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Most recent 18 results returned for keyword: richard lugar (Search this on MAP)

https://plus.google.com/105700090717871895323 James Fatchett : MORE ON RICHARD LUGAR...JF CIA
MORE ON RICHARD LUGAR...JF CIA
Richard Lugar | Center for Strategic and International Studies
Dick Lugar left the U.S. Senate in January 2013 as the Senate's most senior Republican and the longest-serving member of Congress in Indiana history. He was the Republican leader of the Foreign Relations Committee and a member and former chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry ...
5 days ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/105700090717871895323 James Fatchett : MR. JENKY'S BROTHER JASON WORKS FOR D.S.S.....BELOW...DIPLOMATIC SECURITY SERVICE..ON RICHARD LUGAR...
MR. JENKY'S BROTHER JASON WORKS FOR D.S.S.....BELOW...DIPLOMATIC SECURITY SERVICE..ON RICHARD LUGAR..AND TO LITTLE BROTHER JASON..CASUAL..JF CIA
Richard Lugar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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https://plus.google.com/104396934209642589210 Chandan Kumar : If I could offer but one helpful hint to young Hoosiers hoping to better their odds for success in life...
If I could offer but one helpful hint to young Hoosiers hoping to better their odds for success in life, I would simply note the importance of thoughtful reading.

Richard Lugar
Richard Lugar Quotes at BrainyQuote.com
"If I could offer but one helpful hint to young Hoosiers hoping to better their odds for success in life, I would simply note the importance of thoughtful reading." - Richard Lugar quotes from BrainyQuote.com
12 days ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/110223319439701422647 TK Reed : Under Hillary Clinton, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to ...
Under Hillary Clinton, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments had given millions to the Clinton Foundation. Yana Paskova/Getty Images


Even by the standards of arms deals between the United States and Saudi Arabia, this one was enormous. A consortium of American defense contractors led by Boeing would deliver $29 billion worth of advanced fighter jets to the United States' oil-rich ally in the Middle East.

Israeli officials were agitated, reportedly complaining to the Obama administration that this substantial enhancement to Saudi air power risked disrupting the region's fragile balance of power. The deal appeared to collide with the State Department’s documented concerns about the repressive policies of the Saudi royal family.

But now, in late 2011, Hillary Clinton’s State Department was formally clearing the sale, asserting that it was in the national interest. At a press conference in Washington to announce the department’s approval, an assistant secretary of state, Andrew Shapiro, declared that the deal had been “a top priority” for Clinton personally. Shapiro, a longtime aide to Clinton since her Senate days, added that the “U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army have excellent relationships in Saudi Arabia.”

These were not the only relationships bridging leaders of the two nations. In the years before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic enterprise she has overseen with her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Just two months before the deal was finalized, Boeing -- the defense contractor that manufactures one of the fighter jets the Saudis were especially keen to acquire, the F-15 -- contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to a company press release.

The Saudi deal was one of dozens of arms sales approved by Hillary Clinton’s State Department that placed weapons in the hands of governments that had also donated money to the Clinton family philanthropic empire, an International Business Times investigation has found.

Under Clinton's leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, according to an IBTimes analysis of State Department and foundation data. That figure -- derived from the three full fiscal years of Clinton’s term as Secretary of State (from October 2010 to September 2012) -- represented nearly double the value of American arms sales made to the those countries and approved by the State Department during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term.

The Clinton-led State Department also authorized $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation, resulting in a 143 percent increase in completed sales to those nations over the same time frame during the Bush administration. These extra sales were part of a broad increase in American military exports that accompanied Obama’s arrival in the White House. The 143 percent increase in U.S. arms sales to Clinton Foundation donors compares to an 80 percent increase in such sales to all countries over the same time period.

American defense contractors also donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and in some cases made personal payments to Bill Clinton for speaking engagements. Such firms and their subsidiaries were listed as contractors in $163 billion worth of Pentagon-negotiated deals that were authorized by the Clinton State Department between 2009 and 2012.

The State Department formally approved these arms sales even as many of the deals enhanced the military power of countries ruled by authoritarian regimes whose human rights abuses had been criticized by the department. Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar all donated to the Clinton Foundation and also gained State Department clearance to buy caches of American-made weapons even as the department singled them out for a range of alleged ills, from corruption to restrictions on civil liberties to violent crackdowns against political opponents.

As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton also accused some of these countries of failing to marshal a serious and sustained campaign to confront terrorism. In a December 2009 State Department cable published by Wikileaks, Clinton complained of “an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority.” She declared that “Qatar's overall level of CT cooperation with the U.S. is considered the worst in the region.” She said the Kuwaiti government was “less inclined to take action against Kuwait-based financiers and facilitators plotting attacks.” She noted that “UAE-based donors have provided financial support to a variety of terrorist groups.” All of these countries donated to the Clinton Foundation and received increased weapons export authorizations from the Clinton-run State Department.

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Clinton Foundation did not respond to questions from the IBTimes.

In all, governments and corporations involved in the arms deals approved by Clinton’s State Department have delivered between $54 million and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to the Clinton family, according to foundation and State Department records. The Clinton Foundation publishes only a rough range of individual contributors’ donations, making a more precise accounting impossible.

Winning Friends, Influencing Clintons

Under federal law, foreign governments seeking State Department clearance to buy American-made arms are barred from making campaign contributions -- a prohibition aimed at preventing foreign interests from using cash to influence national security policy. But nothing prevents them from contributing to a philanthropic foundation controlled by policymakers.

Just before Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, the Clinton Foundation signed an agreement generally obligating it to disclose to the State Department increases in contributions from its existing foreign government donors and any new foreign government donors. Those increases were to be reviewed by an official at the State Department and “as appropriate” the White House counsel’s office. According to available disclosures, officials at the State Department and White House raised no issues about potential conflicts related to arms sales.

During Hillary Clinton’s 2009 Senate confirmation hearings, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., urged the Clinton Foundation to “forswear” accepting contributions from governments abroad. “Foreign governments and entities may perceive the Clinton Foundation as a means to gain favor with the secretary of state,” he said. The Clintons did not take Lugar’s advice. In light of the weapons deals flowing to Clinton Foundation donors, advocates for limits on the influence of money on government action now argue that Lugar was prescient in his concerns.

“The word was out to these groups that one of the best ways to gain access and influence with the Clintons was to give to this foundation,” said Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, an advocacy group that seeks to tighten campaign finance disclosure rules. “This shows why having public officials, or even spouses of public officials, connected with these nonprofits is problematic.”

Hillary Clinton’s willingness to allow those with business before the State Department to finance her foundation heightens concerns about how she would manage such relationships as president, said Lawrence Lessig, the director of Harvard University’s Safra Center for Ethics.

“These continuing revelations raise a fundamental question of judgment,” Lessig told IBTimes. “Can it really be that the Clintons didn't recognize the questions these transactions would raise? And if they did, what does that say about their sense of the appropriate relationship between private gain and public good?”

National security experts assert that the overlap between the list of Clinton Foundation donors and those with business before the the State Department presents a troubling conflict of interest.

While governments and defense contractors may not have made donations to the Clinton Foundation exclusively to influence arms deals, they were clearly “looking to build up deposits in the 'favor bank' and to be well thought of,” said Gregory Suchan, a 34-year State Department veteran who helped lead the agency’s oversight of arms transfers under the Bush administration.

As Hillary Clinton presses a campaign for the presidency, she has confronted sustained scrutiny into her family’s personal and philanthropic dealings, along with questions about whether their private business interests have colored her exercise of public authority. As IBTimes previously reported, Clinton switched from opposing an American free trade agreement with Colombia to supporting it after a Canadian energy and mining magnate with interests in that South American country contributed to the Clinton Foundation. IBTimes’ review of the Clintons’ annual financial disclosures also revealed that 13 companies lobbying the State Department paid Bill Clinton $2.5 million in speaking fees while Hillary Clinton headed the agency.

Questions about the nexus of arms sales and Clinton Foundation donors stem from the State Department’s role in reviewing the export of American-made weapons. The agency is charged with both licensing direct commercial sales by U.S. defense contractors to foreign governments and also approving Pentagon-brokered sales to those governments. Those powers are enshrined in a federal law that specifically designates the secretary of state as “responsible for the continuous supervision and general direction of sales” of arms, military hardware and services to foreign countries. In that role, Hillary Clinton was empowered to approve or reject deals for a broad range of reasons, from national security considerations to human rights concerns.

The State Department does not disclose which individual companies are involved in direct commercial sales, but its disclosure documents reveal that countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation saw a combined $75 billion increase in authorized commercial military sales under the three full fiscal years Clinton served, as compared to the first three full fiscal years of Bush’s second term.

The Clinton Foundation has not released an exact timetable of its donations, making it impossible to know whether money from foreign governments and defense contractors came into the organization before or after Hillary Clinton approved weapons deals that involved their interests. But news reports document that at least seven foreign governments that received State Department clearance for American arms did donate to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary: Algeria, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Thailand, Norway and Australia.

Sales Flowed Despite Human Rights Concerns

Under a presidential policy directive signed by President Bill Clinton in 1995, the State Department is supposed to specifically take human rights records into account when deciding whether to approve licenses enabling foreign governments to purchase military equipment and services from American companies. Despite this, Hillary Clinton’s State Department increased approvals of such sales to nations that her agency sharply criticized for systematic human rights abuses.

In its 2010 Human Rights Report, Clinton’s State Department inveighed against Algeria’s government for imposing “restrictions on freedom of assembly and association” tolerating “arbitrary killing,” “widespread corruption,” and a “lack of judicial independence.” The report said the Algerian government “used security grounds to constrain freedom of expression and movement.”

That year, the Algerian government donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation and its lobbyists met with the State Department officials who oversee enforcement of human rights policies. Clinton’s State Department the next year approved a one-year 70 percent increase in military export authorizations to the country. The increase included authorizations of almost 50,000 items classified as “toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents and associated equipment” after the State Department did not authorize the export of any of such items to Algeria in the prior year.

During Clinton’s tenure, the State Department authorized at least $2.4 billion of direct military hardware and services sales to Algeria -- nearly triple such authorizations over the last full fiscal years during the Bush administration. The Clinton Foundation did not disclose Algeria’s donation until this year -- a violation of the ethics agreement it entered into with the Obama administration.

The monarchy in Qatar had similarly been chastised by the State Department for a raft of human rights abuses. But that country donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was running the State Department. During the three full budgetary years of her tenure, Qatar saw a 14-fold increase in State Department authorizations for direct commercial sales of military equipment and services, as compared to the same time period in Bush’s second term. The department also approved the Pentagon’s separate $750 million sale of multi-mission helicopters to Qatar. That deal would additionally employ as contractors three companies that have all supported the Clinton Foundation over the years: United Technologies, Lockheed Martin and General Electric.

Clinton foundation donor countries that the State Department criticized for human rights violations and that received weapons export authorizations did not respond to IBTimes’ questions.

