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Congressional Record: September 2, 1998 (Senate)
 
      FOREIGN OPERATIONS, EXPORT FINANCING, AND RELATED AGENCIES 
                        APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 1999

                           Amendment No. 3527

(Purpose: Establish a procedure for the declassification of information 
                 pertaining to Guatemala and Honduras)

  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk and ask for 
its immediate consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Connecticut [Mr. Dodd], for himself, and 
     Ms. Mikulski, Mr. Kerrey, Mr. Kerry, and Mr. Leahy, proposes 
     an amendment numbered 3527.

  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent reading of the 
amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:
       At the appropriate place in the bill add the following new 
     section:

[[Page S9839]]

     SEC.   . RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE AVAILABLE HUMAN RIGHTS 
                   RECORDS PURSUANT TO PENDING REQUESTS.

       (a) Guatemala and Honduras.--
       (1) The United States has received specific written 
     requests for human rights records from the Guatemala 
     Clarification Commission and the National Human Rights 
     Commissioner in Honduras, and from American citizens and 
     their relatives who have been victims of gross violations of 
     human rights in those countries.
       (2) Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of 
     this Act, each agency shall review all requested human rights 
     records referred to in subsection (a)(1) which it has not yet 
     located or reviewed for the purpose of declassifying and 
     disclosing such records to the public except as provided in 
     subsection (b).
       (b) Postponement of Public Disclosure.--
       (1) Grounds for postponement of public disclosure of human 
     rights records.--An agency may only postpone public 
     disclosure of a human rights record or portions thereof that 
     are responsive to the pending requests--
       (A) pursuant to the declassification standards contained in 
     section 6 of P.L. 102-526, or
       (B)(i) if its public disclosure should be expected to 
     reveal the identity of a confidential human source,
       (ii) however it shall not be grounds for withholding from 
     public disclosure relevant information about an individual's 
     involvement in a human rights matter solely because that 
     individual was or is an intelligence source, however, the 
     public disclosure of the fact that the individual was or is 
     such a source may be withheld pursuant to this section.
       (2) Review of decision to withhold records.--The 
     Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel 
     (hereinafter in this section the "Panel"), established 
     under Executive Order No. 12958, shall--
       (A) review all decisions to withhold the public disclosure 
     of any human rights record that has been identified pursuant 
     to requests referred to in subsection (a)(1), subject to the 
     declassification standards referred to in subsection (b)(1);
       (B) notify the head of the agency in control or possession 
     of the human rights record that was the subject of the review 
     of its determination and publish such determination in the 
     Federal Register;
       (C) contemporaneously notify the President of its 
     determination, who shall have the sole and nondelegable 
     authority to review any determination of the Panel, and whose 
     review shall be based on the declassification standards 
     referred to in subsection (b)(1). Within 30 calendar days of 
     notification, the President shall provide the Panel with an 
     unclassified certification setting forth his decision and the 
     reasons therefor; and
       (D) publish in the Federal Register a copy of any 
     unclassified written certification, statement, and any other 
     materials that the President deems appropriate in each 
     instance.
       (3) References.--For purposes of this section, references 
     in sections 6 and 9 of P.L. 102-526 to "assassination 
     records" shall be deemed to be references to "human rights 
     records".
       (c) Creation of Positions.--(1) For purposes of carrying 
     out the provisions of this section, there shall be two 
     additional positions on the Panel. The President shall 
     appoint individuals, not currently employees of the United 
     States Government, who have substantial human rights 
     expertise and who are able to meet the requisite security 
     clearance requirements for these positions.
       (2) The rights and obligations of such individuals on the 
     Panel shall be limited to matters relating to the review of 
     human rights records and their service on the panel shall end 
     upon completion of that review.
       (d) Definitions.--In this Section:
       (1) Human rights record.--The term "human rights record" 
     means a record in the possession, custody, or control of the 
     United States Government containing information about gross 
     violations of internationally recognized human rights 
     committed in Honduras and Guatemala.
       (2) Agency.--The term "agency" means any agency of the 
     United States Government charged with the conduct of foreign 
     policy or foreign intelligence, including the Department of 
     State, the Agency for International Development, the Defense 
     Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National 
     Reconnaissance Office, the Department of Justice, the 
     National Security Council, and the Executive Office of the 
     President.
       (3) Gross violations of internationally recognized human 
     rights.--The term "gross violations of internationally 
     recognized human rights" has the same meaning as is 
     contained in section 502(B)(d)(1) of the Foreign Assistance 
     Act of 1961.

  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I have brief remarks about this amendment. 
It is focused on two countries, Guatemala and Honduras. It is not 
worldwide. It is designed to try to have documents declassified, dating 
back to a decade ago. Many people recall the tragedies of the conflict 
in Central America. It actually goes back more than two decades. In the 
case of Guatemala, it goes back 30 or 40 years.
  Civil wars have now been concluded. There are democratically led 
governments moving in a direction to try to address their underlying 
economic and social needs. The conflict that plagued these countries 
and ourselves cost the lives of thousands of people, as well as 
thousands more who were injured and brutalized in those conflicts.
  We are seeking with this amendment to declassify certain information 
that might allow us, in the case particularly of an American citizen 
who was brutalized in that conflict almost a decade ago, to gather 
necessary information so that those who perpetrated the crimes against 
her could be brought to the bar of justice.
  The Clinton administration has already agreed in principle to assist 
the Guatemalan and Honduran authorities investigating past human rights 
abuses that occurred during this period. These investigations are 
critical to these societies being able to complete the process of 
reconciliation and establish a credible foundation on which to build 
democratic institutions which truly reflect the rule of law and to put 
an end to impunity.
  While some U.S. agencies have already responded very fully and 
positively to these requests, others appear to have done little or 
nothing meaningful to review and turn over materials that could be 
critical to the success of this exercise. The slowness of certain 
agencies in the production of materials, in some cases which are 
totally nonresponsive to these requests, have caused a level of 
cynicism about the commitment of some agencies to fully support this 
effort.
  I know my colleagues, Senator Leahy and Senator McConnell, are very 
familiar with the case of the American citizen, Sister Diana Ortiz, who 
was abducted and brutally raped and tortured while serving in a rural 
community in Guatemala in 1989. Not surprisingly, Sister Ortiz's life 
has never been the same. Her efforts to shed light on the details of 
the crimes against her have been met with indifference, at best. As is 
too often the case in rape cases, she believes that rather than being 
viewed as the victim, she has been treated by certain government 
officials as a perpetrator of some crime or involved in nefarious 
behavior. I don't think the 101 cigarette burns on her back would 
indicate necessarily at all that someone was the perpetrator rather 
than the victim.
  Just today, I received a very moving letter from Sister Ortiz. 
Attached to her letter was a statement that she recently gave laying 
out some of the new information about her case. Let me quote from her 
letter, because I think it helps explain why I am offering this 
amendment today. Sister Ortiz writes:

       Despite my efforts, I still don't know the truth of why I 
     was abducted and tortured. It is true that government 
     agencies have released documents to me. They consist of such 
     public items as articles written by the press, human rights 
     reports from the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, documents 
     relating to cases other than my own, and letters written to 
     Members of Congress. I have also received blank sheets of 
     white paper.

