 between Murdoch on the one side and his children of his first two marriages. Murdoch’s voting privileges are not transferable but will expire upon his death and the stock will then be controlled solely by his children from the prior marriages, although their half-siblings will continue to derive their share of income from it. It is Murdoch’s stated desire to have his children by Deng given a measure of control over the stock proportional to their financial interest in it (which would mean, if Murdoch dies while at least one of the children is a minor, that Deng would exercise that control). It does not appear that he has any strong legal grounds to contest the present arrangement, and both ex-wife Anna and their three children are said to be strongly resistant to any such change.
In the 1997 film Fierce Creatures, the head of Octopus Inc. Rod McCain (initials R.M.) character is likely modelled after Murdoch.
In 1999, the Ted Turner owned TBS aired an original sitcom, The Chimp Channel. This featured an all-simian cast and the role of an Australian TV veteran named Harry Waller. The character is described as “a self-made gazillionaire with business interests in all sorts of fields. He owns newspapers, hotel chains, sports franchises and genetic technologies, as well as everyone’s favourite cable TV channel, The Chimp Channel.” Waller is thought to be a parody of Murdoch, a long-time rival of Turner.
In 2004, the movie Outfoxed included many interviews accusing Fox News of pressuring reporters to report only one side of news stories, in order to influence viewers’ political opinions.
In 2012, the satirical show Hacks, broadcast on UK-based Channel 4, made obvious comparisons with Rupert Murdoch using the fictional character ‘Stanhope Feast’, portrayed by Michael Kitchen, as well as other central figures in the phone hacking scandal.
Influence, wealth and reputation
This section may lend undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, or controversies. Please help to create a more balanced presentation. Discuss and resolve this issue before removing this message.(May 2014)
According to Forbes‘ 2013 list of richest Americans, Murdoch is the 33rd richest person in the US and the 91st richest person in the world, with a net worth of US$12.4 billion. In 2014, Forbes ranked “Rupert Murdoch & Family” as the 33rd most-powerful person in the world.
In August 2013, Terry Flew, Professor of Media and Communications at Queensland University of Technology, wrote an article for the Conversation publication in which he verified a claim by former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd that Murdoch owned 70% of Australian newspapers in 2011. Flew’s article showed that News Corp Australia owned 23% of the nation’s newspapers in 2011, according to the Finkelstein Review of Media and Media Regulation, but, at the time of the article, the corporation’s titles accounted for 59% of the sales of all daily newspapers, with weekly sales of 17.3 million copies.
News Corp papers were accused of supporting the campaign of the Australian Liberal government and influencing public opinion during the 2013 federal election. Following the announcement of the Liberal Party victory at the polls, Murdoch tweeted “Aust. election public sick of public sector workers and phony welfare scroungers sucking life out of economy. Other nations to follow in time”.
In November 2015, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that Rupert Murdoch “arguably has had more impact on the wider world than any other living Australian.”
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Carl Quintanilla, Becky Quick, and especially John Harwood
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When Rand Paul asked for the rules about who was allowed to respond to a rival candidate’s statement, Quick informed him, “It’s at the discretion of the moderators.”
It was not an answer guaranteed to instill the participants’—or, for that matter, the viewers’—confidence in the fairness and balance of the occasion.
Speaking of which, Fox News, unsurprisingly, had a field day with CNBC’s treatment of the candidates.
“This is the most appalling performance by the moderators,” Charles Krauthammer opined, “that I can ever remember seeing.”
Republican talking point virtuoso Sean Hannity declared: “The candidates combined beat the moderators, who were taking the Democratic Party line.”
“This a horrible night for the news media,” Hannity added—and, for once, I agreed with him.
The trouble started with the very first question, Quintanilla cutely asked each candidate, as though they were in a job interview, to admit to a weakness of character or somesuch.
It was a gimmicky and rather puerile inquiry, of course, and predictably few of the contenders even bothered to address it. Bush conceded he was probably a little too impatient. Trump claimed he was a little too trusting, and then bitterly unforgiving when betrayed. Carly Fiorina—grinning winsomely for laughs—revealed she was advised to smile more during debates.
Quick, meanwhile, got blindsided when she asked Trump about something he supposedly said about Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg’s immigration policies, and Trump told her he never said it.
“So where did that come from?” Quick pleaded lamely.
“I don’t know. You people write this stuff,” Trump retorted, to laughter.
Harwood, who also writes for The New York Times, came in for particular criticism from the candidates—and with justice. He came across as a sort of grand inquisitor and took on the severe and scolding tone of an irritated headmaster with candidates who spoke beyond their 60-second allotment.
“John, do you want me to answer or do you want to answer?” Christie chided after Harwood interrupted him. “Gotta tell ya, even in New Jersey what you’re doing is called ‘rude.’”
Toward the end, when each contender was invited to deliver a 30-second closing pitch, Trump used his time to congratulate himself and Ben Carson for negotiating with CNBC to pare down the debate from 3½ hours to 2 hours “so we can all get the hell out of here.”
Trump argued that it’s just those sorts of negotiating skills that he’ll employ as president to make America great again.
“Just for the record,” Harwood felt compelled to chime in, “it was always going to be two hours.”
“That is not right,” Trump shot back, basically calling Harwood a liar. “You know that is not right.”
All in all, the night offered a harsh lesson for future debate moderators: Go ahead and pose tough questions, but get your facts straight, don’t be snarky, and don’t, on any account, debate the pros
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LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 13: (L-R) Democratic presidential candidates Jim Webb, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee take the stage for a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at Wynn Las Vegas on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The five candidates are participating in the party’s first presidential debate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Who Won The First Democratic Debate In Terms Of Body Language?
Carol Kinsey Goman
The major story of the first televised presidential debate in 1960 became the photogenic appeal of John F. Kennedy versus the sickly look of his opponent, Richard Nixon, who refused to wear makeup although his recent illness had left him with a pallid complexion. In addition, Kennedy looked directly at the camera when answering questions (rather that at the journalists who asked them), which made viewers see him as someone who was talking right to them and giving straight answers. To make matters worse, the cameras caught Nixon wiping perspiration from his forehead while Kennedy was pressing him on the issues.
When the debate ended, a large majority of television viewers recognized Kennedy as the winner. Radio listeners, who heard the debate but hadn’t seen it, gave the victory to Nixon.
Never again would politicians under estimate the importance of physical appearance and body language – especially when appearing on television. Today’s political figures are fully aware of, and heavily coached on, the impact of nonverbal communication.
And when it comes to nonverbal cues, everything matters: Gender, age, skin color, hair style, attractiveness, height, clothing, facial expressions, hand gestures, posture — audiences judge it all. Superficial? Maybe. But this potent (and often unconscious) process is also hardwired in the human brain.
There are two sets of nonverbal signals that are especially important for candidates to project: warmth and authority. Warmth cues project likeability and candor and authority cues denote power and status. The most appealing politicians (at least from a body language standpoint) are those whose behaviors encompass both sets of signals.
Which brings me to the first Democratic debate of the 2016 election cycle — and how I would grade the body language of the debaters.
Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state
How she did it: Clinton is often described, by both supporters and critics, as strong, tough, and aggressive. So it was no surprise to see those qualities exhibited in her body language through expansive gestures, erect posture, and well-prepared responses.
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But Clinton’s body language won the debate by doing more than displaying authority. She successfully “warmed up” her image, with smiles, head nods in agreement/support of other’s comments, and (at one point) even laughter.
Visually, being the only woman on stage was also to her advantage. The contrast between Clinton and the rest of the (white, male) candidates was visually striking – especially for someone who wants to show how she would be different from previous presidents.
Bernie Sanders, senator of Vermont
How he did it: Unlike Clinton, who (for better or worse) is a known national figure, Sanders needed to give the audience a clear picture of who he is and what he stands for – and he was very effective doing so last night. Sanders was animated and used gestures (like finger pointing and palms rotated down) to effectively emphasize his resolve – although at times, his movements were a bit jerky, instead of smooth. And for those who were wondering if a 74-year old could keep his energy high for two hours, the answer was a resounding “yes.”
Sanders nonverbal negatives include his leaning too often on the lectern (as if he needed physical support) and in his lack of warm cues. He is much more expressive when showing anger, disgust, and impatience – but rarely does he display joy or express optimism.
Martin O’Malley, former governor Maryland
How he did it: While he never had the “break through” moment his campaign was hoping for, nonverbally O’Malley had a significant nonverbal advantage: He looked fit and athletic – and he was the tallest person in the line up. Don’t discount the effect of these seemingly trivial facts. We are biased toward attractive, healthy people, and we unconsciously attribute leadership characteristics to tall people. (The effects of this are seen not only in politics, but in business. For example, in the U.S. population, 14.5% men are 6’ tall and over, but with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, that statistic climbs to 58%.) But his softer, slower communication style often lacked the energy and passion needed to support his rhetoric. And his deadpan, almost angry expression when other candidates were speaking was tweeted about as the “death stare” – not a good look for someone who is usually seen as upbeat and happy.
Jim Webb, former senator of Virginia
How he did it: Webb is known as being “gruff” and “stiff,” and both of those qualities were displayed nonverbally: Outside of a slight lean backward and a shoulder shrug now and then, he rarely moved his body – adding to his stoic image.
Lincoln Chaffee, former governor of Rhode Island
How he did it: Chafee’s body language was filled with nervous facial gestures (lip licking was especially prevalent) and conflicting nonverbal messages, the most noticeable being a smile with tightened or compressed lips that made the otherwise warm signal look forced and inauthentic.
The only missing contender in last night’s debate was Vice President Joe Biden, who hasn’t declared his intention to run. Too bad. He is passionate and expressive. He would have been interesting to watch.
EVIDENCE SHOWS CLINTON RAN A PARALLEL, OUTSOURCED STATE DEPT.
Clinton received help from George Soros to run shadow gov’t
The real scandal surrounding Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s private email system may be that she was running, in concert with a private consulting firm tied closely to George Soros, an outsourced and parallel State Department answerable only to her and not President Obama, the Congress, or the American people.
The media has tried to separate two dubious operations of Mrs. Clinton while she was at the State Department. The first is the private email server located in her Chappaqua, New York residence. The second is the fact that her government-paid State Department personal assistant, Huma Abedin, wife of disgraced New York “sexting” congressman Anthony Weiner, was simultaneously on the payroll of Teneo, a corporate intelligence firm that also hired former President Bill Clinton and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as advisers. Abedin has been linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, which has recently buried the hatchet with longtime rival Saudi Arabia and common cause against the Assad government in Syria, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and Iran.
It is clear that Mrs. Clinton used her private email system to seek advice on major foreign policy issues, from her friend and paid Clinton Foundation adviser Sidney Blumenthal providing private intelligence on Libya’s post-Qaddafi government and possible business ventures to Clinton friend Lanny Davis seeking favors from Mrs. Clinton. It should be noted that Davis was a paid lobbyist for the military junta of Honduras that overthrew democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya in 2009. It also should be noted that Mrs. Clinton voiced her personal dislike for the late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, when, after he was assassinated by U.S.-armed jihadist rebels, boasted, “We came, we saw, he died!”
It was highly unusual for Abedin to receive a U.S. government paycheck while also receiving a consultant’s salary from Teneo. Teneo was founded in 2011 by Doug Band, a former counselor to Bill Clinton. Teneo, which is as much a private intelligence firm as it is an investment company and “governance” consultancy, has its headquarters in New York and branches in Washington DC, Brussels, São Paulo, London, Dublin, Dubai, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Melbourne. With the exception of its investment arm, Teneo closely resembles the former CIA-connected firm where Barack Obama worked after he graduated from Columbia, Business International Corporation (BIC). Teneo’s marketing claims match those made by BIC during its heyday: Teneo works “exclusively with the CEOs and senior leaders of many of the world’s largest and most complex companies and organizations.”
Teneo has staked a position in the international news media with its recent purchase of the London-based firm Blue Rubicon, formed in part by the former home news editor for Channel 4 News in the United Kingdom. Teneo also recently acquired London’s Stockwell Group, which provides consultancy services to the National Bank of Greece and Pireaus Bank. It appears that Mrs. Clinton’s friends are cashing in on the global banking austerity being levied against Greece.
The head of Teneo Intelligence is Jim Shinn, a former assistant secretary for Asia for the Defense Department. What is troubling is that Teneo has been offering statements to the media designed to heighten tensions between NATO and Turkey on one side and Russia on the other over Russia’s military attacks on the Islamic State in Syria. Shinn’s intelligence chief in Teneo’s London office, Wolfgango Piccoli, who has worked for the Soros-linked Eurasia Group consultancy, told CNN that Russia’s “reinforcement of the Assad regime and the consolidation of separate areas of control is more likely to prolong the conflict by forcing a stalemate.” The Teneo statement came in a CNN report that suggests members of the Bashar al Assad government in Syria and Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government could be charged by international or “national” tribunals for war crimes in a manner similar to those convened on members of the Yugoslavian and Serbian governments.
The entire International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague and in Africa has fallen under the control of George Soros and his operatives. Soros has made no secret of his support for overthrowing Assad and Putin and he has resorted to a “weapon of mass migration” of Syrian, Iraqi, and other refugees into Europe in order to destabilize the entire continent and endanger its Christian culture and social democratic traditions. Mrs. Clinton and Soros extensively used Mrs. Clinton’s private email system to exchange, among other things, information on the political situation in Albania, a country where Soros’s operatives are plentiful and powerful. Soros is a major donor to the Clinton Foundation and Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Soros also pressed Mrs. Clinton for State Department support for his American University of Central Asia, which, as seen with Soros’s Central European University in Budapest and its graduate ranks of pro-U.S. leaders throughout central and eastern Europe, is designed to manufacture a new generation of pro-U.S. leaders in the Central Asian states of the former Soviet Union.
The “wiping” of Mrs. Clinton’s email systems’ hard drives appear to be part of a classic case of an intelligence operation destroying data after being exposed.
The Clinton outsourcing of U.S. foreign policy not only involves Teneo but also the Clinton Foundation, for which Mrs. Clinton solicited donations from foreign sources while she served as Secretary of State. Moreover, in a classic example of racketeering, Bill Clinton was paid by Teneo as an adviser while his Clinton Foundation hired Teneo as as a consultant. The Clinton Foundation is directed by Bill and Hillary Clinton, along with their daughter Chelsea Clinton Mezvinsky. Mrs. Clinton’s private email use also extended to Clinton Foundation chief financial officer Andrew Kessel and longtime Bill Clinton friend Bruce Lindsey.
One of the emails sent via Mrs. Clinton’s private system was from her State Department counsel Cheryl Mills to Amitabh Desai, the head of foreign policy for the Clinton Foundation. Mills wanted Desai to arrange a meeting between Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame with the Democratic Republic of Congo strongman Joseph Kabila during Kagame’s visit to Kinshasa in 2012. This effort was conducted outside the State Department with the sole exception that Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson, a close friend of Mrs. Clinton, was involved in the email exchange with Mills and Desai.
Other private email use involved Hollywood magnate Haim Saban, Loews heir Andrew Tisch, and Lynn de Rothschild, all of whom were peddling Israel’s interests to Hillary and Bill Clinton in return for sizable donations to the Clinton Foundation and Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Under the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, the Clinton Foundation received generous financial support totaling some $31 million from Frank Giustra, a Canadian uranium mining magnate. Giustra relied on the Clintons to use their influence to open up lucrative uranium exploitation opportunities in places like Kazakhstan and Africa.
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has been stonewalled in his attempt to obtain more information about Teneo’s relationship with Mrs. Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and Bill Clinton.
Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist who consistently exposes cover-ups from deep within the government. Want to be the first to learn the latest scandal? Go to WayneMadsenReport.com subscribe today!
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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
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AP Exclusive: UN to let Iran inspect alleged nuke work site
By GEORGE JAHN
Aug. 19, 2015
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.
A report says the IAEA won’t have access to the Parchin nuclear site.
A satellite image of the Parchin facility in Iran in February 2013.PHOTO: DIGITALGLOBE/GETTY IMAGES
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.
The Israel Project CEO Josh Block with an update on the Congressional whip count for the Iran vote, and whether Democrats might mount a filibuster. Photos: Getty Images
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.
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 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.
[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…
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).
Jump up^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.'”
Story 1: Profiles in Perfidy: Obama and Kerry Lying To American People — The Traitorous Terrorist Treaty — Strategic Surrender To Terrorist Islamic Republic of Iran– No Dismantling and Destruction of Nuclear Infrastructure/Bomb Factories — No Surprise Inspections — No Economic Sanctions — No Limits on Missiles — No Sanctions On Individual Terrorists or Terrorism — The Sellout of America For Nobel Peace Prizes Will Result in Middle East Nuclear Arms Race, Proliferation and War — Iran Celebrates Victory and $150 Billion of Unfrozen Assets To Finance More Terrorism and Oppression — Congress Must Veto The Traitorous Terrorist Treaty — Terminate With Extreme Prejudice — Videos
1. Deliberatebreach of faith;calculatedviolation of trust;treachery:“thefink,whoseperfidywasequaledonly by hisgall”(GilbertMillstein).
2. Theact or an instance of treachery.
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Accord sets White House on course for months of political strife with dissenters in Congress, Mideast allies
By LAURENCE NORMAN and
Updated July 14, 2015 1:14 p.m. ET
Iran reached a landmark nuclear agreement with the U.S. and five other world powers, a long-sought foreign policy goal of President Barack Obama that sets the White House on course for months of political strife with dissenters in Congress and in allied Middle Eastern nations.
The accord, which comes after a decade of diplomatic efforts that frequently appeared on the verge of collapse, aims to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief.
The Obama administration and its partners hope the deal will resolve a dispute that at times threatened to spark a military conflict. In the optimistic view, it would ease tensions with Tehran over time and pave the way for fresh attempts to resolve some of the region’s many other conflicts.
In an address from the White House early Tuesday, Mr. Obama hailed the deal, threatening to veto any vote in Congress against it.
“Today, because America negotiated from a position of strength and principle, we have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region,” he said. “Because of this deal, the international community will be able to verify that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon.”
Critics in Washington, Israel and the Gulf nations that neighbor Iran say the deal will merely delay the country’s path to nuclear weapons. After 10 years of restraint on its activities mandated by the agreement, Iran will then be able to ratchet up its nuclear program and potentially unleash a nuclear arms race in the region, they fear.
Israeli Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahucalled the deal a historic mistake.
“Wide-ranging concessions were made in all of the areas which should have prevented Iran from getting the ability to arm itself with a nuclear weapon,’’ Mr. Netanyahu said. “The desire to sign an agreement was stronger than everything else.”
The deal could provoke new strains in U.S. ties with its traditional Middle Eastern allies in Israel and Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia. All have warned that lifting tight international sanctions will deliver an economic windfall that enables Iran to expand its regional influence by boosting funding for proxies in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and elsewhere.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, far right, and U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, second from right, gesture toward Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, far left. Iran’s Ali Akbar Salehi is second from left. Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stands center.PHOTO:HERBERT NEUBAUER/EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
The last two years of diplomacy were the most intense dialogue between Washington and Tehran since diplomatic relations were ruptured after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.
“Today, a new page has turned,” Iranian PresidentHassan Rouhani said in a nationally televised speech, adding that the deal met all his country’s goals.
The final round of negotiations stretched for more than two weeks and was punctuated by tensions and setbacks, at times devolving into shouting matches among international officials. The U.S. repeatedly warned it was willing to walk away from a bad deal while Iranians threatened to rev their nuclear program back up.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who has spearheaded negotiations over the past two years, praised his Iranian counterpartJavad Zarif as a tough negotiator and a patriot, saying the two had maintained mutual respect throughout often heated talks.
However Mr. Kerry said the administration was fully aware that the nuclear deal would not resolve Washington’s concerns about Iran’s actions.
“From the very beginning of this process, we have considered not only our own security concerns but also the serious and legitimate anxieties of our friends and our allies in the region—especially Israel and the Gulf States,” he said.
“What we are announcing today is an agreement addressing the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program. Period.”
At the heart of the agreement between Iran and the U.S., U.K., Russia, China, Germany and France is Tehran’s acceptance of strict limits on its nuclear activities for 10 years. These are supposed to ensure that the country remains a minimum of 12 months away from amassing enough nuclear fuel for a bomb. After the 10-year period, those constraints will ease in the subsequent five years. In exchange, the U.S., the European Union and the United Nations will lift tight international sanctions on Tehran, a move that Western diplomats say could help Iran’s economy to expand by 7% to 8% annually for years to come.
Iran, which analysts say could double oil exports quickly after sanctions are lifted, will also receive more than $100 billion in assets locked overseas under U.S. sanctions.
Mr. Obama has cast the nuclear diplomacy as an effort to avoid another costly, risky war in the Middle East. He recently said that even if the U.S. took military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities, it would only partially set back Tehran’s program, not eliminate it.
The nuclear agreement still faces significant hurdles before it takes full effect.
Iran must take an array of specific steps. It must disable two-thirds of its centrifuge machines used to enrich uranium, which can be used as fuel for nuclear energy or nuclear weapons. It must slash its stockpile of enriched uranium and redesign its nuclear reactor in the city of Arak so that it produces less plutonium, which can also be used in a weapon.
Oil-rich Iran has always insisted its nuclear program is for entirely peaceful purposes, such as producing electricity and medical isotopes.
