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Hearing of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs - "New Beginnings: Foreign Policy Priorities in the Obama Administration"

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Location: Washington, DC


Hearing of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs - "New Beginnings: Foreign Policy Priorities in the Obama Administration"

CHAIRED BY: REP. HOWARD BERMAN (D-CA)

WITNESS: SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON

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REP. BERMAN: The committee will come to order.

Just before we get into the hearing, I just want to reiterate our committee's policy on handling protests. We have no objection to audience members wearing t-shirts and hats expressing their views, but to maintain order in the hearing room, we request that audience members do not hold up or wave signs, make gestures to attract attention, stand up in protest, shout or yell your views or otherwise disrupt the hearing. We will ask the Capitol Police to remove anyone from the room who violates this policy. And is the policy of the Capitol Police to arrest anyone ejected from a hearing room.

It is a great pleasure to welcome Secretary Clinton to the committee this morning, for her first appearance before Congress as secretary of State. We know you have an extremely busy schedule, Madame Secretary, and we very much appreciate your taking the time to be here.

Normally, the secretary's first appearance before the committee will -- would be to present the administration's budget for the next fiscal year. But given the transition and the understandable delay in preparing the fiscal year 2010 budget, I've asked her to testify today on the administration's overall foreign policy agenda and to discuss the broad outlines of the budget request. Next week, the -- or in a few weeks, the deputy secretary for management and resources, Jack Lew, will appear before the committee to discuss the department's detailed budget proposal.

I now yield myself seven minutes for an opening statement.

Madame Secretary, I want to commend you and your excellent team for taking immediate steps to address the dangerous lack of capacity at the State Department and USAID.

From her first days in office, the secretary has directed a comprehensive review of our chronically underfunded diplomacy and development capabilities.

She then developed a plan to restore these critical components of our national security infrastructure. And finally she fought to ensure that the administration's Function 150 budget request provided adequate resources to implement that plan.

Madame Secretary, I couldn't agree with you more that we desperately need to reinvigorate our civilian foreign affairs agencies. To the extent diplomacy and development can help avoid conflicts, before they start, it will save us billions in the long run.

It will also help prevent the continuing migration of development-related programs, to the military, thus relieving the burden on our brave men and women in uniform.

I am committed, and I know many of my colleagues on the committee are as well, to doing everything that we can to ensure that the budget request is fully funded. We will also do our part by marking up and passing a State Department authorization bill, hopefully on a bipartisan basis, very soon after we receive the detailed budget. And later this year, we hope to pass foreign assistance reform legislation to rationalize our various foreign aid programs and provide the administration additional flexibility to ensure that the most urgent needs are being met.

I want to make sure my colleagues have plenty of time to ask questions, so I'm not going to run into the -- through the entire laundry list of foreign policy challenges we now face. But I do want to touch on a couple of issues.

Madame Secretary, several of my colleagues and I returned just yesterday from a trip to India and Pakistan. I think I can speak for all of them in saying that we were encouraged by the dramatically improved U.S. ties with India, but deeply concerned about the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Pakistan. In recent weeks, extremists based in the western border regions have turned their guns on the Pakistani state, launching dramatic suicide attacks in the population centers of Islamabad and Lahore.

Equally troubling, the Pakistani government has cut a deal with the extremists that overran the Swat Valley, the latest in a string of failed agreements that has only emboldened the radicals. To make matters worse, the Pakistani supreme court just ordered the release of Maulana Abdul Aziz, the radical Red Mosque cleric who has renewed his call to kill Westerners and place all of Pakistan under a rigid and intolerant form of Islamic law.

The United States has an enormous stake in the stability and security of Pakistan. We can't allow al Qaeda or any other terrorist group that threatens our national security to operate with impunity in the tribal regions. Nor can we permit the Pakistani state and its nuclear arsenal to be taken over by the Taliban or any other radical groups or otherwise be destabilized in a matter that could lead to renewed conflict with India. So it is very alarming that we're now hearing predictions from a number of leading experts that Pakistan could collapse in as little as six months.

Madame Secretary, I know you take these issues seriously, and I want to commend you and your team for developing a comprehensive Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy. I completely agree with your assessment that the security of these two countries and their neighbors is inextricably linked, and I strongly support your conclusion that strengthening the civilian democratic government of Pakistan should be a central part of our overall efforts.

In the next few weeks, our committee will consider legislation to massively expand assistance to Pakistan, including funds to strengthen the capacity of parliament, the judiciary and the public education system. The bill also calls for the administration to make a series of reasonable determinations to ensure that military assistance is used to meet both U.S. and Pakistani national security interests. Ambassador Holbrooke will testify next Wednesday to provide the administration's views of the legislation and to discuss the larger Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy.

I also would like to say a few words about Iran's continuing efforts to develop a nuclear weapons capability. As you are well aware, a nuclear-capable Iran would pose a dire threat to the United States, our allies in the region; it would act as a hegemonic power in the Middle East and cause a cascade of proliferation. In short, we can't allow Iran to acquire this capability.

Regrettably, the previous administration's policy failed to impact the Iranian regime's destabilizing behavior, and there is no reason to believe that doing more of the same will result in a different outcome. We need a new approach to dealing with Iran, one that offers direct engagement in a bilateral or multilateral format. I believe this is reflected in the administration's recently completed Iran policy review. But such engagement can't be open-ended. Indeed, Tehran continues to enrich their uranium, and every day moves closer to the nuclear threshold.

I would urge you to seek support in advance from key members of the international community to impose crippling sanctions, the kind that would compel, or at least maximize the chances of compelling, a change in the regime's current course, if engagement does not yield positive results.

Finally, after 25 years of grappling with the enormous economic losses caused by intellectual property, piracy and counterfeiting, I would urge you to put this issue high on the list of the State Department's economic agenda.

Madame Secretary, I am excited about the prospect of working with you on the many challenges facing our nation. And I am now pleased to recognize my friend, and the ranking member of the committee, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, for her statement.

REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (R-FL): Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman.

And Madame Secretary, I also welcome you in -- to our committee. Thank you so much. It's been a pleasure and an honor to have worked with you in your time as senator, and as first lady, as well.

And this is an era of profound challenges, and also one of important opportunities to advance our agenda of freedom, of prosperity and security. However, if this weekend's Summit of the Americas is any indication, we're off to a troublesome start. The summit served as a forum for despotic leaders to attack democratic values and our free-market principles and for proclaiming their radical vision as the way forward for the hemisphere. Many of those repressive leaders decided to make the Cuban dictatorship's return to the inter-American system the pillar of their agenda. The OAS secretary general supports this proposal, ignoring the fact that the Cuban regime is in violation of the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights.

Sadly, some responsible nations failed to counter the efforts by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, by Nicaragua's Ortega and their fellow rogues and enablers, to subvert our freedom agenda, while diverting attention away from their own assault on democratic institutions, their own assaults on freedom of the press and association and the opposition in their own countries to their leadership.

The summit reminded me of the discussions at the U.N. Human Rights Council or the Durban II conference which is taking place -- has taken place this week in Geneva. Despite clear indications that Durban II would be a reaffirmation of the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, anti-freedom hate-fest of its predecessor, many waited until the last minute to announce that they were boycotting. Indeed, for some it took Iran's Ahmadinejad spewing his venom to waken them from their stupor.

The U.S. cannot stand idly by and allow such manipulation to take place, particularly when U.S. taxpayer funds are at stake. Many Americans are struggling to make ends meet. We must therefore ensure that we can justify our funding for international organizations and foreign affairs activities.

The recently submitted supplemental is a case in point. The request for $95 million to provide heavy fuel oil and unspecified energy assistance to North Korea and over $34 million for dismantling efforts is troublesome. Years of negotiation with North Koreans -- with the North Korean regime has resulted in an increase rather than a reduction of the threat that it poses, as underscored by its April 5th rocket launch.

Pyongyang's announced intention to resume its plutonium bomb- making efforts, combined with its uranium enrichment, clearly demonstrates that North Korea has viewed the six-party talks as a means of advancing its nuclear weapons development. But North Korea's weapons drive has implications beyond Pyongyang. Syria was reportedly close to completing a nuclear facility built with North Korean assistance, when a Israeli strike destroyed it in September of 2007. There have also been ongoing reports about North Korea and Iran missile cooperation. And just a few weeks ago, news reports cited Western intelligence concerns that a ship that traveled from North Korea to Iran may have had tons of enriched uranium hidden in its cargo, materiel which could be used for nuclear weapons.

Iran and Syria are closely watching how we deal with North Korea. Will they conclude that we will treat them as generously as we have treated Pyongyang in the proposed supplemental?

Another item of grave concern is the administration's plan to provide more than $900 million in aid for the West Bank and Gaza. In Gaza, this is tantamount to a bailout for Hamas. Reassurances that the aid will go through NGOs -- nongovernmental organizations -- and not to Hamas ignores the reality that there's only one ultimate distributor and guarantor of aid in Gaza, and that is Hamas.

Dumping money into Gaza reconstruction enables Hamas to reconsolidate its political standing in Gaza without cost, freeing up Hamas funds to buy rockets and other arms.

NGOs and international organizations do not have the proper vetting and internal controls to ensure that aid is not going to extremists. And the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, continues to do business with banks that the United States has targeted for laundering Islamist militant money.

I am also concerned about the seemingly broad interpretation in the supplemental of the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act waiver and the implications for a Palestinian Authority that includes Hamas. It appears to ignore requirements for the dismantling of the Islamist militant infrastructure and the halting of incitement before the PA -- before a PA effectively controlled by Hamas could be eligible for U.S. funds.

In Afghanistan, Madame Secretary, we all share the goal of ensuring that sanctuaries and safe havens no longer exist for those who wish to do us harm. However, it appears from the G-20 summit that many of our European allies are unwilling to assume any real burden to help prevent that from happening. I welcome the administration's release of its strategic review of U.S. policy in Afghanistan and the president's outline of the next steps. I'm committed to ensuring that our personnel on the ground have the support and the resources necessary to succeed in their mission.

Madame Secretary, however, I'm greatly concerned about reports that the administration may have changed our policy on investigating and possibly prosecuting former administration officials. This is an extremely negative development, when we need to work together to counter extremist Islamic militants who seek our destruction.

As Edmund Burke would say, all that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. Ultimately, we must not miss any more opportunities to prove that rogue regimes and tyrants are -- should be the goal of the U.S. policy to eliminate that and instead foster and defend freedom and democracy worldwide. I have faith that this administration, with your leadership, Madame Secretary, and our president, will do exactly that, promote our freedom agenda overseas.

Welcome again, Madame Secretary, and thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the time.

REP. BERMAN: Well, thank you. And without objection, any opening statements by other members will be placed in the record.

And Madame Secretary, without objection, your full statement will be made part of the record. And the floor is yours.

SEC. CLINTON: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Ranking Member. Greetings to many friends and former colleagues. It is a pleasure to be here with you this morning.

This committee has been the source of many advances in our nation's foreign policy. And I look forward to working with you to continue that tradition.

When I appeared before the Senate -- that's that other body on the other side of the Capitol -- I spoke during my confirmation hearing of a commitment to pursue a policy that would enhance our nation's security, advance our interests and uphold our values.

Today, nearly 100 days later, I am pleased to report that we have begun making progress toward achieving that goal.

I want to begin by recognizing and thanking the men and women of the State Department and USAID, who are serving our country around the clock and around the world. I'm extremely proud of their work. With their talents and under president Obama's leadership, we have put forward a new diplomacy powered by partnership, pragmatism and principle.

Our priorities are clear. We are deploying the tools of diplomacy and development, along with military power. We are securing historic alliances, working with emerging regional powers and seeking new avenues of engagement.

We're addressing the existing and emerging challenges that will define our century: climate change, weak states, rogue regimes, criminal cartels, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, poverty and disease.

We're advancing our values and our interests, by promoting human rights and fostering conditions that allow every individual to live up to their God-given potential.

Now, I know that many of your questions today will deal with long-standing concerns: Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, certainly the Middle East, the fallout from the global financial crisis. I will speak briefly to those. And I look forward to answering any questions you might have.

As you know, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the president has outlined a strategy centered on a core goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda and to prevent their safe return to havens in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

We combined our strategic review with intensive diplomacy. And nations from around the world are joining our efforts. More than 80 countries and organizations participated in the international conference in the Hague. And a donors conference just concluded, in Tokyo, raised over $5 billion.

In Iraq, we're working toward the responsible redeployment of our troops and the transition to a partnership based on diplomatic and economic cooperation. We're deploying new approaches to the threat posed by Iran. And we're doing so with our eyes wide open and with no illusions. We know the imperative of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. After years during which the United States basically sat on the sidelines, we are now a full partner in the P-5 plus one talks.

In the Middle East, we engaged immediately to help bring the parties together, to once again discuss what could be done to reach a two-state solution. We're maintaining our bedrock core commitment to Israel's security, providing economic support, security assistance. And we are also doing what we can to bolster the Palestinian Authority and to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

More broadly we're working to contain the fallout from the global financial crisis. Our efforts at the G-20 focused in large measures on the poorest and most vulnerable countries.

We need to provide support for the International Monetary Fund. We need to provide direct assistance to countries such as Haiti, where I traveled last week. These resources will help democratic, responsible governments regain their economic footing and avert political instability with wider repercussions.

Now, these challenges demand our urgent attention, but they cannot distract us from equally important but sometimes less compelling or obvious threats, ranging from climate change to disease to criminal cartels to nonproliferation. In today's world, we face challenges that have no respect for borders. Not one of them can be dealt with by the United States alone. None, however, can be solved without us leading. All will have a profound impact on the future of our children.

As daunting as these challenges are, they also offer us new arenas for global cooperation, and we're taking steps to seize these opportunities. First, we are pursuing a wide-ranging diplomatic agenda premised on strengthening our alliances with democratic partners in Europe, Asia, Africa and our own hemisphere. We are cultivating partnerships with key regional powers. We're building constructive relationships with major nations that will have a lot to say about what happens in the world to come: China, Russia, India. We're working with long-time allies like Japan and South Korea to address not just regional concerns but a host of global issues as well.

I want to say a special word about Asia. You know, advancing our relationship with India, which I know the chairman and the ranking member and others mentioned, is essential. It's the world's largest democracy; it's an important ally in so many efforts. I made my first overseas trip as secretary of State to Asia, a signal that we are not just a trans-Atlantic power, but also a trans-Pacific power, and that Asia will be an indispensable partner in years to come.

But we haven't forgotten our traditional allies. We have worked hard with the European Union and with NATO. And then just a few days ago we did go to Latin America to meet with nations who share a common home, a hemisphere, a heritage and a common future. We discussed a new energy partnership fighting drug trafficking and the drug cartels, consolidating democratic gains and so much more.

We're also building closer ties with regional anchors, including Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey. These are not only partners, but they can be leaders on issues ranging from deforestation to democracy. We will work with China and Russia wherever we can, and we'll be candid about our areas of disagreement. We will be starting a strategic and economic dialogue with China very shortly. We'll be working with them to develop technologies to reduce the world's dependence on fossil fuels. And we have committed ourselves to working with Russia on finding a successor agreement to the START arms control agreement.

But we also understand that redefining diplomatic engagement is not just between governments. Policies and political leaders change over time, but ties between citizens, non-governmental organizations, businesses, universities, NGOs, all of those endure. And these are very effective tools of diplomacy, and we're committed to engaging these groups.

And so finally, we will work to expand opportunity and protect human rights, strengthen civil society, live up to the ideals that define our nation, work to advance education and health care, the rule of law and good governance, fight against corruption, expand opportunities for women and girls and those on the margins of society.

As we promote responsible governance abroad, we have to invest more in our tools here at home. As the chairman said, I'm working hard to create a more agile, effective department with the right staffing and resources to fulfill the president's agenda. That's why I have filled for the first time the position of deputy secretary for management and resources.

I've also challenged the department to reform and innovate and save taxpayer dollars. We're turning our ambassadors into in-country chief executives with authority and responsibility for the programs on the ground. We're consolidating IT support services that will yield savings of tens of millions of dollars. We're deploying new media technologies to carry our message more effectively. And I am determined to see that the men and women of our foreign and civil service get the resources they need to do their job safely and effectively.

Even Secretary Gates has pointed out our country has underinvested in diplomacy. That must end. Just as we would never deny ammunition to American troops headed into battle, we cannot send our diplomats into the field in today's world, with all of the threats they face 24/7, without the tools they need. We don't invest and diplomacy and development; we end up paying a lot more for conflict and all that follows.

So Mr. Chairman, we're pursuing these policies because they're the right thing to do. We believe that no country benefits more than the United States when there is greater security, democracy and opportunity in the world. Our economy grows when our allies are strengthened and people thrive. And no country carries a heavier burden when things go badly. Every year, we spend hundreds of billions of dollars dealing with the consequences of war, disease, violent ideologies and vile dictatorships.

So let's invest in the type of world that we want. We have no shortage of challenges or opportunities. The world is looking for leadership and looking to see how this new administration meets this moment.

I believe if we follow our plans and our principles, we will succeed. We can lead the world in creating a century that we and our children will be proud to own, a century of progress and prosperity for the whole world, but especially for our beloved country. But to achieve these goals, we need your help.

We need your advice and we need your support.

And I look forward not only to the formal hearing today but to the informal ongoing dialogue that I've started with some of you and look forward to having with all of you. We're in this together. We have to row in the same direction, for the benefit of our country and our children.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

REP. BERMAN: Well, thank you very much, Madame Secretary. And we will now, just your luck, go into a period of questioning with members of the committee. And we will have -- we'll strictly observe the five-minute rule, which includes the questions and the answers.

So if you intend to have an answer to your question, pace yourself, and in order of seniority based on members who were here, at the time that we started the hearing. I yield myself five minutes for a few questions.

Madame Secretary, as I noted in my opening statement, I do support a policy of engagement with Iran. At the same time, I can't get away from the fact that Iran's efforts to acquire nuclear weapons capability keep going ahead, and that this engagement can't be so open-ended that we essentially pass the threshold that we're seeking to avoid, by virtue of the engagement.

So I am -- my two questions. One, what kind of time frame do you have in mind, for the Iran engagement? And the second question is based on the assumption that the engagement is more likely to work and to work in a reasonable time, if the regime understands that a failure to respond, to our efforts, will result in truly crippling sanctions.

And to get that level of sanctions, we can't do it ourselves. This is going to have to be an international effort. And I'm curious. I would like to know, are we pursuing the default position, the leverage that I think will make the engagement more likely, as we deal with key members of the international community and the Security Council?

SEC. CLINTON: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think your question very accurately describes the efforts we're undertaking.

We have concluded that it is going to be a more successful engagement, if our partners around the world understand that they must work with us and support our efforts, including tougher sanctions.

And I've had a number of conversations over the course of the last 90- plus days with allies, partners and other nations concerned about Iran's continuing ambitions for nuclear weapons. I think there are three points I would make, Mr. Chairman.

One, the fact that we are engaging, that we have fully participated in the P-5-plus-one process, actually gives us more leverage with other nations. Number two, I think the fact that we have been wiling to go even beyond the P-5 plus one and to reach out to Iran, to invite them, as I did, to the conference in The Hague on Afghanistan, increases even further our ability to ask more from other nations. And finally, I think our engagement -- which we have no illusions about, as I mentioned to you -- puts us on much stronger international footing.

