Thursday, April 2, 2015

Put it on paper; make it public

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Iran and and six world powers have agreed on the outlines of an understanding that would open the path to a final phase of nuclear negotiations but are in a dispute over how much to make public, officials told The Associated Press Thursday. [Associated Press]

Perhaps there is some overriding principle I haven't considered, but it seems to me that this agreement should be in writing (I've read that it likely won't be) and that every word of it should be made public (I understand that our last agreement with Iran was never made public).

This is a big deal. This agreement may well determine if Iran -- widely acknowledged as the leading sponsor of terrorism in the world -- acquires nuclear weapons. Why on Earth would we not want the terms explicitly laid out in precise language (i.e. in words) to ensure that all parties are crystal clear about what is being agreed to? And so that any violations of the agreement can be judged against a clear and unambiguous document? This is especially important since Iran has a long history of violating such agreements.

As to whether the agreement should be made public, Barack Obama is our elected representative. How do we not have a right to know what he is committing us to? We should be able to examine the agreement. We should be able to discuss and assess it. We should have the option to act on that assessment in the next election if we feel a change in policy is needed to protect our interests and security.

This whole process stinks. Wasn't this supposed to be "the most transparent administration in history?"

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