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111th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     111-622

======================================================================



 
   AFFIRMATION OF THE UNITED STATES RECORD ON THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE 
                               RESOLUTION

                                _______
                                

 September 22, 2010.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Berman, from the Committee on Foreign Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                       [To accompany H. Res. 252]

  The Committee on Foreign Affairs, to whom was referred the 
resolution (H. Res. 252) calling upon the President to ensure 
that the foreign policy of the United States reflects 
appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues 
related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide 
documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian 
Genocide, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that 
the resolution be agreed to.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Summary..........................................................     2
Background and Purpose for the Legislation.......................     2
Hearings.........................................................     2
Committee Consideration..........................................     2
Votes of the Committee...........................................     2
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     3
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     3
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     3
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     3
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     3
New Advisory Committees..........................................     3
Congressional Accountability Act.................................     3
Earmark Identification...........................................     4
Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion.......................     4
Additional Views.................................................     8

                                SUMMARY

    H. Res. 252, the ``Affirmation of the United States Record 
on the Armenian Genocide Resolution,'' calls upon the President 
to ensure that U.S. foreign policy reflects appropriate 
understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to 
human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the 
U.S. record relating to the Armenian Genocide and the 
consequences of the failure to realize a just resolution. It 
also calls upon the President in the President's annual message 
commemorating the Armenian Genocide, to accurately characterize 
the systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1.5 million 
Armenians as genocide, and to recall the proud history of U.S. 
intervention in opposition to the Armenian Genocide.

               BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE FOR THE LEGISLATION

    H. Res. 252, the ``Affirmation of the United States Record 
on the Armenian Genocide Resolution,'' was introduced on March 
17, 2009, by Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-CA) and 76 original 
cosponsors.
    The deportations of ethnic Armenians from the eastern 
Ottoman provinces that began in 1915 resulted in 1.5 million 
deaths. The United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire at 
the time, the Honorable Henry Morgenthau, later wrote that: 
``When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these 
deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a 
whole race.''
    Accordingly, H. Res. 252 calls upon the President to ensure 
that the foreign policy of the United States reflects 
appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues 
related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide 
documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian 
Genocide. It relates facts and statements that the deaths of 
1.5 million ethnic Armenians over a period of several years 
starting in 1915 in regions controlled by the former Ottoman 
Empire were the result of a purposeful campaign of genocide 
against the Armenian nation. It declares that the United States 
House of Representatives calls on the President to ensure that 
the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate 
understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to 
human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the 
United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide and the 
consequences of the failure to realize a just resolution. It 
also calls upon the President, in his annual message 
commemorating the Armenian Genocide, to accurately characterize 
the systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1.5 million 
Armenians as genocide and to recall the proud history of United 
States intervention in opposition to the Armenian Genocide.

                                HEARINGS

    The committee did not hold hearings on this legislation.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On March 4, 2010, the committee held a markup of H. Res. 
252 and passed a motion to order the legislation reported 
favorably by a vote of 23 ayes to 22 nays, a quorum being 
present.

                         VOTES OF THE COMMITTEE

    On the vote to order the legislation favorably reported:
Voting yes: Berman, Ackerman, Faleomavaega, Payne, Sherman, 
        Engel, Watson, Sires, Green, Woolsey, Lee, Berkley, 
        Crowley, Costa, Ellison, Giffords, Klein, Smith, 
        Gallegly, Rohrabacher, Manzullo, Royce and Bilirakis.
Voting no: Delahunt, Meeks, Carnahan, Connolly, McMahon, 
        Tanner, Ross, Miller, Scott, Ros-Lehtinen, Burton, 
        Paul, Flake, Pence, Wilson, Boozman, Barrett, Mack, 
        Fortenberry, McCaul, Poe and Inglis.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the committee reports that the 
findings and recommendations of the committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

               NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY AND TAX EXPENDITURES

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of House Rule XIII, the 
committee adopts as its own the estimate of new budget 
authority, entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or 
revenues contained in the cost estimate prepared by the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office, pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

               CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, no estimate or comparison 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office is 
necessary for H. Res. 252.

