on Burma, H Con Res 200
Madame Speaker, I
rise in opposition to this legislation not because I do not sympathize with the
plight of the oppressed people of
, particularly as demonstrated by the continued confinement of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Any time a government represses its citizenry it is reprehensible. My objection
to this legislation is twofold. First, the legislation calls on the United
Nations Security Council to “take appropriate action” with regard to
and its internal conditions. This sounds like an open door for an outside
military intervention under the auspices of the United Nations, which is
something I do not support.
importantly, perhaps, I am concerned that while going around the world
criticizing admittedly abhorrent governmental actions abroad we are ignoring the
very dangerous erosions of our own civil liberties and way of life at home.
Certainly it is objectionable that the Burmese government holds its own citizens
in jails without trial. But what about the secret prisons that our own CIA
operates around the globe that hold thousands of individuals indefinitely and
without trial? Certainly it is objectionable that the government of
can declare Aung San Suu Kyi a political prisoner to be held in confinement.
But what about the power that Congress has given the president to declare anyone
around the world, including American citizens, “enemy combatants” subject to
indefinite detention without trial? What about the “military commissions
act” that may well subject Americans to military trial with secret evidence
permitted and habeas corpus
while I am by no means unsympathetic to the current situation in
, as an elected Member of the United States House of Representatives I strongly
believe that we would do better to promote freedom around the world by paying
better attention to our rapidly eroding freedom here at home. I urge my
colleagues to consider their priorities more closely and to consider the much
more effective approach of leading by example.