After years of stalling, Iran also must disclose information on its past nuclear activities, which many Western officials suspect was aimed at gaining nuclear weapons know-how. It must provisionally implement an agreement giving United Nations inspectors much broader access to non-nuclear sites including military installations inside the country and eventually get parliamentary approval for that agreement.
The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency and Iran set out a short-term road map that says both sides will aim to finish their discussions of past nuclear work by the end of the year.
The nuclear deal is sure to fan intense political debate in Washington, where Congress may vote within 60 days on the agreement. As a last resort, the Obama administration may have to rely on the support of Democrats to uphold a presidential veto if the Republican-led Congress votes to overturn the agreement.
Among other steps, the U.N. Security Council is supposed to annul past resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran and replace them with a new resolution.
The U.S. will maintain sanctions on Iran linked to its rights abuses, ties to terrorist groups and to support for Syria’s regime among others.
Observers warned that given the complexity of the agreement, which contains one main text and five detailed annexes and totals about 100 pages, the risks of disputes over implementation of terms could cause delays or even derail the deal.
“The technical obstacles can be surpassed with goodwill and diligence, but political hurdles can turn into poison pills,” said Ali Vaez, senior Iran analyst at Crisis International, an international conflict resolution group.
According to senior U.S. officials, the agreement will allow a Security Council ban on conventional arms sales to or from Iran to end after five years—or earlier if the U.N. nuclear agency gives its final, full all-clear that Iran’s nuclear program is purely peaceful. That is expected to take many years.
In addition, a ban on trading ballistic missiles and parts with Iran will expire after eight years unless the IAEA gives its all-clear earlier. Iran is committed to using a special procurement channel to buy a wide range of products that could be used in a nuclear weapons program, the official said.
Mr. Kerry said that with three of the countries—Iran, Russia and China— opposed to maintaining the arms ban and able to walk away from the deal, he believed “we did very well to hold onto” these restraints. However, the agreement also includes specific oversight measures that few other countries have ever agreed to. There will be monitoring and oversight of Iran’s uranium mines, plants for manufacturing key parts of centrifuge machines and a range of activities that could be used to develop a nuclear warhead.
Iran deal reached, Obama hails step towards ‘more hopeful world’
Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday, capping more than a decade of negotiations with an agreement that could transform the Middle East.
U.S. President Barack Obama hailed a step towards a “more hopeful world” and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said it proved that “constructive engagement works”. But Israel pledged to do what it could to halt what it called an “historic surrender”.
The agreement will now be debated in the U.S. Congress, but Obama said he would veto any measure to block it.
“This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction,” Obama said. “We should seize it.”
Under the deal, sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and United Nations will be lifted in return for Iran agreeing long-term curbs on a nuclear programme that the West has suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb.
The agreement is a political triumph for both Obama, who has long promised to reach out to historic enemies, and Rouhani, a pragmatist elected two years ago on a vow to reduce the isolation of his nation of almost 80 million people.
Both face scepticism from powerful hardliners at home in nations that referred to each other as “the Great Satan” and a member of the “Axis of Evil”.
“Today is the end to acts of tyranny against our nation and the start of cooperation with the world,” Rouhani said in a televised address. “This is a reciprocal deal. If they stick to it, we will. The Iranian nation has always observed its promises and treaties.”
For Obama, the diplomacy with Iran, begun in secret more than two years ago, ranks alongside his normalisation of ties with Cuba as landmarks in a legacy of reconciliation with foes that tormented his predecessors for decades.
“History shows that America must lead not just with our might but with our principles,” he said in a televised address. “Today’s announcement marks one more chapter in our pursuit of a safer, more helpful and more hopeful world.”
Republicans lined up to denounce the deal. Presidential candidate Lindsey Graham, a senator from South Carolina, called it a terrible deal that would make matters worse. Former senator Rick Santorum, another candidate, said the administration had capitulated to Iran.
The Republican-controlled Congress has 60 days to review the accord, but if it votes to reject it Obama can use his veto, which can be overridden only by two-thirds of lawmakers in both houses. That means dozens of Obama’s fellow Democrats would have to rebel against one of their president’s signature achievements to kill it, an unlikely prospect.
While the main negotiations were between the United States and Iran, the four other U.N. Security Council permanent members, Britain, China, France and Russia, are also parties to the deal, as is Germany.
Enmity between Iran and the United States has loomed over the Middle East for decades.
Iran is the predominant Shi’ite Muslim power, hostile both to Israel and to Washington’s Sunni Muslim-ruled Arab friends, particularly Saudi Arabia. Allies of Riyadh and Tehran have fought decades of sectarian proxy wars in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen.
But there are also strong reasons for Washington and Tehran to cooperate against common foes, above all Islamic State, the Sunni Muslim militant group that has seized swathes of Syria and Iraq. Washington has been bombing Islamic State from the air while Tehran aids Iraqi militias fighting it on the ground.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told reporters that the deal was about more than just the nuclear issue:
“The big prize here is that, as Iran comes out of the isolation of the last decades and is much more engaged with Western countries, Iranians hopefully begin to travel in larger numbers again, Western companies are able to invest and trade with Iran, there is an opportunity for an opening now.”
Still, Washington’s friends in the region were furious, especially Israel, whose prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has cultivated a close relationship with Obama’s Republican opponents in Congress.
“Iran will get a jackpot, a cash bonanza of hundreds of billions of dollars, which will enable it to continue to pursue its aggression and terror in the region and in the world,” he said. “Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons.”
His deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, denounced an “historic surrender” and said Israel would “act with all means to try and stop the agreement being ratified”, a clear threat to use its influence to try and block it in Congress.
Some diplomats in Vienna said the strong Israeli response could actually help, by making it easier for Rouhani to sell the agreement back in Iran.
While Saudi Arabia did not denounce the deal publicly as Israel did, its officials expressed doubt in private.
“We have learned as Iran’s neighbours in the last 40 years that goodwill only led us to harvest sour grapes,” a Saudi official who asked to remain anonymous told Reuters.
Nor were hardliners silent in Iran: “Celebrating too early can send a bad signal to the enemy,” conservative lawmaker Alireza Zakani said in parliament, according to Fars News agency. Iran’s National Security Council would review the accord, “and if they think it is against our national interests, we will not have a deal”.
It will probably be months before Iran receives the benefits from the lifting of sanctions because of the need to verify the deal’s fulfilment. Once implementation is confirmed, Tehran will immediately gain access to around $100 billion in frozen assets, and can step up oil exports that have been slashed by almost two-thirds.
The deal finally emerged after nearly three weeks of intense negotiation between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif – unthinkable for decades, since Iranian revolutionaries stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.
Hatred of the United States is still a central tenet of Iran’s ruling system, on display only last week at an annual protest day, with crowds chanted “Death to Israel!” and “Death to America!”.
But Iranians voted overwhelmingly for Rouhani in 2013 on a clear promise to revive their crippled economy by ending Iran’s isolation. Hardline Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei did not block the negotiations.
“Today could have been the end of hope on this issue, but now we are starting a new chapter of hope,” Zarif, who studied in the United States and developed a warm rapport with Kerry, told a news conference.
Kerry said: “This is the good deal we have sought.”
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said:
“I think this is a sign of hope for the entire world.”
Obama first reached out to Iranians with an address in 2009, only weeks into his presidency, offering a “new beginning”. But he followed this up with a sharp tightening of financial sanctions, which, combined with sanctions imposed by the EU, have imposed severe economic hardship on Iranians since 2012.
Tehran has long denied seeking a nuclear weapon and has insisted on the right to nuclear technology for peaceful means. Obama never ruled out military force if negotiations failed, and said on Tuesday that future presidents would still have that option if Iran quit the agreement.
France said the deal would ensure Iran’s “breakout time” – the time it would need to build a bomb if it decided to break off the deal – would be one year for the next decade. This has been a main goal of Western negotiators, who wanted to ensure that if a deal collapsed there would be enough time to act.
Obama said Iran had accepted a “snapback” mechanism, under which sanctions would be reinstated if it violated the deal. A U.N. weapons embargo is to remain in place for five years and a ban on buying missile technology will remain for eight years.
Alongside the main deal, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, announced an agreement with Iran to resolve its own outstanding issues by the end of this year. The main deal depends on the IAEA being able to inspect Iranian nuclear sites and on Iran answering its questions about possible military aims of previous research.
For Iran, the end of sanctions could bring a rapid economic boom by lifting restrictions that have shrunk its economy by about 20 percent, according to U.S. estimates. The prospect of a deal has already helped push down global oil prices because of the possibility that Iranian supply could return to the market.
Oil prices tumbled more than a dollar on Tuesday after the deal was reached. [O/R]
“Even with an historic deal, oil from Iran will take time to return,” Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at London-based consultancy Energy Aspects, told Reuters. “But given how oversupplied the market is with Saudi output at record highs, the mere prospect of new oil will be bearish for sentiment.”
Monday 13 July 2015 06.15 EDT Last modified on Monday 13 July 2015 11.36 EDT
European and Chinese officials are pushing for a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme to be signed on Monday, but Washington and Tehran – the two main protagonists at the negotiations in Vienna – will not be rushed.
The Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, told reporters that his team “believes that no agreement could be perfect, and conditions are already in place for us to reach a good agreement,” as he joined his counterparts for the endgame of the negotiations. “We believe that there cannot, and should not, be further delay.”
This latest round of talks got under way in the Austrian capital 17 days ago, though negotiations between the international community and Iran over the country’s atomic aspirations have been held on and off for 12 years.
European diplomats at the talks said on Sunday that the major obstacles to a deal had been cleared away and that they expected an announcement on Monday afternoon, but their American counterparts were more cautious. They distributed logistics information to US journalists covering the negotiations about the choreography of events after an announcement, but a senior state department official insisted “major issues” remain.
Meanwhile, the Iranian delegation also suggested the talks were not yet at the finish line. Its foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said: “We believe there shouldn’t be extension but we can continue working by the time that it’s necessary.” Zarif’s deputy, Abbas Araqchi, said: “I cannot promise whether the remaining issues can be resolved tonight or tomorrow night. Some issues still remain unresolved and, until they are solved, we cannot say an agreement has been reached.”
Diplomats in Vienna suggested that one reason for the delay was that neither the US nor the Iranian delegations wanted to present the White House or the supreme leader a deadline for completing their review of the final text. However, going beyond midnight on Monday would require a 2013 interim deal to be rolled over for the fourth time in a fortnight, to keep a freeze on sanctions and the Iranian nuclear programme in place
Even after a deal is announced, it would take some hours for the text of the agreement, the English version of which stretches to more than 80 pages, including five annexes, to be “scrubbed” or proofread and reviewed by lawyers. Translations would then have to be completed before the final text was sent to the relevant capitals for approval by national leaders.
