To your credit, given the Afghanistan quagmire and the fact that we are bankrupt (fiscally and morally), all efforts are concentrated on undermining the regime prior to a military confrontation. Who would have thought duplicity had such a pretty face? Mr. Bush pales compared to you. You started your presidency by slamming sanctions on Iran and made the "Moslem world" believe you were reaching out to them with your well-orchestrated trip to Egypt, the country that trapped Gazans so that Israel could massacre them.
Today, while you announce to the world that you are eager to engage in "diplomacy" with Iran (to bring on board the rest of the war-mongers who have destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan so as to ensure Iran is denied its right to a civilian nuclear program while diverting the world's attention from delivering your campaign promise to AIPAC - an undivided Jerusalem in clear violation of the UNSC[i]), you are busy violating other agreements and laws. Perhaps as a Constitutional Law practitioner you have become aware of loopholes?
The Voice of America (VOA), the propaganda arm of the State Department with round-the-clock illegal broadcasts into Iran, is designed to whip up a frenzy and topple the government. This writer was in Iran for almost four weeks in October-November 2009 and eyewitness to the November 4th(commemoration of the day the American embassy was taken over and known as "student's day") protests in Tehran. The unsuspecting Iranians believe that the VOA has their best interest at heart. What irony given that Secretary Clinton wanted to "annihilate" them all for Israel. And so they march on to the tune of VOA heartened by Iranians exiles they see on their television screen. But let me speak to you of the illegality of what is being done - a refresher course which should have come from Madame Secretary.
The US Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948 (Public Law 402), better known as the Smith-Mundt Act, institutionalized the VOA. Sadly, your administration is not the only one abusing the public trust. The Eisenhower administration had fully used the unsuspecting American public to promote his propaganda during the Cold War. The Smith-Mundt was amended with the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 1972 which banned the dissemination of any "information about the United States, its people, and its policies" prepared for dissemination abroad" within the U.S. In 1985, Senator Zorinsky further tightened the loop stating: "the American taxpayer certainly does not need or want his tax dollars used to support the US government propaganda directed at him or her."
Senator Jesse Helms had the foresight to object to the violation of the Smith-Mundt Act when in 1994 the USIA launched its Internet service. The internet service allowed for text and audio feed of VOA. The USIA moved its services from a domestic to a foreign server. However, today, VOA continues to film domestic audiences on the White House lawn - presumably, to no one's objections, including the President's. I am at a loss how Iranians here can be active participants in your propaganda aimed at undermining the regime. Furthermore, how is possible and construed legal for such demonstrations, interviews to be put on youtube and placed online?
Perhaps you believe the illegal activities of VOA on the White House lawn would be construed as 'engagement' given that the loud crowd was addressing those Iranians who could afford satellites. But surely you must have been briefed by your neocon advisors that in 1981 the U.S. and Iran signed a bilateral agreement -- the Algiers Accords; point I.1 of which states: "The United States pledge that it is and from now will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran's internal affairs." Mr. Bush could beg ignorance, and hope died with him, but a man who taught law and rekindled hope must surely know he is being watched - not just by AIPAC, but by peace-lovers.
Mr. Obama: it is high time for you to realize that the American people looked up to you as a beacon of hope, and start your peacemaking. If you truly intend to engage Iran, it is not with threat of more sanctions, but with respecting an agreement that was signed by a former president of this country recently laid to rest, Ronald Reagan. This would translate into a seizure of all broadcast into Iran, specifically VOA. Respect the Algiers Accords. Next, Mr. Obama, embrace and not simply speak of justice. Return Iran's dossier to the IAEA where it belongs. What to you have to lose? Which is more important - Ratings or lives?