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it has to be taken on a larger picture. For example, the U.S. refused to sell us satellite for our Arab sat. Arab sat is run by director general, who is an Iraqi. It is owned by percent by Iraq, 70 percent by Saudi Arabia, but they appointed an Iraqi director who was a friend of mine. And, he says the U.S. export controls were so tight that he tried to find other suppliers and he went to the French and they sold it with no condition. The U.S. concerns were military use. Is this satellite going to be used for military purposes or not. And nobody wanted to sign for that in the region for fear there might be war they might be using it for communication other purposes. So, the first Arab sat was French. The second Arab sat, when the U.S. saw that other suppliers are not as concerned as they are, they relaxed the controls and sold us the second Arab sat almost with no conditions. So, you see, I mean the thing is the export controls has to be either global and with the U.S., also, and it make export control has to also some kind of enforcement from its partners on the other side.
I try here to give also some sense of the size and the work built of the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs. The fissile material, export fissile material acquisition work by Iraq is really a minor concern. It could happen. Iraq could change its policies under pressure and probably try to acquire fissile material the short way or the fast way, but Iraqi nuclear weapon program is a very serious one. It is built around making turning Iraq into a nuclear power in the region. Buying materials in the black market is not a sure thing to do to carry this program through. So, Iraq built a large portion, 90 percent of its program, to actually manufacturing the fissile material locally that is enriching uranium locally. Iraq has a supply of uranium and also has local supplies of uranium from its own deposits. It is not viable as it is in the West but they are for Iraq cost is not a major factor, and for Iraq they are of significant enough percentage to be possible to extract. So, Iraq has the local uranium resources, all it needs is enrichment to turn this uranium into weapon grade and use and produce as much as it wants nuclear weapon materials.
To get a sense of this, after the Gulf War, Iraq turned its nuclear engineers and nuclear teams into the civilian sector for two reasons. First, to get a way out of the way of the inspectors, and as such, they are not available most of the time for inspectors to talk to; second, when it worked in the civilian sectors, it acquired the civilian sector capability as part of its resources. So, actually, Iraq incorporated all industries outside even atomic energy and all other resources engineering, scientific capabilities, universities, industrial infrastructure in its weapon program.
In 1994, Saddam declared the program to make 1,000 Ph.D.s he called it. It is really a larger scale program to train, on a graduate level, scientists and engineers to be incorporated into the weapons of mass destruction program. It is very hard for the universities to accept this program because what it does, it grants degrees on work it will not see. The universities has to grant masters and Ph.D. For thesis of research it doesn't know, hasn't seen.
So the law was promulgated forcing the universities to accept our word, the weapons of mass destruction branch's word that this is of this caliber, masters or Ph.D. What this does is incorporate the
university structure into the weapons of mass destruction, also. The university professors became unwitting partners to creating the staff needed for the weapons of mass destruction.
So, what we are looking at is really a giant factory, a whole country turned into a giant factory for weapons of mass destruction work on all its phases, whether research or production. So, you have the chemists, the biologists, the physicists, the engineers, all from universities being incorporated into the program. Also, intensive hiring under the umbrella that the atomic energy is now working for the civilian sector, it could incorporate a large amounts of people in its ranks and it is really economically viable because they do take some civilian contracts.
Now, just take the program for the inspectors they would go to atomic energy and they say what is this scientist, he is working in such and such civilian program, he is no longer working for us. They produce contracts and works and in that civilian sector and as such, become unavailable to the inspectors for future debriefing.
Gradually Iraq, and Iraq understood from the beginning that its assets are not just pieces of equipment and facilities, but rather its scientists. Any equipment destroyed can be either built internally or imported later probably a better version and newer model. But, the scientists are its assets. So, it made it difficult for the inspectors to talk to the scientists right from the start. This gradually created tensions between the inspection teams and the Iraqi government minders who make it available to scientists and engineers.
When the Iraqi government woke up to the fact that the inspectors' main concern after 1996 was the scientists and engineers, things started to going downhill. And, ended up in stopping the inspection process in 1998, and the whole thing collapsed.
Now here is the test: If Iraq is serious about allowing the inspectors back in to check its weapons of mass destruction program, should allow the inspectors to take the Iraqi scientists into a neutral territory and allow them, also, if it has nothing to hide, to take their families with them and the members designate as their immediate families and allow them in a neutral territory without Iraqi minders to be debriefed and talk to inspectors.
Msy bet is Iraq will refuse this. It already refused when inspectors were talking about this. They called them human vampires, they want to suck Iraqi blood. They took it from the human rights angle.