Under the expected settlement, Iran will accept curbs on its nuclear programme in exchange for extensive sanctions relief. Tehran would also have to subject its facilities to a more rigorous inspections regime. It would represent a historic compromise after a 12-year standoff that has at times threatened to provoke a new conflict in the Middle East. In a statement issued on Sunday, a senior US State Department official said: “We have never speculated about the timing of anything during these negotiations, and we’re certainly not going to start now, especially given the fact that major issues remain to be resolved in these talks.”
The British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, returned to the UK for unspecified reasons. Diplomats said he was expected back on Monday and suggested his departure meant that the main political decisions had been taken as far as the UK was concerned, leaving mostly technicalities to finalise. Over the weekend, Iranian officials had said that the UK and Germany had made forceful arguments about their own red lines, and that was confirmed in the British case by western diplomatic sources. Their concerns appeared to have been resolved by Sunday evening.
Once an agreement is announced, it will not take effect for some time. It must first survive a trial by fire from its critics in Washington and Tehran. The greatest hurdle will be the US Congress, where Republicans have a majority and are expected to vote against the deal after a review period of up to 60 days. They will seek to win over 12 Democrats in an attempt to defeat a presidential veto.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, described the expected deal as “a very hard sell”. Bob Corker, the Republican head of the Senate foreign relations committee, told NBC: “At the end of the day I think people understand that if this is a bad deal that is going to allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon, they would own this deal if they voted for it, and so they’ll want to disapprove it. On the other hand, if we feel like we’re better off with it, people will look to approve it.”
The European and Chinese foreign ministers have come and gone over the course of the talks and even Zarif left for a day, but John Kerry remained in Vienna throughout. It is the longest time that a US secretary of state has spent abroad in a single location dealing with a single issue since the aftermath of the second world war.
Kerry has also conducted the gruelling fortnight of diplomacy, including repeated late-night meetings, on crutches after a bicycle accident in May. On Sunday morning he attended mass in Vienna’s 14th-century St Stephen’s Cathedral, where Mozart was married and Vivaldi’s funeral was held. Speaking about a late-night meeting with Zarif hours before, he said: “I think we’re getting to some real decisions. So I will say, because we have a few tough things to do, I remain hopeful.”
The French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, told reporters as he rejoined the talks on Sunday afternoon: “I hope we’re arriving finally at the last phase of these marathon negotiations. I believe so.”
The road ahead
Although the deal could be agreed and published as early as Monday, it will be months before it starts to come into effect. A number of steps have to be taken first:
The US Congress will have two months to review the agreement, and then an extra 22 days are set aside for voting, a possible presidential veto, and then another vote to see if opponents can muster 67 Senate votes to override the veto. At the same time, Iran’s parliament, the Majlis, will study the deal and issue its own verdict, but has no firm timetable.
Assuming it survives legislative scrutiny, the agreement will be codified and incorporated in a UN security council resolution, which will also lift UN sanctions on Iran, conditional on Tehran taking its agreed steps to reduce its nuclear infrastructure. Some Iranian sources say the resolution will come earlier in the process, while the deal is still under legislative review.
Iran will then begin to disconnect centrifuges, remove the core from its heavy-water plant and reduce its stockpile of low-enriched uranium. The International Atomic Energy Agency will monitor and verify the steps taken. Iran will also work with the IAEA to resolve unanswered questions about alleged past nuclear weapon design work.
At the same time, Barack Obama will grant waivers on economic and financial sanctions, and the EU will vote to lift European sanctions. Both sets of sanctions relief will be made contingent on IAEA confirmation that Iran has upheld its side of the bargain.
In a final step, possibly around the end of the year, economic and financial sanctions will be lifted, and an enhanced IAEA inspections regime will be implemented, routinely monitoring Iran’s fuel cycle from uranium mines to enrichment and fuel manufacture, and visiting undeclared sites.
Obama Can’t Force His Iran Deal on the Country without Congress’s Consent
Having the U.N. Security Council bless a deal wouldn’t make it binding under our Constitution. So, as we warned earlier this week, the international-law game it is. It is no secret that Barack Obama does not have much use for the United States Constitution. It is a governing plan for a free, self-determining people. Hence, it is littered with roadblocks against schemes to rule the people against their will. When it comes to our imperious president’s scheme to enable our enemy, Iran, to become a nuclear-weapons power — a scheme that falls somewhere between delusional and despicable, depending on your sense of Obama’s good faith — the salient barrier is that only Congress can make real law.
Most lawmakers think it would be a catastrophe to forge a clear path to the world’s most destructive weapons for the world’s worst regime — a regime that brays “Death to America” as its motto; that has killed thousands of Americans since 1979; that remains the world’s leading state sponsor of jihadist terrorism; that pledges to wipe our ally Israel off the map; and that just three weeks ago, in the midst of negotiations with Obama, conducted a drill in which its armed forces fired ballistic missiles at a replica U.S. aircraft carrier.
This week, 47 perspicuous Republican senators suspected that the subject of congressional power just might have gotten short shrift in Team Obama’s negotiations with the mullahs. So they penned a letter on the subject to the regime in Tehran. The effort was led by Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), who, after Harvard Law School, passed up community organizing for the life of a Bronze Star–awarded combat commander. As one might imagine, Cotton and Obama don’t see this Iran thing quite the same way.
There followed, as night does day, risible howls from top Democrats and their media that these 47 patriots were “traitors” for undermining the president’s empowerment of our enemies. Evidently, writing the letter was not as noble as, say, Ted Kennedy’s canoodling with the Soviets, Nancy Pelosi’s dalliance with Assad, the Democratic party’s Bush-deranged jihad against the war in Iraq, or Senator Barack Obama’s own back-channel outreach to Iran during the 2008 campaign. Gone, like a deleted e-mail, were the good old days when dissent was patriotic.
Yet, as John Yoo observes, the Cotton letter was more akin to mailing Ayatollah Khamenei a copy of the Constitution. The senators explained that our Constitution requires congressional assent for international agreements to be legally binding. Thus, any “executive agreement” on nukes that they manage to strike with the appeaser-in-chief is unenforceable and likely to be revoked when he leaves office in 22 months.
For Obama and other global-governance grandees, this is quaint thinking, elevating outmoded notions like national interest over “sustainable” international “stability” — like the way Hitler stabilized the Sudetenland. These “international community” devotees see the Tea Party as the rogue and the mullahs as rational actors.
o, you see, lasting peace — like they have, for example, in Ukraine — is achieved when the world’s sole superpower exhibits endless restraint and forfeits some sovereignty to the United Nations Security Council, where the enlightened altruists from Moscow, Beijing, and Brussels will figure out what’s best for Senator Cotton’s constituents in Arkansas. This will set a luminous example of refinement that Iran will find irresistible when it grows up ten years from now — the time when Obama, who came to office promising the mullahs would not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons, would have Iran stamped with the international community seal of approval as a nuclear-weapons state.
Down here on Planet Earth, though, most Americans think this is a bad idea. That, along with an injection of grit from the Arkansas freshman, emboldened the normally supine Senate GOP caucus to read Tehran in on the constitutional fact that the president is powerless to bind the United States unless the people’s representatives cement the arrangement.
Obama, naturally, reacted with his trusty weapon against opposition, demagoguery: hilariously suggesting that while the Alinskyite-in-chief had our country’s best interests at heart, the American war hero and his 46 allies were in league with Iran’s “hardliners.” (Yes, having found Muslim Brotherhood secularists, al-Qaeda moderates, and Hezbollah moderates, rest assured that Obama is courting only the evolved ayatollahs.) When that went about as you’d expect, the administration shifted to a strategy with which it is equally comfortable, lying.
Obama’s minions claimed that, of course, the president understands that any agreement he makes with Iran would merely be his “political commitment,” not “legally binding” on the nation. It’s just that Obama figures it would be nice to have the Security Council “endorse” the deal in a resolution because, well, that would “encourage its full implementation.” Uh-huh.
Inconveniently, the administration’s negotiating counterpart is the chattiest of academics, Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Afflicted by the Western-educated Islamist’s incorrigible need to prove he’s the smartest kid in the class — especially a class full of American politicians — Zarif let the cat out of the bag. The senators, he smarmed, “may not fully understand . . . international law.”
According to Zarif, the deal under negotiation “will not be a bilateral agreement between Iran and the U.S., but rather one that will be concluded with the participation of five other countries, including all permanent members of the Security Council, and will also be endorsed by a Security Council resolution.” He hoped it would “enrich the knowledge” of the 47 senators to learn that “according to international law, Congress may not modify the terms of the agreement.” To do so would be “a material breach of U.S. obligations,” rendering America a global outlaw.
This, mind you, from the lead representative of a terrorist regime that is currently, and brazenly, in violation of Security Council resolutions that prohibit its enrichment of uranium.
Clearly, Obama and the mullahs figure they can run the following stunt: We do not need another treaty approved by Congress because the United States has already ratified the U.N. charter and thus agreed to honor Security Council resolutions. We do not need new statutes because the Congress, in enacting Iran-sanctions legislation, explicitly gave the president the power to waive those sanctions. All we need is to have the Security Council issue a resolution that codifies Congress’s existing sanctions laws with Obama’s waiver. Other countries involved in the negotiations — including Germany, Russia, and China, which have increasingly lucrative trade with Iran — will then very publicly rely on the completed deal. The U.N. and its army of transnational-progressive bureaucrats and lawyers will deduce from this reliance a level of global consensus that incorporates the agreement into the hocus-pocus corpus of customary law. Maybe they’ll even get Justice Ginsburg to cite it glowingly in a Supreme Court ruling. Voila, we have a binding agreement — without any congressional input — that the United States is powerless to alter under international law.
Well, it makes for good theater . . . because that is what international law is. It is a game more of lawyers than of thrones. In essence, it is politics masquerading as a system governed by rules rather than power, as if hanging a sign that says “law” on that system makes it so. At most, international law creates understandings between and among states. Those understandings, however, are only relevant as diplomatic debating points. When, in defiance of international law, Obama decides to overthrow the Qaddafi regime, Clinton decides to bomb Kosovo, or the ayatollahs decide to enrich uranium, the debating points end up not counting for much.
Even when international understandings are validly created by treaty (which requires approval by two-thirds of the Senate), they are not “self-executing,” as the legal lexicon puts it — meaning they are not judicially enforceable and carry no domestic weight. Whether bilateral or multilateral, treaties do not supersede existing federal law unless implemented by new congressional statutes. And they are powerless to amend the Constitution.
The Supreme Court reaffirmed these principles in its 2008 Medellin decision (a case I described here, leading to a ruling Ed Whelan outlined here). The justices held that the president cannot usurp the constitutional authority of other government components under the guise of his power to conduct foreign affairs. Moreover, even a properly ratified treaty can be converted into domestic law only by congressional lawmaking, not by unilateral presidential action.
