Schiff Presses Clinton on Misrepresenting Armenian Genocide

Clinton speaks at House sub-committee hearing on Wednesday

WASHINGTON—In response to a question by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) regarding her recent statements misrepresenting the Armenian Genocide as a ‘historical debate,’ Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday avoided proper reference to the genocide, instead arguing that the “terrible events” should be a matter of discussion between Turkey and Armenia alone.

In his question at House Appropriations Sub-Committee on Foreign Operations, Rep. Schiff referenced the U.S. record of affirming the Armenian Genocide, citing a document submitted to the International Court of Justice in 1951 clearly referencing the Armenian Genocide, President Ronald Reagan’s affirmation of the Armenian Genocide in 1981 and Secretary Clinton’s own statements as Senator properly characterizing those crimes.

“The Armenian Genocide is a crime against all humanity, requiring international justice, not a bilateral conflict between nations needing mediation,” stated ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “According to her morally and factually flawed logic, America and the international community should have remained silent in the face of the Holocaust and other genocides, in Rwanda and elsewhere, leaving it to the perpetrators and victims of these crimes to come to a common understanding of their past. It’s truly a sad spectacle to see Secretary Clinton pressured by Turkey to dance around the truth and play word games with genocide.”

Both Representatives Jesse Jackson (D-IL) and Steve Rothman (D-NJ) associated themselves with Rep. Schiff’s statement and inquiry during the hearing.

Earlier this week, more than 60 Members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to Secretary Clinton, asking her to renounce her recent public mischaracterization of the Armenian Genocide. In that letter, Members stated that the “historically inaccurate description of the Armenian Genocide as an open question, in addition to the offense it represents to Armenian Americans and other victims of genocide, provides American encouragement to the Republic of Turkey in its shameful campaign of denial.”

Read the Congressional letter to Clinton.

Below are excerpts from the transcript of Schiff’s questions and Secretary Clinton’s responses from the hearing:

SCHIFF: And I want to join my colleagues in thanking you for your extraordinary service to the country at a time when the Middle East is in turmoil, we have the succession going on in North Korea, new challenges from Iran, rising leadership from China. Having your steady hand at the tiller of the ship of state is a great comfort to all of us. We were enormously proud of the very strong remarks you made on the Syrian crisis, and the well-deserved criticism you leveled at Russia and China for their complicity in the ongoing violence.

But set against this stellar record of achievement are some actions that were taken by you and the administration with regard to the Armenian genocide that are of great concern. I can’t begin to express in mere words how much anguish has been caused in the Armenian-American community and among human rights activists about recent statements at a State Department Town Hall that you made.

In 1951, while the experience of the Holocaust was still tragically fresh, the United States issued this statement at the International Court of Justice. It was the statement of the United States government on the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, and it said, ” … the Roman persecution of the Christians, the Turkish massacres of Armenians, the extermination of millions of Jews and Poles by the Nazis are outstanding examples of the crime of genocide.”

Again, in the 1980s President Reagan recognized the Armenian genocide, as did the Congress. And as recently as just a few years ago, both you as senator and our president as senator, spoke unequivocally of the Armenian genocide.

Your comments were very powerful. ” … the horrible events perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians constitute a clear case of genocide.” you said. “Our common morality and our nation’s credibility as a voice for human rights challenge us to ensure that the Armenian genocide be recognized and remembered by the Congress and the president of the United States.”

But last month you made some very different statements, and said, ” … I think it’s fair to say that this has always been viewed, and I think properly so, as a matter of historical debate and conclusions, rather than political. And I think that this is the right posture for the U.S. government to be in, because whatever the terrible event might be, or the high emotions that it represents, to try to use government power to resolve historical issues I think opens a door that is very dangerous to go through.
This is, tragically, very much the line of the Turkish government. And many in the Armenian community are wondering how we could go from such a powerful position in the state senate, such a powerful position that we took decades ago before the International Court of Justice, the powerful voice that President Reagan brought to this issue, to where we were last month.

And I want to ask you, is there any question that you have that the facts of that tragic period between 1915 and 1923 constitute genocide? Do you have any different view on the subject now than you did as a state – as a U.S. senator?

CLINTON: Well, Congressman, you know, you quoted something that I said in response to a question about France trying to criminalize speech about this terrible event in history. And I do think criminalizing speech is a dangerous path to go down. And in fact, as I understand it, the French courts just declared that law unconstitutional under the French constitution.

So let me be very clear. The United States recognizes the events of 1915 as one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. And every April 24th the president honors the victims and expresses American solidarity with the Armenian people.

And the president has said in his Remembrance Day statements that the achievement of a full, frank and just acknowledgement of the facts of what happened is in everyone’s interest.

He’s also said that the best way to advance that goal is for the Armenian and Turkish people to address the facts of the past as a part of their effort to move forward.

And President Obama, like presidents before him, strongly supports the efforts of Turkey and Armenia to normalize their bilateral relations.

So we believe that this is a position that fully reflects the terrible events of 1915 but also is aimed at trying to create a climate in which these two peoples and nations can move forward together.

SCHIFF: I — I’m sorry to interrupt but I — I’m gonna run out of time. And — and no one is quarreling with a position against criminalizing speech in this country. No one is advocating that.

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24 Comments

  1. S.Y. said:

    Even though I think Democrats are the most corrupt and inept people ever, I am glad Clinton is putting American interests over Armenian interests. Armenian interests shouldn’t be sacrificed over American interests.

