Fox News contributor Dick Morris told Sean Hannity that “one world government” is “happening.” His evidence consists of false statements about a series of treaties, some of which enjoy bipartisan support, are important for U.S. national security, and protect children from exploitation.
Morris And Hannity Explore “One World Government” Conspiracy Theory
Morris Claimed “One World Government” Is “Happening.” During the May 7 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Dick Morris told host Sean Hannity that he believes Obama will “sign a series of treaties that will bind the United States hand and foot for decades and get them ratified by the lame duck Senate”:
HANNITY: What's fascinating about this, and I'll let you explain it in your own words, there are people for years who have warned about one world government, world taxation, all of these things, and you're saying, “Yeah, it's happening.”
MORRIS: It's happening.
MORRIS: I believe that President Obama, at some level, knows he's not going to get reelected, and Hillary knows it. And they know they're going to lose the Senate. And you remember when they passed the START treaty, Sean? Lame duck session?
MORRIS: I believe that he is going to sign a series of treaties that will bind the United States hand and foot for decades and get them ratified by the lame duck Senate. [Fox News, Hannity, 5/7/12]
Morris Previously Claimed That “Those Crazies In Montana Who Say, 'We're Going To Kill ATF Agents Because The U.N.'s Going To Take Over' -- Well, They're Beginning To Have A Case.” In a March 2009 appearance on Fox, Morris expounded on a long conspiracy theory about a “super-national authority” that will oversee U.S. financial institutions, then asserted that President Obama's policies are “internationalist” and that “those crazies in Montana who say, 'We're going to kill ATF agents because the U.N.'s going to take over' -- well, they're beginning to have a case.” [Fox News,Your World with Neil Cavuto, 3/31/09, via Media Matters]
Morris Misleads About The Law Of The Sea Treaty
Morris: The U.S. Navy, Not The Law Of The Sea Treaty, Should Protect “Freedom Of The Seas.” Morris' first example of a dangerous treaty was the Law of the Sea Treaty, a treaty that Obama cannot sign in the lame-duck session since it was already signed by former President Bill Clinton:
MORRIS: One of them is coming up for ratification in June. It's called the Law of the Sea Treaty, L-O-S-T, LOST. It provides that the United States is obliged to share half of its royalties from oil drilling and mineral drilling out to 200 miles with a newly created UN-based Seabed Authority, which will distribute the money as it wishes -- we have 1 vote out of 160 -- to 160 nations.
MORRIS: All of these have a fig leaf. The fig leaf here is oh, freedom of the seas. But the point the conservatives make is the United States Navy does a very good job of guaranteeing --
HANNITY: Exactly. And those are our territorial waters.
MORRIS: And I'll tell you something even worse. In this treaty, it provides that the Seabed Authority may take action to prevent pollution of the ocean. Pollution includes thermal pollution. This Authority could ban carbon emissions in the United States so we don't heat up the ocean. [Fox News, Hannity, 5/7/12]
But The U.S. Navy Says Law Of The Sea Treaty “Supports National Security Interests By Codifying The Right Of U.S. Military Vessels To Navigate Freely” On The High Seas. From 2003 testimony by Admiral Mike Mullen:
General Myers, the services, and the combatant commands strongly support the United States becoming a party to the convention, which DOD and five administrations have consistently supported.
As a comprehensive, multilateral treaty that confirms navigational rights and freedoms for maintaining global mobility and forward presence and readiness, the convention supports national security interests by codifying the right of U.S. military vessels to navigate freely on, under, and over the high seas or within international straits. Furthermore, within traditional choke point areas, a normal mode of operations is permitted, including formation steaming, use of sensors such as radar and sonar, submerged transits, and the launching and recovery of aircraft.