That group of arms manufacturers -- along with Clinton Foundation donors Boeing, Honeywell, Hawker Beechcraft and their affiliates -- were together listed as contractors in 114 such deals while Clinton was secretary of state. NBC put Chelsea Clinton on its payroll as a network correspondent in November 2011, when it was still 49 percent owned by General Electric. A spokesperson for General Electric did not respond to questions from IBTimes.
Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton's State Department
Under Hillary Clinton, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments had given millions to the Clinton Foundation.
15 days ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/115623599224469486960 Kailani Koenig-Muenster : Former Sen. Richard Lugar explains what's in new bipartisanship rankings by The Lugar Center and Georgetown...
Former Sen. Richard Lugar explains what's in new bipartisanship rankings by The Lugar Center and Georgetown University – a remarkable set of data for a political junkie. 
New rankings grade members of Congress on bipartisanship
There’s a new effort to encourage members of Congress to embrace bipartisanship. Former Sen. Richard Lugar explains what's in new bipartisanship rankings by The Lugar Center and Georgetown University – a remarkable set of data for a political junkie.
1 month ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/115077462317301461666 Jim M : Lugar: Hillary Knew Foreign Gifts Were Wrong And Obama Is Ignoring It ‪#‎NotReadyForHillary‬ ‪#hillary2016...
Lugar: Hillary Knew Foreign Gifts Were Wrong And Obama Is Ignoring It ‪#‎NotReadyForHillary‬ ‪#hillary2016 #liberalhypocrisy
Former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) says he personally warned Hillary Clinton in 2008 about gifts to her family foundation. Lugar is the former Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and helped develop the original December 2008 deal for disclosures of gifts from foreign entities to the Clinton Foundation ahead of her confirmation as secretary of state.
He says "The situation is one that's simply made for misunderstanding internationally. 
"There will be persons in these governments who believe they will curry favor with the United States and gain special concessions through gifts to the foundation. This really has to be taken off the table."
He noted that the Clinton Foundation received $500,000 from a government accused of human rights abuses and was lobbying the State Department for relief. 
Lugar advocates a law prohibiting both the president and the secretary of state from taking any foreign gifts.
Lugar also regrets the State Department is refusing to review the propriety of Clinton’s violation of her Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). 
On February 28th, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said "It is the responsibility of the Department of State to determine how compliance was enforced when it comes to the memorandum of understanding." 
Now they are not doing anything. The State Department is refusing to review these issues even though the Clinton Foundation has admitted they did not live up to their end of the MOU. They even tried to hide foreign gifts but running them through a Canadian Foundation.
The MOU was violated repeatedly. The Obama Administration is refusing to even investigate whether the violations may have caused the bribery problems the MOU was designed to prevent.
Why did they bother to have an MOU if the violations were not going to be investigated?
National Journal says "She violated White House ethics rules on government email and foreign donations. She deleted emails, disabled her rogue email server, and allowed the brazen comingling of government business and the family business.
Integrity. Transparency. Accountability. 
"These are attributes that people expect to see from leaders. So far, they're not seeing such qualities in Candidate Clinton."
PHOTO: Hillary Clinton visits Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) in December 2008 to discuss her nomination to be Secretary of State. It was in this meeting that Lugar emphasized the importance of an agreement on gifts to the Clinton Foundation.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ffl3_ezM97U/VU-UCH-hcGI/AAAAAAAAygs/9TV4JUXjGKw/w506-h750/11067133_771675252931648_3377922034433672258_n.jpg
1 month ago - Via Reshared Post - View -
https://plus.google.com/111583429076053512116 Liz Mason : Lugar: Hillary Knew Foreign Gifts Were Wrong And Obama Is Ignoring It ‪#‎NotReadyForHillary‬ ‪#hillary2016...
Lugar: Hillary Knew Foreign Gifts Were Wrong And Obama Is Ignoring It ‪#‎NotReadyForHillary‬ ‪#hillary2016 #liberalhypocrisy
Former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) says he personally warned Hillary Clinton in 2008 about gifts to her family foundation. Lugar is the former Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and helped develop the original December 2008 deal for disclosures of gifts from foreign entities to the Clinton Foundation ahead of her confirmation as secretary of state.
He says "The situation is one that's simply made for misunderstanding internationally. 
"There will be persons in these governments who believe they will curry favor with the United States and gain special concessions through gifts to the foundation. This really has to be taken off the table."
He noted that the Clinton Foundation received $500,000 from a government accused of human rights abuses and was lobbying the State Department for relief. 
Lugar advocates a law prohibiting both the president and the secretary of state from taking any foreign gifts.
Lugar also regrets the State Department is refusing to review the propriety of Clinton’s violation of her Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). 
On February 28th, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said "It is the responsibility of the Department of State to determine how compliance was enforced when it comes to the memorandum of understanding." 
Now they are not doing anything. The State Department is refusing to review these issues even though the Clinton Foundation has admitted they did not live up to their end of the MOU. They even tried to hide foreign gifts but running them through a Canadian Foundation.
