January 14, 2009
In violation of Barack Obama’s promise to run an open and transparent transition to the next administration, an associate of convicted document thief Sandy Berger has been secretly meeting with far-left groups under the auspices of the Obama-Biden Transition Project to develop a range of pro-U.N. policies. These include placing “more [U.N.] blue helmets on U.S. troops” and forcing the U.S. to join the U.N.’s International Criminal Court (ICC).
The ICC is an international entity that could prosecute American citizens and soldiers for “war crimes” and other offenses, in violation of U.S. Constitutional protections.
The ICC treaty was signed by President Clinton, who expressed concern about some of its provisions, but under President Bush it was “unsigned” by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton in what he called his “happiest moment” at the State Department.
In response to the possibility of the ICC prosecuting American soldiers, the Congress in 2002 passed the American Service members Protection Act, in order to protect U.S. soldiers from the jurisdiction of the court.
While Obama comes across in the media as a “moderate” or “centrist” in foreign policy, his Transition Project is developing an extreme pro-U.N. policy that is supposed to be implemented by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan E. Rice.
The Berger associate, Eric. P. Schwartz, is the executive director of the U.S. Connect Fund and represents several liberal and leftist foundations, including and most notably the Open Society Institute of financial hedge-fund operator George Soros. Soros is considered by some the virtual owner of the Democratic Party, having contributed lavishly to the party, its causes and candidates, including Obama. He personally contributed $50,000, the maximum allowed, to the Obama inauguration.
While Obama did not publicly endorse the International Criminal Court during the campaign, because “many questions remain unanswered about the ultimate scope of its activities,” Schwartz and his associates are clearly laying the groundwork for the Obama Administration’s acceptance of and membership in the ICC. Schwartz is perfectly suited for the task, having “initiated and managed the White House review that resulted in U.S. signature of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court” under Clinton, according to his own bio.
Other members of the secretive Obama group include Samantha Power, the Harvard academic and one of Obama’s closest foreign policy advisers who left the Obama presidential campaign temporarily after calling Hillary Clinton a “monster.” A self-described “humanitarian hawk,” Power believes in using the United Nations to confront “genocide” in the world, despite the corruption scandals involving U.N. peacekeepers in human rights violations and sexual child abuse.
Soros, who backed Obama during the presidential campaign, is a well-known advocate of a “New World Order” in which the U.S. refuses to act unilaterally in its own interests but works through international organizations such as the U.N. on foreign policy matters. Critics note that such an approach gives the U.N. and other nations a veto over what the U.S. can do militarily.
A convicted inside trader whose currency manipulations have been known to threaten national governments and currencies, he testified on November 13, 2008, before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform about the risks posed by the hedge funds that he and other billionaires operate. In addition to the Democratic Party, his financial fingerprints are all over leftist, “progressive” and news media organizations.
The Connect U.S. Fund is funded by Soros’s Open Society Institute and other liberal foundations and provides grants to pro-U.N. groups around the country. These groups, which provide the appearance of public support for more U.S. involvement in the U.N., were involved in a January 10 national conference call to promote a “Responsible U. S. Global Engagement” agenda for the Obama Administration. They are releasing a letter to Obama this week urging close cooperation with the U.N. on such issues as human rights, climate change, arms control and foreign aid.
This is bound to find a favorable response, since the co-chair of the Obama-Biden Transition Project, John Podesta, a former Clinton chief of staff, comes from another Soros-funded group, the Center for American Progress.
Although Obama and Podesta promised full disclosure of transition meetings and documents—and Podesta even issued a December 5, 2008, memorandum on the subject—no information about Schwartz’s December 6, 2008, meetings with the Washington Working Group on the International Criminal Court (WICC) and the Partnership for Effective Peacekeeping (PEP) appears on the “Seat at the Table” section of the Obama website. The “Seat at the Table” was designed to create the impression that the Transition Project was being open and honest about meeting with special interest and outside groups.
WICC and PEP are fronts of Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS), the new name of the World Federalist Association, an organization openly dedicated to the establishment of a world government with a world army financed by global taxes.
The CGS itself disclosed the meetings with Schwartz, boasting that the WICC and PEP emphasized the need for Obama to accept the ICC and place “more blue helmets on U.S. troops,” a reference to U.N. military operations where American troops wear U.N. blue berets or helmets and take orders from foreign commanders. So-called “progressive” groups and media figures such as Nicholas D. Kristof of the New York Times have been waging vigorous campaigns to get U.S. forces deployed around the world in various conflicts that do not involve threats to U.S. national security.
