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(回答先: 【朝日新聞】ホロコースト生き残り、ラントス米下院外交委員長が死去【対日「従軍慰安婦問題」追及勢力の有力メンバー】 投稿者 passenger 日時 2008 年 2 月 13 日 19:09:36)
CONGRESSMAN SAYS GIRL WAS CREDIBLE
By CLIFFORD KRAUSS,
Published: January 12, 1992
The co-chairman of a Congressional panel has defended his decision to conceal the identity of a teen-age Kuwaiti girl whose account of Iraqi atrocities helped to stir American opinion in favor of the Persian Gulf war, arguing that the fact that her father was the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the United States did not alter her credibility.
An article on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times on Monday asserted that it was irresponsible for the Congressional Human Rights Caucus to propagate the accusation that Iraqi soldiers had removed scores of babies from Kuwaiti hospital incubators and left them to die without identifying the young woman beyond her first name, Nayirah.
The girl's account, which was later disputed by independent human rights monitors, created a furor that helped convince several Senators to vote in favor of authorizing military action against Iraq.
In the article, John R. MacArthur, publisher of Harper's Magazine, also criticized the Congressional panel for not demanding proof that the young woman had witnessed the atrocities she described. Sought to Protect Relatives
Representative Tom Lantos, Democrat of California and co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, confirmed in an interview Tuesday the assertion that he obeyed the wishes of Saud Nasir al-Sabah, Kuwait's Ambassador to Washington, to conceal the 15-year-old's identity, saying he did so to protect relatives and friends living in Kuwait at the time.
"The notion that any of the witnesses brought to the caucus through the Kuwaiti Embassy would not be credible did not cross my mind," Mr. Lantos said. "I have no basis for assuming that her story is not true, but the point goes beyond that. If one hypothesizes that the woman's story is fictitious from A to Z, that in no way diminishes the avalanche of human rights violations."
Representative John E. Porter of Illinois, the Republican co-chairman of the caucus, said that Mr. Lantos had not revealed the woman's identity to him either, but that he was not disturbed. "The media happened to focus on her," he said. "If she hadn't testified, they would have focused on something else."
In a statement, Ambassador Sabah said that his daughter had witnessed the atrocities she described, and that her presence in Kuwait at the time can be verified by the United States Embassy in Kuwait. Donations by Kuwaiti Lobby
Mr. MacArthur, who has written a book on censorship and propaganda during the Gulf war, suggested in his article that Mr. Lantos and Mr. Porter did not choose to verify the teen-ager's accusation partly because of their close connections to Hill and Knowlton, a public relations company hired by Citizens for a Free Kuwait, a Kuwait-financed group that lobbied Congress for United States military intervention. Hill and Knowlton helped select the witnesses heard by the caucus.
The article also said that the Congressional Human Rights Foundation, a private group founded by Mr. Lantos and Mr. Porter in 1985 to promote human rights, had its offices in Hill and Knowlton's Washington headquarters and that the public relations company provided a $3,000 rent reduction to the foundation. Furthermore, Hill and Knowlton's client, Citizens for a Free Kuwait, had donated $50,000 to the foundation.
Mr. Lantos categorically denied that such donations had any relationship to his caucus's October 1990 hearing, saying it had also held hearings criticizing human rights violations by the Indonesian Government, another Hill and Knowlton client.
Unlike Congressional committees, the human rights caucus does not originate legislation. Designed to highlight human rights abuses, the caucus receives its financing from funds appropriated to the offices of individual members of Congress.
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