May 12 2004

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement after viewing additional photos and videos of prisoner abuse in Iraq. “In Saddam’s world this was standard. In our world, it’s devastating. “There was evidence of a total breakdown in discipline and military order. “Some of it was clearly rogue behavior by the military police. Some of it seems more elaborate. “It reinforced my view that some of the conduct was orchestrated in a manner to suggest direction or tolerance beyond the military police involved. The question becomes, ‘Where did that direction come from?’” #####

May 07 2004

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made the following statement on the Savannah River Technology Center (SRTC) being named a national lab. Due to a scheduling conflict, U.S. Senator Graham (R-South Carolina) was unable to attend today’s announcement ceremony at Savannah River Site (SRS). A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Graham remained in Washington to attend the Iraqi prisoner abuse hearing with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and General Richard Myers. He said: “The national lab designation is like going from single A ball to the major leagues. The potential research and development opportunities that could come to SRS and South Carolina from this new designation are staggering and on the cutting-edge of technology. “For the last ten years, I have been working along with members of our congressional delegation and the SRS community to ensure a bright, post-Cold War future for SRS. We’ve had many accomplishments and some disappointments along the way. However, SRTC being designated a national laboratory is the best news and one of the most significant events for the future of SRS since I came to Congress. “Secretary Abraham has done more for SRS than any other DOE secretary I’ve ever worked with. He recognizes the important role SRS does and can play for DOE and the nation. “Governor Sanford’s efforts to work with DOE and to view SRS as a state asset were indispensable in helping achieve this designation. Unlike his predecessor, Gov. Sanford has worked in a cooperative fashion to make sure SRS is fully utilized for our state and nation. “Our congressional delegation has always worked as a team when it comes to SRS. I appreciate the efforts Congressman Gresham Barrett has made in the House to make sure SRSs’ assets are known to those in Congress. “Today’s designation made by Secretary Abraham is one of the highlights of my last ten years in trying to ensure a bright future for SRS. What a great day for the Site, local community and state of South Carolina.” #####

May 06 2004

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) today unveiled legislation expanding the ‘Stand by Your Ad’ provisions of the new campaign finance law. Current law only requires candidates for federal office to state their personal approval of television and radio advertisements. Graham and Wyden would extend that provision to cover other media used for campaign advertising. “The ‘Stand by Your Ad’ provisions already being applied to television and radio advertisements hold candidates accountable for the content of their commercials,” said Graham. “Our legislation seeks to build upon the accountability provisions already in effect. The effort to put some measure of accountability into the system has and will continue to take some of the venom out of politics.” The new legislation proposes:
  • For Print Ads: A disclaimer occupying not less than 10 percent of the total area containing a photograph of the candidate and a printed statement stating the candidate approved the message. This provision would apply to newspapers, outdoor advertising facilities, bulk mailings, bulk e-mail and similar communications.
  • For Video Clips and Audio Clips Distributed Via the Internet: A disclaimer satisfying the current requirement for a TV ad for video clips and a disclaimer satisfying the current requirement for a radio ad for audio clips.
Like the current rules, these requirements would only apply to ads that make direct reference to the candidate’s opponent. Current disclaimer rules for other ads would not be changed. “The practice of political candidates publicly supporting the content of their ads needs to be expanded,” said Graham. “I don’t believe there is a constitutional right for any group to run a shadow campaign and not be held accountable. The more sunshine we can put into the political process, the better.” #####

May 05 2004

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and John Ensign (R-Nevada) today introduced legislation laying the groundwork for a full-scale, thorough investigation into alleged corruption at the United Nation’s oil-for-food program. Without a proper accounting, U.S. contributions to the U.N. general budget would be cut by 10 percent in FY 2005 and 20 percent in FY 2006. “Congress has an independent duty and obligation to investigate how the oil-for-food program affected U.N. politics and helped prop up Saddam’s regime,” said Graham. “At first glance, it appears Saddam’s regime had the power to declare financial winners and losers within the U.N. community. It is important that we find out exactly how the U.N. managed this program before we consider giving them more authority over Iraq’s reconstruction.” Created in 1995 by the U.N. Security Council, the oil-for-food program was originally intended to provide the Iraqi people with humanitarian relief while maintaining Gulf-war related sanctions. Oil revenues were supposed to be kept away from Saddam’s regime and held in a U.N.-controlled escrow account. The U.S. General Accounting Office estimates the former Iraqi regime garnered $10.7 billion in illegal oil revenues from the program from which it provided kickbacks to Iraqi and U.N. officials. The U.N. received about $1.4 billion from the program. On January 25, 2004 an Iraqi newspaper published a list of 270 individuals and entities that allegedly received oil vouchers from Saddam Hussein under the program including the Director Benon Sevan. The legislation Graham supports:
  • Requires the U.N. to allow full access to documents and internal records so the United States General Accounting Office can conduct an audit of the oil-for-food program;
  • Requires the U.N. to make documents available to law enforcement authorities of any U.N. member nation who requests them;
  • Requires the U.N. to waive immunity from the U.S. judicial system;
  • Requires any official who financially benefited from the oil-for-food program to repay the full amount to the new Iraqi government.
“Those who are guilty of past abuses should not be allowed to have authority over the future of Iraq,” said Graham. “It is my belief we need a full and accurate accounting of how the oil-for-food program operated and who may have benefited financially. There’s no doubt that we have way more questions right now than we do answers. This legislation would allow us to have access to the documents that can help us begin to answer those questions.” Graham is also of forming a Working Group in the Senate to investigate the U.N. oil-for-food program. Details of the Working Group, will be released in the near future. #####

