President Obama’s new staff adviser, senior progressive strategist John Podesta, is a key player in an initiative seeking more government regulation of the oceans and the ceding of U.S. oceans to United Nations-based international law.
That background could inform Podesta’s agenda in the White House, where he is to serve for one year as a “counselor” to the president. The New York Times reported he will focus on executive orders and so-called climate change issues along with Obamacare.
Podesta, a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, is founder of the highly influential Center for American Progress.
He is also a member of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, which seeks to ratify U.S. laws and regulations governing the seas.
“I am delighted to be joining the Global Ocean Commission, which I see as one of the most dynamic initiatives developing commonsense ways to manage fully 45 percent of the globe that remains common property, outside any national jurisdiction,” said Podesta when he joined the commission.
The Joint Ocean Commission 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.
Other recommendations of Podesta’s 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.
Last year, Obama’s Interagency Ocean Policy Taskforce, created in 2010 also by executive order, recommended the U.S. join the U.N.’s Law of the Sea Convention.
The 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.
Republican lawmakers mounted fierce opposition to the U.S. joining the U.N. law.
‘One world government’
Podesta’s Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, meanwhile, 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.
The locations are significant, since the movement heavily promotes the U.N. and is the coordinator of various international projects, such as the Coalition for the International Criminal Court and the Responsibility to Protect military doctrine. The doctrine formed the basis of Obama’s justification to launch NATO airstrikes in Libya.
In 2008, Podesta served as co-director of Obama’s transition into the White House.
A Time magazine article profiled the influence of Podesta’s Center for American Progress in the formation of the Obama administration, stating that “not since the Heritage Foundation helped guide Ronald Reagan’s transition in 1981 has a single outside group held so much sway.”
The center is funded by billionaire George Soros. Its board includes Van Jones, Obama’s former “green jobs” czar, who resigned in September 2009 after it was exposed he founded a communist revolutionary organization.
With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott.