Prevent an Arms Race Between Pakistan and India

Dennis Kucinich speaking from the Floor of the House

Link to this entry in the Congressional Record
Jul 26, 2006

Speaking in support of the Sherman [Brad Sherman (D-CA)] Amendment to H.R. 5682, United States and India Nuclear Cooperation Promotion Act of 2006, Congressman Kucinich said:

“Mr. Chairman, as Congressman Markey just said, as this proposal now stands, there is nothing stopping India from using more and more of its domestic uranium for weapons program. Without the safeguards provided by the Sherman amendment, India could produce dozens more nuclear weapons per year under the US–India deal, which would surely lead to an arms race with neighboring rival, Pakistan.

“Mr. Chairman, I am a great supporter of India and of stronger US–India relations. India is the world’s largest democracy. It has contributed measurably to the legacy of peace of the great leader, Mahatma Ghandi. India’s long-standing goal of universal nuclear disarmament has not been acknowledged enough in this debate.

“This proposal will be harmful to security in India, in the region, and the world. And this proposal will be harmful to the people of India, in that it could escalate an arms race between India and Pakistan.

“I support Representative Sherman’s amendment, which requires the President to certify annually that India is not dedicating more domestic uranium to its weapons program, as a condition for the US to cooperate with India on nuclear technology.

“Pakistan wants a deal with the US on nuclear technology, but the US has refused. Instead, Pakistan has turned to China for this technology. To add fuel to the fire, it was just reported that Pakistan has begun building a powerful new reactor for producing plutonium, signaling a major expansion of the country’s nuclear weapons capabilities.

“Instead of giving India more uranium to develop nuclear weapons, the United States should take leadership in preventing an arms race in the region. A good first step would be to pass the Sherman amendment.”

[Ed. note: The Sherman Amendment failed by recorded vote: 155 ‑ 268 in Roll No. 408.]

Legislation:

  • H.R. 5682, United States and India Nuclear Cooperation Promotion Act of 2006
  • The Sherman Amendment

Also See:

Let’s Stand Up for the Constitution

Dennis Kucinich speaking from the Floor of the House

Link to this entry in the Congressional Record
Sep 29, 2006

Speaking during debate on S. 3930, Military Commissions Act of 2006, Congressman Kucinich said:

“Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Missouri [Mr. SKELTON] for his defense of basic constitutional principles. I would say that the basic premise of military commissions, that the US military should try unlawful enemy combatants using draconian rules, that basic premise is false.

“The jury of commissioned military officers are not peers of these detainees. The detainees are accused of crimes against humanity and should be tried like all other such persons. The US should hand over these detainees to the International Criminal Court. The US should offer evidence that would be legal under our Constitution and the Geneva Conventions. This model of justice would set a precedent for other nations where the rule of law remains unfair, unjust, and inhumane.

“The wrong approach is to create a court system that has more in common with the nations that torture, jail, and hold indefinitely anyone without legitimate evidence.

“The second point: H.R. 6166 and S. 3930 cast a wide net, in defining unlawful enemy combatants, that would include any American supporter of a national liberation movement which is seeking to overthrow a US Government-supported despot.

“For instance, with such a loose definition, the thousands of Americans, many of whom are church clergy, who provided support to the armed and unarmed opposition to the deposed dictatorships of El Salvador and Nicaragua, could have been designated as unlawful enemy combatants.

“This hypothetical could occur, since 1) it would only take a determination by the President or Secretary of Defense that the opposition to a US-favored dictator was engaged in hostilities against the US, and 2) the act of solidarity by the American clergymen supported the opposition group.

“This is very dangerous. It is widely known that the US conducted a dirty war throughout Central and South America to uphold repressive regimes there.

“The third point I would like to make is that H.R. 6166 and S. 3930 could make similar solidarity actions in the future a crime. Those crimes should not be triable by military commissions. They would be new crimes and expose Americans to prosecution simply for supporting unfortunate people in other countries who are struggling for their freedom.

“The other point is that H.R. 6166 and S. 3930 create a large loophole to keep Administration officials out of jail for violations of the War Crimes Act of 1996. Section 4 amends the War Crimes Act to immunize from prosecution civilians who subject people to horrific abuse that may fall short of the definition of torture.

“It is clear that senior administrative officials signed off on aggressive and illegal techniques and are potentially liable under the War Crimes Act of 1996. Instead, Congress is going to gut the War Crimes Act to protect those who permitted torture of detainees.

“If those who think the so-called war on terror is about ideas such as good versus evil and democracy versus thuggery, then H.R. 6166 sends the wrong message about the true values of Americans. Let’s stand up for the principles that this country was founded upon. Let’s stand up for the Constitution, for the land of the free, for the home of the brave.”

[Ed. note: S.3930 was agreed to by recorded vote: 250 ‑ 170 in Roll No. 508.]

Legislation:

  • S. 3930, Military Commissions Act of 2006, to authorize trial by military commission for violations of the law of war

Also See:

In the News:

Recommending Integration of Croatia into NATO

Dennis Kucinich speaking from the Floor of the House

Link to this entry in the Congressional Record
Dec 14, 2005

Speaking in support of H. Res. 529, Recommending the integration of the Republic of Croatia into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Congressman Kucinich said (as revised by the Congressman):

“Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from California [Mr. Lantos] for yielding me this time.

