The Reality-Based Community has obtained the following extraordinary document. Of its veracity there can be no doubt. Its authenticity is not quite so certain; no doubt the White House and the Senate will deny that it was ever sent or received.
The White House
To the Senate of the United States:
It has come to my attention that a group of Senators, acting without the authority of the Senate, has taken the extraordinary step of communicating directly with the government of a foreign power with which the United States is holding tense and urgent negotiations about matters that might lead to war or might, instead, greatly enhance our national security.
As part of that communication, those individuals have taken it upon themselves to inform the government with which we are negotiating that the pledged word of the United States of America, given by its President, is without value.
Of course it is true that, if the Islamic Republic of Iran – or any other nation – enters into an executive agreement with the United States, and upholds its obligations under that agreement, it would be within the lawful power of the President to unilaterally order that the United States breach its obligations under that agreement.
But it is also true that doing so, absent exigent and unforeseen circumstances, would be in the highest degree dishonorable, and would weaken the ability of any future President to conduct diplomacy, thus making our great nation less strong, less respected, and more vulnerable.
Accordingly, it has been the unvarying practice of the United States, not only under this Administration but under all past Administrations, to scrupulously carry out the nation’s international obligations, whether or not embodied in treaties ratified by the Senate. There are nations that treat international agreements as mere “scraps of paper,” but those of us who love this country would hate to have it counted in their disreputable number.
The Constitution assigns to each House of Congress disciplinary authority over its own members. Accordingly, I am bringing this unfortunate, unwise, and even (at least in its effect) unpatriotic action to the attention of the Senate for such action as it deems, in its wisdom, necessary and appropriate.
/Barack H. Obama
February 30, 2015