Accuracy in Media

With the nomination of Harold Hongju Koh, the Dean of Yale Law School, as the Legal Adviser for the State Department, President Barack Obama is putting a world government team in place under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The other key appointment was Anne-Marie Slaughter, the dean of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, as Director of Policy Planning at State. Slaughter wrote the 2004 book, A New World Order, and believes in an international system dominated by the U.N. and other global institutions and networks.

Some conservatives in the media have been pointing out that Koh has extremely radical views that seem to subordinate U.S. laws and the U.S. Constitution to so-called international law. Some say he even would allow the application of Islamic Shariah law in the U.S. But the conservative media focus on Koh’s controversial and disputed comments about Shariah misses the point. 

Based on his public statements, one has to conclude that Koh believes in a world government financed by global taxes. This is the huge issue that the media should bring to the fore. America’s future as a sovereign nation is at stake.

Koh’s acknowledged mentor was Harvard Law Professor and international lawyer Louis B. Sohn, who was not only a key author of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), now waiting for Senate ratification, but he also offered a detailed proposal to transform the United Nations into a world government in his book, World Peace Through World Law.

The fancy academic titles and affiliations sound impressive. But even a casual reading of Sohn’s views would conclude that he was a dangerous crackpot.

Sohn said that he wanted this world government to maintain hundreds of thousands of troops, military bases, and be armed with nuclear weapons. The purpose, he said, would be to disarm “each and every nation and to deter or suppress any attempted international violence.” This “world authority” would also require a “United Nations Revenue System,” drawing taxes from “each nation” of the world, he said.

The term “world government” is too benign for what Sohn proposed. The term “global dictatorship” would be more appropriate. But this is the direction that Koh apparently would take us.

Koh, who served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in the Clinton Administration, referred to Sohn during an October 24, 2006, George Washington University Law School tribute as “my grandfather in the law” because Koh, his sister, and his father had all studied under “his watchful eye.”

In an essay based on his remarks, Koh explained that, “In a dazzling range of areas—including arms control, the law of the sea, the law of state responsibility, the law of international organizations, international environmental law, and international dispute resolution—Louis helped draft global ‘constitutions’ that sought both to allocate institutional responsibilities and to declare workable rules of international law.”

But the influence didn’t end there. “Once I became an international law professor myself, Louis took me under his wing in a familial way,” Koh said. “We would have lunch together, once at Grand Central Station, but more regularly at the annual meeting of the American Society of International Law.”

Personnel And Policy

Sohn’s continuing influence was seen in Koh’s selection of Charles J. Brown as his chief of staff from 1999-2001 in the Clinton Administration. Brown later became the president and CEO of the Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS), the new name of the pro-world government World Federalist Association (WFA). The name of the organization was changed in order to divert public attention away from its origins in the world government movement. CGS collaborated with the Open Society Institute of George Soros against John Bolton’s nomination as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.

The World Federalists are sometimes regarded as small and without much influence, but the fact is that prominent personalities such as Walter Cronkite, the former CBS Evening News anchorman, are world federalists. What’s more, President Clinton and then-First Lady Hillary Clinton endorsed the group’s activities during the time of the Clinton Administration.

UNCLOS has always been seen by these people as a major step down the road to world government. The World Federalists declared that, by “establishing global governance” over the seabeds of the oceans and that by stipulating that mining of those areas beyond national jurisdiction “should require payment of royalties” to a United Nations body, UNCLOS has created “a funding resource that would be independent of voluntary contributions by the treaty member nations.” Hence, through UNCLOS, global taxes on the U.S. would come into effect.

Interestingly, Sohn and identified Soviet spy Alger Hiss, a top State Department official at the time, were both major players in the conferences that resulted in the creation of the United Nations in 1945. There is no clear record of them working together, however.

Ignoring Hiss, Koh gushed that Sohn was “quite literally present at the creation of the U.N.” and “became nothing less than an architect of the new world order.” Koh seems to view his role as helping to complete construction of this edifice.

In order to understand the ominous future that Sohn and his disciple Koh have planned for us, one must review Sohn’s book, World Peace Through World Law, which was first published in 1958 and co-authored with Grenville Clark of the World Federalists. It is considered a classic by World Federalists and is listed in the “timeline” of the history of world federalism. Sohn’s writings are also featured in the book, Uniting the Peoples and the Nations: Readings in World Federalism.

In the preface to the book, Robert Woito writes that UNCLOS is an example of “how the broad principles outlined in World Peace Through World Law can be applied to a specific problem.” Sohn, he noted “played a significant role in the Law of the Sea conference.”

