BALD-FACED LIES ABOUT THE U.N.
By Cliff Kincaid
Do you think our “adversary press” is on the lookout for government lies? Consider the false testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte on behalf of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This is a treaty that our media want passed by the Senate. So they are letting his lies go completely unchallenged.
One of the most audacious lies was that, despite the fact that the treaty carries the name “United Nations” in its title, it is not a U.N. treaty.
Negroponte’s testimony included several “myths” that he said were prevalent about the treaty. One was that “The Convention [UNCLOS] is a ‘UN’ treaty and therefore does not serve our interests.” The “reality,” he said, was that, “The Convention is not the United Nations?it was merely negotiated there, as are many agreements, and negotiated by States, not by UN bureaucrats.”
There was a time when the State Department didn’t lie in such an audacious way about the treaty. A 1995 speech by the then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Ocean Affairs, David A. Colson, openly refers to the entities created by the treaty as “U.N. institutions.” He didn’t try to confuse or mislead the American people about the U.N. connection. But Negroponte went out of his way to tell us?in official testimony before a Senate committee?that it is not a U.N. treaty. How can he get away with it? Simple. Our major media let him. They should be insisting on an official investigation. Federal law prohibits making false statements to Congress.
The U.N. is much more open about its role. Its Division for Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea declares that “Throughout the years, beginning with the work of the Seabed Committee in 1968 and later during the nine-year duration of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, the United Nations has been actively engaged in encouraging and guiding the development and eventual adoption of the Law of the Sea Convention. Today, it continues to be engaged in this process, by monitoring developments as they relate to the Convention and providing assistance to States, when called for, in either the ratification or the implementation process.”
It goes on to say that “The United Nations also gives assistance to the two newly created institutions the International Seabed Authority and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.”
But there’s more. “The United Nations will continue to play a major role in the monitoring of, collection of information on and reporting on State practice in the implementation of the new legal regime,” the website declares. “It will also have a significant role to play in reporting on activities of States and relevant international organizations in marine affairs and on major trends and developments. This information will be of great assistance to States in the acceptance and ratification of the Convention, as well as its early entry into force and implementation.”
But there’s still more. “A number of new duties falls upon the Secretary-General of the United Nations,” it says. “These include the depositing of charts and coordinates showing the maritime limits of coastal States and servicing of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. The Secretary-General is also called upon to convene meetings of States Parties to elect the members of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and to adopt its budget.”
The role of the U.N. Secretary-General is not a mere formality. As I noted in a previous column, Senator David Vitter forced the admission from treaty proponent Dr. Bernard Oxman that the U.N. boss can pick three of five arbitrators to resolve certain disputes if an enemy of the U.S. drags us before a treaty panel. The official list of arbitrators nominated under article 2 of annex V and article 2 of annex VII to the Convention is maintained on the website of the United Nations Treaty Section of the Office of Legal Affairs.
The treaty’s preamble makes several references to the U.N., including the fact that the treaty is based ultimately on a 1970 U.N. General Assembly resolution declaring ocean resources beyond national jurisdiction “the common heritage of mankind.” This is how the global socialist entity created by the treaty and known as the International Seabed Authority (ISA) acquires rights to billions of dollars worth of oil, gas, and minerals in “international waters.” In order to exploit those natural resources, U.S. companies will have to pay a “fee,” a form of global tax, to the ISA. This will make the ISA the first U.N. entity to have an independent source of revenue.
Other U.N. references included the preamble’s statement that the treaty will be carried out in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.
Article 301 of UNCLOS, “Peaceful uses of the seas,” declares that “In exercising their rights and performing their duties under this Convention, States Parties shall refrain from any threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations.”
In addition, the International Seabed Authority and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea have written and formal working agreements with the U.N. Their employees are members and beneficiaries of the $36-billion United Nations Pension Fund.
Not a U.N. treaty, Mr. Negroponte? How could he deliver that testimony with a straight face? Answer: he knew the media would protect him or not even bother to check the facts.
Why did he lie? The answer has to be that the name “United Nations” is in disrepute. It has come to symbolize incompetence and corruption. So State Department officials have to lie about the U.N. role in this treaty in order to have any hope of it passing.
Think about it: what senator in his or her right mind would vote for giving the U.N. more power and influence over world affairs in light of the still unfolding U.N. oil-for-food scandal? A Texas oil tycoon is the latest to plead guilty in that case.
But the scandals just keep on coming. A former U.N. investigator from Australia has now come forward to allege that the world body is corrupt to the core and that up to $500 million in humanitarian relief for the victims of the December 26, 2004, tsunami has been ripped off. The Sydney Morning Herald originally reported his allegations in stories you can find here and here. The former investigator, Francis Montil, also describes investigating a pattern of sexual harassment by a top U.N. official, including the groping of American movie star Angelina Jolie. The report of the investigation was buried.
A Google search found that one or both of the Sydney Morning Herald stories was picked up by WorldNetDaily and some other newspapers in Australia, India, and Malaysia. But no major U.S. “mainstream media” outlet has covered these extraordinary allegations. This is the pro-U.N. media bias in action.
However, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that an anti-fraud unit at the U.N. that has identified more than $610 million in allegedly tainted contracts might be closed down.
You can bet Negroponte and his friends at State are hoping that all of these allegations remain buried or glossed over at least until after the Senate ratifies the U.N.’s Law of the Sea Treaty. It is then that we might find out that the U.N. institutions created by the treaty have even less ethical oversight and fraud protection than the U.N. itself. There is no requirement, for example, for any of the employees of these new institutions to submit financial disclosure and conflict-of-interest forms. UNCLOS will make the oil-for-food scandal look like peanuts.
the power of the people, as talk-show host Laura Ingraham talks about
in her new book, can save the U.S. and the world from this latest
U.N. power grab and inevitable financial scandal. We need Ingraham,
Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh and other radio talk-show
hosts to inform the American people and then provide a platform for
their rightful anger and outrage. Time is running out. The Senate
could vote soon.
2007 Cliff Kincaid - All Rights Reserved
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Cliff Kincaid, a veteran journalist and media critic, Cliff concentrated in journalism and communications at the University of Toledo, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Cliff has written or co-authored nine books on media and cultural affairs and foreign policy issues.
Cliff has appeared on Hannity & Colmes, The O’Reilly Factor, Crossfire and has been published in the Washington Post, Washington Times, Chronicles, Human Events and Insight.
You can bet Negroponte and his friends at State are hoping that all of these allegations remain buried or glossed over at least until after the Senate ratifies the U.N.’s Law of the Sea Treaty.