  Mr. President, this is not just some isolated document. This is 
basically what a lot of the released documents look like here. This is 
declassified human rights documents, blank pages: "Honduran armed 
services human rights and corruption." A blank page.
  Here is another example of the declassified documents released on her 
case:

       A U.S. ally has received U.S. Embassy and Honduran 
     government support.

  It goes on. That has little or nothing to do with the situation 
involving Sister Ortiz. The rest is blank.
  This is one of the released documents:

       Press reports of January 1988 indicate that the 316 
     battalion was deactivated in September 1987 to quell 
     speculation following allegations of death squad activities 
     made against the battalion.

  The rest is blank, as if this were some highly pertinent document. 
This is obviously not readable here at all. For the purpose of 
demonstrating to my colleagues, here is what we are talking about. I 
could go through this quickly. These are all blank pages. I am not 
filling these in. These are sheets of blank pages that come up on this 
report.
  Now, obviously, there are legitimate concerns that intelligence 
agencies can have about just releasing any and all documents that 
people would like to have access to. You can't tolerate that, even in a 
case as moving as that of Sister Ortiz.
  This amendment says that within 120 days of enactment of the 
underlying bill it would search the documents for

[[Page S9840]]

relevant material in Honduras and Guatemala if documents are discovered 
and found, and the agencies, for whatever reasons--there are a list of 
reasons--adopted in law where methods and sources could be revealed and 
other important information that could be harmful to U.S. interests. 
Then there is a panel made up of representatives from the Central 
Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, the Department of 
Defense, the Archivist of the United States and the Justice Department, 
which would review that request from the agency objecting to the 
release of certain documents. So there is a system whereby they would 
review whether or not, in fact, the decision not to release information 
was worthwhile.
  So there is a process in place here. It is not worldwide. It is, in 
fact, situations surrounding these two countries. It involves an 
American citizen who was brutally tortured and would like to get to the 
bottom of what happened to her--an American nun working in Honduras and 
in Guatemala doing work that she and others felt made a significant 
contribution to the well-being of people there. She would like to find 
out why it happened. It is not asking too much, in the case of these 
two countries, for the declassification of documents which could help 
her pursue this case, again, allowing for a very legitimate process to 
be in place so that there is not the unintentional release of documents 
that could in some way compromise the interests of the United States.
  That is the sum and substance of this amendment, Mr. President. I 
hope that our colleagues will see fit to be supportive of it. It 
doesn't go too far, in my view. As I said, it is limited in scope, in 
terms of the countries involved, and also there is a process in place 
in this amendment that would allow for the information, in cases where 
it should not be released, to be withheld.
  I also point out, Mr. President, that I am particularly grateful to 
my colleagues, Senators Leahy, Mikulski, Kerry of Massachusetts and 
Kerrey of Nebraska, the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, 
who is a cosponsor of this amendment, along with Senator Harkin and 
several others who have joined with me in this effort.
  I ask unanimous consent that the full text of the letter from Sister 
Ortiz, as well as the very moving testimony that she gave on June 25, 
1998, be printed in the Record at this time.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                                September 2, 1998.
     Senator Christopher J. Dodd,
     U.S. Senate,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator Dodd: I cannot begin to thank you enough for 
     being in the forefront of the struggle for the Human Rights 
     Information Act. Thousands upon thousands of Guatemalans and 
     Hondurans await the outcome of Senate action on this 
     legislation which is of so much importance to them. It is, of 
     course, of great importance to me as well.
       It may seem to many in Congress that my search for justice 
     is never-ending. This is hardly surprising for it is exactly 
     how it has felt to me during these past nine long years. 
     Despite my best efforts, I still don't know the truth of why 
     I was abducted and tortured nor have I obtained any 
     information on the identity of "Alejandro." It is true that 
     various government agencies have released documents to me. 
     Now, let me tell you a little about them. They consist of 
     such (public) items as articles written by the press, human 
     rights reports from the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, documents 
     relating to cases other than my own, and letters written to 
     members of Congress. I have also received black white sheets, 
     and a few messages from former Ambassador Thomas Stroock--one 
     written a week after I was abducted that stated: "Her story, 
     as told is not accurate." Other cables from Stroock's 
     office/State Department describe me as a political 
     strategist, who had perhaps staged my own abduction to secure 
     a cut--off of U.S. aid to the Guatemalan military. These are 
     examples of "relevant documents" which have been released 
     to me.
       In the summer of 1996, the Justice Department conducted a 
     criminal investigation. What I learned only during my 
     participation was that I was to be the subject of the 
     investigation and not those who abducted and tortured me. 
     During my testimony before the House Human Rights Caucus on 
     June 24th of this year, I spoke publicly of the treatment I 
     received at the hands of DOJ officials. I am enclosing that 
     testimony as both description of and further witness to how 
     my case has, in fact, been investigated.
       Now, on top of all this, I have been told by a legislative 
     aide to another Senator that members of the Senate 
     Intelligence Committee are saying that only 3 or 4 documents 
     (pages) have been withheld from me. At this moment, a 284+ 
     page Classified Report pertaining to my case remains in the 
     hands of the Justice Department, which has been made 
     available to the Intelligence Oversight Board, the former 
     Ambassador to Guatemala, Thomas Stroock, and who knows how 
     many others. But I, on the other hand, am denied access to it 
     in order to protect my privacy and that of their sources, or 
     so I am told (refer to June 24th Statement enclosed).
       Again Senator Dodd, I thank you for your efforts on behalf 
     of all who seek the truth. Like countless Guatemalans and 
     Hondurans, this is all I seek. By calling on my government to 
     declassify documents, I am simply pleading with it to allow 
     us to heal. I want to put this nightmare behind me. I want to 
     be able to have a good night's rest. I want peace--for myself 
     and for the people of Guatemala and Honduras. And I don't 
     think that is too much to ask.
       In a spirit of gratitude,
                                                     Dianna Ortiz,
     OSU.
                                  ____


         Congressional Human Rights Caucus Briefing on Torture

                        (By Sister Dianna Ortiz)