So I want to assure you that we will be operating on dual tracks. Yes, we are more than willing to reach out to the Iranians to discuss a range of issues, assuming they're willing to reach back. As the president said in his inaugural address, we'll hold out our hand; they have to unclench their fist.

But we are also laying the groundwork for the kind of very tough -- I think you said crippling -- sanctions that might be necessary in the event that our offers are either rejected or the process is inconclusive or unsuccessful.

REP. BERMAN: Well, thank you very much. I'll yield back the balance of my time, and I will recognize the ranking member for five minutes.

REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman. Madame Secretary, welcome.

And I'd like to yield my time to Mr. Burton, and I hope that he will yield one minute to Mr. Smith.

REP. DAN BURTON (R-IN): Welcome, Madame Secretary.

SEC. CLINTON: Thank you, Mr. Burton.

REP. BURTON: You know, one of the things that concerns me and my colleagues is the ability to extract information from terrorists so that we can protect this country. And if you look at what the terrorists are doing -- cutting off heads, cutting off arms, blowing up the World Trade Center, threatening to blow up buildings in San Francisco and elsewhere -- and you listen to what the vice president said the other night on television -- that the memos that he has seen show that the tactics that we've employed to extract this information have protected the American people and stopped some terrorist activity -- I am very concerned -- and I hope that you'll take this message to the president -- I'm very concerned that we're tying both hands behind our backs because we are saying that there are limitations -- very strong limitations, even within the law -- in interrogating these prisoners.

I've seen Guantanamo. My colleagues have. We know that they're treated fairly. We haven't been being unhumanitarian to these people. But we have used very strong techniques to extract information from them, and those techniques were cleared with the leadership of both the House and the Senate. They knew about them.

And yet the president of the United States yesterday said that he was leaving it up to Attorney General Holder to see whether or not some of the peoples of the -- people of the previous administration could be prosecuted for those activities.

Now, you know, I believe in obeying the law, but when it's cleared with the Congress and the administration to go to the CIA and say we're -- we might prosecute some of you or some of your leaders at the Justice Department that recommended these techniques -- is just, in my opinion, crazy.

We are in a war against terror. I don't care what they call it in the administration. They've changed some terminology. We're in a war against terrorism, and we need to use, within the law, every single aspect -- procedure that we possibly can to stop this terrorism. And I have heard people say that we have, in effect, scared so many of the leaders of the CIA and others who were at the Justice Department before that they may not use tactics that they even could employ in order to stop terrorist activity.

We need both hands untied with our intelligence agencies to really stop terrorism in the United States. And I hope that the president of the United States and you, Madame Secretary, will reevaluate the situation and not be prosecuting people at the CIA or the Justice Department who were just doing their job to try to protect this country. I mean, that's what it's all about.

And with that, I don't have any other questions. I just hope that you'll take -- I am going to yield back -- I hope that you'll -- I hope you'll take that message back to the president and the administration. And I thank you very much for your attention.

REP. BERMAN: Chris?

REP. CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH (R-NJ): I thank --

REP. BURTON: I yield to my colleague, Mr. --

REP. SMITH: I thank my good friend for yielding.

And first of all, Madame Secretary, let me thank you fro the work you've done on behalf of David Goldman in the reunification with his son Sean. As you know, that Brazilian case is one of the most egregious human-rights child-abduction cases I think there has been, although there are many of them. And so I want to thank you personally for raising that with Brazilian authorities, and to thank our consul general, Marie DeMoore (sp), and others who are doing, I think, a wonderful job.

And I would like to ask you -- and ask you with everything within my being to press for the release, the unconditional, immediate release, of all political prisoners in Cuba. Dr. Oscar Biscet in 2003, as you know, got a 25-year, harsh, totally unjust prison sentence. Many of us are concerned that he and the other human-rights activists who languish in prison today are subjected to extreme tortures and deprivations, need to be released -- or some will die.

So any further movement with the Cuban government -- please. Dr. Biscet, just so everybody knows very clearly who he is, 25 years in prison. He is -- his daughter and others have cried out for his release. He has been put in solitary confinement over and over again, and like I said, he may be close to death. And I would hope that we would demand, minimally, immediately, that the International Committee for the Red Cross be allowed to see, ascertain their health -- or lack of it -- and well-being, but to press for their release now.

And also, Mr. Wolf and I have tried repeatedly to get into the prisons, as we have done in the Soviet Union in the '80s, the People's Republic of China right after Tiananmen Square -- we have been turned down every time and have not gotten a visa. Others get it. They don't go to the prisons. I think all of us on both sides of the aisle, regardless of one's ideological perspective, need to say "free the prisoners."

REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: I yield.

REP. BERMAN: (Gavels.) Time -- the time of the gentleman has expired -- the gentlelady -- the time of the ranking member has expired.

And the vice chair of the committee, the chairman of the Middle East and South Asia Subcommittee, a gentleman I believe you know from New York, Mr. Ackerman, is recognized for five minutes.

REP. GARY ACKERMAN (D-NY): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Welcome, Madame Secretary. You make all your New York homies very, very proud. (Laughter.)

I had to look up for a moment. I thought we were in the Judiciary Committee and had the attorney general in front of us, listening to some of the remarks a moment ago. I don't think we have to lecture you or remind you, besides some of the political prisoners, besides some of the terrorists we have in the prisons, besides some of the miserable people that are intending to do damage to our country, the Constitution of the United States is also a very high-valued target. Let's all do our job and protect it first. Everything else will surely follow.

If I could follow up on the chairman's concern, which I think is one that is overwhelming -- and it's the issue of Iran. Are we prepared, talking about sanctions? Because as we know, in order for them to be effective, they have to be comprehensive and they have to be complete, and they have to be participated in by almost the entire world for it to work. Are we prepared to place sanctions on some of our friends and allies if they don't conform to a sanctions regime, which is, as the chairman says, the preferable default position, rather than the unthinkable default position?

SEC. CLINTON: Congressman, we believe that we can make a very strong case for exactly the kind of sanctions regime that you and the chairman have referred to. We actually believe that by following the diplomatic path we are on, we gain credibility and influence with a number of nations who would have to participate in order to make the sanctions regime as tight and crippling as we would want it to be.

So I think the short answer is, it is our expectation that we will be able to put together such a comprehensive sanctions regime in the event we need it. And it is our commitment that we will pursue that, if we are either unsuccessful or stonewalled in our other approach.

REP. ACKERMAN: Thank you. Peace process, Middle East, Israel- Palestinians -- the Saudis have indicated that they are trying very hard, which means withholding all of the pledges that they've made for the Palestinian people, unless they have a unity government and unless Abu Mazen places Hamas back in the government yet again. What will be our position? Will we continue to deal with the government of the Palestinian Authority if they include a recognized terrorist organization in their government?

SEC. CLINTON: The president's policy, as described in the supplemental, is very clear. We will not deal with nor in any way fund a Palestinian government that includes Hamas unless and until Hamas has renounced violence, recognized Israel and agreed to follow the previous obligations of the Palestinian Authority. And we -- that is our policy and that is exactly what is guiding us.

But we want to leave open the door that that can happen. I mean, we don't know, Congressman. We're not -- we're not betting on it. But we put waiver authority in for the president vis-a-vis funding for the Palestinian Authority or any successor government if those conditions are met. Now, from everything we hear, there is no intention on the part of Hamas to meet those conditions.

But these are not just American conditions. These are the conditions that were adopted by the Quartet, which consists of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia. These are actually the conditions embodied in the Arab Peace Initiative.

So in every conversation that I have had with any Arab leader or any European leader, I have made it clear that the United States cannot work with, cannot recognize, cannot in any way fund a government including any group that did not meet those conditions.

REP. ACKERMAN: Thank you. In trying wrest Syria away from the Iranian orbit, would --

REP. BERMAN: Unless you can arrest (sic) them real quickly --

REP. ACKERMAN: I would just -- I would just urge you not to pay any deal off with Syria in Lebanese coin.

SEC. CLINTON: Agreed completely. We have assured the Lebanese of that.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentleman has expired. The gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Smith, is recognized for five minutes.

REP. CHRIS SMITH (R-NJ): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, Madame Secretary, in receiving Planned Parenthood's founder Margaret Sanger's award in Houston on March 27th, you said that you were, quote, "in awe" of Margaret Sanger. You said that Sanger's life and leadership was one of the most transformational in the entire history of the human race, and that Sanger's work both here and abroad was "not done," quote-unquote.

With all due respect, Madame Secretary, Sanger's legacy was indeed transformational, but not for the better if one happens to be poor, disenfranchised, weak, disabled, a person of color, an unborn child or among the many so-called undesirables Sanger would exclude and exterminate from the human race. Sanger's prolific writings drip with contempt for those she considers to be unfit to live.

I've actually read many of Sanger's articles and her books. Sanger was an unapologetic eugenicist and racist who said, and I quote, "the most merciful thing a family does for one of its infant members is to kill it."

She also said, on another occasion, quote, "Eugenics is the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems."

In her book "The Pivot of Civilization," Sanger devoted an entire chapter, which she entitled The Cruelty of Charity, to explaining a shockingly inhumane case for the systematic denial of prenatal and maternal health care for poor pregnant women.

Quote, "Such benevolence is not merely superficial and nearsighted," Sanger wrote, it, quote, "conceals a stupid cruelty" and leads to a, quote, "deterioration in the human stock" and the perpetuation of, quote, "defectives, delinquents and dependents."

So it is extraordinarily difficult how anyone could be in awe of Margaret Sanger, a person who made no secret whatsoever of views that were antithetical to protecting fundamental human rights, of the weakest and the most vulnerable, and to suggest that her work remains undone around the world.

As I think you know, in 2000 alone, Planned Parenthood killed over 305,000 children by abortion, in the United States alone, and millions more worldwide.

So as part of Sanger's work that remains undone, my question, is the Obama administration seeking in any way to weaken or overturn pro- life laws and policies, in African and Latin-American countries, either directly or through multilateral organizations -- including and especially the United Nations, African Union or the OAS -- or by way of funding NGOs like Planned Parenthood?

And secondly and so we can have total transparency, you know, as a former lawmaker, we always have definition pages when we write legislation. Definitions do matter. Does the United States' definition of the term reproductive health or reproductive services or reproductive rights include abortion?

I yield to the distinguished gentleman.

SEC. CLINTON: Congressman, I deeply respect your passionate concern and views, which you have championed and advocated for over the course of your public career. We obviously have a profound disagreement.

When I think about the suffering that I have seen, of women around the world, I've been in hospitals in Brazil, where half the women were enthusiastically and joyfully greeting new babies, and the other half were fighting for their lives against botched abortions.

I've been in African countries where 12-and-13-year-old girls are bearing children. I have been in Asian countries where the denial of family planning consigns women to lives of oppression and hardship.

So we have a very fundamental disagreement. And it is my strongly held view that you are entitled to advocate. And everyone who agrees with you should be free to do so anywhere in the world. And so are we.

We happen to think that family planning is an important part of women's health. And reproductive health includes access to abortion that, I believe, should be safe, legal and rare.

I've spent a lot of my time trying to bring down the rate of abortions, and it has been my experience that good family planning and good medical care brings down the rate of abortion. Keeping women and men in ignorance and denied the access to services actually increases the rate of abortion.

During my time as first lady, I helped to create the Campaign Against Teenage Pregnancy. And while we were working to provide good information, access to contraception and decision-making that would enable young women to protect themselves and say no, the rate of teen pregnancy went down. I'm sad to report that after an administration of eight years that undid so much of the good work, the rate of teenage pregnancy is going up. So we disagree, and we are now an administration that will protect the rights of women, including their rights to reproductive health care. (Applause.)

REP. BERMAN: (Strikes gavel.) The time of the gentleman has expired.

The gentleman from American Samoa, the chairman of the Asia and Pacific Subcommittee, Eni Faleomavaega, is recognized for five minutes.

DEL. ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA (D-AS): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Madame Secretary, I want to congratulate you on your appointment as secretary of State, and commend you for the admirable work you are doing to address our most daunting problems around the world.

I think your decision to visit Asia on your first overseas trip sent precisely the right signal about the importance we place on the Asia Pacific region and our commitment to our treaty allies in Japan and Korea, and our intent to re-engage the ASEAN countries and our plans to foster a positive, constructive dialogue with the People's Republic of China.

Madame Secretary, thank you for joining us today, and thank you for your tireless efforts in serving our country. For the sake of time, I'm submitting a series of questions for the record, and would appreciate your written responses.

These two questions, Madame Secretary, are not trick questions, but today, I'd like to ask you about two matters of particular concern to this member: the current situation in Papua, West Papua, in Indonesia, and the current crisis in Fiji.

First, will the administration review the current political status of West Papua and the extent to which the government of Indonesia has implemented and included the leadership and the people of West Papua in the development and administration of the special autonomy law? And will the administration hold Indonesia accountable for continued human rights abuses in this region of the world?

Second, having just returned from Fiji for discussions with the interim prime minister of Fiji and with the other community leaders of Fiji, I submit that the situation in Fiji is more complex than it appears. I commend our current U.S. ambassador's efforts to continue the engagement with the leaders of the interim government.

And unfortunately, in my view, Madame Secretary, for too long, we've had no coherent policy towards some 16 Pacific island nations -- very indicative of the fact that we have not had USAID presence in the Pacific region for, how many years now? And for too often and for too long, Madame Secretary, in my view, we've permitted Australia and New Zealand to take the lead even when Canberra and Auckland operate with such a heavy hand that they are counterproductive to our shared goals.

It makes no sense, Madame Secretary, for the leaders of New Zealand and Australia to demand early elections for the sake of having elections in Fiji when there are fundamental deficiencies in Fiji's electoral process which gave rise to three military takeovers and even a civilian-related takeover within the past 20 years. These people are having to live off the -- with three separate constitutions.

Basically, Madame Secretary, that's the gist of my two questions, West Papua in Indonesia and the crisis in Fiji. I think -- I totally disagree with the nasty accusations that the leaders of New Zealand and Australia have made against Fiji, given the fact that it's more than what it appears. And I would appreciate your response to those two --

SEC. CLINTON: I really appreciate your question.

I think your specific questions are embedded in a larger problem, is that we do have these 16 island nations, many of whom are among our staunchest allies. Palau, for example, has voted with us in the United Nations; its young men go off to war under the American flag. So we need to have a more comprehensive approach, an American approach to these islands. And I would welcome your advice about that. I think it's very important, Representative.

As to West Papua, we believe that it does need to be supported in its efforts to have a degree of autonomy within Indonesia. We support some of the steps that have been taken and -- to realize that. And we will include our concerns in our dialogue with Indonesia, because we understand the delicate nature of what is at stake here, that it is part of sovereign Indonesia, but it deserves more support, respect and certainly protection from many human rights abuses.

With respect to Fiji, I would welcome your advice about Fiji, because, you know, our coverage of what's going on from our ambassador and, as you point out, from Australia, New Zealand in particular, does paint a picture of turmoil and chaos and anti-democratic behaviors by the ruling parties. So what we want is to restore democracy. We want a functioning democracy in Fiji that can deliver for its people. And if you have advice as to how we can pursue that, I would welcome it.

And I will invite you -- we'll have the State Department follow up and we'll bring you in and we'll talk more broadly about the Pacific island region.

DEL. FALEOMAVAEGA: Thank you, Madame Secretary. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentleman has expired.

The gentleman from the California, Mr. Rohrabacher, is recognized for five minutes.

REPRESENTATIVE DANA ROHRABACHER (R-CA): Thank you very much.

Madame Secretary, you were a member of the Armed Services Committee in the Senate for six years. And you have also taken a great interest in foreign policy for many years even before that. Is there any information about the interrogation of prisoners that you believe was kept from you as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee?

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Congressman, as you recall, during the years I was on the Armed Services Committee, I was not in the leadership of that committee, nor was I in the leadership of the Senate, nor did I serve on the Intelligence Committee. So a lot of the information that has come out in the last several years was not shared with me.

REP. BERMAN: Okay. So do you believe that information was not shared with the leaders of your committee?

SEC. CLINTON: I have no information on that, Congressman.

REP. BERMAN: Okay. So today you're not confirming for us the charge that we've heard over and over again that the leadership of the House and the Senate were always kept informed as to the interrogation techniques that are now under attack.

SEC. CLINTON: I have no information. I -- you know, I think that the position that the president has adopted is in keeping with our values as a nation, and in keeping with laws that the United States had either promulgated itself or agreed to internationally.

REP. BERMAN: The administration has released information that is somewhat detrimental in terms of -- as -- at -- as it makes it appear that we were doing some things during this war against radical Islam and the terrorists -- or perhaps radical Islamic terrorists -- it makes it appear, at least, that we were off base, we were doing things that were not correct. And that information apparently is, there are senior intelligence officers who are suggesting that release of that information may end up damaging our ability to thwart terrorist attacks. Do you have any comment on that?

SEC. CLINTON: Congressman, let me make three points. First, there is no doubt that our highest priority in terms of our national security is to disrupt, dismantle and defeat the networks of terrorists who target the United States, our friends and our allies, people of humanity and civilization across the world; that we must do what is required within the law to achieve our objectives.

You referenced the Senate Armed Services Committee. The committee has issued at least one, maybe more, reports that have found that many of these actions or techniques were actually counterproductive. Now, I'm not expressing an opinion on that. I'm just referring to findings by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

So let me just repeat, finally, what the president said. Number one, no one will be prosecuted who acted within the four corners of the legal advice that was given, following that advice, to perform any function that that person believed was legal. However, those who formulated the legal opinions and gave those orders should be reviewed. And the president has referred that to the attorney general and has also said that there may be an opportunity for a nonpolitical bipartisan -- I might say nonpartisan -- review to get all of this out in the open in the way that we function best as a democracy.

REP. ROHRABACHER: Well, Madame Secretary, getting it all out in the open, Dick Cheney says that the documents that have been released by the administration tend to show a negative picture of those people who were protecting us against terrorists. And he says there are other -- there are several specific documents that are being kept classified by the administration that would show that those -- that any time there was a problem, people tried to correct it. Are you in favor of releasing the documents that Dick Cheney has been requesting be released?

SEC. CLINTON: Well, it won't surprise you that I don't consider him a particularly reliable source of information. (Laughter.)

REP. ROHRABACHER: Madame -- Madame Secretary, I asked you a specific question. Would it -- are you -- Dick Cheney has asked for specific documents to be unclassified. We're not asking for your opinion of Dick Cheney -- about those documents. You want to maintain your credibility with us. What is your position on the release of those documents?

SEC. CLINTON: Well, congressman, I believe that we ought to get to the bottom of this entire matter. I think it's in the best interest of our country. And that is what the president believes, and that is why he has taken the actions he did.

REP. ROHRABACHER: So you are --

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentleman has expired.

REP. ROHRABACHER: I would hope someone gets -- gets a follow-up on that question.

REP. BERMAN: And the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Payne, is recognized for five minutes, chairman of the Africa Subcommittee.

REP. DONALD PAYNE (D-NJ): Thank you very much.

