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  • Law of the Sea Hearings Point to Lame Duck Passage Strategy

    Today, the Senate has two hearings scheduled on the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). The Senate will have had three hearings on the LOST after today—yet, not for the purposes of educating Senators on the flaws versus the benefits of the treaty. These hearings are a pretext for a lame duck strategy to railroad the treaty through the Senate after the November election.

    The first hearing today is titled “Perspectives from the U.S. Military.” Witnesses include Admiral James A. Winnefeld, Jr, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and representatives from other government stakeholders in navigation on the high seas. The question that these witnesses can’t sufficiently answer is, “What can’t you do today, because of the LOST, that you could do if the treaty were to be ratified?” The answer is nothing.

    Heritage’s Kim Holmes, former Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, wrote for The Washington Times last year that the navigational provisions in the treaty are not necessary.

    The treaty’s navigational provisions offer nothing new. Yes, the U.S. Navy says (LOST) might improve the “predictability” of these rights, but does the Navy’s access to international waters really depend upon a treaty to which we are not even a member? The last time I checked, the U.S. Navy could go anywhere it wanted in international waters. Though redundant, the navigational provisions of (LOST) are actually pretty good. That’s why President Ronald Reagan supported them. But Reagan and others objected to the unaccountable international bureaucracy created by the treaty.

    The second hearing today will include former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Heritage Foundation expert Steve Groves, former Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, and former Legal Advisor at State John B. Bellinger, III. This hearing will be an excellent opportunity for the opponents of LOST to make the case that this treaty is flawed.

    The bottom line is that Senator John Kerry (D–MA) has been stacking hearings in favor of proponents of LOST. The first hearing this year included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    As I wrote in an op-ed at Townhall, opponents of the treaty made a strong case against ratification.

    Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) professed to be starting from a neutral position vis a vis ratification. Directing a query to Ms. Clinton, he said, “A lot of people believe that the administration…wants to use this treaty as a way to get America into a regime relating to carbon, since it has been unsuccessful doing so domestically. And I wonder if you might respond to that.” Ms. Clinton’s response? She said she has a legal analysis that knocks down that argument. But not all Americans are willing to rely on a politically driven legal memo from the Obama Administration as a guarantee that this treaty will not empower the International Sea Bed Authority to force regulations on American business. Those seeking certainty on this vital issue would rather take a pass on the treaty than take a chance on Ms. Clinton’s promises.

    Senators Mike Lee (R–UT) and Jim Risch (R–ID) expressed dissatisfaction with the Administration’s alleging that opponents of the treaty were engaging in “misinformation” and “mythology.” Risch argued that “you addressed the people who oppose ratification of the treaty, and…I hope you weren’t scoffing at us.” Proponents have engaged in name calling to avoid the central issues to be considered before ratification.

    These hearings are intended to show that Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Kerry allowed conservatives to have their say before the lame duck strategy is implemented. The deck has been stacked, with two hearings in favor and one with a 50–50 split between proponents and opponents. Kerry used a similar strategy the last time the Senate considered the LOST.

    Make no mistake; these hearings are part of the strategy of the treaty’s proponents to wait until after the election to push through LOST—in November or December of this year when the American people have no recourse against this offense against American sovereignty.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    15 Responses to Law of the Sea Hearings Point to Lame Duck Passage Strategy

    1. dbone says:

      This isn't a treaty, it's a career for global leftists who have all measure of different agendas, mostly keeping their kids in private schools in NY and Geneva, wealth re-distribution, and environment ga-ga.

      The oceans are a political playground for the UN frauds.

      I argue never to ratify.

      • West Texan says:

        Agreed. It's another corrupt power grab by American and international demagogues bent on total and absolute political control. As a free society already struggling to limit the central government's abusive unconstitutional overreach into states' affairs, just the mention of such a treasonous treaty is an abomination. Stay vigilant in the defense of freedom. Go Navy!

    2. This is really serious stuff, folks, and if ratified will have the tentacles of an octupus into all kinds of American freedoms.

    3. BackwardsBoy says:

      I also argue agains ratification. This appears to be an attempt to surrender the US to international control in clear defiance of our Constitution.