The MOU was violated repeatedly. The Obama Administration is refusing to even investigate whether the violations may have caused the bribery problems the MOU was designed to prevent.
Why did they bother to have an MOU if the violations were not going to be investigated?
National Journal says "She violated White House ethics rules on government email and foreign donations. She deleted emails, disabled her rogue email server, and allowed the brazen comingling of government business and the family business.
Integrity. Transparency. Accountability. 
"These are attributes that people expect to see from leaders. So far, they're not seeing such qualities in Candidate Clinton."
PHOTO: Hillary Clinton visits Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) in December 2008 to discuss her nomination to be Secretary of State. It was in this meeting that Lugar emphasized the importance of an agreement on gifts to the Clinton Foundation.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ffl3_ezM97U/VU-UCH-hcGI/AAAAAAAAygs/9TV4JUXjGKw/w506-h750/11067133_771675252931648_3377922034433672258_n.jpg
1 month ago - Via Reshared Post - View -
https://plus.google.com/109358244182983811833 Terry B : Lugar: Hillary Knew Foreign Gifts Were Wrong And Obama Is Ignoring It ‪#‎NotReadyForHillary‬ ‪#hillary2016...
Lugar: Hillary Knew Foreign Gifts Were Wrong And Obama Is Ignoring It ‪#‎NotReadyForHillary‬ ‪#hillary2016 #liberalhypocrisy
Former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) says he personally warned Hillary Clinton in 2008 about gifts to her family foundation. Lugar is the former Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and helped develop the original December 2008 deal for disclosures of gifts from foreign entities to the Clinton Foundation ahead of her confirmation as secretary of state.
He says "The situation is one that's simply made for misunderstanding internationally. 
"There will be persons in these governments who believe they will curry favor with the United States and gain special concessions through gifts to the foundation. This really has to be taken off the table."
He noted that the Clinton Foundation received $500,000 from a government accused of human rights abuses and was lobbying the State Department for relief. 
Lugar advocates a law prohibiting both the president and the secretary of state from taking any foreign gifts.
Lugar also regrets the State Department is refusing to review the propriety of Clinton’s violation of her Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). 
On February 28th, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said "It is the responsibility of the Department of State to determine how compliance was enforced when it comes to the memorandum of understanding." 
Now they are not doing anything. The State Department is refusing to review these issues even though the Clinton Foundation has admitted they did not live up to their end of the MOU. They even tried to hide foreign gifts but running them through a Canadian Foundation.
The MOU was violated repeatedly. The Obama Administration is refusing to even investigate whether the violations may have caused the bribery problems the MOU was designed to prevent.
Why did they bother to have an MOU if the violations were not going to be investigated?
National Journal says "She violated White House ethics rules on government email and foreign donations. She deleted emails, disabled her rogue email server, and allowed the brazen comingling of government business and the family business.
Integrity. Transparency. Accountability. 
"These are attributes that people expect to see from leaders. So far, they're not seeing such qualities in Candidate Clinton."
PHOTO: Hillary Clinton visits Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) in December 2008 to discuss her nomination to be Secretary of State. It was in this meeting that Lugar emphasized the importance of an agreement on gifts to the Clinton Foundation.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ffl3_ezM97U/VU-UCH-hcGI/AAAAAAAAygs/9TV4JUXjGKw/w506-h750/11067133_771675252931648_3377922034433672258_n.jpg
1 month ago - Via Community - View -
https://plus.google.com/116663453752565057906 Denison University : Former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates sat down with students to answer questions...
Former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates sat down with students to answer questions, give advice, and talk about his career during his short stay as the Lugar Lecture Series speaker. Named after former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar '54, this biennial event brings speakers to campus who exemplify the spirit of public service.
Fire away!
Former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates sat down with students to tell it like it is.
2 months ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/100152506836387182192 Corey Price : Hillary Clinton was warned against allowing the Clinton Foundation to accept foreign donations while...
Hillary Clinton was warned against allowing the Clinton Foundation to accept foreign donations while she served as secretary of state, former Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar said. Lugar, who was the senior Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations committe...
Ex-Sen. Says Hillary Was Warned Against Allowing Clinton Foundation to Accept Foreign Money - Breaking Christian News and Opinion on CNMnewz.com
Hillary Clinton was warned against allowing the Clinton Foundation to accept foreign donations while she served as secretary of state, former Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar said. Lugar, who was the senior Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations committe...
2 months ago - Via - View -
https://plus.google.com/101520808496941488119 Sheriff Ali : A Group Of 30 U.S. Specialists Including Robert Einhorn And Former US Ambassador Thomas Pickering [Republican...
A Group Of 30 U.S. Specialists Including Robert Einhorn And Former US Ambassador Thomas Pickering [Republican] Endorsed The Iran Framework