Obama, therefore, has no power to impose an international agreement by fiat — he has to come to Congress. He can make whatever deal he wants to make with Iran, but the Constitution still gives Congress exclusive authority over foreign commerce. Lawmakers can enact sanctions legislation that does not permit a presidential waiver. Obama would not sign it, but the next president will — especially if the Republicans raise it into a major 2016 campaign issue.
Will the Security Council howl? Sure . . . but so what? It has been said that Senator Cotton should have CC’d the Obama administration on his letter since it, too, seems unfamiliar with the Constitution’s division of authority. A less useless exercise might have been to CC the five other countries involved in the talks (the remaining Security Council members, plus Germany). Even better, as I argued earlier this week, would be a sense-of-the-Senate resolution: Any nation that relies on an executive agreement that is not approved by the United States Congress under the procedures outlined in the Constitution does so at its peril because this agreement is likely to lapse as early as January 20, 2017. International law is a game that two can play, and there is no point in allowing Germany, Russia, and China to pretend that they relied in good faith on Obama’s word being America’s word. It is otherworldly to find an American administration conspiring against the Constitution and the Congress in cahoots with a terror-sponsoring enemy regime, with which we do not even have formal diplomatic relations, in order to pave the enemy’s way to nuclear weapons, of all things. Nevertheless, Republicans and all Americans who want to preserve our constitutional order, must stop telling themselves that we have hit a bottom beneath which Obama will not go. This week, 47 senators seemed ready, finally, to fight back. It’s a start.
Could the Iran Deal Be the Worst International Accord of All Time?
by DANIEL PIPES July 14, 2015 10:27 AM
Barack Obama has repeatedly signaled during the past six and a half years that that his No. 1 priority in foreign affairs is not China, not Russia, not Mexico, but Iran. He wants to bring Iran in from the cold, to transform the Islamic Republic into just another normal member of the so-called international community, thereby ending decades of its aggression and hostility.
In itself, this is a worthy goal; it’s always good policy to reduce the number of enemies. (It brings to mind Nixon going to China.) The problem lies, of course, in the execution.
The conduct of the Iran nuclear negotiations has been wretched, with the Obama administration inconsistent, capitulating, exaggerating, and even deceitful. It forcefully demanded certain terms, then soon after conceded these same terms. Secretary of State John Kerry implausibly announced that we have “absolute knowledge” of what the Iranians have done until now in their nuclear program and therefore have no need for inspections to form a baseline. How can any adult, much less a high official, make such a statement?
The administration misled Americans about its own concessions: After the November 2013 joint plan of action, it came out with a fact sheet that Tehran said was inaccurate. Guess who was right? The Iranians. In brief, the U.S. government has shown itself deeply untrustworthy.
The conduct of the Iran nuclear negotiations has been wretched, with the Obama administration inconsistent, capitulating, exaggerating, and even deceitful. The agreement signed today ends the economic-sanctions regime, permits the Iranians to hide much of their nuclear activities, lacks enforcement in case of Iranian deceit, and expires in slightly more than a decade. Two problems particularly stand out: The Iranian path to nuclear weapons has been eased and legitimated; Tehran will receive a “signing bonus” of some $150 billion that greatly increases its abilities to aggress in the Middle East and beyond. The United States alone, not to speak of the P5+1 countries as a whole, has vastly greater economic and military power than the Islamic Republic of Iran, making this one-sided concession ultimately a bafflement.
Of the administration’s accumulated foreign-policy mistakes in the last six years, none have been catastrophic for the United States: Not the Chinese building islands, the Russians’ taking Crimea, or the collapse into civil wars of Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. But the Iran deal has the makings of a catastrophe.
Attention now shifts to the U.S. Congress to review today’s accord, arguably the worst international accord not just in American history or modern history, but ever. Congress must reject this deal. Republican senators and representatives have shown themselves firm on this topic; will the Democrats rise to the occasion and provide the votes for a veto override? They need to feel the pressure.
Story 1: Gay Hollywood Mafia Money and Propaganda Succeeds — Supreme Court Ignores States Rights, Will of American People, United States Constitution And Bill of Rights and Rules in Favor of Same Sex Gay Marriage — Betrayal of Oath of Office — End The Two Party Tyranny — Videos
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
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From the Vault • Barack Obama • SEP 1995
22-CityView presents Barack Obama speaking at the Cambridge Public Library. Recorded on September 20,1995, this originally aired on Channel 37 Cambridge Municipal Television as an episode of the show “The Author Series.” In this episode Obama discusses his book “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance,” which at the time had just been released a few months previously.
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Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority in the historic decision, said gay and lesbian couples had a fundamental right to marry.
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family,” he wrote. “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”
The decision, which was the culmination of decades of litigation and activism, set off celebrations across the country and the first same-sex marriages in several states. It came against the backdrop of fast-moving changes in public opinion, with polls indicating that most Americans now approve of the unions.
The court’s four more liberal justices joined Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion. Each member of the court’s conservative wing filed a separate dissent, in tones ranging from resigned dismay to bitter scorn.
In dissent, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the Constitution had nothing to say on the subject of same-sex marriage.
“If you are among the many Americans — of whatever sexual orientation — who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote. “Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”
In a second dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia mocked the soaring language of Justice Kennedy, who has become the nation’s most important judicial champion of gay rights.
“The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic,” Justice Scalia wrote of his colleague’s work. “Of course the opinion’s showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent.”
As Justice Kennedy finished announcing his opinion from the bench on Friday, several lawyers seated in the bar section of the court’s gallery wiped away tears, while others grinned and exchanged embraces.
Justice John Paul Stevens, who retired in 2010, was on hand for the decision, and many of the justices’ clerks took seats in the chamber, which was nearly full as the ruling was announced. The decision made same-sex marriage a reality in the 13 states that had continued to ban it.
Outside the Supreme Court, the police allowed hundreds of people waving rainbow flags and holding signs to advance onto the court plaza as those present for the decision streamed down the steps. “Love has won,” the crowd chanted as courtroom witnesses threw up their arms in victory.
Justice Kennedy was the author of all three of the Supreme Court’s previous gay rights landmarks. The latest decision came exactly two years after his majority opinion in United States v. Windsor, which struck down a federal law denying benefits to married same-sex couples, and exactly 10 years after his majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down laws making gay sex a crime.
In all of those decisions, Justice Kennedy embraced a vision of a living Constitution, one that evolves with societal changes.
“The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times,” he wrote on Friday. “The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.”
This drew a withering response from Justice Scalia, a proponent of reading the Constitution according to the original understanding of those who adopted it.
“They have discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment,” Justice Scalia wrote of the majority, “a ‘fundamental right’ overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since.”
“These justices know,” Justice Scalia said, “that limiting marriage to one man and one woman is contrary to reason; they know that an institution as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago, cannot possibly be supported by anything other than ignorance or bigotry.”
Justice Kennedy rooted the ruling in a fundamental right to marriage. Marriage is a “keystone of our social order,” he said, and of special importance to couples raising children.
“Without the recognition, stability, and predictability marriage offers,” he wrote, “their children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser. They also suffer the significant material costs of being raised by unmarried parents, relegated through no fault of their own to a more difficult and uncertain family life. The marriage laws at issue here thus harm and humiliate the children of same-sex couples.”
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion.
In dissent, Chief Justice Roberts said the majority opinion was “an act of will, not legal judgment.”
“The court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the states and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs,” he wrote. “Just who do we think we are?”
In his own dissent, Justice Scalia said the majority opinion represented a “threat to American democracy.”
The majority and dissenting opinions took differing views about whether the decision would harm religious liberty. Justice Kennedy said the First Amendment “ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths.” He said both sides should engage in “an open and searching debate.”
Chief Justice Roberts responded that “people of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority today.”
Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., in his dissent, saw a broader threat from the majority opinion. “It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy,” Justice Alito wrote. “In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.”
Gay rights advocates had constructed a careful litigation and public relations strategy to build momentum and bring the issue to the Supreme Court when it appeared ready to rule in their favor. As in earlier civil rights cases, the court had responded cautiously and methodically, laying careful judicial groundwork for a transformative decision.
It waited for scores of lower courts to strike down bans on same-sex marriages before addressing the issue, and Justice Kennedy took the unusual step of listing those decisions in an appendix to his opinion.
Chief Justice Roberts said that only 11 states and the District of Columbia had embraced the right to same-sex marriage democratically, at voting booths and in state legislatures. The rest of the 37 states that allow such unions did so because of court rulings. Gay rights advocates, the chief justice wrote, would have been better off with a victory achieved through the political process, particularly “when the winds of change were freshening at their backs.”
Justice Kennedy rejected that idea.
“It is of no moment whether advocates of same-sex marriage now enjoy or lack momentum in the democratic process,” he wrote. “The issue before the court here is the legal question whether the Constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to marry.”
Later in the opinion, Justice Kennedy answered the question. “The Constitution,” he wrote, “grants them that right.”
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live and that states may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples. Supreme Court rules gay couples nationwide have a right to marry
From Miller Lite to Maytag, here’s how popular brands reacted to the SCOTUS ruling this morning.
Elizabeth Nolan Brown|
Not very long ago, even the token gay television character could cause an uproar, and while popular brands may have voiced unequivocal support for some sort of nebulous gay “pride,” many avoided staking a position on the controversial political question of same-sex marriage. Today, with the U.S. Supreme Court declaring “the right of same-sex couples to marry” throughout the country, brands from Miller Lite to Maytag were quick to react in support the decision on social media. It all may be a bit hokey and opportunistic, but the extent to which iconicly American brands aren’t worried about alienating customers with pro-gay-marriage messages perhaps shows us more than anything that America is ready for marriage equality to be the law of the land. Here’s a sampling of brand tweets this morning about the SCOTUS marriage decision:
@MillerLite: As long as you are you, #ItsMillerTime. #LoveWins
@TheMaytagMan: Here’s to finding the one who completes you. #SCOTUSMarriage
@Cheerios: And now, no one can tell you otherwise. #LoveWins
Supreme Court rules gay couples nationwide have a right to marry
By Robert Barnes
The Supreme Court on Friday delivered a historic victory for gay rights, ruling 5 to 4 that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live and that states may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples.
The court’s action marks the culmination of an unprecedented upheaval in public opinion and the nation’s jurisprudence. Advocates called it the most pressing civil rights issue of modern times, while critics said the courts had sent the country into uncharted territory by changing the traditional definition of marriage.
“Under the Constitution, same-sex couples seek in marriage the same legal treatment as opposite-sex couples, and it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. He was joined in the ruling by the court’s liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
All four of the court’s most conservative members — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. — dissented and each wrote a separate opinion, saying the court had usurped a power that belongs to the people.
