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PREPARED STATEMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD

SEPTEMBER 18, 2002

OPENING STATEMENT OF MR. DUNCAN HUNTER

HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE
HEARING ON U.S POLICY TOWARD IRAQ

September 18, 2002

Today, the Committee on Armed Services continues its review of United States policy toward Iraq.

This morning's hearing marks the second of 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.

Last week, the Committee received a classified briefing from the CIA and DIA. We also heard from former, senior UNSCOM inspectors about Iraq's illicit weapons programs, and Saddam Hussein's persistent efforts to thwart the efforts of the U.N. inspectors so that he might preserve, and advance, his weapons of mass destruction programs.

Tomorrow, the Armed Services Committee will hear how the Iraqis built and sustained their weapons of mass destruction programs

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through the legal, and illegal, 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.

We also continue to plan further hearings for the coming weeks that will examine in greater detail the various aspects of the policy options before us.

Today, however, we are honored to have Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld before the Committee to discuss U.S. policy toward Iraq. He is the first cabinet-level official to appear on the Hill regarding Iraq, so we are all anxious to discuss these matters with him today.

Secretary Rumsfeld is joined by General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Welcome gentlemen.

Mr. Secretary, before we ask you for your opening remarks, I want to invite Mr. Skelton, the Ranking Democrat on the committee, to offer any comments he might have.

Thank you Mr.Skelton.

Secretary Rumsfeld, the floor is yours.

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