[House Hearing, 111 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
EXPLORING THE NATURE OF UIGHUR
NATIONALISM: FREEDOM FIGHTERS OR TERRORISTS?
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, HUMAN RIGHTS AND OVERSIGHT
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS
JUNE 16, 2009
Serial No. 111-30
Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
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COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California, Chairman
GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey
Samoa DAN BURTON, Indiana
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey ELTON GALLEGLY, California
BRAD SHERMAN, California DANA ROHRABACHER, California
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois
ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
BILL DELAHUNT, Massachusetts RON PAUL, Texas
GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York JEFF FLAKE, Arizona
DIANE E. WATSON, California MIKE PENCE, Indiana
RUSS CARNAHAN, Missouri JOE WILSON, South Carolina
ALBIO SIRES, New Jersey JOHN BOOZMAN, Arkansas
GERALD E. CONNOLLY, Virginia J. GRESHAM BARRETT, South Carolina
MICHAEL E. McMAHON, New York CONNIE MACK, Florida
JOHN S. TANNER, Tennessee JEFF FORTENBERRY, Nebraska
GENE GREEN, Texas MICHAEL T. McCAUL, Texas
LYNN WOOLSEY, CaliforniaAs TED POE, Texas
of 3/12/09 deg. BOB INGLIS, South Carolina
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas GUS BILIRAKIS, Florida
BARBARA LEE, California
SHELLEY BERKLEY, Nevada
JOSEPH CROWLEY, New York
MIKE ROSS, Arkansas
BRAD MILLER, North Carolina
DAVID SCOTT, Georgia
JIM COSTA, California
KEITH ELLISON, Minnesota
GABRIELLE GIFFORDS, Arizona
RON KLEIN, Florida
Richard J. Kessler, Staff Director
Yleem Poblete, Republican Staff Director
Subcommittee on International Organizations,
Human Rights and Oversight
BILL DELAHUNT, Massachusetts, Chairman
RUSS CARNAHAN, Missouri DANA ROHRABACHER, California
KEITH ELLISON, Minnesota RON PAUL, Texas
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey TED POE, Texas
ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
Cliff Stammerman, Subcommittee Staff Director
Paul Berkowitz, Republican Professional Staff Member
Brian Forni, Staff Associate
C O N T E N T S
Mr. Randall G. Schriver, Partner, Armitage International (former
Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs,
U.S. Department of State)...................................... 9
Sean R. Roberts, Ph.D., Director and Associate Professor,
International Development Studies Program, Elliott School of
International Affairs, The George Washington University........ 17
Dru C. Gladney, Ph.D., President, Pacific Basin Institute, Pomona
Ms. Shirley Kan, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division,
Congressional Research Service................................. 58
Ms. Susan Baker Manning, Partner, Bingham McCutchen.............. 64
Bruce Fein, Esq., Principal, The Litchfield Group................ 75
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
Mr. Randall G. Schriver: Prepared statement...................... 14
Sean R. Roberts, Ph.D.: Prepared statement....................... 20
Dru C. Gladney, Ph.D.: Prepared statement........................ 27
Ms. Shirley Kan: Prepared statement.............................. 61
Ms. Susan Baker Manning: Prepared statement...................... 67
Bruce Fein, Esq.: Prepared statement............................. 77
Hearing notice................................................... 124
Hearing minutes.................................................. 126
The Honorable Dana Rohrabacher, a Representative in Congress from
the State of California: Material submitted for the record..... 127
EXPLORING THE NATURE OF UIGHUR NATIONALISM: FREEDOM FIGHTERS OR
TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2009
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on International Organizations,
Human Rights and Oversight,
Committee on Foreign Affairs,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:17 a.m., in
room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Bill Delahunt
(chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. Delahunt. This hearing will come to order. I want to
welcome a very distinguished group of witnesses whom I will
shortly introduce; and we will be joined by another witness, I
understand, via video link from Kosovo.
This is the second in a series of hearings we plan to hold
which will explore the circumstances surrounding the detention
of 22 Uighurs, which is a Turkic Muslim minority from Northwest
China, who were incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay.
In our first hearing, our panel was again composed of
distinguished experts on Uighur history. It included the three-
time Nobel Prize nominee and leader of the Uighur community
worldwide, Mrs. Kadeer, who, along with the rest the panel, was
unanimous in stating that Uighurs were and are an oppressed
minority in China. Furthermore, all agreed that the Communist
Chinese Government has used the war on terror as a means to
avoid criticism as they brutally persecuted and oppressed the
In fact, the House of Representatives, in a resolution
numbered 497, stated that the Chinese Communists had--and this
is the language of that resolution; and both myself and the
ranking member, Mr. Rohrabacher, were sponsors; again, I am
quoting from the language of the resolution itself--
``manipulated the strategic objectives of the international war
on terror to increase their cultural and religious oppression
of the Muslim population residing in the Uighur autonomous
The regime in Beijing conflates peaceful civil disobedience
and dissent with violent terrorist activity. In fact, when I
asked our witnesses, that previous panel--and again, I am
quoting from the transcript--if Speaker Gingrich--I was
referring to Mr. Gingrich to suggest that they be returned to
China--``Well, if Speaker Gingrich had his way and the 17
Uighurs were to be returned to China, what would their fate
Well, one witness, Mr. Nury Turkel, a Uighur lawyer and
activist, said unequivocally that would be equal to a one-way
ticket to the death chamber; and the rest of the panel agreed a
return to China would be certain torture and very well may lead
to a summary execution.
Well, today, we turn our attention to the East Turkistan
Islamic Movement or, as it is known by its acronym, ETIM. The
charge that the Uighurs at Guantanamo were terrorists was
predicated on an unsubstantiated claim that they were somehow
affiliated with this group. Over time, the Uighurs have been
cleared by both the Bush administration and our Federal courts.
And, as we all know, the Obama administration has been making
every effort to resettle these men in suitable countries.
Four Uighurs have been currently resettled in Bermuda. I
wish to publicly thank, and I am confident that my friend and
colleague from California, Mr. Rohrabacher, joins in this, to
thank the Bermuda Government, Premier Brown, who displayed
great courage and decency when giving these Uighurs a new home.
The Premier will shortly be receiving a letter from myself and
Mr. Rohrabacher to that effect.
However, my question is: How did this accusation develop
against 22 men when even the very existence of ETIM is subject
to some debate, particularly in light of the fact that these
men were not apprehended on the battlefield, either by Northern
Alliance soldiers or by American military but, in my opinion,
were the victims of a bounty system. As we have come to learn,
the Uighurs were sold to American forces by unknown Afghani and
Pakistani individuals for the sum of $5,000 each.
During the Bush administration, ETIM was classified as a
terrorist organization under an Executive Order numbered 13224.
It is important to note that under this Executive Order it
defines terrorism as actions that do not necessarily threaten
the United States and its citizens. By contrast, a designation
as a foreign terrorist organization--again, an acronym, an
FTO--it is required that a group engage in terrorist activity
and that this terrorist activity must threaten the security of
the United States or its nationals.
I am unable to find, nor does any research appear, that at
any time was ETIM considered for listing as an FTO.
Now, although this may be a subtle bureaucratic
distinction, it is an important fact. Why, if ETIM was a threat
to our national security, was it not classified as an FTO like
organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and al-Qaeda? These
groups, properly labeled FTOs, are considered a direct and
dangerous threat to the United States' national security.
In any event, my primary concern is that, in making our own
assessment as to the nature of this shadowy group, the ETIM,
did we place or did we unduly rely on Chinese Communist
intelligence, some may even call it propaganda, Chinese
propaganda to suit their own strategic objectives or tactical
objectives concerning the Uighur minority?
It appears to me that we took substantial intelligence
information from the Chinese Communist regime and then used
that questionable evidence as our own as a significant factor
in the determination that ETIM was a terrorist organization.
I am going to ask staff to hold up two poster boards, one
at a time. One includes a statement taken from a Chinese
document entitled: East Turkistan terrorist forces cannot get
away with impunity. This is published by the Chinese Communist
Information Office in January 2002. In that document, the
Chinese attribute over 200 terrorist incidents resulting in 162
deaths and 400 injuries to undefined parties, simply labeled by
the Chinese as East Turkistan terrorist forces.
Now, examine the second poster; and this is a statement
released from our Department of Treasury published in September
2002 in response to listing ETIM as a terrorist organization.
In this statement, our Government takes the Chinese statistics
of 200 terrorist incidents, 162 deaths, and 400 injuries, and
now attributes them to a single group, the ETIM.
Now, let me pose a rhetorical question. Why has the
perpetrator of these acts suddenly changed from undefined
groups to the ETIM? And why did our Government take the
statistics of the Communist Chinese Government and utilize it
in the classification of ETIM as a terrorist organization? That
causes me profound concern.
Now, regardless of where the 13 Uighurs currently detained
in Guantanamo are resettled, whether it be in Bermuda, Palau--I
understand today that the prime minister of Italy, Berlusconi,
has indicated that Italy will accept three of the Uighurs.
Again, if that is accurate, let me say thank you to the
Government of Italy.
This question about reliance, and particularly in the case
of the specific case of ETIM, must be answered, because it
raises serious concerns as to whether American foreign policy
can be manipulated by the Communist Chinese Government or, for
that matter, anyone else.
Professor Millward, who is a well-known scholar in this
area, echoes my concern in an article--or maybe I am echoing
his concern--in an article he wrote entitled, ``Violent
Separatism in the Uighur Autonomous Region: A Critical
On September 2, 2001, the Communist Party Secretary of that
region said that the situation there was better than ever in
history. That is September 2, 2001. While mentioning
separatism, the party secretary for the region stressed that
society is stable and people are living and working in peace
and contentment. The Communists even went on to say that the
nightlife is terrific. It goes on to two or three in the
Two weeks later, not surprisingly, the official Chinese
Communist line changed following the September 11 attacks on
the United States. Official Chinese Communist pronouncements
began to stress that the threat of terrorism in that region was
As China's leadership maneuvered itself side by side--and,
again, these are the words of Professor Millward--with the
United States on the war on terror, according to him, this
required a revision of the official description of separatists
in the region and what had generally been described as a
handful of separatists was now a full-blown terrorist
organization. Professor Millward hypothesizes that this helped
Beijing warm its somewhat at the time chilly relationship with
Well, hopefully, today this panel will cast some light on
this issue. Because I believe that the case of the Uighurs is
not simply about these 22 men from northwestern China. It is
much more. It is about the very process we utilize in making
far-reaching decisions about critical foreign policy issues and
national security concerns.
When we designate a group as a terrorist organization, are
we relying on foreign intelligence, whether it be Chinese
Communist intelligence, in such a way that the results are
seriously flawed so that the consequences harm our national
security interests? Let's not forget that flawed intelligence
played a key role in the decision to invade Iraq, and we
learned subsequently that Saddam Hussein neither had links to
al-Qaeda, nor had weapons of mass destruction.
So what I hope is that we can utilize the Uighurs, if you
will, as a case study to examine the process so that we may
mitigate its deficiency and help our Nation reach better
decisions, acknowledge our mistakes, and, most importantly, do
justice to the innocent.
Now, let me turn to my friend and colleague, the ranking
member, Mr. Rohrabacher, for his opening statement; and let me
indicate, too, that I know he has other commitments today, and
it is my intention to let him, after we introduce the
witnesses, proceed with his questioning before I do.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Thank you very much.
I do want to thank my good friend and chairman for not only
holding this hearing but deciding that we should focus on this
issue so the American people will understand the facts behind
it and the relevance of this issue.
I would also right off the bat like to express my deep
appreciation to the leader in Bermuda, Premier Brown, for his
courage to do what is morally right in this situation. He has
demonstrated, I think, the best of democracy. That is what
leadership is all about, is being willing to take such tough
stands. I am sorry that our own leadership here at home and
even in my own party seems lacking at this moment.
I will be equally grateful to the leadership in Palau if
that island nation gives refuge to these falsely accused
Uighurs. The people of Palau should stand behind their leaders
and show that they, too, are a morally superior group of
people. And this is one way that they will certainly be
acknowledged for that by those of us who perhaps don't know
them now but will get to know them if they back up their
leadership in this courageous decision.
Chairman Delahunt is doing a great service to our country
by educating the Congress about the plight of the Uighurs and
educating, hopefully, through the Congress and through these
hearings, to the people of the United States, who need to
understand what the occupation of East Turkistan is all about.
I hope that this series of hearings helps clarify how the
Uighurs who were sent to Guantanamo Bay prison, how and why
that happened and how the Communist Chinese Government gained
access to them while they were there and what the Chinese
officials did to them while they were there, and then also what
the Chinese Government is doing to the people of East Turkistan
and how that there can be perhaps some lessons learned.
A Defense Intelligence Agency expert on Chinese
counterintelligence operations once said that it is the
mother's milk of counterintelligence to create phony political
organizations. He stated that the Chinese are especially good
at it and utilize this method in order to know who to watch and
who eventually to eliminate. Phony or front organizations can
be used to tarnish a good cause by blaming it for violence
against innocent people when in fact government agencies are
often committing that very violence.
We have good reason to believe this may be the case for
some of the so-called Uighur organizations. Much to my dismay,
some pundits in the Republican Party have fallen for this bait
and are lumping the Uighurs in with Islamic extremists.
The Bush administration did not help matters. It held
Uighurs in Guantanamo as terrorists; and they did this, I
believe, to appease the Chinese Government in a pathetic
attempt to gain its support at the beginning of the war against
Iraq and also to assure China's continued purchase of U.S.
Many, if not all, of the negative allegations against the
Uighurs can be traced back to Communist Chinese intelligence,
whose purpose is to snuff out a legitimate independence
movement that challenges the Communist Party bosses in Beijing.
No patriot, especially no Republican who considers himself
a Reagan Republican, should fall for this manipulation, which
has us do the bidding of a dictatorship in Beijing.
In the Hall of Shame, of course, is our former Speaker,
Newt Gingrich. His positioning on this should be of no surprise
and is of no surprise to those of us who, during Newt's
leadership, were dismayed by his active support for Clinton-era
trade policies with Communist China, policies that have now had
a disastrous impact on our economy, while bolstering China's
economic and military powers. Most favored nation status,
trading status, should never have been granted to such a
Newt and his big corporations as well as those leaders in
the Clinton administration persuaded Members of Congress in the
1980s and again in the '90s to go along with an embracing of
Communist China; and, as such, those people, whether they are
Republicans like Newt or whether they are those people in the
Clinton administration who were advocating this, did no favor
to the people of the United States.
Our current economic vulnerability to a dictatorship, to
the world's--actually, the world's worst human rights abuser
can be traced back to that morally flawed policy in the 1990s.
Within the span of 20 years, we have gone from having a
trade deficit with Communist China of $1.7 billion, to over
$300 billion a year today. We are losing 650,000 jobs a month,
and it is obvious or should be obvious to anyone who bothers to
read the labels that just about every one of these jobs that we
are losing are going to Communist China.
The Chinese Communist Party has accumulated $2 trillion of
sovereign wealth funds by producing and selling American brand
products to Americans. Of course, it was the Americans who once
produced these very same products here on American soil. Moving
derivatives, stocks, and bonds on paper from one side of a
table to the other does not create wealth. Manufacturing jobs
create wealth. And this basic fact has not been lost on
Communist Party bosses in Beijing. Now our leaders have to beg
the Chinese to buy our Treasuries.
Well, thanks to the so-called leaders of the Republican and
Democratic Party in the 1990s who set us up on this path to
oblivion, we now are vulnerable to this Communist Chinese
dictatorship; and it is extending its power throughout the
world based on the economic relationship that it established
with us back in the '90s.
Have we drifted so far away from our principles that we
willingly accept leaders--and I say this was leadership in the
Democratic Party during the Clinton years, and now we see a
leader from that era in the Republican Party--doing the bidding
of the Communist Chinese Party by attacking and, in this case,
attacking people who are protesting Beijing's repressive rule?
And that is what the Uighurs are guilty of. They are protesting
and opposing a repressive rule by the Communist Party regime in
Newt should come right now before this committee and
explain to us how occupied East Turkistan is any different from
the present-day occupied Tibet or of Latvia, Lithuania, and
Estonia during the Cold war. He should explain why he has been
doing the bidding of Beijing and doing so at the expense of
people who are seeking freedom and democracy for their own
Many conservatives who are knowledgeable about these facts
actually have joined with us a long time ago, Mr. Chairman, and
all along have been on the side of the Uighurs and tried to
spread the word, the truth about this situation; and I will
include for the record now a list of about 20 of them. Rather
than read them all, let me just note there are many prominent
Republican leaders who are opposed to these statements that are
being made by former Speaker Gingrich.
Mr. Delahunt. Without objection, the list will be submitted
into the records of the committee.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Thank you very much.
An ongoing attempt to appease Communist China has been
behind the detention of the 17 Uighurs currently held in
Guantanamo. By detaining the Uighurs, the United States was and
still is an accomplice to Chinese brutal occupation of East
Turkistan and the discrimination against the Uighur people that
they suffer that we heard so much about during the first
hearing. Both Republican and Democratic Parties need to
recognize this and not cower before Beijing's now powerful
It is my hope that this hearing will help dispel some of
the serious confusion and propaganda about the Uighurs, both
the Uighurs who are at home who are struggling for their
freedom and to live in a Democratic society and these 17
Uighurs who are courageous enough to try to learn the skills
that would enable them to resist the dictatorship in Beijing.
I am very proud to join my chairman, my good friend,
Chairman Delahunt, in this effort. Now I am looking forward to
hearing the testimony.
Mr. Delahunt. Thank you, Congressman Rohrabacher.
