Have you ever asked yourself what “birds, guns & nuclear bombs” have in common? Well, for one thing they all involve treaties:
- The 1917 Migratory Bird Treaty with Canada took over 200 named migratory birds and removed them from state authority and placed them under US federal jurisdiction. Subsequent Treaties with Russia and Japan added more migratory bird species to the federal jurisdiction and removed them from any (other than federally-allowed) State authority.
- In the early years of the Obama Administration President Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conducted secret negotiations at the UN to develop the wording of a UN “Convention” on Small Arms Control. Despite all the smoke and mirrors about “international guerilla movements” and “revolutions”; the President and Secretary of State very clearly were intending to draft and sign a UN Agreement that they would clai9m was a “Treaty” that authorized the confiscation, registration and seizure of any and all guns in the US. Later it was exposed, denied and covered-up that the federal Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agency was simultaneously smuggling guns to Mexico that were being used by drug lords to kill enemies as well as to kill a US Border Agent. Speculation after the thus far successful cover-up indicated that the smuggled guns were meant to cause public hysteria in the US that American guns were being used in Mexico to kill Mexicans and that therefore the need for the recently negotiated UN Agreement was neve greater to “control” guns.
- From 2013 to 2015 Secretary of State Kerry has been negotiating a (treaty??) with Iran to (prohibit, enable, slowdown??) Iran’s development of a nuclear bomb manufactory operation. While the word “treaty” was often cited in the news reports about this matter, it is unclear what was intended or what it really is. We are told the President “only” needs 1/3 of the Senate to “ratify” “it”. It is kept secret from the American public that are forbidden to see it. Members of the US House and Senate are denied information about “side agreements” and can only read the (?) in a secret room without any electronic devices and without taking any notes. When the “agreement”/”convention”/”treaty” (??) is approved /ratified/OK’ed(??)- whatever – by the Congress we will transfer +/- $150 Billion to the world’s largest supporter of terrorism, allow Iran to inspect and report on their own nuclear facilities, and to tolerate Iran deploying a nuclear bombarsenal in 10 years and not before - unless you are honest and candid with yourself about those Mullahs and their history of honesty and integrity!
Why is “treaty” a common denominator for these disparate activities? To answer that we must consult the US Constitution regarding what is a “Treaty.”
Article II, Section 2 reads:
“He (i.e. the President) shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds (66 Senators of the full Senate) of the Senators present concur”.
Article VI at the tail end of the US Constitution reads as follows:
“all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the Supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the contrary not-withstanding.”
Taking the three subjects (migratory birds, guns, & nuclear bombs) mentioned above and what we know about “Treaties” some questions and observations are in order.
1. Is a UN “Convention” a Treaty? The traditional and original definition of “Treaty” stated in the US Constitution is an agreement between one or more sovereign nations that is in force only so long as each of the signatories complies with the provisions. That concept certainly does not fit the UN “Convention” obligations wherein some (actually most in the natural resource arena) signatories ignore Convention or Treaty obligations yet we and some/a few/many others continue to enact and enlarge what we want domestically under the color of a “Treaty” that destroys any US Constitutional sovereignty not pleasing to the reigning US Government. For instance the UN “Convention” on Endangered Species somehow allowed the federal government, namely the US Fish and Wildlife Service, to “take” private property from dogs and cattle (with wolves and grizzly bears) to timber and fodder (with spotted owls and sage grouse) “without compensation” in direct contravention of the 5th Amendment to the Constitution. It was this example that led the current gun control Administration to seek a UN Convention scheme on gun control to similarly be utilized to contravene the 2nd Amendment and then to disarm all but a select few American citizens.
2. The US Fish and Wildlife Service and their modern-day (1970 onward) environmental/animal rights constituency have steadily subverted State renewable natural resource management and authority. As state agencies and state governments became more amenable to federal whims as federal funding dependency grew, an issue of little public concern like taking all hawks and owls and cormorants out from State jurisdiction and providing federal “protection” by simply naming them on new Treaties with Russia and Japan was employed. Federal bureaucrats drafted the Treaty, put a notice in the Federal Register and, when state governments remained silent (as they did later when the same bureaucrats stole $45 to 60 Million from Excise taxes earmarked for state wildlife programs) yet another loss of state sovereignty became an addition to central or federal government budgets, budgets, personnel, and authority. Treaties can indeed be manipulated and shameful precedents set.
3. How to describe the gun control efforts of the current Obama Administration? They just concluded a UN meeting in Mexico City that concerned “Small Arms”. So far as I know, it is still secret. Given the former secret UN negotiations under Hillary Clinton, the Fast and Furious gun smuggling to Mexico by US bureaucrats, and now a secret negotiation in Mexico City; is it out of line to expect claims by politically powerful gun controllers that “now we have a UN Convention/Agreement that “requires” federal gun control because it is “required” in this Convention/Agreement/treaty (note the little “t”)? What you say; that is impossible because the Constitution says, blah-blah-blah. Ah but that is no longer the “governing authority” to quote another Progressive worthy of recent bygone days; what about the Iran deal?
4. Secretary Kerry just “got” and returned to the US much to the delight of the President, a “deal”with Iran. No it is not a “Treaty”. Even though it “walks like a Treaty and quacks like a Treaty” it is something new and different. It is a “deal.” A “deal” according to our President and a submissive self-serving Congress only needs 1/3 of the sitting Senators and not 2/3 (33 v. 66) as directed in the Constitution. Even a Minority Party in the Senate like the current Democrat bloc of Senators can muster 34 votes while still letting the Jewish Senators like Schumer and others with a large Jewish constituency (Iran makes no bones about eradicating Israel from the face of the earth ASAP) to posture about their “conscience” and “Israel’s future” without lobbying their fellow Democrats. Is this a great country, or what?
So to answer my question, “what do ‘birds, guns & nuclear bombs’ have in common?” is that they are a metaphor for the decline of American life. The next time someone smirks at your mention of the decline in American life, American culture, and American values; mention Treaties and Migratory Birds, Gun Control, and Nuclear Bombs in Iran. American decline, in so many ways, has paralleled the disintegration of good governance and that is no better demonstrated than in the crumbling of Treaties from a sensible and necessary tool of government clearly defined and circumscribed in the Constitution to secret negotiations passed without any information available to the American public and meant to further restrict “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” by shredding the US Constitution.. Bureaucrats capitalize on this since they increasingly no longer answer to elected officials other than to preserve the Party that gives them the most power and benefits, just like modern politicians no longer see beyond their personal benefit and Party loyalties
The history of Treaties in the USA in the last 50 years is a mirror image of the history of the USA itself. Unless we can return to Constitutional governance, it is only going to continue getting worse.
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Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.
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