Schumer, lies and the Iran deal

A report notes that Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will vote against the Iran deal, “Schumer is one of the most powerful members of the Senate, which is not quite the same thing as saying he’s dignified. Back in the 1990s, when he was a congressman, his House colleagues had a phrase for waking up to find he’d upstaged them in the media: to be “Schumed.” Washingtonians have long joked that the most dangerous place in town is between New York’s senior senator and a microphone. The Washington Post’s Emily Heil has suggested we retire that hackneyed cliché, replacing it instead with this bon mot from former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine: “Sharing a media market with Chuck Schumer is like sharing a banana with a monkey,” Corzine was quoted as saying in New York magazine. “Take a little bite of it, and he will throw his own feces at you.” On Thursday evening, right in the middle of the first GOP debate, Schumer reached back, took aim, and heaved a large one. He penned a long piece forMedium that some anonymous hack described as “thoughtful and deliberate.” Uh, ok. Maybe compared to Mike Huckabee’s outrage about “oven doors,” but good grief our standards for political discourse have fallen”.

The article goes on to argues that “Consider how Schumer describes the inspections regime in the Iran deal. Schumer starts by repeating the claim that “inspections are not ‘anywhere, anytime’; the 24-day delay before we can inspect is troubling.” This would be very troubling if it were true. It isn’t. The claim that inspections occur with a 24-day delay is the equivalent of Obamacare “death panels.” Remember those? A minor detail has been twisted into a bizarre caricature and repeated over and over until it becomes “true.” Let’s get this straight. The agreement calls for continuous monitoring at all of Iran’s declared sites — that means all of the time — including centrifuge workshops, which are not safeguarded anywhere else in the world. Inspectors have immediate access to these sites”.

He continues importantly, “That leaves the problem of possible undeclared sites. What happens when the International Atomic Energy Agency suspects that prohibited work is occurring at an undeclared site? This is the problem known as the “Ayatollah’s toilet.” It emerged from the challenge of inspecting presidential palaces in Iraq in the 1990s, which — despite the U.N. Special Commission’s demands for immediate access — the Iraqis argued were off-limits. Far from giving Iran 24 days, the IAEA will need to give only 24 hours’notice before showing up at a suspicious site to take samples. Access could even be requested with as little as two hours’ notice, something that will be much more feasible now that Iran has agreed to let inspectors stay in-country for the long term. Iran is obligated to provide the IAEA access to all such sites — including, if it comes down to it, the Ayatollah’s porcelain throne”.

Crucially he writes “What opponents of the deal have done is add up all the time limits and claim that inspections will occur only after a 24-day pause. This is simply not true. Should the U.S. intelligence community catch the Iranians red-handed, it might be that the Iranians would drag things out as long as possible. But in such a case, the game would be over. Either the Iranians would never let the inspectors into the site, or its efforts to truck out documents or equipment, wash down the site, or bulldoze buildings, etc., would be highly visible. These tactics would crater the deal, with predictable consequences”.

The author goes on to write, “Some of us might think it’s good that the agreement puts defined limits on how much Iran can stall and explicitly prohibits a long list of weaponisation activities. Opponents, like Schumer — apparently for want of anything better — have seized on these details to spin them into objections. A weaker, less detailed agreement might have been easier to defend against this sort of attack, perhaps. But let’s not be too critical of Schumer’s insincerity. Despite having repeated these and other arguments against the Iran deal, Schumer, although a member of the Democratic leadership, has gone out of his way to signal that other caucus members should vote their conscience”.

He ends, “Congress has a long history of members voting against agreements while working to pass them. Sen. Mitch McConnell, when he was minority leader, openly opposed the New START agreement, while paving the way for a small number of Republican senators to cross party lines to secure its ratification. Schumer appears to be doing something similar in this case, stating his personal opposition but not whipping votes against the deal”.

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One Response to “Schumer, lies and the Iran deal”

  1. Obama gets the votes needed | Order and Tradition Says:

    […] six Democrats to come out against the deal to achieve that goal, but have so far only won over New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez. Mikulski’s endorsement, announced in a statement, could cut […]

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