When Obama visited foreign heads of state on his whirlwind world tour to try to shore up his foreign policy credentials, he tried to convince Iraq’s foreign minister to withhold agreement on troop withdrawals until after the election. This stunt, fully vetted by the newspapers, is a clear violation of the Logan Act (18 U.S.C.A. § 953 ) for which he should have been prosecuted. This federal statute makes it a crime for a citizen to confer with foreign governments against the interests of the United States. Specifically, it prohibits citizens from negotiating with other nations on behalf of the United States without authorization.“Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measuresor conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”The Prowler at the American Spectator has all the details on how Obama, in a closed door session with Iraqi officials, tried to persuade them to not negotiate a troop draw-down agreement with the US government until after Bush left the White House. The Obama campaign spent more than five hours on Monday attempting to figure out the best refutation of the explosive New York Post report that quoted Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari as saying that Barack Obama during his July visit to Baghdad demanded that Iraq not negotiate with the Bush Administration on the withdrawal of American troops. Instead, he asked that they delay such negotiations until after the presidential handover at the end of January.The three problems, according to campaign sources: The report was true, there were at least three other people in the room with Obama and Zebari to confirm the conversation, and there was concern that there were enough aggressive reporters based in Baghdad with the sources to confirm the conversation that to deny the comments would create a bigger problem. Instead, Obama's national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi told reporters that Obama told the Iraqis that they should not rush through what she termed a "Strategic Framework Agreement" governing the future of U.S. forces until after President Bush left office. In other words, the Iraqis should not negotiate an American troop withdrawal.This is another example of a politician saying one thing in public (pull troops out of Iraq immediately) and another in private (don't draw down troops until Bush is out of office). Obama has a pattern of saying one thing in public and the opposite in private, something Governor Palin touched on in her speech at the RNC when she reminded Americans that Obama spoke out of one side of his face to voters in rural Pennsylvania just to denigrate them out of the other side of his face in private to another group in San Francisco.But the more important and outrageous issue at hand is that Obama tried to undercut negotiations between a sitting US president and a foreign government. That's simply breathtaking in its disrespect and disregard for the Presidency of the United States. A senator running for president does not have to right to march into a meeting with officials from a foreign nation and tell them to disregard any negotiations from the sitting President of the United States. Hubris is not a strong enough word to describe what Obama tried to do.The mainstream media will do what they can to bury this in order to protect their candidate, so the McCain/Palin campaign will need to make a statement denouncing Obama for his actions. Senator Obama needs to be held accountable but he won't be if the media deliberately ignores this story.Update: Pete Hegseth at National Review independently confirms that Obama tried to undermine US negotiations but a bigger concern to him is Obama's naivety on military and diplomatic issues: “Rather than use his touch-down trip to Baghdad to fact-find and consult with senior Iraqi and American officials, Sen. Obama made a concerted effort to push his post-Bush administration agenda, undermining -- in word and deed -- current diplomatic efforts in Iraq. The Obama campaign has now essentially confirmed those details of the report. Some will see this interference in foreign policy during a time of war and cry, treason!" Well, isn't it???
Recently, separate complaints were filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the U.S. Senate Ethics Committee, against Barack Obama for allegedly accepting a below market rate mortgage loan in 2005 not available to the general consumer.According to the complaints, Obama reportedly received a home loan of $1.32 million at a rate of 5.625 percent, although the average going rate on that day according to two different surveys was between 5.93 and 6 percent. The special below-market "super super jumbo" loan, as described by The Washington Post, was secured without an origination fee or discount points - terms not available to the general public."It appears that due to his position as a United States Senator, Barack Obama received improper special treatment from Northern Trust resulting in an illicit 'gift' which has a value of almost $125,000 in interest savings. It is therefore respectfully requested that a full investigation into whether the special Northern Trust mortgage received by Senator Barack Obama constitutes a gift that is prohibited by Senate ethics rules."As noted in both complaints, the relationship between Northern Trust and Senator Obama goes far beyond this single mortgage loan. Northern Trust has supported Barack Obama's political campaigns since 1990. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, cited by The Washington Post, Northern Trust employees have donated $71,000. The Northern Trust political action committee gave $1,250 to Senator Obama's 2004 campaign for the United States Senate.Northern Trust Vice President John O'Connell essentially admitted company provided Obama preferential loan terms because of his position in the U.S. Senate. "A person's occupation and salary are two factors; I would expect those are two things we would take into consideration," O'Connell told The Washington Post. "This was a business proposition for us."Look, anytime a member of Congress gets a sweetheart deal from a mortgage company, we ought to be suspicious. Let's hope the U.S. Senate and the FEC do their jobs and investigate the matter.