by Rep. Porter Goss (R-Florida), March 29, 2000
Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Goss), the
distinguished chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
(Mr. GOSS asked and was given
permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. GOSS. Mr. Chairman, I
thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. Gilman), the distinguished chairman
of the Committee on International Relations, for yielding me this time.
Mr. Chairman, I rise in support
of this bipartisan amendment. It is a strong statement of the U.S. effort
to deal with the human rights issue. It is an amendment with teeth, and
it deserves the support of every Member of this House.
We know we have to be especially
sensitive to possible human rights abuses by recipients of U.S. assistance.
We understand that. The American people deserve to know that we have done
our very best to ensure that their tax dollars do not distribute to such
horrific activities, the kinds of things we read about with disgust.
The gentleman from New York
explained that the amendment does several things, but I want to focus
on what I believe is the critical part. It prohibits any military assistance
from being made available until the President of the United States certifies
to Congress the following: first, that Colombia has a sound strategy to
eliminate illicit drug cultivation by 2005. If the U.S. is going to provide
assistance, we reason, we better make certain our partner is up to the
task and has the tools to do it.
Second, that the Colombian
armed forces have the authority to deal with human rights violators in
their ranks. This is a new departure, and it is critical; and it is part
of the deal.
Third, that the Colombian
military is cooperating with civilian authorities in the investigation
and prosecution of gross human rights abuses.
These three requirements really
get to the crux of the debate. They ensure that U.S. money is being provided
to a partner that shares our determination to put the drug traffickers
out of business and our commitment to do so in a way consistent with U.S.
values and human rights concerns. On top of that, we have added a few
dollars to make sure that the monitoring capabilities of our U.S. embassy
and other appropriate concerns are fully provided for.
As of March 30, 2000, this
document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:H29MR0-173: