“Peace Activist” = Felon?

September 26, 2008

If you commit a felony and then write a press release about it, you may be a moron. Or a member of Code Pink. Or both. See this press release? Read it while I clean my internet cables and apologize to them for linking to Code Pink’s blog.

If you didn’t follow the link for fear of putting your soul in mortal terror, that’s okay. Here’s the gist of it: Code Pink and Ahmadinejad had a little sit down. This little bit is the important part.

“U.S. government officials are quick to stir up hostilities with Iran, but the American people are tired of war,” said Benjamin, co-founder of the nonpartisan women’s peace group CODEPINK. “The peace movement represents the sentiment of the majority of Americans who want our two countries to find ways to work together and improve relations. We are modeling the behavior we want to see our government adopt.”

The CODEPINK women proposed inviting American and Iranian artists to build a “peace park” in Tehran, a memorial dedicated to people-to-people commitment to peace and diplomacy between our two countries.

They also proposed a plan to invest funds in an Iranian business, one that produces green and sustainable products, such as bicycles. This grassroots investment would be the opposite of efforts by the Bush administration and Congress to tighten sanctions, a move which CODEPINK thinks would only hurt ordinary, everyday Iranians. Such a symbolic CODEPINK investment in a green, sustainable business would challenge U.S. regulations blocking trade with Iran and would show how diplomacy and trade are preferable to war and sanctions.

So where’s the felony, you ask? Meet the Logan Act, passed in 1799. This little piece of legislature forbids unauthorized citizens (such as Code Pink) from negotiating with foreign governments (such as Iran). It’s punishable by up to three years in prison and gives bona fide felon status, so you can’t vote, be on a jury, hold public office, or own a gun in most states.

We’ll see these individuals hauled off to prison in droves any day now, right? Right. As if.