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To the extent that Congress joins in support of our President and sends that message unambiguously to the international community, the United Nations, is the extent to which the forthcoming resolution of the U.N. will resolve this crisis.
I thank you.
PREPARED STATEMENT BY SENATOR JOHN WARNER Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I join you in welcoming Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers back before the committee.
I begin this afternoon by commending our President, President Bush, for the leadership he has shown on the issue of the threat to the world, not just to the United States, posed by Saddam Hussein in his relentless drive to manufacture and acquire weapons of mass destruction. We would not be holding this hearing today, not be preparing for a full debate in the U.S. Senate, had not our President focused the attention of the world on this threat to freedom. This is not the United States against the Iraqi people; it is the free world against Saddam Hussein.
Mr. Chairman, on August 27, I wrote you, as a follow-on to our previous discussions, requesting that the committee hold a series of hearings on U.S. policy on Iraq. I ask unanimous consent that the text of my letter be made a part of the record of this hearing.
In 1990 and 1991, our committee's activities were critical to the congressional action on the first Gulf War resolution, which authorized the use of force against Iraq. Our committee held a series of nine hearings and two closed briefings on the situation in the Persian Gulf in the fall and winter of 1990, leading up to the historic debate on the Senate floor on January 10–12, 1991. Those hearings developed the body of fact that was used during the Senate floor debate and, indeed, the equally important public debate on Iraq. Our committee will fulfill that same important function again, together with other committees.
We started the committee's hearings on Iraq on Tuesday with testimony from the Director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet, and the acting Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Rear Admiral Jake Jacoby, on the situation in Iraq. It was a sobering, thorough assessment that has given all members of the committee a common base of knowledge about the clear and growing threat that Saddam Hussein poses to the United States, to the region, and to the entire international community. In particular, Saddam Hussein's relentless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, and the means to deliver these weapons, represents a present threat and an immediate challenge to the international community. We must end Saddam Hussein's continued defiance of the clear pronouncements of the international community, as expressed in a series of 16 U.N. Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR), beginning with the resolution which mandated the Council's terms and conditions for how the war was to end.
I remind my colleagues that the Iraqis agreed, in writing on April 6, 1991, in a letter to the U.N. Secretary General from the Iraqi Foreign Minister—to accept the cease fire conditions, as embodied in U.N. Security Council Resolution 687. Prior to that, we all watched as Iraqi generals, at the direction of Saddam Hussein, met in a tent at the Safwan Airfield in Iraq, with General Norman Schwarzkopf, the brave commander who led the U.S. and coalition forces to victory, to discuss the conditions for a cease fire. Those conditions have never been met.
It is now most appropriate that we hear from the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the role of the Department of Defenseand particularly the men and women in uniform-in implementing U.S. policy toward Iraq. Most important is the readiness of our Armed Forces and their ability to carry out such military operations as may be directed in the future.
One week ago today, our President gave an historic speech at the United Nations, challenging the U.N. to live up to its responsibilities as stated in article 1 of the U.N. Charter, “... to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace.” In my view, President Bush's speech was clearly one of the finest and most important speeches ever given by a head of state to the August assembly in the U.N. The speech dramatically elevated the level of debate and the attention of the world's leaders on Iraq's conduct and continued defiance of the U.N. It further challenged the nations of the world to think long and hard about what they expect from the United Nations—is it to be effective and relevant, and live up to its Charter; or is it to be irrelevant and fall into the dustbin of history, as did the League of Nations as the world descended into the darkness of World War II?
Of equal importance, the President's U.N. speech articulated a clear, decisive, and timely U.S. policy on Iraq—that is, to remove the threat before Iraq is able to use its WMD arsenal. The U.S. is now firmly on a course to accomplish this policy and invites the nations of the world to join. I remind my colleagues that the President's policy of regime change is the same policy that Congress adopted-with the unanimous support of the Senate—in October of 1998, and the policy that President Clinton later endorsed and vigorously defended.
