Philip Weiss on Sen. Tom Cotton's Letter to Iran, signed by 47 Republican Senators:
I don’t know who wrote the letter, but I can tell you whose fingerprints are on it: the only folks who are supporting it publicly, the hard-right Israel lobby. Even as Cotton himself splutters on national television, rightwing lobby groups are the main voices out there defending the letter.
Like Bill Kristol of the Emergency Committee for Israel:
Cotton open letter: “Just so you know, we’re a constitutional democracy. Congress (or next president) has a say.” Dem response: Hysteria.
J Street’s Dylan Williams fingers Bill Kristol for writing the letter:
Who gave @SenTomCotton & others the awful idea for the Iran letter? Seems like Sarah Palin-for-VP-level bad advice doesn’t it @BillKristol ?
There’s a reason for Williams’s suspicion. Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel gave Tom Cotton nearly $1 million in his race for the Senate just five months ago, Eli Clifton reported. “Cotton received $960,250 in supportive campaign advertising in the last month.” (Thanks to Kay24 in comments)
Cotton also got $165,000 from Elliott Management Paul Singer’s hedge fund. Singer is the billionaire who is trying to stop Obama’s Iran talks (Clifton’s reporting again). He funds the Israel Project too– Josh Block’s efforts.
Josh Block has been standing up for the letter on Twitter. And the rightwing Israel Project offered support for the letter in an email last night:
Many analysts believe that without congressional approval, if a final deal with Iran is reached, it will not outlast President Barack Obama’s tenure as President of the United States. Without congressional involvement, the Obama administration would strike a deal with Iran through executive action which could signal to the Iranians that the “deal would be with the President alone,”writesHarvard Law School Professor Jack Goldsmith. He continues, “The bottom line, then, is that any deal struck by President Obama with Iran will probably appear to the Iranians to be, at best, short-term and tenuous. And so we can probably expect, at best, only a short-term and tenuous commitment from Iran in return.” When it comes to the Iran negotiations, the Obama administration says that they only see arole for Congress when it comes to sanctions. If a final agreement is reached, they will eventually look to Congress for the lifting of sanctions. The White House said that Congress hashad a role to playwhen it has drafted and passed the sanctions legislation that President Obama subsequently signed into law. The White House does not believe that an agreement with Iran over its nuclear programwould requirecongressional approval.
The letter has gotten support from David Frum, the former Bush aide who wrote of taking on Saddam Hussein, “It’s victory or Holocaust.” On twitter:
“Time after time, Obama has told Congress to go to hell. Now Congress is telling Obama to go to hell.”
Josh Block used to work at AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and is sometimes thought to speak for AIPAC. AIPAC is staying silent, while pushing further sanctions on Iran.
Nothing happens on Capitol Hill related to Israel unless and until Howard Kohr (AIPAC chief) wants it to happen. Nothing.
What network is behind this letter? People have a right to know. The media should be sending reporters out to dig into these connections. Imagine if the Koch Brothers were pushing some initiative on states’ rights or abortion. Would the media be so incurious? No. The scandal of the Netanyahu speech and the efforts by Israel to derail US negotiations with Iran has surely exposed the workings of the Israel lobby to the eyes of the American public to an unprecedented degree. But the media have to do more.
from Kay24 in the comment log in Philip Weiss' blogpost:
According to newly released FEC filings, Cotton received $960,250 in supportive campaign advertising in the last month from the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), a right-wing group headed by the neoconservative pundit, Bill Kristol, who infamously predicted that the Iraq war would last two months. At its inception, the ECI was based out of the same Washington office as the Committee of the Liberation of Iraq, a pressure group that lobbied for the 2003 invasion.
The credibility of Kristol and his neoconservative colleagues was seriously put into question after it was revealed that the war they lobbied for since the time of the Clinton administration failed to turn up weapons of mass destruction.
Yet Cotton has received the endorsement of the neoconservative fringe of the Republican Party, earning him a gushing profile from Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin before he even began his term as a freshman congressman in January of last year."