Opponents

Many of the individuals listed below participated in an anti-LOS press briefing at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Practically all of them co-signed a joint letter from 27 groups in opposition to LOST:

► Jim Backlin, Vice President for Legislative Affairs, Christian Coalition: The LOS Treaty “would hamper America in the war against terrorism by seriously impairing the Navy’s ability to stop and search vessels – a huge sacrifice of U.S. sovereignty and a serious threat to our national security. . . . The new United Nations international regulatory agency would have the power to levy international taxes, for the first time in United Nations’ history.
“The United Nations has proven its absolute ineffectiveness and its corruptness when it totally botched the U.N.’s Oil for Food program which was intended to provide food for the children and the destitute in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. This is not the time to expand the authority of the United Nations. The Law of the Sea Treaty runs contrary to both America’s national and wartime interests and the U.S. Senate must reject it.”
► Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute: “The LOS Treaty is not needed because “in a world in which the U.S.S.R. has disappeared, the Red Navy is rusting in port, China has yet to develop a blue water navy, and Third World conflicts no longer threaten America through their connection to the Cold War, Washington is rarely going to have to send its fleet where it is not wanted.”
► Pat Buchanan, Founder, American Cause: The LOS Treaty is “a transfer of sovereignty, a transfer of taxing authority [and] it creates another instrument of world government, and I cannot understand – speaking personally – how any conservative who believes in the sovereignty of this country and its continued independence can sign on to a treaty which helps construct a new world order and a world government of which this International Seabed Authority is a critical part.”
► Tom DeWeese, President, American Policy Center: “Does the Law of the Sea Treaty give the UN decision-making power over the world’s oceans? Of course it does. . . . Businesses that have signed on to LOST are either lazy or scared. . . . (LOST) blatantly takes away our rights to free movement and private enterprise, and endangers our national sovereignty and independence. We don’t need this treaty. If we allow it to pass we will regret it.”
► Free Republic,-“Action Alert”: “LOST is grounded in such un-American and concepts as global socialism and world government. There is precious little American constituency today for giving more power and wealth to the United Nations, an organization whose officials just committed the biggest corruption in history (the oil-for-food scandal) and continually use the United Nations as a platform for anti-American diatribes.
“LOST is so bad for Americans that it is a puzzlement how anyone whose job it is to protect American interests could even CONSIDER supporting it with a straight face. LOST would give its own creation, the International Seabed Authority, the power to regulate 70 percent of the world’s surface area, a territory greater than the Soviet Union ruled at its zenith. LOST would give the authority power to levy international taxes, one of the essential indicia of sovereignty. This authority power is artfully concealed behind direct U.S. assessments and fees paid by corporations, but the proper word is taxes.”
► Frank Gaffney, President, Center for Security Policy: “The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (commonly known as the Law of the Sea Treaty, or LOST) that Ronald Reagan refused to sign is exactly the same treaty as the one the Senate is being asked to approve today. It has not been amended or otherwise formally altered since 1982.
“To be sure, President Clinton reached an accord called ‘The Agreement’ in 1994 that purports to address some of President Reagan’s concerns. Since the Agreement does not actually replace or modify the relevant sections of LOST, however, the Treaty is still fatally flawed and objectionable on national security, sovereignty and legal grounds.
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.”
► William Green, President, RightMarch.com: “Remember a little thing called the Boston Tea Party, leading up to the Revolutionary War? It happened because Americans have never taken kindly to taxation without representation — or to having our sovereignty stolen by foreign powers. Well, the United Nations is at it again — and this time, they may actually succeed in imposing TAXES directly on the American people! We cannot let this happen — Americans nationwide need to demand that the U.S. Senate reject passage of the anti-American ‘Law of the Sea’ Treaty!”
► John Griffing III, President, Forum for American International Relations: “This treaty also has implications for our nuclear submarines and their strategic positions around the globe, as it places restrictions on their movement in various areas of the globe. It’s not a stretch to imagine the U.N. denying the U.S. access to the Mediterranean (needed for our national defense) while allowing terrorist nations unfettered access to our territorial waters.”