    • Tsayt said:

      S.Y. that seems a legitimate point of view, only if it were true.

      Will you be able to hold on to your views if and when a far-right political party comes to power in Germany and forces the US to close its eyes and be complicit to “new realities” of German negation of the Holocaust. All in the name of US interests, of course.

      I believe, when a superpower bargains down its moral standing on any issue, it acts AGAINST its national interests over the long run.

    • Lusik said:

      First flow of your thought is undeniable – truly democrats are more corrupt and inert people than any other party people. They try to do anybody’s ass licking all the time, but “anybody” has other things to do as well.
      The second flow of your thought is corrupt – there are no such things, really like “Armenian interests”, “Jews interests”, “American interests”. USA was and is a model, dream country exactly because its founders vision was “Human interest”. being human in all actions and staying human no matter what. You give up this part: “NO MATTER WHAT”. Never, never, never give up!

  2. Alex Postallian said:

    Hiliary Clinton has two problems; she talks out of both sides of her mouth at the same time,and she parades around ,with a FOR SALE SIGN ON HER BACK…..A SELLOUT—$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

  3. Gary Oz said:

    I had such a respect for secretary Clinton and i put emphasis HAD because i lost that lately ,She disappointed me great deal.She has no guts to stand up and speak the truth nothing but the truth she can’t even say Genocide.What a shame i was even ready to vote her as a Presidential Candidate .

  4. Jerry said:

    Clinton, it was reported, said at an event at the State Dept. that recognition — not criminalization of denial — of the Genocide is a “slippery slope.” I think she is the slippery one here!

    Thank you, Rep. Schiff

  5. Lusik said:

    And who gives the formula for

    “to address the facts of the past as a part of their effort to move forward.”

    Mrs. Hillary Bill Clinton!

  6. Grish Begian said:

    Mrs. Clinton loves to import Turkish penal code 301 to US Congress, temporarily, until her term is over.. She already collected enough of Turkish delight recipes, to keep her mind busy, after retirement!!

    • Alex Postallian said:

      You mean collect enough turkish bribes,$$$$$$$$$$, she is for sale.

  7. bayrakiniyakan said:

    Armenian Americans wait until WW III , then give some 250,000 soldiers from your community’s to UNCLE SAM the US army , fight and die with courage ,show them that you are more dedicated to the US than NATO Turkey , maybe only then the US will recognize the Armenian Genocide ! kna merir ari sirem

  8. Kevorl said:

    Billary is a repulsive hag which is why she currently hates all females by the name of Monica, and she will rot in Hell with her genocide denying comrades. These scum in the government are enemies of all humanity. In addition they are all chicken sh** cowards who shamelessly use a double standard on Armenians using other genocides to downplay the Armenian one.

  9. Viguen Krikoryan said:

    Hillary Clinton is a Genocide denier. She has sold her soul and principles to the Turkish money. She has no place to hold in American public service. Do not trust this woman. Her eyes tell you who she really is. Shame on her.

  10. ashot said:

    so its ok to take away free speech for the jews..but for armenians its dangerous…i see that big shylock jew nose of hers…dirty jews!!!

  11. AraK said:

    Funny… Before elections all politicians Dems and Reps use the word genocide but after elections they are struck with amnesia. We are becoming a laughable stock and they are considering us as the village fools. Who said there is justice in politics??

  12. Leslie said:

    Wow, the things you guys say. I’m a Jew and it is wrong to deny what has been done to Armenia, but don’t blame either America or the Jews for her error.I think it should be a crime to even deny the Armenian Genocide. You have to understand that Turkey is a major power, and the only democratic Muslim nation nearby. If America outright talks about the genocide, America looses practically all of its foothold in the Middle East besides Israel. I’m not saying it’s the right choice (not to talk about it) but it’s something for you to think about. I would however say I do not approve of calling it a ‘historical debate’

  13. Aram said:

    “…the “terrible events” should be a matter of discussion between Turkey and Armenia alone…” One should ask Mrs. Clinton if the Jewish Holocaust should have been left to be discussed between Germans and the Jews… Real smart…

  14. Avetis said:

    After all these years, after all the lies and broken promises, its so damn absurd that Armenians still believe so-called “pro-Armenian” politicians in Washington. If this Schiff or that Pallone end up getting into positions of real power in Washington they would immediately change their tunes with regards to Armenia/Armenians. Wake up, brain-dead American-Armenians, the empire careless about a tiny, impoverished, landlocked and remote nation in the Caucasus…

  15. MK said:

    Before you can move forward first you need to acknowledge the past,and second you need to implement justice.

    Sadly apart from being a liar Hillary has become a tool in the hands of the Turks,so much for US justice, and human rights.

    Meaningless words for Hillary.

  16. arziv said:

    She is not morally bankrupt; she is immoral. She is a perfect weather cock; she blows in whichever direction the wind takes her. She is doing her business. She cares not one iota for matters which can not enhance her influence and stature. In other words she is a professional politician.

  17. arziv said:

    SY Clinton is not putting american interests above armenian interests. According to to HC American interests are those universal values, human rights and democracy. We now know from HC that acknowledging the armenian genocide is a slippery slope; this is in full conformity with universal values, human rights and democracy ?

  18. MK said:

    Why doesn’t she say the same to the Jewish holocaust,the reason is very obvious,she wouldn’t last in her position for a second,AIPAC will get rid of her and any one else who questions the Jewish genocide,she is morally bankrupt as a person or as secretary of state.

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