Over the last several weeks, many Members of Congress and many American citizens expressed their hope for meaningful consultations between Congress and the President, as well as consultations with our allies and the U.N. Our President has done exactly that. It is now time for Congress to express to the people of our Nation and to the world its support, squarely and overwhelmingly behind our President as he leads the international community. The price of inaction is far too great if the international community fails to confront this danger, now, once and for all.
By bringing his case to the U.N., President Bush clearly demonstrated his belief that the effort to counter Saddam Hussein is an international responsibility. The United States strongly desires multilateral action. But if the U.N. fails to act, the United States—like all other member nations under the U.N. Charter-reserves unto itself the right to take whatever action is necessary to protect our people and our Nation from the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.
Predictably, the Iraqi regime has responded to the President's speech with a tactical move designed to fracture the consensus that was forming at the U.N. It is merely a trap to buy more time for Saddam Hussein to further delay compliance with international mandates, as expressed in 16 U.N. Security Council resolutions.
As we contemplate the vote we will be called on to cast in the weeks ahead, it is important to remember what we know about Saddam Hussein and his actions, to date:
• We know Saddam Hussein is a tyrant who has ruthlessly suppressed and murdered all opposition, dissident elements, and potential political competitors since he assumed office in 1979 (he murdered 20 potential rivals in his own Ba'athist Party within a month of taking power). • We know Saddam Hussein intends to dominate the region and control significant portions of world oil production, as demonstrated by his aggression against Iran in the 1980s, his invasion and annexation of Kuwait in 1990, and his continuing threats against Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Kurds and others. • We know Saddam Hussein has extensive stocks of chemical and biological weapons. . We know Saddam Hussein is aggressively seeking nuclear weapons capabilities on multiple fronts. • We know Saddam Hussein continues to develop a variety of means to deliver his stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, both conventional and unconventional. • We know Saddam Hussein has used such weapons on his own people, using chemical weapons to kill 50–100,000 Kurds in northern Iraq in 1988. • We know Saddam Hussein has used weapons of mass destruction against another nation-even though the survival of his regime was not in doubt, when he used chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers multiple times between 1981 and 1986. • We know Saddam Hussein has successfully used denial and deception techniques over the past decade to fool the world and U.N. inspectors about
the extent of his WMD efforts and stocks. I could go on and list other horrific conduct by Saddam, but I think the point is clear-we know a great deal about this ruthless man and his brutal regime; we cannot allow the threat to continue.
How will we explain to the American people in the wake of a future attack on the United States or U.S. interests, directly by Saddam Hussein, or indirectly through surrogate terrorists equipped and directed by him—that we knew Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, that we knew he intended to manufacture and acquire even more and to use these weapons—and yet, we failed to act.
Now, more than ever, Congress, as an equal branch of government, must join our President and support the course he has set. We have to demonstrate a résolve within our Nation and internationally, that communicates to Saddam Hussein that “enough is enough.” He has to be convinced that American and international resolve is real, unshakable and enforceable if there is to be any hope of progress.
To the extent that Congress joins and supports our President and sends that message unambiguously to the international community, is the extent to which the forthcoming resolution of the United Nations will resolve this crisis. Thank you.
Chairman LEVIN. Thank you very much, Senator Warner. I would like to submit the written statements of Senator Kennedy and Senator Landrieu.
[The prepared statements of Senator Kennedy and Senator Landrieu follow:]
PREPARED STATEMENT BY SENATOR EDWARD M. KENNEDY September 11, 2001, has irrevocably changed America's view of the world. No American will ever forget watching a hijacked civilian aircraft crash into the towers of the World Trade Center or seeing the plume of smoke rise from the Pentagon in the aftermath of the terrorist attack. No American will ever forget the sense of anger and vulnerability that swept our Nation that day, when thousands of innocent lives were suddenly, and senselessly, ended by those vicious acts. Since then, the United States has conducted a war on terrorism, defeating the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, disrupting the al Qaeda operations in that country and supporting a new government there that will give no refuge to terrorists. We know that the war on terrorism will continue on many fronts, militarily and diplomatically.
Now our Nation and the international community are in the midst of a debate about how best to address the threat posed by Iraq. There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger. I commend President Bush for expressing America's willingness to work with the United Nations to end that danger and prevent Iraq from using chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons to threaten other countries.