And Madame Secretary, it's certainly a pleasure to have you before the committee in your new role as secretary of State. And I'd like to begin by commending the -- President Obama's administration and your leadership in the meetings of the G-20, where a whole new tone was certainly showed there, with the meetings in other parts of Europe -- even close to "old" Europe.

SEC. CLINTON: (Chuckles.)

REP. PAYNE: We had a great meeting in the recent Summit of the Americas, I think, that sent a great tone there. I was there, and I could -- we had the opportunity to talk to heads of state, who were so glad about the new U.S. policy and the willingness to listen.

I just want to ask some specific questions in regard to Africa. As you know, I had a recent trip to Somalia, visited Mogadishu. I think I was the first American to go to Mogadishu in maybe close to 15 years. However, I do think that there is a great opportunity for us to assist that nation that has had no government for close to 15 years. As a matter of fact, the young hijacker that's going on trial, he's about 16 -- they haven't had a public school system for at least that long. And so we know that there are a lot of underlying problems there, and so we need to focus on it.

Two areas that I'd like to mention, though, in addition to Somalia, one real quickly. Sudan: the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, north-south agreement, is not going as well. Darfur: refugees are still in Chad. I know we have a special envoy. What do we intend to do there?

Secondly, of course, back -- secondly, there in Western Sahara, they've also -- as in Mr. Faleomavaega's question about West Papua, there's been a question between their status between Morocco -- and as you know, when Spanish Sahara was -- the Spanish left, Morocco said they are -- it's theirs. So there should be some kind of referendum to let the people decide. So I'd like to see you look into that.

But finally, about Somalia, the government there, that I encouraged, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, who's the current president -- I met with him in Eritrea last year, urged him to go back and work with the transitional federal government.

He was selected through work of the U.N., in Djibouti, several months ago.

They feel that they can deal with this so-called piracy on the ground. They don't -- can't deal with it at sea. But it needs to be terminated where it emanates from.

There's going to be a conference in Brussels tomorrow, where the United Nations and the European Union are coming together, to have a donors conference. They need to have 6,000 troops. They need to have 10,000 policemen.

There's a goal of 260 million. One -- Ban Ki-Moon himself will co-chair this meeting. Will we be participating? Could we have a robust appearance? I think if we can take the lead, help this two- month-old government.

I had excellent meetings in Mogadishu, met with civil society, women's groups, educational minister, prime minister. Of course on the way out, I think, it was so successful, the ones that didn't like the success tried to create a little chaos. But that's a desperation thing, I believe.

So could you, in the little time remaining, respond? Thank you.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Congressman, we're glad you're home safely. And I really commend you for your dedication to Africa and the work you've done over many years. We will be sending a high-level envoy to the Brussels meeting. We agree with you that we should be supporting Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's government, doing the best we can to support his efforts.

We know that you cannot just interdict pirates at sea. Of course once you interdict them, you should keep them, which is something we've been talking to our Dutch friends about, to change whatever rules of engagement, so that anyone who is captured will actually be brought ashore and tried.

But you do have to go after the land bases. And we look for cooperation with the federal transitional government, with others who are concerned about the increasing piracy but also about the condition of Somalia. So we are very focused on that. And we welcome your ideas.

REP. BERMAN: I hate to cut you off, because there were some other issues there. But that's the way I've got to do it. So the time of the gentleman has expired.

And the gentleman from California, Mr. Royce, is recognized for five minutes.

REPRESENTATIVE ED ROYCE (R-CA): Thank you.

Madame Secretary, I was in Pakistan with Chairman Berman this past weekend. And I hope the administration's desires here, to have flexibility in its plan, are not efforts to placate Pakistan.

He was selected through work of the U.N., in Djibouti, several months ago.

They feel that they can deal with this so-called piracy on the ground. They don't -- can't deal with it at sea. But it needs to be terminated where it emanates from.

There's going to be a conference in Brussels tomorrow, where the United Nations and the European Union are coming together, to have a donors conference. They need to have 6,000 troops. They need to have 10,000 policemen.

There's a goal of 260 million. One -- Ban Ki-Moon himself will co-chair this meeting. Will we be participating? Could we have a robust appearance? I think if we can take the lead, help this two- month-old government.

I had excellent meetings in Mogadishu, met with civil society, women's groups, educational minister, prime minister. Of course on the way out, I think, it was so successful, the ones that didn't like the success tried to create a little chaos. But that's a desperation thing, I believe.

So could you, in the little time remaining, respond? Thank you.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Congressman, we're glad you're home safely. And I really commend you for your dedication to Africa and the work you've done over many years. We will be sending a high-level envoy to the Brussels meeting. We agree with you that we should be supporting Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's government, doing the best we can to support his efforts.

We know that you cannot just interdict pirates at sea. Of course once you interdict them, you should keep them, which is something we've been talking to our Dutch friends about, to change whatever rules of engagement, so that anyone who is captured will actually be brought ashore and tried.

But you do have to go after the land bases. And we look for cooperation with the federal transitional government, with others who are concerned about the increasing piracy but also about the condition of Somalia. So we are very focused on that. And we welcome your ideas.

REP. BERMAN: I hate to cut you off, because there were some other issues there. But that's the way I've got to do it. So the time of the gentleman has expired.

And the gentleman from California, Mr. Royce, is recognized for five minutes.

REPRESENTATIVE ED ROYCE (R-CA): Thank you.

Madame Secretary, I was in Pakistan with Chairman Berman this past weekend. And I hope the administration's desires here, to have flexibility in its plan, are not efforts to placate Pakistan.

He was selected through work of the U.N., in Djibouti, several months ago.

They feel that they can deal with this so-called piracy on the ground. They don't -- can't deal with it at sea. But it needs to be terminated where it emanates from.

There's going to be a conference in Brussels tomorrow, where the United Nations and the European Union are coming together, to have a donors conference. They need to have 6,000 troops. They need to have 10,000 policemen.

There's a goal of 260 million. One -- Ban Ki-Moon himself will co-chair this meeting. Will we be participating? Could we have a robust appearance? I think if we can take the lead, help this two- month-old government.

I had excellent meetings in Mogadishu, met with civil society, women's groups, educational minister, prime minister. Of course on the way out, I think, it was so successful, the ones that didn't like the success tried to create a little chaos. But that's a desperation thing, I believe.

So could you, in the little time remaining, respond? Thank you.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Congressman, we're glad you're home safely. And I really commend you for your dedication to Africa and the work you've done over many years. We will be sending a high-level envoy to the Brussels meeting. We agree with you that we should be supporting Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's government, doing the best we can to support his efforts.

We know that you cannot just interdict pirates at sea. Of course once you interdict them, you should keep them, which is something we've been talking to our Dutch friends about, to change whatever rules of engagement, so that anyone who is captured will actually be brought ashore and tried.

But you do have to go after the land bases. And we look for cooperation with the federal transitional government, with others who are concerned about the increasing piracy but also about the condition of Somalia. So we are very focused on that. And we welcome your ideas.

REP. BERMAN: I hate to cut you off, because there were some other issues there. But that's the way I've got to do it. So the time of the gentleman has expired.

And the gentleman from California, Mr. Royce, is recognized for five minutes.

REPRESENTATIVE ED ROYCE (R-CA): Thank you.

Madame Secretary, I was in Pakistan with Chairman Berman this past weekend. And I hope the administration's desires here, to have flexibility in its plan, are not efforts to placate Pakistan.

MORE He was selected through work of the U.N., in Djibouti, several months ago.

They feel that they can deal with this so-called piracy on the ground. They don't -- can't deal with it at sea. But it needs to be terminated where it emanates from.

There's going to be a conference in Brussels tomorrow, where the United Nations and the European Union are coming together, to have a donors conference. They need to have 6,000 troops. They need to have 10,000 policemen.

There's a goal of 260 million. One -- Ban Ki-Moon himself will co-chair this meeting. Will we be participating? Could we have a robust appearance? I think if we can take the lead, help this two- month-old government.

I had excellent meetings in Mogadishu, met with civil society, women's groups, educational minister, prime minister. Of course on the way out, I think, it was so successful, the ones that didn't like the success tried to create a little chaos. But that's a desperation thing, I believe.

So could you, in the little time remaining, respond? Thank you.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Congressman, we're glad you're home safely. And I really commend you for your dedication to Africa and the work you've done over many years. We will be sending a high-level envoy to the Brussels meeting. We agree with you that we should be supporting Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's government, doing the best we can to support his efforts.

We know that you cannot just interdict pirates at sea. Of course once you interdict them, you should keep them, which is something we've been talking to our Dutch friends about, to change whatever rules of engagement, so that anyone who is captured will actually be brought ashore and tried.

But you do have to go after the land bases. And we look for cooperation with the federal transitional government, with others who are concerned about the increasing piracy but also about the condition of Somalia. So we are very focused on that. And we welcome your ideas.

REP. BERMAN: I hate to cut you off, because there were some other issues there. But that's the way I've got to do it. So the time of the gentleman has expired.

And the gentleman from California, Mr. Royce, is recognized for five minutes.

REPRESENTATIVE ED ROYCE (R-CA): Thank you.

Madame Secretary, I was in Pakistan with Chairman Berman this past weekend. And I hope the administration's desires here, to have flexibility in its plan, are not efforts to placate Pakistan.

MORE He was selected through work of the U.N., in Djibouti, several months ago.

They feel that they can deal with this so-called piracy on the ground. They don't -- can't deal with it at sea. But it needs to be terminated where it emanates from.

There's going to be a conference in Brussels tomorrow, where the United Nations and the European Union are coming together, to have a donors conference. They need to have 6,000 troops. They need to have 10,000 policemen.

There's a goal of 260 million. One -- Ban Ki-Moon himself will co-chair this meeting. Will we be participating? Could we have a robust appearance? I think if we can take the lead, help this two- month-old government.

I had excellent meetings in Mogadishu, met with civil society, women's groups, educational minister, prime minister. Of course on the way out, I think, it was so successful, the ones that didn't like the success tried to create a little chaos. But that's a desperation thing, I believe.

So could you, in the little time remaining, respond? Thank you.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Congressman, we're glad you're home safely. And I really commend you for your dedication to Africa and the work you've done over many years. We will be sending a high-level envoy to the Brussels meeting. We agree with you that we should be supporting Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's government, doing the best we can to support his efforts.

We know that you cannot just interdict pirates at sea. Of course once you interdict them, you should keep them, which is something we've been talking to our Dutch friends about, to change whatever rules of engagement, so that anyone who is captured will actually be brought ashore and tried.

But you do have to go after the land bases. And we look for cooperation with the federal transitional government, with others who are concerned about the increasing piracy but also about the condition of Somalia. So we are very focused on that. And we welcome your ideas.

REP. BERMAN: I hate to cut you off, because there were some other issues there. But that's the way I've got to do it. So the time of the gentleman has expired.

And the gentleman from California, Mr. Royce, is recognized for five minutes.

REPRESENTATIVE ED ROYCE (R-CA): Thank you.

Madame Secretary, I was in Pakistan with Chairman Berman this past weekend. And I hope the administration's desires here, to have flexibility in its plan, are not efforts to placate Pakistan.

MORE So that may cancel out the benefits of speaking more softly and being willing to talk and negotiate.

Some people say that we shouldn't talk to our enemies, but I remember the Cold War rather well, and we did talk to Khrushchev and Mao Zedong when they were great threats to us. So sometimes I think that when we look at how we stood up to tens of thousands of nuclear weapons, that we should be cautious as far as what we might do in Pakistan and put it into a proper perspective.

But my big concern is whether or not we can reverse the empire mentality that I think we have adopted over these many, many decades. And also, the relationship of this to our financial burden -- though we are speaking more softly and would like to get some troops home, the first thing that was done was our DOD budget was increased by 9 percent in a time when our national debt in the last 12 months went up $2 trillion.

All great nations have been brought to the news for economic reasons. We didn't have to fight the Soviets. And the Afghanistan adventure that the Russians -- the Soviets were involved with was very significant, and I don't know how we can ignore that. So I would like to ask the question about whether or not you can give me some signs or indication or some encouragement that maybe we shifted policies in the slightest manner. Have we brought any troops home? Are we less involved in Iraq? Will that war ever end, or are we really going in the opposite direction because we're seeing Pakistan as so necessary we need more troops, more expansion, more money, more DD -- DOD funds?

So coming from my perspective, I can't see the difference -- even though, like I said, I am pleased that there's a willingness to talk and try to work things out. And I think that is very positive. I always think that people who aren't willing to talk are insecure. This whole idea that we are so strong, it -- to me, it seems that we lack confidence if we can't talk to people. And we are strong enough. Nobody's going to attack us militarily.

So I see it very important that we change our tone. I think -- I think it's good that you got rid of the war on -- the term "war on terrorism." How can you have war against a tactic? I mean, it doesn't make any sense. But I'm not sure "overseas contingency operation" is more specific. So could you address that, and maybe give me some hints as far as maybe seeing actual -- some shift in our policy?

SEC. CLINTON: Well, thank you, Congressman. I think that the president's actions in these nearly 100 days do match actions with words, although I admit there is a lot more to be done.

We are still sorting out everything we've inherited, and trying to make sense of it. You know, we want to protect America's national security, but we think there are better and more effective ways of doing that.

So we are ending the war in Iraq. There is a definite end date for our troops to be there. The president did close Guantanamo. The president is looking for ways to engage with those who nobody wanted us to talk to, which is a sea shift in how we are proceeding. Words and actions both matter. I mean, at the end of the day, actions count more, but you have to begin by at least articulating a new approach.

In our budget, we have asked for more money for diplomacy and development, and the Budget Committee in both the House and the Senate cut back the president's request. It's kind of old thinking, in my view. I mean, the secretary of Defense has said that there are fewer foreign service diplomats posted overseas than there are sailors and Marines on one aircraft carrier. There are more musicians in the military bands than there are diplomats across the board. So we are trying to shift this gigantic ship of state, Mr. Paul. And we are looking for your help to do so.

And at the risk of going over our time, I just want to say, having campaigned during the last presidential election, you had the most enthusiastic supporters of anybody I ever saw.

REP. PAUL: I love to hear that -- (chuckles).

SEC. CLINTON: Well, I mean, my goodness, everywhere I went they were literally running down highways, holding your signs, now -- (laughter). So, I -- I've never had a chance to tell you that. But your message obviously resonated with a lot of people.

REP. PAUL: Thank you.

REP. BERMAN: You're going to encourage him! (Laughter.)

The gentleman from Florida, Mr. Wexler, is recognized for five minutes.

REP. ROBERT WEXLER (D-FL): Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

Madame Secretary, Mr. Engel and I were just talking to each other and saying that we think you're an extraordinary secretary of State. And I am absolutely confident that you are destined to be one of our nation's finest, finest diplomats. I don't think there's any question about that.

If I could raise three issues, if I may, Madame Secretary, one, an issue that is of great personal importance to me, and I know you're very familiar with it: Robert Levinson, former FBI agent, who is being held in Iran. My understanding is, is that Ambassador Holbrooke gave a letter to Iranian officials recently. I was hoping that you might provide an update.

Two, with respect to Turkey and Armenia, both you and the president have visited.

And I was hoping that you might comment on the potential for an extraordinary breakthrough in terms of the normalization of relations, the possible opening of borders and the possible bridging some extraordinarily difficult issues between the Turkish and the Armenian people.

And if you could quickly comment, as well, in terms of Azerbaijan -- the potential, possibly, with respect to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, what is happening.

Third, if I may quickly mention Indonesia: I think there was an Economist magazine recently that on one of the headlines said "Indonesia: A Model for Muslims." Mr. Burton and I, not too long ago, started a Indonesia caucus because of the extraordinary potential for American-Indonesian relations, the fact that President Yudhoyono is a democrat in the finest of historical ways. He has turned around his country in remarkable -- in a remarkable feat, given the humanitarian crises that Indonesia has endured. And I was hoping that you might tell us in terms of what prospects there are with American- Indonesian relations in terms of yet another very positive election in Indonesia.

Thank you, Madame Secretary.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Mr. Wexler, those are really important points, and I'll quickly try to answer them.

First, as to Robert Levinson, yes, we did continue our efforts to try to obtain information about Mr. Levinson. His family, as you know, has suffered deeply, because there is absolutely nothing coming out of the Iranian government. He was mentioned in the letter that we passed on to the Iranian government in The Hague and we are going to continue to press this at every turn.

And, as well, Roxana Saberi, who is being held in an arbitrary and terribly unfair, unprecedented, unjustified way, she should be able to come home. And we hope that we can achieve that.

With respect to Turkey and Armenia, I've been very encouraged by the bold steps that have recently been taken in this direction by Turkish and Armenian leaders to reconcile their countries with each other and with their shared and painful past. I believe that the steps that Turkey and Armenia are taking toward normalizing relations and opening their borders will foster a better environment for confronting that shared, tragic history.

The Turkish and Armenian governments have sought U.S. support and encouragement of their reconciliation efforts. In following that request, both the president and I have supported them fully.

We have also assured the government of Azerbaijan that we will intensify our efforts to resolve the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and other outstanding issues between Azerbaijan and Armenia. There is a Minsk process, as you know, that we are going to be deeply engaged in; we already are. We've sent a State Department official to Azerbaijan I think two times in the last three weeks. And we hope that there will be some resolution in the next months.

Finally, let me thank you for mentioning Indonesia. As I mentioned in my opening remarks, I see Indonesia as a -- as an anchor country, a regional power. When I was there on my first trip as secretary of State, I said if you want to see a country where democracy and Islam and secularism and women's rights coexist together, that is Indonesia. It's a young democracy, but President Yudhoyono and his government have made enormous strides.

And I think that the United States has to continue to work with Indonesia and support their democratic and economic development. I think it's a very big piece of business for the United States. And I applaud you and Mr. Burton for starting the Indonesia Caucus.

REP. WEXLER: Thank you.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentleman has expired.

The gentleman from Arizona, Mr. Flake, is recognized for five minutes.

REPRESENTATIVE JEFF FLAKE (R-AZ): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you, Madame Secretary. I want to follow a bit on what Dr. Paul mentioned and praise the administration, for its act of diplomacy and in particular for the action that has been taken, on Cuba, to allow Cuban-Americans the right to visit family as frequently as they would like to. I think that that is both humane and the right thing to do. And so I think that was a good move.

My concern moving forward is that there have been certain signals, from some in the administration, that we may want to condition future action on Cuba based on what the Cubans do. And the administration has stated that the embargo has not worked.

It has not had the desired effect. And I think that that is quite self-evident after 50 years. But to then say, so we're going to condition and not move any further and tell the Cubans to take certain action, I think that many of us have been convinced or certainly not convinced that the Cubans want, for example, the travel ban to be fully lifted.

If you remember during the Clinton administration, when action was taken, where it looked like normalization of relations might happen, a plane was shot down.

A few years ago when we moved legislation through the House and the Senate, to lift the travel ban or to prohibit enforcement of it, detainees were taken, 75 of them.

So every time, it seems, that we've taken a move, the Cubans have pushed back with something else. And I fear that if we take the same position that's been, I think, the trap that previous administrations have fallen into, then we'll have the same result.

