How Much Can Dick Morris Get Wrong About Sea Treaty In Three Minutes?

Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

On Hannity, Dick Morris returned to fearmongering over potential Senate ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty. Morris previously suggested that the treaty was part of a plot by the Obama administration to create "one world government." Tonight his anti-Law of the Sea Treaty push took the form of a series of falsehoods about the treaty.

For instance, Morris suggested that the Law of the Sea Treaty would harm our Navy's control over the high seas. But the Navy actually supports the relevant treaty provisions and has done so since 1983.

Morris claimed: "This treaty basically sets up a judicial arbitration tribunal appointed by the United Nations to resolve disputes about sea lanes. Now, currently the dispute resolution mechanism is the U.S. Navy that goes out and polices the world's waterways because we're incomparably the world's greatest naval power and keeps the sea lanes open. But this would give the UN a veto over our Navy's decisions."

The reality is: The Navy strongly supports the provisions discussed by Morris. In 2003, Admiral Mike Mullen stated: "Since 1983, the Joint Chiefs and the combatant commanders have supported the navigational provisions of the convention because of the core belief that a comprehensive, widely accepted, and stable legal basis for the world's oceans is essential to U.S. national security."

Morris claimed: "[O]nce it's passed, a treaty is forever. You can't repeal it. It has the force under the Supremacy Clause of a constitutional amendment. ... And nobody is talking about this."

The reality is: Morris just made this up out of thin air. The Law of the Sea Treaty itself allows nations to repeal it. From the treaty: "A State Party may, by written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, denounce this Convention and may indicate its reasons. ... The denunciation shall take effect one year after the date of receipt of the notification, unless the notification specifies a later date."

Furthermore, if treaties were really "forever" and couldn't be repealed, this would come as news to former President George W. Bush. In late 2001, Bush announced that the White House was withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. If Morris were correct, the ABM Treaty would still be in effect.

Morris' constitutional interpretation is also pure fantasy. The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution states: "This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land." If Morris' interpretation were correct, all federal laws would also have the force of constitutional amendments since the Supremacy Clause makes no distinction between "laws of the United States" and treaties.

Morris claimed: "Remember [Obama] got START treaty approved in a lame-duck session. I think he is going to take all of these measures -- this one, International Criminal Court, telling us how to raise children, banning missiles in outer space. I think he's going to take all of this stuff and pass it in the lame-duck session while he still has a Democratic majority in the Senate."

The reality is: Obama does not have the power to sneak any treaties through a lame-duck session of the Senate. According to the Constitution, the president has the power "by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur." Since Democrats control only 53 seats in the Senate, Obama would need significant buy-in from Republicans to ratify any treaty. (By the way, for the facts about the other treaties Morris discussed, see here.)

If you want to see Morris spewing falsehoods about the Law of the Sea Treaty and the U.S. Constitution, you can watch it here:

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy
Fox News Channel
Dick Morris
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