I want to acknowledge the presence of Eni Faleomavaega, my
good friend who chairs the Subcommittee on Asia and the South
Pacific, and invite him to make any statement he may wish.
Mr. Faleomavaega. Mr. Chairman, I don't have an opening
statement, but, again, I want to commend you and Ranking Member
Mr. Rohrabacher for your initiative and leadership in calling
this hearing and bringing to bear a better understanding of the
Uighur people and exactly the issue that you are seeking here
for the kind of policies that we have enunciated since the
1990s right up to this time.
I do thank the gentleman from California for calling a
spade a spade and for his very provocative thoughts. This is
not a Democratic or a Republican issue, partisan in any way,
but to find out exactly what the truth is.
I do want to commend our members of the panel for their
appearance this morning and look forward to hearing their
Mr. Delahunt. And I thank the gentleman.
I wanted to note that I have alluded to the fact that this
is a series of hearings. I anticipate we will have seven or
eight. I intend to deploy our great staff to conduct
interviews. I think it is time that the American people hear
from those that have been detained.
I am sure that many, at least on this panel, are aware, as
Congressman Rohrabacher indicated, that Communist Chinese
intelligence agents were provided access to the inmates--the
Uighur inmates in Guantanamo. That I find profoundly
disturbing. Yet, at the same time, our request, myself and that
of Mr. Rohrabacher, with the approval of counsel for those who
were detained, to have access to hear them, to interview them,
to discern as best we can the truth, because this is a search
for the truth, we were denied access.
However, I had a conversation last evening with Premier
Brown of Bermuda and indicated to him that myself and Mr.
Rohrabacher were interested in going to Bermuda and having a
briefing, a hearing, whatever the appropriate term is, and
invite these now-freed Uighurs to come before this subcommittee
and maybe in conjunction with other subcommittees of the
Foreign Affairs Committee to listen to what they have to say. I
think that is an important step. Whatever the results are,
whatever the facts are, let's put them out on the table.
There seems to be a proclivity on the part of the
Executive--and, again, I am not just referring to the Bush
administration but as well the Obama administration--to
classify, in my opinion, far too much information. This will
provide us an opportunity for every single American citizen,
and particularly those who are very much involved in
scholarship and as students of the Uighurs, to hear from them
firsthand, unfiltered, without pundits interpreting for members
of the committee and for the American public as to what their
With the approval of the ranking member, it is my intention
in the very near future to go to Bermuda to determine the
feasibility of actually doing that and then coming back and
reporting to the committee and consulting with Mr. Rohrabacher
about having that kind of an exercise in Bermuda, which
hopefully would educate members of the committee, the academic
community, and all of us as to their reality in terms of how
they saw it and welcome anyone who has any disagreement with
their view to come before this committee and testify.
I would think it would be refreshing to have people like
myself and Mr. Rohrabacher and Newt Gingrich and all those
others who opined to maybe listen--what a refreshing change
that would be--and ask relevant questions so that as we proceed
forward we don't make the mistakes that we have made in the
Again, I say that not as a ``large D'' Democrat but as a
``small d'' democrat and as someone who is very concerned about
American foreign policy being manipulated or influenced in a
way that is against our interests and against the better
instincts and the values of the American people that we talk
So, Dana, I will report back to you. And hopefully we will
be making a trip to Bermuda; and you are welcome, too, Eni.
Now let me introduce this panel.
Our first witness, Randy Schriver. Randy is one of the five
founding partners of Armitage International LLC, a consulting
firm that specializes in international business development and
strategies. Prior to his return to the private sector, he
served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and
Pacific Affairs. Before joining the Asia Bureau, he served for
2 years as Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor to Deputy
Secretary of State Richard Armitage whom, by the way, I always
found to be refreshingly candid, a straight shooter.
Mr. Schriver holds a bachelor's degree in history from
Williams College--not a bad school, not quite Middlebury, but
not a bad school--and a master's degree in public policy from
Our next witness--and I am sure he is listening--will be
joining us via video hookup from Kosovo. That is Professor Sean
Roberts. Professor Roberts is the Director of the International
Development Studies Program and an Associate Professor in the
practice of international affairs at George Washington
University's Elliot School for International Affairs. He is a
legitimate expert on the region of Central Asia, with a
particular focus on the Uighur people. He has spent several
years conducting research in Uighur communities in both Central
Asia and China and is the author of numerous articles and a
documentary film on the Uighurs of the Kazikstan-China
Professor Roberts earned his master's degree in visual
anthropology and his doctorate in social anthropology at USC.
Professor, thank you for joining us from such a far
distance. I hope you can hear that welcome.
Next, let me welcome Professor Dru Gladney. He, too, is a
legitimate, authentic expert in this area. He is a professor of
anthropology at Ponoma College and currently serves as
president of the Pacific Basin Institute in Claremont,
California. He has published over 100 academic articles and
numerous books. He has held faculty positions and postdoctoral
fellowships at Harvard, the University of Southern California,
King's College at Cambridge, and the Institute for Advanced
Study at Princeton. Professor Gladney received his Ph.D. from
the University of Washington in Seattle.
Following Professor Gladney will be Shirley Kan. Ms. Kan
has worked at the Congressional Research Service since 1990 and
writes policy analysis and provides other nonpartisan
legislative support to Congress as a specialist in Asian
Security Affairs. During the Taiwan Straits crisis of 1995,
1996 she directly supported the defense attache at the Embassy
in Beijing, for which she received a Defense Department Special
She graduated cum laude from the School of Foreign Service
at Georgetown and from the University of Michigan in an Ann
Arbor, where she received a master's degree.
Next joining us will be Susan Baker Manning. She is a
partner at Bingham McCutchen, which is in Boston, or
headquartered in Boston, where she focuses her practice on
intellectual property matters, including patent, trademark, and
copyright cases. This is quite a diversion, Susan. She also
maintains a thriving pro bono practice, including the
representation of numerous Uighur detainees at Guantanamo,
including the four who recently resettled in Bermuda.
She received her bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke and
law degree from the University of Virginia.
Ms. Manning, welcome back. We look forward to hearing from
you. We will be seeking your assistance in terms of
interviewing your clients and we would hope and welcome their
written waiver and a consent for us to interview them.
Finally, we will hear from my good friend Bruce Fein, a
nationally and internationally renowned constitutional lawyer,
scholar, and writer. He served as both Associate Deputy
Attorney General for the Justice Department and General Counsel
for the Federal Communications Commission under President
Reagan. He later served as legal advisor to then Congressman
Dick Cheney on the Joint Committee on Covert Arm Sales to Iran.
I never knew that about you, Bruce.
Mr. Fein is the founding partner of Bruce Fein and
Associates and is currently writing a sequel to his recent book
So it is an honor to welcome the witnesses here. We all
look forward to your testimony.
Why don't we begin as I introduced you, and we will begin
with Secretary Schriver.
STATEMENT OF MR. RANDALL G. SCHRIVER, PARTNER, ARMITAGE
INTERNATIONAL (FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR EAST ASIAN
AND PACIFIC AFFAIRS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE)
Mr. Schriver. Good morning, Mr. Chairman. I would gladly
add that is former secretary. I am very happy in the private
sector in my new life enjoying time with my family.
Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for inviting me and for
holding this important hearing. Congressman Rohrabacher,
Congressman Faleomavaega, thank you also for your attendance
and interest in this issue.
Sadly, not enough Americans are aware of the plight of the
Uighur community. This kind of hearing and the subsequent
hearings you plan to hold are very valuable and very necessary,
so I commend you for this; and I commend your staff as well. It
has been a pleasure to work with them in the preparations for
this hearing. I look forward to working with them in the future
as this process continues.
We are all here to speak about the tragic circumstances
that the Uighurs find themselves in in Xinjiang and elsewhere.
I have been aware of this community and their plight for quite
some time, but I became much more involved and interested
during my tenure as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for
East Asia. Through that experience, I did grow to have a deep
appreciation for the people, for the culture, for the history,
and also, of course, developed deep concern for their tragic
circumstances and the position they find themselves in in
As Deputy Assistant Secretary, I did have the great fortune
to work with members of the Uighur Diaspora. I consider them
friends and, in many cases, personal heroes of mine. I worked
with the Uighur American Association.
And I saw Mury Turkel here earlier today. He was a great
colleague out of government as we worked side by side on
important issues, including trying to secure the release of
Rebiya Kadeer. And even though we were told many times by the
Mr. Delahunt. Mr. Secretary, let me interrupt you, with due
respect, but I also want to acknowledge the presence here of
Mrs. Kadeer, who I described earlier as a Nobel Peace Prize
nominee and as really the acknowledged leader of the Uighur
Mr. Schriver. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I hope someday that
is not just Nobel nominee; I hope that is Nobel Prize winner
and laureate someday.
Again, she is a personal hero of mine and deeply impacted
my views about the situation in Xinjiang. She is a living
example to me of why the Chinese policies in Xinjiang are so
misguided. She is somebody of passion, or energy, of intellect,
and capability. She is precisely the kind of person that could
enrich Xinjiang and, laterally speaking, China. Instead, she is
viewed as a threat to the central leadership. This is terribly
misguided, in my view.
Mr. Chairman, you and your staff asked me to talk about the
issue of nationalism among the Uighur population. I think this
is somewhat difficult when you talk about any community,
because nationalism, of course, can manifest into quite
admirable types of activities--pride in country, advocacy for
one's community, and a number of ways of positive expression,
but of course there are also ways that nationalism can manifest
in more negative ways.
Unfortunately, I think the Uighur community is not immune
to this uglier side of nationalism, although it is a very small
minority within a minority. And I would add that two successive
administrations--you have, of course, noted the Bush
administration decision to designate ETIM in 2002; and, of
course, the Obama administration has designated at least an
individual, Abdulhak, as a terrorist in an individual capacity,
a Uighur-born gentleman. So two successive administrations have
noted that, even though it is a small minority of people within
a minority, that these are actions that must be addressed
directly and head on.
You did ask me and your staff asked me to talk about the
designation of ETIM, a separatist group in northwest China in
Xinjiang Province. This was a difficult issue for us serving in
government. I came to the Asia Bureau after the designation was
made, but of course my boss at the time, Deputy Secretary
Armitage, was very directly involved.
We viewed the Uighur community as very understandably and
rightly wanting to shed the oppression that they face and
wanting to improve their lot and enjoy the freedoms that we are
grateful to enjoy here. However, we felt it was important in
the government to have a consistent standard internationally
when we talk about terrorist activities, whether they be
individuals or whether they be groups; and we looked very
closely at the U.S. State Department along with members of the
intelligence community about this particular group.
It was determined after a review that was based on U.S.
information, I would add, as well as information provided by
others, including third parties, that ETIM did meet the legal
criteria under the Executive Order you mentioned.
I might also add that the Chinese authorities came to us
with requests to designate many other groups, including a group
that went by the acronym SHAT, repeatedly, and provided reams
and reams of information about this group. But we were well
aware that information coming from the Chinese Government was
likely unreliable and likely related to other political
agendas; and, therefore, we were unable to designate that group
as well as other groups they brought to our attention. It was
only the ETIM group that, in our view at the U.S. State
Department at the time, met that criteria and therefore
received that designation.
I know there has been criticism about that decision. I
think that is part of what this hearing is to address. I find
some of the charges, quite frankly, difficult to accept and
The suggestion that this was done solely to ingratiate
ourselves with the Chinese and to try to enlist their
cooperation in the global war on terror, I think if you look at
a more comprehensive way of our approach to Xinjiang, our very
direct criticism in the State Department Human Rights Report
about their oppression in Xinjiang; our vigorous pursuit of the
release Rebiya Kadeer, despite being told by the authorities
that in those circumstances would she be released; our refusal
to return the Guantanamo detainees to China despite a direct
request from Hu Jintau to President Bush and Colin Powell, in
my view, rightfully saying they would not be returned to China
because there was no confidence they would be treated in a
humane fashion, all of these things taken in a much more
comprehensive light I would suggest doesn't look like a policy,
to me, to ingratiate ourselves with China. If anything, they
were quite upset with our policies toward the Xinjiang region
and the very active support for the human rights in that area.
Mr. Chairman, you and your staff also asked me to speak
briefly about Guantanamo Bay and the situation there. I would
simply start by saying this was a tragic situation. These
individuals who were eligible for release should not have been
held for as long as they were held.
We found ourselves in very difficult circumstances in the
Bush administration when Secretary Powell rightfully said they
wouldn't be returned to China, but the Department of Homeland
Security and many Members of Congress were saying, no
detainees, no matter the country of origin, should be returned
to the United States. That put us in a very difficult situation
trying to find a third party and a third country to accept
It is something that I worked on directly and found
extremely frustrating. And I agree with you it was the morally
courageous countries that have now stepped forward. We have
some already returned to Albania, to Bermuda, and now working
on others. I would certainly join you and the members of this
committee in commending those that have already made this
courageous decision, those who will hopefully make it going
Going forward, the best possible future for the Uighur
community is for the Chinese to end the oppression and move in
the direction of allowing greater freedoms, greater latitude in
Xinjiang for this community of people to live their lives and
pursue liberty as they see fit. However, in my view, we must
also continue to deal with global terrorism. No matter the
nomenclature--I know global war on terror is out of favor now--
but I think there is a global phenomena that must be dealt with
If you look at a place like China and the terrorist
incidents we know take have taken place, irrespective of the
source of those incidents, we must note very sober-mindedly
that we have 1.5-2 million visitors a year visiting China. We
have events like the Olympic Games and the World's Fair coming
up. American citizens would not be immune were there to be a
serious terrorist attack in a major memorial metropolitan area
in China. This is something, again, I think we have to have a
sober-minded view about.
Let me close very quickly, Mr. Chairman, with some specific
recommendations for the Obama administration and for others in
government. I do believe the Obama administration should
continue to make human rights and religious freedom a priority
in our relationship with China. Any policy that is conceptually
based on the premise that we can downgrade these issues in the
hopes of pursuing higher priorities would be a policy, in my
view, based upon false tradeoffs and potentially harmful
I think President Obama himself should use his platform and
his very unique capabilities, his charisma, his personal
history, to reach out to this community and to highlight the
plight of the Uighur community.
President Bush met with Ms. Kadeer, which I was delighted,
while I served in government. I believe President Obama should
do the same. I think the Obama administration should also
endeavor, as I know they are, for the release of the remaining
detainees, but also I think it is important that the
administration and the Congress continue to take an interest in
their well-being after their release. This is, after all, our
responsibility, even once they are resettled, to make sure they
don't face repercussions for having wrongfully been in a place
like Guantanamo for as long as they were.
Fourth, I think more U.S. officials and Members of Congress
should visit Xinjiang and visit with the Uighur communities
directly and highlight their experiences and advocate on behalf
of this community. I would hazard a guess not many Members of
Congress have visited places in Xinjiang, and I think this
would be a vital addition to the public dialog.
Finally, I think the U.S. Government should support a
policy similar to the policy we have in Tibet, where we could
encourage a dialog between the Chinese Government and the
legitimate representatives of the Uighur community to talk
about their future, to talk about what genuine autonomy might
mean, to talk about how to improve their lives, which, in my
view, necessitates enhancing their basic freedoms, practice of
their faith, freedom of speech, et cetera. And I think we
should be actively promoting such a dialog for the benefit of
the people there.
Again, Mr. Chairman and other members, thank you very much
for allowing me to testify today.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Schriver
follows:]Randall Schriver deg.
Mr. Delahunt. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. I look forward to
an exchange of views with you.
Next, we will go to Sean Roberts via a video link. And
hopefully it is working.
STATEMENT OF SEAN R. ROBERTS, PH.D., DIRECTOR AND ASSOCIATE
PROFESSOR, INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT STUDIES PROGRAM, ELLIOTT
SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, THE GEORGE WASHINGTON
[The following testimony was delivered via video.]
Mr. Roberts. Hello.
Mr. Delahunt. We see you.
Mr. Roberts. Thank you, Chairman Delahunt and other members
of the subcommittee, for inviting me today to speak about this
I have been asked specifically to speak about the Eastern
Turkistan Islamic Movement, or ETIM. I agree very much with
Chairman Delahunt that the designation of ETIM has had grave
consequences for the Uighur people. It, of course, directly led
to the imprisonment of 22 Uighurs, eventually cleared of all
wrongdoing, in the Guantanamo detention facilities for between
5 and 7 years. Indirectly, it has allowed the Peoples Republic
of China to evade international criticism over the last 8 years
as it has stepped up its oppression of Uighurs' human rights in
the name of fighting terrorism. And despite these serious
ramifications of the ETIM's designation as a terrorism group,
we have never and still do not know much about this
organization or its activities.
Given the lack of reliable information about ETIM, I will
not claim today to paint a comprehensive picture of the
organization. Rather, by covering five major points from my
longer written testimony, which I encourage you to read, I will
raise some substantial doubt about the assumptions we have made
in claiming that it is a dangerous terrorist group linked with
international jihadi movements.
First, we should assume that ETIM has never been a large,
well-organized or capable group. While there were many Uighur
political organizations outside of China in the late 1990s,
ETIM was virtually unknown among these groups. For this reason,
many scholars studying Uighurs have disputed the organization's
existence and have suggested that ETIM's designation as a
terrorist group was merely a quid pro quo arrangement with the
Peoples Republic of China in exchange for the PRC's support in
the United States-led global war on terror, which we have
already heard about.
An interview conducted by a Western Journalist with ETIM's
leader, Hahsan Mahsum, in 2002 appears to confirm that indeed
the group did exist, but it also supports the assumption that
it was a small organization with little to no outside support.