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. [Statement by Adm. Mike Mullen before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 10/21/03]
Bush Urged Senate To Ratify Treaty Because It Was “In The National Security Interests” Of The Country And Would “Secure U.S. Sovereign Rights.” From a May 15, 2007, statement by former president George W. Bush titled “President's Statement on Advancing U.S. Interests in the World's Oceans”:
I urge the Senate to act favorably on U.S. accession to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea during this session of Congress. Joining will serve the national security interests of the United States, including the maritime mobility of our armed forces worldwide. It will secure U.S. sovereign rights over extensive marine areas, including the valuable natural resources they contain. Accession will promote U.S. interests in the environmental health of the oceans. And it will give the United States a seat at the table when the rights that are vital to our interests are debated and interpreted. [White House Archives, 5/15/07]
In 2004, The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Unanimously Recommended Ratification Of Law Of The Sea Treaty. On February 25, 2004, the Republican-controlled Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to recommend ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty by a vote of 19-0. [Senate Foreign Relations Committee report on Law of the Sea Treaty, 3/11/04]
- Law Of The Sea Treaty Again Received Bipartisan Support In 2007. In 2007, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee again voted in favor of ratification, this time by a vote of 17-4. [Senate Foreign Relations Committee report on Law of the Sea Treaty, 12/19/07]
Morris Misleads About The International Criminal Court
Morris Fearmongers About Losing Sovereignty To International Criminal Court, Which Will Charge Americans With “Aggression.” Morris said the following about the International Criminal Court, a court created by a treaty Clinton signed, Bush withdrew from, and which remains unsigned:
MORRIS: I'll give you another example. The -- well you alluded to it. The International Criminal Court. We are the only country in the world that's not a member of it. And at some level it's OK. It's got the fig leaf, it goes after war criminals and human rights abusers. But they include in their treaty the definition of a new crime called aggression. And aggression is defined as going to war without UN approval. And the president, vice president, secretary of defense are personally, criminally liable for imprisonment in trial in front of the ICC court. [Fox News, Hannity, 5/7/12]
But The Obama Administration Has Been Actively Working To Ensure “Total Protection For U.S. Armed Forces And Other Nationals” Over The Crime Of Aggression. From a statement by State Department Legal Advisor Harold Koh following a 2010 international conference on the International Criminal Court:
The outcome on aggression, though, we think served our core interests. We ensure total protection for U.S. armed forces and other nationals going forward. The court can't exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression without a further decision, which will not take place until after January 2017. The prosecutor cannot charge nationals of non-States Parties, of which we are one, with the crime of aggression. A State Party that ratifies amendment can opt out. So the allegations they committed aggression can't be the basis for an ICC investigation or prosecution, and we secured an outcome that ensured that the U.S. and non-state parties would be treated the same, which was a major point or principle.
Specifically, in no case can jurisdiction be exercised with respect to acts committed until one year after 30 States Parties accepted the amendment, and then there are two channels by which aggression can be prosecuted if and when the crime does come into effect. One channel goes through an exclusive Security Council trigger, which the U.S. had been urging. The second goes through a prior Security Council review with three conditions. If the Security Council doesn't make a determination that aggression occurs, the prosecutor has to offer a reasonable basis for proceeding. That decision would require a majority vote of six judges, and the Security Council would still have the authority to stop the prosecution with a red light, Chapter 7 resolution.
