April 2012 Archives

The waiver disgrace

On Friday, President Obama issued a waiver (thanks to David G for the link) of restrictions passed by Congress and signed into law by Obama last year on providing funds to the Palestinian Authority.  It must be noted that the waiver option was expressly included in the legislation itself.

(b) Waiver- The prohibition included in subsection (a) shall not apply if the President certifies in writing to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President pro tempore of the Senate, and the Committees on Appropriations that waiving such prohibition is important to the national security interests of the United States

And of course he did so certify.  And his spokesmouth, Tommy Vietor, obligingly prevaricated outright to the press:

"The PA has recognized Israel's right to exist, renounced violence, and accepted previous agreements, including the Roadmap," he said, referring to the peace plan proposed by the so-called Middle East Quartet -- United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations.
The PA has done no such thing.  To the contrary, its official representatives have expressly rejected any intention to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, have consistently honored and rewarded those engaged in violence against Israeli civilians and have imposed their own unilateral conditions upon their alleged "acceptance" of all previous agreements, including but not limited to the Roadmap.

Bottom line: not only is such a waiver not in the national security interest of the United States, it runs directly counter to any such interest.  There is no national security interest in propping up a failed dictator who is now more than three years past the term of his elected office.  There is no national security interest in continuing to feed US taxpayer dollars, even if we had them to spare (which we do not), into an anti-US, anti-Western, antisemitic kleptocracy that knows no bounds. 

This is not that complicated.  And it actually may turn out to be ... a good thing.  Why?  Because the waiver provision has a caveat

(d) Report- Whenever the waiver authority pursuant to subsection (b) is exercised, the President shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations detailing the justification for the waiver, the purposes for which the funds will be spent, and the accounting procedures in place to ensure that the funds are properly disbursed: Provided, That the report shall also detail the steps the Palestinian Authority has taken to arrest terrorists, confiscate weapons and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure.

Obama can't submit such a report because the PA has taken no such steps in any meaningful way.  If Congress was indifferent to the president's compliance with this requirement, it would be no big deal.  Obama could submit some made up garbage and it would be accepted.  But Congress does not seem to be indifferent, and if they are, then we, their constituents, need to hold their feet to the fire.  It's an election year.  Public hearings on Obama's "evidence" that the PA has complied with its obligations would provide an interesting venue for the truth to come out. 

I say ... bring it on!

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