Mahsum noted emphatically that ETIM had never received
assistance from al-Qaeda and that it was not anti-American in
In all likelihood, ETIM in 2002 was a small group of young
religious Uighur men from China organizing in Afghanistan to
mount a challenge to the Chinese Government's rule of their
homeland in the Xinjiang province but lacking the capacity and
resources to do so.
Second, Mahsum's assertion that the group has never
received assistance from al-Qaeda is credible in my opinion.
Given that China was one of the few major states to have
diplomatic and commercial interactions with the Taliban
government at the end of the 1990s, it is reasonable to believe
that the Taliban would have actively discouraged any Uighur
presence in al-Qaeda or other terrorist organizations inside
Afghanistan. This is also corroborated by South Asian media
reports from the late 1990s which suggest the Taliban actively
prevented Uighurs from participating in such groups at the
request of China.
Third, I believe it is reasonable to assume that ETIM
ceased to exist after the Pakistani Army killed Hasan Mahsum as
an enemy combatant in 2002. If little was heard of ETIM before
September 11th, virtually nothing was heard from or about the
group after Mahsum's death. The only exceptions have been
official Chinese sources, which greatly exaggerate the group's
reach and capacities. While Chinese authorities have continued
to arrest Uighur nationalists inside China over the last 8
years, claiming they are----
Mr. Delahunt. We will pause for technical difficulties. I
am just hoping that someone out there knows what they are
doing, because I certainly do not.
I would like to welcome to the panel the gentleman from
Minnesota, Mr. Keith Ellison. If the gentleman would like to
make a statement we have got, it looks like, a couple of
minutes. The gentleman declines. That is probably a good
Mr. Roberts. Hello.
Mr. Delahunt. Hello, we are back up, Professor. Thank you.
You were on your third point. You were talking about after
the death of Mahsum in 2002, to paraphrase, it would appear
that we have not heard anything about or from ETIM, if I am
fairly characterizing your testimony. That is where you were
when the screen went blank.
Mr. Roberts. Okay. Well, thank you. Let's hope we get
through the rest of it without it going blank again.
I just wanted to say that in terms of that, the only
exceptions were Chinese, official Chinese sources which greatly
exaggerate the group's reach and capacities. While Chinese
authorities continued to arrest Uighur nationalists inside
China over the last 8 years, claiming that they are members of
ETIM, these arrests have generally not been in response to acts
of violence but are related most often to political dissent.
Furthermore there is not credible evidence I have seen that
those arrested in China have any connections with militant
groups, real or imaginary, in Afghanistan or Pakistan.
My fourth point is it is highly unlikely that the violence
or the alleged planned terrorist attacks in Xinjiang during the
Olympic Games last summer were perpetrated by the ETIM or any
other organized terrorist groups with ties to international
jihadi groups. That were no sophisticated explosives used or
found on those arrested. And the most publicized attack, which
involved two Uighur men allegedly driving a truck into a line
of Chinese soldiers and then attacking them with knives in the
city of Kashgar, looked more like an act of desperation by
frustrated individuals than a well-planned act of terrorism.
Finally, fifth and most importantly, there is no conclusive
evidence that ETIM or any Uighur organization for that matter
has ever perpetrated a sophisticated and coordinated terrorist
attack inside or outside of China. While the Chinese Government
has claimed that various acts of violence in Xinjiang in
Central Asia over the last decade were the work of ETIM, this
has never been proven and the acts of violence themselves may
not have even been acts of terrorism. No Uighur group has ever
been tied to well-known methods of terrorism such as car
bombings or suicide bombings which might confirm links to
transnational groups. Instead they have been accused of
organizing disturbances and assassinations which could be
alternatively explained by a variety of other motives from
popular political dissatisfaction to personal vendetta and even
Now, given the lack of evidence that ETIM is an active
terrorist group or even an active organization anymore, it is
particularly disturbing that the United States' decision to
recognize it as a terrorist group has caused substantial
suffering to the Uighur people.
So the question that I would like members of the
subcommittee to ponder is what led us to recognize this group
as terrorists. Was it merely a quid pro quo arrangement with
the Chinese in order to obtain their support in the global War
on Terror; or, as Chairman Delahunt suggested, does this
reflect a serious defect in how we have gathered intelligence
about terrorist groups over the last 8 years.
I would be very interested to hear--and it is likely still
classified--but I would like to hear from Assistant Secretary
Schriver what kind of U.S. intelligence do we really have about
this group. I think either of these answers to the question are
unacceptable and have critical ramifications for how we
continue to fight terrorism around the world.
Thank you very much, and thank you for bearing with
[The prepared statement of Mr. Roberts
follows:]Sean Roberts deg.
Mr. Delahunt. Thank you. And please stay with us, Professor
And our next witness is Dr. Gladney from Pomona, via
STATEMENT OF DRU C. GLADNEY, PH.D., PRESIDENT, PACIFIC BASIN
INSTITUTE, POMONA COLLEGE
Mr. Gladney. Before I start, I should acknowledge my great
pride and joy to see Sean Roberts, who I had the honor of
serving very temporarily as his professor at USC, and I see
that he is still prospering and doing great work. Great to see
Honorable Chairman, distinguished members of the
Subcommittee on International Organization Human Rights and
Oversight, it is my privilege to testify to you today in the
case of the Uighur people. It is my firm belief--and this is
based on over 25 years of personal field research, mostly in
the region of Western China and including Xinjiang--that there
is very little evidence to support the claim that the people in
question, either the detainees in Guantanamo Bay or the Uighur
people in general, are terrorists. Many of them could not
either be accurately described as freedom fighters.
The vast majority of the nearly 10 million people known as
the Uighurs--and in my longer testimony I provide up-to-date
population figures and maps and things like that for those who
need a general background information--living primarily in the
province of Western China known as the Xinjiang Uighur
autonomous region, which most Uighur and all pre-1940 maps of
the area refer to as Eastern Turkistan, and you can still find
those maps in bookstores today. They are upstanding citizens of
the People's Republic of China, primarily agriculturalists and
urban city developers in the largest cities and oases across
that great region, one-sixth the size of all of China, the
largest province in China. They are still the largest
population group in the region, and, as an official minority
nationality, receive certain special privileges along with
certain other minorities, many of them also Muslims, including
Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, et cetera. But they are now being
surpassed in population by a growing number of Han Chinese
settlers from the interior of China.
And, Honorable Chairman, I would submit that this is the
primary reason for the civil unrest and violence that we see in
the region. Very little to do with terrorism; has much more to
do with policies of development and integration of that
In a report below, I will argue that the incidents of
violence that have occurred in the region are best understood
as incidents of civil unrest. And the state of China last year
admitted publicly in print, the government, that there were
over 100,000 separate incidents of civil unrest in China across
So the few that we do see in Xinjiang are just as likely
civil unrest rather than terrorist acts. And these incidents
can rarely be described as terrorism in the traditional sense
of the term, which I take to mean random acts of violence
against civilian populations.
The struggles for the independence of the Uighur people
from the Chinese nation-state that have taken place since its
incorporation in 1949 are best understood in the context of
efforts to attain sovereignty. Coming from many, many years in
the great State of Hawaii, we also know of other sovereignty
movements that are not labeled as terrorists. And it is not a
religiously or Islamic-inspired campaign, except for the fact
that the Uighur or Muslim people, their concerns and issues
resemble that of Tibet. And the occasional violence that takes
place in the Tibetan autonomous region in China and protests
against Chinese rule are rarely, if ever, described as
As will be demonstrated below, the characterization of the
Guantanamo Uighurs as ETIM terrorists by Speaker Gingrich is a
misnomer at best, and, at worst, a calculated
mischaracterization of a group of people whom the Bush
administration and the Department of Defense determined
comprise no threat to the United States, and the majority of
whom are noncombatants.
At the same time, this testimony will show that the region
of Xinjiang has been extremely peaceful since the late 1990s,
and rather than a site of terrorist independence it has been
caught up in an economic boom that would be the envy of any of
its surrounding Central Asian states. This testimony will not
support an independent Uighuristan or a separate state, lest it
fall into the same turmoil as its Central Asian neighbors, but,
rather, encourage direct autonomy, direct engagement of the
Chinese with the Uighurs, to better understand their concerns
and complaints, a dialogue that was also suggested by Randy
Schriver in his final remarks, a dialogue that to this date has
never taken place, despite the fact that there have been many
dialogues, meetings and high-level encounters between official
representatives of the Chinese Government and the Tibetan
exile--government in exile. Nothing like this at any level has
happened with the Uighurs.
And also the need for the U.S. to not contribute support,
even if inadvertently, to any separatist or Islamic sentiments
that might be brewing in the region. Indeed, I should comment
that--and I mentioned this in my report--that unfortunately, I
think partly as a direct result of U.S. policy toward these
Uighurs, a growing anti-U.S. sentiment has been experienced in
Speaking from over 25 years of travel and research,
learning the local languages, I can account for the fact that
now it is not the same as it was 20 years ago when Americans
were regarded widely in this part of the world, 20 million
Muslims, as a supporter, as a potential haven, and as a strong
advocate of human rights and religious freedom. Today when
those of us do travel to China, we are just as likely to expect
to not be welcomed into mosques and Muslim homes in China as we
are. And this is a real sea change over the last several years.
Indeed China itself should be congratulated for the
enormous economic and social transformation of the region over
the past two decades, but at the same time should be encouraged
to find ways to preserve and promote the vibrant and
extraordinary Central Asian civilization that Uighur culture
I won't go through the rest of my testimony. As I
mentioned, there are many maps and charts and population
figures to document the tremendous transportation of this
region over 20 years. It is really a booming economy, a magnet
But I will mention that on the subject of ETIM, along with
my colleague Sean Roberts, I do detail a large number of other
organizations, that were as equally active as ETIM in the late
1990s, that claimed responsibility for direct acts of violence
that never received any attention. Particularly on pages 23 and
24 there are charts that list, and even an anthropological
graph of groups that I thought were much more violent, or at
least claim to be more violent than ETIM. So it is always a
surprise for those of us who study this issue that ETIM itself
was singled out.
I will just mention, of course, that many of these groups
go by names and labels that have eastern Turkistan in the
title, and this is generally in about five different languages,
not only Chinese, Uighur, but also the other Turkic languages,
if it is in Central Asia and Uzbek. But we are also dealing
with the Pakistani languages, Urdu, Pashtun, so it is not
surprising that some of these groups could be easily conflated.
But to suggest that all of them, all these incidents of
violence were coordinated by any one single group, struck many
of us as rather unbelievable at the time. And at the time many
of us raised this objection, but we were quickly swept away as
not really knowing what was happening in the country.
So I will conclude that the history of Chinese Muslim
relations in Xinjiang, as Jim Millward's most recent book
documents extremely well, have been relatively peaceful and
quiet, broken by enormous social and political disruptions
fostered by both internal and external crises. Indeed, as those
of us who study this issue have documented, since about 1998
there were no reported incidents of violence up until, really,
until the Olympics.
The chairman, party chairman of Xinjiang reported, as you
quoted in your report in 2001, this was at a trade bazaar and
he was trying to encourage tourism and investment in the
region, and this is why he was so sanguine about the
peacefulness of the region at the time, 2 weeks prior to 9/11.
The relative quiet of this last decade does not indicate
that the ongoing problems of the region have been resolved or
opposition dissolved. This is in response to many travel
reporters who will go to the region and say, ``Oh, there are no
problems here, people are happy, booming economy, migration is
up.'' That actually masks a lot of what is going on underneath
Those of us who speak the language, who have traveled the
region over the last couple of decades, have seen that the
surface does not always tell the whole truth. The opposition to
Chinese rule in Xinjiang has not reached a level of a Czechnia
or an Intifada, but similar to the Baath separatists or the ETA
in Spain or former IRA in Ireland and England, it is one that
may erupt in limited violent moments of terror and resistance.
And just as these oppositional movements have not been
resolved in Europe, in Latin America, or in even the United
States, we have our own problems with domestic terrorism. The
Uighur problem in Xinjiang does not appear to be one that will
readily be resolved. The admitted problem of Uighur terrorism
and dissent, even in the diaspora, is as problematic for a
government that wants to encourage integration and development
in a region where the majority are not only ethnically
different but also devoutly Muslim.
How does a government integrate a strongly religious
minority, be it Muslim, Tibetan, Christian or Buddhist, into
what I call a Marxist capitalist system. China's policy of
intolerance toward dissent and economic stimulus has not seemed
to have resolved this issue. As a responsible stakeholder,
China should find ways to open dialogue with representative
Uighur individuals and groups to better cooperate in finding
solutions to this ongoing problem. There has been much progress
and relatively peaceful development in this important region.
Surely a dialogue can be opened up in order to help ensure a
more prosperous and peaceful future for both Uighur and Han
Thank you sir.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Gladney follows:]
Dru Gladney deg.
Mr. Delahunt. Thank you, Professor Gladney.
Next we will go to Ms. Kan.
STATEMENT OF MS. SHIRLEY KAN, FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DEFENSE, AND
TRADE DIVISION, CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
Ms. Kan. Good morning. I am Shirley Kan, and I am honored
to testify before you on this important question. And I work
for CRS so I will just try to stick to some objective
assessments without any of the policy recommendations of Randy
The United States faced a dilemma after the September 2001
terrorist attacks of enlisting China's full support in their
international fight against terrorism, but without being
complicit in China's crackdown against Uighurs.
Human rights and Uighur groups have warned that after the
9/11 attacks, the PRC shifted to use the international
counterterrorism campaign to justify the PRC's long-term
cultural, religious, and political repression of Uighurs both
inside and outside of China.
The Uighurs have faced crackdowns by the PRC Government for
what it combines as the threat of so-called three ``evil
forces'': That is, separatism, extremism and terrorism, thus
combining nationalism, religion, and charges of terrorism. If
the Uighurs have grievances, they are very directly targeted
against the PRC regime.
The Bush administration's decision in 2002 to designate one
Uighur-related organization called the ``East Turkistan Islamic
Movement'' as a terrorist organization was controversial both
inside and outside of the government. Since then, the United
States has refused to designate any other Uighur groups charged
by China as ``terrorist organizations.''
Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage personally
announced while on a high-profile visit to Beijing on August
26, 2002, that after months of bilateral discussions, he
designated ETIM as a terrorist group that committed acts of
violence against unarmed civilians.
Later, Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly defended
the designation as a step based on independent ``U.S.
evidence'' that ETIM had links to al-Qaeda and committed
violence against civilians, ``not as a concession to the PRC,''
he said. The State Department designated ETIM as a terrorist
organization under Executive Order 13224. Later in 2004, the
Secretary of State also included ETIM in a ``Terrorist
Exclusion List'' to exclude certain foreign aliens from
entering the United States.
However, the United States has not further stigmatized ETIM
by naming it to the primary U.S. list of terrorist
organizations. The State Department has not designated ETIM on
the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Before 2008, the
last bombing incident in Xinjiang was reported in 1997.
Although many Uighur or East Turkistan advocacy groups around
the world have been reported for decades, the first available
mention of ETIM was found in 2000. Xinjiang has basically been
a peaceful area.
But after the September 11, 2001 attacks, China issued a
new report in January 2002, charging ETIM and other ``East
Turkistan terrorist groups''--they are put in this vague term
of ``East Turkistan terrorist groups''--charging them with
attacks in the 1990s and linking them to the international
terrorism of al-Qaeda.
In December 2003, the PRC's Minister of Public Security
issued its first list of wanted ``terrorists,'' accusing four
groups as--again this vague term--``East Turkistan terrorist
organizations,'' and also 11 individuals, who were all Uighurs,
as ``terrorists,'' with Hasan Mahsum at the top of that list.
However, the list was intentionally misleading or mistaken,
because Mahsum was already dead. Pakistan's military reportedly
killed Mahsum--ETIM's reported leader--and others on October 2,
2003, in Pakistan. Then the leadership of what it called the
Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) announced in December 2003 that
former Military Affairs Commander, Abdul Haq, took over as the
leader. However, the PRC's Ministry of Public Security did not
list Abdul Haq.
Two months ago, in April, the Treasury Department
designated Abdul Haq as a terrorist and leader of the East
Turkistan Islamic party (ETIP) another name something for ETIM,
again targeted under Executive Order 13224.
The Treasury Department declared that Haq, in January 2008,
had directed the military commander of ETIP to attack cities in
China holding the Olympic Games. But Treasury did not state
that such attacks actually occurred. Also Treasury noted that
as of 2005--that is, 4 years prior, Haq was a member of al-
Qaeda's Shura Council, that is the consultative group. In the
same month, the U.N. Security Council listed Haq as a Uighur,
born in Xinjiang in 1971, the leader in Pakistan of ETIM, and
an individual specifically associated with al-Qaeda (rather the
In 2008, there were videos threatening the Olympic Games,
posted to the Internet by a group calling itself TIP, and
several violent incidents, apparently unrelated to the Olympic
Games, both in primarily Han--that is, ethnic Chinese--cities
of eastern and southern China and in Xinjiang in the far West.
Nonetheless, the Olympic Games took place on August 8 to 24,
2008, primarily in Beijing, with no attacks directed against
In another video in Uighur posted to YouTube in February
2009, a group calling itself TIP again discussed organizing in
Afghanistan in 1997, the leadership succession from Hasan
Mahsum to Abdul Haq, oppression by China against the Uighurs,
and China's concerns about the Olympic Games in 2008. It showed
photos of bombings in Eastern and Southern China in May and
July 2008, and videos of training in the use of various
weapons. However, there was no reference to al-Qaeda or the
violent incidents reported in Xinjiang in August 2008.
