On June 18, Congress cleared the way for the president to sign into law a bill committing $25 million over five years to save turtles.
As expensively ridiculous as this taxpayer-funded initiative seems, its creation and ultimate passage cannot be blamed solely on sponsor Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-Md.). Rather, H.R. 3378, the Marine Turtle Conservation Act of 2004, is the American byproduct of a U.N. agenda solidified in 1974, when our nation ratified the CITES treaty.
CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an almost harmless-sounding contract that leads one to believe its area of oversight deals only with plants, and specific ones at that. To surmise such from the title would be folly; the treaty actually provides for the United Nations to oversee and regulate international trade of “any animal or plant, whether alive or dead.”
It is CITES that H.R. 3378 purports to uphold, via allocation of $5 million annually between 2005 and 2009 to “assist in the conservation of marine turtles and the nesting habitats of marine turtles in foreign countries,” Section 2 states.
Why can’t these nations pay for their own turtles?
Six of the seven species targeted for conservation in CITES reside part-time in American waters, and are already protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act, as Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) told his House colleagues on June 14, during an address to support the bill. By extension, then, it would seem the $25 million — if it must be used to save turtles — could be better spent domestically, in the same country of residence as the taxpayers who are funding the program.
That question aside, though, the even larger concern with H.R. 3378 deals with its almost invisible furtherance of a dangerous tendency of late: the injection of global policy into U.S. politics and the subsequent overriding of our constitutional system of representation in favor of heavy-handed U.N. bureaucracy and proven anti-American agenda. In other words, it is not the people of the “of, by and for the people” form of governance we still tout who are being represented with this bill. It is instead the United Nations, the radical environmentalists and preservationists, the special interests — and this is an aggressive trend, often disguised within the most minor of legislation, that must be halted if the individual is to retain any control at all over our country’s leaders.
For instance, CITES is not the only force at play here.
Officials with the United Nations Environment Programme, with which the United States is affiliated, held a meeting in Bangkok on March 16 to review how conservation efforts under the Convention on Migratory Species and a separate international agreement protecting marine turtles were progressing. At this gathering, Australia and the United States “announced plans to increase their spending on turtle conservation schemes,” the U.N. news site reported.
It should be noted that while the United States is not a party to this U.N. Convention on Migratory Species, a treaty aimed at saving endangered species from the devises of humankind that is also about to celebrate its 25th anniversary since inception, our nation did sign this offshoot agreement that is nonetheless under the auspices of CMS on June 21, 2001. Called the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Conservation Measures for Marine Turtles of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia, this agreement commits the United States to, among other measures, “review, formulate and harmonize national legislation relevant to the conservation of marine turtles and their habitats,” and to help obtain the funding for such.
Since both these documents, the treaty and the agreement, were mentioned in U.N. press releases as the key issues of review and discussion at this March meeting, it seems more than coincidence that it was just a few short months later, in October of 2003, that Congress introduced in H.R. 3378 and the very means of realizing these internationalist conservation goals.
The moral of the story?
Whether through the fanfare of official treaty or by quiet agreement, the agenda of the United Nations is being steadily injected into U.S. policy. And taxpayer costs aside, Americans ought to be troubled with any legislation that slides through Congress so closely aligned with U.N. agenda that it can only mean the will of the global entity is considered a greater priority to its cosponsors than the will of the U.S. electorate.