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Back Channels

Governments using back channels is not unusual. Governments who don’t have formal diplomatic ties will use back channels to deal with common problems. They are also useful for dealing with difficult negotiations that neither side wants their own people to know about until a possible agreement has been reached that can be officially discussed by the leaders of of the governments involved.

Back channels can be as simple as two people meeting in a park and feeding ducks while exchanging information designed to avoid an over-reaction to some future act, but most take the form of lower ranking diplomatic personnel for the governments involved holding meetings in a neutral country.

If all of that is true, why are people going ballistic over the activities of Jared Kushner? The obvious point is that back channels are the province of governments, and Kushner had no standing other than private citizen when he was asking for the Russian embassy to establish an encrypted direct line to the Kremlin. The counterintelligence guys got really upset when the meetings were not disclosed on the appropriate forms by Kushner, and then they found out what the unreported meetings were all about.

If Kushner had waited until he was actually part of the government, people might have been annoyed, but it would have been legal. Private citizens don’t get to make foreign policy under US law.

7 comments

1 Kryten42 { 06.01.17 at 4:31 am }

Yup!

And speaking of Gov back channels… Trump & Hillary have one going via Twitter!

It started when trumpet tweeted: “Despite the constant negative press cofefe”

Which of course triggered a tweet storm, mostly about trump off his med’s, need’s more med’s, drunk, and so on!

Sen. Al Franken explained Trump’s late-night mystery tweet on CNN thus: “A covfefe is a yiddish term for ‘I gotta go to bed now’”

Within hours, “cofefe” was tending #1 on Twitter 😆

Good coverage in The Atlantic:
Spicer’s Razor

Anyway, trumpet decided to make things worse with this tweet later: “Crooked Hillary Clinton now blames everybody but herself, refuses to say she was a terrible candidate. Hits Facebook & even Dems & DNC,”

To which Hillary responded: “People in covfefe houses shouldn’t throw covfefe,”

Coverage:
Clinton throws shade at Trump during public appearance Wednesday

Hillary can’t resist, jabs Trump with ‘covfefe’ joke on Twitter

Yes… The USA has become a complete self-parody & has more avid viewers than The Comedy Channel! Congrats. 😆

2 Bryan { 06.01.17 at 6:37 pm }

This country is becoming a total pariah among the nations of the world. We have joined Nicaragua and Syria as the only countries not part of the Paris pact and have lost the trust of our European allies. The man is a train wreck and needs someone to stop him from degrading our standing further.

What mature adult starts “flame wars” ?

3 Kryten42 { 06.01.17 at 9:50 pm }

Der SPIEGEL ran this cover about Trump & the Paris accord:

https://twitter.com/DerSPIEGEL/status/870371083807068160/photo/1

Apt.

4 Kryten42 { 06.01.17 at 10:33 pm }

So, Trump tweeted: “I was elected by voters of Pittsburgh, not Paris. I promised I wld exit or renegotiate any deal which fails to serve US interests”

Bill Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh tweeted:
“As the Mayor of Pittsburgh, I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future.”

ALT IMIGRATION @ALT_uscis (The account #trump came after. Shallow State. Immigration, stuff they don’t want you to see, facts, patriotism. Not the views of DHS-USCIS. #altgov) tweeted:
“hey @billpeduto you just became my hero for the day. Followed!”

CA Gov. said it plans to join the UN climate agreement & is pursuing options.

Others are doing things like this:
“Last Tuesday, Berkeley City Council became the first city council in the nation to adopt an official policy to divest funds from 200 fossil fuel-producing companies, joining a nationwide movement to try to help curb global climate change.”

Apparently, a good portion of the USA disagrees with Trump & is showing it. So, not all bad! 😀

5 Kryten42 { 06.02.17 at 3:48 am }

Most major Businesses are not backing trump over Paris. And many who have been backing trump are looking foolish to staff & investors.

Elon Musk and Disney boss quit Trump’s business panel over Paris pullout

though, I think Musk & Iger have been looking for a good excuse to dump trump, and he gave it to them! What a moron.

6 Badtux { 06.02.17 at 11:20 am }

Trump has managed to unite both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill, the only reason he hasn’t been impeached yet is that Republicans are afraid of his MAGAts. So they’re going to keep drip drip dripping on the Russia stuff, keep stripping his MAGAt support away, until even the MAGAts run out of enthusiasm for him and stay quiet while they put President Pence in office (my prediction being right after the 2018 mid-terms, to give Pence time to run for 2020). Of course, on a domestic politics front Pence is a disaster, but he’s a *quiet* disaster, that doesn’t run around deliberately offending people, and that’s what Republicans want — a pliant President who will let them continue the stripping and looting of the American people for their benefit.

7 Bryan { 06.02.17 at 9:51 pm }

Der Spiegel [The Mirror, if you care] does do nice front page graphics.

Yo, schmuck what about: Paris, Arkansas, Paris, Idaho, Paris, Illinois, Paris, Kentucky, Paris, Maine, Paris, Michigan, Paris, Missouri, Paris, New York, Paris, Ohio, Paris, Pennsylvania, Paris, Tennessee, Paris, Texas, Paris, Virginia, Paris, Grant County, Wisconsin, and Paris, Kenosha County, Wisconsin? He knows nothing and doesn’t listen to his staff. He lost his communications director and is unlikely to find anyone else willing to take the job. Hell, it’s the beginning of the hurricane season and he hasn’t appointed a director of FEMA.

International businesses want international rules. They want to know that everyone has the same restrictions. I can see US exports being hit with a carbon import tax because of this stupidity.

Yes, Badtux, even the Republicans are concerned that they aren’t going to get re-elected if they have Trump as their leader pissing off the voters. It really doesn’t look like he will finish his 4 years. If the midterm election is a Republican blood bath, he will be impeached.