From the Heartland

This is my soap box, on these pages I publish my opinions on firearms and any other subject I feel like writing about.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Logan Act; Food for thought

Separation of Powers

For years there has been a faction of the population that has called for a separation between church and state. What the Justice Department really needs to enforce is the Constitutionally mandated separation of powers.

It is the responsibility of the Executive Branch to determine and implement foreign policy.

It is the duty of the Legislative Branch to ratify by advice and consent or not treaties negotiated by the Executive Branch. It is also the duty of the Legislature to fund or not the foreign policies set forth by the Executive Branch.

It is not within the pervue of individual elected Representatives or private citizens to travel to and engage foreign Governments in dialogue or negotiations.

Logan Act

Violation of Title 18 U.S.C.A. #953, known as the Logan Act is punishable by fine or up to three years imprisonment or both.

One would think that a person, especially one with many years of seniority, who has been elected to represent and serve the people would be familiar with this law.

Apparently this is not the case.

Recently a number of the Legislative Branches Senior elected Representatives have taken it upon themselves to travel to foreign countries and engage the leadership of those countries in dialogue and/or negotiations.

Lead by Example

United States Citizens by and large should expect that their elected Representatives follow the same laws that their constituencies are subject to, and accept the same consequences when they do not.

There has never been a conviction for violation of the Logan Act.

This is likely due to the position in society of those that have in fact broken the law. Since it generally involves someone of a differing political party or belief, genuine fear of a massive adverse public reaction has probably tempered the enforcement of the Logan Act.

The United States of America is at war.

In order to prevail in this war it must be left to the Executive Branch to determine, implement and negotiate policy with those countries that support the factions that America is at war with.

To do otherwise conveys a potential sign of weakness in the resolve to prosecute that war. When the Executive Branch, of which ever party is undermined by members of the Legislative Branch engaging in separate communications with these governments it sends a mixed message of division to the enemies of the United States. In the past a division such as this has been used to prolong a conflict, thus causing the unnecessary casualties for American Soldiers.

In order to successfully prosecute this, or any war, the United States must speak with one foreign policy voice and only one voice. Constitutionally that voice belongs to the Executive Branch of Government. The Legislative Branch can and should debate the merits of that voice in legislative session.

To do otherwise will only prolong the conflict and/or cause the needless deaths of American Soldiers.

And that is my Food for Thought

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