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04-13-11 Ltr to Cong Boehner Transmitting DOJ Proposals - Nuclear Terrorism Conventions Implementation Act and Safety of Maritime Navigation Act

04-13-11 Ltr to Cong Boehner Transmitting DOJ Proposals - Nuclear Terrorism Conventions Implementation Act and Safety of Maritime Navigation Act

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Published by: Diane Barnes on Mar 05, 2012
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u.s.
Department
of
Justice
Office
of
Legislative Affairs
Office
of
the Assistant Attorney General
Washington, D.C. 20530
April
13,
2011
The Honorable John
A.
BoehnerSpeaker
of
the HouseUnited States House
of
RepresentativesWashington, D.C. 20515Dear Mr. Speaker:We are transmitting herewith two important legislative proposals: first, a proposal toimplement international agreements concerning nuclear terrorism and nuclear materials; andsecond, a proposal to implement international agreements on maritime terrorism and themaritime transportation
of
weapons
of
mass destruction. These agreements and theimplementing legislation we are transmitting will strengthen national security and enhancemultilateral efforts to combat terrorism and nuclear proliferation.The first legislative proposal would accomplish two aims.
It
would implement theInternational Convention for the Suppression
of
Acts
of
Nuclear Terrorism ("NTC"), which wasadopted by the United Nations General Assembly on April 13, 2005, and signed by PresidentBush
on
behalf
of
the United States on September 14,2005. The
NTC
requires States Parties tocriminalize certain acts relating to the possession and use
of
radioactive material and radiologicaldispersal devices and damage to nuclear facilities.The proposal also would implement certain provisions
of
an amendment to theConvention on the Physical Protection
of
Nuclear Material ("CPPNM"). The amendment to theCPPNM was adopted by acclamation at a diplomatic conference
of
States Parties (including theUnited States) on July 25, 2005. The CPPNM amendment, in pertinent part, requires StatesParties to criminalize nuclear smuggling and sabotage
of
nuclear facilities. The Senate agreed toa resolution
of
advice and consent to both the NTC and the amendment to the CPPNM onSeptember 25, 2008.The second proposal would amend
18
U.S.C.
§§
2280 and 2281 to implement the2005 Protocol to the 1988 Convention for the Suppression
of
Unlawful Acts against theSafety
of
Maritime Navigation ("SUA Protocol") and the 2005 Protocol to the 1988Protocol for the Suppression
of
Unlawful Acts against the Safety
of
Fixed Platforms
 
The Honorable John
A.
BoehnerPage 2Located on the Continental Shelf ("Fixed Platforms Protocol"). The 2005 Protocols weresigned by the United States and require parties to criminalize the use or targeting
of
a shipor a fixed maritime platform in a terrorist activity; the transportation
of
weapons
of
massdestruction or related items; and the maritime transportation
of
terrorist fugitives. TheSenate agreed to a resolution
of
advice and consent to ratification
of
the Protocols
on
September 25, 2008.The amendments to
18
U.S.C.
§
2280 would make unlawful the targeting or use
of
a shipin terrorist acts; the maritime transportation
of
biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons, theirdelivery systems, or related materials; and the transportation
of
terrorist fugitives. Theamendments to
18
U.S.C.
§
2281 would protect fixed maritime platforms (such as offshore oilplatforms) from terrorist attacks. Specifically, these amendments would make unlawful the useagainst or discharge from a fixed platform
of
any explosive, radioactive material, or biological,chemical, or nuclear weapon, in a manner that causes or is likely to cause death or serious injuryor damage; and the discharge from a fixed platform
of
oil, liquefied natural gas, or anotherhazardous or noxious substance, in a manner that causes or is likely to cause death or seriousinjury or damage. The amendments we propose would require that these violent acts be donewith a terrorism motive. These amendments also provide for international cooperation in thedelivery
of
suspected offenders.Both legislative proposals are important to our national security. As you know,President Obama convened a historic Nuclear Security Summit last April in Washington,D.C., in which 47 world leaders reached a common understanding
of
the threat posed
by
nuclear terrorism and agreed to effective measures to secure nuclear material, and preventnuclear smuggling and terrorism. The summit communique identified the NTC and theCPPNM amendment as key elements
of
the international legal architecture supportingnuclear security. It called on nation states to broaden the ratification
of
these instrumentsand ensure their effective implementation. In particular, since the CPPNM amendmentcannot enter into force until two-thirds
of
the Convention's signatories have ratified it,promoting ratification is a key element
of
United States diplomatic efforts. The SUAProtocol and the Fixed Platforms Protocol also contribute to the goals outlined in theSummit by helping to prevent nuclear smuggling and terrorism.Efforts by American officials to urge ratification and implementation
of
theseinstruments by other countries would be strengthened by the completion
of
our own ratificationprocess. Indeed, swift accomplishment
of
this final legislative step would be a significantimpetus in our efforts to promote the Conventions. Since last year's summit, a number
of
nations that signed but have yet to ratify the NTC and CPPNM treaties have accelerated theirown ratification processes, and we are eager to show significant progress
on
this summit pledgeat next year's summit.
 
The Honorable John A. BoehnerPage 3We have enclosed legislative language and detailed sectional analyses for bothproposals. We previously submitted the NTC/CPPNM proposal in nearly identical formto Congress on September 8, 2008, and
on
February 26, 2010. We
s\.!.bmitted
theproposals relating to maritime terrorism and the maritime transportation
of
weapons
of
mass destruction in nearly identical form on May
8,
2007, on July 28, 2008, and onFebruary 26,2010.Thank
you
for the opportunity to present these proposals. The Office
of
Managementand Budget has advised us that submission
of
this letter is in accord with the program
of
thePresident.Sincerely,
~~
onald WeichAssistant Attorney GeneralAttachmentsIDENTICAL LETTER SENT TO THE HONORABLE JOSEPH R. BIDEN, JR., PRESIDENT,UNITED STATES SENATE

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