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Reporting to the UN
by Steve Bonta

The Bush administrationís compliance reports to a new Security Council committee show the extent to which we are now willing to let the United Nations dictate terms to us.

UN Documents

(These links open in a separate window, PDF files require a free Adobe Acrobat reader.)
UN Resolution 1373

U.S. Report to CTC - December 2001

U.S. Report to CTC - June 2002

With all the attention paid to the domestic war on terrorism and the dangers it poses to our liberties ó the PATRIOT Act, the Department of Homeland Security, the TIPS program, and so forth ó scant notice has been given to the United Nationsí international anti-terrorism campaign. Yet below the American publicís radar screen, the UN Security Councilís new Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) is trying to achieve on an international scale what measures like the PATRIOT Act are doing domestically: expand the reach and power of government ó in this case, the UNís embryonic world government ó in the name of fighting terrorism. And the potential consequences for U.S. liberty are dire indeed.

The Counter-Terrorism Committee was created by paragraph six of Security Council Resolution 1373, issued last September 28th in response to the September 11th attacks. The purpose of the CTC, in the words of 1373, is to "monitor implementation of this resolution." To allow the CTC to carry out this monitoring, UN member states are required to submit regular compliance reports to the CTC. The first round of such reports came in to the CTC from December 2001 through the early months of 2002 and, as we reported in the February 25th issue of The New American, the U.S. government was one of the first member states to submit its report on U.S. compliance with the Security Councilís new anti-terrorism guidelines. The U.S. report, dated December 19th, depicted the USA PATRIOT Act and other post 9-11 Bush initiatives as acts of compliance with UN demands in Resolution 1373.

This first report was worrisome enough, since it showed the degree to which U.S. officials are now willing to let UN authorities dictate terms to us. But now thereís more. After receiving the first report, the CTC sent a more detailed, focused list of inquiries to the U.S. government and demanded a response by June 15th. The second U.S. compliance report, submitted in response, is truly scary stuff.

Like the first report, the second is arranged as a series of responses to specific questions from the CTC on a range of domestic policies. The very first question pointedly asks: "Does the US have a specialist counter-terrorism body or is that the responsibility of a number of departments or agencies?" The reportís author meekly replies that the U.S. is now trying to create a Department of Homeland Security, a process that "will take time, especially since new legislation will be required." However, the report promises, "we will inform the CTC when these new changes are in place." In other words, the Bush administration considers the Department of Homeland Security an act of compliance with UN requirements, and will keep the UN informed of our progress. This kind of truckling to alleged UN authority speaks volumes about the Bush administrationís real attitude towards UN-centered internationalism, despite its occasional choreographed outbursts of anti-globalist rhetoric.

But thereís more. Further on in the U.S. report, the CTC asks whether "natural or legal persons other than banks (e.g., attorneys, notaries, or other intermediaries) [are] required to report suspicious transactions to the public authorities." The U.S. compliance report explains that the Bank Secrecy Act gives our government broad power to spy on its citizens via banks, savings and loans, credit unions, and even the U.S. Postal Service, adding that the new PATRIOT Act requires the Treasury to issue a rule "requiring broker-dealers to file suspicious activity reports." Responding to whether the United States has "any means of monitoring financial activities, in particular fund-raising, by non-governmental associations or organizations," the U.S. report gives UN officials a long and detailed explanation of the U.S. tax code and the powers it confers on the federal government to monitor and control the activities of nonprofit and charitable institutions.

Most alarming of all is a series sof questions that ought to give every American gun owner pause for thought. The CTC asks: "How does the United States control the establishment in its territory of paramilitary groups that have the potential to engage in terrorist activities?" Following that, under the heading "Weapons," the CTC presses the inquiry further: "What measures does the United States have to prevent terrorists [from] obtaining weapons in its territory, in particular small arms or light weapons? What is the United States legislation concerning the acquisition and possession of such weapons?" Following a long section in which the U.S. describes to UN officials the plethora of federal gun control laws on the books, the CTC asks: "Does the United States have any means of detecting at the local, as distinct from the national, level activities preparatory to a terrorist act? Are there agencies and procedures at the local level for monitoring sensitive activities, such as combat sports and shooting with light weapons, paramilitary training, the piloting of aircraft, biological laboratories, and the use of explosives for industrial purposes?" In other words, the UN would like to see our federal government empowered to keep tabs on local target shooters, private planes, and sundry other acts of potential "terrorist training."

