The AIA and archaeo-bloggers are highlighting the fact "[O]ver a dozen experts – former diplomats, scholars, field archaeologists, art historians – testified in the public hearing before the Committee on January 18 (many more submitted letters to the public file at regulations.gov)." http://archaeological.org/news/advocacy/8558#Oral%20Comment
Left unstated was the fact that some 77% of the public comment recorded on the regulations. gov website was either opposed to the extension of the MOU or import restrictions on coins.
Also left unstated was the fact that the President of the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute ("CAARI") let it slip that his organization receives State Department funding. That, of course, raises the possibility that US tax dollars are at least indirectly supporting testimony in front of a State Department body in support of import restrictions.
There is a larger question of who or what entity is paying for all the travel costs associated with the cumulative testimony from multiple witnesses representing the same organisations-- CAARI and AIA?
The individuals themselves? If so, I applaud their personal commitment to their cause.
Their Universities? If so, as a parent or student I would be concerned that my tuition dollars are being misused.
The AIA? If so, that would be more understandable, but it does raise other questions about the use of not for profit dollars to lobby on behalf of foreign governments.
The State Department through CAARI? If so, this would raise serious questions indeed.