In addition to designations on the U.S. terrorism lists and
assessments of any threats against the 2008 Olympic Games, U.S.
policymakers have faced a dilemma of how to resolve the fates
of 22 Uighur detainees at Guantanamo. While arguing that the
United States had reason to detain the 22 ethnic Uighurs at
Guantanamo during the early chaotic days of the war in
Afghanistan, the executive branch nonetheless began to contend
in 2003 that at least some of the Uighurs could be released;
and then conceded, in 2008, that all of them were no longer
However, the Uighurs posed a particular problem, because
the United States would not send them back to China where they
would likely face persecution, torture, and/or execution. Even
without having custody of these Uighurs, the PRC has already
branded them as ETIM members and suspected terrorists.
The Departments of Defense and State have sought a third
country to accept them. In 2006, only Albania accepted five.
However, the Bush administration did not grapple urgently with
how to release the 17 remaining Uighurs until mid-2008 and
offered conflicting assessments about the Uighur detainees
before finally declaring them as not dangerous and suitable for
release both to third countries or in the United States.
In July 2008, the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
wrote to the chairman and the Ranking Republican that many of
the Uighurs detained at Guantanamo received what he called
``terrorist training'' at a camp run by ETIM. He also wrote
that ETIM received funding from al-Qaeda. However, he
nonetheless stressed that the Departments of State and Defense
aggressively have asked over 100 countries to accept those same
Moreover, in September 2008, the Justice Department
conceded in a court filing that all of the 17 remaining Uighur
detainees were no longer enemy combatants. But in the next
month, the Justice Department argued against their release in
the United States due to their dangerous ``military training,''
thus undermining the State Department's ongoing diplomacy with
foreign countries to accept them as not dangerous.
Then in February 2009, the Department of Defense's review
of the detainees, led by the Vice Chief of Naval Operations,
confirmed that they are not security threats, since they were
moved to the least restrictive area called Camp Iguana.
Afterwards, Defense Secretary Robert Gates himself testified in
late April that ``it is difficult for the State Department to
make the argument to other countries that they should take
these people that we have deemed in this case to be not
dangerous, if we won't take any of them ourselves.''
In February, Sweden awarded asylum to one of those Uighurs
who had gone to Albania. In early June, Palau agreed to accept
Uighur detainees, and Bermuda accepted four of them. Another
option has been resettlement in the United States. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Kan
follows:]Shirley Kan deg.
Mr. Delahunt. Thank you Ms. Kan.
And next we will go to Ms. Susan Baker Manning.
STATEMENT OF MS. SUSAN BAKER MANNING, PARTNER, BINGHAM
Ms. Baker Manning. Good morning, Chairman Delahunt, Ranking
Member Rohrabacher, other members of the subcommittee. I very
much appreciate the opportunity to address you this morning.
Again, my name is Susan Baker Manning. I am a partner with
Bingham McCutchen, and I have represented for many years a
number of the Uighur detainees at Guantanamo. That includes the
four men who were released to Bermuda last Thursday, to our
great joy. It includes some of the people released to Albania
in 2006, including the gentleman we see in the picture over
here, whose name is Abdul Hakim, and I represent two more of
the 13 Uighur men who languish at Guantanamo even today, even
though they have long been cleared for release and their
innocence is widely, if not universally, recognized.
I have been asked to address, by your staff in particular,
some of the issues related to the Parhat v. Gates decision by
the DC Circuit. In Parhat v. Gates, the DC Circuit looked at
the evidence that the Department of Defense had compiled to
rationalize the detention of Hozaifa Parhat, one of the four
men now in Bermuda. And I think it is important to emphasize
``rationalize'' the detention of Hozaifa and the other men.
There is no evidence that we have ever seen in the 4 long years
of vigorous litigation that the original justification for
detaining any of the Uighur men was an affiliation with ETIM or
with any other ostensible Uighur organization of any kind.
But it is abundantly clear that when the Department of
Defense was forced to state a rationale in a public way for
their detention in 2004, 2005, in the wake of the Supreme
Court's Rasul decision, that ETIM became the hook for doing
And so I am happy to address any of the many, many facets
of the Uighur cases in the Uighur situation, but I will focus
in this particular testimony on the Parhat decision and its
analysis of the facts, and, in particular, its analysis of the
evidence related to ETIM.
The DC Circuit was the first court to ever look at the
evidence in any Uighur case. It is not the only one to do so.
And any court that has ever looked at the evidence has ruled
for the Uighurs, but it was the first one.
Mr. Delahunt. Let me interrupt you at this point in time.
If you can state for the record--we are not asking you to
disclose--but the information that the court had access to
included both unclassified and classified information; is that
Ms. Baker Manning. Yes, sir, that's right.
Mr. Delahunt. Thank you.
Ms. Baker Manning. And the information that the court was
analyzing in the Parhat case consisted of the hearing record of
the Combatant Status Review Tribunal.
And if you will indulge me for backing up a moment just to
sort of frame the procedural process here. In 2005 when
Congress passed the Detainee Treatment Act, which purported to
strip the Federal courts of habeas jurisdiction to consider
Guantanamo cases, something that was found to be unlawful by
the Supreme Court.
But at that time, Congress created a new cause of action
that would allow any Guantanamo detainee to challenge the basis
of his detention in the DC Circuit. There were a limited number
of questions that could be addressed in a DTA proceeding, but
one of those was whether the detainee's classification as an
enemy combatant was justified by a preponderance of the
evidence. The evidence before the Combatant Status Review
Tribunal was, we think, the government's best case. It was
certainly their opportunity to put together in a robust way, in
a way that would ultimately become public and was expected,
frankly, to ultimately become public, to put forward their best
case to, again, not justify in the first instance, but to
rationalize the detention of people who had already been in
prison at that time for many, many years.
And in the case of the Uighurs, by the time the CSRTs were
conducted, the great majority of them had already been cleared
for release and the Bush administration was actively seeking
new homes for them. Nevertheless, they were put through the
CSRT process, to the surprise of certainly members of the State
Department and others who were on record as noting they thought
that that was surprising, if not inappropriate, given that they
had already been cleared for release.
If I can also by way of stepping back just note a couple of
things that were undisputed--that are undisputed. We have seen
a lot of misinformation recently about who the Guantanamo
detainees are. We have heard discussion of Speaker Gingrich's
disturbing comments and willingness to send them to their
deaths in China. And we have heard a great deal of information,
sort of accusations, and I should say slander, from people who
suggest that these are al-Qaeda terrorists and the like. That
is simply not true. There has never been any allegation of that
and certainly never been established.
So, if I can remind us all of a couple of the key facts. As
I and others have noted, the military has cleared every single
one of the men, Uighur men, at Guantanamo for release. The
great majority of them were cleared for release 6 years ago, in
2003. The Bush administration conceded, as Ms. Kan noted, in
2008 that none one of them was an enemy combatant.
Now, that takes on the language of ``no longer an enemy
combatant.'' I have got a Federal judge who has written an
opinion calling that term Kafkaesque. If you are not an enemy
combatant, you were never an enemy combatant. These men were
never enemy combatants. They should never have been in
Guantanamo. And when that error was realized, they should have
been released immediately. Two Federal Courts, as I will detail
a little bit more, have taken a look at the evidence. Both the
Mr. Delahunt. I am going to interrupt you once more,
because I think this is very important. You are in a
particularly--you have a particular perspective that no one
else has. I know I have not, nor the ranking member, nor
members of the committee sought access to classified
information. You are not disclosing it, I understand that. But
you have reviewed these records in detail.
Ms. Baker Manning. Yes, sir.
Mr. Delahunt. You have had access to this information.
Would you state--was your statement unequivocal that there was
no evidence that the individuals whom you represented had any
links whatsoever to al-Qaeda; is that an accurate statement?
Ms. Baker Manning. That is an accurate statement, sir. And
you don't even need to rely on my representation for that; you
can rely on the DC Circuit for that. There is no connection
whatsoever to these men and al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
Mr. Delahunt. I think that is really important, because
what we are hearing today from Members of this body is that
there are links. Let's start to disassemble that inaccurate
statement. I thank you.
Ms. Baker Manning. Thank you, sir. That is just wrong.
One of the interesting things that we have seen since the
four men were released to Bermuda is, if you read your paper
yesterday, you will see a number of articles reporting
statements, reporting the things that they have never been able
to tell the world, things they have been telling me for years:
We had never heard of al-Qaeda until we were questioned about
al-Qaeda in Guantanamo.
The great majority of them had never even heard of ETIM
until they were questioned by interrogators about ETIM. These
are important things.
Mr. Delahunt. I am going to, because I have been
interrupting you, I am going to ask you just to wrap up right
now because I want to give my time and his time to the
gentleman from California. But I know he will have a number of
questions to you.
[The prepared statement of Susan Baker Manning
follows:]Susan Manning deg.
Mr. Delahunt. But I did read those statements, that
according to these individuals, they had never heard of al-
Qaeda, they had never heard of this so-called ETIM or ETIP. It
seems to have changed names according to the need of the
moment. But we will get back to you.
Let me just conclude with my friend from Washington, DC,
and I would ask him to be concise so that we can let
Congressman Rohrabacher have 20 minutes or so, whatever he
needs. And I want to assure the rest of the panel over here I
don't intend to pose questions until everyone else has an
opportunity, so I will try to bat clean-up. Bruce.
STATEMENT OF BRUCE FEIN, ESQ., PRINCIPAL, THE LITCHFIELD GROUP
Mr. Fein. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will try to be brief,
as a concession to the shortness of life, about the importance
of these issues that you have addressed today.
I want initially to begin to suggest that the Founding
Fathers would be shocked at the necessity of this hearing. I
think also this committee and the Congress is responsible for
the fact that it was the executive branch that was enabled to
unilaterally label this group as a terrorist organization
without any due process of the law. This Congress today could
You just pass a bill I could draft in 10 minutes that says
no moneys in the United States can be utilized to list ETIM as
a terrorist organization. It is another example of how over the
years Congress has forfeited its obligation to police national
security matters to the executive branch.
Why did you authorize this monstrous violation of due
process of law, this listing in secret? No one has an
opportunity to defend. No judicial review anywhere. That is the
responsibility of this Congress to take this power back. And
the abuse is there, because you let the executive branch get
away with it. That is the first thing to remember. All this
pointing the finger at Bush and Obama and whatever, the buck
stops here. We the people are sovereign.
The second thing I want to say is we need to remember who
we are as a people. This hearing is about the United States of
America, every bit as much as it is about the Uighurs, what we
stand for as principles.
And let me just give a personal--you know I grew up in
Concord where you did, Mr. Chairman. One of the first things I
memorized was the Concord Hymn:
By the rude bridge that arched the flood.
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled.
Here once the embattled farmers stood.
And fired the shot heard round the world.
And we wrote in our own charter, the Declaration of
Independence, the circumstance that justified rising up against
a government that was violating those unalienable rights to
life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and establishing a
new government. And it says when you are subject to a long
train of abuses that evince a design to reduce the people to
tyranny, you not only have a right, a duty to revolt.
And let's apply that standard to the Uighurs here and what
terminology accurately describes them. Now, Ms. Kadeer should
be there with Lexington Green with those other eight who died
at the Battle of Lexington and Concord, rather than listed as
an association of some kind of terrorist organization.
We, the United States people, said we have a right to
revolt if we are denied right to jury trial, if the prologue
legislatures to distant places, if there is a subordination of
the civil authority to the military authority, if there is no
independent judiciary. These are trifles compared to what the
Uighurs are suffering. They don't get any trial at all, not to
say a jury trial. Do they get to elect their leaders? No
taxation without representation was the cause of our
revolution. They don't get any vote at all in any circumstances
And I think that we have come as a Nation--it is not just
the Uighurs--to embody the psychology of the empire instead of
recognizing the roots, who we are as a people. Why are we
selling these people who have the same right we had to throw
off the bonds of vassalage, and we are criticizing them because
they may voice protest, even though it is largely nonviolent.
We have Sheila Jackson Lee. Mr. Ellison, remember John
Brown at Harpers Ferry? That became the Battle Hymn of the
Republic. Are you going sit there and do nothing in consequence
of this enormous oppression? The fact that the United States of
America refused--not only the executive branch but the Congress
could have enacted a law that says those 17 Uighurs are hereby
permanent residents of the United States--did nothing, that is
We care more about the Chinese buying our bonds than
showing our true character? That is a disgrace. I am humiliated
to be an American associated with that. We go to Bermuda and
Palau. We have all the power in the world to defend ourselves.
It just to me it is an insult.
And the last thing. It is the United States of America and
our character that is at issue here. The Uighurs should not
have to go through this again. We should not have the executive
branch being able to list these people as terrorists, or
anybody else, without any due process of law.
We had that in our own experience in the United States. It
was called McCarthyism. We used to have a list of subversive
organizations that the Attorney General promulgated without any
due process, and it was held illegal by the United States
Supreme Court, Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath.
And we got rid of that.
We should know by now when you give authority to do things
in secret, the danger will be inflated and it will be
manipulated and there will not be justice.
I will stop now and take questions there, but I can't
Mr. Delahunt. I am thinking you should just keep rolling
on, Mr. Fein.
Mr. Fein. And the last thing is, again, this is the
mentality of the people. To a hammer everything looks like a
nail; to a counterterrorist, everything looks like a terrorist.
And that is why you need checks. That is why you need due
process of law here. And we just think about a comparison
today. We find in the streets of Tehran people are rising up
and saying, no, their election was fraudulent. The United
States isn't condemning these people as terrorists. Well, they
don't even have elections in Xinjiang. At least they had the
pro forma pretense in Iran. And we even have the audacity to
suggest they are terrorists. I won't say anymore because I
think our own history speaks for itself.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Fein follows:]Bruce
Mr. Delahunt. Well, thank you Mr. Fein, and we admire your
passion. And I think you know that I, too, have been an
advocate for recapturing, if you will, the role of the first
branch in the proper constitutional order as envisioned by our
founders. And I too agree that we have ceded too much to the
Executive. And that has to come to an end or we will become a
Parliament that one could describe as more in the nature of the
Chinese Parliament as opposed to the United States Congress.
And we have to take back that authority.
And you are right about secrecy. And that is why we will
go, if we are invited and if we can work it out, we will go to
Bermuda and listen to what these men have to say to us and to
the American people. It is time that everyone be given an
opportunity to speak out. Secrecy promotes utilitarianism and
With that I yield to my friend from California, and then we
will go to Eni, and then I want to recognize, too, that we have
been joined by the gentlelady from Texas, Sheila Jackson Lee.
And by the way, that distinguished white-haired gentleman from
Virginia--who I am often confused with, I guess we Irish look
Mr. Rohrabacher. I think it behooves me to note that while
I do agree with the chairman and most of the witnesses on a
large percentage of what has been said today, rather
significant percentage, there are areas of disagreement that I
have. And I would like to just mention those in passing, as we
get on to the discussion specifically of the Uighurs.
I do not agree with the last witness whatsoever, his
assessment of what is going on since 3,000 of our citizens were
slaughtered, 3,000 of our citizens were slaughtered in front of
our face. This is not just a criminal situation where we can
give rights that are guaranteed to the citizens of the United
States to people who are captured in a battlefield situation
across the world.
I believe we have not had other thousands of people
slaughtered because the the deg.situation in
Guantanamo has prevented that. But when you agree with that, as
I do, and that is being my position, it would behoove us, I
believe, that we should have a very, and, I would say, forceful
policy toward people who are highly suspected of being involved
in this terrorist network that is out to slaughter Americans,
as they already have. Then it also behooves me to say and all
of us to say that, because we have not extended these same kind
of rights, because that would hinder our efforts to protect our
own people, we must be--how do you say--we must be absolutely
committed to admitting mistakes when the mistakes are made and
The problem that we have here is not that we fought a war
without giving constitutional rights to people who were engaged
with military activities in Afghanistan, which had just served
as a basis for attack that caused so many deaths, more deaths
than were caused at Pearl Harbor. But our problem is, once it
was recognized, that there was an error that was made in terms
of the Uighurs. Our people did not admit that mistake. And our
leaders, demonstrated by Mr. Gingrich as well as other leaders,
showed a distinct lack of courage, and in fact showed actually
worse than that by suggesting that we send the Uighurs back to
China, that they showed their own level of commitment to truth.
And I would suggest--I am sorry, people are fallible, and I
do not believe as you just suggested that we should be in any
way extending constitutional rights in a wartime situation. And
if we did, I really believe that there would be many, many more
dead Americans right now. But at the same time, I would agree
with witnesses and agree with your assessment.
I might add to Mr. Fein, I certainly agree with your
assessment that the Uighurs and other people like them should
be considered as on par with our Founding Fathers. The fact is
that there are people all over the world who long for freedom,
long for democracy, long to control their own destinies. The
American people should be on their side. We should never be on
the side of the oppressor; we should always be on the side of
That is the challenge that was given to us by Thomas
Jefferson and George Washington and all those other people
throughout our history who struggled to maintain the principles
our country was founded upon.
So while I may be someone who believes in the mission that
set up Guantanamo, and believe in enhanced interrogation, I
certainly understand that the United States fell short in the
case of the Uighurs, and perhaps in some other folks in
Guantanamo too. It is possible other people--after all, we have
freed from Guantanamo hundreds of prisoners. Hundreds of
prisoners have been freed who went there, and that kind of was
an admission of mistakes. But we also know that a significant
number of the prisoners that were freed ended up going back and
killing Americans on the battlefield.
I am sorry; my loyalty is to the people of the United
States. But I think how we show that is also that we remain
true to the fundamental principles that make us Americans.
