ANC-PAC Condemns Cheney’s Efforts to Block Genocide Resolution

LOS ANGELES–The Armenian National Committee-Political Action Committee forcefully condemns the Administration’s heavy-handed and undemocratic efforts to block a Congressional consideration of the Armenian Genocide Resolution. Earlier this week, U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson sent email messages to Turkish news organizations announcing the Administration’s efforts to oppose the resolution. The human rights legislation was introduced last Tuesday by Congressmen Adam Schiff (D-CA) and George Radanovich (R-CA), along with Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), and House Committee on Foreign Affairs members Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI). Within a day of its introduction, the measure was cosponsored by over 160 additional U. S. Representatives. "It’s a testament to the staggering moral bankruptcy of the Administration’s position that our Ambassador in Turkey, Ross Wilson, praised Hrant Dink as a great advocate of free speech on the day of his funeral, and then, the following day, launched a preemptive attack to prevent the U.S. Congress from even discussing legislation marking the Armenian Genocide – the very crime Hrant Dink was murdered for recognizing," commented an ANC-PAC spokesperson. "The Administration’s heavy-handed approach – fueled by Vice President Cheney and his neo-conservative allies in the departmen’s of State and Defense – has more in common with Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code than with the proud American tradition of free debate and democratic decision-making. It is time for the Bush Administration to scrap its version of Section 301 and allow Members of Congress to vote in favor of properly recognizing and commemorating the Armenian Genocide," added the spokesperson. Article 301 is the law under which Istanbul-based Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was sentenced for speaking openly about the Armenian Genocide. He was murdered outside his newspaper’s office on January 19th. Ambassador Wilson’s commen’s and the Bush administration’s opposition of the Armenian Genocide Resolution further strain Armenian American relations with the White House. President Bush’s re-nomination of Richard Hoagland, an Armenian Genocide denier, as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia is overwhelmingly opposed by Armenian-Americans as evidenced by a recent poll showing 97% of Armenian-Americans opposing his confirmation. Though the Armenian Genocide Resolution has enjoyed overwhelming support in the U.S. Congress for more than a decade, the selection of Nancy Pelosi, a strong advocate of properly recognizing the Armenian Genocide, as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has made official recognition by the U.S. House of Representatives considerably more likely. 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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