The Dirty Fight Against Koh

The invaluable David Weigle exposes a conspiracy afoot by the forces of darkness to obstruct the nomination of Harold Koh as the State Department’s top legal advisor.  According to a letter obtained by Weigle, groups like the Frank Gaffney-fronted Coalition for American Sovereignty (which was founded to oppose the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) and the Center for Security Policy are attempting to portray Koh’s legal views as somehow outside the mainstream.  They planned on circulating the letter in advance of his nomination hearing, though far right commentators like Glenn Beck of Fox News have already begun a concerted smear campaign against the Yale Law School dean.

Back on planet earth it is Koh’s detractors — not Koh himself — who hold fringe views on international law and sovereignty.   Take the debate over the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea:  Most Democrats and Republicans support ratification. President Bush supported ratification as does President Obama. The United States military supports ratification and peace groups support ratification.  Environmentalists and the mineral extractive industry too support support ratification.  But Frank Gaffney?  He thinks UNCLOS is a full frontal assault on American sovereignty!