By Bonta, Steve
The New American , Vol. 18, No. 17
With all the attention paid to the domestic war on terrorism and the dangers it poses to our liberties -- the PATRIOT Act, the Department of Homeland Security, the TIPS program, and so forth -- scant notice has been given to the United Nations' international antiterrorism campaign. Yet below the American public's radar screen, the UN Security Council's new Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) is trying to achieve on an international scale what measures like the PATRIOT Act are doing domestically: expand the reach and power of government -- in this case, the UN's embryonic world government -- in the name of fighting terrorism. And the potential consequences for U.S. liberty are dire indeed.
The Counter-Terrorism Committee was created by paragraph six of Security Council Resolution 1373, issued last September 28th in response to the September 11th attacks. The purpose of the CTC, in the words of 1373, is to "monitor implementation of this resolution." To allow the CTC to carry out this monitoring, UN member states are required to submit regular compliance reports to the CTC. The first round of such reports came in to the CTC from December 2001 through the early months of 2002 and, as we reported in the February 25th issue of THE NEW AMERICAN, the U.S. government was one of the first member states to submit its report on U.S. compliance with the Security Council's new anti-terrorism guidelines. The U.S. report, dated December 19th depicted the USA PATRIOT Act and other post 9-11 Bush initiatives as acts of compliance with UN demands in Resolution 1373.
This first report was worrisome enough, since it showed the degree to which U.S. officials are now willing to let UN authorities dictate terms to us. But now there's more. After receiving the first report, the CTC sent a more detailed, focused list of inquiries to the U.S. government and demanded a response by June 15th The second U.S. compliance report, submitted in response, is truly scary stuff.
Like the first report, the second is arranged as a series of responses to specific questions from the CTC on a range of domestic policies. The very first question pointedly asks: "Does the US have a specialist counter-terrorism body or is that the responsibility of a number of departments or agencies?" The report's author meekly replies that the U.S. is now trying to create a Department of Homeland Security, a process that "will take time, especially since new legislation will be required." However, the report promises, "we will inform the CTC when these new changes are in place." In other words, the Bush administration considers the Department of Homeland Security an act of compliance with UN requirements, and will keep the UN informed of our progress. This kind of truckling to alleged UN authority speaks volumes about the Bush administration's real attitude towards UN-centered internationalism, despite its occasional choreographed outbursts of anti-globalist rhetoric.
But there's more. Further on in the U.S. report, the CTC asks whether "natural or legal persons other than banks (e.g., attorneys, notaries, or other intermediaries) [are] required to report suspicious transactions to the public authorities." The U.S. compliance report explains that the Bank Secrecy Act gives our government broad power to spy on its citizens via banks, savings and loans, credit unions, and even the U.S. Postal Service, adding that the new PATRIOT Act requires the Treasury to issue a rule "requiring broker-dealers to file suspicious activity reports." Responding to whether the United States has "any means of monitoring financial activities, in particular fund-raising, by non-governmental associations or organizations," the U.S. report gives UN officials a long and detailed explanation of the U.S. tax code and the powers it confers on the federal government to monitor and control the activities of nonprofit and charitable institutions. …