WASHINGTON -- My old American Heritage Dictionary defines "sovereignty" as "complete independence and self-government." Our Declaration of Independence affirms, "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." In January 2000, Jesse Helms, the legendary U.S. senator from North Carolina, succinctly summed up the meaning of these words for the United Nations Security Council by explaining that "nations derive their sovereignty -- their legitimacy -- from the consent of the governed."
The ayatollahs brutally crushing dissent in Iran consider this linkage -- sovereignty, legitimacy and the consent of the governed -- to be as repugnant as a ham sandwich. Regrettably, these concepts do not appear to be grasped at the Obama White House, either. Thankfully, there are some in Washington who do understand.
Nearly a year ago, Freedom Alliance, the Center for Security Policy, and The Heritage Foundation began urging members of Congress to convene a body to focus on issues of American sovereignty. Last Wednesday, Reps. Doug Lamborn, Thad McCotter and Scott Garrett announced the formation of the Congressional Sovereignty Caucus -- an entity dedicated to preserving U.S. sovereignty. More than 30 other members of the House of Representatives already have enrolled. U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint became the first member of the "world's greatest deliberative body" to join. They have their work cut out for them.
On Thursday, less than 24 hours after members of the Congressional Sovereignty Caucus met with supporters at the Capitol Visitor Center, the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of Harold Koh, formerly the dean of Yale Law School, as the legal adviser for the State Department. The 62-35 vote means that Koh is now in a position to negotiate treaties, affect international law, and influence U.S. foreign policy. That's not good news.
Koh is a self-described "transnationalist," who "believes in and promotes the blending of international and domestic law." According to Koh, "U.S. courts can and should use their interpretive powers to promote the development of a global legal system." In short, he is a proponent of ensuring that citizens of the United States are in "obedience with international law." Unfortunately, the legal adviser's appointment is just the tip of the iceberg in the Obama administration.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.