Working with the United Nations is the right course. The United States is better off working with the international community, rather than unilaterally, in dealing with the threat Hussein poses. We need to do all we can to win the support of other nations.
As of today, many questions still remain unanswered: Is war the only option? How much support will we have in the international community? How will war affect our global war against terrorism? How long will the United States need to stay in Iraq? How many casualties will there be? Would our action make a wider and more dangerous war more likely, especially if Saddam decides to use chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons? Congress will continue to debate the issue and seek answers to these and other questions. War must always be a last resort, not the first resort.
I look forward to hearing from Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers on these issues that are of deepest concern to all of us.
PREPARED STATEMENT BY SENATOR MARY L. LANDRIEU We cannot question that Saddam Hussein is a totalitarian leader who poses an emerging threat to the United States and the Middle East. He has shown no respect for the rule of law or civil order. Saddam Hussein has a long history of destabilizing the Middle East—first by invading Iran and second by invading Kuwait. Moreover, Saddam Hussein has and will continue to pursue Iraq's chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs-weapons he could use himself or peddle to our terrorist enemies. Saddam has used weapons of mass destruction against his own people and the Iranians, killing thousands. It could only be a matter of time before he uses them, again, to cause havoc and mayhem in the world. At this hearing, we are not here to question if Saddam Hussein must go, but when and how.
Pursuing diplomatic means is very worthy to compel Iraq to readmit weapons inspectors and disarm, but diplomatic means alone are insufficient. All too often, we have seen Iraq thumb its nose to the international community. Sixteen resolutions were passed before and after the Gulf War. None was followed. Just 2 days ago, Iraq notified the United Nations that Iraq would be willing to admit U.N. weapons inspectors to return. Regrettably, Saddam Hussein has burned too many bridges and his entreaties have lost all credibility. No purely diplomatic resolution will ensure that Iraq allows inspectors full access throughout the country to search for weapons of mass destruction (WMD). No purely diplomatic resolution will guarantee that Iraq will disarm and discontinue its pursuit and production of WMD. It would be folly for the United Nations Security Council to support a resolution that only requires Iraq to invite inspectors to return. If the future is anything like the past, Saddam Hussein would only make a charade of the inspections. Those inspectors would have everything but unfettered access to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. With all diplomacy involving Saddam Hussein, he must know that military force capable of toppling his regime will bear down upon him if he does not fully cooperate with inspectors wishing to dismantle his chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs.
Conversely, we simply cannot pursue war without diplomacy. To fight alone would be unwise. We have an opportunity to install a paradigm shift in the Middle East. This is an opportunity to make a real difference to bring the American values of peace, democracy, and free markets, as Tom Friedman has said, to Iraq and the region, if we use our influence and our military might properly. We must embark on a diplomatic path that unites those in favor of peace, democracy, and free markets on a mission to use force, if necessary, to change the regime in Iraq and demilitarize Iraq so that the Iraqi people can throw off the chains of Saddam's oppression. Then, the Iraqi people will be able to accept the notion that American ideals are ideals all people want to share. With the proper diplomacy, the United States can build a coalition-one just as large as the coalition created to fight the Gulf War that also includes our Arab allies—to topple Saddam Hussein if he does not allow for full inspections and disarmament.
For weeks and months the administration pursued a unilateral approach that favored a call to arms with too little attention to diplomacy. Last week, the President addressed the United Nations and took a necessary step to create a balanced approach that will permit the use of force if diplomacy is thwarted in Iraq. The administration still has much work to do to convince the Security Council and a coalition to support the authorization of force if Saddam Hussein does not commit to full inspections and disarmament. The French, Russians, and Chinese, who hold veto power on the Security Council, have not yet endorsed military force as the stickto-the-carrot of inspections. Nevertheless, the administration should not give up easily to bring these countries in line with our point of view. We should not simply say that we can defeat Saddam Hussein on our own. Of course, America can topple Iraq without our allies, but more harm than good could be done by such actions. America will be seen as the bully, not the protector of the world from despots and terrorists. We will not be, as we have always been, the liberator of people without a voice.