                    PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    The Act is intended to ensure that U.S. foreign policy 
reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning 
issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide 
documented in the U.S. record relating to the Armenian Genocide 
and the consequences of the failure to realize a just 
resolution; and in the President's annual message commemorating 
the Armenian Genocide, to characterize the systematic and 
deliberate annihilation of 1.5 million Armenians as genocide, 
and to recall the proud history of U.S. intervention in 
opposition to the Armenian Genocide.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the committee finds the authority for 
this legislation in article I, section 8 of the Constitution.

                        NEW ADVISORY COMMITTEES

    H. Res. 252 does not establish or authorize any new 
advisory committees.

                    CONGRESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY ACT

    H. Res. 252 does not apply to the Legislative Branch.

                         earmark identification

    H. Res. 252 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI.

               section-by-section analysis and discussion


Section 1. Short title

    The resolution may be cited as the ``Affirmation of the 
United States Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution.''

Section 2. Findings

    The resolution states that the Armenian Genocide was 
conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 
1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2 million 
Armenians, of whom 1.5 million men, women and children were 
killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, and 
which succeeded in the elimination of the over 2,500-year 
presence of Armenians in their historic homeland.
    The resolution states that on May 24, 1915, the Allied 
Powers, England, France, and Russia, jointly issued a statement 
explicitly charging for the first time ever another government 
of committing a ``crime against humanity.''
    The resolution states that this joint statement stated 
``the Allied Governments announce publicly to the Sublime Porte 
that they will hold personally responsible for these crimes all 
members of the Ottoman Government, as well as those of their 
agents who are implicated in such massacres.''
    The resolution states that the post-World War I Turkish 
Government indicted the top leaders involved in the 
``organization and execution'' of the Armenian Genocide and in 
the ``massacre and destruction of the Armenians.''
    The resolution states that in a series of courts-martial, 
officials of the Young Turk Regime were tried and convicted, as 
charged, for organizing and executing massacres against the 
Armenian people.
    The resolution states that the chief organizers of the 
Armenian Genocide, Minister of War Enver, Minister of the 
Interior Talaat, and Minister of the Navy Jemal were all 
condemned to death for their crimes; however, the verdicts of 
the courts were not enforced.
    The resolution states that the Armenian Genocide and these 
domestic judicial failures are documented with overwhelming 
evidence in the national archives of Austria, France, Germany, 
Great Britain, Russia, the United States, the Vatican and many 
other countries, and this vast body of evidence attests to the 
same facts, the same events, and the same consequences.
    The resolution states that the United States National 
Archives and Record Administration holds extensive and thorough 
documentation on the Armenian Genocide, especially in its 
holdings under Record Group 59 of the United States Department 
of State, files 867.00 and 867.40, which are open and widely 
available to the public and interested institutions.
    The resolution states that the Honorable Henry Morgenthau, 
United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913 to 
1916, organized and led protests by officials of many 
countries, among them the allies of the Ottoman Empire, against 
the Armenian Genocide.
    The resolution states that Ambassador Morgenthau explicitly 
described to the United States Department of State the policy 
of the Government of the Ottoman Empire as ``a campaign of race 
extermination,'' and was instructed on July 16, 1915, by United 
States Secretary of State Robert Lansing that the ``Department 
approves your procedure . . . to stop Armenian persecution.''
    The resolution refers to a Senate Concurrent Resolution 12 
of February 9, 1916, resolved that ``the President of the 
United States be respectfully asked to designate a day on which 
the citizens of this country may give expression to their 
sympathy by contributing funds now being raised for the relief 
of the Armenians,'' who at the time were enduring ``starvation, 
disease, and untold suffering.''
    The resolution states that President Woodrow Wilson 
concurred and also encouraged the formation of the organization 
known as Near East Relief, chartered by an Act of Congress, 
which contributed some $116 million from 1915 to 1930 to aid 
Armenian Genocide survivors, including 132,000 orphans who 
became foster children of the American people.
    The resolution states that Senate Resolution 359, dated May 
11, 1920, stated in part, ``the testimony adduced at the 
hearings conducted by the subcommittee of the Senate Committee 
on Foreign Relations have clearly established the truth of the 
reported massacres and other atrocities from which the Armenian 
people have suffered.''
    The resolution states that the resolution followed the 
April 13, 1920, report to the Senate of the American Military 
Mission to Armenia led by General James Harbord, that stated 
``[m]utilation, violation, torture, and death have left their 
haunting memories in a hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and 
the traveler in that region is seldom free from the evidence of 
this most colossal crime of all the ages.''
    The resolution states that as displayed in the United 
States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Adolf Hitler, on ordering his 
military commanders to attack Poland without provocation in 
1939, dismissed objections by saying ``[w]ho, after all, speaks 
