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to receive $40 million—it was probably worth it—for the infrastructure that we obtained would have lost its franchise in a few months. Their rights would have expired in 6 months. The Colombian Senate knew this and they were angling for that $40 million. This is why they stalled. The right to the French portion would have been Colombias.
Senator ALLEN. In other words, at the expiration of 6 more months the United States would not have had to pay the $40 million to the French, and the money might then have been available to Colombia ; is that correct?
Mr. BENDETSEN. That is right, exactly.
So, when the Colombian Senate did not ratify the treaty, these eight conspirators in the Province of Panama wanted this canal for their own benefit.
What happened? They decided, without any invitation from the President of the United States or anyone else from the United States, to secede. They hoped that the United States would protect them, which it did. On November 2, 1903, Commander Hubbard, captain of the U.S.S. Nashville, received secret and confidential orders. I quote interesting history: “Maintain free and uninterrupted transit.” What was the basis for that? The basis for that was a treaty with Colombia of 1846 known as the Bidlack Treaty. Article 35 of that treaty obligated the United States having built the Panama railroad to protect it from all assaults, external and internal.
Senator ALLEN. We need a provision like that in the new treaty, don't we?
Mr. BENDETSEN. Yes, sir-definitely so. If there is to be awy vestige of a residual right to defend the canal. I resume.
Maintain free and uninterrupted transit. If interruption threatens by armed force, occupy the line of the railroad. Prevent landing of any armed force with hostile intent, either government or insurgent, either in Colon, Portobello or other point. Send copy of instructions to the senior officer present at Panama on arrival of U.S.S. Boston.
I won't quote the rest of it.
The uprising occurred that day at 6 p.m. on the evening of November 3. The presence of ships standing off was then well known to all. Panama had seceded. No pressure had been applied and no shots were fired. No U.S. troops or marines or any other personnel landed. Some Colombian troops joined the revolutionaries. The others voluntarily withdrew. There was no engagement. There is no moral basis whatsoever to support the claims of colonialism, imperialism, or the de. mand for the so-called return of something Panama never had.
ROLE OF SENATOR JOHN TYLER MORGAN OF ALABAMA
Senator ALLEN. Are you familiar with the role that Senator John Tyler Morgan of Alabama played in the Panama Canal ?
Mr. BENDETSEN. Senator Morgan played a leading role in the Senate. He was a member of this august body of great distinction, knowledge and ability. He understood all of the routes. There were seven as I testified. They were surveyed under President Grant. Senator Morgan carefully studied all these and later sights. He favored the Nicaraguan Canal. But in the final result as a statesman, great that
he was, he accepted a compromise with an alternative. That is the legislation known as the Spooner Act which was then adopted with his support.
Senator LAXALT. May I ask a question?
What is the historical basis of these various statements made in connection with the Province of Colombia, the uprising, the revolt, and eventually entering into the treaty with the United States? What is the historical basis? How would I respond if somebody asked me why these statements are made, how do you support them?
NEW BEST SELLING BOOK
Mr. BENDETSEN. I would suggest, sir, in answer to such a question. You might refer to the book "The Path Between the Seas.” It is a bestselling book. It contains this history. Even better than the book would be the hearings of this committee which have already been published. They present an accurate and fascinating account.
Senator LAXALT. Do you consider the book “The Path Between the Seas” to be fairly accurate?
Mr. BENDETSEN. Accurate with regard to the facts about the Colonibian Treaty and about the Panama revolts as well as what actually took place. He editorializes however and I do not accept his speculation at all. The historical facts about the Panamanian Secession, their designation of Bunau-Varilla as the Minister Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, whose services they avidly sought, and the opinions of U.S. citizens as well as of the other Latin American nations have no basis in fact. He selectively quotes a few editorials to support his editorial conclusions.
Senator LAXALT. There is an impression here on Capitol Hill that this is a document which supports the theory that we took advantage of the Panamanians and the Colombians. Do you subscribe to this interpretation of the book!