I think to the extent that we have dialogue with the Cubans, we ought to say something like this. We've relaxed restrictions on Cuban-Americans. We want to relax restrictions on all Americans. And if you don't start releasing political prisoners, we're going to lift the whole embargo, because truly I think that that is what they fear worse than anything.

And so why should we condition future action based on what they do or they don't do? We should do what is good for America. And in this sense, I think, it's also good for Cubans. But I'd love to hear your response.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Congressman, that's an interesting formulation I've never heard before.

Look, I think that Congressman Smith and certainly the ranking member are very strongly expressing the opinions of many Americans, not just Cuban-Americans, that a regime which is so dug-in and unwilling to exercise the normal functions of a government, to have a judiciary that's independent, to have the rule of law, to release political prisoners, is one that is very difficult to move.

I understand that.

But, on the other hand, I think that the president's actions did draw a response from Raul Castro -- which was then contradicted today by Fidel Castro, saying that "My brother really didn't mean that we would talk about political prisoners and human rights." So I think you can see there's beginning to be a, you know, debate.

I mean, this is a regime that is ending. You know, it will end at some point. And we need to be ready to do that. And we have responded to Raul Castro's comments by saying that we would consider a discussion that would include human rights and political prisoners.

As you know, the embargo is part of our law. I mean, a president cannot lift the embargo. That has to be done by an act of Congress. If the Congress decides that's in America's best interests, obviously the administration will abide by that.

But we're going to proceed very carefully in this process, because we know what's happened before. I well remember when those two small unarmed planes doing nothing more than dropping pamphlets were shot down by the Castro regime. And I believed then, and I think you said it well today, it was done to prevent us opening. But it was also an act of such aggression and violence that you can't let it go unanswered, either.

So this is a difficult calculation. Our goal is for a free, independent democracy that gives the people of Cuba a chance to have the same opportunities that their sisters and brothers and cousins and, you know, my sister-in-law who came to this country from Cuba, that they have in our country. And so we're looking at it, and we welcome your advice.

REP. FLAKE: Thank you.

REP. BERMAN: Time of the gentleman has expired.

The gentleman from New York, just back from the Summit of the Americas, Mr. Engel, is recognized for five minutes.

REP. ELIOT L. ENGEL (D-NY): Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just did come back from the Summit of the Americas, and we met with more than 20 heads of state in private meetings.

And Madame Secretary, every leader I met with had nothing but praise for you and President Obama. And I congratulate you. I was pleased to lead a delegation to meet with you at the summit. And I think we are well on our way of reestablishing engagement in the area, and a policy where our brothers and sisters in the region feel that we are partners, we care about them, we're not neglecting them.

I thought that was -- your -- the way you conducted yourself was great. And as a long-time supporter of yours and a New Yorker, I just cannot express how proud you make all of us. So thank you for your work for our country.

I wanted to comment on a few issues and then let you comment on it. I want to say that in terms of Cuba, we should absolutely condition what we do on Cuba based on what they do. If they are willing to talk about human rights -- and not just talk; we don't want talk; we want action and democracy and political prisoners -- then we should respond in kind.

But I don't think that, short of that, we ought to just open up and give them what they want. They have been a repressive regime, and we need to make sure that democracy comes to their country -- as it will, but we need to encourage it.

I want to talk about the Merida Initiative for Mexico. You and I have had conversations about this, and I am a strong supporter of Merida, and I hope the Congress gives more money toward it than we have. The frustration -- I met with President Calderon of Mexico -- the frustration that the monies are not flowing, that they have to go and get helicopters elsewhere and other things, the bureaucracy is impossible -- I'd like you to talk about how we can speed up that process.

When I met with President Calderon and President (sic) Golding of Jamaica, both of them said the same thing: that 90 percent of the crimes committed in Jamaica and in Mexico -- and I'm sure in other countries -- comes from U.S. weapons.

We need to stop the flow of U.S. weapons down the border.

In my recent letter to President Obama, which was signed by 52 of my colleagues, I urged him to return to a ban on imported assault weapons. Imported. This is not Second American (sic\Amendment) rights. This ban was enforced by President George H.W. Bush and President Clinton, and I think we should go back to it.

I'd like your comment on that.

At the summit, I was pleased to hear yours and President Obama's announcement of 30 million (dollars) in security assistance for our Caribbean neighbors, the CARICOM nations. That's a great thing. I believe that the CARICOM nations should also be granted money under Merida, because if we're successful in stopping the drugs coming up from Mexico -- and Merida, of course, at my insistence and others, was also extended to Central America -- we don't want them moving to the Caribbean. So I believe that perhaps that 30 million (dollars) should be linked to that.

So those are my questions in terms of the Western Hemisphere. And i want to just throw two other things in of issues that you and I have worked with when you were a senator.

That's Kosovo. Saudi Arabia recently became the 57th country to recognize Kosovo. I'm wondering -- I'm glad this administration is pushing nations to recognize them, and I'm just wondering if you could comment on that and what you expect to happen at the International Court of Justice.

And finally, I want to express the concern that the ranking member expressed vis-a-vis Gaza aid, that it doesn't fall into the hands of Hamas, and particularly in response to what the Israeli prime minister, the new government, has said, that they are going to put priority on negotiations with Iran before they move forward with the Palestinian situation.

I know that's a lot, but I'd be grateful for any of your comments.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, thank you, Congressman --

REP. BERMAN: And you have one minute and three seconds.

SEC. CLINTON: Yes. I'll talk as fast as I can.

On the Merida Initiative, we've got to get the money flowing. Honestly, I don't understand why it's so hard. And we're really digging deep to figure this out. In the supplemental, there is money for three Black Hawk helicopters for Mexico. I urge everybody to support this. During my visit, it became abundantly clear that the Mexican government and the police and the army, they're outgunned by the drug cartels. We need to try to right that balance.

On assault weapons, we are looking about the ban. We're also sending to the Senate the Inter-American Convention on the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Explosives and other related materials, known as CIFTA. It is an attempt for us to try to help staunch the flow of all of these very powerful weapons.

We are giving more security aid to CARICOM. As you heard at the Summit of the Americas, the Caribbean countries are suffering so much from drug activity.

And we're working on Kosovo recognition. And we will not give aid to Hamas.

(Laughter.)

REP. BERMAN: I didn't think you could do it, but you did.

REP. ENGEL: That was great. What a great secretary.

REP. BERMAN: The gentleman from Florida, Mr. Mack, is recognized for five minutes.

REP. CONNIE MACK (R-FL): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And Madame Secretary, it's great to be here with you and have the opportunity to speak with you a few times recently, of which I appreciate all of those times. There's so much to talk about, so my guess is, is that I'll be sending you a letter with some questions, because I don't think we can cover it all in five minutes.

I wanted to talk a little bit about Cuba, and associate myself with the conditions that must be met by Castro. And it really -- this is really not an issue about the United States lifting the embargo. It's whether or not Castro wants to lift the embargo.

If he releases the political prisoners, if there's freedom of expression, if there's free and fair elections, I believe it is the law of the United States that that is what will trigger the lifting of the embargo. And I think it's also important that we -- that we don't lose context about Castro. And I know that you're very familiar with all of this, but we can't forget the Cuban missile crisis. We can't forget the murders that took place on that island. We can't forget the depriving of the people of Cuba of human rights, hope and opportunity.

So and I think this is part of the discussion that is being lost right now in an attempt to try to engage. There has -- I think we have lost part of the discussion about why it is that Cuba and Castro are in the position that they are in right now; and it is at their own hands, not at the hands of the United States. So, you know, I hope that we can continue the dialogue. And this is a -- there are people on both sides of the aisle that feel strongly about the political prisoners and the freedom of expression and elections in Cuba.

I also wanted to mention quickly my kind of take-away from the summit. And that is that there is a small group of countries -- Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Argentina -- that really took the opportunity to try to hijack what could have been a very productive summit. And they came into the summit putting Cuba up as the issue and, frankly, hijacking what could have been a very good Summit of the Americas.

And my concern with these -- this small group of countries is what it is that they're going to try to do outside of the Western Hemisphere. And if you look at Hugo Chavez and the relationships that he's building with Iran and North Korea and Russia, and the purchasing of weapons, my concern is that we will find ourselves in a position -- if you believe that Hugo Chavez looks up to Fidel Castro, we could find the same scenario where we did with the Cuban missile crisis, where you have Iran using Venezuela as an access point in our hemisphere to put pressure on the United States.

It's something that I'm very, very concerned about.

The last thing: I wanted to just put a little tidbit out there about the Merida Initiative. As I told you before, I'm very supportive of the Merida Initiative and what the administration and yourself have been doing.

I do have an issue with the guns. And I think once a statistic gets thrown out, we tend to run with it. So we hear, 90 percent of all of the guns are coming from the U.S. I don't believe that's accurate. It's 90 percent of those that we're able to track. And I saw a report recently that talked of the total number, of which only 17 percent of those guns are U.S. guns.

So I think it's important that, and had the opportunity to talk with the president of Mexico. I think it's clear that really the issue is our border. You know, Mexico wants to stop the flow of guns and money moving south. And frankly we want to stop the flow of drugs and criminals north, across the border.

So it really comes about securing the border for the benefit of both of our countries and our hemisphere. So I hope that we can move in a way that doesn't blame U.S. for these problems but works in a partnership.

And last, because I have 10 seconds, trade --

REP. BERMAN: No. You have minus-10 seconds.

REP. MACK: Okay.

Every country we do trade with is a supporter of the U.S. So I hope we'll support the Colombia and Panama free trade agreements.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentleman has expired.

The gentleman from New York, Mr. Meeks, is recognized for five minutes.

REPRESENTATIVE GREGORY MEEKS (D-NY): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

It is delightful to have you, Secretary Clinton, to be here today.

And it was an absolute delight to see you in the Summit of the Americas and how you and the president represented this country very well and in fact bringing us back, so that we're not isolated, as a country, against everybody else; that we're now beginning again to respect other countries and listen, as the president indicated and you indicated, while at the summit, that you were there to listen.

And I think when we listen, we hear a lot of things. And we understand a lot. And you know, traveling with my good friend Mr. Mack, who -- his last statement, something I agree with, Panama and Colombia and some of these trade agreements.

His former comment I disagree with. I think that we were listening to all of those small group of nations. And we learned a lot by that.

Given that, what President Obama said at the G-20, he said, in an era of integration and interdependence, if we neglect or abandon those who are suffering in poverty, then not only are we depriving ourselves of potential opportunities for markets and economic growth, but ultimately that despair may turn to violence that turns on us.

I couldn't agree with a statement more. And when we look at poverty all over the world, but I like to -- you know, especially looking at it in the Western Hemisphere, where we just came back from, you see that I believe that one of the mechanisms of which we can resolve some of that is some of these trade agreements.

However what has to be done or contained therein is trade capacity-building. And I don't know whether or not we have focused enough on that issue, to make it clearly defined, as to the success of trade capacity-building.

So my question to you is this. In the 109th Congress, in the Foreign Operations Bill, there was a proposal to create a trade capacity enhancement fund, and I think at that time, it was $522 million, and an office of the director of trade capacity enhancement within USAID.

This new office would have been responsible for USAID trade capacity-building programs, as well as coordinating government-wide trade capacity programs, to all U.S. agencies. And these changes in the funding and management would have represented initiative to make trade capacity-building a higher priority.

So my question to you is, what are your thoughts about creating this director of trade capacity? What do you think would be the best way to promote and to evaluate the effectiveness of capacity-building? And do you think that there should be some innovative ideas, so that we can try to combat the problem of poverty?

Because if you talk to whether it's -- you know, and that affects particularly the indigenous and Africans -- people of African descent in Latin America, which is some of the issues that you hear someone like an Evo Morales talk about and others who I don't think that we need to demonize. We need to understand from whence they come and why they take some of the positions they take.

I'd love to hear your opinion on that.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Congressman Meeks, I think that your question really suggests the need for a much more in-depth discussion about trade. I mean, it's not enough to say we're for it or against it.

We are for the right kind of trade that actually does enhance the well-being of our own country and other countries and deep into those countries, as you say, marginalized people, indigenous, African descent in Latin America. So I'm very open to exploring what we can do more, to build trade capacity.

Specifically with respect to Panama and Colombia, we had numerous conversations, as many of you who were there at the summit did, with the representatives of those two countries, and made it clear that there were steps they had to take, in order to enable the Obama administration to fight for and support those trade agreements.

But I think you've put your finger on the deeper question: How do we make sure that the benefits of trade really get below just the upper echelons of any society? That's our question for what happens abroad. And here at home, what do we need to do to enhance our own social safety net and our capacity to make sure that, as commerce moves, our people are not left behind? And that's a -- that's the kind of discussion we should have.

So I would really welcome your ideas about how to do this, either with a fund or some other steps we could take.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentleman has expired.

The gentleman from Nebraska, Mr. Fortenberry, is recognized for five minutes.

REP. JEFF FORTENBERRY (R-NE): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And Madame Secretary, I also welcome you to the committee and thank you for your willingness to appear before us as our new secretary of State. I did appreciate your opening remarks. I also appreciated the brief dialogue that we had after President Obama's speech to the joint session of Congress regarding the potential development of nuclear weapons capability in Iran. As I said then, I extend the hand of friendship. I stand ready to work with you in any creative way to work towards some solution on that most pressing difficulty, and the other seemingly intractable issues throughout the Middle East.

A number of us also met with Ambassador Mitchell recently, and I appreciate the good work he's doing on your behalf on the Israeli- Palestinian question.

However, Madame Secretary, my heart is also deeply conflicted. While I do appreciate your heartfelt remarks and observations overseas of women suffering from deplorable conditions, I am deeply grieved by your response to Congressman Smith's question.

Your remarks last month, when you called Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, a person whom you enormously admire, were stunning to me. Margaret Sanger clearly embraced bigotry and racism. She advocated for the elimination of the disabled, the downtrodden and the black child. In one of her writings, she said, "Today eugenics is suggested by the most diverse minds as the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems." I don't believe these ideologies have a place in our pluralistic society. And you went on to say that you will use American foreign policy in your position to further reproductive rights, which includes abortion, across the globe.

Madame Secretary, I don't believe we should use American foreign policy to export abortion. This will undermine, in my view, our foreign relations in many areas throughout the world, including Latin America and Africa and among Muslim peoples. Promoting the international abortion industry is an imposition of our own woundedness upon others. Abortion has caused tremendous grief in this society, and its export I believe will be seen as a form of neocolonialism that is paternalistic and elitist and an assault on the dignity especially of the poor and vulnerable. I believe women deserve better, women throughout the world deserve better.

Madame Secretary, I -- I just urge you to consider another way, one that upholds the genius of womanhood and the life nestled within her. And no matter how difficult the circumstances, I just believe we should be big enough and bold enough to celebrate the beautiful gift of life. Then we will truly make a change in the world for the greater good. And I'm convinced that we would create an extraordinary amount of good will with this perspective, versus forcing U.S. taxpayers to fund abortion overseas.

Finally, I ask that you turn to a true heroine of international development and full human empowerment, Mother Teresa, who I believe you had a chance to meet with. She fought abortion by adoption -- by care of the mother and adoption for her baby. And she also said, "Come, we will take care of you, we will get a home for your child," to those in need.

She added that any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

And again, Madame Secretary, I urge you to please consider a kinder way forward, one that truly cares for the woman and her child and does not consider abortion as an integral component of U.S. diplomatic and international development initiatives.

I live with six women -- let me clarify that. I have a wife -- (laughs, laughter) -- I have a wife and five daughters. And part of trying to raise them well and empower them to be successful, I believe, is enculturating them with the noble ideal that all persons have inherent dignity and therefore rights. So I have to ask you, is forcing U.S. taxpayers to fund abortion in keeping with the highest values of the United States of America?

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Congressman, let me say with respect to your comments about Margaret Sanger, you know, I admire Thomas Jefferson. I admire his words and his leadership and I deplore his unrepentant slaveholding. I admire Margaret Sanger being a pioneer in trying to empower women to have some control over their bodies and I deplore statements that you have referenced. That is the way we often are when we look at flawed human beings. There are things that we admire and things we deplore.

We have for eight years followed the policy that you have described. And I think we've gone backwards. We've gone backwards in the real, genuine care that we have given to women.

I admire you for raising five strong daughters who will be able to make their own choice and most likely, given your guidance, will be very staunchly pro-life. But that is a choice that they will be able to exercise as free, independent American women. That's what I want for all women.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentleman has expired.

The gentlelady from California, Ambassador Watson is recognized for five --

REPRESENTATIVE DIANE WATSON (D-CA): Mr. Chairman, I really want to thank you for providing this time.

And also, Secretary Hillary Clinton, you are a breath of fresh air. I have watched your movements around the globe and you're talking peace. And I carry the attitude that peace will not come at the end of a gun, but only with us negotiating and, as the president says, listening -- and I've heard you say that many, many times -- learning and then leading. And we want to provide for you the policy tools that you will need to continue your diplomatic efforts globally.

I am concerned about the staffing shortages you're going to face. As we start to leave Iraq, we know that we have a greater responsibility left behind.

How do we help that nation rebuild, and how do we help it stabilize?

And so I'm hoping that we can come up with a way to support your staffing of the embassy there. As you know, under the former administration, we were building the largest embassy in the world and looking to hire 5,000. Well, we stopped that, because I didn't think we needed to invest a billion dollars. If we were going to build the largest embassy in the world, it should be in China or India or in that area of the world. So what can we do to enhance your ability to continue to spread peace, to continue to -- listening?

And then I also want you to comment: We went just a few weeks ago to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Inter-Parliamentary Union. We pulled our membership out in 1997. When we arrived there as observers, five of us, and led by Congressman Carnahan -- I know his name like I know my own, but I'm trying to rush -- his very fine leadership -- we were welcomed with open arms. They were so glad to see Americans participating on the world stage.

There were 150 nations involved. We pulled out in '97. We were sent to assess the value of reentering the group. But I can tell you, the conversations we had off-side, the bilateral conversations we had while there -- and people who came up to me after I talked about the condition of adolescent girls and women in the world. I had a woman come up with a full burqa on with only her eyes showing, all in black, and another one -- Saudi Arabia -- and another one coming up and saying, "Please help us. Help us empower our women." So how do you feel about us rejoining the IPU? And what tools can we then provide you so you continue your policies of peace?

SEC. CLINTON: Thank you so much, Congresswoman. And, you know, your question about Iraq is incredibly important. We finally were able last evening to get an ambassador confirmed, so Ambassador Hill is on his way to Baghdad. It's very difficult for a lot of countries to understand our system, that it would take so long for us to have ambassadors or confirmed high-level appointees. But thankfully we will have a very experienced, seasoned diplomat leaving -- leading our mission there.

And our work will be guided by the strategic agreement entered into between the United States and Iraq as to how we will work together on a number of issues, ranging from, you know, supporting their civil society and good governance and anti-corruption and the oil industry and so much else.

We are going to have to work extremely hard, though, because, as you say, this embassy has been on a war footing. And how we begin to transition to, you know, peace and stability and a long-term relationship between the United States and Iraq will be quite challenging. But we are determined to do that, and we will undertake it under Ambassador Hill's leadership.

With respect to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, you know, I'm reminded of Winston Churchill, one of the great war leaders of all time, who famously said it's always better to "jaw-jaw" than "war- war."