today of the annihilation of the Armenians?'' and thus set the 
stage for the Holocaust.
    The resolution states that Raphael Lemkin, who coined the 
term ``genocide'' in 1944, and who was the earliest proponent 
of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and 
Punishment of Genocide, invoked the Armenian case as a 
definitive example of genocide in the 20th century.
    The resolution states that the first resolution on genocide 
adopted by the United Nations at Lemkin's urging, the December 
11, 1946, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 96(1) and 
the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment 
of Genocide itself recognized the Armenian Genocide as the type 
of crime the United Nations intended to prevent and punish by 
codifying existing standards.
    The resolution that in 1948, the United Nations War Crimes 
Commission invoked the Armenian Genocide ``precisely . . . one 
of the types of acts which the modern term `crimes against 
humanity' is intended to cover'' as a precedent for the 
Nuremberg tribunals.
    The resolution that the Commission stated that ``[t]he 
provisions of Article 230 of the Peace Treaty of Sevres were 
obviously intended to cover, in conformity with the Allied note 
of 1915 . . ., offenses which had been committed on Turkish 
territory against persons of Turkish citizenship, though of 
Armenian or Greek race. This article constitutes therefore a 
precedent for Article 6c and 5c of the Nuremberg and Tokyo 
Charters, and offers an example of one of the categories of 
`crimes against humanity' as understood by these enactments.''
    The resolution refers to a House Joint Resolution 148, 
adopted on April 8, 1975, resolved: ``[t]hat April 24, 1975, is 
hereby designated as `National Day of Remembrance of Man's 
Inhumanity to Man,' and the President of the United States is 
authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon 
the people of the United States to observe such day as a day of 
remembrance for all the victims of genocide, especially those 
of Armenian ancestry . . .'';
    The resolution states that President Ronald Reagan in 
proclamation number 4838, dated April 22, 1981, stated in part 
``like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the 
genocide of the Cambodians, which followed it--and like too 
many other persecutions of too many other people--the lessons 
of the Holocaust must never be forgotten.''
    The resolution refers to a House Joint Resolution 247, 
adopted on September 10, 1984, resolved: ``[t]hat April 24, 
1985, is hereby designated as `National Day of Remembrance of 
Man's Inhumanity to Man,' and the President of the United 
States is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation 
calling upon the people of the United States to observe such 
day as a day of remembrance for all the victims of genocide, 
especially the one and one-half million people of Armenian 
ancestry.''
    The resolution states that in August 1985, after extensive 
study and deliberation, the United Nations Sub-Commission on 
Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities voted 
14 to 1 to accept a report entitled ``Study of the Question of 
the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,'' which 
stated ``[t]he Nazi aberration has unfortunately not been the 
only case of genocide in the 20th century. Among other examples 
which can be cited as qualifying are . . . the Ottoman massacre 
of Armenians in 1915-1916.''
    The resolution states that this report also explained that 
``[a]t least 1,000,000, and possibly well over half of the 
Armenian population, are reliably estimated to have been killed 
or death marched by independent authorities and eye-witnesses. 
This is corroborated by reports in United States, German and 
British archives and of contemporary diplomats in the Ottoman 
Empire, including those of its ally Germany.''
    The resolution states that the United States Holocaust 
Memorial Council, an independent Federal agency, unanimously 
resolved on April 30, 1981, that the United States Holocaust 
Memorial Museum would include the Armenian Genocide in the 
Museum and has since done so.
    The resolution states that reviewing an aberrant 1982 
expression (later retracted) by the United States Department of 
State asserting that the facts of the Armenian Genocide may be 
ambiguous, the United States Court of Appeals for the District 
of Columbia in 1993, after a review of documents pertaining to 
the policy record of the United States, noted that the 
assertion on ambiguity in the United States record about the 
Armenian Genocide ``contradicted longstanding United States 
policy and was eventually retracted.''
    The resolution states that on June 5, 1996, the House of 
Representatives adopted an amendment to House Bill 3540 (the 
Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs 
Appropriations Act, 1997) to reduce aid to Turkey by $3 million 
(an estimate of its payment of lobbying fees in the United 
States) until the Turkish Government acknowledged the Armenian 
Genocide and took steps to honor the memory of its victims.
    The resolution states that President William Jefferson 
Clinton, on April 24, 1998, stated: ``This year, as in the 
past, we join with Armenian-Americans throughout the nation in 
commemorating one of the saddest chapters in the history of 
this century, the deportations and massacres of a million and a 
half Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in the years 1915-1923.''
    The resolution states that President George W. Bush, on 
April 24, 2004, stated: ``On this day, we pause in remembrance 
of one of the most horrible tragedies of the 20th century, the 
annihilation of as many as 1,500,000 Armenians through forced 
exile and murder at the end of the Ottoman Empire.''
    The resolution states that despite the international 
recognition and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, the 
failure of the domestic and international authorities to punish 
those responsible for the Armenian Genocide is a reason why 
similar genocides have recurred and may recur in the future, 
and that a just resolution will help prevent future genocides.

