In over 30 years of working in and watching the ways of Washington, I must say, I have never seen anything quite like it.
According to Senator Jon Kyl, the entire Senate Republican leadership is now opposed to a controversial treaty supported by the President and an implausible alliance of special interests – from the U.S. Navy to Greenpeace. At a joint press conference last Wednesday, he was one of several Senators to declare that, as a result, supporters would be unable to muster the necessary 67 votes for ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). Yet, it seems not one of the “establishment” media organs felt moved to report these momentous political developments.
More extraordinary still is the apparent news-blackout concerning the fact that virtually every Republican presidential candidate (with the surprising, and hopefully ephemeral, exception of Rudy Giuliani) has announced either outright opposition to the Treaty or deep misgivings about its inevitable effect: conferring more power on international organizations at the expense of U.S. sovereignty. Apart from a front-page article in the Washington Times last Friday and postings by an array of on-line news outlets, bloggers and a couple of newsletters, the so-called “mainstream media” have denied the American people virtually any information about LOST’s growing difficulties.
The seemingly deliberate suppression of bad news concerning an accord favored by the elite is being compounded by a similar lack of transparency on the part of the Senate itself. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has scheduled a panel vote on LOST for Wednesday – ignoring a request from one of his colleagues, Sen. David Vitter, for additional hearings and additional testimony from those opposed to the Treaty.
Mr. Vitter recognized the Senate’s need to hear from more than two critics of the Treaty – each of whom were given just seven minutes to provide their oral critique. If anything, that necessity became even more urgent after several of the nine proponents from whom the Foreign Relations Committee took testimony, misled the panel (to put it charitably) about various provisions of LOST and their ominous implications.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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