The net result of this was that the crime of aggression was put on the back burner for the next seven years, and we think this accomplished the basic goal that we were focused on, which is giving the breathing room for the court to get stronger and focus on its core crimes. [Statement of Harold Koh to the American Society of International Law, 6/16/10]
The Jurisdiction Of The ICC's Definition Of The Crime Of Aggression Will Not Be Decided On Until After January 1, 2017. From the International Criminal Court's Resolution RC/Res.6 for "[t]he crime of aggression":
The Court shall exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression in accordance with this article, subject to a decision to be taken after 1 January 2017 by the same majority of States Parties as is required for the adoption of an amendment to the Statute. [International Criminal Court Resolutions, accessed 5/8/12]
And A Bush Administration Official Who Oversaw Guantanamo Litigation Says The ICC “Is Consistent With The U.S. Commitment To Enforcing Human Rights.” In a July 7, 2010, FoxNews.com opinion piece, Vijay Padmanabhan, former chief counsel for the U.S. State Department on Guantanamo and Iraq detainee litigation during the Bush administration, explained some of the benefits of the ICC for the United States. Padmanabhan explained that the ICC was “consistent with the U.S. commitment to enforcing human rights,” and noted the negative implications of the U.S. not joining the ICC, suggesting it allows “states with political agendas contrary to the interests of international justice to divert the Court from work that is also beneficial to the United States.” [FoxNews.com, 7/7/10]
Morris Misleads About Proposed Code Of Conduct In Outer Space Treaty
Morris Misleads On U.S. Involvement In European Union's “Code Of Conduct In Outer Space” Treaty. From the May 7 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
MORRIS: You know how liberals have always not wanted us to have a missile defense?
MORRIS: Because they claim we will do a first strike. And so what the Europeans did was they got together and said there's too much debris in outer space, too many things floating around, it's litter, and it could crash into satellites and stuff. And they passed a Code of Conduct in outer space that says no country may launch a missile or a satellite that contributes to debris. That means we can't send up anti-satellite satellites, it means we can't send up missile interceptors. The only way we have of neutralizing North Korea and Iran if they get the bomb is space-based missile interceptors. This treaty would prohibit it. And Hillary -- in January the deputy secretary of state, Ellen Tauscher announced we were not going to pursue negotiations on this. Hillary overruled her and now is negotiating this treaty. [Fox News, Hannity, 5/7/12]
U.S. Department Of State: The EU's “Code Of Conduct For Outer Space Activities” Would Not “Impose Legal Obligations On The United States.” During a April 18 speech at the National Space Symposium, Frank Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance division, explained that the European Union's proposed Code of Conduct “will establish a set of non-legally-binding transparency and confidence-building measures.” Furthermore, Rose stated that the “Obama Administration would not subscribe to an International Code if it constrained or limited the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense, our intelligence community programs or operations, or our ballistic missile defense systems or capabilities.” [U.S. Department Of State, 4/18/12]
Morris And Hannity Mislead On Proposed Small Arms Treaty
Morris And Hannity Fearmonger About A Potential “Small Arms Treaty.” From the May 7 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
MORRIS: The Small Arms Treaty.
HANNITY: Let me just lay out three more things. It would prevent, literally, the American export -- it would force the American export of weapons, our weapons that we develop and our technology to other countries, it would have jurisdiction over firearms in the United States. [Fox News, Hannity, 5/7/12]
But The U.S. Is Actually Working Toward A Small Arms Treaty That Extends U.S. Standards On Arms Trafficking To The International Community. From an October 14, 2009, statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
On a national basis, the United States has in place an extensive and rigorous system of controls that most agree is the “gold standard” of export controls for arms transfers. On a bilateral basis, the United States regularly engages other states to raise their standards and to prohibit the transfer or transshipment of capabilities to rogue states, terrorist groups, and groups seeking to unsettle regions. Multilaterally, we have consistently supported high international standards, and the Arms Trade Treaty initiative presents us with the opportunity to promote the same high standards for the entire international community that the United States and other responsible arms exporters already have in place to ensure that weaponry is transferred for legitimate purposes. [Remarks by Hillary Clinton, 10/14/09]
Without A Treaty, Small Arms Are Flowing From Non-U.S. Markets To Human Rights Abusers. According to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, "[t]he illicit trade in small arms, light weapons and ammunition wreaks havoc everywhere." The U.N. notes that "[s]mall arms facilitate a vast spectrum of human rights violations, including killing, maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, enforced disappearance, torture, and forced recruitment of children by armed groups." [UN.org, Small Arms, accessed 5/8/12]
Thus The UN General Assembly Decided Treaty Conference Was Needed To Prevent “Diversion To The Illicit Market,” Which Promotes “Armed Conflict.” A resolution adopted by the General Assembly on the Arms Trade Treaty found “the problems relating to the unregulated trade of conventional arms and their diversion to the illicit market is a contributory factor to armed conflict.” Therefore a “United Nations conference on the Arms Trade Treaty” should convene “for four consecutive weeks in 2012.” [Resolution adopted by the General Assembly 64/48, 12/2/09]
And Small Arms Treaty Talks Aim To Stop Arms From Flowing To Human Rights Abusers, Not Regulate Domestic Arms Sales. From an October 2009 Washington Post article:
“No government is discussing a treaty that would ever impact the right to bear arms, nor require regulation of domestic sales of arms,” said Scott Stedjan, a senior policy adviser at the relief group Oxfam America. “This is totally about international transfer of arms so that they don't go to human rights abusers.”