       Thank you all for coming. As a survivor of torture, I want 
     to urge you to support declassification of United States 
     government documents that shed light on human rights abuses. 
     Simply by declassifying documents, our government can save 
     lives. Survivors of human rights violations need to know as 
     much as possible about who committed the atrocities against 
     them. With this information, justice is possible, and only 
     justice can lay the foundation for reconciliation, stability, 
     and peace. Guatemala and Honduras are two countries that 
     would benefit immeasurably from full declassification. The 
     sticking point in these instances seems to be that the US has 
     supported the abusers.
       Take my case, for example. In 1989, while I was working as 
     a missionary in Guatemala, I was abducted and brutally 
     tortured by Guatemalan security agents. My back was burned 
     over 100 times with cigarettes. I was gang-raped repeatedly. 
     I was beaten, and I was tortured psychologically as well--I 
     was lowered into a pit where injured women, children, and men 
     writhed and moaned, and dead decayed, under swarms of rats. 
     Finally, I was forced to stab another human being.
       Throughout the ordeal, my Guatemalan torturers said that if 
     I did not cooperate, they would have to communicate with 
     Alejandro. My last minutes in detention, I met Alejandro, 
     whom the torturers referred to as their boss. He was tall and 
     fair skinned and spoke halting Spanish, with a thick American 
     accent. His English was American, flawless, unaccented. When 
     I asked him if he was an American, his answer was evasive: 
     "Why do you want to know?"
       He told me to get into his jeep and said he would take me 
     to a friend of his at the United States embassy, who would 
     help me leave the country. During the ride, he enjoined me to 
     forgive my torturers and said if I didn't, there would be 
     consequences for me. He reminded me that may torturers had 
     made videotapes and taken photos of the parts of the torture 
     I was most ashamed of. He said if I didn't forgive my 
     torturers, he would have no choice but to release those 
     photos and tapes to the press. At that point, I jumped out 
     the jeep and ran.
       For the last nine years, I have tried to stop running. I 
     have tried to face the torturers head on and demand answers, 
     demanded justice. Instead of "forgiving" my torturers, I 
     filed suit against the Guatemalan government and called for 
     an investigation. Like so many investigations in Guatemala, 
     it led nowhere. Guatemalan and US officials alike said in 
     public and in private that I was a lesbian who had never been 
     tortured but had sneaked out for a tryst. The 111 cigarette 
     burns on my back were the result of kinky sex.
       Two years ago, I held a five-week vigil before the White 
     House, asking for the declassification of all US government 
     documents related to human rights abuses in Guatemala since 
     1954, including documents on my own case. I asked to know the 
     identity of Alejandro. The Justice Department had begun an 
     investigation August 1995, and the Intelligence Oversight 
     Board had been investigating my case for more than a year, 
     but I still had no answers. Finally, after weeks of fasting 
     and camping day and night before the White House, a number of 
     State Department documents were released to me. The following 
     year, various FBI documents were declassified, but none of 
     these documents contained anything about the identities of my 
     torturers or of their boss, Alejandro.
       Efforts to obtain information through US government 
     investigations also led nowhere. The Department of Justice 
     interviewed me for more than forty hours, during which time 
     DOJ attorneys accused me of lying. They interrogated my 
     friends and family members and generally made it clear that I 
     was the culprit, I was the one being investigated, not the US 
     government officials who might have acted wrongly in my case. 
     Ultimately, the investigators seemed unable to comprehend the 
     effects on a torture survivor of testifying in intricate 
     detail for hours on end. Extremely dangerous and painful 
     flashbacks were the consequence in my case. A torture 
     survivor should never be asked to re-enter the torture 
     chamber, to relive the brutal abuse. After I had given the 
     great majority

[[Page S9841]]

     of my testimony, I felt compelled to withdraw from direct 
     participation in the DOJ investigation. The investigators had 
     the sketches I had made with the help of a professional 
     forensic artist, delineating the characteristics of each 
     torturer, including Alejandro, and the investigators had my 
     testimony, in detail. The responsibility for finding answers 
     lay with them.
       Because I could no longer subject myself to the 
     retraumatization brought on by the investigators' questions 
     and manner, the DOJ closed my case. Exactly what the DOJ's 
     final conclusions were, I do not know. I do know that as a 
     result of the investigation, the DOJ came up with a 200+page 
     report, which is classified. The Department of Justice told 
     me the report was classified to protect sources and methods 
     and to protect my own privacy. Dan Seikely, who was in charge 
     of the Department of Justice investigation, said only three 
     people would be able to see the report: Attorney General 
     Janet Reno, the deputy attorney general, and himself. Only 
     four copies of the report existed, he said, and they would be 
     kept under lock and key.
       In recent months, however, it has become clear to me that a 
     number of other people have read the report. A government 
     official recently told me that he had seen the report and 
     added that officials in the State Department also had seen 
     it, as had Thomas Stroock, the US ambassador to Guatemala at 
     the time I was abducted. I can't help but wonder how my 
     government intends to protect my privacy by releasing the 
     report to such individuals. It was under Stroock's command 
     that an embassy staff member told a visiting religious 
     delegation--"I'm tired of all these lesbian nuns coming down 
     to Guatemala." It was Stroock who said, a week after I was 
     abducted, before any embassy member had interviewed me, "Her 
     story as told is not accurate." It was Stroock who told the 
     State Department that my motives were questionable, that I 
     had perhaps staged my own abduction to secure a cut-off of US 
     aid to the Guatemalan army. Yet it is Stroock to whom the US 
     government gives the report--a report so private that even I 
     cannot see it. After he had read the DOJ report, Stroock 
     spoke to a journalist, who in turn called me. Stroock was 
     informing the press of his access to the report. In spite of 
     his questionable right to see it, he was making no secret of 
     the privileges he enjoyed. There are things in the report 
     that I have kept secret, that I have been ashamed of--
     things that I didn't tell DOJ investigators but that my 
     friends revealed as they were being interrogated--and I 
     have lived under this tacit blackmail: If I push for more 
     answers in my case, or if I even file a Freedom of 
     Information Act request to get the DOJ report 
     declassified, the secret information the investigators 
     have will be leaked.
       Instead of having that information leaked, let me simply 
     tell you: I got pregnant as a result of the multiple gang 
     rapes by my torturers, and unable to carry within me what 
     they had engendered, what I could view only as a monster, the 
     product of the men who had raped me, I turned to someone for 
     assistance and I destroyed that life. Am I proud of this 
     decision? No. But if I had to make the decision again, I 
     believe I would again decide as I did eight years ago.
       I had little choice. My survival was so precarious at that 
     time that to have to grow within me what the torturers had 
     left me would have killed me. I tell you this simply to free 
     myself so that I can proceed to uncover the truth. Today, I 
     am filing a FOIA to demand the DOJ report on my case. After 
     such anguish that the DOJ interviews caused me, I have the 
     right to know what was learned in my case, what conclusions 
     were reached and why. I demand access to the report, the same 
     access that members of the State Department, Thomas Stroock, 
     and members of the Intelligence Oversight Board have had, in 
     spite of Seikely's guarantee of confidentiality.
       I want to be able to evaluate the thoroughness of the 
     investigation so that I can make informed decisions about 
     what step to take next. My torturers were never brought to 
     justice. It is possible that, individually, they will never 
     be identified or apprehended. And in some senses, I would 
     like to resign myself to this fact and move on. I have a 
     responsibility, however, to the people of Guatemala and to 
     the people of the world, a responsibility to insist on 
     accountability where accountability is possible. If the US 
     government was involved in my torture in Guatemala, in what 
     other countries of the world are torturers receiving orders 
     from Americans? We have to know what the United States has 
     done and where. For our own peace of mind as US citizens and 
     for the good of the citizens of the world, we need the files 
     released. If the US has done nothing wrong, then we can all 
     rest easy. If the US is culpable, we must know this and 
     expose this and take steps to ensure that our government 
     never again collaborates with or hires torturers, in any 
     place, for any reason.

