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Paul Hayden

Congress Must Approve Any Nuclear Agreement with Iran

March 30, 2015

While most Americans have little interest in events playing out across the Atlantic, everyone should be worried about Iran’s determination to develop a nuclear weapon.  They should know that in the hands of Iran’s belligerent, unstable leaders, such a weapon is a clear and immediate threat to the very existence of Israel, our closest ally in the region.  Beyond that, a nuclear-armed Iran would eventually threaten all of Europe, and eventually even America’s homeland, considering its ongoing development of ballistic missiles and its support of terrorism.

Barack Obama has repeatedly assured this country that he would never allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, and would keep all options on the table to prevent that from happening.  While details are still under wraps, the administration is privately negotiating a deal that would supposedly keep such a weapon out of Iran’s hands, while still allowing it to continue with its nuclear enrichment program.  He can offer those assurances, he tells us, because any agreement would include regular inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities. 

At least one person believes that.  During a recent panel discussion on this issue, Bob Woodward argued that, after all, Obama promised “intrusive inspections” as part of any deal - this observation from a man whose distinguished career was built on skepticism.  The truth is that most Americans are not so trusting of Barack Obama. 

Across the board, polls reflect a growing mistrust of this President. Gallop, Quinnipiac, and even CNN polls disclose that more than 50% of Americans have lost faith in Obama.  And it’s not without reason.

The mistrust, both here and abroad, has nothing to do with his unfulfilled campaign promises, of which there are many.  It is based on the sequential in-your-face lies that first became apparent when he was pushing Obamacare.  How many times did Obama emphatically repeat those false promises about his health care plan? 

Even his former close advisor, David Axelrod offered some insight into Obama’s inherent dishonesty when he recently disclosed that presidential candidate Obama lied about his support of gay marriage to win the election.  That wasn’t a harmless hair-splitting campaign position, but a calculated deception about his core beliefs for political gain.  He lied to us again when he explained that his stance on the issue had simply “evolved” over time.

And how many times did Obama acknowledge that he had no authority to give amnesty to illegal aliens before doing essentially that very thing?  Now his administration is strenuously arguing that he acted within the constraints of the Constitution.  Predictably, he is being challenged in the courts.

In February, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking Obama’s blanket amnesty.  It meant there could be no further action pending a final ruling, yet after that, in apparent defiance of the order, the federal government reportedly issued work permits and three-year deportation reprieves to more than 100,000 beneficiaries under Obama’s program.  During a subsequent hearing, the attorney for the administration tried to justify those deportation reprieves, but the irate judge was unconvinced.  At one point, he echoed the sentiment growing across America and asked the attorney, “Can I trust what the President says?” 

She was not under oath, but we can assume she actually meant it when she answered “yes.”  So apparently both she and Bob Woodward take the President at his word.  So do his loyal followers.  But the rest of us have misgivings – serious and justified misgivings.              

Obama’s deceitful words on these issues were not so-called “white lies.”  They were not embellished golf scores.  They did not simply represent broken campaign promises, evolved political positions, or even weakness in the face of influential lobbyists.  They were not mistakes in judgment.  They were calculated, deliberate lies that impacted millions of Americans by putting Obama’s own selfish agenda before the good of the country.   

Barack Obama is an arrogant man.  He clearly believes that public trust comes with the office, and even after betraying that trust so many times, he now expects us to believe that he is acting in the best interest of the country.  But we are left to wonder. 

If Obama enters into some secret agreement with America’s sworn enemy, an agreement that keeps a nuclear weapon out of their hands for a couple of years, he would be crowing about his “accomplishment” throughout the remainder of his term.    And if, a few days after leaving office, Iran were to detonate its first nuclear weapon, he would blame the failed policies of his successor.  It’s the kind of thing we’ve come to expect from Obama.  It’s what self-serving, deceptive politicians do. 

One of Obama’s essential tools of deception is word play.  Terms like “workplace violence,” “overseas contingency operation,” and “violent extremists” are all intended to disguise or distort the truth.  So now, by asserting that the proposed treaty is a matter of “executive prerogative,” he hopes to avoid congressional oversight as required under Article 2, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.    

He often boasts about bypassing Congress with a pen and phone, and he’s trying to do it again. But this particular unilateral action could potentially lead to world-wide catastrophe.  It is precisely why we need the checks and balances afforded by our Constitution.  It is long past time for Congress to stand up to this President and reassert its proper constitutional role.

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Peter Lemiska has spent more than 28 years in government service. He is a former Senior Special Agent of the U.S. Secret Service and an Air Force veteran. His political commentaries have been widely published online and in print.