After all, we are from every religion, every ethnic group,
every part of humanity is here in the United States of America.
What makes Americans, hopefully, is a commitment to liberty and
justice for all, and giving them the ability to have self-
determination in the East Turkistans of the world.
So with that said, let me go into a little bit about this
specific case. Shall I say, Mr. Secretary or Mr. Assistant
Secretary, do you believe that the reports that were provided
you and the administration about acts of violence were based on
direct knowledge by American intelligence, or were those
reports provided by Chinese intelligence to our own people?
Mr. Schriver. Congressman Rohrabacher, my strong impression
is that it was based on a comprehensive view of information
available. But the information provided by the Chinese was not
taken at face value. One of the reasons some have raised the
questions why ETIM, why not these other organizations, the
information provided by the Chinese had to be corroborated by
the United States. Information also had to be collected
independently of information provided by the Chinese and by
third parties as well. So in the case of that, that criteria
Mr. Rohrabacher. So we have that many agents out there in
East Turkistan to verify these acts of violence. Maybe I am
mistaken. Do we have that many agents out there verifying all
Mr. Schriver. Well, my understanding is when this specific
case was being worked, dedicated people to this effort,
including people from our embassy and consulates, do a proper
investigation to either corroborate what the Chinese had
provided or to collect independent information.
Mr. Rohrabacher. On all of these 200 cases of reported
Mr. Schriver. I suspect not, Congressman.
Mr. Rohrabacher. I would suspect not, too.
Mr. Schriver. But I think what the statement said is that
there were reportedly claims of this many attacks. It didn't
Mr. Rohrabacher. And did we verify independently the
existence of the ETIM?
Mr. Schriver. Well, I didn't hear anybody suggest that it
didn't exist. In fact, a previous panelist suggested that the
leader himself had been interviewed. So I think, again, there
is a question of why this organization and not others. And I
would return to the point that this was an organization that,
for whatever reason, limited itself to independent
corroboration and a proper investigation.
Mr. Rohrabacher. So you don't believe that this coincidence
that the chairman pointed out with the 200 acts of violence and
the number of deaths and injuries, that seems to indicate that
we had just taken those statistics from Chinese--from the
Chinese Government itself, and then just resubmitted it out in
our name, do you think that is just a coincidence that we
actually verified those things?
Mr. Schriver. No. Again, I looked very carefully at that
statement and it said ``elements of,'' it didn't say ETIM, and
it said ``reportedly committed.''
Mr. Rohrabacher. Weasel word is what we call them. Now,
weasel words. Now, so we used weasel words to make sure that we
could use information that obviously was spoon-fed us by the
intelligence arm of the world's worst human rights abuser.
Beijing, by its very nature, by its bigness alone, not to
mention the crimes, is the world's worst or biggest human
rights abuser. And just from what you are saying, it doesn't--I
mean you, are trying to tell us that those things were
corroborated, but you are not saying that, are you?
Mr. Schriver. What I am suggesting is that the designation
was made based on independent information collected and some
corroboration of the information provided, as well as by----
Mr. Rohrabacher. But not in individual cases, just on a
Mr. Schriver. Well, it was based on the criteria
established in the Executive Order and the assessment as to
whether that criteria was met.
Mr. Rohrabacher. I would suggest that even from what you
are saying, that it would be proper for us to surmise that our
Government was just basically being spoon-fed information and
that we were not doing that.
Mr. Schriver. If I could respond to that, there were many
organizations which the Chinese brought forward. And again, I
took office after this particular designation was made, but I
used to be the personal recipient of volumes and reams of
information from the Chinese about alleged terrorist
organizations that we were not in a position to designate,
because we were not able to make those assessments.
So I respectfully would reject a notion that we were spoon-
fed and simply relied solely on that.
Mr. Rohrabacher. And----
Mr. Delahunt. Would you--just one moment.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Sure.
Mr. Delahunt. What I find interesting, Mr. Secretary, is
that up to the designation, the Communist Chinese Government
spoke about multiple terrorist groups. And after the
designation, everything was ascribed to ETIM. In other words,
that designation in my opinion was a signal to--not an
intentional signal, but a signal to Beijing, if you use ETIM,
that is going to resonate in the State Department and among the
executive branch. And that, I would suggest, was very
I yield back.
Mr. Rohrabacher. I would agree with the chairman. Are there
any acts of violence against a civilian population, aimed at
terrorizing that population, that you can think of, that the
ETIM was guilty of? That it was verified?
Mr. Schriver. I couldn't go into the full review of the
organization and the incidents for a variety of reasons. I
would not disagree with anything that has been said about
secrecy and the problematic nature of making these decisions.
But in fact, I did take an oath to not reveal classified
information. I am privy to some of this. Much of it I am not
Mr. Rohrabacher. Do you know any secret information that
would indicate that the ETIM, that you are privy to, that you
have seen, that would indicate that the ETIM had committed an
act of violence against a civilian target? That is what
Mr. Schriver. I understand.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Fighting for your freedom against, as Mr.
Fein says, fighting against the British troops or against
Chinese military and occupiers.
Mr. Schriver. Let me say, as I said in my testimony, I am
confident in the decision that was made at the time, based on
the criteria set forth in the Executive Order. I would
certainly not have any objection to further--by this committee
or anybody else--further review of those decisions. These lists
should be active and fluid tools. If this committee is charged
with a full examination of these issues, perhaps a classified
briefing would certainly be appropriate.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Well, I am just asking you. You don't have
to break a rule about classification by simply saying whether
or not you know of something.
Mr. Schriver. As I said, I am confident in the decision
that was reached in August, 2002.
Mr. Rohrabacher. That is not what I asked you. Do you know
of any specific incident where the ETIM was accused of actually
committing an act of violence against a civilian target?
Mr. Schriver. Again, I was not an intelligence official. I
was not involved in this review. When I state I have
confidence, I have seen reports saying that the criteria have
been met, yes.
Mr. Rohrabacher. That is not what I asked you, whether you
think the criteria had been met. I asked you if you had known
about. But we will move on.
Again, when we make mistakes--and we do make mistakes. We
have made mistakes in every war that we have been in. But it
behooves us to admit our mistakes and to correct it. I think we
should be embarrassed that our leaders are not willing to do
that in the case of the Uighurs and perhaps in the case of
several other people in Guantanamo. I say that as a supporter
of the basic strategy of using that in this time of terrorism,
when people have targeted American cities and American
Let me ask about some of this here. Some of the experts
here on the ETIM and the East Turkistan population, do the
Uighurs and do these organizations in any way--are they
advocating an independent country that would be a democratic
country? One would expect something like Mongolia. Or are we
talking about a group of people that are advocating an Islamic-
based country in which church and state are one and that we
might expect to be allied with more radical elements within the
That is open to the panel.
Mr. Gladney. I think I can refer you to page 24 of my
testimony, and there I give you a spectrum based on my own
research and others of the possible groups out there. And there
is the whole spectrum, sir. There are groups on the Internet.
Now, the problem with looking at a YouTube video or a
posting on the Internet, you don't know how many people are
involved with that. One of the problems with some of these
organizations, they have been described as one-man
presidencies, one man organizations.
Mr. Rohrabacher. They might be fronts for the Chinese.
Mr. Gladney. They may be front from other groups. So I am
disturbed that YouTube postings are taken as serious material
if it is not corroborated.
Mr. Rohrabacher. So you have cast doubt on the postings
that we can see.
Let's go to the lawyer here. Your clients want to establish
a Muslim state, that the church and state is the same that
might be inclined to be allied with these other radical Muslim
Ms. Baker Manning. No, sir. Absolutely not. That has never
for a moment been the goal of any of them. None of them would
even admire such a goal. We explained to them recently that
these kinds of charges were being leveled against them in the
American debate, and they laughed out loud at the absurdity of
Mr. Rohrabacher. All right.
Ms. Kan. We have a record to go on. Whatever some people
might or might not do would be speculation, but we do have a
record of what has actually happened; and that is, in exile,
there are at least two large Uighur communities in exile. One
is in Germany, and one is right here in Washington, DC. And so
they have sought to go to Western democratic countries when
they are able to. In fact----
Mr. Rohrabacher. Are there any of these groups that have
been identified in Iran or in radical Islamic countries?
Ms. Kan. They speak Uighur. They don't speak Arabic.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Persian, I think.
Ms. Kan. Right. Or that other language. Exactly.
They have gone to live in Munich, in Germany. The German
Government is well aware of the large Uighur community there.
We have a rather large Uighur community here. Just last month,
the World Uighur Congress held its third general assembly right
here on Capitol Hill at the new Capitol Visitors Center at
which six Members of Congress spoke to Rebiya Kadeer at the
World Uighur Congress.
Mr. Rohrabacher. What was the position there on the
separation of church and state, which is basically kind of the
element, the essence of what radical Islam is all about?
Mr. Fein. Mr. Congressman, the Uighurs are of Turkic
ethnicity. You will remember Turkey is a government that
overwhelmingly represents a Muslim population. It is more
secular than most of Christian Europe. The separation of church
and state that Ataturk ushered in is stronger than in western
European allies, members of the EU.
Mr. Roberts. Can I add a point?
Mr. Delahunt. Please, Professor Roberts.
Mr. Roberts. I just wanted to note that there is a long
history of Uighur nationalist groups. And I think that what we
see after the fall of the Soviet Union is that none of them
have really had the opportunity to establish a comprehensive
program as you are asking about. I think only now do we see
that starting to happen after Ms. Kadeer was released into the
U.S. and she has taken a leading role in the World Uighur
Prior to that, a lot of the Uighur nationalists were
actually in the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union was
supporting ideas of ethnic autonomy in China largely as a ploy
in the Sino-Soviet split. And then later, in the '90s, most of
the Central Asian states kind of started to restrict any Uighur
nationalist groups on their territory, in part at the request
of the Chinese Government.
So I guess the short answer is I think that right now is
the time where we may see a group of Uighurs in a comprehensive
way put forth a program. But I have not really seen a united
program to date.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Thank you.
Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you very much for holding
this hearing. I want to thank the witnesses. I am going to be
going off to another event that I have scheduled myself for. I
But, again, those of us who have supported the war against
radical Islam feel very strongly, as you noted, and as you
should have noted, that what we have tried to do in Guantanamo
is aimed at protecting the people of the United States. Every
war that has ever happened, mistakes are made and people--
innocent people are hurt. What makes us a moral people is not
that we don't make mistakes during times of war. What makes us
an honorable people is that, when we make a mistake, we admit
it, because that should be at the heart of our soul and
character as Americans. We admit it, and we try to make it
In this case and perhaps in several other cases in
Guantanamo, trying to protect our people, trying to prevent
another 9/11, perhaps something wrong happened, and I am
ashamed the leadership of my party has not stepped up and done
the honorable thing.
We just had a Member of Congress who, I think, had courage
to stand up. He just left. Mr. Moran. And I really respect him
for what he has done and having the courage to stand up
recently on that.
With that said, I want to thank you for the hearing; and I
will be looking forward to look into this issue more. Because
what we have got here, I believe, is the worst type of
situation, where Communist China, a massive abuser of human
rights, is manipulating our Government and our own leaders for
their benefit. And we can't let that stand.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Delahunt. Thank you, Congressman Rohrabacher.
Now I will go to Eni Faleomavaega, and then we will go to
Mr. Faleomavaega. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I note with interest the fact that this is not an issue
that was just brought to the subcommittee's attention in a
matter of a couple of months. This has been going on for almost
2 years now.
I do want to say for the record I duly commend you and the
gentleman from California for pursuing this. Unfortunately, it
has taken now 2 years, and we are still trying to get more
answers to the questions that have been raised as you had
initiated and especially to some of the comments and
observations made by our expert witnesses now before us.
I seem to get a common thread with all the testimony that
has been provided here, the fact that the Uighurs are totally
innocent of anything that seems to have brought them to this
stage of classifying them as terrorists. Do I hear a
disagreement of that sense?
This is something that our Government, unfortunately, made
a mistake in passing judgment, in classifying, first, ETIM as a
terrorist organization. The next thing we know, we heard 22 or
more--because of some bounty hunters that turned these 22
Uighurs over to us and now transferred them to Guantanamo, and
now we got into more complications because of the problems that
I would like to ask the panel, what would be your
recommendation to resolve this issue once and for all?
Mr. Fein. Well, my recommendation is Congress enact the
statute, at least with regard to the Uighurs, and give them
permanent residency in the United States of America, like we
should have done all along, rather than begging other countries
to take it.
The other thing, there needs to be, in my judgment, a
complete overhaul of the system, the procedures by which
organizations are designated as terrorist organizations. There
is no due process at all. It is the classic example where you
don't have a right to know the charges against you. That is not
a system that is going to get anything that is reliable
We need to remember as well there is always the backup of
the criminal law. If people conspire to do things that are bad,
you can prosecute them. And conspiracy is forward looking. You
get them before they have even taken virtually a single step
toward its execution.
But at least in a prosecution you have due process. You
have a chance to defend yourself. The government just lists
individuals or organizations as terrorist organizations. You
are associated with them, you give $5, then you immediately
come under suspicion. No one knows how you get there.
Mr. Faleomavaega. Mr. Fein, I hate to interrupt your
comments, well taken, but supposedly we are in a state of war,
and sometimes in a state of war we are under martial law. And I
am sure you are well aware of the historical significance of
that fact during the time of the Civil War where Abraham
Lincoln, our famous President, did some things that were
But I am not going to argue you your point. I just want to
say sometimes due process doesn't come about.
Mr. Fein. Let's take the very case right here, Mr.
Congressman. Because that issue was raised, habeas corpus, and
the United States Supreme Court held in the Boumediene case
habeas corpus was unconstitutionally suspended by this
Mr. Faleomavaega. I also recall the fact that the Supreme
Court made the decision and President Jackson said, ``You made
the decision, now you go enforce it.''
Mr. Fein. But remember, the reason why the Uighurs got here
today is because of that decision. They got into court because
of that decision.
Mr. Faleomavaega. Sir, that is the reason why we are having
Mr. Fein. Exactly. That is why you shouldn't be worried
about constitutional rights.
Mr. Faleomavaega. My time is running out, and I have got to
ask more questions. I appreciate your statement there, Mr.
Ms. Kan, you indicated that the fact that Mr. Armitage made
the formal statement that the ETIM is considered a terrorist
group, and then Assistant Secretary James Kelly reaffirmed that
decision made by the administration. But I noted that you
mentioned that it was based on independent evidence that
Assistant Secretary Kelly stuck to the decision made by Mr.
Armitage or, for that matter, by the Bush administration that
these people should be classified as terrorists.
I was curious, what was the independent evidence that that
decision was based upon? Was it something outside of what the
Chinese intelligence shared with us, or something that none of
us know at this point? I think the chairman made that very
point, critical. Does this require, Mr. Schriver, that we have
to have a classified briefing in terms of this independent
evidence that Ms. Kan had referred to earlier?
Mr. Schriver. Well, I would encourage that. I don't know
that there is a need for me to repeat what I said earlier, but
one of the reasons this organization was designated and not the
many others that the Chinese brought forward to us is that we
had a process where we could either corroborate information
provided, independently gather and collect the information, or
seek a third party.
Mr. Delahunt. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. Faleomavaega. I would gladly yield.
Mr. Delahunt. You know what happens, Mr. Schriver? Every
member here has attended classified briefings. We go into these
classified briefings, and we leave with very little
information. What we discover is that we are then prohibited
from discussing classified information that in our opinion
ought to be out in the public domain. There is a great tool--
and I think Mr. Fein understands this. There is a great tool
that the Executive has.
We will have a classified briefing. Now that means that the
members who attend that briefing--and I don't attend those kind
of briefings--are never able to discuss it. Yet, among
ourselves--and this is commonplace, among Republicans and
Democrats--what was that all about? And it was totally
unsatisfactory, and it didn't even meet minimal standards in
terms of, in our opinion, being appropriately classified.
That is the problem that Mr. Fein is passionately bringing
to our attention. Because the mistake that we make is to confer
upon the Executive, whether that be a Democratic or a
Republican administration, the ability to play this rope-a-dope
game. And that is what it comes down to.
We clearly share the concern about threats to our national
security. We all do. But we also know what is real and what is
pretend and what is meant to deal with embarrassment.
The ranking member is correct. It is sometimes easy to say
you made a mistake. There is no one on this side of the dais
that doesn't make multiple mistakes daily. But what we seem to
do and we get here in Washington is classified, it is super
secret, and the American people are never told what the truth
Here is my problem with ETIM. How big is it? Is it two? Is
it dozens? Is it hundreds? Where did this military training
take place? Was it an installation the size of Fort Bragg? What
were the weapons that were involved?
Reports that I read in the media indicate that there was
one AK-57. By the way, there is no reference to these 22
individuals that were detained as a result of a bounty system,
that they were involved in that training. What is the
relationship with al-Qaeda, other than some double, triple,
quadruple kind of connection that I am sure, if you ran it out,
we would all be part of al-Qaeda.
Mr. Roberts. Congressman, this is a question--kind of
American civics question. Does Congress have the right to have
a closed classified hearing? Would you be able to question the
intelligence on this? Because my opinion is that there is
probably a dozen not even specialists in Xinjiang and Uighurs
in the United States. And we all know each other. To my
knowledge, nobody was brought in to discuss this issue.
Mr. Delahunt. Were you brought in, Professor Roberts, to
discuss this issue about the classification of ETIM?
Mr. Roberts. I was not. In fact----
Mr. Delahunt. Do you speak Uighur?
Mr. Roberts. I do.
Mr. Delahunt. Secretary Schriver, you don't speak Uighur,
Mr. Schriver. I do not.
