90 Miles From Tyranny : John Kerry: Reporting for Duty… From Vietnam to Iran

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

John Kerry: Reporting for Duty… From Vietnam to Iran

He hasn’t changed a lick in 47 years.

I’ve been asked a number of times about John Kerry’s unauthorized actions with Iran compared to Ted Kennedy’s unauthorized actions with the Kremlin. Kerry, this spring 2018, sought to undermine President Trump’s policies, whereas Kennedy, spring 1983, sought to undermine President Reagan’s policies.

Many people — including the president of the United States — want to know if Kerry’s actions constitute a violation of the Logan Act. It’s a question I’m frequently asked about Kennedy. The short answer, in both cases, is that I’m not the source to provide the answer. Congress is. The Democratic Congress in the 1980s didn’t hesitate to launch criminal proceedings against President Ronald Reagan and his staff (many of them fine men of great integrity) in a militant pursuit for impeachment over “Iran-Contra.” Liberal Democrats did so while turning a blind eye as their leader — House Speaker Jim Wright — buddied up to Sandinista dictator Daniel Ortega in his own negotiations.

And Wright wasn’t secretary of state, just as John Kerry wasn’t secretary of state when he conferred with Iranian officials in secret meetings in New York. In what the Boston Globe described as a “rare move” of “unusual shadow diplomacy,” Kerry met with the Iranian foreign minister (among other high-level foreign officials) “to discuss ways of preserving the pact limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons program. It was the second time in about two months that the two had met to strategize over salvaging a deal they spent years negotiating during the Obama administration, according to a person briefed on the meetings.”

That’s the very deal that President Trump was working to cancel just as Kerry was working to save it.

And that’s hardly the only Kerry outrage. No, this is old-hat. I’d like to remind all of Kerry’s affront decades ago. The date was April 22, 1971, 47 years to almost the exact day that Kerry met with the Iranians.

That moment, too, included yet another unsavory role by Ted Kennedy. Senator Kennedy helped arrange for the young Kerry, a Vietnam vet, to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, courtesy of Senator J. William Fulbright, hero to a young Bill Clinton, another vocal Vietnam War opponent. There, Kerry spoke of “war crimes committed in Southeast Asia” by American troops — war crimes that were “not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.” He charged that U.S. soldiers had “personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the...

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