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Is Dennis Rodman violating the Logan Act?

Updated on March 8, 2013

The Logan Act is a federal law that was enacted in the year 1799. It was named after Pennsylvania legislator and Senator George Logan. The Logan Act makes it illegal for American citizens to engage in diplomacy. Any diplomatic missions on behalf of the U.S.A. must be conducted by the federal government, it's agencies, or it's elected officials. Ordinary American citizens like you and me are not permitted to engage in diplomacy. If we do, we could be prosecuted for violating the Logan Act, which is a felony, and it carries a three-year prison sentence.

There have been a few notable instances when Americans may have violated the Logan Act. Would you believe that Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company (a manufacturer of cars and trucks) and Jane Fonda (well-known actress who was the star of a movie called Barbarella) have something in common? Both of them were nearly arrested for violating the Logan Act.

During World War One, Henry Ford tried to stop the war by renting a huge ship, filling the ship with peace activists,and sailing to Europe on a mission of peace. The ship was an ocean liner that was named the Ford Peace Ship. Henry Ford and representatives from Denmark, Holland, Norway, Sweden, and the U.S.A. began their trip on December 4th, 1915. They arrived in Stockholm, Sweden, in January, 1916. They chose Sweden because Sweden was a neutral country, Sweden remained neutral during World War One. Henry Ford and the peace activists got out of the ship and held meetings, and gave speeches, but they failed to come to any agreement that would have ended the war.

In 1972, during the Vietnam War, actress Jane Fonda visited North Vietnam. At the time, the American military was fighting against Communists in South Vietnam, and they were trying to kill as many Communists as possible. North Vietnam was enemy territory, since North Vietnam was already controlled by the Communists. Jane Fonda went to North Vietnam, and was taken on a tour by Communist officials. She made a speech which was broadcast on the radio in North Vietnam on August 22, 1972. In her speech, she urged peace.

Henry Ford and Jane Fonda were both guilty of violating the Logan Act. The newest violator may be Dennis Rodman. In case you don't know who Dennis Rodman is, let's just say he is a well-known athlete, a basketball star. He's also well-known for his outlandish appearance. A website recently had a photo of Dennis Rodman, he's shown with a ear-ring in his ear, two nose-rings in his nose, and another ring in his lip. Another website had a nude photo of Dennis Rodman, showing that he has rings in his nipples, and much of his body is covered with tattoos.

Dennis Rodman recently visited North Korea, which has been the target of economic sanctions for several years, and he met with the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un. On March 7, 2013, North Korea made what was understood to be a threat to make a nuclear attack on the U.S.A. Kim Jong Un was quoted as threatening us with: "a preemptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors". A website on March 8, 2013 quoted Dennis Rodman as saying that he wanted to go back to North Korea, and broker a peace deal between North Korea and the U.S.A. The website said that Rodman wanted to go back to North Korea within the next six months. If he does, he may be in direct violation of the Logan Act.

Anthony Ratkov, March 8, 2013.


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