Welcome to Presidential Election season

Posted March 18th, 2015 at 12:10 pm (UTC-4)
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If there was any doubt that the Presidential election season has begun in the US: Joe Trippi just walked into our studio. The man has literally worked on more Presidential campaigns than he can count: it’s a lot of dingy hotel rooms in Iowa I would imagine. He’s here to talk Hillary — it’s widely known at this point that Hillary Clinton used a “personal” email account while serving as Secretary of State. But many wonder if it’s not too late to recover the information.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Quoted in Politico magazine “The State Department’s failure to retain and record-manage these quintessential agency records and make them available for retrieval has compromised the Department’s response to Judicial Watch’s request,” according to Judicial Watch lawyer Ramona Cotca.

For many, it all comes back to who the Secretary of State is and the impending election season. “The American people will end up being the jury,” Joe Trippi told us. And more than that, “Technology is moving faster than bureaucracy … does the FOIA apply to her DM’s (direct messages)”?

The truth is: no one knows. This is uncharted territory. Technology has moved well beyond the constraints of bureaucratic systems like that of the US government. A system where when Hillary was told to hand over all the emails she had written as Secretary of State, she was instructed to print them all out – have someone hand deliver them to the State Department.

Cue the Saturday Night live band … her comes vanloads of paperwork.

In the meantime, the folks at Judicial Watch and the Associated Press are suing the Federal Government for access to her communications under the Freedom of Information Act. Many questions loom – the Benghazi attack is certain to be at the front of the list.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

But the bigger question will have to be answered at some point: how are leaders around the world supposed to communicate when they’re paranoid if they use the platform they’re required to use they could, or likely will be hacked? The flip side is what Hillary Clinton is dealing with: she used a server that may have been secure from the outside world … but perhaps not secure from legal scrutiny.

-CP

Cal Perry
Cal Perry is an TV executive and host of the show "Hashtag" at the Voice of America. Prior to joining VOA in 2012 Cal was the Middle East correspondent for Al Jazeera English. Cal began his career at CNN where he served as Baghdad Bureau chief and as an International correspondent around the globe.

America’s Opposition Party

Posted March 11th, 2015 at 12:21 pm (UTC-4)
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47 members of the GOP sent this open letter to Iran stating that any deal with Obama will be killed after he leaves office.

47 members of the GOP sent this open letter to Iran stating that any deal with Obama will be killed after he leaves office.

I need a constitutional lawyer. Except I’m not sure that one would help because based on my initial conversations with historians, academics – no one seems to be able to put their finger on whether or not the letter written by 47 Republicans to the “Leaders of Iran” was a breach of law or just a breach of “protocol”.

 

It seems to be the latter quite frankly. Mostly because the “Logan Act” has never been enforced since its inception in 1799. Never. Not a single time. The text of the Logan act is fairly simple: making it a crime for citizens to engage in “any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government … with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government … in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States.”

 

So … it’s politics. As usual. The Act allows Democrats to work the word “traitor” into the same sentence as the names of those who signed the letter. The Iranian government quick to not miss a beat, or opportunity, and remind everyone they can play politics and snarky diplomacy as well as anyone offered publically to be a third party negotiator between the US President and Republicans on Capitol Hill. Suddenly this is all turning into a “Saturday Night Live” skit.

 

The important question is: will this letter jeopardize the negotiations between the two parties? According to former US Ambassador Victor Tomseth it likely won’t. “Iranians and their politics are both fractured … it’s not likely the letter will have a long term impact on the negotiations.”

The recent cover of the Daily News calling the signers of the GOP letter "traitors".

The recent cover of the Daily News calling the signers of the GOP letter “traitors”. 

For those like Kelsey Davenport from armscontrol.org this is in some ways the realization of a scenario long feared. “Unity within the US government is now key” she said on this weeks “Hashtag.”

 

The fear of many involved in the negotiations must be one of either side finding an excuse to walk away. Everyone seems to agree that an agreement is in the interest of Iran: a country that is very plagued by continued sanctions.

 

The question remains however, if the negotiations fall apart: will the Iranian delegation use this letter as one of their reasons for walking away from the table?

 

Should that happen, the US should be prepared to re-define and re-address things like the “Logan act,” as the blame game will be full on, inside the beltway.

Cal Perry
Cal Perry is an TV executive and host of the show "Hashtag" at the Voice of America. Prior to joining VOA in 2012 Cal was the Middle East correspondent for Al Jazeera English. Cal began his career at CNN where he served as Baghdad Bureau chief and as an International correspondent around the globe.

To Bibi or not to Bibi

Posted February 25th, 2015 at 1:08 pm (UTC-4)
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Benjamin Netanyahu
How did we get here?
The Prime Minister of Israel accepting an invitation from the Speaker of the House and … all the sudden he’s, “spit in the face” of the US President?
Cal Perry
Cal Perry is an TV executive and host of the show "Hashtag" at the Voice of America. Prior to joining VOA in 2012 Cal was the Middle East correspondent for Al Jazeera English. Cal began his career at CNN where he served as Baghdad Bureau chief and as an International correspondent around the globe.

People are entitled to their own views, but not their own science

Posted February 12th, 2015 at 11:47 am (UTC-4)
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This little bottle has caused a whole lot of controversy

This little bottle has caused a whole lot of controversy

When preparing for any show, regardless of topic – one always tries to disavow themselves of any preconceived ideas or notions about the subject matter. This would prove to be particularly difficult this week, with the show’s subject: vaccines in America – should they be government mandated?

Read the rest of this entry »

Cal Perry
Cal Perry is an TV executive and host of the show "Hashtag" at the Voice of America. Prior to joining VOA in 2012 Cal was the Middle East correspondent for Al Jazeera English. Cal began his career at CNN where he served as Baghdad Bureau chief and as an International correspondent around the globe.

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