Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the remaining time.
I would just briefly close by citing just a few statistics on extraditions. I have had the privilege over the last 10 years now of serving as chairman of the U.S.-Mexico Interparliamentary meeting. I can remember when I first started attending 20 years ago, extradition was the issue that we are always talking about. We do not talk about that very much anymore, and the reason is very simple.
The first 14 years of the Extradition Treaty with Mexico, from 1980 to 1994, a total of 14 years, Mexico extradited eight, a total of eight fugitives to the United States. Between 1996 and 2000, Mexico extradited an annual average of 13 fugitives each year to the United States.
Mexico has extradited more fugitives every year between 1996 and 2000 than in the first 15 years of the Bilateral Extradition Treaty combined. In 2004 they extradited a record 34 fugitives to the U.S., up from the record numbers of 17 in 2001, a record number of 25 in 2002, and 31 in 2003. These include 19 Mexican nationals and 17 narcotics defendants.
So I think there is no question that Mexico is doing what they can do. Can there be more done? Can they do better? Do we have areas of disagreement? Yes, we do, and one of these issues is the matter of the length of term for which a person may be sentenced to prison. We are working with them on that.
But I would urge my colleagues that this amendment is certainly not going to help us get a cooperative attitude with Mexico if it were to pass. I urge its defeat.
Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. WEINER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Chairman, perhaps the more appropriate question about this amendment is not why should we restrict any funds in this bill from going to the Nation of Saudi Arabia, but why should we allow any funds from this or any other budget to be going to Saudi Arabia.
There is not much in the bill, but there is $25,000 for the Saudis, the IMET program. More importantly, that money triggers allocations in future bills that permit the Saudis to buy U.S. arms at a discounted rate.
The administration, when they were asked to justify why we would give any money to a nation that exports terror, a nation that is getting almost $60 for a barrel of crude oil, here is what they say in their State Department budget justification: ``While Saudi Arabia controls the world's largest oil reserve, it faces an increasing budget pressure.''
So I guess one of the reasons we are providing aid to the Saudis is because of their budget pressures.
Frankly, we have heard a great deal over the course of years; in fact, the distinguished chairman of the subcommittee, who has done a terrific job on this bill in many ways, has argued in the past that the Saudis are doing better, they are doing better at cracking down on crime. But on May 28 of 2005, Syria arrested 300 Saudis trying to cross the border into Iraq to join the Jihad against the United States. I would say to my colleagues in the House that if you are relying on Syria to crack down
on terrorism against Saudi Arabia, you know you have trouble.
Recently, a report in The Washington Post analyzed all of the Web sites where Jihadists brag about their so-called martyrdom, places where they list those who have given their lives so that they can blow up others, including our troops. They concluded that 70 percent of the homicide bombers on Islamic extremist Web sites are Saudis. Sixty-one percent of the Arab martyrs in Iraq are Saudis. This is just in recent months, in recent times since our last bill passed.
According to Ambassador Dory Gold, in testimony before a Subcommittee of the House Committee on International Relations in July of 2003, at least 50 percent of the funding for Hamas is Saudi blood money.
We all know the history of Osama bin Laden. When he left Saudi Arabia, he did so with, by some estimates, nearly $1 billion of Saudi blood money which was subsequently used, as we know, to attack my city, and others.
The time has come for us to say once again, just as we did last year in this bill, no aid to Saudi Arabia, no aid to a country that exports Wahabisim, no aid to a country that exports terrorism, no aid to a country that has been worse than uncooperative in our efforts to control worldwide oil prices.
There is no other way to view the Saudis except as our enemies, not as our friends. Nothing, I think, was more troubling for many of us than to see the President waiting in Crawford, Texas for over an hour while the Crown Prince came and then gave a lecture to our President on the way to fight terrorism.
The way we in the House should fight terrorism is to not provide any more aid to the Saudis, and my amendment would do that.
Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment, and I yield myself such time as I may consume.
