[Congressional Record: June 3, 2009 (Extensions)]
[Page E1294]                        



                               speech of

                             HON. RON PAUL

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, June 2, 2009

  Mr. PAUL. Madam Speaker, I rise to oppose this unnecessary and 
counter-productive resolution regarding the 20th anniversary of the 
incident in China's Tiananmen Square. In addition to my concerns over 
the content of this legislation, I strongly object to the manner in 
which it was brought to the floor for a vote. While the resolution was 
being debated on the House floor, I instructed my staff to obtain a 
copy so that I could read it before the vote. My staff was told by no 
less than four relevant bodies within the House of Representatives that 
the text was not available for review and would not be available for 
another 24 hours. It is unacceptable for Members of the House of 
Representatives to be asked to vote on legislation that is not 
available for them to read!
  As to the substance of the resolution, I find it disturbing that the 
House is going out of its way to meddle in China's domestic politics, 
which is none of our business, while ignoring the many pressing issues 
in our own country that definitely are our business.
  This resolution ``calls on the People's Republic of China to invite 
full and independent investigations into the Tiananmen Square 
crackdown, assisted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human 
Rights and the International Committee of the Red Cross . . .'' Where 
do we get the authority for such a demand? I wonder how the U.S. 
government would respond if China demanded that the United Nations 
conduct a full and independent investigation into the treatment of 
detainees at the U.S.-operated Guantanamo facility?
  The resolution ``calls on the legal authorities of People's Republic 
of China to review immediately the cases of those still imprisoned for 
participating in the 1989 protests for compliance with internationally 
recognized standards of fairness and due process in judicial 
proceedings.'' In light of U.S. government's extraordinary renditions 
of possibly hundreds of individuals into numerous secret prisons abroad 
where they are held indefinitely without charge or trial, one wonders 
what the rest of the world makes of such U.S. demands. It is hard to 
exercise credible moral authority in the world when our motto toward 
foreign governments seems to be ``do as we say, not as we do.''
  While we certainly do not condone government suppression of 
individual rights and liberties wherever they may occur, why are we not 
investigating these abuses closer to home and within our jurisdiction? 
It seems the House is not interested in investigating allegations that 
U.S. government officials and employees approved and practiced torture 
against detainees. Where is the Congressional investigation of the 
U.S.-operated ``secret prisons'' overseas? What about the 
administration's assertion of the right to detain individuals 
indefinitely without trial? It may be easier to point out the abuses 
and shortcomings of governments overseas than to address government 
abuses here at home, but we have the constitutional obligation to 
exercise our oversight authority in such matters. I strongly believe 
that addressing these current issues would be a better use of our time 
than once again condemning China for an event that took place some 20 
years ago.