[Politico] In one statement, a group of 30 U.S. specialists on nuclear security endorsed the framework as a “vitally important step forward” that will “strengthen U.S. security and that of our partners in the region.”


“We urge policymakers in key capitals to support the deal and the steps necessary to ensure timely implementation and rigorous compliance with the agreement,” wrote the signatories, who included Robert Einhorn, a former State Department official and past negotiator on the Iran talks and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Thomas R. Pickering.


Pickering and Einhorn also were among 50 former diplomats, defense officials and political leaders who signed a separate statement which, in more cautious language, urged Congress to stay patient and “to take no action that would impede further progress or undermine the American negotiators’ efforts.” The statement was released by The Iran Project, an independent organization that tries to improve U.S.-Iran ties.


Rushed action by Congress could derail negotiations, “creating the perception that the U.S. is responsible for the collapse of the agreement; unraveling international cooperation on sanctions; and triggering the unfreezing of Iran’s nuclear program and the rapid ramping up of Iranian nuclear capacity,” declares the statement, which listed former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former GOP Sen. Richard Lugar, a foreign policy mentor to Obama when he was a senator, among its signers. “Such a situation could enhance the possibility of war.”


Twitter @sheriffali


http://wp.me/p1wG70-GU 



Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/04/iran-nuclear-experts-endorse-iran-deal-116697.html#ixzz3WetvEtR9 

#30NuclearSpecialists  
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2 months ago - Via Google+ - View -
https://plus.google.com/115811732234200313456 ‫ندای آزادی Nedaye Azadi‬‎ : # The White House is getting a cheering section going for the Iran deal — thanks to a ramped-up series...
# The White House is getting a cheering section going for the Iran deal — thanks to a ramped-up series of briefings to allies who can make the case from the outside.

Diplomats, scientists and other activists began making their own arguments Monday for the preliminary nuclear deal reached last week, releasing statements that praised the agreement and urged lawmakers to give negotiators a chance to pursue a comprehensive accord.

The words of support came as President Barack Obama and his aides are trying to sell the framework deal to members of Congress, especially senators from both parties who have said they want to have some oversight of the agreement. Activists in favor of the deal say they’re hoping congressional leaders will hold off on legislation that they fear could scuttle future talks.
White House aides say they’re reaching out to allies and experts to explain the deal – not to tell them what to say, but to make sure they’re fully informed about the agreement.

“I think it’s fair to say we are engaging all manner of outside experts and groups so that they understand the deal and our view of different legislation, and they make their own determinations about how to be heard,” said one White House official.

In one statement, a group of 30 U.S. specialists on nuclear security endorsed the framework as a “vitally important step forward” that will “strengthen U.S. security and that of our partners in the region.”

“We urge policymakers in key capitals to support the deal and the steps necessary to ensure timely implementation and rigorous compliance with the agreement,” wrote the signatories, who included Robert Einhorn, a former State Department official and past negotiator on the Iran talks and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Thomas R. Pickering.

Pickering and Einhorn also were among 50 former diplomats, defense officials and political leaders who signed a separate statement which, in more cautious language, urged Congress to stay patient and “to take no action that would impede further progress or undermine the American negotiators’ efforts.” The statement was released by The Iran Project, an independent organization that tries to improve U.S.-Iran ties.

Rushed action by Congress could derail negotiations, “creating the perception that the U.S. is responsible for the collapse of the agreement; unraveling international cooperation on sanctions; and triggering the unfreezing of Iran’s nuclear program and the rapid ramping up of Iranian nuclear capacity,” declares the statement, which listed former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former GOP Sen. Richard Lugar, a foreign policy mentor to Obama when he was a senator, among its signers. “Such a situation could enhance the possibility of war.”

