Columnist Charles Krauthammer argued that it was “rich” for John Kerry to criticize the GOP’s Iran letter given his protest activity during the Vietnam War on Monday’s “O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel.
“I would say, Mr. Kerry, is it not rich that you should be criticizing the 47 Senators who are writing about an agreement that they believe is harmful to the country? And you are calling them acting unconstitutionally and contrary to the interest of their country, when you yourself, 40 years ago, spoke openly and to the world declaring your own country guilty of war crimes while we were in the middle of a war. In fact, depredations were the — and these are your words ‘Genghis Khan’… and you are here now accusing others of harming their country by speaking openly” he stated.
Krauthammer also addressed the substance of the letter saying “I would say this was not a letter about the content of the agreement and disagreement with its — with what’s in it. This was a letter saying ‘you cannot do this without the Congress, Mr. President, and expect the United States as a country and the Congress, the entire government as an institution to be bound by it.'”
He added, “Kerry contradicted himself, having said a few days earlier that, of course the agreement is not legally binding. The point here is not even the legalities of it. The point is that we always, when we negotiate a serious arms control agreement in the nuclear age, we always involve the Congress, either the House and the Senate, or just the Senate. As a matter of constitutional decency that if you’re going to do something of this import, of this gravity, and this Iran agreement, if signed, will be the most important agreement of this generation. To do this unilaterally, to cut out the Congress and to say that if Congress takes a vote that it will be involved in the ratification of this, the president will exercise a veto and cut it out completely? That is something that I think is utterly unacceptable, and the Senators, in their objection to that kind of action, are entirely correct.” Although, he did say that he thought the letter shouldn’t have been addressed to Iran’s leaders.
Krauthammer concluded, “I think what’s happened here, is that the combination of the Netanyahu speech and of the letter, despite the [fact] that it’s given the opposition the opportunity for all these distractions about talking about protocol, and process, despite that, it has brought to the attention of the American people and the Congress how bad the agreement is. I think its immediate effect is that it stopped the administration its tracks from giving away the whole store.”
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