Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is facing criticism for statements he made at a hearing this week regarding the use of international military force without the explicit approval of Congress.
WND was first to report that before he was appointed chief of the CIA in 2009, Panetta co-chaired an initiative to regulate U.S. oceans and cede them to United Nations-based international law.
Panetta’s oceans initiative was a key partner of an organization that promotes world government, Citizens for Global Solutions.
Also, the group’s parent organization, the World Federalist Movement, promotes democratized global institutions with plenary constitutional power. It is a coordinator and member of Responsibility to Protect, the controversial United Nations military doctrine used by Obama as the main justification for U.S. and international airstrikes against Libya.
At the hearing this week, Panetta stressed the need for “international permission” to launch an international military campaign against Syria, skirting questions about seeking congressional approval for such use of military force.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who chaired the hearing, asked Panetta whether he believes the U.S. “can act without Congress and initiate a No Fly Zone in Syria, without congressional approval.”
Panetta replied: “Again, our goal would be to seek international permission and we would come to the Congress and inform you and determine how best to approach this, whether or not we would want to get permission from the Congress, I think those are issues I think we would have to discuss as we decide what to do here.”
Panetta repeatedly stressed the need to seek the approval of the international community, including the U.N. and NATO countries.
Until his appointment as CIA director in 2009, Panetta co-chaired the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, the partner of Citizens for Global Solutions in a push to ratify U.S. laws and regulations governing the seas. Panetta became defense secretary in June 2011.
The oceans initiative bills itself as a bipartisan, collaborative group that aims to “accelerate the pace of change that results in meaningful ocean policy reform.”
Among its main recommendations is that the U.S. should put its oceans up for regulation to the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.
That U.N. convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment and the management of marine natural resources.
Other recommendations of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative include:
- The Administration and Congress should establish a national ocean policy. The Administration and Congress should support regional, ecosystem-based approaches to the management of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes.
- Congress should strengthen and reauthorize the Coastal Zone Management Act.
- Congress should strengthen the Clean Water Act.
The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative Leadership Council includes John Podesta, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, which is reportedly highly influential in advising the White House on policy. Podesta served as co-chairman of Obama’s presidential transition team.
Panetta’s oceans initiative is a key partner of Citizens for Global Solutions, or CGS, which, according to its literature, envisions a “future in which nations work together to abolish war, protect our rights and freedoms and solve the problems facing humanity that no nation can solve alone.”
CGS states it works to “build the political will in the United States” to achieve this global vision.
The organization currently works on issues that fall into five general areas: U.S. global engagement; global health and environment; peace and security; international law and justice; and international institutions.
CGS is a member organization and supporter of the World Federalist Movement, which openly seeks a one-world government. The World Federalist Movement considers the CGS to be its U.S. branch.
The movement brings together organizations and individuals that support the establishment of a global federal system of strengthened and democratized global institutions with plenary constitutional power accountable to the citizens of the world and a division of international authority among separate global agencies.
The movement’s headquarters are located near the U.N. building in New York City. A second office is near the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.
Global military scheme
The connection of Panetta’s oceans initiative to a global center coordinating the Responsibility to Protect doctrine might raise questions regarding Panetta’s defense strategy.
Obama has specifically cited the military doctrine as the main justification for U.S. and international airstrikes against Libya.
Indeed, the Libya bombings were regarded as a test of Responsibility to Protect.
Responsibility to Protect, or Responsibility to Act, as cited by Obama, is a set of principles, now backed by the United Nations, based on the idea that sovereignty is not a privilege but a responsibility that can be revoked if a country is accused of “war crimes,” “genocide,” “crimes against humanity” or “ethnic cleansing.”
The term “war crimes” has at times been indiscriminately used by various U.N.-backed international bodies, including the International Criminal Court, or ICC, which applied it to Israeli anti-terror operations in the Gaza Strip. There has been fear the ICC could be used to prosecute U.S. troops.
As WND reported George Soros’ Open Society Institute is a primary funder and key proponent of the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect.
Soros’ Open Society is one of only three nongovernmental funders of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. Government sponsors include Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Rwanda and the U.K.
Board members of the group include former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former Ireland President Mary Robinson and South African activist Desmond Tutu. Robinson and Tutu have made solidarity visits to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as members of a group called The Elders, which includes former President Jimmy Carter.
Annan once famously stated, “State sovereignty, in its most basic sense, is being redefined – not least by the forces of globalization and international co-operation. States are … instruments at the service of their peoples and not vice versa.”
The Carr Center for Human Rights Policy served on the advisory board of the 2001 commission that original founded Responsibility to Protect. The center was led at the time by Samantha Power, the National Security Council special adviser to Obama on human rights.
Power reportedly heavily influenced Obama in consultations leading to the decision to bomb Libya.
WND reported the committee that devised the Responsibility to Protect doctrine included Arab League Secretary General Amre Moussa as well as Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi, a staunch denier of the Holocaust who long served as the deputy of late Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat.
Right to ‘penetrate nation-states’ borders’
Soros himself outlined the fundamentals of Responsibility to Protect in a 2004 Foreign Policy magazine article entitled “The People’s Sovereignty: How a New Twist on an Old Idea Can Protect the World’s Most Vulnerable Populations.”
In the article, Soros said “true sovereignty belongs to the people, who in turn delegate it to their governments.”
“If governments abuse the authority entrusted to them and citizens have no opportunity to correct such abuses, outside interference is justified,” Soros wrote. “By specifying that sovereignty is based on the people, the international community can penetrate nation-states’ borders to protect the rights of citizens.
“In particular, the principle of the people’s sovereignty can help solve two modern challenges: the obstacles to delivering aid effectively to sovereign states, and the obstacles to global collective action dealing with states experiencing internal conflict.”
WND reported that the Responsibility doctrine founder, Ramesh Thakur, has advocated for a “global rebalancing” and “international redistribution” to create a “New World Order.”
In a piece one year ago in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, “Toward a new world order,” Thakur wrote, “Westerners must change lifestyles and support international redistribution.”
He was referring there to a United Nations-brokered international climate treaty in which he argued, “Developing countries must reorient growth in cleaner and greener directions.”
In the opinion piece, Thakur discussed recent military engagements and how the financial crisis has impacted the U.S.
“The West’s bullying approach to developing nations won’t work anymore – global power is shifting to Asia,” he wrote.
“A much-needed global moral rebalancing is in train,” he added.
Thakur continued: “Westerners have lost their previous capacity to set standards and rules of behavior for the world. Unless they recognize this reality, there is little prospect of making significant progress in deadlocked international negotiations.”
Thakur contended “the demonstration of the limits to U.S. and NATO power in Iraq and Afghanistan has left many less fearful of ‘superior’ western power.”
With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott