You probably can recall the huge diplomatic mess that Republicans made last year, by sending an “open letter” to Iran in an effort to sour President Obama’s negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program. The letter was a clear shot at the deal the White House had been working on since the very early days of President Obama’s time in office. Republicans attempted to frame any agreements Iran would make with Obama as “not guaranteed” to continue once he leaves office. This, in addition to the invitation of Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress without the approval of the White House, put negotiations at a real risk. Many thought that it would push circumstances to where Israel would unilaterally conduct military strikes against Iran, which is a situation nobody wanted to see happen.
The reaction was fast and harsh by many in America, who saw it as an unprecedented move that bordered on outright treason by Republicans. It got so bad that even some Republicans who signed off on the letter were having second thoughts as to how bright of an idea it was.
Benjamin Netanyahu openly admitted to lobbying Congress for help to scuttle the deal. However, he never discussed direct contact that the Israeli government had with congressional members or the offers that were made to them. Now, with these new revelations, it shows damning evidence that this is exactly what Israel and Republicans did.
Scathing new reports, which were made possible from leaked NSA wiretapping, show how Israel communicated directly with members of Congress. It proves that Netanyahu and his cohorts were attempting to essentially bribe Republicans into sabotaging the diplomatic efforts of a sitting United States president. A U.S. intelligence official who was involved in managing the NSA intercepts said Israel’s communications with Republicans included such questions as: “How can we get your vote? What’s it going to take?” What further denial of treason can be made by either Republicans or Israel at this point?
Judging from the Republican course of action on this matter, we can see that Israel met with success. While no “smoking gun” has been uncovered yet in these releases, you don’t have to be any kind of political genius to understand that America’s broken campaign finance system would allow for Israel to pay handsomely for Republican services. All Israel and Netanyahu had to do was send money through middlemen, or call in some favors stateside requesting donations be sent to certain interests.
Even though Israel continues to deny that they were spied upon, the implications are obvious. A foreign government directly accessed elected members of the U.S. Congress and offered them bribes to sabotage diplomatic processes in place with another nation. There is no more clear a case for treason that can be made.
Thankfully, Israel and the Republican party did not succeed this time. The deal is in place, and Iran just released tons of its stockpile of enriched uranium to Russia, ensuring that it would not be crafted into a bomb. Iran will not be enriching any new uranium for the next 15 years, it will be reducing its centrifuge capacity for future enrichment by two-thirds, and it will diminish its current stockpile of enriched uranium by an estimated ninety-seven percent.
There is a poetic justice to be had by President Obama on this issue. When he received the Nobel Peace prize early in his first term, practically every Republican erupted in jealousy saying he didn’t deserve it. Admittedly, anyone can see the prize was given to Obama as well as America for moving off the path of the Bush warmongering years. Now that President Obama has achieved nothing short of a historic victory in dealing with Iran, nobody can try to suggest he has not earned his prize.
Featured image via Flickr