As noted, Koh, has declared that Sohn’s work on UNCLOS was one of several areas in which he helped draft global “constitutions” to manage international affairs. Koh called this the “transnational legal process” and noted that Sohn’s book, World Peace Through World Law, was part of a “stunningly ambitious global project.” Koh said that “unfortunately,” Sohn’s blueprint did not come to pass.

Unfortunately? This is the tip-off that Koh wants to see this dangerous New World Order implemented. He is declaring, for all to see, that he favors Sohn’s concept of world government.

As far as UNCLOS is concerned, Sohn’s fingerprints were all over it.

The Washington Post acknowledged that Sohn, who died in 2006, “shaped the Law of the Sea Convention and the Law of the Sea Tribunal.” He was, according to a tribute in his honor, “instrumental” in shaping the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Global Control

In World Peace Through World Law, one of his underlying principles was the need for “equitable management of mankind’s common resources—especially outer space and the oceans…” Sohn proposed a “United Nations Ocean Authority” that would eventually be expressed in UNCLOS as the International Seabed Authority, a vehicle to control vast areas of the oceans beyond the authority of sovereign states.  

The recipient of awards and medals from the American Society of International Law and the World Federalists of Canada, Sohn declared in World Peace Through World Law that “the race to exploit the oceans and the seabed can lead to new disastrous conflicts unless this ‘common heritage of mankind’ is put under United Nations management and supervision.”

This revolutionary, even Marxist, concept, did in fact become part of UNCLOS. And it was one reason why President Ronald Reagan rejected it. However, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has surprised conservatives by endorsing the flawed treaty.

In addition to a U.N. Ocean Authority, Sohn urged creation of a United Nations Outer Space Authority and a World Development Authority.

Sohn favored a U.N. Peace Force with “the most modern weapons and equipment,” including nuclear weapons. He wanted the U.N. to produce and supply its own weapons through a United Nations Military Supply and Research Agency.

The Record

While Sohn’s role in crafting UNCLOS has not been the subject of examination by the Senate, his colleagues in the academic and legal communities are fully aware of what he proposed and what he did. “Louis contributed significantly to the formulation of a text for the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea,” noted Detlev F. Vagts, Bemis Professor of International Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School.

Thomas M. Franck, the Murray and Ida Becker Professor Emeritus at the New York University School of Law, gave Sohn specific credit for Annex 7 of UNCLOS, “which established a model for the mandatory peaceful resolution of disputes.” Franck said that “many” representatives of “landlocked and disadvantaged states” during negotiations on UNCLOS “were former students [of Sohn] like me.” 

Daniel Barstow Magraw, president of the Center for International Environmental Law, identified Sohn as “one of four chief negotiators on the U.S. delegation to the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which eventually produced the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention.” He quoted Elliott Richardson, the head of the U.S. delegation and “a student in the first class Louis taught at Harvard Law School,” as saying that Sohn was “an indispensable resource” for the U.S. delegation and the conference as a whole.

Magraw conceded, however, that Sohn’s book, World Peace Through World Law, envisioned “an unusually strong world government…”

As the Senate prepares to consider UNCLOS and other treaties, it is time to examine the influence of Sohn and other like-minded extremists, radicals, and revolutionaries. The Koh nomination is a good place to begin the scrutiny.

Will our media tell the truth about the coming world government?




*By Roger Aronoff


The appointment and ultimate withdrawal of Chas Freeman to head the National Intelligence Council has exposed much that is wrong with President Barack Obama’s first months in office, both in terms of policy and vetting, as well as the media coverage surrounding both. Many of Obama’s supporters said it was unfair to criticize Obama’s associations with people like the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers and the anti-Semitic preacher of hate, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and called it guilt by association. It is now becoming clearer why those sorts of associations matter.

On February 26, Chas W. Freeman Jr. was named by Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair as the Obama administration’s choice to head the Council, which has the job of filtering the intelligence from 16 agencies and presenting it to the President. Though Freeman had been ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War, and had clearly seen intelligence reports and provided information for them, he had never actually worked in an intelligence agency, according to reports.

It turned out that the nomination was highly controversial. As pointed out in an article by Eli Lake of the Washington Times, which did the most aggressive reporting on this story of any major newspaper, Freeman was involved in a number of activities with financial ties to China and Saudi Arabia. There were several issues that might have emerged if the White House had properly vetted Freeman. But a spokesperson for Blair’s office said that Freeman was named without prior White House approval, and without being asked to provide financial documents that are standard for such high level appointments. With this White House’s brief and messy history of vetting of Tom Daschle, Bill Richardson, Nancy Killefer, Hillary Clinton and Timothy Geithner it is not clear whether or not vetting would have made any difference. Vetting includes examining past indiscretions and potential conflicts of interest. It has been a huge failure of the early months of the Obama presidency.