  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, again, at the request of the managers of the 
bill, at this point, I will yield the floor. I presume what will happen 
is that there are other Members who may show up to debate the McCain 
amendment, and then there would be a vote on that, and then there may 
be another amendment that would be disposed of. If I could be notified 
by my staff, or others, as to when the appropriate time to come back 
and engage in a further debate with those who have a differing point of 
view, I am happy to do that.

[...]

  The Senate continued with the consideration of the bill.

                           Amendment No. 3527

  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, what is the pending business before the 
Senate?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The pending amendment is the Dodd amendment, 
No. 3527.
  Mr. SHELBY. Mr. President, I rise to oppose the Dodd amendment, and 
my opposition is this:
  First, the Dodd amendment would give foreign organizations--foreign 
organizations--extraordinary statutory privileges to expedite and to 
compel declassification of U.S. national security information. Yes, it 
would give foreign organizations--not us--extraordinary statutory 
privileges to expedite and compel declassification of U.S. national 
security information, something that we have not ever had.
  Creating such statutory rights, which the Dodd amendment, if it is 
adopted and becomes law, will do, also opens the door to foreign 
organizations to take intelligence, law enforcement, defense and 
foreign policy agencies to court to compel special declassification 
requests.
  Second, to complete the review of the numerous documents that fall 
under this amendment in just 4 months--4 months--agencies will be 
forced to reassign personnel, many of whom would otherwise be carrying 
out important mission functions, or risk being sued by foreign 
organizations for noncompliance. Imagine that, think about this, I ask 
my colleagues this afternoon.
  Third, this amendment offered by the Senator from Connecticut is 
woefully inadequate in protecting intelligence sources and methods and, 
as a result, will chill current and future sources from providing the 
CIA with critical information--the very information that policymakers 
need to address human rights and other important foreign policy issues 
in many countries.
  Fourth, the Dodd amendment applies the same standards for withholding 
information that are being used to declassify records relating to the 
JFK assassination. The JFK records are over 40 years old. The documents 
covered by this amendment are much newer, some only a year old. Because 
the privacy, law enforcement and intelligence concerns are much greater 
in newer documents, there is no reason for the standards to be any 
different than those set out in President Clinton's Executive Order No. 
12958. Otherwise, we risk jeopardizing ongoing prosecutions, losing 
critical intelligence sources and methods, and releasing private 
information.
  Mr. President, while we have previously enacted declassification 
exceptions for other historical records, special statutory authority to 
expedite and compel declassification of records should be exclusively 
reserved for American citizens, not foreign entities.
  The intelligence community has informed the Intelligence Committee in 
the Senate that it expects that substantial litigation costs will 
result if the amendment offered by the Senator from Connecticut becomes 
law.
  Litigation costs can be approximately 100 times as much per case than 
processing information for declassification and usually results in 
little, if any, additional information being released. Just think about 
it, Mr. President. Think about how far this amendment will go.
  Finally, the Dodd amendment is an unfunded mandate. Agencies would be 
required to pay for this declassification requirement out of existing 
funds. I understand that there are only a limited number of personnel 
with the necessary expertise to review and to declassify our 
intelligence records. As a result, resources spent on reviewing 
documents for the foreign organizations under this amendment, if it 
were adopted, will no longer be available to process declassification 
requests for others--including many U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens with 
equally meritorious requests for information will have to stand aside 
while these foreign entities go to the front of the line.
  In the fiscal year 1998, Mr. President, Congress funded a special 
declassification program to review and to declassify many of these 
documents. Since this amendment changes the standards for withholding 
information, the intelligence community will have to re-review the 
documents that the taxpayers have already paid to review.
  Mr. President, at the proper time I would hope that we would table 
this amendment, especially until we have an opportunity to fully 
consider its impact on the intelligence community and the Departments 
of State, Defense and Justice, as well as the American people.
  I think this amendment has not been well thought out. I know it has 
not been debated at length yet.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. KYL addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The distinguished Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. KYL. Thank you, Mr. President.
  Mr. President, both the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on 
Intelligence, who has just spoken, and I have just come from a briefing 
by the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Director of the 
FBI, and a host of other officials involved in protecting American 
secrets and engaging in counterterrorism around the world.
  The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency has said that the 
amendment that is pending before us is woefully inadequate to protect 
our national security and the information that we need to keep 
classified in the United States.
  I wholeheartedly associate myself with the remarks of the chairman of 
the Intelligence Committee and want to argue in the strongest way that 
this amendment be defeated. It should be defeated on a 98-2 vote, 
frankly, because it would be an astonishing precedent-setting action of 
giving to foreign countries--foreign powers--power over United States 
classified material, power that not even U.S. citizens possess.
  It would greatly jeopardize the sources and methods for gathering 
intelligence that we have to employ in different parts of the world in 
order to get the information necessary to protect the security of the 
United States, all in the name of human rights, which all of us are, 
frankly, extraordinarily committed to protect. As a member of the 
Intelligence Committee, I can tell you that the chairman of the 
Intelligence Committee, who has just spoken, and I, and others, have 
gone to great lengths to ensure that the CIA and other 
American intelligence organizations are strictly adherent to standards 
for human rights and that we will help others track down human rights 
abuses wherever and however it is necessary. But to provide for the

[[Page S9855]]

