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U.S. Provision of Military Jets to Jordan Criticized in Congress

April 7, 1966
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Deploring what he termed “the stamp of secrecy” imposed on details of an extensive new United States agreement to provide U. S. supersonic military jets to Jordan, Rep. Seymour Halpern, New York Republican, said today in a speech on the floor of the House that he was “extremely distressed” by the growing extent of U. S. Government involvement in Arab military preparations.

After discussions with Executive Department authorities, Rep. Halpern pointed out that since previous arms deals had been extensively reported, “it is rather surprising that this recent Jordan (jet) agreement evoked comparatively little mention in the daily press. ” He stressed that the Soviet Union, the Arab states, and Israel could determine policy on the basis of the State Department’s announcement alone even without details denied the American public. “So I cannot quite understand the Department’s inclination to put the stamp of secrecy on the details, ” he said.

“I remain convinced that no matter how selective and restricted, sales of American weapons to the various Arab countries cannot possibly effectuate any kind of balance in long range terms, ” Rep. Halpern continued. “On the contrary, these arrangements can only harden irresponsible attitudes, accelerate arms procurement among the other parties, and so dampen the prospects for peace. “

Stressing that “the Department of State will not specify what types of jet aircraft we intend to sell nor their precise number, ” the Congressman said: “This is ‘classified information’ although we have already been told about a so-called ‘limited number,’ that pilots will be trained, that the equipment is military jet aircraft and that delivery is anticipated over a period of time. “

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