Senator Ron Wyden
April 11, 2003
Mr. Michael Heggen
Dear Mr. Heggen:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the tragic death of Rachel Corrie. I appreciate hearing from you.
As you know, on March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie was run over by an Israeli bulldozer and killed while trying to protect the home of a physician in Rafah (Gaza). Ms. Corrie, an American, had been working as a peace activist for the International Solidarity Movement. This tragic accident underscores the urgency of finding a political solution to the current situation. I believe this Administration needs to begin to work sincerely toward peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. I am deeply saddened by the escalation of violence throughout the region and am very concerned about the actions taken by either side that subvert the ultimate goal of a lasting peace. I believe that a political settlement and sincere engagement would help stabilize the region and combat the root causes of global terrorism.
While the incident involving Ms. Corrie is truly a tragedy, I am pleased to tell you that under legislation I recently introduced, the cause of her death would be thoroughly investigated by the Department of Justice rather than solely by the U.S. Department of State. I believe the pursuit of justice for Americans should not be constrained by national borders. The Act establishes an office within the Department of Justice to investigate wrongful deaths overseas.
Please be assured that I will continue to closely monitor the situation in Israel and the disputed territories, and if this issue comes before me on the Senate floor, I will certainly keep your views in mind.
Again, thank you for keeping me apprised of your interest in this issue.
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