      No taxation (or regulation) without representation. I find it incredulous that the left in Washington is not only pushing this bad idea, they're dodging any and all relevent questions about the details to the point of name-calling.

    4. Bill Richards says:

      The Law Of Sea Treaty (LOST) is another step in the LOSS of America's sovereignty to foreign entities comprised within the United Nations. I agree, the Leftist Obama administration is trying to utilize the LOST as a way to implement Cap & TAX on a worldwide scale. Barack Obama said himself he is a "citizen of the world" and he would like nothing better, in my opinion, than for America to meld itself into a United States of Europe. Even while the United States of America loses its once prominent position as a world superpower and is now steadily declining into mediocrity because of the Obama administration's wretched socialist policies, which are currently bankrupting the country, weakening our military, and ruining America's reputation in the eyes of the world community under Obama's presidency.

      Hopefully sanity will prevail against the insanity coming out of the White House, and the LOST will be defeated on principle and also given the fact the LOST is an ill-advised plan without merit and would be another nail in the coffin of America's sovereignty. No wonder the Obama administration wholeheartedly supports it!

    5. Sean says:

      What is the repeal process to remove this attack on America once Romney gets into office?

      • Rolland says:

        According to Wikipedia, treaties can be repealed. And – “Additionally, an international accord that is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution is void under domestic U.S. law, the same as any other federal law in conflict with the Constitution…..the courts also declined to interfere when President George W. Bush unilaterally withdrew the United States from the ABM Treaty in 2002, six months after giving the required notice of intent.”

      • udaman says:

        What makes you so sure Romney would want to repeal it? Wait, don't tell me…you think he's a conservative? Yeah, just like McCain and the Bushies. Right.

    6. firefirefire says:

      Time to do the watering.

    7. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Almost every piece of major legislation is being deliberately held up in the Senate by Reid, under the instruction of Obama, as the final punishment to the American people if Obama is not reelected in November. By this point we should all recognize this as the Obama reaction to anyone that will not or does not agree with his policies. It's the Saul Alinski tactic of attack and distroy.

    8. O_Henry says:

      Has Heritage, The Foundry, or any other conservative “Think Tank” any inside information or what approach would be used by the Lame Duck “Leadership” to move this through the Senate at the coming time of reference?

      Has a strategy been formulated to address this “LOST” legislation to see to it that it becomes loosing-legislation?

      Could something as simple as a roll call vote stop this i.e. no anonymity to hide behind?

      Could those senators in the “middle ground” be identified and a strong appeal be made by their constituents who oppose LOST have any support and organization by those of us not in those senator’s states?

      In short, we have a problem clearly identified. What are “we” doing to address it?

    9. BSullivan says:

      Ascension to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is a critical step required to preserve U.S. sovereignty and it is a non-partisan issue. It is supported by industry, military, and government representatives across the political spectrum.

      President Regan’s objections to the treaty were addressed in the 1994 amendments. Specifically, the deep sea bed mining authority’s ability to tax may be overridden by U.S. veto power. U.S. ascension is vital to our interests now because it will preserve this veto power and other rights our government worked hard to incorporate through its leadership on law of the sea issues. The Convention will be amended this November and if the U.S. isn’t at the table, we will lose much of what we’ve fought hard to achieve for U.S. interests.

    10. historianMI says:

      If the U.S. relinquishes its rights to travel and resource utilization of the oceans to some sort of international committee or tribunal, those rights are gone, probably forever. The briefcase thugs and military groups of the UN and the international courts (whose members do not like, probably hate, the United States of America) will enforce by whatever means necessary the current provisions of "LOST" and the future amendments thereto.
      A considerable number of the UN nations are dictatorships or other despotisms which find the U.S. a menace to their power and wealth and would like nothing better than weakening our power and influence on the planet.

    11. rmgdnnow says:

      I have no confidence in Sen. Kerry's demands. He has been no friend of the U.S. ever since Viet Nam days when he went to Europe to hob-nob with the Viet Nam Communists. His background suggests the same ever since his studies at private schools, his leftist father and his working with Senator Kennedy, who was an opponent of our efforts to save the South Vietnamese from persecution and worse.

    12. GenEarly says:

      Watch the RINO's in the lame duck senate vote FOR this treaty. This is the NWO on parade and includes "both" political parties.

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