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The Crackpot Mentor of State Department Nominee

April 6, 2009

With the nomination of Harold Hongju Koh, the Dean of Yale Law School, as the Legal Adviser for the State Department, President Barack Obama is putting a world government team in place under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The other key appointment was Anne-Marie Slaughter, the dean of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, as Director of Policy Planning at State. Slaughter wrote the 2004 book, A New World Order, and believes in an international system dominated by the U.N. and other global institutions and networks.

Some conservatives in the media have been pointing out that Koh has extremely radical views that seem to subordinate U.S. laws and the U.S. Constitution to so-called international law. Some say he even would allow the application of Islamic Sharia law in the U.S. But the conservative media focus on Koh's controversial and disputed comments about Sharia miss the point. 

Based on his public statements, one has to conclude that Koh believes in a world government financed by global taxes. This is the huge issue that the media should bring to the fore. America 's future as a sovereign nation is at stake.

Koh's acknowledged mentor was Harvard Law Professor and international lawyer Louis B. Sohn, who was not only a key author of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), now waiting for Senate ratification, but offered a detailed proposal to transform the United Nations into  a world government in his book, World Peace Through World Law.

The fancy academic titles and affiliations sound impressive. But even a casual reading of Sohn's views would conclude that he was a dangerous crackpot.

Sohn said that he wanted this world government to maintain hundreds of thousands of troops, military bases, and be armed with nuclear weapons. The purpose, he said, would be to disarm "each and every nation and to deter or suppress any attempted international violence." This "world authority" would also require a "United Nations Revenue System," drawing taxes from "each nation" of the world, he said.

The term "world government" is too benign for what Sohn proposed. The term "global dictatorship" would be more appropriate. But this is the direction that Koh apparently would take us.

Koh, who served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in the Clinton Administration, referred to Sohn during an October 24, 2006, George Washington University Law School tribute as "my grandfather in the law" because Koh, his sister, and his father had all studied under "his watchful eye."

In an essay based on his remarks, Koh explained that "In a dazzling range of areas¯including arms control, the law of the sea, the law of state responsibility, the law of international organizations, international environmental law, and international dispute resolution¯Louis helped draft global 'constitutions' that sought both to allocate institutional responsibilities and to declare workable rules of international law."

But the influence didn't end there. "Once I became an international law professor myself, Louis took me under his wing in a familial way," Koh said. "We would have lunch together, once at Grand Central Station, but more regularly at the annual meeting of the American Society of International Law."

Sohn's continuing influence was seen in Koh's selection of Charles J. Brown as his chief of staff from 1999-2001 in the Clinton Administration. Brown later became the president and CEO of the Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS), the new name of the pro-world government World Federalist Association (WFA). The name of the organization was changed in order to divert public attention away from its origins in the world government movement. CGS collaborated with the Open Society Institute of George Soros against John Bolton's nomination as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.

The World Federalists are sometimes regarded as small and without much influence, but the fact is that prominent personalities such as Walter Cronkite, the former CBS Evening News anchorman, are world federalists. What's more, President Clinton and then-First Lady Hillary Clinton endorsed the group's activities during the time of the Clinton Administration.

Koh's nomination will be considered by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but it's questionable at this point which members, if any, will raise any objections. The committee is headed by Senator John Kerry and its ranking "Republican," Richard Lugar of Indiana, is a major backer of the United Nations who worked closely with Obama when he was also a member of the committee. Lugar is a strong supporter of various U.N. treaties, including the Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

UNCLOS has always been seen by these people as a major step down the road to world government. The World Federalists declared that, by "establishing global governance" over the seabeds of the oceans and that by stipulating that mining of those areas beyond national jurisdiction "should require payment of royalties" to a United Nations body, UNCLOS has created "a funding resource that would be independent of voluntary contributions by the treaty member nations." Hence, through UNCLOS, global taxes on the U.S. would come into effect.

Interestingly, Sohn and identified Soviet spy Alger Hiss, a top State Department official at the time, were both major players in the conferences that resulted in the creation of the United Nations in 1945. There is no clear record of them working together, however.

Ignoring Hiss, Koh gushed that Sohn was "quite literally present at the creation of the U.N." and "became nothing less than an architect of the new world order." Koh seems to view his role as helping to complete construction of this edifice.

In order to understand the ominous future that Sohn and his disciple Koh have planned for us, one must review Sohn's book, World Peace Through World Law, which was first published in 1958 and co-authored with Grenville Clark of the World Federalists. It is considered a classic by World Federalists and is listed in the "timeline" of the history of world federalism. Sohn's writings are also featured in the book, Uniting the Peoples and the Nations: Readings in World Federalism.

The Washington Post acknowledged that Sohn, who died in 2006, "shaped the Law of the Sea Convention and the Law of the Sea Tribunal."  He was, according to a tribute in his honor, "instrumental" in shaping the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

In World Peace Through World Law, one of his underlying principles was the need for "equitable management of mankind's common resources¯especially outer space and the oceans..." Sohn proposed a "United Nations Ocean Authority" that would eventually be expressed in UNCLOS as the International Seabed Authority, a vehicle to control vast areas of the oceans beyond the authority of sovereign states.  

This revolutionary, even Marxist, concept, did in fact become part of UNCLOS. And it was one reason why President Ronald Reagan rejected it.

In addition to a U.N. Ocean Authority, Sohn urged creation of:

  • A United Nations Outer Space Authority
  • A World Development Authority
  • World judicial tribunals
  • A United Nations Peace Force, with a strength of between 200,000 and 400,000
  • A United Nations Peace Force Reserve with a strength of between 300,000 and 600,000
  • United Nations military bases
  • A United Nations Revenue System

Sohn believed that the U.N. Peace Force would have "the most modern weapons and equipment," including nuclear weapons. He wanted the U.N. to produce and supply its own weapons through a United Nations Military Supply and Research Agency.

As the Senate prepares to consider UNCLOS and other treaties, it is time to examine the influence of Sohn and other like-minded extremists, radicals, and revolutionaries. The Koh nomination is a good place to begin the scrutiny.

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