Kerry Statement at 3rd Law of the Sea Hearing: Republican Opponents and Proponents Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA)chaired a hearing featuring witness testimony from Republican proponents and opponents of the Treaty,
BigNews.Biz - Jun 15,2012 - Kerry Statement at 3rd Law of the Sea Hearing: Republican Opponents and Proponents
WASHINGTON, DC – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA)chaired a hearing featuring witness testimony from Republican proponents and opponents of the Treaty, including former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, former U.S. Department of State Legal Adviser John Bellinger, and the Heritage Foundation’s Steven Groves.
“we have folks with different points of view on the same panel and have an opportunity to really dig in,” said Chairman Kerry. “Drawing on the two hearings we’ve had, I believe that even critics of the Law of the Sea are beginning to join the consensus that the navigational bill of rights provided for in the treaty, and which our military and our shippers rely on every day, are beneficial to the United States.”
This morning, Senator Kerry chaired the second in a series of Law of the Sea hearings featuring four Admirals and two Generals sharing the U.S. Military’s perspective on the merits of ratifying the treaty.
Chairman Kerry also shared his thoughts ahead of today’s hearings in a blog post on the Huffington Post, calling the Law of the Sea Treaty “a treaty that boasts an unprecedented breadth of support from Republican foreign policy experts, the United States military, and the hard-nosed, bottom line American business community.”
The full text of Chairman Kerry’s opening statement, as delivered, is below:
Good afternoon and thank you all for coming.
This is our third hearing on the Law of the Sea Convention, and we’re going to have some more after this, no doubt. And I’m particularly looking forward to this afternoon, because what I like about it is that we have folks with different points of view on the same panel and have an opportunity to really dig in and I hope we will do. And I think that will be useful to everybody here.
Senator Inhofe, along with a number of other colleagues, requested that I invite four witnesses to testify. And so we did. We invited all four. Two of them—Secretary Rumsfeld and Steven Groves—agreed to join us today, along with two other distinguished witnesses. And I’m really happy that all of you could take the time to be here with us.
Donald Rumsfeld everybody knows is currently President of the Rumsfeld Foundation and held various, very senior positions in previous administrations, most recently serving as Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush.
He is joined by John Negroponte, who is also a veteran of multiple administrations. Most recently, Mr. Negroponte served as our first Director of National Intelligence and then as Deputy Secretary of State in the George W. Bush Administration. And he’s currently Vice Chairman at McLarty Associates.
I am also pleased to have John Bellinger. From 2001-2005, he served in the White House as Senior Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush and then as the Legal Adviser to the National Security Council. From 2005-2009, he