Why was Sen. Jay Rockefeller talking to Bashar Assad about the president's "plans" for Iraq?
Mind you, it took President Bush nine months from time of Rockefeller's trip to even bring the subject of Iraq to Congress, and even though he got the authorization he wanted, he spent five months after that attempting to negotiate with the United Nations for unanimous backing on military action. That hardly seems like an implacably-resolved president determined to go to war.
None of this is to say that our elected representatives can't speak to foreign heads of state, even those unfriendly to the United States. However, by Rockefeller's own reckoning, this incident involves more than just fact-finding. The man who sits in judgment of American intelligence communities went to a known supporter of Islamist terror at a time when the nation had explicitly declared itself in conflict with such groups, and discussed our wartime preparations with a tyrant who could have--and may have--used that information to America's disadvantage. The timetable, and Rockefeller's admitted intervention, allowed the Assad and Hussein enough time to create strategic planning for the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq.
Given the facts we know now, it seems to be an excellent example of why Congress passed the Logan Act in the first place.
Edward Morrissey is a contributing writer to The Daily Standard and a contributor to the blog Captain's Quarters.