Rather, we should redouble our diplomatic efforts in support. After all, there have been successes in just a few days. For months Saudi Arabia voiced objections to the American use of Saudi bases to strike Iraq, but Saudi Arabia is now warming up to the use of their bases after the President's address to the U.N. Diplomacy is creating the consent to use force.
Again, I do not question if Saddam must disarm or be toppled; the question is when we should do it. Quite frankly, we should be prepared to use force if he does not respond to U.S. and international diplomatic pressure. We should not wait for him to assemble a nuclear weapon before taking it out of his hands. Saddam is analogous to the drug dealer poisoning the neighborhood by selling drugs to the residents. Saddam is capable of supplying al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah with WMD to attack us and our allies, if he does not choose to do it himself. Again, as he seeks a nuclear bomb, he is looking to push an even more deadly drug. He should not be allowed to push his brand of despotism any further.
Finally, we must take seriously how we will depose Saddam, if necessary. The administration should work diligently to build a coalition. Because if we invade Iraq, we will need to be there for the long term. We cannot act alone and then expect to use diplomatic efforts to gain support from the rest of the world. We will need the world's military, economic, and political backing, and we must act now to gain that partnership.
In closing, diplomacy and military force together will allow America to reach its objectives in Iraq. Either alone will fail.
Secretary Rumsfeld, we now turn to you and General Myers for your opening statements, and then when it comes back to us we'll have rounds of 6 minutes each. STATEMENT OF HON. DONALD H. RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF
DEFENSE Secretary RUMSFELD. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I thank you for this opportunity to meet with you today. I have submitted a rather lengthy statement where I set forth in some detail what I believe to be the situation with respect to Iraq. I re
quest that it be made a part of the record, and I will just make some brief remarks, nowhere near as long as an opening statement.
Chairman LEVIN. We'll make your full statement part of the record.
Secretary RUMSFELD. Last week we commemorated the 1-year anniversary of the most devastating attack our Nation has ever experienced, more than 3,000 people killed in a single day. Today, I want to discuss the task of preventing even more devastating attacks, attacks that could kill not thousands, but potentially tens of thousands of our fellow citizens.
This is not an intelligence briefing. It is obviously an open hearing, and my remarks will reflect those facts. Further, I'm not here to recommend the use of force in Iraq, multilateral or unilateral, or to suggest that the President has made a decision beyond what he has told the United Nations and the congressional leadership and, indeed, the American people.
I am here to discuss Iraq, as requested by the committee and by the President, and to try to address a number of the questions that have come up during this national debate and public dialogue that's been taking place.
As we meet, chemists, biologists, and nuclear scientists are toiling in weapons labs and underground bunkers, working to give the world's most dangerous dictators weapons of unprecedented power and lethality. The threat posed by some of those regimes is real, is dangerous, and is growing with each passing day. We've entered a new security environment, one in which terrorist movements and terrorist states are developing the capacity to cause unprecedented destruction.
Today, our margin for error as a country is distinctly different than before. In the 20th century, we were dealing for the most part with conventional weapons that could kill hundreds or thousands, generally combatants. In the 21st century, we're dealing with weapons of mass destruction that can kill potentially tens of thousands of people innocent men, women, and children.
We are in an age of little or no warning when threats can emerge suddenly. Terrorist states are finding ways to gain access to these powerful weapons, and in word and deed they have demonstrated a willingness to use those capabilities. Moreover, since September 11, we have seen a new means of delivering these weapons: terrorist networks. To the extent that they might transfer WMD to terrorist groups, they could conceal their responsibility for attacks on our people.
So I submit, Mr. Chairman, that we are on notice that an attack will likely be attempted. It's a question of when and by what technique. It could be months or years, but it will happen. If the worst were to happen, not one of us here today would be able to honestly say that it was a surprise, because it will not be a surprise. We have connected the dots as much as is humanly possible before the fact. Only by waiting until after the event could we have proof positive, and then it, of course, would be too late.
The question facing us is this, what is the responsible course of action for our country with our history and tradition? Do we believe it is our responsibility to wait for a chemical or biological or even