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The purpose of FARA is to insure that the U.S. Government and the people of the United States are informed of the source of information (propaganda) and the identity of persons attempting to influence U.S. public opinion, policy, and laws. In 1938, FARA was Congress' response to the large number of German propaganda agents in the pre-WWII U.S..
Washington (AFP) - Germany's foreign minister hit out at US Republican senators Thursday for sending a letter to Iran over the nuclear talks, fearing it could undermine Tehran's confidence in the negotiations at a critical juncture.
The Message Behind the Senate GOP’s Letter to Iran
For those who might claim that the letter is protected by the First Amendment, it’s interesting to note that when he was serving in the US Army after law school in 2006, Cotton wrote another “open letter” published by the far-right website Power Line calling for the prosecution and imprisonment of three New York Times reporters for allegedly violating the Espionage Act by disclosing how the government was tracking terrorist financing.
I’ll leave the legal analysis to the specialists, but the political implications of this truly remarkable effort to undermine the duly elected president of the United States and sabotage an international negotiation in which our closest NATO allies are also deeply invested need to be digested and understood. This is a clarifying moment and one that Obama himself made abundantly clear when he said that “it’s somewhat ironic to see some members for Congress wanting to make common cause with the hard-liners in Iran. It’s an unusual coalition.”
On this anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, which Kristol and his friends whole-heartedly championed, he called on Republicans to rally Americans into believing that using military action to solve the country’s problems can be acceptable again. “A war-weary public can be awakened and rallied. Indeed, events are right now doing the awakening. All that’s needed is the rallying. And the turnaround can be fast,” he implored. Exactly one year ago, Kristol published what is essentially the exact same plea he made this week. “The task of GOP political leaders is to educate the public about the dangers of the world and to inspire people to rise above their [war] weariness,” he wrote in a March 18, 2013 Weekly Standard article.
The man for the job? Tom Cotton. “He’s not stale or moss-covered,” Kristol said at the time. “A combat veteran, he understands real war weariness. But he also understands it needs to be resisted and overcome.”
It’s no secret that Kristol prefers the military option in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program. Perhaps that’s why he’s re-launching his war-isn’t-so-bad campaign: the U.S. and its international partners (the P5+1) are closer to resolving the nuclear stand-off with Iran diplomatically than they were a year ago and polling continues to show that Americans prefer diplomacy over war with Iran.
On Iran, Cotton is on Kristol’s page. Last November, when Iran and the P5+1 reached their first step nuclear agreement in Geneva — one the American public, experts and most on Capitol Hill widely praised — Cotton called it a “humiliating defeat” for the U.S. and a “total victory” for Iran. And Cotton called for imposing additional sanctions on Iran even though doing so would violate the terms of the Geneva agreement and push the U.S. closer to war with Iran.
Last May, Cotton even introduced legislation to punish the family members of people who violate Iran sanctions, a measure that was widely panned as unconstitutional. The Arkansas Republican quietly withdrew the measure after discussions with the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.