State Department Official Seeks to Impose “Gag-Rule” On Congress

LOS ANGELES–In a dramatic embrace of both the Turkish government’s genocide denial and its aggressive suppression free speech, Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried recently ventured far outside the American democratic mainstream during recent testimony pressing a House panel to oppose H.Res.106, the Armenian Genocide Resolution. In his March 15 testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe, Fried repeated the genocide denial argumen’s being advanced by the Turkish Government and their allies on Capitol Hill. Speaking to the panel, chaired by Turkish Caucus Chairman Robert Wexler (D-FL), Fried stated that, "[this Administration] opposes any resolution that attempts to define how free-thinking people should term the horrific tragedy of 1915." The Assistant Secretary of State also shared his belief that the question of the Armenian Genocide "should be resolved not by politicians but by [philosophers]."We are appalled by Assistant Secretary Fried’s testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives in March," remarked ANC-PAC spokesperson Ara Papazian. "His position contradicts our own nation’s historical record with respect to the Armenian Genocide and is profoundly at odds with America’s broad and deep commitment to human rights. Evidently the Assistant Secretary believes that the U.S. should only recognize genocide when it is politically expedient. We vigorously disagree with this immoral position."In a dramatic departure from the American tradition of free debate and open discourse, the Assistant Secretary did not argue that Members of Congress should vote against the Armenian Genocide Resolution, but rather that they should not even be allowed to exercise their Constitutional right to consider and debate this human rights issue."We were tremendously saddened, as Americans, to see Dan Fried outsourcing American morality to the Turkish government, by letting Ankara set the terms by which we, as Americans, speak on a central issue of our time – ending the cycle of genocide. His remarks demean our nation’s proud history of standing up for human rights and justice. The ANC-PAC is a non-partisan federally registered political action committee established to support campaign committees for Members of Congress who share the values of the Armenian American community. The ANC-PAC is at the forefront of efforts to ensure that the voice of the Armenian American community is clearly heard in our nation’s capital. The ANC-PAC continues a century old tradition of Armenian Americans engagement on the public policy issues facing national political leaders, both in the U.S. Congress and the White House.

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