A Senator Doing His Job

It’s going to take more than Amir Taheri’s quotation of the statements of the Iraqi foreign minister about what Sen. Barack Obama said when he was in Baghdad in July to have much impact on the senator’s presidential campaign:

WHILE campaigning in public for a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence.

According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.

“He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington,” Zebari said in an interview.

And any talk of a violation of the Logan Act in the matter is flummery. No elected official has ever been indicted under the Logan Act, nearly every time it’s trotted out it’s politically motivated, and it would take a lot more than what’s being alleged here to get the DoJ to act.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, ,
Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.


  1. sam says:

    Yeah, well, it’s the NY Post, and Amir Taheri is not the most unbiased of writers. I can’t figure out from the story if Taheri himself conducted the interview, or if he’s quoting someone else’s interview. If the latter, then the story is unsourced. If the former, why he doesn’t say “the Iraqi foreign minister told me”? I’ll withhold judgement on the veracity of this story pending verification. If anybody knows who conducted the interview and where I can find the complete transcript, I’d be appreciative. Every relevant google hit on “Zebari Obama interview” leads back to the Post story.

  2. Cernig says:

    Amir Taheri? Really? LOL!

  3. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    It’s going to take more than Amir Taheri’s quotation of the statements of the Iraqi foreign minister about what Sen. Barack Obama said when he was in Baghdad in July to have much impact on the senator’s presidential campaign

    Wrong! In politics, perception is reality. Besides, this very blog posting gives the story further life to keep it going.

  4. DBinSD says:

    Yeah, I think you’re confusing the issue here. We’re not really talking about whether or not Obama stays out of jail. Granted, I don’t think he’ll be indicted, but a Dem presidential candidate who is noted for being extremely liberal and soft on defense doesn’t need to see his name mentioned in the same paragraph as “violation of the Logan Act” all that often.

    And keep in mind, you’re not really talking about something the entire country needs to be aware of in order for it to be damaging – swing a few thousand votes in a couple of states, and suddenly he goes from heir apparent to filling out the rest of his term as the junior senator from Illinois.

    Not that he’s going to win regardless, you understand.

  5. Carol in Oregon says:

    “No elected official has ever been indicted under the Logan Act…”
    What good news. Perhaps we finally have SOMETHING Sen. Obama can successfully accomplish!

  6. Patrick says:

    I would note Taheri’s past record of accuracy problems and take any story with his byline with a large grain of salt.
    Just offhand I can think of one story that had to be retracted: the “Iranian badges” story, where he wrote an article citing anonymous sources who claimed that Iranian government had introduced a bill requiring non-Muslims to wear identifying badges. No such bill was introduced before the Iranian parliament, and the National Post (the Canadian paper that published it) retracted the article.
    I would also note his claim that Iranian UN ambassador Javad Zarif was one of the embassy hostage-takers in 1979; apparently Zarif was actually studying in the US at the time.

  7. GeoffB says:

    I don’t think there’s any question about Obama going to jail. The question is how die-hard anti-war Obama supporters might take the suggestion that Obama would rather see the troops leave later under his command than sooner under someone else’s. It doesn’t rise to the level of charges that the Reagan campaign got Iran to hold the hostages till after Carter lost, but there’s still the implication that Obama would rather have an issue than an end to our Iraq war efforts.

    I think it’s fair to question the source, and we’ll see if there’s really anything to this story. But if there is, the scoop won’t be that Obama faces indictment. The scoop will be that a supposedly anti-war politician tried to prolong the war for his own political ends.

  8. sam says:

    Y’all still us a cite for the “interview”. I don’t see it in any of the above comments.

  9. Dave Schuler says:

    Mr. Taheri did not publish his interview with the Iraqi FM. All he gave us is an op-ed in which he quotes the Iraqi FM and that’s linked in the body of my post.

    Pretty much my point. There’s no “there” there.

  10. Shannon Covel says:

    Obama spokesperson speaks:

    In fact, Obama had told the Iraqis that they should not rush through a “Strategic Framework Agreement” governing the future of US forces until after President George W. Bush leaves office, she said.

    Oh yea so that’s a whole lot different then asking them why they won’t. Telling them is so much better.

    Obama camp hits back at Iraq double-talk claim

  11. Orion says:

    In the 1980s Democrats charged Reagan and GHW Bush with conspiring with Tehran to keep the US embassy hostages from being released until after Carter left office on flimsier evidence than this. At least we can prove this meeting between Obama and Zebari took place. The Democrat-controlled House held showcase hearings to decide if George Bush secretly traveled to Tehran to meet with Khoumeni when they KNEW Secret Service logs showed he was in Paris.

  12. B Dubya says:

    I guess the comparison between Senator Obama under the table with the Iraqis and Ted Kennedy’s outright sedition with the Brezhnev era Soviets didn’t fit the narrative, huh.
    One being the role model for the other and all….