How same-sex marriage became legal across the country VIEW GRAPHIC
Reading a dissent from the bench for the first time in his tenure, Roberts said, “Just who do we think we are? I have no choice but to dissent.”
In his opinion, Roberts wrote: “Many people will rejoice at this decision, and I begrudge none their celebration. But for those who believe in a government of laws, not of men, the majority’s approach is deeply disheartening.”
[It’s the first time Roberts has had such a bold statement from the bench]
Scalia called the decision a “threat to American democracy,” saying it was “constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine.”
In a statement in the White House Rose Garden, President Obama hailed the decision: “This ruling is a victory for America. This decision affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts. When all Americans are truly treated as equal, we are more free.”
Obama said change on social issues can seem slow sometimes, but “sometimes there are days like this when that slow and steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt. This morning the Supreme Court recognized that the Constitution guarantees marriage equality. In doing so they’ve reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to equal protection under the law. . . . Today we can say in no uncertain terms that we have made our union a little more perfect.”
How people outside the court reacted to the gay marriage ruling
View Photos A sea of cheering, rainbow flag-waving people filled the sidewalk in front of the Supreme Court to celebrate the decision.
There were wild scenes of celebrations on the sidewalk outside the Supreme Court, as same-sex marriage supporters had arrived early, armed with signs and rainbow flags. They celebrated the announcement of a constitutional right to something that did not legally exist anywhere in the world until the turn of the new century.
Jim Obergefell, who became the face of the case, Obergefell v. Hodges, when he sought to put his name on his husband’s death certificate as the surviving spouse, said: “Today’s ruling from the Supreme Court affirms what millions across the country already know to be true in our hearts: that our love is equal.”
“It is my hope that the term gay marriage will soon be a thing of the past, that from this day forward it will be simply, marriage,” he said. “All Americans deserve equal dignity, respect and treatment when it comes to the recognition of our relationships and families.’’
But Austin R. Nimocks, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a pro-traditional marriage group, said: “Today, five lawyers took away the voices of more than 300 million Americans to continue to debate the most important social institution in the history of the world. That decision is truly unfortunate. . . . Nobody has the right to say that a mom or a woman or a dad or a man is irrelevant. There are differences that should be celebrated. Millions of Americans still believe that.’’
[Opponents of gay marriage are divided on whether to resist the ruling]
This country’s first legally recognized same-sex marriages took place just 11 years ago, the result of a Massachusetts state supreme court decision. Now, more than 70 percent of Americans live in states where same-sex couples are allowed to marry, according to estimates.
The Supreme Court used cases from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, where restrictions about same-sex marriage were upheld by an appeals court last year, to find that the Constitution does not allow such prohibitions.
Kennedy has written the Supreme Court’s most important gay rights cases: overturning criminal laws on homosexual conduct, protecting gays from discrimination and declaring that the federal government could not refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed where they were legal.
He often employs a lofty, writing-for-history tone, and Friday’s decision was no different.
Referring to the couples who brought the cases before the court, Kennedy wrote: “It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions.”
Kennedy did not respond directly to the court’s dissenters, but he addressed the argument that the court was creating a new constitutional right. The right to marriage is fundamental, he said. The difference is society’s way of thinking who may marry, he said.
“The limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples may long have seemed natural and just, but its inconsistency with the central meaning of the fundamental right to marry is now manifest,” he wrote. “With that knowledge must come the recognition that laws excluding same-sex couples from the marriage right impose stigma and injury of the kind prohibited by our basic charter.”
Scalia declared that Kennedy’s writing style was “as pretentious as its content is egotistic.”
And Roberts, in a biting dissent far more harsh than his usual style, said the decision was “an act of will, not legal judgment” with “no basis in the Constitution or this court’s precedent.”
“The court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the states and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs,” Roberts wrote. “Just who do we think we are?”
The questions raised in the cases decided Friday were left unanswered in 2013, when the justices last confronted the issue of same-sex marriage. A slim majority of the court said at the time that a key portion of the Defense of Marriage Act — withholding the federal government’s recognition of same-sex marriages — was unconstitutional. In a separate case, the court said procedural issues kept it from answering the constitutional question in a case from California, but that move allowed same-sex marriages to resume in that state.
Since then, courts across the nation — with the notable exception of the Cincinnati-based federal appeals court that left intact the restrictions in the four states at issue — have struck down a string of state prohibitions on same-sex marriage, many of them passed by voters in referendums.
When the Supreme Court declined to review a clutch of those court decisions in October, same-sex marriage proliferated across the country.
Public attitudes toward such unions have undergone a remarkable change as well. A recent Washington Post-ABC poll showed a record 61 percent of Americans say they support same-sex marriage. The acceptance is driven by higher margins among the young.
[Interactive: See how gay rights have spread around the world over 224 years]
When the justices declined in October to review the string of victories same-sex marriage proponents had won in other parts of the country, it meant the number of states required to allow gay marriages grew dramatically, offering the kind of cultural shift the court often likes to see before approving a fundamental change.
The Obama administration had urged the court to find that the Constitution requires such restrictions be struck down, and Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. made the case on behalf of the administration at the court’s oral arguments in April.
“In a world in which gay and lesbian couples live openly as our neighbors, they raise their children side by side with the rest of us, they contribute fully as members of the community . . . it is simply untenable — untenable — to suggest that they can be denied the right of equal participation in an institution of marriage, or that they can be required to wait until the majority decides that it is ready to treat gay and lesbian people as equals,” he said.
The Supreme Court’s ruling followed a swell of courts striking down state bans on same-sex marriage and a surge in public support for such marriages. Still, the high court’s 5 to 4 ruling was a historic and narrow victory for gay rights.
The court’s four most conservative members dissented, and each of them wrote a separate opinion decrying the decision. Justice Antonin Scalia, unsurprisingly, wrote the fieriest dissent, needing just two sentences to say that the majority’s decision is a “threat to American democracy.”
He the decision a “judicial Putsch,” says it is delivered in a style “as pretentious as its content is egotistic” and — at one point — follows a quote from the majority opinion with “Really?” and another with “Huh?” In a footnote, Scalia says that if he ever joined an opinion that opens the way the majority opinion does, “I would hide my head in a bag.” He then adds: “The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.” Scalia was not a fan.
For more on how Scalia explained his decision and how the other justices explained theirs, head to Post Nation.
The paragraph gay marriage supporters will never forget
Kennedy is responding to opponents of gay marriage who argue that it undermines the traditional sanctity of an ancient institution by redefining it. The point of same-sex unions is not to weaken marriage, he argues, but to expand it in the nation as a whole and honor it more fully in their own lives.
These lines echo the final paragraph of Loving v. Virginia, the case in which the Supreme Court threw out laws banning interracial marriage in 1967.
And the passage is also reminiscent of the conclusion of Griswold v. Connecticut, an important case from 1965 on contraception among married couples.
“Marriage is a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to the degree of being sacred,” Justice William O. Douglas argued. “It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects. Yet it is an association for as noble a purpose as any involved in our prior decisions.”
One issue receiving considerable attention in the popular press is same-sex marriage and the current loosening of social constraints against gay marriage. Same-Sex Marriage , defined as marriage between two people of the same biological sex and/or gender identity, is a new social phenomenon, “leading to a new type of family formation. In modern times same-sex marriage did not exist until the twenty-first century when an increasing number of countries began permitting same-sex couples to marry legally. In addition, beginning in the late twentieth century there has been a growing global movement to regard marriage as a fundamental human right to be extended to same-sex couples. These events are extraordinary given that even during most of the twentieth century, homosexuals were closeted and the concept of same-sex marriage was inconceivable, perceived by nearly all as an oxymoron.” (Chamie, Joshph, and Barry, M. 2011. “Same-Sex Marriage: A New Social Phenomenon.” Pppulation Council37(3): 529-551)
Marriage equality has made significant gains with public opinion and within state legislature, since Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage within its borders in 2004. A result of the change in legal status in same-sex marriage is the growth in the marriage industry for gay men and lesbians. “Currently, as of 15 October 2014, 29 states and the District of Columbia, and ten Native American tribal jurisdictions allow and fully recognize same-sex marriages: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. There are 21 states, and 2 territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin islands), that explicitly prohibit same-sex marriages in their constitutions and/or by statute, including: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming. Of these states banning same-sex marriage, the following states have been declared that same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional, but the rulings have been stayed: Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan and Texas.” (“Same-Sex Marriage Fast Facts.” 2014. CNN U.S. October 14. (http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/28/us/same-sex-marrage-fast-facts/))
“As a result of successful legal challenges and related social and policy developments, same-sex marriage is generating a combination of elation, controversy, and opposition in many countries around the world, notably in the United States. Indeed, the legal recognition of same-sex marriage has emerged as one of the most socially, politically, and legally divisive issues of the day. While most reactions to this new form of marriage and family formation have been intense and vocal, many commentators as well as the general public have little factual knowledge about same-sex marriage. All too often, public opinion and attitudes concerning same-sex marriage are based on apprehension, misconception, and hearsay.” (Chamie, Joshph, and Barry, M. 2011. “Same-Sex Marriage: A New Social Phenomenon.” Pppulation Council37(3): 529-551)
Attitudes Towards Same-Sex Marriage
During the 21st century, public support for same-sex marriage has grown considerably, and national polls conducted since 2011 show that a majority of Americans support legalizing it.
“On May 9, 2012, Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president legalize same-sex marriage through popular vote.” ( Stein, Sam. 2012. ” Obama Backs Gay Marriage.” Huff Post Politics, May 5. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/09/obama-gay-marriage_n_1503245.html))
“Support for same-sex marriage jumped 21 percent points from 2003, when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, to 2014. Currently, a majority (55%) of Americans favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry, compared to 41% who oppose. In 2003, less than one-third (32%) of Americans supported allowing same-sex couples to legally marry, compared to nearly 6 in 10 (59%) who opposed.” (“Survey A shifting Landscape: A decade of Change in American Attitudes about Same-Sex Marriage and LGBT Issues.” 2014. Public Religion Research Institute, January 26. (http://publicreligion.org/research/2014/02/2014-lgbt-survey/))
Prevalence of Same-Sex Households
“According to the Census Bureau, the same-sex couples households in the US in 2010 were 646,464.” (Amy Roberts and Caitlin Stark. 2014. “By the numbers: Same-sex marriage.” CNN Politics, October 6. (http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/11/politics/btn-same-sex-marriage/) One study demonstrated how using linked micromaps can improve mapping of same-sex couples household data. This study found that “an estimated 1 percent of US couple households, from 2006 through 2010, were same-sex couples households, and the percentage of same-sex couples household is much higher in metropolitan areas than in non-metropolitan areas. It found that the reason that Washington D.C. has the highest percentage of same-sex households because Washington D.C. itself is a central city.” (Mast, Brent, D. 2013. “Visualizing Same-Sex Couple Household Data With Linked Micromaps.” US Department of Housing and Urban Development15(2):267-271.)
