The Senate Foreign Relations Committee assembled a high-profile cast of witnesses today in Chairman John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) passionate quest to push the U.S. to sign and ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty.
But none other than former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld showed up to testify — and oppose the United Nations convention as unwise and un-American.
Kerry began the full day of hearings with an op-ed on The Huffington Post trying to push the bipartisan nature of the treaty. “It’s an issue that President George W. Bush and I actually agreed on — strongly, unequivocally,” Kerry said, adding that last week all living former Republican secretaries of State gave a nod to the treaty in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
He highlighted earlier testimony of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who called the treaty, signed by every permanent member of the UN Security Council except the U.S., “the bedrock legal instrument underpinning public order across the maritime domain.”
Kerry said the treaty needs to be settled because of economic concerns related to maritime claims, such as exploiting resources from the ocean seabed, and the national security component.
When it comes to anything John Kerry is in favour of my alarm bells go off. However, I note that this is US Senate action and in November Democrat control of the Senate may go the way of the Dodo Bird (along with this debate). One can only hope.