Monday, May 7, 2007
from Netizen kevikens
We received this email reporting on a press conference given some weeks ago by Secretary of State Benjamin Hamilton. Shortly after the conference, the President fired Hamilton, as dessum9 reported in Week 6. -Rainey
Sent: Monday, May 07, 2007 11:22 AM
Subject: from Netizen kevikens
Yesterday the new secretary of state, Benjamin Hamilton called a press conference to deal with the storm of protest that his call for an import embargo on petroleum. I was able to cover most of it so here are the main points the secretary was expounding on.
Good Morning ladies and gentlemen. I called this news conference to answer some questions you have raised about the import embargo. Let me first make a statement. Critics are assailing the embargo as some kind of suicide pact. Let me assure you this program was given much thought before the proclamation was issued. We considered many alternatives but the embargo is the fastest and most efficient means to bring home to the American people that out foreign policy is held hostage to the oil producers and we cannot in safety allow our foreign policy to be made in Riyahd or Caracas or Kuwait. We must act decisively and we must now act now. OK, I'll open it up to questions.
Q. Sir, did you get the permission of Congress for this embargo ?
A. No and no permission will be asked. The State Department is part of the executive branch of government. I report to the president, I serve at his pleasure and it his pleasure that the embargo will be our policy.
Q. Does that mean that Congress has no say in the matter ?
A. We will listen to congression critics- and God knows there's enough of them- but Congress has no role in this matter. There is nothing for Congress to veto or override as the embargo is an executive order not subject to congressional review. Should Congress legislate a provision limiting the embargo the president will veto it.
Q. Mr. Secretary how can you say Congress has no role in a policy that so constrains the public?
A. Young lady, the formation of foreign policy is the function of the executive branch under the Constitution. Our constantly yielding to the demands of foreign powers who provide us with oil is crippling the State department's ability to formulate and implement our foreign policy. You don't believe this ? Let me give you an example. We believe that women in the Middle East should be able to own property and participate in the governing process by voting. We encourage that policy and support it. We have recently been told by several Middle Eastern powers, powers that we get oil from, that we must desist from causing them problems at home, from stirring up trouble. or they will lessen their export of petroleum to us. We will not bend to such blackmail. We will no longer take either their oil or their insolence.
Q. Mr. Secretary, why not just embargo petroleum from the Middle Eastern countires ?
A. Because, Sir, the problem is not just one of the Middle East. We get much of our oil from Russia. Recently that country has come under the control of a president who sounds like a Cold Warrior. He has curtailed freedoms at home and is threatening Eastern European countries that used to be under Russian domination. When the state department tried to warn him to back off his reply was blunt. You want our oil? Then keep your advice for your own people. You make trouble for us, we decrease oil exports. This country cannot have an independent foreign policy if we have to kowtow to foreign powers for our energy supplies. I am sorry that I can not take any more questions now but I am about to meet with the president and the whole cabinet in a few moments but rest assured I will have much more to say on the embargo, especially how we will deal with the shortages a bit later this week. Thank You.