Frank J. Gaffney Jr. on Law of the Sea Treaty on National Review Online
The White House toys with signing a very Kerry treaty.
The bad news is that the Bush administration risks grievously blurring where it stands on the appropriate, limited role of the United Nations in determining our security and other interests with its advocacy of a treaty that President Reagan properly rejected 22 years ago. As was noted in this space on February 26, the administration's declared support for the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) caused it to be approved unanimously by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — even though this accord would constitute the most egregious transfer of American sovereignty, wealth, and power to the U.N. since the founding of that "world body." In fact, never before in the history of the world has any nation voluntarily engaged in such a sweeping transfer to anyone.
This is the case because LOST creates a new supranational agency, the International Seabed Authority (ISA), which will have control of seven-tenths of the world surface area, i.e., the planet's international waters. That control will enable the ISA and a court created to adjudicate and enforce its edicts the right to determine who does what, where, when, and how in the oceans under its purview. This applies first and foremost to exploration and exploitation of the mineral and oil and gas deposits on or under the seabeds — an authority that will enable the U.N. for the first time to impose what amount to taxes on commercial activities.
LOST, however, will also interfere with America's sovereign exercise of freedom of the seas in ways that will have an adverse effect on national security, especially in the post-9/11 world. Incredibly, it will preclude, for example, the president's important new Proliferation Security Initiative. PSI is a multinational arrangement whereby ships on the high seas that are suspected of engaging in the transfer of WMD-related equipment can be intercepted, searched, and, where appropriate, seized. Its value was demonstrated in the recent interception of nuclear equipment headed to Libya.
Similarly, LOST will define intelligence collection in and submerged transit of territorial waters to be incompatible with the treaty's requirements that foreign powers conduct themselves in such seas only with "peaceful intent." The last thing we need is for some U.N. court — or U.S. lawyers in its thrall — to make it more difficult for us to conduct sensitive counterterrorism operations in the world's littorals.
This is something conservatives should make it known that they do not want ratified. Fortunately:
President George W. Bush, may recently have been awakened to the dangers — political, as well as strategic and economic — inherent in this treaty. In response to a question recently put to him by Paul Weyrich, the legendary conservative activist and president of the Free Congress Foundation, President Bush indicated that he was unaware of the Law of the Sea Treaty and his administration's support for it. It can only be hoped that, as he conducts the promised review of LOST, he will make clear he does not want it ratified, now or ever.
This is a bad deal, it makes the Kyoto Protocol look like free money in comparison. Read the whole thing.