You know -- talking forums, you can learn things. And occasionally, as we saw with the Conference Against Racism, when it is hijacked by, you know, vile and unacceptable rhetoric, then you have the option of walking out and showing your displeasure, or not participating as we chose not to do.

But I think that, you know, it is always in our interest to try to explore and test the waters and see what we can accomplish together.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentlelady has expired.

The gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Inglis, is recognized for five minutes.

REP. BOB INGLIS (R-SC): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Madame Secretary, in February, on your Asia tour, you said that we have to continue to press China on Taiwan, Tibet and human rights. How about forced abortion?

SEC. CLINTON: You want me to answer that?

REP. INGLIS: Yes.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, you know, in 1995, I was the first person to speak out against forced abortion in China, at the Fourth Annual United Nation's Women's Conference. I consider any governmental imposition that imposes government policy on women to be absolutely unacceptable. And I feel strongly about forced sterilization, forced abortion, or any other egregious interference with women's rights.

REP. INGLIS: Why didn't you say that in China?

SEC. CLINTON: I did say it in China. I said it in China 14 years ago.

REP. INGLIS: But why didn't you say it in February?

SEC. CLINTON: Well, because they knew I had already said it, because they're -- they're very well aware of that. When I made that statement, the Chinese government turned off the -- the television, so that their people could not hear me say it. I have said it consistently. I have written about it. I am on record as saying that over and over again.

REP. INGLIS: Fourteen years ago, you were first lady. Today, you're secretary of State. There's a big difference. Why didn't you say it as secretary of State?

SEC. CLINTON: I just did. (Laughter.)

REP. INGLIS: That's helpful, I guess.

SEC. CLINTON: Good.

REP. INGLIS: Because the thing that concerns me, you know, is, if you look at the 2008 State Department Human Rights Report, it says, quote, "China's human rights record remained poor and worsened in some areas." In addition, you know, since 1999, the secretary of State has designated China as a country of particular concern for egregious -- the word you just used -- egregious abuse of religious freedom. China is clearly still one of the world's worst violators of human rights, including religious freedom.

Can the U.S. tolerate those things while we seek what you said, global climate -- global economic crisis, a global climate change crisis and security crises? Can we ignore those other things while we address within the things that you mentioned when you were in China? Or does their failure on human rights and things like forced abortion mean that really we must press them on those things, in order to get to the global economic crisis, the climate change crisis and the security crises?

SEC. CLINTON: Well, they are all part of our comprehensive engagement with China, and it is part of what I and others representing the United States raised with the Chinese. We are going to have a bilateral human-rights dialogue with the Chinese, and all of the matters and others that you mentioned will be part of that.

But I think that, just as we did in previous years, going back many decades, we had ongoing dialogue with the Soviet Union when they were threatening to annihilate us. We have normalized diplomatic relations with nations who engage in policies that we certainly deplore.

REP. INGLIS: Yeah.

SEC. CLINTON: And I think, with China, it is a complex relationship. We are putting it on a very strong footing so it can be positive and cooperative and comprehensive, and human rights will be a part of that.

REP. INGLIS: Your reference to the Soviet Union and our engagement with them is -- I think is instructive. You know, I think it nearly drove the State Department folks crazy when Ronald Reagan said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." But it was moral authority that he was using there. And of course, I think that it helped bring down that wall.

So if America engages countries like China, don't we have to use our moral authority? Of course, we have to examine our own hearts and our own circumstances to see how we're doing, but don't we have to speak with moral authority and use that moral authority when we engage countries like China?

SEC. CLINTON: Yes, we certainly do. And President Reagan continued to negotiate arms-control agreements. He continued to press for economic investments in the former Soviet Union.

REP. INGLIS: Yeah.

SEC. CLINTON: So it is a broad engagement that we have with large and complex countries like that. And --

REP. INGLIS: And I'd just point --

SEC. CLINTON: And so similarly, I think that we will pursue this. There is always, and must be, a moral dimension to our foreign policy. That goes back to our founding. That is why it is so important what the president is doing, which is reasserting the moral authority of the United States so that when we raise these issues we can be taken seriously. And that's what we intend to be.

REP. INGLIS: And I appreciate that. The thing that I would just encourage you to do is, as Reagan went there and spoke at the wall, when you're in China next, I hope you'll speak to these issues of religious freedom, of human rights, of forced abortion -- these egregious violations.

REP. BERMAN: (Gavels.)

SEC. CLINTON: Well, I did --

REP. BERMAN: Gentleman's time has expired.

SEC. CLINTON: -- speak about religious freedom and other matters when I was there.

REP. BERMAN: The chair recognizes the distinguished gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Sires.

REP. ALBIO SIRES (D-NJ): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Madame Secretary, I apologize for calling you "Senator" when I first saw you.

SEC. CLINTON: (Laughs.)

REP. SIRES: I wish it had been a higher title, but -- (chuckles).

I just want to speak a little bit about Cuba. And I think it's perfectly normal to put conditions on Cuba. This country has been doing that to other countries (over/all through?) its history -- it will do that again -- to promote democracies and to promote human rights.

And let me say, as someone who lived there, I experienced, at the age of 11, how to take apart and put together a Czechoslovakian machine gun. I experienced the people knocking on my house door because they thought my father was carrying contraband on the black market. I remember the military coming to my house and taking inventory just before I left; and having lived in New Jersey with the mother of the sons that were killed on the plane as they were rescuing people leaving the totalitarian government.

So I don't want to belabor the point, because everybody has raised the issue of Cuba many, many times. But there's nothing wrong with putting conditions.

And may I add that all those people that are in prison today were part -- they were raised, they were born, raised, school in Cuba, those political prisoners.

They didn't come from Miami to Havana. They are a product of the revolution. And there are maybe 300. But there were 5,000 classified differently that are put in jail because they can't speak about the government.

So conditions are perfectly fine. And I hope that the president will take that into consideration. But I want to raise two other issues that are important.

I want to talk a little bit about the Colombia free trade agreement. I want to talk about Cyprus and Turkey's 43,000 troops in Cyprus. Can you just comment a little bit about that?

SEC. CLINTON: Yes, I certainly can, Congressman. And thank you for your eloquent and heartfelt description of why we always have to be promoting human rights and freedom.

I have met twice with the foreign minister of the Republic of Cyprus. And I have met once with Mr. Talat, representing the Turkish Cypriots. The United States strongly supports a bizonal, bicommunal resolution to the Cyprus talks. And we have told each side that we support their very diligent efforts, to try to resolve these matters, including security issues and troop presence.

So we're going to do everything we can, to support the Cypriots reaching their own resolution. I think that previous efforts have unfortunately resulted in a feeling, by certainly the Greek Cypriots, that things were attempted to be imposed on them. And we want the parties to reach an agreement. And that's what we are supporting.

REP. SIRES: And Colombia; can you talk a little bit about Colombia?

SEC. CLINTON: You know, the Colombia free trade act, which several of you have referenced, was a subject of intense conversations, at the Summit of the Americas, between us and the Colombians.

Several members of Congress, including some on this committee and other committees, have been in Colombia, in the last several days, trying to figure out, what is it the Colombians would be asked to do, in order to move the free trade agreement forward?

The Obama administration believes that the right kind of free trade agreement is very much in the interest of both Colombia and the United States. The steps that have been taken, by President Uribe and his government to, you know, not only deal with the insurgency and the terrorists but to clean house, with a lot of the abuses that were unfortunately present, within the military and other instruments of government, have been very impressive.

You know, there is still more work to be done. So we are intensely discussing, with the Colombians, how we can come to a resolution that would enable us to move forward.

REP. SIRES: I have one minute.

Can you talk a little bit about the handshake that Chavez gave? (Laughs.)

SEC. CLINTON: (Laughs.) Well, I must say, he is -- he's very adept at knowing where the cameras are. You know, we had sat down for a discussion with the presidents and heads of state of the South American countries, and the president, our president, was at the head of the table. You might see -- I was sitting behind him. And it was one of those hollow squares, and the cameras came in to do the photo spray. And as soon as the cameras were set, President Chavez got up, came around, presented the book -- and as you noticed, held out the cover so that it could be easily seen.

You know, I -- I found it somewhat amusing, to be honest. I mean, I know some people have reacted, but, you know, I think the -- I think President Obama was right in saying, you know, why should we be afraid of shaking somebody's hand? Now, that doesn't mean we're going to agree. It doesn't mean that we're going to give up our principles. But, you know, let's try to see whether there is any opportunity to move President Chavez away from the influences that others were speaking about.

Look, it's a serious matter if any country in our hemisphere falls under the sway of Iran or someone else who is inimicable to our interests. We buy a lot of their oil. Let's see whether we can begin to turn that relationship. It might or might not be possible. The handshake was, you know, not the end of anything, but the beginning of seeing whether that could be done.

REP. SIRES: Thank you very much. And we're very proud of you.

REP. BERMAN: The gentleman's time has expired.

The gentleman from Florida, Mr. Bilirakis.

REP. GUS BILIRAKIS (R-FL): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I'd like to yield time to the ranking member.

REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Thank you so much, Mr. Bilirakis.

Madame Secretary, illustrating the perilous security situation in Mexico, I have a constituent of my congressional district, Felix Batista (ph), who disappeared in Mexico in December of 2008. And I will hand this letter to you to respectfully request your -- your help in assisting so many of our constituents who have disappeared in Mexico.

Also, Madame Secretary, regarding -- regarding Haiti, that's so important not only to our entire hemisphere, but very much of importance to south Florida, you announced $300 million in assistance to Haiti, including a pledge made at the Haiti Donors Conference. And we want to make sure that we have proper steps for transparency, for accountability and making sure that we can show sustainable progress for Haiti. The supplemental has $300 million in food aid, but Haiti is not mentioned as a recipient of that provision. And I hope that we get some -- some aid for Haiti in that provision.

And I will have some other time, as well. Thank you, Mr. Bilirakis, for that time, and I yield back to you, sir.

REP. BILIRAKIS: Thank you. I have a couple of questions, Mr. Chairman.

And welcome, Madame Secretary. Can you generally state the administration's policy towards Greece? Could you expound on the issues related to Greece's acceptance into the visa waiver program, and Greece's relationship with FYROM? And then I have one more question after that.

SEC. CLINTON: Thank you very much. Well, you know, Greece is a close ally, a partner within NATO, a country with whom we cooperate on a range of important regional issues. I have met several times with the foreign minister and also with the prime minister, along with President Obama, during the European Union-U.S. Council in Prague. We've discussed the visa waiver issue. We are working with Greece. There are certain requirements that they are working to fulfill, that we hope we can be able to bring to resolution.

REP. BILIRAKIS: How about the -- on a mutually-acceptable resolution on the name issue with FYROM?

SEC. CLINTON: We very strongly support efforts for a mutually accepted name. And we understand Greece's sensitivities. I have discussed this with our NATO partners, also in my meetings at the EU. And we have urged all the parties to come to a resolution that is acceptable.

REP. BILIRAKIS: Thank you. I have one more question with regard to Cyprus. As you know, the Annan plan failed because it contained provisions that prohibited Greek Cypriots from purchasing property in one-third of their own country and constitutionally established Turkish troops permanently on Cyprus.

It is my belief that this was bad policy to try to impose an Annan-type plan that would be unacceptable to Western democracies on the Cypriot people. Can you state with any degree of certainty that this administration will not be advocating similar settlement provisions in any future settlement agreements with -- for the reunification of Cyprus?

SEC. CLINTON: Well, I think your description is accurate that, as you know so well, the plan was rejected because it was unacceptable to the Greek Cypriots.

We have taken the position that this must be a settlement that the two parties agree to themselves. We don't intend to impose anything. We intend to support, insofar as we are able, the negotiations between the parties for what we believe is the best outcome: a bizonal, bicommunal federation that would represent fairly the interests of both communities.

REP. BILIRAKIS: Thank you, Madame Secretary. Appreciate it.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

SEC. CLINTON: And in my remaining time, Mr. Chairman, may I just quickly respond to the ranking member's comments?

REP. BERMAN: You have 56 seconds.

SEC. CLINTON: We will do everything we can on any missing constituents.

And also, with respect to Haiti, we did deliver $15 million in food aid, Madame Congresswoman. We are going to look at what else we can do. We will keep you informed about a comprehensive approach we're setting up for Haiti.

REP. BERMAN: The gentleman from New York, Mr. McMahon.

REP. MICHAEL MCMAHON (D-NY): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Madame Secretary, I believe it would be unbecoming for a member of Congress to gush publicly, but -- and even a new member, but let me say the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn, New York, and all of New York are just so proud of what you did for us in the United States Senate -- in particular, my district, as you know, feeling sort of the forgotten people of New York and that what you did for us and what you now do for our nation. And people around the world now who were forgotten feel that they have a champion, and I applaud you, and President Obama for his selection of you.

I also applaud your ability to gracefully deflect the distracting and sometimes personal slings and arrows of political and special interests hurled at you, and your ability to stay focused on the important international issues we face as a nation. It gives us great pride to see you even here in this room be able to exemplify a great American spirit, and we're just so privileged and honored to have you here.

One of the reasons I sought a seat on this committee was because I knew that under Chairman Berman we would be working with you as you revamp our image and our power around the world with a stronger State Department.

Specifically, I want to ask questions about Sri Lanka, if I could. First, I commend the State Department's April 16th call on both the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers to allow the over 140,000 trapped Tamil civilians to escape the conflict zone.

We also support the department's appeal to the Sri Lankan government to enforce international humanitarian standards in the IDP camps, to grant the visas to international aid groups and to permit entry into Sri Lanka of international monitors and media access to those camps.

The conflict has been brutal, as you know, and we're concerned with the prospects of post-conflict resolution for the Sinhalese and the Tamil people.

Madame Secretary, does the State Department have any post- conflict plans for the region? And if so, what are they?

SEC. CLINTON: Congressman, this is such a terrible humanitarian tragedy.

And we have been pressing the Sri Lankan government for a halt in the fighting so that we could secure safe passage for as many of the trapped civilians as possible. As you know, there was a very short lull but then the fighting has continued. There seems to be very little openness on the part of the Tamil Tiger leadership to cease their efforts so that we could try to get in and help the people.

So we are beginning intensive post-conflict planning. We have discussed this with a number of our other allies and partners who share our concerns. I think that the Sri Lankan government knows that the entire world is very disappointed that, in its efforts to end what it sees as 25 years of conflict, it is causing such untold suffering.

We have made it clear that as soon as there is some lull in the fighting or an end to the fighting, that there has to be not only massive humanitarian aid but a political resolution. The people who have been waging this internal insurgency for all these years are going to have to be brought into the political process in some way.

So we are determined to do what we can, along with others, to be ready.

REP. MCMAHON: Thank you.

Just briefly to the issue of Cyprus, one avenue it would seem to me possible to follow is to -- for instance, to -- USAID has worked with Cyprus to develop a power grid which is not integrated from the north into the south. Is that an area that perhaps we could -- as we give aid in that area, to force integration, if you will, first in the power grid and then hopefully in the bizonal agreement?

SEC. CLINTON: I think that's an excellent suggestion. And we will certainly, you know, share that with, you know, the Cypriot community on both sides.

You know, let me say that Cyprus is so strategically located. If this problem can be resolved in a way that is satisfactory to both communities and, as you say, bizonal, bicommunal agreement, I think that the future for Cyprus is unlimited economically and as a player in Europe and the Middle East. It's in everyone's interest. It's also very much on the minds of many of those who are involved in the negotiations.

So we will take a look at this power grid idea and get back to you.

REP. MCMAHON: Thank you very much.

And just in the area of foreign aid -- we know what an important issue it is. So many folks on this committee are fighting to keep it in the budget, the higher amount that you had requested -- just to let you know that we are working with you and any way we can help you, to please let us know.

Thank you again.

SEC. CLINTON: Thank you, Congressman.

REP. BERMAN: The gentleman's time has expired.

The gentleman from Indiana, Mr. Burton.

REPRESENTATIVE DAN BURTON (R-IN): Madame Secretary, I don't want to belabor this point. It's been discussed by a number of members. But I really believe our intelligence agency, the CIA and the FBI, if there are prosecutions because of the tactics that were employed to extract information from terrorists or suspected terrorists, if they are prosecuted for that, first of all, I think there's going to be a tremendous amount of animosity from across the country to the administration for that.

But in addition to that, if there is a terrorist attack and people remember that they were prosecuting people who were trying to protect this country with tactics that may or may not be questionable, then I think that there will be a terrible backlash on the administration. I'm not here to protect the Obama administration, but if there's an -- a terrorist attack and we are prosecuting people that tried to get information to protect this country, people are going to be madder than hell.

Now, I have two questions, or three questions, and I'll -- you can answer them in tandem if you like.

Regarding Taiwan, I would like to know if the administration is still absolutely committed to the Taiwan Relations Act and protecting Taiwan in the event of an attack.

Second: the Colombian free-trade agreement, which has been discussed by my colleagues. I think that regarding immigration, drug trafficking, terrorists and gangs that come into the United States, I think a Colombian free-trade agreement and a Panamanian free-trade agreement will help stem the tide of that. Conversely, if the economies start to go south down there because we don't have a free- trade agreement, along with the other things that are bringing people illegally into the United States, I think we could see more people coming into the country. So I hope that we'll press on with that.

The six-party talks, regarding North Korea -- I'd like to know what the prospects are of resuming those talks and whether or not we can expect some results, because North Korea really hasn't been paying much attention to us.

And finally, I think all of us are concerned about Mr. Chavez's attention and association with Russia, China and Iran. They've had flights back and forth to Tehran from Venezuela, and I think I and many of my colleagues are very concerned that there may be a coalition that's formed that may threaten not only the security of Central and South America but the United States as well.

And so I'll let you answer those, and then if I have time left I'm going to yield to my colleague. Thank you.

SEC. CLINTON: Thank you, Mr. Burton. Our policy, with respect to Taiwan, remains One-China policy. Taiwan Relations Act, three communiques; there is no change in our approach. We have been very consistent about that.

As I said, the Colombia and Panama free-trade agreements are ones that we are looking very hard at and working with the Panamanians and the Colombians.

Regarding the six-party talks, we have made it clear that we are prepared to resume the six-party talks. The Chinese and Russians, the Japanese and South Koreans have equally made that clear. As you know very well, the North Koreans have not demonstrated any willingness to resume the six-party process.

I was pleased by the strong statement that we got unanimously from the United Nations condemning the missile launch, saying that it was in contravention of the United Nations Security Council resolution 1718. And I think the strong support that we see among the parties against what North Korea's doing will eventually yield fruit, but I think we have to be strong, patient, persistent, and not give in to the kind of back-and-forth, the unpredictable behavior of the North Korean regime.

And finally you know, the Chavez relationship you describe is a result of eight years of isolating Chavez. And I don't think we believe it's worked very well. We've isolated him, so he's gone elsewhere. I mean, he's a very sociable guy. He's going to look for friends where he can find them. And so he's finding friends in places we'd prefer him not to find friends. So eight years of isolation has resulted in the kinds of outreach that, I think, both you and I find troubling.