► William Norman Grigg, Senior Editor, The New American (monthly publication of the John Birch Society): “When fully implemented, LOST would consummate the largest act of territorial conquest in history, turning seven-tenths of the Earth’s surface over to the jurisdiction of the United Nations. . . . The UN and its controlling elite have long sought to establish a revenue stream circumventing national legislative bodies, particularly the U.S. Congress.”
► Neil Hrab, Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute: “Given the United Nations’ dysfunctional management culture, the countries that pay the bulk of the U.N.’s bills should be troubled by the prospect of that organization developing an independent revenue stream. How can the U.S., the UK, etc. know that the money will be well spent? What guarantees do we have that, if seabed mining becomes a profitable industry and the U.N. begins to take in lots of revenue, the end result won’t be another debacle like the Oil-for-Food program — but on a much larger scale?”
► David Keene, Chairman, American Conservative Union: “The conservative movement is opposed to the Law of the Sea Treaty and is opposed to the administration’s support of the Law of the Sea Treaty. Does that mean we’re breaking with the administration? It does with the Law of the Sea Treaty. . . .
“Ask yourself this question. If you asked the American people how many people believe that Kofi Annan and his United Nations ought to be able to collect a tax from us, what would the answer be? If you asked people if you agree or disagree with the proposition that control over 70 percent of the surface of the earth should be turned over to Kofi Annan and the United Nations, how many people would agree with that? That’s what this issue is about. The issue is about whether the United States stands up for its own rights, or whether we acquiesce in a sort of mushy world domination by a bunch of crooks.”
► Tom Kilgannon, President, Freedom Alliance: “Under the LOST, U.S. national security would take a back seat to the naïveté of UN officials who can’t define terrorism and are unwilling to confront evil and danger in the world. . . .
“The LOST would violate American sovereignty; hurt national security; stifle America’s economy and exploration for natural resources in the sea; and allow taxes and fees to be imposed on American industry by a UN agency. For these reasons and more, the Law of the Sea Treaty should be sliced, gutted and fed to the sharks.”
► Cliff Kincaid, President, USA Survival: “(The LOS Treaty) is a global trap that could affect the industrial, economic and military activities of the U.S. Its alleged benefits — such as the right to navigation on the high seas and rights to transit through international straits — are already available to the U.S. through what is called customary international law.”
► Henry Lamb, Chairman, Sovereignty International: “All the reasons the treaty was rejected by Ronald Reagan 22 years ago still exist. . . (LOST) is one of many treaties that seek to bind the United States in a web of entanglements that threatens to transform our “republican government,” into a homogenous world governed by the United Nations. . . . We need a modern-day George Washington who will stand up and say ‘no’ to any further surrender to the United Nations.”
► William J. Murray, Chairman, Religious Freedom Coalition: “I was shocked to learn that the Senate is considering ratification of a Bill Clinton era treaty that would hand over total control of the high seas to a super agency run by the United Nations. The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) would give the new body power to levy taxes; power to impose mining and oil production quotas; power to regulate research and exploration; power to create a court to force nations to obey.
“The treaty would also force us to share our ocean mining and exploration technology. LOST would also void many of our security treaties with other nations. Under LOST the United States could not board boats of drug dealers or terrorists on the high seas. The treaty is supported by narrow interest groups who would benefit and has received the support of Vice President Cheney for that reason.”
► Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform: “Some may say, well, this (revenue for the International Seabed Authority) just starts in the water. But so do amphibians and reptiles. At some point, the United Nations will start getting those little gill things and start getting out on the land, and you would see an expanded ability to tax.
“This is a ‘foot in the door’ to tax people directly rather than going to member states. This is a bad idea on its own. It is a particularly bad idea because it would grow and the United Nations would have its own taxing source and it would figure out ways to expand that. We should kill this now.”
► Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Chairman, Congressional Liberty Caucus: “Now we are once again facing a terribly flawed treaty that will hand over more of our sovereignty to a corrupt United Nations–just at a time when the extent of the United Nations’ corruption is becoming more evident through the oil for food scandal in Iraq. . . . The Law of the Sea Treaty will also create, for the first time in history, an international body with the authority to collect taxes from American citizens. It is truly a U.N. global tax. . . . We should under no circumstances surrender one bit of American sovereignty or treasure to the United Nations or any other global body.”
► Fred Smith, President, Competitive Enterprise Institute: The LOS Treaty “would sacrifice U.S. sovereignty, grant the U.N. unprecedented taxing authority, and place 2/3 of the world’s surface forever off-limits to the peoples of the world. . . . The treaty is a plan based on discredited theories of collectivism that are in retreat throughout the world. Rather than encourage homesteading — the dispersion of control to national and individual control — this treaty would forever block private ownership of the two-thirds of the earth that remain undeveloped commons.”
► Kent Snyder, Executive Director, The Liberty Committee: “The United Nations’ decades-old scheme to set up an international authority to tax Americans at the same time they take control of over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface — the Law of the Sea Treaty — is getting a lot of attention in Washington. That attention is what we fought to achieve, and it is exactly what the internationalists behind Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) wanted to avoid. They hoped to sneak this flawed treaty through the Senate while no one was looking. . . . .
“1. LOST would hand over to international bureaucrats the power to regulate 70% of the world’s resources; 2. LOST would give international bureaucrats the power to assess taxes on the United States; 3. LOST would provide for a multi-national court system to enforce its provisions; and, 4. LOST would ratify assertions of communist China that the treaty confers jurisdiction over the South China Sea and, by inference, Taiwan.”
► Lanier Swann, Director of Government Relations, Concerned Women for America: “During the 20 years that have passed since the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) threatened to jeopardize the national sovereignty of the United States, nothing has changed. . . . Proponents of ratifying the LOST want to perpetuate the myth that the passage of time has eliminated previous concerns that prevented its ratification under the Reagan administration. That simply isn’t the case.
“This treaty would threaten one of the most precious elements of our society: our national sovereignty. Furthermore, it would force undue taxation on all Americans to pay the price for permission to exploit the world’s sea beds. Making matters worse, these funds would for the first time be going straight to an international organization. This treaty would indeed create the power to levy international taxes.”
► Phyllis Schlafly, President, Eagle Forum: “Conservatives are currently searching for a man of pro-American principles whom they can support for President in 2008. The Republican senator or governor who steps up to the plate can hit a home run if he leads the battle against LOST’s enormous wealth transfer to the unpopular United Nations.
“The LOST is grounded in such un-American and un-Republican concepts as global socialism and world government. There is not much of a constituency today for giving more power and wealth to the United Nations. . . . Vice President Cheney is an advocate of LOST. He doesn’t have to listen to U.S. voters because he will never again run for office.”
► Wes Vernon, Senior Correspondent, Newsmax: “One-worlders are using all kinds of gobbledygook to sell the idea that the treaty has been changed to meet Mr. Reagan’s objections of 23 years ago. It has not. It is the same old same old. Frank Gaffney, who held several top positions in the Reagan administration, says side agreements (drafted during the Clinton administration) are little more than wishful thinking and have ‘no standing’.”
► Paul Weyrich, Chairman, Free Congress Foundation: “Arrayed against the defenders of sovereignty who oppose LOST are a collection of corporate and environmental and governmental interests–including the United States Navy and Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“The backers of this treaty–the big corporations and the environmentalists–have the money to wage an expensive campaign in the hope that they can persuade the Senate to ratify it. It should come as no surprise to conservatives that The New York Times published an editorial in late August urging quick ratification of LOST, criticizing those who are defenders of our nation’s sovereignty as a noisy group of misguided gadflies.”
► Nick Yawer, Islamic Free Market Institute: “While several of its provisions are relatively benign, the key element of LOST is the creation of an unaccountable supranational organization called the International Seabed Authority (ISA), which would encroach on the sovereignty of nations and stifle innovation, development and free trade. The ISA, created under LOST, would have unprecedented powers for a multilateral institution. ISA would be able to levy taxes, impose sweeping regulations, and seize property.”

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