Mr. Delahunt. I don't mean to personalize this. Let me
pause for a moment.
Professor Gladney, do you speak Uighur?
Mr. Gladney. Some; better Turkish.
Mr. Delahunt. Well, your Uighur is better than mine, I can
assure you of that.
Secretary Schriver, last week in the testimony proffered by
Ms. Kadeer, who, I dare say there is no one on the planet that
knows the Uighur community, both inside and outside of China,
like the gentlelady who is with us here today, she had never
heard of ETIM. If this is a terrorist group, they certainly
were well versed in being secret.
This is the problem in terms of the Congress and the
American people relying upon a secret process that has
consequences. Because that was the hook. As Susan Baker Manning
says, that was the hook that kept these 22 Uighurs incarcerated
for almost 7 years. Yet, I think it was Professor Gladney in
his testimony indicated that someone from the State Department
personally told him that it was a mistake. Am I
Mr. Gladney. That is correct.
Mr. Delahunt. Mr. Secretary, was there debate over this
designation within the Department of State? You know, we are
all human beings. We are all subject to different views. Was
there some dissension as to the designation? If there was not,
why was ETIM never designated as an FTO, a foreign terrorist
organization? Can you explain that to me?
Mr. Schriver. First of all, in terms of admitting mistakes,
myself, others who served in the administration, I hope are big
enough to step up to that challenge. And I think in my own
testimony I have acknowledged Guantanamo was a tragic error and
the circumstances they find themselves under. I would be
prepared--it might be an awfully boring hearing--but to go
through all the mistakes I have made, and there are plenty.
But the issue is whether or not this particular designation
at that particular time was an appropriate designation based on
the evidence and based on the criteria of the Executive Order.
My belief is that it was. But I would----
Mr. Delahunt. I respect your belief. Was there
consideration to place ETIM on the foreign terrorist--listed as
a foreign terrorist organization which, my understanding, is of
a significant--a higher degree of significance than under the
Mr. Schriver. I would confess this falls a bit out of my
expertise, but my understanding is it is not only sort of in
precedence, in a higher precedence, as you suggest, but it is
also based on different criteria and relies on information
related to activities outside of the country. We did have some
of that information, but I think people felt the case wasn't as
strong to go to that second designation.
Mr. Delahunt. Okay. I interrupted somebody. I don't know
who. Let me yield back the gentleman his time, Congressman
Mr. Faleomavaega. This is always one of the problems being
chairman. You can do anything you want. But I do thank the
chairman for his allowing me to do this.
I have as part of my jurisdiction in my subcommittee the
Central Asian countries. I wanted to ask the panel, as a result
of--I guess this is based on the Soviet-Sino agreement, that we
ended up having Kazikastan, Kurgestan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan,
and Turkmenistan as independent countries as a result of the
demise of the former Soviet Union.
Was there ever a discussion historically about having
Uighuristan as another republic? It seems to me the time when
this was going on there was a fear of Balkanization of the
different countries. I suspect that this is probably one of the
biggest concerns that the Peoples Republic of China was having,
the fear of breakouts among the different groups. China is
trying to bring Taiwan into the fold, Hong Kong, Macau, all
these bases of where China is claiming sovereignty overall.
But I just wanted to ask the panel, was there ever any
movement or any consideration seriously of having Uighuristan
as a possible republic, just as the way these other five
countries are now part of the Central Asian region? I just
wanted to ask.
I was very impressed with your statement, Dr. Gladney,
concerning the history not only of Uighuristan but the other
areas there, too, surrounding it.
Mr. Gladney. Of course, there would not have been a
discussion of that possibility, because Xinjiang has never been
a part of the former Soviet Union. In my testimony I do say
there was certainly some hope among Uighurs on the street.
Interestingly enough, it wasn't in 1991, 1992, when the
Central Asian states were established with the demise of the
foreign Soviet Union. It was really in the '90s, in 1997 with
the reincorporation of Hong Kong that that hope was enlivened.
I was frequently traveling to the region at that time; and
there were a lot of discussions of that
reintegration of Hong Kong, if it were not to go well, then
there would be more opportunities for those kinds of imagined
But, clearly, from the China side it was much more fear of
that possibility. And of course many people, when they focus on
Xinjiang and Tibetan independence issues, they forget that
really the jewel in the crown that China sees as a part of all
this issue of separatism is really Taiwan. So you can't really
distinguish these issues about China's desire to maintain a
In my testimony also I go into the historical establishment
of incorporation of Xinjiang as part of the People's Republic
of China. And there were--prior to that, in 1949, there were
two separate states, Eastern Turkistan Republics established in
the '30s and in the '40s. Those were legally bona fide nation
states. They were recognized. They were democratic. One was
quite secular, supported by the Soviets. The other in the south
was more Islamically inspired. But, nevertheless, the Uighurs
look to those two independently recognized states as the
historical precedence for a separate Uighuristan. But those
were very short-lived and----
Mr. Faleomavaega. I just have one more question because my
time is out. Again, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate your indulgence.
Was there a desire among the Uighur people to have a
sovereignty within a sovereignty, to the extent that they just
want to be autonomous but be part of the mother country in that
respect and to be free but not totally independent? They are
not seeking total independence from China. All they want is
more of an autonomous relationship, I suppose similar to what
the Dalai Lama has been trying for years to seek with China. Is
this basically what the Uighur people are seeking to establish
in its relationship between China and the Uighurs?
I notice, Secretary Schriver, you are shaking your head.
Mr. Schriver. I am shaking my head, but I think there are
people that are probably more expert. My impression is maybe
perhaps to some that is a suboptimal outcome, but it is
probably the most realistic outcome and one that gives very
concrete objectives that can be pursued, defining what genuine
autonomy would mean, as the Tibetans have, and then pursue
through negotiation with China that kind of outcome. So I think
that is the current circumstance, and that is the objective.
And I think U.S. policy should support that.
Mr. Faleomavaega. I also have China as part of my
subcommittee with my good friend from Massachusetts.
But I think to settle the issue once and for all, Mr. Fein,
you indicated earlier, pass a statute, bring these 22 Uighurs
into the United States and be done with it. Is this about as
best as we can resolve the situation and not go back and forth?
Well, we made a mistake. Is this the best way that we can
correct the mistake that we have made?
Mr. Fein. I think the answer is yes; and, of course, there
is precedent as well. Mr. Rohrabacher mentioned the killings--
remember Pearl Harbor and 5 months after we had concentration
Mr. Faleomavaega. I think Ms. Kan and I very well remember
Mr. Fein. We did make amends in that same circumstance in
the Civil Liberties Act in 1988. The same thing we can do
Mr. Faleomavaega. They say, what we did to the native
Hawaiians, we took their land; we stole it fair and square.
Mr. Roberts. I think also another thing that needs to be
done that was obvious in the exchange between Congressman
Rohrabacher and Assistant Secretary Schriver is that we need to
define what we are talking about when we are talking about
terrorism. I know Assistant Secretary Schriver kept on saying
that it met the criteria at the time, but maybe the question is
that criteria should be reviewed and we should really think
about what we are talking about when we are talking about
terrorism. If we are really fighting all violent separatist
movements around the world, that is, obviously, not a winnable
Mr. Faleomavaega. Dr. Roberts, I know what you mentioned
about terrorism, but let's talk about colonialism. Let's talk
about patriotism. Let's talk about nationalism. I think our
patriots during the Revolutionary War were considered
terrorists. I think the Israelis who fought very hard to gain
independence were classified as terrorists. So it is a matter
of perspective, I suppose. How do you do that? Ho Chi Minh was
considered a nationalist patriot because all he wanted to do
was fight against 100 years of French colonialism in Vietnam.
How many Americans know about that fact?
Mr. Fein. But the statutes do define and the Executive
Orders define the criteria. They can vary. But it just isn't
Humpty Dumpty; I make it mean whatever I want it to mean on a
current day. That is what rule of law means. You have to write
down standards so you can apply them evenhandedly.
I do agree with the suggestion you had that we should
review what the standards are and see whether or not the
distinctions you made we can put in words in the statute so it
prevents, for example, the immigration authority holding people
as terrorists in Burma because they are fighting against the
oppressive regime there and can't get in the United States.
Mr. Faleomavaega. Mr. Chairman, thank you so much. Let's go
to Bermuda and Palau and settle this thing once and for all.
Mr. Delahunt. I concur with that. I look forward to the
trip to Palau. I thank my friend.
Mr. Secretary, there was a report that was done by Mr.
Fine, who is the Inspector General at the Department of
Justice, that confirmed that the Uighur detainees were
interviewed, were interrogated, and there are other reports
that indicate they were intimidated by Communist Chinese
intelligence agencies while at Guantanamo.
Is it a common practice to allow intelligence agents from
foreign countries into Guantanamo or other facilities to
interrogate detainees that are incarcerated?
Mr. Schriver. Again, slightly outside my purview, but my
understanding is the decision was based on a general
application of access to the detainees from people representing
the countries of origin. I personally think in the case of the
Uighurs it was ill-advised.
Ms. Baker Manning. May I comment on that, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. Delahunt. Yes, please.
Ms. Baker Manning. The reports that you have seen that the
Uighurs were intimidated by Communist Chinese officials in
Guantanamo, if the report is that they were intimidated, that
is a dramatic understatement. What actually happened is they
were abused and threatened, and it was made abundantly clear to
them--this is a paraphrase of one of them reporting to me--but
he was told by his Chinese interrogator after being kept up for
a day and a half and softened up by U.S. soldiers so that they
would cooperate with the Chinese interrogators, he was told by
his Chinese interrogator that he was lucky to be in Guantanamo
because as soon as they got him back to China, he was dead.
That is what actually happened in these interrogations.
The important thing to remember for the broader context of
what we are talking about here today is that Secretary
Armitage--Assistant Secretary Armitage went to Beijing in late
August, 2002. ETIM goes on the terrorist list I think a couple
weeks later. And right after that is when the Chinese
interrogators show up in Guantanamo.
I have never heard it suggested to me that this is a
coincidence. It can't possibly be a coincidence. So it seems
that there is a direct connection between this cooperation,
going on the terrorist list, and these abusive, threatening
interrogations that happen in Guantanamo with the complicity of
U.S. soldiers. That is a remarkable series of events--and to
our great shame.
Mr. Delahunt. Mr. Secretary, can you tell us how the
decision was made to allow Chinese Communist intelligence
agents into Guantanamo to interview these detainees?
Mr. Schriver. I cannot. I would just repeat I think it was
ill-advised. My suspicion would be that it was part of a
general policy access to the countries of origin. But I think
in this case it was very ill-advised if applied in that way.
Mr. Delahunt. Well, if it was the Department of State and
they read their own human rights reports, not only was it ill-
advised but I would say that it was morally repugnant where,
with a human rights report that describes in great detail the
persecution and the gross violation of human rights perpetrated
on the Uighurs in China, to allow Communist Chinese agents,
security agents into Guantanamo, is beyond unacceptable.
It is my intention at some point in time to determine how
that decision was made. Because Attorney Baker Manning is
correct. This isn't going to be satisfied simply by saying it
was ill-advised, with all due respect. And then fast forward to
now and we have a former Speaker of the House of
Representatives suggesting that these individuals be sent back
to China. I am sure you reject that suggestion. But it is most
Do you know if the decision to allow these intelligence or
these security agents into Guantanamo was made by State, by
Justice, or by Defense?
Mr. Schriver. I am not sure I can answer with precision,
but my memory is it was not the State Department. It seems to
me I would have been aware of that decision.
Again, I apologize if my language suggested sort of an
offhanded view of this. No, it was absolutely inappropriate and
unacceptable to have them treated in that manner at Guantanamo,
as well as a lot of other activities in that detention
facility, in my view.
Mr. Delahunt. If you know--I am always interested in how
these decisions are implemented. If you know, did we provide
the transportation for the Communist security agents to come to
Mr. Schriver. I don't know.
Mr. Delahunt. I mean, I just have this rather disgusting
vision of putting up Communist Chinese security agents at some
hotel somewhere on the base after providing them with
transportation on some Gulfstream aircraft. And they are told
that they are lucky they are in Guantanamo because if they
returned to their homeland, they would be tortured and most
likely summarily executed. That is disturbing. And when I think
of the American taxpayers supporting this activity, I am sure--
maybe you can tell me I am wrong--but I am sure that it wasn't
a Communist Chinese aircraft, military aircraft that landed at
Guantanamo. If you know.
Mr. Schriver. I don't know the specific circumstances and
the issues associated with transportation. But I would just
underscore I think it is important that Secretary Powell at an
early juncture said under no circumstances would they be
returned to China.
President Bush, when Hu Jintao, as a part of maybe three or
four issues he chose to raise with President Bush during a
summit meeting, said we want them returned to China, President
Bush refused. So there is certainly recognition, based on
everything we know about their treatment in Xinjiang, that they
would not be treated fairly or humanely and they faced these
risks. Certainly that was appreciated and put into action
through policy by members of the Bush administration.
Their circumstances at Guantanamo I think are tragic, as I
said in my testimony. It bears close scrutiny from this
committee and others.
Mr. Delahunt. Anyone is free to respond. I am directing
some of these questions to the Secretary because I have made
these notes as you have each testified. But how do you
account--here we have the Chinese Government saying that there
were various groups involved in violent acts or demonstrations,
whatever they were. And then, subsequently, we come out with
the same statistics, practically the same language, and
attribute it all to one group.
Those 200--and the numbers, 200, 120, and 40, was that an
error on our part or were----
Mr. Schriver. I think the language that you put up said
elements of ETIM. It didn't attribute all the acts. I think it
is important to be very precise at the Department of State and
other executives deg. agencies when you are reporting
on these activities, and perhaps more precision was required
Ms. Baker Manning. If I may, Mr. Chairman. The type of
caveats that we see in some of the language here, what
Representative Rohrabacher calls ``weasel words,'' I think
quite accurately so, in the Parhat case when the DC Circuit
Court of Appeals, the three-judge panel, two Republican
appointees, a Democratic appointee, they come up with a
unanimous opinion that is all about how shoddy the evidence is
in the case, that the government's best case against these
guys--and they are all identically situated, even though they
are focusing on Parhat in that particular case. They are all
They have a lengthy opinion that is very, very specific and
very detailed and, among other things, addresses precisely this
issue of things are said to be true, ETIM reportedly did this,
there is information that such and such has happened; and it is
precisely those kinds of weasel words, in the gentleman's
phrase, that, among other things, causes the DC Circuit to
reject this. This is not even worth considering, and we are
going to reject it. It cannot possibly justify any official act
like imprisoning these men. Because there is just nothing
Mr. Fein. If I can add, one of the questions raised was,
does Congress have the authority to demand classified briefings
in ways that enable you to get access to genuine information
that you can discuss, not just conduct soliloquies with
I think the constitutional law is very clear. The Gravel
case in 1972 establish that then Senator Gravel could
declassify 47 volumes of the Pentagon papers that allegedly
were going to cause all sorts of calamities that never did.
Under the speech or debate clause in the congressional
oversight power, the court held that act was shielded from any
retaliation, any regulation by the executive branch or the
judicial branch; and the effort to try to indict him was
My view is the law is clear. If Congress wishes, you can
demand, even through a provision of the appropriations power,
no information shall be collected and classified by the United
States of America with the use of U.S. funds that can be
withheld from committees of Congress exercising oversight
functions. And I believe that would be constitutional. It would
enable you to go and say, you can't tell me to keep quiet. This
is what the law is. You can't spend money if you are going to
conceal that from us. You have to have oversight power.
I think the Church Committee hearing showed what happens
when it is just a game out there and you don't know. The Church
Committee got into the real details and had some real reforms
that were enacted afterwards. But, without that, we may solve
the Uighur issue. There will be another case in 5 or 10 years.
It will be the same reason. We will be back here holding a
Mr. Delahunt. You are arguing for a truly select committee
in dealing with this whole issue of transparency, secrecy, and
classification within our own Government to maintain the
viability and the health of our democracy. That is why I
think--and I said this in my opening statement--not only is
this about 22 individuals and justice to them, but it is also
about remedying the serious issues that I think need to be
addressed because of what we are learning as a result of
Guantanamo, not just these 22 detainees.
I intend to have a hearing on the CSRTs, the Combatant
Status Review Tribunals. Lawyers that were there, that
participated, describe it as a sham. I don't know how we
provoke--again, it is not those kind of issues that people are
going to follow with assiduously. They are just not going to do
it. But they are so fundamental.
Because you are right, Mr. Fein. Today, it is the Uighurs.
A year from now, it is Irish Americans. And that would make me
very nervous. But it is about our democracy and really those
And with all due respect, and I appreciate your sincerity
and I know you are well-intentioned, Mr. Secretary, but
bureaucratic speak just ain't gonna make it. You are going to
get people like my friend from California who is going to say
it like it is: These are weasel words. And I am not accusing
you of that. But when we read what we get from the executive
branch, we know what caveats have to be put in there. That is
not what, I dare say, American democracy is about.
Do we know what happened, by the way, to the families of
these detainees that were incarcerated in Guantanamo? Do we
have any information, Mr. Secretary?
Mr. Schriver. I don't. But I know Ms. Kadeer, after her
release, her sons faced persecution and imprisonment. So I
suspect the Chinese are certainly not above that kind of heavy
hand with others.
Mr. Delahunt. Because once--I understand from a
newspaper report that the four in Bermuda are using
pseudonyms in an effort to protect their families back in
Ms. Baker Manning. That is right.
Mr. Delahunt. I mean, let's put this on a very, very human
Well, let me throw some questions to Mr. Roberts, since he
seems nice and relaxed there. Can you tell us anything about
this purported link between al-Qaeda and ETIM?
