Request to Discharge Committee on the Judiciary from Further Consolidation of House Resolution 1559

22 September 1976
Article

Condemning Murders of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt; US Congressional Record - House, 22 September 1976

TNI and the Pinochet precedent

Request to Discharge Committee on the Judiciary from Further Consolidation of House Resolution 1559
Condemning Murders of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt
Congressional Record - House, 22 September 1976

Mr. MOFFETT: Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the Committee on the Judiciary be discharged from the further consideration of House Resolution 1559, expressing the sense of the House of Representatives condemning the murders of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt, and ask for its immediate consideration.

The Clerk read the title of the resolution.

The SPEAKER: Is there objection to the request of the gentleman of Connecticut?

McDONALD: Mr. Speaker, reserving the right to object, this resolution was stimulated by an event that took place yesterday, and about which we have little information. The resolution is offered in haste and perhaps should be considered in a more deliberate manner in regular order.

The tragic explosion might have been prevented had law-enforcement agencies been permitted to do their jobs and plant informants in violence oriented groups. The Institute for Policy Studies has been in the forefront of the attack on intelligence gathering; and have used both the courts and their influence in Congress to destroy local and national intelligence programs.

Some of our colleagues who are the most vehemently outspoken in condemning the murder of Letelier and Mrs. Moffitt are the same ones who have helped to emasculate the Nation's intelligence-gathering programs. In the many previous incidents of terrorist atrocities where the victim was not a leftist, we heard no such outcries.

Is there anyone here who remembers Dr. Marcus Foster? Marcus Foster was the black school superintendent shot and killed with cyanide bullets by the Symbionese Liberation Army. The only congressional voice on this matter was that of the House Committee on Internal Security which used a timely and valuable report on the SLA.

A number of car bombings have taken place in the Miami area recently against anti-Castro Cubans. There is excellent reason to believe these murders were committed by Castro's secret police, the DGI. Again no national outcry has been raised.

POINT OF ORDER

Mr.EDWARDS of California: Mr. Speaker, a point of order.

Mr. Speaker, I make the point of order that the gentleman is not addressing the objection.

The SPEAKER: The gentleman will proceed in order.

McDONALD: Mr. Speaker, further reserving the right to object, the victim, Letelier, has been a leader of IPS's Transnational Institute which includes persons involved in terrorist violence throughout the world. The domestic IPS has close links with the terrorist Weather Underground and other violence-probe groups.

Tariq Ali, a Pakistani Trotskyite, is a fellow of the Transnational Institute. He has publicly advocated terrorism and is a member of the International Executive Committee of the terrorist Fourth International. He serves as a leader of the British section of the Fourth International, the International Marxist Group, which provides manpower and support to Saor Eire, a terrorist organization which is conducting kidnapings and murders in England and Ireland.

Robert 'Bo" Burlingham, a prominent functionary of IPS's Cambridge subsidiary, was indicted in a bombing conspiracy in 1972, but charges were dropped when his Weathermen co-defendants could not be apprehended. Burlingham said in 1974: I don't think an equitable, fair, free democratic world order is going to happen any other way than through violence.

Basker Vashee, a TNI fellow in Amsterdam, is a member of the national executive of the Marxist terrorist Zimbabwe African People's Union - ZAPU - which is supported by the Soviet bloc and which is waging a terror campaign against the civilian population of Rhodesia.

Terrorist bombings have been prevented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local police by the effective use of undercover agents and informants. In 1964, a New York City police undercover officer prevented a terrorist group from blowing up the Statue of Liberty. A few years later undercover officers of the same department prevented another group of terrorist from assassinating American Negro leaders Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young. An FBI informant broke up a bomb ring within a few days after penetrating a group which had bombed banks and businesses in New York.

Terrorism must be prevented whether the victims are rightwing, leftwing, or nonpolitical.

If this incident teaches us anything, it is that we must strengthen the Internal security forces of our country. I favor a thorough congressional investigation on this tragic incident and all other terrorist activities that are taking place in this country and throughout the world.

Another bomb exploded yesterday in New York. It was directed against the Governor of Puerto Rico. Luckily there were no casualties. The South African Consulate in San Francisco was the target of a terrorist bombing by the leftist New World Liberation Front this past weekend.

We need a House Committee on Internal Security to thoroughly investigate terrorism and to propose legislation necessary to cope with this problem.

I know that my colleague from Connecticut, Mr. MOFFETT, is truly concerned about the problem of terrorism. Unfortunately, he is often gravely misinformed as when on October 7, 1975, he told the House that Chilean Christian Democrat Bernardo Leighton had been murdered in Rome by agents of the Chilean secret police. In fact, Leighton is still alive and in good health; and after a year of investigation the Italian police have developed no evidence linking the Chilean Government with the assault on Leighton.

All of us would be better informed about the activities of international and domestic terrorists if we had out own congressional committee investigating this area.

Congressman JOHN ASHBROOK introduced HR 1577 on January 17, 1975. This bill would have made a major contribution to the fight against international terrorism. It was assigned to the Judiciary Committee which never held hearings on it. The Justice Department under Edward Levi never responded to a request to comment on the bill. Those who are so eloquent condemning terrorism today should join with Mr. ASHBROOK and this Member in asking the Judiciary Committee to report out HR 1577. They should also join us in working for the reestablishment of the House Committee on Internal Security which would have the jurisdiction to investigate this area.

Mr. Speaker, I withdraw my objection.

Mr. EDWARDS of California. Regular order.

The SPEAKER: Regular order is requested.

Mr. ASHBROOK: Mr. Speaker, regular order is to object, and I will object.

The SPEAKER: Objection is heard.

Mr. McDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I withdraw my reservation of objection.

The SPEAKER: Objection is heard.