Same-Sex Marriage Experience
Aine Marie Humble examined married older same-sex couples’ experiences of transitioning into marriage in order to explore how and why these couples in mid-to later life decided to marry and the characteristics of their weddings and wedding planning. She found that getting married for many older same-sex couples is even harder than for younger same-sex couples, because older cohorts of same-sex couples could not easily dispel the internalized beliefs “such as same-sex couples could never marry and marriage was not for them due to the fact that they have lived most of their lives through years of homophobia and heterosexism, which has affected their worldviews. Moreover, some older same-sex couples, particularly those in long-term relationships, may already view themselves as married and thus do not initially see the need for the legal marriage.” (Humble, Aine, M., 2013. “Moving from Ambivalence to Certainty: Older Same-Sex Couples Marry in Canada.” Canadian Journal on Aging 32(2): 131-144)
Pamela J. Lannutti examined the ways in which legally recognized same-sex marriage has affected the lives of same-sex couples in order to see how same-sex marriage is benefiting and challenging these couples on the individual and interpersonal levels. She found that “all of the couples that she had interviewed with expressed some way in which same-sex marriage improved or strengthened their romantic relationship, and others expressed that it contributed to a closer emotional bond between them. However, some participants expressed that they were stressed out during their marriage decision process or planning their weddings, because they lacked support from their families-of-origin.” (Lannutti, Pamela, J. 2007. “”This is Not a Lesbian Wedding”: Examining Same-Sex Marriage and Bisexual-Lesbian Couples.” Co-published simultaneosly in Journal of Bisexuality 7(3/4): 237-260; and: Bisexuality and Same-Sex Marriage 7(3/4): 237-260.)
Pamela J. Lannutti’s another study examined same-sex couples’ attractions to marriage and obstacles that challenged them when considering marriage. She found that the primary reason why same-sex couples decide to marry is because it would offer greater legal protections and civil benefits for their committed relationship. Another reason is that it would make it easier to bring children into their lives or protect their relationships with the children they already had. In terms of obstacles of same-sex marriage, the majority of these couples (41%) expressed that family disapproval, usually parental disapproval, was an obstacle to their marriage.
Chamie, Joshph, and Barry, M. 2011. “Same-Sex Marriage: A New Social Phenomenon.” Population Council 37(3): 529-551.
Mast, Brent, D. 2013. “Visualizing Same-Sex Couple Household Data with Linked Micromaps.” US Department of housing and Urban Development 15(2): 267-271.
Humble, Aine, M., 2013. “Moving from Ambivalence to Certainty: Older Same-Sex Couples Marry in Canada.” Canadian Journal on Aging 32(2): 131-144
Lannutti, Pamela, J. 2007. “”This is Not a Lesbian Wedding”: Examining Same-Sex Marriage and Bisexual-Lesbian Couples.” Co-published simultaneously in Journal of Bisexuality 7(3/4): 237-260; and:Bisexuality and Same-Sex Marriage 7(3/4): 237-260.)
Democratic donor Steve Elmendorf said he believes Obama’s announcement will “energize people for Obama at all levels. It’s not just about the LGBT community…everybody all the way up to the maximum [donors] will be excited.”
“It’s going to create some real energy for the campaign, not just for the donor community, but among people who care about this issue,” he added.
Obama already had significant financial support from LGBT donors. About one in six of Obama’s top campaign “bundlers” are gay, according to a Washington Post analysis. But the president’s reluctance to publicly come out in favor of gay marriage was a sticking point for some potential donors.
“It’ll be a big boost for donors,” one gay lobbyist said of the Wednesday announcement. “It’s been very frustrating to the gay community that he’s done so much that there is just this one issue. It’s the civil rights issue of our generation.” The lobbyist added that independents are the most likely donors to be swayed by Obama’s new stance, since many gay donors have already been supportive of Obama.
One gay bundler told Capital City New York that it will be “immeasurably easier” for him to raise money for Obama in the LGBT community and among progressives more broadly.
“Whether it’s for shoe leather or whether it’s for financial contributions, I think it will engage people,” said Chuck Wolfe, president of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, noting that much of the community’s support and financial donations already go to Obama. Obama has helped usher in a new era of gay rights at the federal level, helping pass the controversial repeal of the military “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.
A heightened enthusiasm for the president in the LGBT community following this announcement could spur donors to shell out big bucks for his campaign, especially given conservative Republicans push on this issue in other states like Minnesota and GOP presumptive nominee Mitt Romney’s opposition to gay marriage.
Obama’s public announcement came just a day after North Carolina, a swing state for the presidential election in November, voted on a state ballot measure that prohibits marriage or rights to same-sex couples.
Elmendorf dismissed critics of Obama’s timing.
“We’re in a presidential campaign so everyone is going to say it’s politically motivated,” Elmendorf said. “I take him at his word. It’s not unusual for people of his age and demographic.”
The vast majority of money from gay and lesbian rights groups goes to Democratic candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In the 2010 election cycle, 96 percent of the $1.3 million given to federal candidates by LGBT organizations’ PACs and employees went to Democrats.
Still, some LGBT advocates say there’s been a lull in enthusiasm since last year’s repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for gays in the military.
“There’s been a drop off in participation and enthusiasm and even knowledge that we’re not done,” said Denny Meyer, a spokesman for American Veterans for Equal Rights.
But the shift on gay marriage could energize voters as well as donors who have burned out, he said. “The president making a policy change like that could result in people realizing … you have to make this happen by voting for people who will pass this.”
Obama’s decision to publicly support gay marriage didn’t appease all gay activists, and Republicans accused the White House of trying to have it both ways on the contentious issue.
Clarke Cooper, head of Log Cabin Republicans, wrote in an email that “LGBT Americans are right to be angry that this calculated announcement comes too late to be of any use to the people of North Carolina, or any of the other states that have addressed this issue on his watch.”
Futher, Cooper said that the administration has, “manipulated LGBT families for political gain as much as anybody, and after his campaign’s ridiculous contortions to deny support for marriage equality this week Obama does not deserve praise for an announcement that comes a day late and a dollar short.
Story 1: Lying Lunatic Left Gun Grabbers Blame Gun Violence (Nonexistent) and Not Human Violence (Real), Trump and Talk Radio on The Millennial Mass Murderer, Dylann Storm Roof, in Charleston, South Carolina Church Killing of Nine Instead of Drugs and Mental Illness — Videos
Charleston, S.C., shooting suspect Dylann Storm Roof, second from left, is escorted from the Shelby Police Department in Shelby, N.C., Thursday, June 18, 2015. Roof is a suspect in the shooting of several people Wednesday night at the historic The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Charleston, S.C., shooting suspect Dylann Storm Roof, center, is escorted from the Sheby Police Department in Shelby, N.C., Thursday, June 18, 2015. Roof is a suspect in the shooting of several people Wednesday night at the historic The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Dylann Roof: Charleston Church Shooting | True News
Nine people are dead after shooting which occurred 9pm on Wednesday at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The congregation, established in 1816, is one of the oldest African American churches in the United States.
Gunman Dylann Roof was attending a bible study meeting at the church and told the worshipers, “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country and you have to go.”
One woman was specifically spared as Roof said, “I’m not going to shoot you because I want you to tell everyone what happened.”
Stefan Molyneux examines the news story, what is known about Dylann Roof, how this incident could have been prevented, incomprehensible parenting, false rape statistics, violence in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, the call for gun control, the danger of SSRIs and a plea for an honest conversation about race in America.
Gun Control in 47 Seconds
Best 7 minutes on gun control I have ever seen!
In this segment of his Virtual State of the Union, the Virtual President talks about why politicians want to talk about gun control rather than crime control, and delivers the factual evidence and historical truths that make the case for the Second Amendment self-evident.
Dr Susan Gratia-Hupp – Survivor of the 1991 Kileen TX Lubys Shooting Massacre
Hupp and her parents were having lunch at the Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen in 1991 when the Luby’s massacre commenced. The gunman shot 50 people and killed 23, including Hupp’s parents. Hupp later expressed regret about deciding to remove her gun from her purse and lock it in her car lest she risk possibly running afoul of the state’s concealed weapons laws; during the shootings, she reached for her weapon but then remembered that it was “a hundred feet away in my car.” Her father, Al Gratia, tried to rush the gunman and was shot in the chest. As the gunman reloaded, Hupp escaped through a broken window and believed that her mother, Ursula Gratia, was behind her. Actually however, her mother went to her mortally-wounded husband’s aid and was then shot in the head.
As a survivor of the Luby’s massacre, Hupp testified across the country in support of concealed-handgun laws. She said that if there had been a second chance to prevent the slaughter, she would have violated the Texas law and carried the handgun inside her purse into the restaurant. She testified across the country in support of concealed handgun laws, and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1996. The law was signed by then-Governor George W. Bush.
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Charleston shooting Suspect, Dylann Storm Roof, in police custody
Dylann Storm Roof, the 21-year-old white male allegedly behind the shooting of nine African-Americans at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church Wednesday night in Charleston, SC, was arrested by law enforcement on Thursday morning. Manila Chan has more on the details and what the authorities know at this time.
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President Obama makes statement on Charleston mass shooting
President Barack Obama expressed his sorrow about a mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina that killed nine people during a news conference on Thursday. Speaking about the tragedy, the president also spoke about the need to take another look at gun violence in the nation.
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CHARLESTON SHOOTER WAS ON DRUG LINKED TO VIOLENT OUTBURSTS
Dylann Storm Roof was taking habit-forming drug suboxone
by PAUL JOSEPH WATSON | JUNE 18, 2015
Charleston shooter Dylann Storm Roof was reportedly taking a drug that has been linked with sudden outbursts of violence, fitting the pattern of innumerable other mass shooters who were on or had recently come off pharmaceutical drugs linked to aggression.
According to aCBS News report, earlier this year when cops searched Roof after he was acting suspiciously inside a Bath and Body Works store, they found “orange strips” that Roof told officers was suboxone, a narcotic that is used to treat opiate addiction.
Suboxone is a habit-forming drug that has been connected with sudden outbursts of aggression.
Another poster on the Drugs.com website tells the story of how his personality completely changed as a result of taking suboxone.A user on theMD Junction websiterelates how her husband “became violent, smashing things and threatening me,” after just a few days of coming off suboxone.
The individual relates how he became “nasty” and “violent” just weeks into taking the drug, adding that he would “snap” and be mean to people for no reason.
Another poster reveals how his son-in-law “completely changed on suboxone,” and that the drug sent him into “self-destruct mode.”
A user named ‘Jhalloway’ also tells the story of how her husband’s addiction to suboxone was “ruining our life.”