Apr 28 2004

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice today released nearly 30 pages of records relating to former Deputy Attorney General (Jamie) Gorelick’s involvement in the development and promulgation of Attorney General Reno’s “Procedures for Contacts Between the FBI and the Criminal Division Concerning Foreign Intelligence and Foreign Counterintelligence Investigations.” Graham and Cornyn requested the documents from DOJ in response to the 9/11 Commission’s failure to hear testimony from a key Clinton Administration Justice Department official, preventing the Congress from receiving a full accounting of intelligence and law enforcement procedures that led to the tragic attacks. Sen. Graham chairs the Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on Crime, Corrections and Victim’s Rights. Sen. Cornyn chairs the subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights & Property Rights. The documents can be viewed at: http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/testimony/supplementarymaterial.pdf #####

Apr 27 2004

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Beaufort County will receive a $2.59 million grant for improvements at the Hilton Head Airport. “This grant is an investment in the future of Hilton Head and Beaufort County,” said Graham. “Airport improvements help improve passenger safety and spur future economic development.” The funds will be used to acquire an Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Vehicle, install a secondary wind indicator, rehabilitate and expand the existing Crash Fire Rescue building, install an emergency generator, install perimeter fencing, rehabilitate the apron and associated taxiways, and widen and improve one of the existing runways. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. ####

Apr 27 2004

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) will receive $3,529,276 in federal grants to help construct a new terminal and rehabilitate a taxiway. “Air travel is very important to Myrtle Beach and the tourism economy,” said Graham. “People love visiting Myrtle Beach and the more convenient we can make it to get there the better.” “We’ve had quite a bit of good news recently involving the airport and increased air travel,” said Graham. “This grant is one more thing we can add to the list.” Earlier this year, Graham met with local elected officials, airline representatives, customs officials and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to push for more resources at the airport. Graham’s efforts helped Myrtle Beach secure its own TSA director instead of having to share one with Charleston. Before this change, Myrtle Beach was the only airport of its size in the state to be paired with another airport under the TSA. Graham also pledged his assistance for the airport when it begins applying for a designation as a port-of-entry, a distinction requiring the federal government to pay for customs handling. To qualify as a port-of-entry, the airport needs at least 15,000 international passengers annually. Myrtle Beach is expected to meet this designation later this year. “I’ve been very impressed by the growth of air travel in Myrtle Beach,” said Graham. “We must continue to build the necessary infrastructure to allow the airport to grow. There’s no doubt in my mind that increased air travel will tremendously enhance economic opportunities in the area.” #####

Apr 27 2004

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Richland/Lexington Airport Commission will receive a $4.05 million grant for improvements at Columbia Metropolitan Airport. “This grant is an investment in the future of Columbia and South Carolina,” said Graham. “Airport improvements help improve passenger safety and spur future economic development.” The funds will be used to reconstruct the existing airport access loop, acquire loading bridges for regional aircraft, rehabilitate the existing itinerant aircraft apron facilities, and make improvements to the terminal building. The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. ####

Apr 26 2004

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) wrote U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft Monday requesting that the Department of Justice “produce any records relating to Deputy Attorney General (Jamie) Gorelick’s involvement in the development and promulgation of Attorney General Reno’s Procedures for Contacts Between the FBI and the Criminal Division Concerning Foreign Intelligence and Foreign Counterintelligence Investigations.” The letter was in response to the 9/11 Commission’s failure to hear testimony from a key Clinton administration Justice Department official, preventing the Congress from receiving a full accounting of intelligence and law enforcement procedures that led to the tragic attacks. In the letter, the Senators wrote that, “It is clear that the relationship between the intelligence and law enforcement communities in the years before September 11th must be fully examined.” Eleven Senators on Friday wrote the chairman of the 9/11 Commission, urging the panel to hear testimony from former deputy U.S. attorney general, and current Commission member, Jamie Gorelick. Over the weekend, that request was denied, preventing a full and complete picture of the Clinton administration’s counterterrorism policy. Specifically, the Senators were looking for information on decisions that led to the “wall” preventing intelligence and law-enforcement organizations from fully cooperating in anti-terror efforts. Sen. Graham chairs the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Corrections and Victim’s Rights. Sen. Cornyn chairs the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights & Property Rights. ####

Apr 26 2004

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and U.S. Rep. Henry Brown (R-Hanahan) today announced they have obtained approval for $250,000 in federal funding to complete the dredging of the Steel Mill Channel in Georgetown. The work is expected to proceed within the next month in conjunction with other dredging activities currently ongoing in Georgetown Harbor. The channel is currently not navigable to ships carrying cargo. Dredging will make the former mill location more attractive to future buyers who would operate the mill. “These funds will allow the dredging of the harbor to go forward,” said Graham. “There’s a lot of good reasons to dredge the harbor, one of the most pressing is to make it more attractive for a new employer to locate at Georgetown Steel. Delaying the dredging operations will result in increased costs and we could possibly lose a window of opportunity to secure a new employer. There’s no doubt the area has been hard hit and is in need of new jobs.” “I want to personally thank my colleagues, Sen. Fritz Hollings and Congressman Henry Brown, for all the work they put toward this effort,” said Graham. “It would not have been possible without a team effort.” Rep. Brown said, “I am very pleased that the Army Corps of Engineers has been so cooperative and will finish dredging to the pier area near Georgetown Steel. This is so important to the economic and commercial viability of this region. With the channel reopened to water traffic in the next few weeks, this project should provide the necessary incentive for a buyer to acquire the Georgetown Steel property and get it fully operating again. As a result, we can look forward to the return of job stability and economic growth for the Georgetown area.” #####