“When Croatia was struggling for its independence and survival I was one of the American political figures who challenged my own government for its lack of support for Croatia at a critical hour. I take great pride in my Croatian heritage. My grandfather was born in what is now Croatia. I take pride in the achievements of my Croatian brothers and sisters in Croatia, America and around the world.

“However, I want to make the Congress aware of the conduct of the Croatian television network HRT, which has deliberately denied an American filmmaker access to documentary film footage, so as to frustrate the commercial release of her production.

“The Croatian television network, HRT, initially gave Ms. Brenda Brkusic rights to film footage for student use in the production. Once she asked for commercial rights, HRT refused to cooperate. HRT has refused to answer her questions about the specific price for rights to the footage, giving her general, estimated quotes much higher than are quoted to other people who have inquired for footage rights, and they have suggested unreasonable limitations on those rights. Most recently, when she sent HRT a list of archives she was given by HRT for student use, HRT then informed her that they do not have the right to sell her that material. Ms. Brkusic asked HRT where she must go to get the rights, yet HRT refused to answer her questions. Furthermore, HRT has on other occasions sold that same material that Ms. Brkusic requested to other individuals for broadcast on television.

“This is not a routine matter about a routine film. Ms. Brkusic’s film, ‘Freedom from Despair,’ has received great critical acclaim. She has won many awards, including the CINE Golden Eagle award, which was previously been awarded to the internationally acclaimed filmmakers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. She has been recognized by her peers as an emerging talent in the film industry. The Croatian National Foundation has agreed to be her fiscal sponsor, and Amnesty International, the largest human rights organization in the world, has endorsed her film for its strong human rights advocacy.

“The fact that numerous media outlets have agreed to donate their footage to her film at no cost is noteworthy. They include: ABC 7 Chicago, NBC 5 Chicago, CBS 2, WGN 9 Chicago, and Greater Chicago Broadcast Ministries. They all granted her worldwide rights to their footage in perpetuity for free, within a few weeks of her request.

“HRT, on the other hand, has not only been uncooperative, but obstructive. This distresses me. Given the high profile on this film and the extraordinarily fast rising stardom of its director, a young Croatian-American, HRT’s antics will damage the reputation of the Croatian government in the international community.

“Croatia desires to be in NATO to protect itself from outside enemies. But who will protect Croatia from threats to freedom of expression inside the country?”

Legislation:

  • H. Res. 529, Recommending the integration of the Republic of Croatia into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Global Warming: How Bad Does It Have to Get?

Dennis Kucinich speaking from the Floor of the House

Link to this entry in the Congressional Record
May 18, 2006

During debate on H. R. 5386, Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2007, Congressman Kucinich said:

“Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman [Mr. Hinchey].

“It is sad that as we stand on the cusp of the most profound change in our environment the civilized world has ever seen, the actions of a few in Congress can stop desperately overdue action.

“The science is clear. This is not a problem of the future. It is happening now. The United Nations has declared that at least 5 million cases of illness and more than 150,000 deaths every year are attributed to global warming. The 2003 European heat wave killed over 20,000 people. The 10 hottest years on record have occurred in the last 15 years. Two consecutive record-breaking hurricane seasons. The problem will not fix itself.

“And yet we will not allow a provision in this bill that has no timeline, no specific targets, and no commitment. The committee inserted text that merely expressed the sense that we should take action on global warming, but the Rules Committee chose to leave it open to challenge by anyone, and I understand that challenge will be coming on a technicality. So we cannot even say we should be doing something about this.

“Just how bad does it have to get?”

[Ed. note: H. R. 5386 was agreed to by recorded vote: 293 – 128 in Roll No. 172.]

Legislation:

  • H. R. 5386, Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2007

Go to Paper Ballots

Dennis Kucinich speaking from the Floor of the House

Link to this entry in the Congressional Record
Sep 20, 2006

Speaking in opposition to H.R. 4844, the Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006, Congressman Kucinich said:

“Mr. Speaker, today’s Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006 has nothing to do with protecting the right to vote and everything to do with restricting it. The real threat to our electoral system is not a contrived conspiracy of noncitizens illegally voting in Federal elections. The true threat is vulnerable electronic voting machines.

“It is machines with no paper trail. It is poll workers with inadequate training and resources. It is voter alienation because people have lost faith in the political process. Congress has the ability and the duty to act on real voting reform that addresses the real issues that mar our electoral system, issues researched and documented by countless activists and academics.

“There is a reason the article in the Washington Post, ‘Major problems at Polls Feared,’ does not once mention concerns about noncitizens voting. It is not a real issue of voting reform. If we want to strengthen democracy, we want to protect the right to vote. We want to reengage Americans in our government.

“We need real voting reform now. Throw out electronic voting machines, that Diebold technology election hacker’s dream. Go to paper ballots, a paper trail. Make our election process honest again. Enough of stolen elections. Make every vote count, and let every vote be honestly counted.”

[Ed. note: H.R. 4844 was agreed to by recorded vote: 228 ‑ 196 in Roll No. 459.]

Legislation:

  • H.R. 4844, Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006

Also See:

In the News: