Sometimes, it seems that enemies use American ‘protections’ to stop national defense. Liberals are stunned that Congress has finally taken notice of the dangerously negative impact on national security that “environmental litigation by U.S. based 501(c) organizations” has had against the Department of Defense. In fact, it’s so bad, that they are actually launching a formal investigation.
Last week, two powerful GOP congressional watchdog group leaders demanded that eco-nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council cough up any and all “documents about its relationship with the Chinese government.” It looks suspiciously like the NRDC is “being influenced or coerced by foreign interests.”
Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Bruce Westerman (R-AR) followed that letter up on Wednesday with a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis. The pair is requesting that the Defense Department turn over everything that they also have on China and the other “foreign interests” using green-group tree-hugging lawsuits as a weapon.
“Such lawsuits may serve as an inexpensive tool or a military windfall which reduce U.S. defense capabilities.”
“Accordingly, environmental groups that bring such lawsuits” may be “serving as proxies for our foreign adversaries,” whether they know it or not, they say in the letter. These groups “could perform as self-funded, self-sufficient, and perpetual ‘launch and forget’ weapons.”
Bishop is Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. Westerman heads up its oversight subcommittee. Just when America hating liberals thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse this week, they suddenly did.
Forget about Russians manipulating Facebook. Since way back in the 1990’s, the NRDC has been filing lawsuits “that aimed to stop the use of sonar and underwater explosives by the Navy because of its impact on mammals.”
The real reason behind that particular environmental litigation was to restrict “Navy training exercises and testing” in a way that “jeopardizes” the Navy’s ability to detect Chinese diesel-electric submarines.
The Center for Biological Diversity is also in congressional cross-hairs. They filed a lawsuit to stop the Marine Corps Japanese air station from being relocated “because of its potential harm to a marine mammal, the Okinawa dugong.”
The lawmakers realize some of the legal actions “represent sincere and justified concerns about the effect of federal actions on the environment,” but China, Russia and other “foreign adversaries” also use them as a tool to “reduce U.S. defense capabilities” by tying them up in red tape.
The Natural Resources Committee is keeping an eye on “several other environmental groups.” A spokesman informs that the committee “will seek inquiry as appropriate.”
In other words, they will be going through all of the lawsuits with a fine tooth comb and will start subpoenaing any of the non-profits that might be compromised.
Strange enough that “the committee expressed concern that NRDC’s need to maintain access with Chinese officials has influenced domestic policies in the U.S. and may require compliance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act.”
Basically, that means that they will need to be treated like a lobbyist. Under FARA, any person or group that does things “at the request of a foreign principal” or is “directly or indirectly supervised, directed, controlled, financed, or subsidized” by a foreign principal must be registered the Department of Justice.
The congressmen also pointed out in their letter that the NRDC seemed to have separate standards for Chinese and American environmental policies.
The committee “voiced concern regarding perceived NRDC self-censorship and refraining from criticism of Chinese environmental policies while taking a more adversarial approach domestically, particularly under the Trump administration.”
NRDC has been filing an average of one lawsuit every 10 days against the Trump administration.
That makes it seem like they are painting a one-sided picture. “The Committee is concerned about the NRDC’s role in aiding China’s perception management efforts with respect to pollution control and its international standing on environmental issues in ways that may be detrimental to the United States.”
What they already uncovered made the committee very nervous. “The NRDC’s relationship with China has many of the criteria identified by U.S. intelligence agencies and law enforcement as putting an entity at risk of being influenced or coerced by foreign interests.”
Not once has the group sued the Chinese military over their use of the same sonar as the U.S. Navy. They have not said one single word about China’s “artificial islands” in the South China Sea.
They had nothing but praise for Chinese fishing practices, which Greenpeace called “a threat to fish stocks around the world” in 2016.
NRDC officials meet regularly with their Chinese handlers, according to the lawmakers’ letter. The nonprofit maintains an office in Beijing. That branch “has worked closely with Chinese central planners.”
In response, NRDC says just because they work closely with China, that does not make them spies or saboteurs. “As the most populous country on Earth, China has much to do with the kind of world the next generation will inherit, in our country and around the world.”
They are proud of their work, “helping to create a more sustainable future for everyone.” They say they “look forward to discussing that work with Chairman Bishop and the committee.”
There is nothing to discuss, just turn over the documents and let the committee sort through them to see just how much influence the Chinese really have over our military.