wholesale declassification of American secret information for 
Guatemalan and Honduran organizations under this amendment, as I said, 
is not only unprecedented, but is astonishing in its lack of concern 
for American security.
  I do not suggest, by any means, that the sponsors of the amendment do 
not deeply care about the security of the United States. But the way 
this amendment is written, as I said, according to the Director of the 
Central Intelligence Agency, is woefully inadequate in protecting 
intelligence sources and methods, and as a result will chill current 
and future sources from providing the CIA information, in fact, 
information that is essential for us to ensure the protection of human 
rights in the very countries for which this amendment is designed to 
get information.
  It ostensibly applies the same standards that are used for the 
declassification of documents relating to the JFK assassination. And 
that is the basis upon which it is argued, "Oh, well, it must be OK." 
But there are a couple of key factors here, Mr. President.
  First of all, those are for Americans. This is declassification for 
American citizens. This is not declassification for foreign governments 
or foreign organizations. But of equal importance, the JFK 
assassination documents are--what?--40 years old. We are talking, in 
this amendment here, about information which is much more current. The 
privacy, law enforcement, and intelligence concerns are much greater in 
these newer documents.
  There is no reason, frankly, for the standards to be different than 
those set out in the President's Executive Order 12958. Otherwise, we 
risk jeopardizing ongoing prosecutions, we risk losing critical 
intelligence information, compromising sources and methods, and, 
frankly, releasing a lot of private information as well.
  As I said, it is astonishing to me that we would have an amendment 
that would literally give foreign organizations these extraordinary 
statutory privileges to expedite and compel declassification of U.S. 
national security information. And for the other reasons that the 
chairman pointed out--the unfunded mandate, the substantial costs 
associated with it, the substantial litigation costs--I am not sure if 
the chairman pointed that out, but the litigation costs alone could be 
well over 100 times greater than just the processing cost for the 
information itself.
  In fiscal year 1998, Congress funded a very special declassification 
program to review and declassify many of the documents. Since this 
amendment changes the standards for withholding information, the 
intelligence community will have to re-review the documents, and, as I 
said, the taxpayers have already paid for that review.
  We ought to table this amendment until we have an opportunity to 
fully consider its impact, the impact on the intelligence community, 
the Departments of State, Defense and Justice, as well as on the human 
rights that, frankly, would be potentially abused and the human rights 
concerns that we have as a result of not being able to have access to 
the same information or to the information that we need to protect 
human rights because of the implication with respect to the sources and 
methods that could well be degraded as a result of the passage of this 
amendment.
  So this is the kind of thing that ought to be considered very, very 
carefully, first of all, in the Select Committee on Intelligence. It 
has not been done. It ought to be very carefully vented through the 
administration. As I said, the DCI is very, very concerned about this 
particular amendment. It is premature at best and enormously 
antithetical to our intelligence collection efforts at worst. As a 
result, at the appropriate time I will urge my colleagues to support a 
motion to table this amendment.
  Mr. DODD addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair recognizes the distinguished Senator 
from Connecticut.
  Mr. DODD. I thank the President.
  Mr. President, let me thank, again, the distinguished manager of the 
underlying bill. This has been a disjointed debate. We have had several 
intervening matters since I first offered the amendment a couple of 
hours ago, almost 3 hours ago. So I will just revisit the purpose of 
the amendment, what it does.
  Mr. President, I listened and had a chance to hear some brief 
comments by the Senator from Alabama, and now the Senator from Arizona 
on this issue.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that Senator Jeffords be added 
as a cosponsor, as well, to this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, what this amendment does is it involves two 
countries--Honduras and Guatemala. As most of my colleagues are aware, 
in these two countries we were deeply involved for about a decade. And 
actually conflict went on for some time longer than that where 
literally thousands of people lost their lives. We as a country were 
deeply involved in it. There were divisions here in the United States 
over that level of involvement, that type of involvement. We are not 
here today to revisit the conflict in Central America of the 
1980s. There have been pending requests in both of these two situations 
involving Honduras and Guatemala going back 3 or 4 years, requesting 
information and documentation involving some very significant and 
severe human rights violations.
  I identified one earlier involving an American citizen who was raped 
and brutally tortured in Guatemala. Her case has never been resolved. 
She would like to have it resolved. Sister Ortiz with the Carmelite 
Order of Nuns would very much like to get to the bottom of it. I think 
all of us can understand that if that happened to anyone we knew. As an 
American citizen, she would like to find out what happened. How do you 
do that when you are trying to declassify information?
  What this amendment does in both the case of Honduras and Guatemala, 
there is a request for declassification, which we provide for all the 
time, but in these particular cases, if the agency, whatever it may be, 
is unwilling for very important reasons to declassify everything, that 
there would be an opportunity for a panel--and we have done this 
before; this is not unprecedented--made up of people from the CIA, the 
Justice Department, the Department of Defense, the State Department and 
others, that would review the request and if, in fact, they felt that 
the request for certain information would violate existing law, 
methods, resources, procedures, personnel and so forth--then they would 
deny the request. If they think it is OK, despite the agency's 
objection--and that is not too big a surprise to us that the agency 
historically takes the position of being opposed to declassification of 
any documents; that is not new at all. That has been their reaction.
  As I showed my colleagues, we have blank page after blank page when 
asking for documentation. That is a request, and we have one entire 
blank page. You are trying to get to the bottom of a case involving an 
American citizen or other people where human rights violations occur. 
This should not be that controversial. I would not ask that just anyone 
be able to have access to documents or the declassification without 
going through a process here to determine whether or not any of that 
information could be harmful to our own country. But it seems to me 
when a citizen has been hurt, when others who make legitimate requests 
and don't get to the bottom of information, and we can help by 
providing information through a declassification process, in two very 
specific cases here, these two countries, this ought not to be too much 
to ask. It is not costly; it need not go on long.
  The notion somehow that a non-U.S. citizen may request this 
information, that somehow this is unprecedented, that is not 
unprecedented. Many people all over the world request information. It 
doesn't mean they automatically get it.
  With all due respect to my colleagues, I point out that Senator 
Kerrey of Nebraska, the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, is 
a cosponsor of this amendment. We have talked about a number of other 
cases. Michael DeVine, American citizen, murdered in Guatemala by the 
Guatemalan military. It was covered up for years. We are trying to get 
to the bottom of it.
  Is it wrong for American citizens not to be able to request 
declassification of material that might shed light on who brutalized 
them or murdered them? We

[[Page S9856]]

can go through a very legitimate process where we can examine whether 
or not that information ought to be declassified. If a determination is 
made that it can be, then we can release it to help get to the bottom 
of that. The administration has already, by Executive order, said it 
has no problem with this in terms of getting to a declassification, but 
we want to have an orderly process.
  This amendment, and I do not claim perfection, this amendment is an 
effort here to try to do it in an orderly way, to say that you can make 
your application; that if the respective agency has a problem with a 
request, there is a way of evaluating whether or not that information 
ought to be forthcoming, and not just a panel made up of anybody but 
people who come from the various agencies that I think people would be 
concerned about.
  I was hoping the amendment would just be agreed to here, that this, 
again, shouldn't rise to the level of a major concern. In the case of 
Sister Ortiz, I don't think it is outrageous to make this request. 
Ambassador Stroock, who was the Ambassador in Guatemala appointed by 
President Bush, supports this amendment. I am told now by our 
colleague, Craig Thomas, who spoke on behalf of this amendment, from 
Wyoming, that he believes, in fact the declassification would help put 
this matter to rest once and for all.
  My view is people can overreact on these matters here when it comes 
to this kind of information, but we have heard and know of other cases 
of American citizens overseas where their lives have been threatened. 
In the case of Sister Ortiz, a rape and torture. In the case of Michael 
DeVine, murdered. I don't think it is outrageous for this body to 
provide a procedure and a mechanism whereby people can find out, 
through an orderly and proper process of declassification, information 
that might lead to those who are responsible for it. I hope we would be 
able to support an amendment that would adopt a process that is orderly 
and one that will, I hope, assist these people.
  There may not be anything in this information. Some have suggested 
there is not a lot of information in some of these cases. If that is 
the case, there is less reason to be opposed to it. In two specific 
cases here, if there is some information, and it helped to get to the 
bottom of it, I think we could all have a sense of pride that we 
contributed to that.
  I urge my colleagues to join Senator Harkin, Senator Mikulski, 
Senator Kerry of Massachusetts, Senator Kerrey of Nebraska, Senator 
Leahy, Senator Jeffords, and myself in adopting this amendment.
  Mr. KERREY. Mr. President, I support the amendment offered by Senator 
Dodd that requires the declassification of information pertaining to 
human rights violations in Guatemala and Honduras. Americans citizens 
and their relatives, as well as many Guatemalan and Honduran citizens, 
were victims of gross human rights violations in these nations, and it 
is our government's duty to provide them with as much information as 
judiciously possible. Further, I believe the release of this 
information will help the democratic governments of Guatemala and 
Honduras pursue justice, acknowledge the truth, cement the rule of law, 
and help enable the healing of these societies rent by decades of civil 
war.
  When we deal with the declassification of intelligence information, 
the issues are never simple. The mission of our intelligence agencies 
is to collect information that will protect American lives and preserve 
our national security. But, in order to provide this vital information, 
our intelligence personnel must persuade clandestine sources to provide 
information covertly, and they must use specialized methods that help 
collect and protect those secrets. Revelation of sources and methods, 
even if done in pursuit of moral ends, will only increase the threat to 
American lives and security. Revelation of sources and methods would, 
ironically, diminish America's ability to get information on human 
rights abuses. This amendment has been crafted with an awareness of the 
need to inform Americans more broadly while at the same time protecting 
intelligence sources and methods. I appreciate Senator Dodd's 
understanding of these issues and his leadership on this amendment.
  American citizens and their relatives have been wrongfully 
imprisoned, injured, raped, and killed during the course of the civil 
wars in Guatemala and Honduras. Our government may not have all the 
information they seek about what occurred in these countries, but what 
relevant information we do have we should provide them. This amendment 
will help their pursuit of justice and hopefully provide answers to the 
many questions that surround these events.
  Fortunately, the violence and strife that plagued Guatemala and 
Honduras over the years has abated. These nations now have democratic 
governments that bring hope and promise to their citizens. But, each of 
these nations must face their past in order to build a just and 
prosperous society in the future. The Guatemala Clarification 
Commission and the National Human Rights Commissioner in Honduras are 
integral to this process. The information that will be provided to 
these groups under this amendment can only help bring healing and 
promote peace in our hemisphere.
  Ms. MIKULSKI. Mr. President, in 1989, Sister Dianna Ortiz was 
brutally abducted and raped in Guatemala where she was working as a 
missionary.
  She was victimized by the Guatemalan government and by her own 
government. From the day of the attack, the United States government 
has compounded her suffering. She was accused of fabricating her story. 
She has been treated like a criminal instead of as a victim.
  I am horrified by the reports of Sister Dianna's abduction and 
torture--and by our government's cruel response to her suffering, which 
continues today.
  I would like to read to my colleagues from a column written by Paul 
Ferris in the National Catholic Reporter:

       Her kidnaping and confinement included multiple gang rapes; 
     repeated beatings; intimidation and interrogation; over 100 
     cigarette burns on her back; video taping her captivity as a 
     form of blackmail; and lowering her in a pit where injured 
     women, children and men writhed and moaned and the dead 
     decayed under swarms of rats. Finally, her abductors held her 
     hand and arms as she was physically coerced into stabbing a 
     woman with a machete.

  That is why I am a cosponsor of Senator Dodd's amendment to 
declassify government documents that shed light on human rights abuses. 
Federal agencies would be required to identify, organize and declassify 
all records regarding American activities in Guatemala and Honduras 
after 1944. This would enable Sister Dianna and other victims of 
torture to learn the truth about their cases.
  We need to learn the truth, even if it is painful. By hiding behind a 
wall of secrecy, we are eroding the American people's confidence and 
trust in their government. We undermine our foreign policy and 
intelligence agencies--and the important work they do--if we cover-up 
their past actions.
  Some argue that the release of this information would "compromise 
intelligence sources and methods." I disagree. If our sources were 
people who attacked American citizens, we need to know it. If our 
methods included complicity in torture, we need to know that too.
  Sister Dianna Ortiz and other victims of torture are seeking to 
rebuild their lives. The least that we can do is to help them to learn 
the truth about the tragic events that have changed their lives.
  Mr. President: Our policies must reflect our values. If our efforts 
to promote democracy and human rights around the world are to be 
successful, we must be honest and open about the tragic mistakes we 
have made in the past.
  I commend Senator Dodd for his leadership in calling for an honest 
and just accounting of America's history in Central America. I urge my 
colleagues to join me in supporting his amendment.
  I ask unanimous consent that the Ferris column and an article from 
the National Catholic Reporter be printed in the Record at this time.

                     Sister Dianna is Inspirational

                            (By Paul Ferris)

       Members of the Baltimore archdiocese should know that 
     Ursuline Sister Dianna Ortiz, since her ordeal, (reported in 
     CR July 2) has devoted all her energy to the task of helping 
     other torture survivors and has

[[Page S9857]]

     worked tirelessly for the cause of human rights for the 
     people of Guatemala and other countries where torture exists. 
     Sister Dianna has become a model of faith and courage to 
     countless religious and laity whom she has inspired.
       Through the testimonies of Sister Dianna and members of 
     Coalition Missing, a group she co-founded comprised of 
     American citizens, Guatemalans living in the U.S. and their 
     families who suffered torture and murder in Guatemala, the 
     United States government felt compelled to investigate and 
     publicly disclose CIA and other intelligence agency abuses in 
     paying known human rights violators, referred to as "dirty 
     assets," to spy for the U.S. As a result of the Intelligence 
     Oversight Board investigation, at least 100 dirty assets were 
     removed from the CIA's payroll and CIA station chiefs were 
     fired from their positions in Guatemala for not reporting the 
     extent of the crimes committed against the people of 
     Guatemala by these dirty assets. This Intelligence Oversight 
     Board (IOB) report recommended a number of reforms in the way 
     intelligence agencies operate in an effort to bring them into 
     line with American democratic values. The IOB also exposed 
     the ugly fact that, for at least nine years, torture was 
     being taught at the notorious School of the Americas in Fort 
     Benning, Ga.
       Though Sister Dianna's testimony has been continually 
     challenged by the Guatemalan government, and by U.S. State 
     Department and Justice Department officials, the Human Rights 
     Commission of the Organization of American States, after a 
     thorough seven-year investigation, found Sister Dianna to be 
     an "entirely credible witness," and has demanded the 
     apprehension and punishment of her abductors and their co-
     conspirators, and restitution to Sister Dianna as much as 
     possible.
       Sister Dianna has been able to accomplish all of this while 
     at the same time trying to heal from her own physical and 
     emotional torment associated with the after-effects of 
     torture. Her kidnapping and confinement included: multiple 
     gang-rapes; repeated beatings; intimidation and 
     interrogation; over 100 cigarette burns on her back; video 
     taping her captivity as a form of blackmail; and lowering her 
     in a pit where injured women, children and men writhed and 
     moaned and the dead decayed under swarms of rats. Finally, 
     her abductors held her hands and arms as she was physically 
     coerced into stabbing a woman with a machete.
       Among a whole host of violated personal, civil and 
     religious rights cited by the Organization of American States 
     against the government of Guatemala in the case of Sister 
     Dianna, one that concerns every Catholic directly is the 
     denial of her right to missionary activity. The attack on 
     Sister Dianna, who was teaching Mayan children to read by 
     using the Bible as a text, is an attack on all Catholics and 
     Christians who, exercising their God-given and legal right to 
     religious freedom, seek to spread the Gospel of Jesus through 
     missionary activity in other lands.
                                  ____