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said “there is loose coordination going on between organizations and experts who support the framework deal.” But he and others insisted they are not taking marching orders from the West Wing.

“They don’t give us talking points. They do convey key messages,” said Jamal Abdi of the National Iranian American Council.

Even with the low-pressure sales pitch, the White House engagement with such groups has intensified since the deal was announced Thursday.

“There has been a pretty good amount of outreach in the last few days,” said one member of an outside group that has participated in the briefings. “There’s a big difference between inviting one person from each organization to the White House … [and] going out and actually saying, ‘I want to brief everyone on your team. When’s the best time for you?’”

The administration hasn’t tried to give these groups talking points, the person said, and there haven’t been any big secrets that have been revealed at the briefings, but they’ve served their purpose by getting the groups interested in speaking out. “It’s less about asking us to do anything and more that the discussion around the table turns to, ‘We need to really hammer home on this point.’”

The Obama administration kept up its own public sales efforts on Monday, with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz giving a detailed presentation during the daily briefing at the White House and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes making a round of TV appearances, from CNN to Israeli TV.

Meanwhile, the advocacy group Win Without War posted a collection of endorsements from a wide variety of groups – including The Atlantic Council, the Ploughshares Fund, the National Security Network, the Center for a New American Security, and the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Church and Society.

It also urged supporters to “Call Congress and Seal the Deal.” The group posted the Capitol switchboard telephone number and provided a script for would-be callers that describes the agreement as “the best way to cut off Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon.” It also suggests that they say they oppose a bill by Sens. Bob Corker and Bob Menendez that would require congressional approval for the deal.

Also on Monday, NIAC, the Arab American Institute and J Street, a left-leaning Jewish organization, released a statement arguing that the preliminary deal “may provide an important first step towards deescalating regional tensions and pave the way for resolving the many conflicts that still persist.”

And Samuel R. Berger, a former national security adviser to President Bill Clinton, wrote anopinion piece for POLITICO Magazine that dismissed the idea that there’s a stronger deal to be had: “There is no second bite at this apple. This is a good deal. We should not be distracted by talk of a better one.”

The framework has received heavy criticism from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who views Iran as a mortal threat to his country and says the deal does not do enough to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon. Organizations such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee have blasted the framework agreement.

According to media reports, Israeli officials have been circulating a list of questions aimed at U.S.-led negotiators involved in the talks with Iran. The queries reportedly include “What message does it send when it gives such far-reaching concessions to a regime that for years has defied [U.N. Security Council] resolutions? ” and “Will the deal not encourage nuclear proliferation in the Middle East?”

Kate Gould, a lobbyist with the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker organization, said she’s been hearing more interest from faith-based groups who want to get involved in the wake of the announcement last week. She said the primary focus now was on preventing the Corker legislation from coming to a vote.

“I’m sure there’s going to be a much bigger push coming up,” she said.

By: Nahal Toosi & David Nather

Source: Politico
The Iran Deal’s Cheerleaders

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https://plus.google.com/116418716601365816364 Thorvald ver Jarlsson II : Today is Saturday, April 4, the 94th day of 2015. There are 271 days left in the year. Today's Highlight...
Today is Saturday, April 4, the 94th day of 2015. There are 271 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 4, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln, accompanied by his son Tad, visited the vanquished Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, where he was greeted by a crowd that included former slaves.

On this date:

In 1818, Congress decided the flag of the United States would consist of 13 red and white stripes and 20 stars, with a new star to be added for every new state of the Union.

In 1841, President William Henry Harrison succumbed to pneumonia one month after his inaugural, becoming the first U.S. chief executive to die in office.

In 1850, the city of Los Angeles was incorporated.

In 1859, "Dixie" was performed publicly for the first time by Bryant's Minstrels at Mechanics' Hall in New York.

In 1865, the Crossness Pumping Station, a key component of London's new and improved sewage system, was officially opened by Edward, Prince of Wales.