Such a policy under Clinton in the former Yugoslavia, where NATO was deployed for the first time in an offensive military capacity without the approval of Congress, led to the famous case of Army Specialist Michael New refusing orders to serve a foreign U.N. commander in Macedonia. After saying he had signed up for the green team, not the blue team, he was court-martialed and discharged for “bad conduct.” His lawyers in the Michael New Action Fund fought the discharge in the courts for over 10 years, arguing that presidential orders to report to the U.N. were illegal and unconstitutional. While the Supreme Court ultimately refused to review the case, many members of Congress and the public rallied to Michael New’s defense.
Clinton had ordered U.S. troops to serve the U.N. under the still-secret Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 25, which has never been repealed by President Bush. Although Bush had promised never to assign U.S. troops to U.N. command, American soldiers have continued to be inducted into U.N. “peacekeeping” operations during his administration. He has also begun to cooperate with the ICC and on January 5 ordered the airlift of military supplies to Darfur in support of a U.N. military force.
Schwartz’s job, quite clearly, is to dramatically expand this policy and get the Senate to ratify the ICC treaty and accept unconstitutional ICC jurisdiction over American troops. Such an approach would mark the end of U.S. military superiority and perhaps the end to U.S. status as a superpower.
Officially, Schwartz is identified merely as a “member” of the Obama-Biden “working group” on national security with jurisdiction over U.N. issues. In addition to Power, members of the “national security team” on “US/UN” issues are Michael Pan, Jennifer Simon, Elizabeth Cousens, Grant Harris, and Victoria Holt. No detail about these individuals or their backgrounds is officially provided, but some information is available through research conducted from public Internet sources. Many have links to the U.N., leftist think tanks, or Congressional Democrats.
Letters to Podesta and Schwartz seeking an explanation of the failure to disclose these meetings—and what was discussed in them and what documents were exchanged or provided—have gone unanswered.
Publicly, the media focus has been on personalities—such as whether Senator Hillary Clinton, whose nomination as Secretary of State is the subject of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Tuesday, can get along with Susan E. Rice, Obama’s nominee as Ambassador to the U.N., whose nomination will be the subject of a hearing on Thursday.
This “controversy,” however, is largely phony, since Clinton and Rice are both associates of Brookings Institution President Strobe Talbott, a prominent advocate of “global governance” and increased U.S./U.N. collaboration. Talbott, one of the leading foreign policy thinkers in the Democratic Party, was an official in the Clinton State Department and is considered an old friend of Hillary Clinton, while Talbott and Rice, another former Clinton State Department official, served together at Brookings.
A controversial figure who recently told the German magazine Der Spiegel that Obama is a true “citizen of the world,” Talbott was accused by a former Russian spymaster at the U.N. of being a special contact of the Russian intelligence service when he served in the Clinton State Department. The charge, denied by Talbott, was included in the sensational book, Comrade J, which describes the U.N. as a base of activities for hostile foreign intelligence services.
Fascinated by such matters as Barack and Michelle Obama’s wardrobe and inaugural festivities, the U.S. media seem uninterested in any of this. While Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times has written in general about the violations of Obama’s promise to reveal the existence and nature of the Transition Project meetings, she has failed to provide any details about the controversial characters involved in them.
One of those characters, Schwartz, suggests the continuing influence of former Clinton National Security Adviser Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger, who became known as Sandy Burglar after he was caught stealing classified documents from the National Archives. He pleaded guilty to charges in the case in 2005, paid a fine, performed community service, but never served any jail time. He now runs a lobbying firm, Stonebridge International, representing major corporations doing business in China and other areas of the world. Stonebridge has just announced former Citigroup Chairman and CEO Charles Prince as Vice Chairman of the firm and Chairman of the firm’s Board of Advisors.
Berger teamed up with Schwartz once more in 2007 to write an op-ed advocating more U.S. “global engagement”—a euphemism for more reliance on the U.N. and international organizations. Schwartz’s official title under Berger at the National Security Council was senior director for multilateral and humanitarian affairs. After leaving the Clinton Administration he went to work for the United Nations.
Not surprisingly, one of Schwartz’s associates at the U.S. Connect Fund is Heather Hamilton, a former top official of CGS, where she lobbied against John Bolton’s nomination as Ambassador to the U.N. and for U.S. acceptance of the International Criminal Court and the U.N.’s controversial U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
While publicly exhibiting caution regarding the ICC, apparently because of the opposition to the court by U.S. military leaders, Obama has said that he supports Senate ratification of UNCLOS, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
“As president,” he told the American Society of International Law, “I will make it my priority to build bipartisan consensus behind ratification of such treaties.”
© 2009 Cliff Kincaid – All Rights Reserved
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Cliff Kincaid, a veteran journalist and media critic, Cliff concentrated in journalism and communications at the University of Toledo, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Cliff has written or co-authored nine books on media and cultural affairs and foreign policy issues.
Cliff has appeared on Hannity & Colmes, The O’Reilly Factor, Crossfire and has been published in the Washington Post, Washington Times, Chronicles, Human Events and Insight.