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June 8, 2006
Chairman Lugar, Members of the Committee, thank you for your active interest in the essential role that non-governmental organizations play in the defense of freedom and the development of democracy across the globe. I welcome this opportunity to highlight the contributions of NGOs, to share with you our concerns about the restrictions that a growing number of governments are placing on NGO activities, and to offer suggestions on how we can protect NGOs’ vital work. I will summarize my prepared remarks, Mr. Chairman, and request that my full testimony be entered into the record.
When I appeared before this Committee last September seeking confirmation as the Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, I stated that, if confirmed, one of my highest priorities would be "to consult and partner closely with the many dedicated and capable NGOs working on human rights and democracy." I also pledged to "make every effort to protect the work of NGOs against efforts by foreign governments to constrain, harass, intimidate, and silence their work."
As Assistant Secretary, I have had the privilege of meeting with many NGOs, both here and abroad, and I have greatly benefited from their information, their insights and their ideas. As President Bush stated in his second inaugural address: "… it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world." The work of NGOs is crucial to reaching that goal.
So, if it is fine with the US Department of State to use non governmental entities to communicate with and benefit from their participation in foreign affairs, why isn't it fine for Trump to use Rudy Juliani to bypass potentially corrupt bureaucratic employees that have the potential to undermine, obstruct and illegally transmit confidential information to the presidents adversaries in a corrupt government?