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OPENING STATEMENT OF MR. DUNCAN HUNTER
HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE
September 26, 2002
Today, the Committee on Armed Services continues its review of United States policy toward Iraq.
This morning's hearing marks the fourth in a number of planned public sessions designed to educate and inform the Committee, and the American people, on the various issues surrounding Iraq's continued violation of numerous United Nation's resolutions, its illicit development of weapons of mass destruction, and the threat that Saddam Hussein poses to the United States, the Middle East, and the international community.
The Committee has received a classified briefing from the Intelligence Community in each of the last three weeks, which we also opened up to all Members of the House in the last couple weeks. We also heard from former UNSCOM inspectors about Iraq's illicit weapons programs and Saddam Hussein's persistent efforts to thwart U.N. inspections.
And we heard from an Iraqi defector who ran Saddam's nuclear weapons program; he told us how the Iraqis built and sustained their weapons of mass destruction programs through the acquisition of Western technology, and how the United States' own export control system may have contributed to the problems we are now facing with Iraq.
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld appeared before the Committee last week to discuss and defend the Administration's policy toward Iraq. And yesterday morning the Committee met behind closed doors with several retired generals to hear their views on this critical issue, with a special focus on military options.
The Committee is planning on holding another hearing next Wednesday on the topic of U.S. policy toward Iraq.
Today, however, we will hear from two well-known gentlemen who have distinguished themselves in the world of foreign and defense policy--
• The Honorable Richard Perle is a Resident Fellow at the
American Enterprise Institute and Chairman of the Defense