By the way--and I will pose this to the panel as well as
you, Mrs. Kadeer--all of the experts have hardly heard of ETIM.
Yet, our Government, according to the Secretary, has
independent information about ETIM. Has anyone heard about it?
If you have heard about it, how big is it? Is it cohesive or is
it just a group that got together and came up with a name?
Mr. Roberts. First of all, I think that we don't know very
much at all about ETIM.
And it is interesting. I have been a part of some other
panels the last couple of years, particularly right around the
Olympics where I encountered some terrorist experts,
quote, unquote, deg. ``who do contract work for the U.S.
Government.'' And they would go through charts with the
organizational structure of the group and provide all this
definitive information; and then, as soon as they were
questioned by somebody who actually was a specialist in the
region and in the Uighur people, they actually stepped down,
which, to me, was very suspicious. My assumption----
Mr. Delahunt. Are you suggesting, Professor, that there is
a cottage industry of terrorist experts out there that come and
appear on cable news shows and testify when necessary?
Mr. Roberts. Not only that, I think also--I think some of
them are doing contractual work for the Defense Department and
other agencies in the U.S. Government. And my impression of the
people I encountered was that they didn't really have much more
substantive information than was available on the Internet.
And, as Dr. Gladney said, we can't always trust everything that
is on the Internet.
As I said in my testimony, I think that it is highly likely
that ETIM was a group of a handful of people in Afghanistan in
the late '90s. But I also have encountered lots of information
from the late '90s when the Chinese Government was engaging the
Taliban, particularly on the issue of Uighur separatists.
I think that one of the questions that arises when you look
at the Uighur situation, why wasn't there a separatist movement
based in Afghanistan? I think in all likelihood the Taliban
strongly discouraged it, if not tried to prevent anything like
that happening. I think that ETIM, after this purported
leader's death, may not have existed at all.
What is interesting is now these videos that were on
YouTube I think are something that raise some interesting
questions. I said in my written testimony I think that those
videos could be either Chinese Government or they could be
perhaps, as Dr. Gladney said, one-person shop, two-persons
shops, somewhere, anywhere in Germany and Istanbul and the
United States, trying to exaggerate the power of a potential
Uighur terrorist threat, because they obviously have not had
much success with political attempts to get attention.
Or, finally, they could be attempts by transnational
terrorist groups to recruit Uighurs, because they see that the
Uighur people have kind of been abandoned by the West.
Mr. Delahunt. Thank you.
Ms. Kan, do you wish to comment?
Ms. Kan. First of all, this is an important question.
Because there have been a lot of allegations and insinuations
about ETIM in any connection or vague, ambiguous terms of
association or affiliation with al-Qaeda. We do not base our
assessments in the United States on what China says at face
value. No reputable analyst in the U.S. Government would do
So, looking at what the United States officials have said
that can be more specific than these ambiguous terms of
association or affiliation, since 2002--it has been almost 9
years--we have only been able--I can only find two, which is,
one, that supposedly the camps in Afghanistan received money
from al-Qaeda funding; and, secondly, the newest assertion that
the leader of ETIM was included in al-Qaeda's Shura Council.
Beyond that, there is really nothing else about if there is an
ETIM, if there is any kind of connection or relationship, that
it is part of the network that has committed any attacks
against U.S. interests.
Mr. Delahunt. Professor Roberts.
Mr. Roberts. I just want to add one thing. I do think it is
very important to note that there have not been any instances
of suicide bombings or car bombings, nowhere where we could say
we have explosive devices that would point to a Uighur group
being associated with a transnational terrorist network. To me,
that is the most striking evidence against this argument.
I think that it is fair to say almost any specialist in the
Uighurs is open to seeing evidence that in fact there are large
groups of Uighurs involved with al-Qaeda. But I think that the
evidence is against it. There may be one or two people
associated with al-Qaeda, but it is also interesting that we
have not seen a lot of information about Uighurs in Pakistan's
Northwest Province right now. We hear about Uzbeks, but we
don't hear about Uighurs. So I think that is another point that
questions whether we are talking about one or two people who
may be associated with al-Qaeda or whether we are talking about
any significant movement.
Ms. Baker Manning. If I may offer one more thing on this
The sensible sort of funding relationship and whether an
ETIM member has contact with al-Qaeda, one of the specific
issues considered by the DC Circuit in the Parhat case was
whether there was any evidence that ETIM is associated with
either al-Qaeda or the Taliban. And the court, although it was
based on classified evidence that, although I am privy to, I
cannot for obvious reasons comment on, once we reviewed the
evidence, including the evidence on this point, 3 days after we
received that evidence for the first time, we moved for
judgment, and we got judgment.
Mr. Delahunt. 3 days.
Ms. Baker Manning. The court engaged in a review of
precisely this issue, was there any evidence in the
government's best case of a connection between ETIM and al-
Qaeda, and the court ruled for us on precisely that point.
Mr. Delahunt. You know what concerns me is that we don't
even know what ETIM really is. And we have this allegation out
there about links to al-Qaeda, and it gets amplified every time
there is a discussion, and it becomes an accepted fact. And
that is what is really disturbing. If there is evidence, let's
listen to it. But, again, it is that veil of secrecy.
I mean, up until recently, the Vice President--the former
Vice President continued to maintain there was some
relationship between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, when just a
review of the history of the region would indicate that Osama
bin Laden considered Saddam Hussein an apostate, a defiler of
I mean, we have to be more careful as a people and as
policymakers in terms of what we say, and we are prone
oftentimes to throw away a comment that has very little
I mean, maybe we will have to have a classified briefing.
But I have attended classified briefings, and I can remember
weapons of mass destruction and mushroom clouds and operational
relationships. I can remember being told that al-Qaeda camps
existed in Iraq. It was false.
Do we know where this village or this camp existed in
Afghanistan? No. We are making it up. That is what the rest of
the world is thinking. And now we find ourselves in this very
difficult, embarrassing situation.
And Dr. Gladney, what I found remarkable, and you pointed
it out in your testimony, is that our own military, the U.S.
military, had never heard of ETIM according to a report at the
end of 2001. And yet, again with all due respect, we are
designating ETIM less than a year later through an Executive
Order as a terrorist organization.
Mr. Secretary, I think Ms. Baker Manning said it well. If
you were sitting here--you are sitting out there, and you are
putting August 22nd together and then, you know, different
reports, and all of a sudden ETIM emerges as a terrorist
organization--what inferences would you be drawing? Dr.
Gladney, if you will, can you amplify what I alluded to in
terms of our own military not having heard of ETIM?
Mr. Gladney. I wish I could. Just based on a SINCPAC report
that was published which they extensively examined, a special
report, Uighur Muslim Separatists, Virtual Information Center,
dated 28 September, 2001, ETIM was not even mentioned.
Mr. Delahunt. What conclusion can we reach, Mr. Secretary?
I mean, you see the predicament that serious people have about
the designation or the existence of ETIM. Even if we grant you
that it existed, you know, because a leader acknowledges this--
and who is this guy Hak?
And, by the way, has anybody heard from ETIM in the last 4,
5, 6, 7 years? Where are they? Where are they? Can anybody
answer? Dr. Roberts; Dr. Gladney; Mr. Fein; you, Mr. Secretary;
Ms. Kan; can someone tell me where they are? Are they taking
any responsibility for any acts, any violent acts? The only
ones that seem to be giving them any credibility is the Chinese
Communist Government in Beijing. Will anyone comment?
Because here in September post-9/11, in September 2001 the
United States military does an in-depth study of the region
with a focus on Uighur Muslim separatists; and there is no
mention of ETIM. If you were me, Mr. Secretary, what would you
Mr. Schriver. Well, again----
Mr. Delahunt. Put yourself in my position.
Mr. Schriver. I understand the tone and your purpose in
having this hearing and trying to draw people out on these
issues. I think it is an important issue. But again if you look
at sort of the comprehensive approach of the administration it
is just analytically unsound that this was simply to try to
engage the Chinese on counterterrorism cooperation because
there are so much other efforts that would run contrary to
that. In fact, this is a data point that is inconsistent with
our overall approach to Xinjiang and to the Uighur community.
Mr. Delahunt. With all due respect, I don't agree with you.
I think if I am negotiating and the Chinese are really
important, they are a major--they are a super power, we know
that. If I can just feed the beast a little bit, give them a
dollop, if you will, of, okay, we know you have got a problem.
We know that you are concerned not so much about Islamic
jihadis but a growing sense of a possible independence movement
or demands for more autonomy or demands for human rights. Okay,
give us what you have. And you gave us some stuff. You gave us
some statistics. And, you know, all right, rather than having a
whole bunch of--because the testimony from these experts are
there were groups out there that were of more consequence than
the ETIM. Is that true, Mr. Gladney?
Mr. Gladney. That was our feeling at the time.
Mr. Delahunt. Professor Roberts, is that your
understanding, that if you take a look at the Uighur dissidents
that there were some groups that existed that were of more
consequence than ETIM? Or am I misstating it?
Mr. Roberts. No, absolutely. I wouldn't say that--I have
never really encountered a group that has any militant
capabilities, though. But there is no doubt that in the Uighur
community--I was in Kazakhstan for much of the 1990s, spent
most of that time in Uighur communities, knew all of the
political leaders, and I never once encountered the Eastern
Turkistan Uighur movement. And I lived in Uighur neighborhoods
where I encountered all kinds of visitors from organizations in
Turkey, from organizations in Germany, from organizations in
all other countries, but I never heard of the Eastern Turkistan
Islamic movement until February 2002 when it was designated a
Mr. Delahunt. Mr. Fein.
Mr. Fein. Mr. Chairman, let me make a couple of
One, what this hearing shows is sunshine is the best
disinfectant. We still have all this shrouded in secrecy. And
if we think of the history of all of the leaks of classified
information, none of them have been shown to be greatly
detrimental to the United States of America, including the
There is a risk anytime to have a totally open society. But
the consequences of--you know, this discussion today, which
just illustrates it is not limited to the Uighurs, there have
been injustices to many other groups as well, that is why they
have habeas corpus and are being released. It shows that all
the claims that if you do this in the public, you let it out,
all these calamities will happen. History just doesn't bear
That was said before the Church Committee hearings as well.
You can't have any of these hearings. We will never have anyone
who will ever do a covert operation again. It didn't happen
And to the extent that there is some kind of inhibition, so
what? The benefits to democracy to getting it right are so much
better to have members like you know what is going on.
The same questions that you are asking Mr. Schriver has
been asked to those people in Congress who are actually the
ones who are making those decisions, and you had it right to
get the answers to them, and if you did they wouldn't have been
listed on the organizations of terrorist groups.
Mr. Delahunt. Let me yield to the gentlelady from Texas,
Sheila Jackson Lee, for as much time as she may consume.
Ms. Jackson Lee. Mr. Chairman, first of all, I want to
thank you for your kindness to yielding to me.
I am a member of the full committee, and the chairman has
been gracious with his time to allow me to be involved in what
I think is an enormously crucial issue. And if you ever want to
be dressed down or undressed down, let Bruce Fein get in the
mix of it. And it is appropriate that you have done so, and I
do appreciate it.
I am going to be somewhat redundant, because I like making
the record very, very clear. Because we have seen the
denunciation of Bermuda. We have seen a representation on the
public stage of all kinds of things. And it is always the last
word that someone hears is what they go off with. And so I
imagine that the public has already been, I will use the term
tainted, meaning the American public. They have got their
attitude about the Uighurs, and they believe that we have
released major terrorists who are floating in the sea in
Bermuda and that we are reckless and uncaring.
So let me try to, first of all, say, coming from a
Caribbean American heritage, I want to thank the people of
Bermuda for responding to what was a necessity. And, frankly, I
want everyone to know that Bermuda would like to have snow
slopes and terrible weather, but, unfortunately, they are in an
area that doesn't allow them to have that. So when you do see
them on video you are going necessarily see them in a beautiful
backdrop. I thank again the people of Bermuda for what I think
is helping to establish freedom.
The other thing that I would like to mention as I pose this
question is my sense of outrage of the continued peppering of
sweetness on Iran, even in light of the atrocious public scenes
that we have seen and the clarity of understanding that
elections that seem to come out one way were--the statistics
show that 70 percent of the people might have voted the other
way. And, again, I don't pretend to select Iranian leaders, but
I will say that that certainly brings a question to me.
I will add the backdrop to the sugaring and pampering that
we have done of our good friends in China. And let me make it
very clear, I am a friend of Mainland China. We have a
wonderful consulate. They have been always so very gracious.
But it always amazes me how we are able to use a lot of sugar
when we talk to people who have some extreme failings that
don't allow us to speak openly and forthrightly.
Not only are we dealing with the Uighurs, we are dealing
with the Tibetans. I have been in the Tibetan mountains to the
extent that I have even been thrown off a yak, not while I was
drinking yak milk, but literally that is one of my famous acts
here in the United States Congress, and for the panel that was
called cultural exchange. But, obviously, he was not interested
in too much dialogue.
So I have been in the temples. I have seen and discussed
with those individuals about their crisis. I have met with the
representative of the Dalai Lama, as well as the Dalai Lama,
but particularly with his representative and spoke extensively
about these issues.
So let me try to ask a question to Susan Baker Manning. How
do you know the Uighurs and those gentlemen that are now in
Bermuda were not associated with al-Qaeda?
Ms. Baker Manning. I know that because it is undisputed.
They have never been accused of being associated in any way,
shape, or form with either al-Qaeda or the Taliban. The
government has conceded this repeatedly. It is in a number of
military documents. It is undisputed. And the DC Circuit has
noted that it is undisputed. They have no association
whatsoever with al-Qaeda, the Taliban. They never took up arms
against the U.S., any members of the coalition. They have never
been accused of taking up arms against anyone.
Ms. Jackson Lee. So if we were to seek a written
affirmation or an affirmation we could go to Federal judiciary
Ms. Baker Manning. Yes, ma'am.
Ms. Jackson Lee. Would we have access to these military
documents that you suggested? Have you had access to them?
Ms. Baker Manning. There is a classified and unclassified
portion of the record to which I have access. I could certainly
provide the unclassified portions of that to the committee.
We have had some discussion about access to classified
information. I have encouraged the executive branch to share
with this committee its correspondence with Attorney General
Holder. I have encouraged them to share the relevant classified
information with the Uighurs, because it is critical that
Congress understand who we are really talking about here. There
is a great deal of misinformation.
Ms. Jackson Lee. On the unclassified--and I am grateful for
the chairman's yielding. I just have a pointed question.
On the unclassified, will I--in sort of supporting the
chairman if he has asked for it, I would like to ask for it. On
the unclassified, would we find written language that says
Ms. Baker Manning. What you will find is you will find that
in the Parhat v. Gates opinion issued by the DC Circuit--
actually, it is attached to my written testimony today. I can
point you to the specific passage in there.
The court notes, after review of both the classified and
the unclassified evidence in that case--and all the Uighurs are
the same. Evidence is the same. The court notes, after review
of both the classified and the unclassified evidence, that
there is no allegation that Parhat was in any way a part of
either the Taliban or al-Qaeda; and the court also notes that
there is no evidence that he was a member of ETIM.
Ms. Jackson Lee. And the reason why I just continue to
focus on this--and I thank you for that--is that the spoken
word sometimes is loose and light. But we have court
affirmation having--the court having reviewed the classified
And the other aspect of it is we are on Foreign Affairs,
some of us are on Armed Services, some of us are on Homeland
Security, all part of the synergism of protecting America; and
the first front-liners of blame, rightly so, is the government
for saying I told you so. These are in fact terrorists.
But we have investigated documents, documents that were the
results of an investigation that says that they were not
associated. Let me then ask you, why were they in the Afghan
camps, as have been alleged?
Ms. Baker Manning. Well, as we have seen from discussions
that the four men released to Bermuda have had with the press
over the last few days, the first time they have ever been able
to tell the story themselves, the same stories they have been
telling me, these men end up in Afghanistan because Afghanistan
is at the time a place that has no reciprocity with China.
Every single one of them leaves China because of the oppression
of the Uighur people.
Al Abu Hakeem, the gentleman in this picture right there,
he leaves China in part because that little girl sitting on his
lap is his niece. His sister was about to be forced to abort
that child under China's one child policy. His sister escapes.
He escapes about the same time.
They are fleeing the remarkable persecution of their people
within China. Every single one of the 22 Uighur men who ended
up in Guantanamo was leaving to escape that kind of oppression.
Every single one of them is philosophically opposed to the
Communist Chinese regime and to its remarkable and well-
documented oppression of human rights and of their people
specifically. But not one of them has ever sought to take up
arms against China or anyone else.
Ms. Jackson Lee. Do we have a court order that--the
release, I am sorry, of these individuals, are they able to see
their families? Are families coming to Bermuda? Or how is that
Ms. Baker Manning. The four gentlemen who are now in
Bermuda are free. They are not able to travel because their
Chinese passports were long ago lost. And the Bermudans have
indicated that they are willing to move them toward
citizenship. That is a somewhat time-consuming process. It
probably won't happen within the year. But upon their
naturalization as citizens of Bermuda and, therefore, the
commonwealth, they would be able to travel. And I understand
there will be some restrictions about whether they will be able
to travel to the United States. But they would be able to
travel abroad. They will be able to see their families.
Ms. Jackson Lee. Will their families be able to come to
Ms. Baker Manning. Yes, ma'am. The difficulty is that most
of their family members are still in China, and there are
enormous concerns with treatments of their families by the
Chinese Government. There are just enormous concerns about
that. So the difficulty is not whether the Bermudans would
allow the family members to come visit them. The Bermudans have
made it quite clear to me that they are more than welcome. The
difficulty is getting out of China.
Ms. Jackson Lee. Let me thank you very much.
Mr. Delahunt. Would the gentlelady yield for a moment? I
want to inform her that it is the intention of the committee to
go to Bermuda.
Ms. Jackson Lee. That was my next point. I would like to
join you. And I think that is an excellent suggestion, Mr.
Mr. Delahunt. And I have discussed it with the ranking
member. We would hope--and, clearly, there are logistical
issues, and this is a matter that would have to be discussed
with our Speaker and Chairman Berman. But it would be my hope
that we could conduct a hearing in Bermuda and have these four
Because, as I said earlier I think it is very important
that we--and not we necessarily but the American people hear
from them directly without the filter of pundits and talking
heads and those that may or may not have a particular bias. And
I think it would be very, very instructive and very, very
informative and hopefully accelerate the process of closing
down Guantanamo as promised by President Obama and sought,
actually, by President Bush, Defense Secretary Gates, Secretary
Powell, and others.
Because what has happened--and I am sure you have noted it,
Congresswoman--is that there have been many statements such as
send them back to China by people who are----
Ms. Jackson Lee. Misinformed.
Mr. Delahunt. Misinformed but who are--people who are
perceived to be leaders in this country. And they have created
such a hostile environment that the actions of our Government
are not necessarily welcoming to those who were hoping to
resettle here in the United States. Instead, we go around the
world to countries who I never really, in all honesty, knew
existed, such as Palau, as well as Bermuda and Italy and
others, hat in hand asking that they accept these individuals
whom it is indisputable are no threat to the United States and
hopefully can contribute to whatever society they end up in.
It is my current intention to take a trip probably this
weekend and speak to the Bermudan authorities and sit down with
people on the ground from the executive branch and discuss the
logistics of our going there and having these individuals come
before us so that we can put to rest whatever the facts are,
their views. And if anybody wants to refute them, now is the
time for them to stand up after they testify.
So that is the intention of the committee, and that is my
own short-term plan. But I would anticipate some time after the
July district work period to go to Bermuda and to have a
briefing, have a hearing, whatever it is appropriately called.
With that, I yield back to the gentlelady.
Ms. Jackson Lee. And, Mr. Chairman, I thank you for your
I think that is highly appropriate. I think it should be
known that the chairman is also on the Judiciary Committee, and
this is perfectly in sync with those issues.
I will have just two brief questions, and then I will
conclude my remarks. And that is to ask Mr. Fein, how do we fix
this going forward? And then I have a question for a professor
who is traveling.
But how do we fix this going forward? You enunciated that--
I had left because, in fact, I am going back to a Homeland
Security Committee hearing, a committee that I chair, dealing
with securing the critical infrastructure, dealing with issues
of chemical security. And, you know, over there we are trying
to be the face of securing America.
But you mentioned something about our values, civil
liberties. I almost think--if I can refresh people's memory
about the Japanese camps in World War II, and I would ask them
would we still want to have those camps today even if they
existed and there was no one in them, or we say, well, we are
holding them because we may have to do it again.
Don't people understand that is what Guantanamo Bay
equalizes? Because it was no less serious when the Japanese
bombed Pearl Harbor. It was like the world had come to an end.
Well, it was like the world had come to an end on 9/11.
But we got ourselves back together. We realized that that
was a heinous thing to do. And so no one voted to say, Well,
why don't we keep these in here? Because we may hear about so
and so, maybe might have been with the Japanese on that heinous
act. But we closed them. And I guess our shame is to never do
Why is it that we are in this complex situation with
Guantanamo Bay and we seem to fail in our remembrance of
Mr. Fein. Well, there is a whole host of reasons. One of
those that is most unpleasant to mention is, at present,
Congresswoman, the names of the victims are difficult to
pronounce--Brumidi and Hamdan or whatever. It doesn't sound
like Smith and Joe and whatever that we heard about during
Watergate. So people think it is not going to happen to me.
A second reason is because I think the government and the
executive branch tried to inflate the fear 5 million fold,
calling the challenge the equivalent of fighting Stalin,
Hitler, Mussolini, Hirohito, Lenin combined.
It is clearly a danger out there. That is why we have
criminal justice systems. That is why we have covert actions.
And, therefore, it became this idea--remember the worst of the
worst at Guantanamo Bay? And we believed that because we find
this the equivalent of refighting World War II, and there are
all these allusions to Munich and things of that sort.
So people get frightened, and they trusted their government
and said, Okay, I guess that is what we have to do. And it took
finally the Supreme Court in Boumediene that said, you know,
the rights do apply there; habeas corpus applies here. And that
is why we have the hearings on the Uighur.
And Congressman Dana Rohrabacher didn't quite understand
that. He said, ``Well, why, Mr. Fein, are you wanting these
people to have rights?'' Well, he wouldn't be sitting there and
questioning the other panelists if we didn't have that Supreme
Habeas corpus does apply. And it is something that we need
to reestablish, in my judgment, an entire different culture
that recognizes, yeah, being an open society creates some risk.
But that is who we are as a people. And it prevents a lot more
injustice than risk that it creates.
How do you go forward in addressing these issues? I think
when we think about the listing of organizations as terrorists,
some kind of stigma, building upon what we learned from our
own--we had a list of subversive organizations that we had
around for about four decades as well. I was in the Office of
Legal Counsel. We abolished the damn thing finally under
We need to have a set of hearings. What are the criteria
and the due process that ought to go forward if we are going to
list anybody at all without an actual trial? How much do we get
from these listing organizations other than being able to make
people frightened? There has never been any systematic study of
How much judicial review can we have? Because, at present,
you are listed. That is it. You don't know what the charges are
against you. You don't even know how to refute it.
The standing issue is, well, you are an organization
abroad. You don't have standing in the United States to bring a
How are you going to hire a lawyer?
A whole examination of how we go about the process of
listing and how many different lists we have. Executive order
lists under the Economic Emergency Powers Act. It should be--
you might call it mini Church Committee hearings on all of
these different ways you get listed. Individuals,
organizations, no due process at all. How accurate are they? Is
there any examination after the fact? Should these people be on
the list at all or not?
And that is what I think is critical that could come out of
this hearing. Because the Uighurs are just a microcosm of this
much, much larger issue of secrecy and arbitrariness and just
It reminds me a little bit of the Pope's Index of Forbidden
Books. Oh, you are just thrown off the list. Okay, now no one
can read it anymore.
You need process out there. Perhaps the most important idea
in the history of civilization has been two words, due process.
Always come back to that. Due process, the most important idea
that we have ever contributed to civilization.
Ms. Jackson Lee. Well, you have given us a road map.
We have lost a dear professor. It looks like we have talked
him into oblivion. But we appreciate what he was able to put on
the record; and I will peruse the record, Mr. Chairman.
But what I want to just point out--and I want to thank the
other witnesses. I will not pose questions to you. But what I
want to say to Mr. Fein, that is an appropriate, if you will,
road map for us. To bring us back to the questioning of these
practices that we utilize, in essence, to secure ourselves and
really probe into the criteria.
For example, Mr. Chairman, I hope we can look into what has
been called the Iranian Resistance Movement. They are located
in Paris, France. I am sure you have received many invitations.
We have been castigated, some of us, for trying to listen to
them. I just want to find out what they are. They indicated
their resistance. They have been labeled as terrorists. We have
had some comings and goings.
But there are a number of groups like this that I think are
crucial. The whole issue of due process is crucial. And we have
had moments in our culture. We have had moments with
I was on the COINTELPRO subcommittee dealing with the
investigation of the King and Kennedy assassinations, the one
that they organized in late 1978. And let me just say that I
was there when I was about 2 years old. But I was a staffer,
and we had what we called COINTELPRO, which is the surveillance
of Dr. Martin Luther King.
And we thought that was securing America. And we had all
kinds of allusions or suggestions that he was a Communist and
taking over America, and tragically we lost him in a tragic
assassination that was successful. We don't know whether the
creation of that aura contributed to the misthought of
individuals, just as the tragedy that happened in the Holocaust
So we have got to find the terrorists, yes. We have got to
know whether they are domestic or foreign, yes. But we have got
to find a way to frame our fight in the work or in the mind-set
of due process.
I conclude, Mr. Chairman, by saying the beginning of the
Constitution says that we, the people, have formed to create a
more perfect union. We have never said it could be superbly 100
percent, but we said more perfect. And I think that goes to the
Founding Fathers leaving, in this instance, Great Britain, and
found that it was not perfect.
And so I am hoping that we can work for a more perfect
union and look at the hearings on these terrorist lists and
particularly follow up on the Uighurs. And I think this is
instructive, and I think it is instructive for the State
I appreciate, Mr. Secretary, your representation of my
fellow Texan who had an interest in this, but I also think it
is extremely important that we look at Guantanamo Bay and ask
ourselves a question: Would we want the Japanese camps here
today as a symbol of America? Then do we want to have
Guantanamo Bay as a continuing symbol of America?
With that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
Mr. Delahunt. I thank the gentlelady.
Ms. Jackson Lee. And I am not sure, it looked like Ms. Kan
was trying to say a word.
Mr. Delahunt. Go ahead.
Ms. Kan. I appreciate your comment.
I would just make one clarification, that those camps in
World War II, they were actually for Americans who happened to
be of Japanese heritage. They were not Japanese. They were
Americans. And that was part of the historical record.
On your earlier question of whether or not we ought to ask
questions about these designations, including the most recent
one in April by the Treasury Department, there are indeed
questions. Because we don't need to go back to the 1990s or the
19th century. We can focus on the concerns about the threats
last year surrounding the Olympic Games. And that is what
Treasury tied the individual to those supposed threats last
year. That is not the----
Mr. Delahunt. But if I am correct, there were no incidents.
Ms. Kan. There was no attack against the Olympic Games.
There were incidents in May and July that were in Han ethnic
Mr. Delahunt. But not in the autonomous Uighur region.
Ms. Kan. Well, that is just the point. When they happened
in the Han ethnic Chinese cities in the east and the south,
China denied that they were terrorism. When there were
incidents in the far west, in Xinjiang, China immediately
called them terrorist incidents.
And there is another discrepancy, that the threats that
were posted on YouTube--and we by no means take them at face
value--they claimed credit for the incidents on the eastern
part of China, but in fact those were not considered terrorist
incidents by China nor by the United States Government. And
there were some mistakes in making those claims at the same
Mr. Delahunt. This is just--you know, this has been very
informative. It was Professor Gladney, I think that you said
that the majority of information regarding ETIM was traced back
to Chinese sources. And I think your words were that leaves a
significant credibility gap. Am I stating the gist of your own
Mr. Gladney. Yes, sir, I believe that your quotation that
started this whole session set it out very perfectly. That
clearly the statistics, whether they were reportedly--are the
words used--were verbatim repeated. In other words, there was
not even the effort to check if there were 443 civilian
injuries or it was 445. It was 444.
Mr. Delahunt. You can do a better job of pasting and
Mr. Gladney. My students would get a C minus for that
Mr. Delahunt. That is shoddy.
You know, I was just thinking, prior to 9/11--and you can
respond, too, Mr. Secretary--was there ever any reference
anywhere which would have linked ETIM or any of the Uighurs to
al-Qaeda? Was that referenced anywhere in your knowledge in any
reporting to the government, whether it is classified or
unclassified or top secret or code red or code blue or
Mr. Gladney. Can I speak to that, sir?
I think even more interesting is that al-Qaeda themselves,
whether bin Laden or his spokespersons, have never raised the
Uighur cause as of interest to them. There is one reference to
one of his lieutenants in one statement. But bin Laden himself
has never mentioned the Uighur cause. There are a lot of
theories about that.
But he has mentioned specifically other so-called Muslim
liberation causes, whether it was in Chechnya, or Mindanao, or
whatever. So al-Qaeda is interested in supporting these.
The other incident--the other aspect of this whole
situation that should be made clear is that Uighurs
traditionally have not been interested in radical Islam. They
have a strong Sufi tradition. Sufis are persecuted by the
Taliban and by al-Qaeda. There is some Wahabi influence in the
region. It may be growing.
But, traditionally, we have all called attention to the
fact that Uighur culture is long, history of celebrating, a
vibrant culture, dance, music, vibrant colorful clothing, all
of the kinds of things that we have seen Taliban trying to wipe
out. So it has never resonated with the al-Qaeda.
Mr. Roberts. If I----
Mr. Delahunt. We welcome back from Kosovo Professor
Mr. Roberts. I have been here. I have just been off the
screen, I think. I just want to note, also, if you are
examining this issue about foreign intelligence, I would also
suggest that sources from places like Kazakhstan and Pakistan
and Kyrzykstan are also--I would not see them as credible
third-party sources in this instance, because they have their
own interest also in classifying Uighurs as terrorists.
Mr. Delahunt. Again, let me throw this to the panel. Do
they support a Sharia state? Have we ever heard that? Because
that is being stated by colleagues of mine here in the United
Of course, that conjures up images of the extreme form of
Wahabism that has been embraced by, obviously, al-Qaeda. But is
there any evidence of that anywhere in any document? Mr.
Secretary, are you aware of any?
Well, I think I have kept you here long enough. But this
has been extremely informative. You have left us with more
questions, but we have made a commitment to pursue, to create a
record hopefully that will be----
Ms. Kan, you mentioned that it was met--the designation was
met with controversy outside and inside the State Department.
Do you remember making that statement?
Ms. Kan. Yes.
Mr. Delahunt. Do you want to expand and amplify, or would
you prefer to avoid that answer?
Ms. Kan. I don't think I can get into specifics. But over
the time of my research several sources have told me that it
was controversial inside.
Mr. Delahunt. Within the Department of State.
Ms. Kan. But I think Randy can speak to that better.
Mr. Schriver. Well, again, not having directly participated
in this decision my recollection is, yeah, there were different
views, but the controversy was mostly surrounding the very
issues we are talking about today: What are the second and
third order effects that we may not be able to control? Will
this give the Chinese an imprimatur that we certainly don't
want them to have for their repressive activities in Xinjiang?
So I think the controversy mostly rested in believing that
was the right designation, but would it be the appropriate
thing to do in light of some of the possible consequences.
Mr. Delahunt. Has anyone--I want to get back to where are
the ETIM now. Do you have any information that they have
existed in the past 3 years, 5 years, 6 years, 8 years? Mr.
Mr. Schriver. If you allow me to answer that indirectly, I
think people could sort of create a road map of where some of
the folks ended up or morphed into this other organization,
But I am not aware that anyone from the Bush administration
who participated in this decision would object to a new
administration reviewing that decision or saying that things
have changed from the time in fall of 2002 when the decision
was made. It is highly appropriate if the nature of the
organization has changed or, as some suggest, no longer even
exists that the government should take a fresh review of that.
I wouldn't object to that. I don't think my boss would object
to that, who made the original designation. It seems to me an
entirely appropriate thing to do.
Mr. Fein. Mr. Congressman, it shows some of the flaws,
again, in the legal structure here. If you are listed as an
FTO, the government is required to reexamine the listing at a
minimum every 5 years and perhaps 2 years; and it is supposed
to base its listing on the most recent window of time.
Mr. Delahunt. Does that really occur in the real world?
Mr. Fein. Maybe when----
Mr. Delahunt. Other than in a perfunctory manner?
Mr. Fein. At least it has some element of sunset to it. And
you are able under the statute after 2 years to go and petition
the administration to take a new look.
Now, maybe it is pro forma. But there isn't even that
opportunity, just bureaucratic inertia in the--when you are
listed by an Executive Order, it can be there for ages. It can
just appear as an entity. Just people worried in post-9/11 I
don't want to be said I removed a terrorist organization. That
leaves you vulnerable--were you weak on terrorism--if there is
Mr. Roberts. If I can add one thing, Congressman Delahunt,
is that I think the people who will try to convince others that
ETIM is still a threat will point to these things on the
Internet related to the so-called Turkistan Islamic Party. Now,
that is a completely--as far as I know, I have no evidence that
that exists anywhere but on the Internet.
It may indeed exist somewhere else. I saw last week an
issue of Jamestown Foundation's Terrorist Monitor which
purports that this organization is now putting out journals.
And they found these on jihadi Web sites, which makes me really
question how much they are related to Uighurs at all. But that
would be one group that people will point to.
Mr. Delahunt. Well, thank you, Professor.
Ms. Kan. On your question about Sharia law, maybe I can
just add a small point.
If you look at the authoritative history of Xinjiang and
the Uighur people going back to the Qing Dynasty and also in
the Republican era, Republic of China era, when the Kuomintang
controlled things, Sharia law was allowed. The Xinjiang people
practiced Sharia during the Republican era. It was only when
the Communist Party of China started to take control in 1950
that the Communist Party, which bans these kinds of religions,
tried to ban Sharia law, but it was in place historically. So
what does that mean if people want to reinstitute something
that they have had historically and was allowed previously?
Mr. Delahunt. Well, this has been extremely informative. I
am confident that some of you will be invited to return as we
proceed, using the case of the 22 Uighurs who had been or are
currently incarcerated at Guantanamo as an object lesson, as a
case study, if you will, for I think some very serious issues
that have been raised here today.
Thank you, Professor Roberts. We appreciate your input.
And to all of you, again, thanks; and we are done.
[Whereupon, at 1 o'clock p.m., the subcommittee was
A P P E N D I X
Material Submitted for the Hearing RecordNotice deg.
Rohrabacher FTR deg.__
Material Submitted for the Record by the Honorable Dana Rohrabacher, a
Representative in Congress from the State of California