You know, our belief is, if it hasn't worked, why keep it going? Let's see what else might be possible. And during our encounters with President Chavez, we agreed to consider exchanging ambassadors. I think that's a positive development. And we'll see what else can possibly arise from, you know, looking for ways that we can perhaps work together.

REP. BERMAN: The gentleman's time has expired.

The gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Tanner.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN TANNER (D-TN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And thank you, Madame Secretary, for being here. I want to echo what everyone else has said, about the breath of fresh air and the tone that's being set. Let me talk a minute about NATO, if I could. I'm worried that 2009 is a critical year, both for NATO and for our efforts, with respect to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

I was on active duty during Vietnam days. And a country can only sustain an overseas military expedition so long, without a critical mass of popular support behind it at home. And we got derailed, during the last administration, with the Iraq matter, which very much cut into that critical mass support in Europe by constituents.

And we in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly are trying to do everything we can, to rebuild that as it relates to Afghanistan and Pakistan, because the two, even though they were interchanged in word, by the previous administration, are completely different, in our view.

And so if one believes that we have to show some progress in Afghanistan-Pakistan, this year, to maintain that critical mass of public support, from our European allies, I think, we have a window of opportunity to do that. But we have to act and act quickly.

Since I left you in Strasbourg-Kehl, I went to Lithuania, Ukraine and Georgia and then back to Brussels to talk to them, about the fact they didn't get into MAP but to keep working at their reforms.

What I guess I'm trying to do, and the American delegation is trying to do, in NATO PA, is to convince them that even if they cannot do as much hard power maybe as we would like, they can certainly do more soft power. And it's in their interest, every bit as much as it is ours, to stem the flow of heroin and poppies and so forth.

That ties into then our evolving relationship with Russia and our dependence in some ways, I believe, on our Western and now Eastern European allies to help us, with whatever leverage they can provide to help us.

And finally, on the strategic plan that NATO is working on, we are working on it as well and NATO PA will be submitting that to you. And I would hope that maybe at some point I could come down to your office or we could talk further about what is going on, because everybody that I've talked to, from General Joulwan, who used to be SACEUR, to General Wes Clark, to General Jones, who's national security adviser, to General Craddock now, to a person, knows that hard power alone won't get us where we want to go in this new world.

Thank you.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Congressman, congratulations on becoming the president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the speech that you gave, which I told you in Strasbourg I thought was an excellent one.

I mean, you've just outlined some of the serious challenges facing NATO at this time in its 60th year. You know, those of us who have passed that landmark age know that you have to take stock of where you are and where you're going and we need to do that with NATO. And certainly we need to do it vis-a-vis these very important commitments that have been made in Afghanistan by ISAF and by our NATO members. I think all of the points you made are ones that I would really welcome the chance to discuss with you.

I personally was quite encouraged by the commitments made both at NATO and then later at the EU. We have all of the forces and support we need for the election, which is a critical milestone in Afghanistan. We need a fair, free, credible, legitimate election process. We are obtaining additional troops. Somewhere, you know, north of 5,000, I think, will be added to our overall total in Afghanistan.

But as you point out, the additional support for training the Afghan National Army, for training the Afghan National Police, for helping mentor government officials for working on anticorruption and good governance and rule of law, for trying to do more with agricultural production -- Afghanistan used to be a net exporter of agricultural goods; it needs to be again -- of working with, you know, people in the local provinces -- so there's a lot of good work being done and I'd love to discuss it with you.

REP. BERMAN: The gentleman's time has expired.

The gentleman from Texas, Mr. Poe.

REPRESENTATIVE TED POE (R-TX): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Madame Secretary, it's good to see you again. I want to zero in on the firearms situation in Mexico. It's been reported by the administration that 90 percent of the guns that are recovered and firearms recovered in Mexico are from the United States. It seems that ATF has recalculated that and said that it's an error, that it's only 90 percent of the traceable guns, which turns out to be 17 to 20 percent of those guns.

There are reports that Mexico is a(n) arms bazaar with grenades from South Korea, AK-47s from China and shoulder-fired rocket launchers from Spain, Israel and even the former Soviet Union; that the Russian mafia's also involved in drugs and arms trafficking in Mexico. And in 2006, Amnesty International said that China was providing arms to Mexico and many other Latin American countries.

And two other statistics: The Mexican army has had desertions of over 150,000 of its own soldiers since -- in the last six years, and many of them take their M-16s that are made in Belgium with them when they leave the Mexican military and go work for the drug cartels.

And just recently, in March, Guatemala seized 500 grenades and AK-47s on its border that were going into Mexico.

So my question really is, Mexico seems to have borders that are porous for firearms -- not just from the United States -- and we are trying to help Mexico get a grip on the drug cartels, which are tremendously affecting their economy, our economy.

So my concern is that our aid that we give to Mexico in the Meridia (sic) Initiative doesn't turn out to be used against us, whether in the corruption process or whether in -- these weapons turn out to go to the drug cartels and be used against Americans. I recently, just this weekend, was on the Texas-Mexico border with the Air National Guard, flew up and down the Rio Grande river as they caught two drug smugglers coming into the United States, and that's -- seems to be the concern of law enforcement on this side, that many of this -- these -- money -- or equipment is going to be used against us because of the corruption.

Can you help me out a little bit with that and see what -- tell me what precautions are being made by our administration to make sure that all this equipment that we're sending doesn't end up in the wrong hands and used against us?

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Congressman, I obviously think that we have to be as careful and accountable as we possibly can be. I think that the threat to Mexico by these drug cartels is one that we want to respond to. And we are responding to it, and the Merida Initiative is the organized approach adopted by the prior administration, which we want to continue and make even more effective.

And I believe that the Mexican government, from, you know, my visit there and the president's recent visit, is very focused on this. They know what they have to do, and they're seeking our help, which is something that will, over the long run, strengthen our relationship.

We have to defeat these drug cartels. I mean, we have to defeat them; we have to disarm them; we have to capture or kill them; we have to rid the people of Mexico of this scourge. And we have to support President Calderon, who's showing enormous courage. I mean, the bravery that man shows every day, getting up and going to work, is, you know, very impressive.

So we'll just have to work together to make sure that we put in appropriate safeguards. And I know the Mexican government has every interest in ensuring that whatever equipment we provide ends up in the right hands.

With respect to where the drug cartels get their guns, I have no doubt that they're shopping in the international bazaar, but there is a considerable number of these weapons that do come out of our country. And I think we ought to be smarter about how we at least can prevent whatever the contribution percentage is from crossing the border and adding to the woes of the Mexican army and the Mexican police.

REP. POE: Would it not be the responsibility for us to protect our border from drugs, as it would be for Mexico to protect their border from guns? It just seems to me that neither border is being protected by either country, because guns are going one way and drugs are going the other way.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, you're right. We haven't done a very good job, have we? None of us have. And we've got to do a better job. The administration just appointed Alan Bersin, who was the U.S. attorney along the San Diego border during the Clinton administration, had an excellent record of securing the border. We're going to take every step we can. Any ideas you have, I'm sure the administration would welcome.

REP. POE: I'd be glad to pass those on. And I yield back my time.

REP. BERMAN: The gentleman's time has expired.

SEC. CLINTON: Thank you.

REP. BERMAN: The chair recognizes for five minutes the gentlewoman from California, Ms. Woolsey.

REP. LYNN WOOLSEY (D-CA): Thank you very much.

Madame Secretary, you just don't know what a joy this is to be here and be proud of you, and hear the depth and breadth of concern and knowledge you have on every single issue and question that's come up today. Thank you, very much.

I spent part of the Easter break in Tanzania, and the focus of our trip was maternal mortality. And I can say, without a doubt, that if the women of childbearing age -- it's hard enough to live in a Third World country; I cannot imagine being a woman of child-bearing age. But their lives and the dignity of their lives, and their future and their children's future, would be much improved with family planning and options made available to them. So thank you for your statements regarding that.

You are such a committed woman for women's rights all over the world, so I'd like to talk about CEDAW, the convention to eliminate all forms of discrimination, which is the U.N. convention that's been ratified by 95 percent -- 185 United Nations members, but not the United States of America, over the last 30 years; leaving us in the company of Iran and Sudan, of all things. It's time to move beyond this embarrassing, shameful distinction. And every single Congress since the 102nd Congress, I've introduced CEDAW-ratifying language; although it has to actually take place in the Senate. But this year, H.Res. 22 has over 120 members cosponsoring. So what can we do to work together to get it out of the Senate and signed into -- ratified by the president, by President Obama?

SEC. CLINTON: Thank you so much, Congresswoman Woolsey. And the administration is forwarding CEDAW, along with other priority treaties, to the Senate, with the hopes that this can be the year that we would finally ratify this convention that really does recognize and support the rights of women. And I hope that members of Congress, led by you and others, who care deeply about this issue will make your views known to your Senate colleagues, because we need to move on this. I agree with you. I find it embarrassing we are in the company of the countries that you named.

REP. WOOLSEY: Well, thank you. Now I have a less friendly question. The president refers to diplomacy, development and -- over military power, or along with military power, in addressing Afghanistan. Yet, in the supplemental there's a 10-to-one -- seven- to-one investment for the Department of Defense, as compared to foreign affairs, foreign assistance and the State Department.

Earlier this year, myself and 10 of my colleagues sent a letter to the president requesting more information about his and the administration's Afghanistan policy. We haven't gotten our questions answered.

We want to know about clear authorization for the use of military force. Has it been established? Is he going to come to the Congress? How did he define the goals, objectives and benefits of the United States' involvement in Afghanistan? What are the human and financial resources necessary to carry out the administration's plan? What is the timeline for redeployment of our troops and military contractors? How about NATO and the U.N.? What is their role, and other international partners'? And how will the immediate humanitarian and economic needs of the Afghan people be addressed?

That was our letter. I don't know if you've seen it.

SEC. CLINTON: I have not seen it, but I understand the concern behind your question. And let me just say, Congresswoman, we conducted a very thorough review of the policy we inherited, and we can't go back and wish things were -- had been done differently. We have to start with what we see right in front of us.

We think that there is an important national security interest on behalf of the United States to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for terrorists, extremists and those who would export violence against the United States, our friends and allies, and who would turn Afghanistan backwards again, particularly when it affects the role of women.

But our primary goal in Afghanistan is to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda. And as someone who represented New York on September 11th, I take that very seriously and am absolutely committed to doing everything I can as secretary of State to make sure we are not attacked again and to go after those who attacked us and attack the friends and allies of America.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentlelady has expired, and therefore I'm going to recognize the gentleman from Arkansas, Mr. Boozman.

REP. JOHN BOOZMAN (R-AR): Thank you very much.

And it's so good to have you here. Being from Arkansas, I just want to relay how proud the state is of you being in this position.

In deference to my ranking member, and then the ranking member on my committee, I'd like to yield a minute to Ms. Ros-Lehtinen and a minute to -- very quickly.

REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Thank you so much. Thank you so much.

Madame Secretary, in response to an earlier question, you said, correctly, that U.S. policy was not to provide funding to a Palestinian Authority that included Hamas, unless and until Hamas meets the obligations, including recognizing Israel. I exist -- I agree with that.

However, that is not what the language in the supplemental says, and I just encourage you to take a second look at the supplemental. When it talks about power-sharing agreements that talk about Palestinian Authority governments including ministries, agencies and instrumentalities, I think it's going to leave room there for Hamas to get the funding.

I thank the gentleman for the time. I don't wish to take up time, and I would like to yield back to you. Thank you.

So if you could take a look at that again, Madame Secretary, for any possible changes in the supplemental language.

REP. BOOZMAN: And I yield to Congressman Smith for --

REP. SMITH: I thank Dr. Boozman for yielding.

And Madame Secretary, I believe that words on behalf of the Chinese women need to be backed up by deeds. And as you know, the U.N. Population Fund has actively supported, co-managed and whitewashed the most pervasive crimes against women in human history, yet the Obama administration has given a $50-million check and failed -- and, I believe, failed to enforce the Kemp-Kasten Anti-Coercion law.

SEC. CLINTON: I'm sorry -- could you let Mr. Smith start again?

I couldn't hear what you said. I want to hear what you're saying, Mr. Smith.

Is that all right, Mr. Chairman?

REP. BERMAN: That would be fine. Something's wrong with my --

SEC. CLINTON: Yeah. I'm sorry. I can't hear you.

REP. SMITH: Words on behalf of the Chinese women who are beleaguered by their own government and by nongovernmental organizations and others who are enforcing the one-child-per-couple policy need to be backed up by deeds.

And my point that I am making is that in China today, with the UNFPA enabling, every day of the week, including in UNFPA-backed counties, women are forcibly aborted. Brothers and sisters are illegal. There are missing at least 100 million girls -- gendercide, because of the preference for males. And as -- if you're only allowed one, that one is more likely to be a boy than a girl, so girls are singled out -- the girl-child -- for forced abortion.

There are about 500 suicides a day -- not a week, a month -- a day in China, and some experts attribute that in whole or in part to the forced-abortion policy. In 2008, the U.S. Department of State found that the UNFPA had violated the anti-coercion provisions of Kemp-Kasten and reprogrammed every dollar to maternal health care and to family planning but not to the UNFPA.

And my point is, and my concern is, that rather than demanding reform -- and I do believe the Obama administration, had you continued the UNFPA or the Kemp-Kasten denial of funds, especially given the position that this administration takes on abortion, that would have had a profound impact on the Chinese government as well as on the UNFPA itself.

And yet we have written them a $50-million check -- maybe deducted a few dollars; maybe, maybe not -- but we have written them a very large check, and that sends a clear, nonambiguous message to the Chinese government that coercion really doesn't matter.

SEC. CLINTON: Mr. Chairman, can I respond to these two very important questions? I think that the point that the ranking member made really deserves a response.

Because the administration is very firm that we should not and will not deal with Hamas. We will not deal with a power-sharing Palestinian Authority government, that includes Hamas, that does not meet the criteria of recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and agreeing to all prior agreements entered into by the PLO and the Palestinian Authority.

And what we have said is that assistance will not flow to Hamas, any entity controlled by Hamas, and will only be permitted to any power-sharing government, in which Hamas participates, if the president certifies that the power-sharing government has met the three principles I just outlined. So if the language is not as clear as we intend it to be, because as I have just described it is our intention, you know, we will look at that.

Furthermore all NGOs, any organization applying for any grants, to do any humanitarian work in Gaza, have to certify, before any award is made, that they do not provide material support to Hamas or other terrorists. I obviously feel very strongly about this. That is our intention. That is our policy.

With respect to what Congressman Smith is saying, you know, Congressman Smith, the questions previously jogged my memory. When I was in China, I met with a group of women. Once again I spoke out about the forced one-child policy.

I share your horror and absolute rejection of such a policy. I also think it's bad for China. The imbalance between girls and boys is a ticking demographic bomb that is going to explode within their society.

This is a bad policy from any angle you look at it. And I don't believe that there is any grounds for our being connected to any policy that supports it. But I will look into the point that you made.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentleman has expired.

The gentleman from -- gentlelady from Texas, Ms. Sheila Jackson Lee, is recognized for five minutes.

REPRESENTATIVE SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

I think there is no doubt, Madame Secretary, that your commitment to human rights is above reproach. And we thank you for the sincerity of your presence here today. Very proud of you but more importantly we are proud of the bold leadership that you've already shown, in conjunction with a new message of the Obama administration. Several things I'm going to put on the record, and then focus in narrowly on some issues.

First of all, thank you for what you're doing for the Iranian- American reporter. Count us as your partners. We demand her release immediately. We certainly welcome that there should be a fair trial. But my position is that she is innocent and she should be released immediately. Thank you for those bold words.

Again the work that has been done, by appointing the envoy for Pakistan-Afghanistan and for the Mideast, are part of the bold leadership. I want to focus in on our recent visit.

But as you well know, the number of visits that I've made to Pakistan, in co-chairing the Pakistan Caucus, this is not the Pakistan of Benazir Bhutto, who respected you, and you respected her. In my meetings or conversation with her, her dream, when I last spoke, before her assassination, was for this new, revived Pakistan.

My question is that we need to continue and to accelerate the pressure on the civilian government.

You're right, the voices of Pakistani-Americans -- brilliant people, committed to our country -- need to be raised with the civilian population. I know there's fear, but sometimes you have to go against fear.

I would ask -- for example, we just gave a billion dollars at the donor conference -- for conditions that include this: One, they must find a unified government. Whether it's Sharif, working with Zardari, prime minister, there must be a strong, unified government that can confront the issues in Swat, the use of the Shari'a law, that is killing women, bloodying individuals. And I'd appreciate your comment on that.

Second, let me quickly go to a unified Africa policy that would include the comments of my chairman, Mr. Payne, but also Liberia -- and when I say that, that is two opposites -- so that we can enrich Africa in its totality.

And lastly, this issue of a global national strategy for development. I think that will cover South and Central America, it will cover the crisis in Mexico with drugs, it will cover Africa and the Mideast, it will cover the -- South Asia. I would hope that that would be something that we'd be looking at very quickly, so that included in that we can recapacitate, reprofessionalize USAID -- which, by the way, we saw in India. It was fabulous to see them dealing with maternal health. And I'd appreciate your comments on those questions.

Thank you again for your leadership.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, thank you so much, Congresswoman. And thanks for your leadership on behalf of the Pakistani caucus. Because I agree completely with you: We need to hear those voices. And I think that could be a very helpful addition to our efforts.

I also appreciate your raising Liberia. I had a long meeting yesterday with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. What she has done in such a short period of time in Liberia deserves our full support. I -- I am so committed to doing everything I can to help her on security, on infrastructure. And I think it has to be a public- private partnership. We need more American corporations and NGOs to invest in Liberia and assist President Sirleaf in her efforts to rebuild that war-ravaged country.

I also appreciate your talking about USAID, often the unsung heroes and heroines of our policies. You know, when Congressman Woolsey was talking about maternal mortality, those are the kinds of interventions that literally save lives and, you know, put us at our very best; give us a chance to talk with people not in a political way, but sort of person-to-person, which builds connections.

And I look forward to discussing with all of you -- and particularly under the leadership of the chairman -- how we can do foreign aid better, how we can streamline it, how we can get better results, how we can be more effective. So your ideas about that are going to be very welcome.

REP. LEE: May I quickly just ask, the issue of Shari'a law in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and how we can put pressure on their thoughts about that?

SEC. CLINTON: Well, we're hopeful that the law that was passed by the parliament in Afghanistan will be taken back.

We have some reason to believe that that will happen. And we have urged it to occur expeditiously.

I think that the Pakistani government is basically abdicating to the Taliban and to the extremists. But look at why this is happening. If you talk to people in Pakistan, especially in the ungoverned territories, which are increasing in number, they don't believe the state has a judiciary system that works. It's corrupt. It doesn't extend its power into the countryside.

So the government of Pakistan, however it is constituted -- which is, of course, their business, not ours -- must begin to deliver government services. Otherwise, they are going to lose out to those who show up and claim that they can solve people's problems and then they will impose this harsh form of oppression on women and others, which we find unacceptable.

REP. LEE: Thank you. Thank you --

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentlelady has expired.

The gentleman from Texas, Mr. McCaul, is recognized for five minutes.

