Bipartisan Group of Legislator Criticize Secretary’s Position as “Much Closer to that of the Turkish Government than that of any other Senior U.S. Diplomat in Recent Memory”
WASHINGTON—The lead authors of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.304, Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Robert Dold (R-IL), on Monday sent a letter, co-signed by 59 of their House colleagues, calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to renounce her recent public mischaracterization of the Armenian Genocide as a “historical debate,” reported the Armenian National Committee of America.
In their letter to Secretary Clinton, the signatories noted that her, “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.” They also reminded the Secretary that in 2006 she joined with President Obama – then a U.S. Senator – in writing a letter explaining to President Bush that the Armenian Genocide was a “systematic and deliberate campaign of genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire in 1915… The victims of the Genocide deserve our remembrance and their rightful place in history… .It is in the best interests of our nation and the entire global community to remember the past and learn from these crimes against humanity to ensure that they are never repeated.” The Congressional letter also quoted then Senator Clinton’s public statement in 2008 when, as a Senator and candidate for the presidency, she affirmed that: “[T]he horrible events perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians constitute a clear case of genocide,” and that “[o]ur 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.”
“We want to thank Congressmen Schiff and Dold and each and every one of the signatories of this Congressional letter for calling on Secretary Clinton to step back from her historically inaccurate and deeply offensive assertion that the Armenian Genocide is a matter for historical debate,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We remain hopeful that the Secretary, after having allowed this false statement to remain on the record for more than a month, will – in response to this Congressional letter and the Armenian American community’s growing outrage – finally recognize and, to the extent possible, seek to reverse the impact of this sad episode in undermining the advancement of U.S. interests, compromising the promotion of American values, and hindering the diplomatic work of the Department of State.”
Joining Reps. Dold and Schiff as signatories were Representatives: Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Joe Baca (D-CA), Howard Berman (D-CA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Bruce Braley (D-IA), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Lois Capps (D-CA), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Jim Costa (D-CA), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Jeff Denham (R-CA), Robert Dold (R-IL), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Bob Filner (D-CA), Elton Gallegly (R-CA), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Janice Hahn (D-CA), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Steve Israel (D-NY), Jesse Jackson (D-IL), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), James Langevin (D-RI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Dan Lungren (R-CA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Edward Markey (D-MA), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), James McGovern (D-MA), Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Richard Neal (D-MA), Devin Nunes (R-CA), John Olver (D-MA), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Gary Peters (D-MI), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Steven Rothman (D-NJ), Edward Royce (R-CA), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA), John Tierney (D-MA), Bob Turner (R-NY), Christopher Van Hollen (D-MD), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Frank Wolf (R-VA), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).
Secretary Clinton is scheduled to testify and answer questions before four separate U.S. House and Senate panels this coming week. The ANCA has called on legislators serving on these committees to question her about her offensive “historical debate” comments, on and the full range of other issues of special importance to Armenian American voters. All four of these hearings will be webcast live, so please watch to see if you elected representatives act on your request.
— Wednesday, February 29 at 10 a.m. (EST): House Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations
— Wednesday, February 29th at 2 p.m.: House Committee of Foreign Affairs
Visit the ANCA website for links to the individual webcasts.