A website devoted to horror stories about the drug called SubSux.com also features a post by a woman whose husband obtained a gun and began violently beating his 15-year-old son after taking suboxone.
According to aCourier-Journal report, suboxone “is increasingly being abused, sold on the streets and inappropriately prescribed” by doctors. For some users, it is even more addictive than the drugs it’s supposed to help them quit.
As we previously highlighted, virtually every major mass shooter was taking some form of SSRI or other pharmaceutical drug at the time of their attack, including Columbine killer Eric Harris, ‘Batman’ shooter James Holmes and Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza.
As the websiteSSRI Stories profusely documents, there are literally hundreds of examples of mass shootings, murders and other violent episodes that have been committed by individuals on psychiatric drugs over the past three decades.
Pharmaceutical giants who produce drugs like Zoloft, Prozac and Paxilspend around $2.4 billion dollars a yearon direct-to-consumer television advertising every year. By running negative stories about prescription drugs, networks risk losing tens of millions of dollars in ad revenue, which is undoubtedly one of the primary reasons why the connection is habitually downplayed or ignored entirely.
White suspect in massacre at black South Carolina church charged, held in jail
Relatives of some of the nine black parishioners gunned down at a historic South Carolina church addressed on Friday the 21-year-old white man charged with murdering their loved ones, before a judge ordered him held without bail.
Dylann Roof, appearing in a video feed from the jail where he was brought after the end of a 14-hour manhunt on Thursday, stood quietly, looking down, as Judge James Gosnell ordered him held and victims’ family members spoke.
“May God have mercy on your soul,” said the mother of the youngest victim, 26-year-old Tywanza Sanders, while Roof looked on, expressionless.
The attack on Wednesday at Charleston’s nearly-200-year-old Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church came in a year that has seen waves of protest across the United States over police killings of unarmed black men in cities including New York, Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, which have sparked some of the largest race riots since the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
Roof spoke little during the hearing, providing brief answers to the judge’s questions, confirming his name and address and saying he was unemployed.
Judge Gosnell, who had no authority to release Roof on the nine murder charges he faces, set a bond of $1 million for the one gun charge he faces. Roof remains in custody.
From U.S. President Barack Obama, who has said the attack stirred memories of “a dark past,” to residents on the streets of Charleston, Americans have expressed outrage at an act intended to provoke a “race war” in the United States.
This latest in a series of mass shootings that have rocked the United States also illustrated some of the risks posed by the nation’s liberal gun laws, which gun-rights supporters say are protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Alana Simmons, whose grandfather Reverend Daniel Simmons, 74, died in the attack, also expressed forgiveness.
“Although my grandfather and the other victims died at the hands of hate, this is proof, everyone’s plea for your soul is proof, that they lived in love,” Simmons said. “Their legacies will live in love so hate won’t win. I just want to thank the court for making sure that hate doesn’t win.”
In addition to church leader and Democratic state Senator Clementa Pinckney, 41, other victims included pastors DePayne Middleton Doctor, 49, and Sharonda Coleman Singleton, 45.
Also killed were Cynthia Hurd, 54, a public library employee; Susie Jackson, 87; Ethel Lance, 70, and Myra Thompson 59, an associate pastor at the church, according to the county coroner.
Hours after delivering a statement on the shooting massacre of nine people at an historic church in Charleston, S.C., President Obama and a group of entertainment industry donors had a lengthy discussion about the roots of gun violence in the first of two Hollywood-centric fundraisers in Los Angeles on Thursday, according to an attendee who was present.
About 30 people attended the event at the Pacific Palisades home of Chuck Lorre, executive producerof “Two and a Half Men.” Tickets for what was billed as an intimate discussion with the president sold for up to $33,400 each, with proceeds going to the Democratic National Committee.
Among those attending were Kiefer Sutherland, Matthew Perry, Conan O’Brien, UTA’s Jay Sures, Bob Broder, Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon and writer-producer James Burrows.
The attendee described the meeting, which lasted an hour and 15 minutes, as different from other events in that it offered an opportunity for Obama to have a “long, thoughtful” and serious discussion about issues, including gun violence and his presidency, in a much more “macro” sense than in other forums. The discussion about gun violence touched on gun laws, mental health and race, among other factors, the attendee said. Obama talked about being an optimist, especially about the country’s place in history.
Next on Obama’s agenda was a larger, $2,500-per-person event at the home of Tyler Perry. Perry is a longtime supporter who also held a fundraiser for Obama’s re-election campaign in Atlanta.
He also addressed the Charleston shootings at the Perry event, before a crowd of about 250 people.
“To see such a horrific event unfold like that is particularly shocking and it’s a reminder that we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Obama said, according to a pool report.
Perry introduced Obama, saying that he was “one of the most incredible people I have ever met.” He joked that Obama volunteered to take over the Titanic after it had already struck the iceberg, according to the pool report.
Perry also told about going to the White House for dinner. On the Truman Balcony afterwards, Obama winked at Michelle who “turned into a 15 year old girl,” Perry said, per the pool report.
Among those also at the event were January Jones, Ted Sarandos, Jason Collins and Matthew Weiner.
The Lorre event was closed to the press, while the Perry event, held at his Tuscan-style home off of Mulholland Drive, was open to pool reporters.
“There is something particularly heartbreaking about a death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace,” Obama said at the White House earlier on Thursday. He said that he and first lady Michelle Obama knew Rev. Clementa Pinckney, pastor of Emanuel AME Church, who was one of the victims.
“We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,” Obama said, adding that “at some point, we as a country have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.”
A White House spokesman told reporters that there had not been discussion of calling off the fundraisers in the wake of the shootings. While there was speculation earlier on Thursday as to whether the trips would proceed, in the past the administration has held to the president’s schedule in the face of major events. Obama also has fundraisers scheduled in San Francisco on Friday.
Obama’s trip will be followed on Friday by Hillary Clinton’s trek to Los Angeles to raise money for her presidential campaign. She is scheduled to fundraise at the home of Peter Lowy, co-CEO of Westfield Corp., at a lunchtime gathering. That will be followed by an early evening reception at the home of Michael Lombardo, president of programming at HBO, and his husband Sonny Ward, and then another event the home of actor Tobey Maguire and wife Jennifer Meyer.
“I’m not a gun owner and, as I think as is the case for the more than half the people in the country who also aren’t gun owners, that means that for me guns are alien. In the current rhetorical climate people seem not to want to say: I think guns are kind of scary and don’t want to be around them.” — Josh Marshall
“A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.”
~ Sigmund Freud
Sorry, but your Second Amendment rights no longer apply because liberals like Josh Marshall tinkle on themselves every time they come within fifty feet of a gun. This is really what the debate on gun control in America comes down to in the end: people who lose nothing if guns are banned because they don’t use them demanding that everyone else be disarmed. Meanwhile, trying to reason with gun control advocates is like arguing with a four year old about whether her imaginary friend is real or not. It doesn’t matter how clearly you prove your case; she’ll be pouring her pal tea two minutes after you’ve left the room. Speaking of imaginary…
1) A “gun free zone” won’t keep bad people with guns away: The basic problem with a “gun free zone” is that anyone you can’t trust with a gun will bring it in anyway while it will cause the people you’d want armed in a dangerous situation to leave their weapons behind. If this concept actually worked, we’d just train all of our soldiers in Jiu-jitsu and then we’d declare everywhere we sent them to be a “gun free zone.” Admittedly, Mortal Kombat: Afghanistan sounds like it would be an amazing movie, but someone needs to inform Democrats that the world doesn’t really work this way.
2) Criminals and lunatics don’t obey gun laws: The belief that someone who’s planning to go on a killing spree is going to turn in a gun because it’s made illegal is almost as nuts as going on the killing spree. Yet, the gun grabbers in the Democrat Party operate on the assumption that nut jobs like Adam Lanza or a gangbanger who sells crack for a living is going to get rid of a high-capacity magazine if Congress says he can’t have it. That’s like a prohibitionist who gets upset about alcoholism and deals with the problem by demanding that all the people without drinking problems have to be kept away from booze.
3) We already have somewhere between 200-300 million guns in this country: Adding to the last point, ever heard this old joke?
A drunk loses the keys to his house and is looking for them under a lamppost. A policeman comes over and asks what he’s doing.“I’m looking for my keys” he says. “I lost them over there”.
The policeman looks puzzled. “Then why are you looking for them all the way over here?”
“Because the light is so much better”.
If there were no already existing guns in America, gun control could conceivably help keep weaponry out of the hands of criminals and mass murderers. However, in a nation that’s already armed to the teeth, the next Adam Lanza, Jared Loughner, Tookie Williams or Mumia Abu-Jamal has already got his gun and new laws will only disarm law abiding Americans.
4) Gun owners aren’t required to explain a “need” for our Second Amendment rights: Why do gun owners “need” their guns? The same reason that Rosa Parks “needed” her seat at the front of the bus. In other words, it’s our constitutional right; so kiss off! If you need more of an explanation than that, why does California “need” to have its votes counted in the next presidential election? Why do we “need” so many liberal newspapers? Why not close a few? Why do movie stars “need” to make so much money for their films? Why don’t we confiscate it? What was it that Ann Coulter said?
“Free people are not in the habit of providing reasons why they ‘need’ something simply because the government wants to ban it. That’s true of anything — but especially something the government is constitutionally prohibited from banning, like guns.”
5) You’re not fooling us: Liberals like to think they’re smarter than everyone else, but they’re as transparent as glass to anyone who’s paying attention. That’s why gun sales have blown up like a can of shaving cream in a microwave. If Barack Obama, Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and the rest of the Democrat gun grabbers in Congress could get away with it, they would ban and confiscate every gun in America tomorrow — and people know it. Anything short of, “Nobody is allowed to own a firearm except the government,” is unacceptable to them and that’s why they always seem so ghoulishly pleased after tragedies like the Gabrielle Giffords shooting or the Newtown massacre. Everybody else is thinking of the victims, while they’re twirling their mustaches Snidely-Whiplash-style and repeating, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste,” to each other.
This section contains cases that could be considered non-public, which means mass murders perpetrated in a domestic environment. The section is divided into two sub-categories; the first encompasses the lists of familicides and contains those incidents where most of the victims were relatives of the perpetrator, while the second, paraphrased as home intruders, contains those cases where the targeted families were not related to the perpetrator.
This section contains those cases where only vehicles were used to attack people. Since it may be quite difficult to distinguish accidents, or cases of reckless driving from those incidents where the driver, or pilot, had the intention to harm others, only those cases are included where it is clear that the vehicle was applied as a weapon and crashed deliberately into people, other vehicles, or buildings. Also, those cases where a rampage killer used an armed vehicle, such as a tank, or a fighter aircraft, to shoot others are listed here.