REPRESENTATIVE MICHAEL MCCAUL: And thank you, Madame Secretary, for being here today.

And let me say, at the onset, I commend the focus that you have on the Pakistan-Afghanistan area. After all, Pakistan is the country that brought us Ramzi Yousef, the '93 World Trade Center bomber, his uncle, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. In my view, it's -- the tribal area in Pakistan has -- was not given proper attention over the past several years.

And I think that we're beginning to see, as we travel back from Pakistan, that that is the terrorist training haven. It's the epicenter in the war on terror and it has to be the focus of our foreign policy in terms of how we deal with that area. If bin Laden is alive, surely that's where he is. It's the biggest threat to our soldiers in Afghanistan and it's perhaps the biggest threat to our homeland security.

And I would encourage you to keep up the focus in that area. I would hope that we're doing a lot of things that -- behind the scenes, in terms of dealing with that particular area, the FATA.

My question regarding that, as it relates to Congress, is the funding issue. There's been about 7-1/2 billion (dollars) in non- military assistance to Pakistan. You know, we have the coalition funds that reimburse Pakistan. And then we have the A.Q. Khan issue, A.Q. Khan, who was a master proliferator to countries like Iran and to Syria and to North Korea, the first atomic bomb in Pakistan, which is another issue.

Shouldn't we be trying to condition the support and this aid and somehow tie this aid to a security agreement with Pakistan that they will no longer allow this area to go -- to fester and will provide the security necessary to take out al Qaeda and the Taliban in the FATA? And shouldn't we also condition that on the ability of the United States to be able to sit down with Mr. Khan, Mr. A.Q. Khan, and get information from him about what could have been one of the largest proliferations of nuclear armament in history?

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Congressman, thank you for the bipartisan approach that you exhibited in your questions -- your question concerning Pakistan, because it is a concern for America, and we've got to figure out the best way to deal with it. And we have to try, insofar as it's possible, to sort of overcome any partisan differences.

And we welcome your advice and suggestions.

We do think that there need to be the right kind of conditions. You know, it's a little bit like the Goldilocks story. I mean, if they're too weak, we don't get changes. If they're too strong, we get a backlash. So we're trying to figure out sort of what is the area that will influence behavior and produce results. We are creating measures of performance that we will share with the Congress so that you and we can follow whether or not we're getting the kind of positive outcomes that we're attempting to achieve.

With respect to A.Q. Khan, there's no doubt he is probably the world's greatest proliferator, and the damage that he's done around the world has been incalculable. We have made it very clear that the network had to be dismantled, and it was. There are people who were connected with A.Q. Khan who are out of business or who were in prison. And there are ongoing efforts to continue to obtain useful information.

I -- as we develop with the Congress the kind of conditional statements that we want, we have to just be careful that what we put into legislation doesn't stop cooperation instead of further cooperation. And so let us work with you and others to try to figure out exactly sort of what's the sweet spot here. How do we get results? We're not interested in putting money into doing what hasn't worked. And we've seen the situation deteriorate over the last eight years in Pakistan and even before. It's been a very difficult country for us to get our arms around and figure out what our ongoing relationship would be like.

But we are convinced that the democratically elected government in Pakistan shares our goals with respect to the terrorist threat. We just have to figure out how we could best support them in actually getting results.

REP. MCCAUL: If I can just close with -- I'm the ranking on the Homeland Security --

REP. BERMAN: Time.

REP. MCCAUL: -- Intelligence Subcommittee. Jane Harman is the chairwoman. We're both very interested in this issue and working with the administration.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentleman has expired.

REP. MCCAUL: Thank you.

REP. BERMAN: And appreciate your comments on this issue, Madame Secretary.

And the gentlelady from California, Ms. Lee, is recognized for five minutes.

REP. BARBARA LEE (D-CA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Madame Secretary, as I said to you last week, I truly applaud your bold steps in reshaping America's image and role in the world. And I look forward to working with you and the president in tackling these enormous challenges, which oftentimes are seen as opportunities. I'll submit to you the many questions I have for the record.

Let me go to Cuba first. Yes, I firmly believe that we should promote freedom, human rights, democracy, encourage elections throughout the world. But remember, though, that recent history under the Bush administration shows us that we did this with the Palestinians and we ended up with Hamas. So sometimes it backfires.

With regard to Mr. Mack's point about remember the history, well, yes, we do have to remember the history. And we also cannot forget the Bay of Pigs, assassination attempts, Guantanamo, the dictatorship of Batista. There are many, many issues that also have to be included in this history.

You mentioned the Cuban plane flying over -- the American plane flying over Havana. Well, I'm not so sure, if a Cuban plane entered U.S. airspace, what our response would be. I raise these questions, because these are two sovereign countries which have serious, serious issues to address, on both sides. And I recognize that it's going to be very difficult, as we move forward.

Last week -- the week before last, as you know, I led a delegation of members of Congress, to Cuba, with one specific purpose. And that was to assess whether or not Cuba wanted to move forward, with a dialogue, and whether or not all issues -- such as political prisoners, human rights, the plight of Afro-Cubans -- would be placed on the table if, in fact, discussions would move forward.

Of course, President Raul Castro communicated to us, yes. And I applaud yourself and the president for moving forward with the family reunification efforts -- this is the right thing to do -- and the steps that you're taking, to help reunite Cuban-Americans and Cubans. I wanted to ask you if there are any other plans, any other policies you're considering looking at. And do you agree with lifting the travel ban, for all Americans to travel to Cuba?

Also I remember, back in 1998, there was a report by the Pentagon that said that Cuba did not present a national security threat to the United States. And so I'm wondering, from your administration's point of view, why is Cuba still on the list of state sponsors of terror? And what can or should Cuba do, anything, to be removed from the list of state sponsors of terror?

And finally I have to thank you for your response, to my questions regarding the investigation of my constituent, Tristan Anderson, who was seriously injured when he was shot in the head, by tear canisters, by an Israeli soldier in the West Bank of Naalin.

I hope that the State Department will insist that the Israeli government hold those responsible accountable and that the family and Tristan receive an apology. And I will send you additional questions to that issue.

Thank you very much. Good to see you again, Madame Secretary.

SEC. CLINTON: Thank you, Congresswoman. You know, we have taken the actions that you know so well. In addition to the remittances and the travel for family members, we also have opened up telecommunications investment in Cuba. We are taking a hard look at this in the response that we receive from Raul Castro, and we are available to engage with the Cuban government, if they are willing to do so. But we don't yet know whether they really are or not.

And I have to say, I think that if they -- if two small, little unarmed planes had gotten into our airspace, they would have been forced down. I don't think they would have been shot down. I think that there is such a stake that the Castro regime has in making the United States the excuse for everything that goes wrong inside Cuba, that they're going to have to really have a change in attitude about how and under what circumstances they would want to really have that discussion that you described, that you were assured that Raul Castro said everything would be on the table.

But we're considering what they might come back with, but so far we don't really see any movement. But as the president said, we are open.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentlelady has expired.

The gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Scott, is recognized for five minutes.

REP. DAVID SCOTT (D-GA): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

And again, welcome, Madame Secretary. Madame Secretary, I'd like to focus on Africa, if I may. I just returned yesterday from Africa. I have two lines of questioning. The first line of questioning sort of impacts the first part of my visit into Burkina Faso and into the Congo. The point of my question will be not only the funds that we're sending in there, but I have serious questions that they're being utilized properly and that they are reaching and helping the people where they need the help the most.

I say that particularly because of the line of corruption, and many times the monies that we're sending don't get down. If we take Faso, for example, in going there, it is the poorest country on earth. It has a 77 percent unemployment. We are sending over there, just in the Millennium Challenge alone, about $500 million. There's questions about where that money is going. And when you look at the countryside, where is it going? We visit the other areas.

We left there and went into the Congo, into a place called Goma. And if that is not ground zero of the deprivation center of the world, I don't know what is. We took a helicopter in there. We visited the refugee areas.

One of those areas had about 42,000 people in it, over 20,000 of them children. It's just deplorable, those conditions. And that is the only health care that they get.

So my question is, what are we doing specifically to make sure that the money that we're spending for these humanitarian efforts are getting to that source?

The second line of questioning comes into the security area around the Horn of Africa, where we went into Kenya. And, of course, Kenya and Yemen also balance that area. There, my question is, how are we going to really effectively thread the needle in being able to bring some stability to that region, especially when we have the al- Shabab faction working so expeditiously to undermine the existing fragile government?

If we go in, we have a problem. If we stay out, we have a problem. If we use the allies to make it a regional problem, we have a problem, because Kenya, being our most important ally over there, has such internal intrigue going on where they have a two-headed monster government where they're fighting each other. And al-Shabab, quite honestly, is getting strong support from al Qaeda and certainly has those training camps right near the Kenyan border.

Madame Secretary, Africa is an extraordinary explosion that is soaring in magnitude and consequences if we in the United States don't apply our resources appropriately in terms of the humanitarian effort, as witnessed in Goma and Faso and our efforts to stabilize that area, given the terrorist threat in Kenya and in Somalia.

SEC. CLINTON: Congressman Scott, I am very happy that not only you visited there but you have so graphically and dramatically described what you saw. I would underscore the feeling I'm getting from you: Africa is a matter of great national security concern to the United States. This is a continent of such diversity, such promise and such peril. And you have highlighted two of our biggest challenges.

I am committed to doing to a better job on the aid we deliver, because I share your concerns. I don't know where a lot of it ends up. And our transparency and our accountability measures are not adequate. We waste way too much money on contractors. Fifty cents out of every dollar doesn't even end up -- it doesn't -- it's not even in the pipeline to end up serving the people it should serve. And once it's on the ground, it is really hard to make the case that our aid, over decades, has made the difference it should have made in the lives of the people of so many African countries.

I think we have to start over, Mr. Chairman. I think we've got to ask ourselves, what are we doing? And how do we do it better? How do we define our mission? And how do we have mechanisms that we can say to the American people are working and look to see the results in so many places elsewhere?

With respect to the Horn of Africa, if you look at the map, Yemen is just off the coast of Somalia. The nexus between al-Shabab and al Qaeda is growing. And we have to have a strategy for the Horn of Africa that includes trying to stabilize Somalia and help this new Federal Transition Government.

So I know my time is up, but this is one of the most important areas for our concern, and we've got to be smart about how we're going to approach it.

REP. SCOTT: Thank you, Madame Secretary.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentleman has expired.

The gentleman from Minnesota, Mr. Ellison, is recognized for five minutes.

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D-MN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Madame Secretary, I'd like to ask you to share your views on the possibility of lifting or at least reviewing the policy prohibiting U.S. government employees from all travel to the Gaza Strip. I'd like to -- you to do that because -- to review that policy because as we talk about addressing humanitarian needs in Gaza, along with the concern that no money flow to Hamas, I think it would reassure members of Congress and -- if members of the administration could go there. So could you share your views on that? I mean, I think there are changed circumstances, a new administration. I know, the convoy that was attacked in 2003, that's a legitimate reason to pull back, but perhaps maybe it's time to review.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Congressman, I have to look into that, because I know not only have members of Congress, including yourself, gone to Gaza, but USAID workers have gone into Gaza. They have -- as part of our surveys of what we are trying to determine is the best approach for our aid.

There have not been high-level administration visits. But we are a member of the Quartet, and Tony Blair, who is the Quartet representative, has gone into Gaza several times. So I will look into this and I will determine whether my understanding is accurate, and we'll get back to you.

REP. ELLISON: I just mention that, Madame Secretary, because after we left Gaza -- and you point out I did go there -- we met with members of USAID, and we asked them what they thought about what was happening there. And they said, "Well, we don't -- we're not allowed to go." So that's -- so thank you for looking into that.

My next question is, I believe that the -- I would like to ask you to consider working with your counterparts in Israel about the opening up of the crossings. I know that humanitarian aid does flow, and I understand Israel has legitimate security concerns regarding the crossings, but I think that, as the crossings are so tightly controlled, what ends up happening is that most of the goods and services that end up in Gaza flow through the tunnels. And I think that if the crossings open, we could enlist average citizens in helping close the tunnels.

But because the crossings are closed, people have to depend upon the tunnels, which of course contraband goes through. So do you have any views on how you might approach that subject, or what do you think about that?

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Congressman, the crossings are no longer completely closed. There are many items that are being transported through the crossings. There are, as you know, some items that the Israeli government does not permit to cross.

We have urged the Israeli government, on several occasions, to open the crossings as much as they are able, commensurate with their legitimate security needs, which you recognized.

The best way for us to help the people of Gaza is for Hamas to cease its rocket-firing on Israel, to abide by the Quartet principles and the same principles that were adopted by the Arab peace initiative, which I have reiterated several times here today.

REP. ELLISON: Reclaiming my time -- yes, you have, Madame Secretary, and I appreciate you reiterating that. But you know, 750,000 of the people who live in Gaza are under 18 years old. The -- "Gaza" and "Hamas" are not the same thing. There's a lot of people who are -- have nothing to do with Hamas in Gaza and wish Hamas would go away, but they're living under this -- you know, under the same -- under these closed crossings.

And just to point out to you, Madame Secretary, you know, there's a very tight definition of what constitutes humanitarian aid. I mean, I've been there. I -- and I've seen that it's essentially sugar, flour, cooking oil -- even things like macaroni, lentils and tomato paste and fruit juice were barred. So I'd ask for you to respond to that.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Congressman, I know that those lists have changed, because I have monitored this. I think when you went, which was somewhere early in January, if I'm not mistaken --

REP. ELLISON: February 19th.

SEC. CLINTON: February. We have looked at the lists, and a lot of what has been said was not permitted to cross is just not accurate.

REP. ELLISON: Reclaim my time --

SEC. CLINTON: But I'm not speaking for the decisions that are made by --

REP. ELLISON: Reclaim my time, ma'am.

SEC. CLINTON: -- by the Israeli government in pursuit of their own security. I think what we want is to get back to a process, an effort, negotiations that would lead to two-state solution.

REP. ELLISON: Well --

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentleman has expired, and the gentleman from Indiana, Mr. Pence, is recognized -- well, before we start the clock on Mr. Pence, let me just indicate the secretary has been here for three hours and 20 minutes, not counting the time she had to talk to us in the other room, and she has, I think, very generously -- I haven't quite seen this yet from a secretary of State -- agreed to stay till 1:30. But at 1:30 this hearing ends.

The gentleman from Indiana, Mr. Pence, recognized for five minutes.

REP. MIKE PENCE (R-IN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Madame Secretary. Thank you for coming before this committee.

SEC. CLINTON: I'm sorry, Mr. Pence. I'm looking at some old friends from Arkansas over your head. I don't mean to be -- you know, interrupting.

Don't count this time against Mr. Pence. (Laughter.)

REP. BERMAN: All right, the Arkansas time is -- we'll give you credit on the other side.

REP. PENCE: Madame Secretary, I -- I had assumed that that warm wave was not directed to me.

SEC. CLINTON: (Laughs.) Don't assume that, Mr. Pence, please!

REP. PENCE: Thank you for your service to the country, in this post and over many years.

I want to raise an issue with you that's come up in this hearing before, and I want to raise it with great respect to you and to the president of the United States of America that you serve. In testimony before this committee earlier, I know that the -- the issue of the president being photographed with the virulent anti-American socialist dictator of Venezuela came up. And I know that -- according to the testimony that was handed to me, that you indicated that you found it, quote, "rather amusing." But let me say with the deepest respect, Madame Secretary, I am not amused.

And I want to speak to that issue and what I -- and get your sense, as an American who is both known and respected around the world, about the wisdom of the leader of the free world being seen in that kind of a setting with that kind of a socialist dictator.

Hugo Chavez is, we all know, a Castro wannabe in the region. He has oppressed the media. He has bullied economic interests in the country. He has blacklisted political opponents from state agencies. There are reports, of which you are well aware, of his lack of cooperation on our efforts to confront narco-terrorism in the region. There are reports of worse by that government. And of course, he has openly supported Iran's nuclear ambitions, and has referred to the predecessor of -- the 44th president as some sort of a demon, which would not be inconsistent with his long history of spewing vile intentions toward the people of the United States of America.

You made a comment that I quote with great respect, in July of 2007 -- in another context, I want to admit -- in which you said, and I quote, with regard to potential meetings with North Korea, Venezuela or leaders of Cuba, you said, quote, "I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year because --" you said, and I quote, with much agreement, "I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes."

And so my question, Madame Secretary, is in light of your previously stated insight, isn't it true that having the president of the United States be seen on the world stage -- warmly greeting a virulent, anti-American, socialist dictator -- that intentionally or unintentionally our president was used for propaganda purposes, to borrow the phrase that you used?

And isn't it also true that, as Natan Sharansky observed memorably in his book "The Case for Democracy," there's almost nothing more demoralizing to people that are fighting for freedom, in their own country, than to see the leader of the free world in friendly association with the very people that are oppressing them?

Sharansky said, we could, quote, "never fully prepare ourselves" for the disappointment that came from seeing the free world abandon its own values in that context.

And so in a very real sense, I wanted to invite, in a respectful way, your thoughts about that, recognizing that you serve this president but also expressing, to you, my profound concern that this administration allowed itself intentionally or unintentionally to be used, to prop up and promote the image and the interest of a virulent, anti-American, socialist dictator in Venezuela.

REP. BERMAN: I'm going to give the secretary a little bit of time, because you characterized an earlier comment that she made, to respond.

REP. PENCE: Thank you, Chairman.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Mr. Pence, I have lived a long time now. I grew up at the height of the Cold War, when we were on the hair- trigger alert of nuclear war. I remember virulent, anti-American, communist dictators threatening our country on a regular basis. And I remember our presidents meeting with them, shaking their hands and negotiating.

They did not do so without conditions or without strong principles. But they did so. I've also seen us establish normal relations with Vietnam. I have seen the 30 years of normalized relations with China. And I don't think there is any contradiction between standing strongly for our principles and our values and pursuing the give-and-take of diplomatic encounter and negotiation, where appropriate.

I think that your strong feelings about Hugo Chavez are certainly understood, because he has clearly been someone who has behaved in ways that don't accord with our values and our principles. But so were the Soviet leaders. And so did so many others, with whom we eventually created an environment, in which we could see some changes that benefited the United States of America.

That is my bottom line, Mr. Pence. My bottom line is I am here to serve my country, which I have loved ever since I was a little girl. And I'm going to support my president, because he is committed to doing whatever he can in the time he is given to serve to make this a better, safer, more secure world.

There are different approaches. I respectfully say we spent eight years trying to isolate Chavez, and what has been the result? I don't think it's been in America's interest.

So we're going to try some different things. And I respect your disagreement. We want as bipartisan a foreign policy as possible and we have, wherever we can, reached out, and we'll continue to do so to members of this committee and others. We want your constructive criticism. We want your feedback.

But President Obama won the election. He beat me in a primary in which he put forth a different approach. And he is now our president and we all want our president, no matter of which party, to succeed, especially in such a perilous time.

So I appreciate your strong feelings, but I think that we are pursuing a course that may very well open up some additional opportunities that we hope will be in our interests and advance our values and protect our security.

REP. PENCE: Thank you.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentleman has expired.

The gentleman from California, Mr. Costa, five minutes.