This is another one of those amendments that is difficult to speak against, I suppose, because we all have our problems with the record in Saudi Arabia. But it is also one that when we look at it in the cold light, I think we recognize that it does not do what it says it is going to do, it is symbolic, and the symbolism comes down on the wrong side.
In the past there have been elements, certainly, of the Saudi Government that have not been helpful to the United States in its Global War on Terrorism but, in the past few years, the Government of Saudi Arabia has greatly increased its efforts to root out terrorism and has increased its cooperation with the United States Government.
Now, this bill provides a really very small sum of $25,000 to the International Military Education and Training program, or IMET, to help train and increase military contracts with the Saudi military. Some would say, what could you possibly do for $25,000, and why do we not charge the Saudi Government for this training? In fact, that is exactly what we do. By providing this sum of $25,000, about the cost of training one officer, we allow them access to the program, and this results in Saudi Arabia
spending approximately $13 million of its own funds on an annual basis to train over 400 students at U.S. military schools. This training exposes Saudi officers to U.S. military doctrines, training regimes, systems and, most importantly, to U.S. values.
With the Global War on Terrorism, now is not the time to turn our backs on those who have albeit belatedly, turned to us for assistance and cooperation. We need all the friends and the allies that we can get in this fight against terrorism. There is no question that the Saudi Arabian government has been remiss in the past in its commitments to combating terrorism, but that is changing and, above all, we need to be encouraging the change, not discouraging it, which is precisely, of course, what
this amendment would do.
So let us not drive a wedge between the United States and the Arab regimes that are cooperating with us on the War on Terrorism. I urge that we defeat this amendment.
Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Weiner amendment. This provision was included in the fiscal year 2005 Foreign Operations bill, and I believe it should be included again.
This is a common sense amendment. It sends a message to Saudi Arabia that the United States is serious about reform.
We impatiently await Saudi Government efforts to eliminate anti-Semitic and anti-Israel propaganda from its state-controlled media. We are looking for democratic reforms in Saudi Arabia, including reforms that would allow the women of that country a voice in shaping their country.
We still have not seen Saudi Arabia disavow its propaganda campaign against Christians and Jews, a campaign that is alive and well here in our very own country, as Saudi-exported materials inciting hatred and prejudice are made available at Saudi-supported American mosques.
In short, it is all carrot these days and too little sticks. The Weiner amendment provides some incentive for change in Saudi Arabia. I urge my colleagues to support the amendment.
Mr. Chairman, I am happy to yield to the gentlewoman from Nevada (Ms. Berkley).
Ms. BERKLEY. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman, and I want to thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. Weiner) for introducing this amendment yet again, which I have supported year after year. I rise in strong support of this amendment.
No one is born knowing how to hate; it needs to be taught. The Saudi Kingdom, our purported partner in peace, have turned teaching hatred into a perverted art form. Saudi textbooks, official publications of the Education Ministry, paint a hate-filled, distorted portrait of a world in which Israel does not exist, the 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by a worldwide Zionist conspiracy, and the protocols of the Elders of Zion is taught as history.
Saudi Arabia's religious beliefs have banned Barbie dolls, calling them Jewish toys that are offensive to Islam.
Last year, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah was quoted as telling Saudi television that ``Zionists'' were behind the attack at the oil facility at Yanbu. The Crown Prince was also quoted as saying, ``Our country is targeted, you know who is behind all of this. It is Zionism.''
Fifteen of the 19 9/11 attackers were Saudi nationals; we all know that. [Page: H5334]
Knowing this, did the Saudi government express one word of remorse or regret to the families of the victims? No, not one word.
The Saudis and President Bush are constantly declaring to the United States that they are our partners in the War on Terrorism. We are talking about the same Saudis that support, encourage, and finance terrorism, the same Saudis that exude racist and anti-Semitic hatred, the same Saudis that have the worst record on the planet when it comes to religious intolerance, racial intolerance, and discrimination against women.
Our world will never be safe when children are taught hatred and disdain, when the terrorist mission of death and destruction is being funded by the Saudis.
It is unbelievable to me that we continue to pretend that they are our allies, and it is completely inexplicable that one penny of American taxpayer money is going to Saudi Arabia.
I do not want my taxpayer dollars going to the Saudis, and I do not want anyone else's. Let us pass this and send a strong message to our so-called partner in peace that either they are with us or they are against us. They cannot have it both ways, and neither can our administration.
Mr. WEINER. Mr. Chairman, I want to respond to a couple of things that the chairman said.
For 3 years now, I have heard the argument for continued support for the Saudis as two somewhat contradictory positions. One, it is not a lot of money; and two, they are getting better.
Well, I think it is incumbent upon all of us, particularly in this bill when we are already short-funded, to justify why it is we provide any money at all if they are not an ally. If they are not espousing U.S. American views, if they are not improving democracy, what are they doing? I will tell you what they are doing, Mr. Chairman. They are traveling to Iraq and blowing up our troops.
That is not according to me; that is according to their own bragging Web sites and The Washington Post assessment about who they are. There is a dramatic increase in the amount of violence since we offered this bill last year, not a decline. There is a dramatic increase in the exporting of Wahabiism, not a decline. And there is no sign of greater cooperation. You know, a sign of great cooperation is not hiring a very expensive lobbyist here, running TV ads, running newspaper ads. A sign of cooperation
is saying we are going to start cracking down on terror, not moving it out of our country into someone else's problem.
The problem that we face here, whether it is $25,000, $25 million or $25 billion, is we articulate our values in this bill. And our values are simply not to be supportive of the Saudi Arabian Government.
Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Ferguson).
Mr. FERGUSON. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding time. I want to thank the chairman for his very good work on this bill. It is an excellent bill. I know they put an enormous amount of work into it, and I rise in support of this amendment because I think we can make it even better; and that is why I am joining the gentleman from New York in offering this amendment, the Weiner/Ferguson amendment; and I rise in strong support of the amendment.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to be one of the largest financers of terrorism in the world. And the fact that this bill provides American dollars to this country for U.S.-subsidized military training is nothing short of astounding.
Our own government's reports chronicle Saudi Arabia's continuing human rights abuses, ongoing financing of terrorist groups, and exporting of terrorist ideologies. It is amazing that we are looking to Saudi Arabia, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and giving them money out of our legislation. Now is not the time to reduce pressure on Saudi Arabia. Instead of rewarding the Saudi Government for financing terrorism and harboring terrorists, we should be holding them accountable for
well-documented human rights abuses and terrorist connections.
I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting the Weiner/Ferguson amendment.
Mr. WEINER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time.
First of all, let me just say to the chairman and the ranking member, they have done an excellent job with a limited budget. But I think we should give them an extra $25,000 to work with by saying that we are not going to provide comfort to the Saudis, we are not going to provide aid, taxpayer aid to the Saudi Arabians.
This is not just the position of a bipartisan group here in Congress. The Council on Foreign Relations has said for years individuals and charities based in Saudi Arabia have been the most important source of funds for al Qaeda.
The 9/11 Commission said Saudi Arabia is ``a problematic ally in fighting Islamic extremism.'' Our own State Department says Hamas receives funding from ``private benefactors in Saudi Arabia.''
There is not probably an observer of the scene today that does not recognize that Saudi Arabia has done a very deft two-face game. They come here, they send us a moderate face. They have convinced, obviously, our State Department, who walks along almost in lock step with everything that they say.
We here in Congress should say we understand that we are going to start judging nations in the post-September 11 world by what they do, not by what they say. And what the Saudi Arabians have done is export Wahabiism to the United States, export terrorism to the troops in Iraq, and export terror all around the world.
Vote ``yes'' on the Weiner/Ferguson amendment. Let us finally put an end to it.