Among the concerns was Freeman’s position on the board of international advisers for the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC).

According to Lake, he joined the board in 2004, a year before its unsuccessful attempt to purchase Unocal, a U.S. energy company. “The Chinese government and other state-owned companies own a majority stake in the concern,” said Lake, “which has invested in Sudan and other countries sometimes at odds with the United States, including Iran.” CNOOC was investigated by the U.S. State Department for a possible violation of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act in late 2007, for its agreement to develop a large gas field in Iran.

And Freeman was the president of the nonprofit group Middle East Policy Council (MEPC) up until his appointment. He was paid $87,000 by them in 2006. The MEPC has received at least $1 million from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. These financial connections raised the possibilities of financial and political conflicts of interest, which could have called into question the judgments provided to the President, or require Freeman to recuse himself on important issues.

Just as troubling were statements made by Freeman through the years that call into question his values, judgments and biases.

There were reports of statements that were construed as arguing that China had failed to crack down hard enough on the demonstrators at Tiananmen Square. Freeman claims these were taken out of context. You can decide for yourself. Here is a comment in an email he reportedly sent out to members of the China Security Listserv on China and the crackdown in Tiananmen Square in 1989:

“I find the dominant view in China about this very plausible, i.e. that the truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud, rather than as would have been both wise and efficacious to intervene with force when all other measures had failed to restore domestic tranquility to Beijing and other major urban centers in China.”

In case it’s still not clear whether he is talking about his own view, he added that, “For myself, I side on this if not on numerous other issues with Gen. Douglas MacArthur. I do not believe it is acceptable for any country to allow the heart of its national capital to be occupied by dissidents intent on disrupting the normal functions of government, however appealing to foreigners their propaganda may be.”

Freeman wouldn’t confirm or deny that he wrote the email, but he seemed to confirm it when Fareed Zakaria raised this issue on his show on CNN after Freeman’s appointment was withdrawn. However, Freeman tried to insist that he was taken out of context.

Big Media Stay Mum

In the end, what garnered most of the attention was the issue of Israel, and the so-called Israel Lobby. Caroline Glick dissected this part of the story in her column in the Jerusalem Post. She documented that the Washington Post and the New York Times deliberately avoided writing about the controversy surrounding Freeman’s appointment until his name was withdrawn. The Washington Post acknowledged that it chose to stay out of the controversy. So what had Freeman said? For one thing he blamed U.S. ties with Israel for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. “We have paid heavily and often in treasure for our unflinching support and unstinting subsidies of Israel’s approach to managing its relations with the Arabs,” said Freeman in 2006. “Five years ago, we began to pay with the blood of our citizens here at home.”

In a speech he gave in 2005 he said, “as long as the United States continues unconditionally to provide the subsidies and political protection that make the Israeli occupation and the high-handed and self-defeating policies it engenders possible, there is little, if any, reason to hope that anything resembling the former peace process can be resurrected.”

Upon his withdrawal, Freeman blasted the “Israel Lobby” in a blog post on the Foreign Policy website. Then Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus wrote about Freeman’s comments on March 12, in a rather sympathetic piece, highlighting Freeman’s theories about the “Israel Lobby.” But the Post fired back in an editorial, saying that “It wasn’t until Mr. Freeman withdrew from consideration for the job, however, that it became clear just how bad a selection Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair had made. Mr. Freeman issued a two-page screed on Tuesday in which he described himself as the victim of a shadowy and sinister ‘Lobby’ whose ‘tactics plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency’ and which is ‘intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government.’ Yes, Mr. Freeman was referring to Americans who support Israel and his statement was a grotesque libel.”

Freeman made the assertion that there is an “inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for U.S. policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics.” The Post, while making no admission of its own paper’s flawed coverage of this story, countered: “That will certainly be news to Israel’s ‘ruling faction,’ which in the past few years alone has seen the U.S. government promote a Palestinian election that it opposed; refuse it weapons it might have used for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities; and adopt a policy of direct negotiations with a regime that denies the Holocaust and that promises to wipe Israel off the map. Two Israeli governments have been forced from office since the early 1990s after open clashes with Washington over matters such as settlement construction in the occupied territories.”

Added the Post: “What’s striking about the charges by Mr. Freeman and like-minded conspiracy theorists is their blatant disregard for such established facts.”

*Roger Aronoff is a media analyst with Accuracy in Media.

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