The United States is the world's largest supplier of conventional weapons, accounting last year for nearly 70 percent of the global arms sales on contracts valued at $37.8 billion. Italy and Russia were second and third, with $3.7 billion and $3.5 billion in arms sales, according to figures compiled by the Congressional Research Service.
Arms control experts and rights advocates welcomed the U.S. commitment to participate in U.N. talks, saying the negotiations could help impose some basic rules in an industry that operates in the shadows, fuels conflicts and provides arms to terrorist groups and insurgents. [Washington Post, 10/16/09]
Morris Misleads About The Convention On The Rights Of The Child
Morris Suggests The U.S. Will Lose Sovereignty Under The Convention On The Rights Of The Child. The final treaty Morris discussed was the Convention on the Rights of The Child, a treaty signed by President Clinton, but not yet ratified:
MORRIS: There's something called the Rights of the Child treaty, which Britain for example is a signatory to. When Cameron wanted to cut welfare benefits in Britain, the Rights of the Child advocates sued him, saying he wasn't allowed to do it, because of the child treaty, which obliged him to give children certain basic levels of food, medicine, clothing, and everything. And the treaty provides that rich nations have a legal obligation to provide poor nations with enough aid to satisfy that.
HANNITY: So now we're going to spread wealth around the world as if we're not overtaxed now?
MORRIS: You're going to see lawsuits in the United States enforced by U.S. district courts that require us to increase our foreign aid budget. And let me say this: A foreign treaty under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution is equal to a constitutional amendment. You can't repeal it. You can't override it. You can -- there are only two ways of getting out of it, a constitutional amendment or be let out of it by the other 180 countries. [Fox News, Hannity, 5/7/12]
Amnesty International: Claims That The Treaty Usurps U.S. Sovereignty Are “A Result Of Misconceptions, Erroneous Information, And A Lack Of Understanding.” From Amnesty International's frequently asked questions web page on the Convention on the Rights of the Child:
The most common unfounded concerns voiced by the opposition include:
- The Convention usurps national and state sovereignty
- The Convention undermines parental authority
- The Convention would allow and encourage children to sue parents, join gangs, have abortions,
- The United Nations would dictate how we raise and teach our children
These claims and perceptions are a result of misconceptions, erroneous information, and a lack of understanding about how international human rights treaties are implemented in the United States. Notably, in many cases, the Convention's opponents criticize provisions which were added by the Reagan and Bush Administrations during the drafting process in an effort to reflect the rights American children have under the U.S. Constitution.
The Convention contains no controlling language or mandates. Moreover, under the supremacy clause of our Constitution, no treaty can “override” our Constitution. The United States has historically regarded treaties such as this Convention to be non-self-executing, which means the Convention can only be implemented through domestic legislation enacted by Congress or state legislatures, in a manner and time-frame determined by our own legislative process. Moreover, the United States can reject or attach clarifying language to any specific provision of the Convention.
Therefore, neither the United Nations nor the Committee on the Rights of the Child would have dominion, power, or enforcement authority over the United States or its citizens. Ultimately, the Convention obligates the Federal Government to make sure that the provisions of the treaty are fulfilled. [Amnesty International, accessed 5/8/12]