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Op-Ed U.S.-Turkey Policy, A National Disgrace: Turkey’s U.S. Paid Foreign Agents
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: C. Franciscos Economides
April 21, 2010—No. 28 (202) 785-8430

Op-Ed U.S.-Turkey Policy, A National Disgrace: Turkey’s U.S. Paid Foreign Agents

WASHINGTON, DC—The following Op-Ed by AHI Founder Gene Rossides appeared in The National Herald 4-3-10, The Hellenic Voice 4-7-10, the Greek News 4-5-10, andThe Greek Star 4-8-10.

U.S.-Turkey Policy, A National Disgrace: Turkey’s U.S. Paid Foreign Agents

By Gene Rossides

March 29, 2010

U.S.-Turkey policy, in general, is a national disgrace. It involves several issues: Turkey’s Cyprus invasion and occupation; Turkey’s threats in the Aegean and violation of Greek airspace; the lack of religious freedom in Turkey; religious desecration and cleansing by Turkey in Cyprus; the lack of human and political rights for Turkey’s 20% Kurdish minority, and more.

It also involves Turkey’s paid U.S. agents of influence registered as foreign agents with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Turkey has spent millions of dollars annually on U.S. lobbyists since at least 1980 to get benefits from the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch and to lobby against passage of the Armenian Genocide resolution.

Currently on Turkey’s payroll are two former leaders of the House of Representatives, Dick Gephardt (D-MO) and Dennis Hastert (R-IL). In my view their acceptance of employment as U.S. foreign agents for Turkey is a stain on the House of Representatives and a national disgrace for the U.S. because they have agreed (1) to deny the Armenian Genocide, (2) to support Turkey’s illegal invasion and occupation of 37% of Cyprus in violation of the rule of law and the UN Charter; (3) to support Turkey’s threats against Greece in the Aegean and violation of Greece’s airspace; (4) to deny religious freedom for the Eastern Orthodox Christians in Turkey, the protection of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the reopening of the Halki Theological School; (5) to deny Turkey’s 20% Kurdish minority full human and political rights, and much more.

Dick Gephardt
In 2007, Dick Gephardt, a leading Democrat, who had been a strong supporter of the Armenian Genocide resolution, when he was in Congress, sold out and changed his views for $1,800,000 from the Turkish government.

Since 2007, for millions of dollars annually Gephardt has been the mouthpiece in the U.S. for Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide against the near unanimous views of genocide scholars and the broader academic community. Denying the Armenian Genocide is equivalent to denying Nazi Germany’s Holocaust against the Jews.

In 1989, he was elected by the Democrats in the House to the number 2 spot as majority Leader. In 1994 he was elected by the House Democrats as their Leader. The Democrats were in the minority in the House that year and he was referred to as Minority Leader.

Dennis Hastert
In 1999, Dennis Hastert became Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Speaker is the third highest elected official in the U.S. and is third in line to the presidency. He served 4 terms as Speaker and resigned from Congress in November 2007. Hastert was first elected in 1986 to the House.

Hastert is noted for his reversal of position on the Armenian Genocide resolution H. Res. 596 in October of 2000. As Speaker he was supporting passage of H.Res 596, but in an about-face he withdrew H.Res 596, introduced by Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA), from the Congressional docket just 5 minutes before it was due to be considered on the House floor.

Hastert’s flimsy excuse was that he did it because of a letter from President Clinton citing national security concerns and implications of the legislation.

In his subsequent terms as Speaker Hastert became the main obstacle to getting the Armenian Genocide resolution to the House floor and became a key apologist for Turkey.

In 2008, shortly after leaving office, Hastert began working as a U.S. foreign agent for Turkey through the Dickstein Shapiro firm which is working as a subcontractor under an agreement with the Gephardt Government Affairs organization.

Gephardt and Hastert join the list of U.S. foreign agents selling out to Turkey.

Legislation to counter Turkey
I suggest that Members of the House of Representatives can reverse the damage done to the House by Gephardt, Hastert and others, by introducing and passing legislation that would prohibit aid of any kind to any country that hires former Members of the House as U.S. foreign agents and further would withdraw any and all benefits that such country presently receives or enjoys from the U.S. Members of the House should also refuse to talk to any former Members registered as U.S. foreign agents.

Call and write to your Representative
Call and write to your Representative and (1) ask them to support the legislation mentioned above; (2) urge them not to speak to U.S. paid foreign agents registered with the Justice Department; and (3) urge them to support the Armenian Genocide Resolution H. Res. 252 which passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 4, by a vote of 23-22 and urge the leadership of both parties to bring it to the floor of the House for an up and down vote!

Please remember that the failure of our Congress to pass the Armenian Genocide resolution would encourage the genocide perpetrators like the president of Sudan who is currently under criminal indictment.

Gene Rossides is founder of the American Hellenic Institute and former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury

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For additional information, please contact C. Franciscos Economides at (202) 785-8430 or at [email protected]. For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at http://www.ahiworld.org