REPRESENTATIVE JIM COSTA (D-CA): Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for this important hearing.

And Madame Secretary, congratulations for a fresh start and for the good work you've done so far. My questions to you are regarding the Department of State's use of soft power and your thoughts and your ideas in that direction.

But first of all, Mr. Chairman, I'd like -- since many of my colleagues have indicated to the secretary that they intend to send you a letter, I actually sent you a letter in February and I'd like to submit it for the record. And --

REP. BERMAN: It'll be included in the record.

REP. COSTA: Your office did call us yesterday and indicated that you do intend to respond. And I appreciate that and will look forward to the answers.

Many of us have taken numerous visits to the Middle East and the hot spots that we're dealing with. And we see the wonderful men and women in -- Americans in uniform doing work that involves building schools, building bridges and roads, teaching democratic values for local government and state government -- all important -- important work that needs to be done in these places of the world where we're trying to develop partnerships and establish stability in those areas, but frankly, in my view, more appropriate the role of the Department of State than necessarily the Department of Defense.

So my questions to you are the following: How long will it take for the State Department to ramp up in building a robust effort towards soft power?

How much in the way of resources will you need, and what kind of resources will you need? And how can we help you in that effort?

And finally -- and I guess this is always important, even in our own form of democracy -- and that is the expectation game. Realistically, what is -- what should be our expectations in terms of the State Department's implementation of a robust ability to develop soft power in the parts of the world where it could complement all of the other efforts that we're pursuing?

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Congressman Costa, that question is music to my ears, because, obviously, I think that the use of every tool in our foreign-policy toolbox is essential if we're going to be successful.

I think we have a lot of work to do. I said in my confirmation hearings that USAID has been decimated. It has lost personnel. It has lost authority. It's like a contracting agency. And it's heartbreaking, because, like you, I have seen the results of USAID projects and the dedication of the men and women who serve there, but we haven't served them well in their efforts to promote American values.

REP. COSTA: Not at all. And everywhere we go we see the successes of those USAID projects --

SEC. CLINTON: That's right.

REP. COSTA: -- even under the limited support that we provide.

SEC. CLINTON: That's right. And -- but because we're too bureaucratic, we are too overwhelmed by paperwork and contracting and all the rest of it, it is a lot easier for the military to get out in the field and do something.

You know, I said in my confirmation hearing that those of us who have traveled to Iraq and Afghanistan and met with our young soldiers know that. You know, a young captain in the beginning of the Iraq war was literally given a fund -- a commander's fund of money, an emergency response fund, sometimes as much as, you know, $25(,000), 50,000. If they'd need a road prepared, they'd get the road prepared. They needed to open a factory, they would open it -- whereas it would take weeks, if not months, to get money that was appropriated by this Congress actually into the State Department and into USAID and then into the contracting process.

So people just said, wait a minute, we need to move fast. And that's one of the reasons why during the last eight years the authorities began to migrate over to the Defense Department.

REP. COSTA: So how much time are you going to need, what kind of resources to ramp up to have a realistic implementation?

SEC. CLINTON: Well, I think that we're going to -- we're trying to get positioned to be able to make progress immediately. A lot of it depends upon the budget we have, because so much of what we are asked to do in our budget is determined by not only the administration but by Congress making decisions.

So it -- you know, it's going to take a couple of years. I can't promise that, you know, we're going to get it done next year, but we're going to try to start on the right path and then work very closely with the Congress to get the authorities and the appropriations we need to deliver. And I want to have strong outcome measures so that we can figure out whether what we're doing is working.

REP. COSTA: I also mentioned this to you at the end of the State of the Union last month, but we have private-sectors -- we have people -- Americans who are actually providing their own resources in parts of the Middle East.

We ought to support those efforts and add value to those efforts.

SEC. CLINTON: I want many more public-private partnerships, Congressman Costa. I think you're absolutely right.

REP. COSTA: Thank you.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentleman has expired.

The gentleman from Florida, Mr. Klein, is recognized for five minutes.

REP. RON KLEIN (D-FL): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Madame Secretary, congratulations. And I'm just very, very impressed with the leadership that you've taken in the short time you've been in office, so thank you for your service.

The Summit of the Americas, I think, was a great opportunity. And being from Florida, we have looked for many years at the original summit that your husband actually presided over in Miami, and since then -- but even for the last number of years, there's been sort of a vacuum of interest. And it's trade, but it's so many other things that make up for a strong relationship.

Well, one of the specific areas that I have some concern about is -- has to do with hurricanes, believe it or not. And as hurricane season approaches and these hurricanes start off the coast of Africa and move across and come into the Caribbean area -- and we have hurricane-hunter planes, which are Air Force and NOAA planes that help us understand the intensity and the direction so that we can narrow that cone of where the hurricane will make landfall. It has everything to do with the number of lives saved, to the amount of dollars lost and all those kinds of very important things.

There is a gap in the area where our hurricane hunters can fly. And it was pointed out recently by the World Meteorological Organization, an agency of the United Nations, that there are countries in our region, Venezuela being one of them, that are prohibiting us from flying into those areas through our NOAA planes. And other countries who share this information through the World Meteorological Organization, including Cuba, help us all provide for that safety.

And I just wanted to ask you if you can take a look at that and, of course, take that up with your colleagues, on a world level, of course. This is about safety and security for all of our countries, in terms of getting the best data possible.

SEC. CLINTON: Absolutely. I mean, this is -- I'm glad you brought this to my attention. It's not an issue that I was aware of, Congressman Klein. And we will immediately take a look at that, and see if we can't remove any barriers to the hurricane hunters.

REP. KLEIN: It's certainly in the best interests of all of these -- all of the countries, including the ones that are prohibiting the air space. There were actually seven storms in the last few years that formed and intensified over this area.

Second, and if I can, on a different subject, the conference, the Durban II, if you will, conference, took place. I'd like to extend appreciation that we did not participate -- unfortunately, because the underlying purpose of course is a very legitimate purpose; but it was hijacked once before and, unfortunately, as we saw by Mr. Ahmadinejad's comments, it was virulent anti-Israel, anti-Semitism in many ways.

But as we move forward with status with the U.N. Human Rights Council, we of course believe very strongly as Americans in the importance of human rights. Can you share for -- or share with us your thoughts on how we can reform this council, make sure that this in itself does not move in a direction of just focusing on anti-Israel behavior or anything else, but really focuses on the importance of human rights worldwide?

SEC. CLINTON: Well, that's exactly why we have concluded that we will stand for election and resume a role in the Human Rights Council if we are successful, because we've been very disappointed at the behavior and the priorities of the Human Rights Council.

You know, there are so many important human rights issues that literally go to life and death, survival matters, all over the world of horrific abuses, some of which we've discussed today, that never get raised; nobody ever talks about them in the Human Rights Council. And I think that's a grave disservice to, you know, so many people who are hoping that, you know, they will be recognized for what they're suffering.

And yet we've got to be very aware that any of these organizations, if you have a political, ideological agenda, can be hijacked. That's why after serious effort trying to see whether there was any way to salvage the Durban process, we concluded no. And you can see why we were right. You know, it's so unfair that something as serious as racism, discrimination and xenophobia would be so totally overtaken by an agenda that didn't talk about the racism that exists all over the world that we should be focusing on.

So, I think, Congressman, we're going to enter this, again, with a very clear-eyed view that we know it's not an easy structure to interact with. We don't know whether we're going to be able to influence it. But I've had some conversations with some other countries, and we're going to try our best to form a critical mass that will, you know, make the Human Rights Council focus on the vast array of human rights problems that exist around the world.

REP. KLEIN: And I thank you for that. We all believe very strongly, as Americans, of the importance of human rights as part of our national and international agenda. I'm one of these people, as you do, who believes in engagement. We can always say no, we can always have other consequences, but we need to try first.

Thank you very much, Madame Secretary.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentleman has expired.

The gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Carnahan, recognized for five minutes.

REPRESENTATIVE RUSS CARNAHAN (D-MO): I want to add my congratulations to your new position and just congratulate you on your service. I had an opportunity to be at your swearing in at the Harry S. Truman building, appropriately named for the man from Missouri who was a strong internationalist, believed in engagement and had a great appreciation for history. And I know that you will follow that great tradition.

We've seen just in the first few months of the new administration dramatic and positive changes in the U.S. image around the world. And there's a new reservoir of goodwill out there that we can use in that diplomatic toolkit that you have spoken about so often and so well.

And I had a chance to see that firsthand with our congressional delegation at the IPU conference in Ethiopia. Congresswoman Watson mentioned that. But our delegation was not just received openly; they were actually received with genuine and broad enthusiasm. So it was a -- it was a very big shift from what we've seen in past years. And there's a great enthusiasm for us to be re-engaged in international organizations and initiatives from the economic crisis, climate change, poverty and disease -- the list goes on.

Mr. Costa covered a lot of my question about the use of smart power, but I just want to make an editorial comment.

I would hope that we can eliminate the term "soft power," because I think there's nothing soft about smart power. (And ?) I want to be sure that we are giving the budget priorities to that new approach in diplomacy in our country.

The other issues I wanted to cover was the -- in Bosnia. I represent one of the largest populations of Bosnian-Americans in the country, in the St. Louis area. With Chris Smith, my colleague, we have formed a Bosnian Caucus in the Congress. It's a society there that has a history of multicultural existence and multi-ethnic existence. They're in need of constitutional reforms. There hasn't been much movement since the days of the Clinton administration, and I would hope we can put some renewed emphasis there to get Eastern Europe right. And I'd like to hear your comment about that.

And finally, we also stopped in Cyprus on the way back. Congressman McMahon mentioned the power grid, potential to cooperate. We also saw a unique operation -- the U.N. Committee on Missing Persons had unique cooperation between Greek and Turkish Cypriots on one of the most sensitive issues on the island. And I think that's also a great model in terms of going forward with reconciliation.

SEC. CLINTON: Thank you so much, Congressman Carnahan. And I love your quote. I wrote it down. Nothing soft about smart power. That's exactly our belief.

And thank you for mentioning Bosnia. The western Balkans are a matter of great concern to us. I've spent a lot of time both with our colleagues at NATO and at the EU talking about what we can and should do with respect to Bosnia and other countries in the Balkans. I applaud you and Congressman Smith for creating a caucus on Bosnia, and I would love to have an opportunity to get any ideas you have.

We still have work to do. We have not adequately established a democratic, functioning government or in any way approached an -- a reintegration of society in Bosnia. So I hope that you will be part of what we do going forward to try to figure out how we're going to address Bosnia and the western Balkans.

And finally, on Cyprus, you know, there's a lot of opportunities for cooperation. This is another one that I wasn't familiar with, and I will look into it as well. But I just appreciate your emphasis on the kind of model of internationalism that is smart, is very clear eyed but engaged.

Let's look for opportunities.

Let's figure out how we influence behavior. We lost a lot of a ground, as a country, the last eight years. We really ceded moral authority, in a way that I think has undermined our security.

Our financial crisis woes and our dependence on a country like China to, you know, hold their treasury instruments, I mean -- there's -- this is a very complex world in which we are operating. And we think that a better approach is to try to build up that reservoir of good will, because we're certainly going to have to probably, you know, see it paid down over time.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentleman has expired.

The gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Connolly, is recognized for five minutes.

REPRESENTATIVE GERRY CONNOLLY (D-VA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And it's great to see you again, Madame Secretary. I last saw you at George Mason University in the fall. And I just also wanted to say, I honestly believe that President Obama's election and your selection, as secretary of State, have done more to restore U.S. credibility abroad and to give us -- open new opportunities for U.S. diplomacy than anything I can think of in living memory.

Incalculable damage was done to the United States' interests, in the last eight years, with a unilateral cowboy diplomacy, with a bullying technique, neither of which frankly are worthy of a great power.

And the idea that some might criticize the president for shaking a hand, when every single president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt had no compunction, in shaking the hands of people who might be unsavory characters but with whom we wanted to be engaged, is truly clutching at straws, to try to find something apparently to be critical of and perhaps to distract our attention from the damage done the last eight years.

I applaud what you and President Obama are doing. You are a breath of fresh air. And I thank you for your leadership. Madame Secretary, let me ask. You recently visited Turkey.

There are some who would say that it is very much in our interests that Turkey become a member of the EU. It stabilizes that critical corner of the world. And it really rewards a secular, Islamic form of government that is a model so desperately needed in other parts of the world.

It's a critical NATO ally. It's been a military ally of the United States on many, many occasions. What is the position of the United States government, with respect to the issue of the accession of Turkey to EU membership?

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Congressman Connolly, when President Obama was recently in Turkey, he spoke to the Turkish parliament. And he reiterated the United States government's support for Turkey's accession to the European Union.

When I was in Brussels, meeting with the European Union and the European Commission, I also underscored our support for Turkey's membership in the EU. We believe that it is, exactly as you described, in the best long-term strategic interests of Europe, of the region and of the United States. So we strongly support it.

REP. CONNOLLY: Thank you, Madame Secretary.

Madame Secretary, some observers of the new president have noted that perhaps the proliferation of special envoys -- Ambassador Holbrooke, former Senator George Mitchell, very talented individuals, as well as some other envoys, might have the unintended consequence of fracturing the execution of U.S. foreign policy and making it harder to coordinate and speak with one voice.

I wonder if you could address that issue, as the secretary of State.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, Mr. Connolly, I believe strongly in the use of special envoys. Upon my selection by President Obama back in December, I, in my first meeting, discussed with him what I saw as the opportunities available for the use of special envoys. He obviously agreed and we have appointed some extremely talented people.

I think that the terrain in which we're operating and the complexity of the environment in which we find ourselves, that we inherited, has meant that we could not possibly have addressed in depth each of these challenging issues from Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Middle East and beyond without the concerted attention of a special envoy and a team drawn from not just the State Department but trying to put together interagency teams that come together to provide the expertise and experience needed to advise me and advise the president. I do not see it at all as fracturing. I see it as intensifying the ability of our government to move quickly.

And, of course, there is another element, and that is the very long time it takes to get senior officials in our department or any department confirmed. I have very few confirmed positions. If we were to wait for a confirmed secretary, assistant secretary or undersecretary to pursue some of these hot-button issues, we'd still be waiting. And I don't think we can afford that.

REP. CONNOLLY: Thank you, Madame Secretary. I look forward to working with you.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentleman is expired. If we lock the doors now then the next member will be the last member to question, the gentlelady from Nevada, Ms. Berkley.

REPRESENTATIVE SHELLEY BERKLEY (D-NV): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I was getting a little nervous, as I looked up at the clock. But I'm delighted to have an opportunity to welcome the secretary.

I know that many of the congresspeople from New York have expressed their great pride in having you here. As a former New Yorker and a Nevadan by choice, let me echo what they say -- what they have said and thank you for being here and thank you for the remarkable job that you're doing on behalf of our great nation.

There's three points that I want to touch on very quickly, because I know that my time is limited. A number of people have commented on the fact that perhaps President Obama should not have shaken the hand of President Chavez when he approached him. I can tell you that, as an American, I would have been mortified if our president had done anything other than what he did.

I have no doubt that was a setup. President Chavez is a very clever fellow. He knew exactly what he was doing. And I think that our president behaved in a manner that could make all of us very proud of him.

The second thing is, I just returned from leading a delegation of congresspeople to the 66th Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue, which is an ongoing discussion between members of Congress and our European Union parliament counterparts. Prior to attending the meeting in Prague -- and this is the 33rd year that this dialogue has been going on -- we also went to Estonia, Lithuania. We met with dissidents from Belarus and then we went to Prague.

Two points. One is, the Estonians, the Lithuanians and, of course, the dissidents from Belarus reaching out to the United States, very grateful for our steadfast support, for creating their fledgling democracies. They are having, as you know, serious financial problems in that part of the world, but are very grateful to the United States. And it was a pleasure to meet with all of their government officials.

The second thing is that it's my understanding that, prior to the last administration, whether they were Republicans or -- whether it was a Republican administration or a Democratic administration, there was tremendous support at the Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue by the administration and their secretary of states. That did not happen in the last eight years. And I'm hoping that I can work with somebody in your office to bring this Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue up to the level that it once was. In the 33 years that this dialogue has been going on, I can't think of a time that it is more important to engage with our European allies than it is now. So if -- upon reflection, if you could give me a name, I would appreciate it.

The third and last thing that I'd like to talk about is the two- state solution in the Middle East. I have been a proponent of a two- state solution, but it has always been prefaced on the three issues that you discussed initially, when Mr. Ackerman spoke of the situation in the Gaza: recognizing Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, recognizing and enforcing all of the previous agreements, stopping the terrorism and the rockets coming into Israel and raining terror on innocent Israeli civilians. I would add a fourth, and that fourth would be getting the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit back to his family and his loved ones. I think that would be very important.

To me, I worry about creating the two-state solution at this -- at this particular moment in time. I fear that Abu Mazen is a very weak -- I'm hesitant to call him a leader -- a weak president that does not have the faith and allegiance and support of his own people in the West Bank, and certainly not the Gaza. I worry that giving him additional aid will not be helpful to us, insofar as it is very hard to track any of the aid that we've ever given and see where it has been productive and helpful to the Palestinian people.

I worry also about providing aid to the Palestinians that live in the Gaza or the West Bank through UNRWA, because that, to me, has been -- has proven very unsatisfactory in the past as well. I'd like to get your opinion on that.

And thank you again for being here.

SEC. CLINTON: Well, thank you, Congresswoman.

Let me just quickly say, of course, we will work with you on the Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue. And thank you for going to Estonia and Lithuania and talking to the dissidents from Belarus. They need to be absolutely assured that the United States stands with them. We take our Article 5 responsibilities in NATO very seriously. And we hope for better times for the people of Belarus.

Let me just add quickly that I am very impressed with Salam Fayyad, who has served as the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority. I think the reforms he has implemented should give us all a much greater sense of security.

There is a transparency and accountability measure that has never been present before. We have made it clear, both to the Palestinian Authority, in my visit in Ramallah, as well as to friends and interested nations, that we do want to support and build up the Palestinian Authority.

Obviously we want to see changes. But we want to applaud the changes that Salam Fayyad has made. So it's a challenging course. But we don't see any alternative to a two-state solution.

We think it is not only in the best interests of the Palestinians that they have a sovereign state but that it's absolutely critical to Israel's security that we proceed on this path. But I look forward to, you know, discussing with you some of the concerns that you and others have expressed.

REP. BERKLEY: And with the last minute --

REP. BERMAN: No.

REP. BERKLEY: No, I don't have a minute.

REP. BERMAN: No. You have a minus --

REP. BERKLEY: I have a minus --

REP. BERMAN: You have 1:25 more than 5.

REP. BERKLEY: But her response was so long.

REP. BERMAN: I know. Her response was so good. (Laughter.)

REP. BERKLEY: Yes, it was excellent.

REP. BERMAN: The time of the gentlelady has expired.

And we would ask Madame Secretary, if you would be willing to, to respond for the 230 or so questions that must have been asked, for the record, because they never gave you time to respond to them. And members will have until Wednesday, April 29th to submit questions for the record. And the record will stay open to receive them.

And Madame Secretary, all I can say is, a very impressive performance here. The hearing is now adjourned. Thank you very much for being with us.


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