The second U.S. report to the CTC is in response to areas that CTC bureaucrats have already identified as being of special concern, based on their reading of the first report submitted last December. And it should be crystal clear from the CTCís line of questioning that two areas of state power are particularly important to the UN, at least where America is concerned: Powers of surveillance over every conceivable private activity, from financial transactions to target shooting; and gun control.

But the most frightening aspect of these dry reports is what they tell us about the post-September 11th relationship between the United States and the UN. UN officials have made no secret that they consider Resolution 1373 to be a turning point in the history of relations between the UN and member states. As paraphrased by a UN report, CTC chairman Jeremy Greenstock told the Security Council on June 27th that "the most important success of the Counter-Terrorism Committee to date was that it had directed widespread attention to the power of resolution 1373," and that "a broad range of international organizations and regional and subregional organizations were now aware that there was a global structure for countering terrorism, into which they should fit their activities.... The fact that the vast majority of Member States were now engaged with the Committee Ö and that all States recognized their responsibility to follow up resolution 1373 Ö was a massive change from the situation that had existed when the Committee was formed."

Itís one thing for UN functionaries to make claims like this; itís quite another when our government agrees with them. At the same Security Council meeting, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Negroponte, responding to Greenstockís comments, "reiterated the importance of all States abiding by their obligations under resolution 1373 Ö including the timely submission of reports. The second review would largely determine the impact that the Committee would have in the fight against terrorism." As described by the UN report, Negroponte added that "the resolution and the Committee had no time limits and would continue until the Council was satisfied with the resolutionís implementation."

And thatís the real heart of the matter. The CTC is designed to accrue power over time, as so-called "soft law" ó the dense, vaguely committal jargon of international "protocols" and "resolutions." It then morphs into "hard law" ó the brass-tacks reality of enforceable national and international statutes and regulations. As Greenstock himself has pointed out regarding the work of the CTC, "we believe that there may always be further work to do to meet the objectives of the resolution against a constantly evolving background.... [W]e will want all States to remain in close contact with the Committee, and to inform the CTC of any new developments which are relevant to the implementation of 1373."

What 1373 and the ongoing process of reporting to the CTC amount to is a never-ending sequence of reporting and reviewing, of subtle pressure brought to bear by the CTC against the U.S. to bring its laws into compliance with Security Council expectations. The second round of reviews currently under way is to be the stage where the CTC begins to ratchet up the pressure for "reforms"; in Greenstockís words, "[during] the second review, the Committee intends to be more direct with the States in identifying gaps in the implementation of resolution 1373 and recommending appropriate action."

All of this might seem irrelevant to a nation gearing up for yet another war in the Middle East, and naively secure behind the military might of the "worldís only superpower." But power is only as certain as those who wield it, and all indications are that Americaís political leadership is committed to further empowering the UN, by allowing and even encouraging it to dictate terms to us in the name of combating terrorism. The globalists are clearly hoping to entangle America in the pernicious precedent of obeying UN edicts and to further condition us to continue surrendering our sovereignty.

Sadly, many Americans see no harm in indulging the UNís take-charge instincts, as long as we donít see blue-helmeted troops swarming across the American landscape. But world government by overt conquest isnít the UNís game right now; world government by piecemeal, carefully-extracted consent is. Unfortunately for us, if we continue to allow our leaders to sell our sovereign birthright to the UN for the pottage of false security, the outcome will be the same as conquest by force.

Source: THE NEW AMERICAN - August 26, 2002


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