Mr. BENDETSEN. I certainly do not. This is a false claim as to Panama. However, as to Colombia there was ground for complaint that the United States did act in haste and should have extended a greater opportunity to Colombia; and that our actions under article XXXV of the Bidlack Treaty of 1846 with Colombia gave Panama its sought for opportunity. However, in 1922 Colombia and the United States fully and amicably settled their differences in a new treaty. The United States then paid Colombia $22 million.
He concludes that probably in retrospect this caused all of Latin America to develop a low opinion of the Yankees. Many of those nations have until now, always been our friends and allies.
He cannot really support that except by reference to a few editorials. One can find some editorial somewhere to support any view. We are blessed with freedom of the press.
Senator LAXALT. Is there that degree of interest presently perceived in the Latin American countries toward this problem or do they pretty much leave it to us?
Mr. BENDETSEN. I have prepared some remarks in my direct testimony but let's talk about it now, sir.
There was an article in the Washington Post to which I referred in my extended statement, a by-line.
SUPPORT OF FOUR COUNTRIES
Senator LAXALT. A correspondent in a meeting with Torrijos?
Mr. BENDETSEN. A meeting of 20 Mexican journalists with Torrijos. I know that was published widely throughout Latin America. I have many relationships there that I have had over the years. These are very fine and sound ones. He said that only four countries have supported him in his demand for the Canal Zone. He said that they were Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Mexico.
Senator LAXALT. Was there a change in the situation that caused all these countries to be here for the treaty signing in Washington ?
Mr. BENDETSEN. I would say there was no change in the situation. I have some material in my extended statement in which I am proposing to include in my oral testimony.
First of all, many of the chiefs of governments and heads of state who received these invitations were very unhappy with these invitations. They did not feel that they could very well decline an invitation from the President of the United States but they were neither in favor of the proposed treaties nor of the U.S. moves toward normalizing relations with Cuba.
While the great signing ceremonies and the great events which were staged thereafter, talked to a number of people from various countries in Latin America whom I knew, some of whom had served in the diplomatic service here. They could not bring themselves to believe that the United States would actually go through with the six-point memorandum which was signed by Kissinger and by Tack, the Foreign Minister of Panama at that time, to cede the Canal Zone and the canal to Panama.
They expressed great concern about the pending treaty and about the move to normalize relations with Cuba.
Senator LAXALT. Why don't they say it publicly then?
Mr. BENDETSEN. This is a difficult question to answer. I can't speak for them, of course, but my own experience tells me that they are not able to stand up to the pressures of the United States.
MANY COUNTRIES UNHAPPY
Brazil is very unhappy with us. Argentina is very unhappy with us. I believe that Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Chile are also unhappy with us. Some of the Central American republics are very unhappy with us. I cannot speak for them. I don't want anyone to interpret what I am saying as speaking for them, but you can recognize unhappiness when you see it and when you hear it.
I have recently been to Latin America. There is great unhappiness there. Certainly there is no unanimity in favor of what the United States is now doing and proposing to do.
PROTECTIVE DEVICES MAKE SABOTAGE DIFFICULT
Senator ALLEN. Mr. Bendetsen, I want to be sure to ask you a couple of questions before our time catches up with us. There has been a whole lot said about the ease with which the Panama Canal could be sabo
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taged. Do you have any information that you could give us on this from your knowledge of the canal and its susceptibility to sabotage ?
Mr. BENDETSEN. Yes, sir. I do have indeed.
Since 1942 protective devices, which I cannot describe to you because they are classified, have been protecting the locks and the gates and the dams. Sabotage would be extremely difficult and if successful could not close the canal for an extended period. Even a ship with a conventional bomb aboard which blew itself up in the locks would not disable the canal for an extended period of time.
But these protective devices themselves need protection, they need U.S. jurisdiction, police power, and the cushion of the Canal Zone. Once the Canal Zone expires and ceases to exist, as would happen immediately upon the coming into force of this proposed treaty, not in the year 2000 but immediately the United States loses all jurisdiction and most of its police power. Then in 30 months we will lose all of our residual police power. The Canal Zone ceases to exist and our police power is gone and we have 4 of 14 military bases. The canal itself, the security systems, the special security personnel positions all lost, and the protective devices become highly vulnerable. Contrary to current allegations in support of the pending treaties, sabotage, as such, is now next to impossible and could not in any case disrupt canal transits for extended periods. Confirm the treaty as is and sabotage would be easy.