              Dianna Ortiz Joins Vigil for Torture Victims

                           (By Arthur Jones)

       Washington.--The heat index was 106 degrees as the small 
     group set up its table in Lafayette Park across the street 
     from the White House preparing for a June 26 dawn-to-dusk 
     candlelight vigil.
       Among the people wearing the white "Help Stop Torture" T-
     shirts was Ursuline Sr. Dianna Ortiz who, during 
     Congressional testimony two days earlier, broke down as she 
     recounted how she had become pregnant as a result of being 
     brutalized and raped by Guatemalan security forces and had 
     had an abortion.
       The nearby White House was unoccupied--President Clinton 
     was in Beijing where, finally, he had decided to speak out on 
     China's human rights abuses.
       The gathering in Lafayette Park--sponsored by the Torture 
     Abolition and Survivors Support Committee that was 
     culminating three days of Washington meetings and testimony--
     had similar concerns. The Support Committee estimates the 
     United States is home to more than 400,000 torture survivors.
       Before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus June 24, 
     torture victims from the 1980s and '90s described what they 
     underwent in locations ranging from Turkey to Nigeria, from 
     Iraq to the Philippines, from Columbia to Pakistan, from 
     Tibet to Guatemala (see accompanying story).
       Ortiz told the caucus, "For the last nine years I have 
     tried to stop running. I have tried to face the torturers 
     head on and demand answers, demand justice. Instead of 
     forgiving my torturers, I filed suit against the Guatemalan 
     government and called for an investigation."
       She said the Guatemala investigation "led nowhere," that 
     her five-week vigil in front of the White House seeking 
     declassification of documents that could reveal the 
     identities of her torturers had failed; the U.S. government 
     investigations produced nothing; that Department of Justice 
     investigators accused her of lying; and that Guatemalan and 
     U.S. government officials, "in public and private, said 
     I was a lesbian who had sneaked out for a tryst, [that] 
     the 111 cigarette burns on my back were the result of 
     kinky sex."
       Ortiz said that because she could no longer subject herself 
     to the "retraumatization" brought on by justice department 
     invesigators' questions and manner, the department had closed 
     her case.
       One of the people who saw the Department of Justice report, 
     said Ortiz, was Thomas Strouck, U.S. ambassador to Guatemala 
     at the time of her 1989 abduction, "who before any member of 
     the U.S. Embassy had interviewed me, said `Her story is not 
     accurate,' and told the State Department that my motives were 
     questionable."
       Strouck later discussed the report with a journalist, Ortiz 
     testified, "who then called me. There are things in that 
     report I have kept secret, that I have been ashamed of--
     things I did not tell DOJ investigators but that my friends 
     revealed as they were being interrogated--and I have lived 
     under tacit blackmail."
       "Let me simply tell you," she told the panel, "I got 
     pregnant as a result of the multiple gang rapes by my 
     torturers, and unable to carry within me what they had 
     engendered, what I could view only as a monster, the product 
     of the men who had raped me, I turned to someone for 
     assistance and destroyed that life."
       Ortiz was unable to continue, the rest of her testimony was 
     read for her: "If I had to make the decision again, I 
     believe I would again decide as I did eight years ago. I had 
     little choice. My survival was so precarious at that time 
     that to have to grow within me what the torturers had left me 
     would have killed me. I tell you this simply so that I can 
     proceed with the truth."
       Ortiz has since filed a Freedom of Information Act request 
     for the Department of Justice report.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, let me make two quick points and perhaps 
close this debate.
  First of all, under U.S. law, families and victims of crime in the 
United States, Americans, have the ability to go through the State 
Department to get this kind of information. That provision was included 
in last year's intelligence bill.
  Secondly, I made the point earlier we are not as concerned about 
American citizens having the right to get information declassified as 
we are foreign organizations. What I pointed out was there are two 
foreign organizations that are specifically defined in the bill as 
being permitted, then, to have access to this information and to 
require the departmental procedure which would result in the 
declassification or at least the consideration of declassification of 
this information. That is what is unprecedented here. That is what 
would be so astonishing.
  Finally, the process here is not a simple, inexpensive process where 
the CIA can inject and stop it. It is an interagency group, and the CIA 
can be and, in fact, a majority of time where this has been used, my 
understanding is it has been overridden. There are private people on 
the panel as well as representatives from other government agencies. As 
a result, you are talking about an extraordinarily time-consuming and 
expensive operation for people who are really charged with other 
responsibilities.
  With respect to the American citizens, I think we have that covered. 
With respect to foreign powers and foreign groups, I don't think we 
want to give them rights in requiring declassification of materials 
that the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency is concerned does 
not adequately protect our national security needs.
  Again, I urge at the appropriate time that the motion to table be 
supported.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I think the Senator from Connecticut has 
made a very, very strong and a very good statement in support of his 
amendment.
  The Senator from Connecticut is one of the most knowledgeable people, 
if not the most knowledgeable Senator, on Central and Latin American 
matters. He has traveled many times to the region, he speaks fluent 
Spanish, and he has been consistent in speaking up for the rights of 
American citizens and of the Central American people.
  I have often worried that because of our own complicity, either 
active or accidental, we have allowed the coverup of some very serious 
misdeeds in that part of the world.
  After the murder of the Jesuits, I was very critical of the 
investigation of those heinous crimes. I was asked to go down so the 
Salvadoran authorities could show me how they were conducting an 
investigation to get the perpetrators. And I went to see the chief 
investigator, the prosecutor.
  Now, Mr. President, a murder case is a relatively easy crime to 
prosecute. Any of us who has prosecuted murder cases knows that. You 
have a dead

[[Page S9858]]

body, you have certain physical evidence, and you put it together. It 
was so obvious that the evidence of the murders of the Jesuits had been 
destroyed, covered up, removed. Members of our own Government were well 
aware of this and didn't want to blow the whistle. I did in a press 
conference, and I quickly left the country, I might say, because of 
threats against me for doing it.
  What the Senator from Connecticut proposes by this amendment is to 
protect, among others, our own citizens. People like Sister Diana 
Ortiz, who have tried for years to find out what her own government 
knows about what was done to her, and possibly who was involved. There 
are other crimes that were covered up, including by U.S. officials. If 
mistakes were made or crimes committed in Central America we should 
know about them. It is, after all, it is information in the possession 
of our own Government.
  The amendment of the Senator from Connecticut protects information 
that should be kept secret in the interests of national security. But 
too often, information that should not be kept secret has been 
withheld, information which could shed light on atrocities and the fate 
of people who disappeared. That is wrong. I might ask this question of 
my friend from Connecticut. Would it be safe to say that his amendment 
protects our legitimate national security interests, while it seeks to 
obtain information about crimes that were committed that the American 
people have every right to know about?
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, let me respond to the Senator from Vermont. 
I thank him for his support on this. In this amendment, we took Public 
Law 102-526, section VI, entitled "Grounds for Postponement of Public 
Disclosure of Records." This is the so-called "Kennedy 
assassination" language. What I did is I took the exact language--all 
of the language, which provides the exemptions of where this 
information should not be provided, and I took the word 
"assassination" and replaced it with the words "human rights." Here 
is an example. Reading from the existing law:

       Disclosure of assassination records and of particular 
     information to the public may be postponed subject to the 
     limitations of the act.