Section 3. Declaration of policy

    The resolution calls upon the President to ensure that the 
foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate 
understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to 
human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the 
United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide and the 
consequences of the failure to realize a just resolution.
    In addition, the resolution calls upon the President in the 
President's annual message commemorating the Armenian Genocide 
issued on or about April 24, to accurately characterize the 
systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1.5 million Armenians 
as genocide and to recall the proud history of United States 
intervention in opposition to the Armenian Genocide.

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    This committee has, over the past few years, debated the 
issues raised by proposed measures similar to House Resolution 
252 (H. Res. 252). These resolutions, and H. Res. 252 in 
particular, represent the desire of the ethnic Armenian 
victims, as well as their survivors and descendants, to have 
the inter-ethnic violence that wracked the disintegrating 
Ottoman Turkish Empire early in the last century recognized as 
a genocide.
    Concurrently, there have been repeated calls in recent 
years for the establishment of a joint historical commission to 
review all of the events involved in the wave of atrocities 
that occurred in the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century.
    Members of the committee, as articulated during 
consideration of H. Res. 252, have been encouraged by the 
recent willingness of the leadership of the Governments of 
Armenia and Turkey to agree to such a commission, as laid out 
in the two protocols they agreed to in October 2009. These two 
protocols called for: The opening of the border; a commitment 
to refrain from all forms of terrorism, extremism and violence; 
and the establishment of diplomatic relations. They also called 
for the establishment of a historical commission to conduct an 
impartial, scientific examination of records and archives 
relating to the devastating events of 1915. This is an effort 
worthy of support.
    Therefore, any archives that may contain relevant documents 
regarding the atrocities, warfare and inter-ethnic violence in 
the Ottoman Empire in that period, which have not been fully 
opened, should be made immediately available to both countries, 
to a joint historical commission described in the two 
protocols, and to interested parties researching the events of 
that time. Philip H. Gordon, Assistant Secretary of State for 
European and Eurasian Affairs, stated on March 16, 2010, ``As 
President Obama has said, our interest is in a full, frank and 
just acknowledgement of the facts related to the events of 
1915. But the best way to do that, we believe, is for the 
Armenian and Turkish people themselves to address this history 
as part of their efforts to build a future of shared peace and 
prosperity.'' The committee should take steps to encourage such 
transparency and cooperation.
    Inevitably, in all committee and congressional debates on 
measures such as House Resolution 252, issues related to the 
broader national interests of the United States must be 
considered. Such issues are a necessary review of the potential 
implications of congressional action on a particular measure 
for the security, strategic, and foreign policy needs and 
priorities of the United States. Such consideration is not an 
attempt to judge the arguments for or against the case that the 
atrocities and events of the early 20th century in Ottoman 
Turkey amounted to genocide but, rather, is a necessary 
exercise to fully understand the implications of the 
committee's and Congress' actions with respect to H. Res. 252 
on our Nation's continuing effort to combat global extremism, 
as well as on the success of our military operations and safety 
of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, given Turkey's role in 
our Nation's ability to carry out its mission in these two 
fronts. As noted by several former Secretaries of State in a 
letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2007 regarding a 
measure similar to H. Res. 252, passage of such a resolution 
could undermine U.S. national security interests in the region, 
including the safety of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, by 
jeopardizing the U.S.-Turkey strategic relationship. 
Specifically, these former Secretaries of State wrote, ``Turkey 
is an indispensable partner to our efforts in Iraq and 
Afghanistan, helping U.S. military with access to Turkish 
airspace, military bases, and the border crossing with Iraq . . 
. Turkey is a linchpin in the transshipment of vital cargo and 
fuel resources to U.S. troops, coalition partners and Iraqi 
civilians. Turkish troops serve shoulder-to-shoulder with 
distinction with U.S. and other NATO allies in the Balkans.'' 
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton and House 
Readiness Subcommittee Chairman Congressman Solomon Ortiz also 
voiced concern, at that time, in a separate letter to Speaker 
Pelosi, and cautioned that ``approving [such a measure] in the 
House of Representatives would be counterproductive to U.S. 
national interests in the Middle East and could hinder 
America's ability to strategically redeploy U.S. military 
forces from Iraq.'' Further information on these and related 
issues was also provided at the time by the Executive Branch, 
in classified form, to assist the committee members in their 
consideration of the measure then before the committee.
    When House Resolution 252 was scheduled for markup by the 
committee, the Minority on the committee and the Minority 
Leadership of the House requested current assessments from the 
Executive Branch regarding the bilateral relationship between 
the U.S. and both Turkey and Armenia and the potential 
implications for U.S. national security and strategic interests 
of committee adoption of the measure. Despite repeated 
inquiries, such updated materials were not provided in any 
form. However, news reports published in the days surrounding 
committee consideration of the resolution, highlighted the 
current Administration's opposition to the committee's action 
on H. Res. 252 on March 4, 2010:

          ``In a last-ditch attempt to avoid a vote, Secretary 
        of State Hillary Clinton telephoned Howard Berman, the 
        House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman . . . to 
        highlight the potential fallout.'' (The Times of 
        London, March 4, 2010)
          ``. . . Clinton said her government would `work very 
        hard to make sure it does not go to the House floor.' 
        US President Barack Obama's administration had been 
        silent about the resolution until shortly before the 
        vote at the House of Representatives, when it said it 
        opposed its passage.'' (The Jerusalem Post, March 5, 
        2010)
          ``The U.S. Secretary of Defense said on Saturday. . . 
        . `We certainly hope that the Congress and the House of 
        Representatives take this measure no further.''' 
        (Turkish English Language Daily-Todays Zaman, March 14, 
        2010)

    Further, as the United States is currently engaged in 
complex efforts to compel the Iranian regime to abandon its 
nuclear program and all other activities that threaten the 
United States, our interests, and our allies, the committee and 
the Congress should consider Turkey and Armenia's actions vis-
a-vis Iran and the potential impact that adoption of H. Res. 
252 could have on the ability of the U.S. to secure cooperation 
from both countries in isolating the Iranian regime. In recent 
months, Turkey has voted against stronger sanctions against 
Iran in the United Nations Security Council, has emphatically 
stated that energy agreements with Iran shall continue, and has 
signed agreements for a $1 billion gas pipeline deal and for 
the liberalization of visas for travel between the two 
countries. For its part, Armenia, as the State Department noted 
in its 2008 Country Reports on Terrorism, has been 
``reluctant'' to engage in international efforts to criticize 
or pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. Armenia and 
Iran have instead continued to strengthen their cooperative 
relations on finance, transportation and energy-related 
projects. As this report is being written, Iranian Foreign 
Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and Armenian Foreign Minister 
Eduard Nalbandian have in fact announced the two countries' 
intention to further increase bilateral ties.
    Ultimately, congressional action on issues addressed in H. 
Res. 252 affecting Armenia and Turkey should focus on 
encouraging the governments of the two countries to 
reinvigorate their earlier, tentative agreement, embodied in 
the protocols of 2009, to establish a joint historical 
commission to conduct an impartial inquiry, toward an 
improvement of relations between the governments and the people 
of Turkey and Armenia.

                                   Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
                                   Dan Burton.
                                   Jeff Flake.
                                   Joe Wilson.
                                   Ted Poe.
                                   Bob Inglis.