These devices and the whole canal become rather naked.
To answer your question, it is next to impossible now and it would become very vulnerable after this treaty goes into effect.
Senator ALLEN. The canal would be much more susceptible to sabotage with the buffer of the Canal Zone withdrawn as the treaties would provide. At present, while we have the Canal Zone as something of a buffer strip, the canal can be better protected; is that correct!
Mr. BENDETSEN. Yes; it would be very much more vulnerable and susceptible without the zone.
Senator ALLEN. Instead of lessening the danger of sabotage, then we are increasing the danger of sabotage through the treaties; is that correct?
Mr. BENDETSEN. That is correct.
Senator ALLEN. But even with the greater susceptibility of sabotage under the treaties, these devices that you speak of would be a protection against sabotage.
What about if the locks should be blown up? What method of operation of the canal could be used in that case ?
Mr. BENDETSEN. It is difficult to answer in detail without going into the classified aspects. But I will give a generalized answer. The protective devices would foreshorten the time when the canal would be able to resume operations for the transit of ships in both directions.
I mentioned that protective devices apply to the lock, gates, and the dams.
One must realize that the canal cannot operate without abundant supplies of fresh water. The Pacific waters never touch the Atlantic waters. This may be a good thing. Maybe it would be unwise to have a sea level canal. Nobody really knows. The Pacific sea snakes, for
example, and other marine life indigenous to the Pacific would infest the Atlantic and might deplete the food fisheries of the Atlantic. Some people say this. I am not an expert on that.
But the fresh water supplies are vital. Unless the watershed is protected by the Canal Zone in its present form, with continued U.S. jurisdiction over our territory the watershed will be in danger and the canal would be at risk.
Senator LAXALT. Let me ask a question on this before we move on.
Mr. BENDETSEN. Just let me complete this. The protective devices as to the dams and locks and the abundant supplies of fresh water are part of the whole picture. Torrijos' statement of September 12, 1977, in which he said that the canal is as indefensible as a newborn baby iş hardly the case. It is not the case.
Senator LAXALT. What is connection between the protective devices as such and the buffer zone?
Mr. BENDETSEN. Protective devices need protection. We are in a position to protect them as long as we have the Canal Zone and as long as we are the sovereign and have the right to use sovereignty as if we were sovereign. It is nonsense to say that that is any different than being sovereign. Nobody else can exercise this power, only the United States.
Because of that package of security with the zone being 10 miles wide, with 14 military bases so on, with police power and efficient police, with very important security personnel and security positions which we would lose, and with various other protective devices that would alert very positively any approach to the sensitive parts-because of all this we have protection. We will lose virtual control over this and we will not have a right to protect them.
Not only that, after we go down to four bases and lose all U.S. jurisdiction and power, we become a guest presence, the defense is joint. I don't think that is generally understood. Even in the 22-year period defense is under a joint board consisting of an equal number of military officers, Panamanian and United States. There is not anybody in charge of the defense. There would be a board with equal numbers and we are in a host country. Our military forces would then be the same in status as those of our forces in Germany or Japan, for example. No authority to act. If there is any problem the host country decides that, not the United States. They would then be the sovereign and they would have total jurisdiction. They, depending on the attitude—and I have some observations to make about those attitudes this morning-would decide all questions. Defense and the protection of the protective devices and the alerting devices and the canal itself would be obviously greatly diminished from that which is the
Senator LAXALT. How do you reconcile the statements in view of your position that sabotage is well nigh impossible in this situation with the statements that we hear from the administration to the effect that it would take from 50,000 to 100,000 troops in the event of terrorist activity to properly guard the canal ?
Mr. BENDETSEN. The statements are utterly irreconcilable. It depends on what we are talking about or what the President was talking