In 1933, the Navy airship USS Akron crashed in severe weather off the New Jersey coast with the loss of 73 lives.

In 1945, during World War II, U.S. forces liberated the Nazi concentration camp Ohrdruf in Germany. Hungary was liberated as Soviet forces cleared out remaining German troops.

In 1958, Johnny Stompanato, an enforcer for crime boss Mickey Cohen and the boyfriend of actress Lana Turner, was stabbed to death by Turner's teenage daughter, Cheryl Crane, who said Stompanato had attacked her mother.

In 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., 39, was shot and killed while standing on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

In 1975, more than 130 people, most of them children, were killed when a U.S. Air Force transport plane evacuating Vietnamese orphans crash-landed shortly after takeoff from Saigon. Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In 1985, Gary Dotson, who'd served six years of a prison sentence for rape, was freed on bail from the Joliet Correctional Center in Illinois after his accuser, Cathleen Crowell Webb, testified that the attack had never occurred. (Charges against Dotson were dropped in 1989; he was pardoned by Illinois Gov. George Ryan in 2002.)

In 1995, Francisco Martin Duran, who had raked the White House with semiautomatic rifle fire in Oct. 1994, was convicted in Washington of trying to assassinate President Bill Clinton (Duran was later sentenced to 40 years in prison).

Ten years ago: Tens of thousands of pilgrims paid their final respects to Pope John Paul II after his body was carried on a crimson platform to St. Peter's Basilica. Kyrgyzstan President Askar Akayev (AHS'-kahr ah-KY'-ev), who'd fled the country from an uprising, signed a resignation agreement. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled creditors could not seize the Individual Retirement Accounts of bankrupt people. The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal captured two Pulitzer Prizes apiece; Marilynne Robinson received the fiction award for her novel "Gilead," while John Patrick Shanley received the drama Pulitzer for "Doubt." Coaches Jim Boeheim (BAY'-hym) and Jim Calhoun were elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Five years ago: At least 42 people were killed as suicide attackers detonated car bombs near embassies in Baghdad. A magnitude-7.2 earthquake struck Mexicali, Mexico. A U.S.-Russian space team sent Easter greetings down to Earth after their Soyuz spacecraft docked flawlessly at the International Space Station.

One year ago: An Afghan police officer opened fire on two Associated Press journalists inside a security forces base in eastern Afghanistan, killing prize-winning photographer Anja Niedringhaus (AHN'-yuh NEE'-dring-hows) and wounding veteran correspondent Kathy Gannon.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Elizabeth Wilson is 94. Former Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., is 83. Recording executive Clive Davis is 83. Bandleader Hugh Masekela is 76. Author Kitty Kelley is 73. Actor Craig T. Nelson is 71. Actor Walter Charles is 70. Actress Christine Lahti is 65. Country singer Steve Gatlin (The Gatlin Brothers) is 64. Actress Mary-Margaret Humes is 61. Writer-producer David E. Kelley is 59. Actor Phil Morris is 56. Actress Lorraine Toussaint is 55. Actor Hugo Weaving is 55. Rock musician Craig Adams (The Cult) is 53. Talk show host/comic Graham Norton is 52. Actor David Cross is 51. Actor Robert Downey Jr. is 50. Actress Nancy McKeon is 49. Actor Barry Pepper is 45. Country singer Clay Davidson is 44. Rock singer Josh Todd (Buckcherry) is 44. Singer Jill Scott is 43. Rock musician Magnus Sveningsson (The Cardigans) is 43. Magician David Blaine is 42. Singer Kelly Price is 42. Rhythm-and-blues singer Andre Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 41. Actor James Roday is 39. Actress Natasha Lyonne is 36. Actor Eric Andre is 32. Actress Amanda Righetti is 32. Actress Jamie Lynn Spears is 24. Actress Daniela Bobadilla is 22. Pop singer Austin Mahone (muh-HOHN') is 19.

Thought for Today: "You can kill a man but you can't kill an idea." - Medgar Evers, American civil rights activist (1926-1963).

(Above Advance for Use Saturday, April 4)

Copyright 2015, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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