  We write:

       Disclosure of human rights records. 1. Threat of military 
     defense intelligence, conduct, foreign relations, and so 
     forth. Intelligence agents, intelligence sources, and other 
     matters currently related to the military defense.

  All the way down this entire language, all we did is replace the 
words "human rights" for "assassinations" when it comes to Honduras 
and Guatemala. We added an additional provision that is not in the 
Kennedy assassination statute. In addition, the amendment provides that 
"a document may remain classified if its public disclosure would be 
expected to reveal the identity of a confidential human source." So we 
even add to it here.
  I say to my colleague from Vermont that we virtually stick to 
existing law. We provide that if in fact there has been a rejection 
here by the Agency, then a panel made up of representatives of the 
Department of Justice, the State Department, Central Intelligence 
Agency, and Department of Defense can review, over a 30-day period, 
that request to determine whether or not the sustained declassification 
is warranted. If they conclude it is not, then it could be declassified 
so that we can get the information out. Other than that, we follow 
exactly the Kennedy assassination language, with the exception that we 
add a provision that is not in the law.
  It even goes further. I always thought it was not a matter of great 
debate here about whether or not human rights--something we cherish, 
something we talk about all the time. My Lord, we have provided 
sanctions on countries all over the world that deprive people of basic 
human rights. Are we saying, in the case of Honduras and Guatemala 
where there are huge human rights violations, that we are not going to 
make an effort to get to the bottom of this, where particularly 
American citizens' rights were deprived, where they were brutalized? I 
don't understand that.
  Mr. LEAHY. Well, Mr. President, I say to my friend from Connecticut, 
that really is the point. In my years here, I have seen time and time 
again a resolution or amendment to condemn this or that country that 
violates human rights. They usually pass virtually unanimously. That is 
fine. We should stand up for human right wherever they occur. But we 
are now asking our own government for information about Americans whose 
human rights were violated, and we get pages and pages that are blacked 
out. That is unacceptable. We should at least be able to tell the 
families of Americans who disappeared or who were murdered or tortured 
as much as we can about these crimes.
  Frankly, we cannot credibly condemn other countries for their 
misdeeds, and not be willing to find out what happened to our own 
citizens because possibly, conceivably, somebody in our Government may 
have broken the law. If they did we should know about it, and if the 
truth comes out we can hold people accountable and deter others from 
covering up crimes in the future. So I strongly support the amendment 
of the Senator from Connecticut.

[...]

  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I wanted to conclude my remarks here. The 
Kennedy assassination language was a process for declassification. It 
wasn't necessarily through an application process that we are talking 
about this amendment. There is a distinction in that regard.
  Secondly, regardless of where a bona fide request comes from for 
declassification, if it is a bona fide request, whether it is made by a 
U.S. citizen or a non-U.S. citizen, there is nowhere I know of in there 
that says somebody is precluded from making the request because they 
are a non-U.S. citizen, as long as we protect the legitimate source. I 
point out that most of the other agencies effectively had no difficulty 
with this. The reason we are requesting this amendment is because we 
have had a problem with one or two agencies; where they have provided 
information, it is blank page after blank page, redacted page after 
redacted page.
  Again, I think on the issue of human rights, certainly we have seen 
in cases where we wanted to get to the bottom of information involving 
U.S. citizens, that it is hard enough with some of these countries to 
get the cooperation in the country themselves to get information. It is 
a rather ominous thought that a U.S. citizen, or others seeking to get 
information about why they were murdered or brutalized, that they would 
face the kind of false obstruction from their own country.
  So, in the case of Honduras and Guatemala, we felt, particularly 
where these cases involved--particularly the case of Sister Ortiz--an 
American nun who was raped and tortured in that country, that helping 
her provide some information to get to the bottom of her case here goes 
back to 1989--with all of the safeguards included specifically in this 
amendment is a modest request, indeed, for us to be able to meet.
  I hope when the appropriate motion is made and the yeas and nays are 
asked on this that my colleagues would support us in adopting this 
amendment.
  Again, I thank my colleague from Utah for his graciousness.

[...]

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, the Dodd amendment is the pending 
amendment. Let me just say to my colleagues, if the motion to table the 
Dodd amendment, which I will shortly make, is approved, then the next 
vote will be on final passage and we will be to the completion of this 
legislation.
  Senator Shelby has indicated if the motion to table is not approved, 
he will have further observations to make about the Dodd amendment.
  So Mr. President, at this time on behalf of the Senator from Alabama, 
Senator Shelby, and myself, I move to table the Dodd amendment.
  Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Gorton). The question is on agreeing to 
the motion. The yeas and nays have been ordered.
  The clerk will call the roll.

[[Page S9860]]

  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. NICKLES. I announce that the Senator from Georgia (Mr. 
Coverdell), the Senator from New Mexico (Mr. Domenici), and the Senator 
from Alaska (Mr. Murkowski) are necessarily absent.
  I also announce that the Senator from North Carolina (Mr. Helms), is 
absent because of illness.
  I further announce that, if present and voting, the Senator from 
North Carolina (Mr. Helms) would vote "yea."
  Mr. FORD. I announce that the Senator from New Mexico (Mr. Bingaman), 
the Senator from Ohio (Mr. Glenn), and the Senator from Hawaii (Mr. 
Inouye) are necessarily absent.
  The result was announced--yeas 50, nays 43, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 258 Leg.]

                                YEAS--50

     Abraham
     Allard
     Ashcroft
     Bennett
     Bond
     Brownback
     Burns
     Campbell
     Chafee
     Coats
     Cochran
     Collins
     Craig
     D'Amato
     DeWine
     Enzi
     Faircloth
     Frist
     Gorton
     Gramm
     Grams
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hagel
     Hatch
     Hutchinson
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Kempthorne
     Kyl
     Lott
     Lugar
     Mack
     McCain
     McConnell
     Nickles
     Roberts
     Roth
     Santorum
     Sessions
     Shelby
     Smith (NH)
     Smith (OR)
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stevens
     Thomas
     Thompson
     Thurmond
     Warner

                                NAYS--43

     Akaka
     Baucus
     Biden
     Boxer
     Breaux
     Bryan
     Bumpers
     Byrd
     Cleland
     Conrad
     Daschle
     Dodd
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Ford
     Graham
     Harkin
     Hollings
     Jeffords
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Kerrey
     Kerry
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lieberman
     Mikulski
     Moseley-Braun
     Moynihan
     Murray
     Reed
     Reid
     Robb
     Rockefeller
     Sarbanes
     Torricelli
     Wellstone
     Wyden

                             NOT VOTING--7

     Bingaman
     Coverdell
     Domenici
     Glenn
     Helms
     Inouye
     Murkowski
  The motion to lay on the table the amendment (No. 3527) was agreed 
to.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I move to reconsider that vote.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.


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