From Russia to Iran with Love ... From Al
L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
The subject is serious. It appears to involve willful violations of explicit laws and intentional undermining of America's national security. These are certainly not the kind of issues that should be associated with a presidential candidate or a sitting vice president.
The origins of this scandal have the flavor of the opening chapter of a Tom Clancy novel. There's the deliberate rejection of proof that a key player in our nation's foreign policy was involved in corruption. There's a sinister connection to a totalitarian regime in the Middle East. There's evidence of illegal secret agreements that contemplate the transfer of weapons and dangerous technology.
The year is 1995. A CIA agent has acquired serious background data considered to be conclusive evidence of the personal corruption of the prime minister of Russia. The agent works hard to polish a final report and send it to the point person for Russian affairs, the vice president of the United States. Strangely, the report is rejected and subsequently returned with a barnyard epithet scrolled across its cover.
Well, as truth often trumps fiction, particularly in our current climate, this is precisely what happened to some real live CIA agents, according to a 1998 account in The New York Times.
The message came through loud and clear. Vice President Al Gore did not want to hear the truth about Mr. Viktor S. Chernomyrdin, the Russian prime minister. If we didn't know the reason back in 1995, we know now.
On the same fatal day that we lost 17 American sailors in the greatest terrorist related attack in naval history, secret agreement no.1 was made public, again by The New York Times. It was reported that this notable twosome, Al and Viktor, had agreed that Russia would not have to pay sanctions for selling weapons to Iran, as required under explicit U.S. law. In exchange, Russia agreed to limit the destabilizing arms transfer to Iran for a duration of five years.
The law that would have imposed sanctions on Russia is the 1992 Iran-Iraq Arms Nonproliferation Act. Ironically, this act is also known as the Gore-McCain Act because the then senator Al Gore was one of its chief sponsors.
What was transferred pursuant to this pact that the vice president had arranged in secret? Well, in addition to the MIG-29 fighter-jets, SU-24 fighter-bombers, strategic bombers, jet trainers, antiballistic missile systems and wake-homing torpedoes, three new generation of Kilo class submarines were also transferred. These vessels are considered to be the most advanced, quietest, diesel-electric submarines currently built in the world.
There was good reason for Al Gore and John McCain to write the 1992 Iran-Iraq Arms Nonproliferation Act. The State Department had rightly classified Iran as a sponsor of terrorism, the kind of terrorism that caused the deaths of 17 of our sailors stationed in the same region of the world.
Now, secret agreement no. 2 has surfaced, courtesy of Bill Gertz of The Washington Times. Based on classified documents obtained by The Washington Times, Vice President Gore agreed to ignore the Nuclear Nonproliferation Act. In addition, he promised to keep congressional oversight committees in the dark about another Russian initiative, one that involved Russia's plan to transfer nuclear technology to Iran so that Iran could allegedly build a reactor.
Aside from violations of the two previously mentioned statutes, the Clinton/Gore administration has transgressed the Case-Zablocki Act. This law specifically requires that the text of any international agreement, oral or written, be transmitted to key members of Congress as soon as possible, but absolutely within sixty days. It has been five years.
Congressman Christopher Cox has asserted that this legal transgression is no "gray area." Senator John McCain has unequivocally stated that Vice President Al Gore has violated the law.
Controlling legal authorities abound. Perhaps this is why no denial by Al Gore or his campaign has been offered. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled a meeting to investigate the actions of the vice president and the possible destabilization of the geopolitical framework of the Middle East.
At the beginning of the third presidential debate of the 2000 campaign, Al Gore told us that he had kept the faith, that he had raised his right hand many times to declare an oath to the Constitution of the United States, and that he had never broken that oath.
When all the facts emerge concerning Al Gore's dealings with Russia, that single statement may make all of the other Al Gore embellishments pale in comparison.