My guess any of these scientists they came to a neutral territory with his family would ask for asylum somewhere. 90 percent of them would. There are hundreds of millions in its share of Iraqi oil sources that can support those scientists abroad and it can create the equivalent of the U.S. witness protection program for these scientists. This is not new. In 1998, we asked for this and the American Federation of Science actually wrote a letter at the time and we got no answer from the Clinton administration. Another thing about the inspection regime,
there is a defector engineer who was, I believe, interviewed in The New York Times, brought with him contracts of something like 20 sites he built, he is a civil engineer. They included underground small-scale labs with lead impregnated concrete and residents on top of the concrete layers which indicate radiation work. Small underground labora
tories everywhere, under bunkers, under palaces, under their buildings.
Now, this is what he tells us. The other part of the story, there is an organization created in 1995 headed by Saddam's younger son, Qussey. It is called the counter-monitoring group. What it does once inspectors are known where they are going to go, out of 270 inspectors, only 6 were surprise inspections. So, Iraq always knew it was happening. Once Iraq find out where the inspectors are going to go for every site there is a backup site.
The monitoring group, the counter-monitoring organization, what it does, has its own technicians and its own engineers and its own transport system. They go to that site, remove all the relevant equipment, incriminating material, documents, and of course, the scientists and engineers, and take them to the backup site. And, under this system, and this is being divvied up, according to the information we are getting right now has been divvied up is there is a growing organization since 1995 until the inspectors left.
This is not a very viable organization with lots of resources, and its business is to defeat the inspectors. It runs ahead of them, sanitizes sites, removed scientists, removed documents, everywhere the government and this engineer confirmed this to us by telling us for every site, he built a second backup site with the exact same specs. So what we have here is a system that is functioning for a long time now since 1995, that is, is expert at removing equipment and people and materials from anywhere the inspectors want to go.
Now, how the inspectors will find their way around in Iraq when they go back, and how would they be able to find any smoking gun, I don't know, and I don't think they will.
Mr. HUNTER. Dr. Hamza, thank you very much for a very important statement.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Hamza can be found in the Appendix on page 230.]
Mr. HUNTER. And, what I would like to do is go now to questions, if we could. I had one just to start off with. You I think the question that is on everyone's mind is, in your estimation, is there a nuclear weapon program going on in Iraq now that is getting close to maturity, and if not, how far away is it?
Dr. HAMZA. Iraq resolved all its nuclear technology bottlenecks in the 1990s. In 1993, it resolved the technology bottleneck for enrichment by diffusion. In 1999, the Germans gave Iraq the complete technology, actually gave Iraq 130 classified reports and installed one complete centrifuge unit and one barshield installation and gave Iraq also all this for $30,000. And, gave Iraq also around 20 carbon fiber cylinders, which are state-of-the-art centrifuge cylinders for around $1 million. This is, according to his lawyer, who came here and talked about it a few years back.
Now, this is something like one year of research given to Iraq up front. So, Iraq now has already the units which were later given to inspectors, but it has the videotapes of the units were installed, how the units were operating and videotapes of the lectures and demonstrations given to them, and they have 130 classified reports that cover all aspects of centrifuge.
Iraq never puts all its eggs in one basket. It has another technology for uranium enrichment which is called diffusion. The
switch from diffusion to centrifuge was held up by one critical part which is called the barrier which enriches uranium, the barrier allowed the light uranium to go through the fissile uranium, and the heavier isotope of uranium, less amount goes through so it enriches gradually every time it goes through the barrier.
Iraq could not develop the barrier until 1987. So, it switched to centrifuge in 1988. In 1993, Iraq developed a fully working barrier. And, as such, declared it also in 1996 in its final declaration. As such, Iraq has two technologies with no bottlenecks into enriching uranium. The aluminum tubes, by the way, could be used for either. What you need aluminum for is aluminum can withstand UF-6, which is highly corrosive.
Few materials can withstand that, including maraging steel and aluminum. They can withstand that. They could use them in either. So, if somebody can object that the specs are not high enough or this and that, they could be used in either system. Both systems are ready to go in Iraq. And, both systems require very little imports outside to get them going. My estimate is that Iraq, in two years of complete and putting together enough facilities for fullscale production and within three years, to have enough for two to three nuclear weapons.
Mr. HUNTER. And how many weapons in two or three years?
Mr. HUNTER. Two to three. Okay. Thank you very much, Dr. Hamza. And Mr. Milhollin, I think the one question that I think came out very clearly from your testimony was a question about this—the now famous tubes that we are talking about, these aluminum tubes that you say that your analysis of the EAA, the Export Administration Act that is being proposed, would become basically legal. And that the transfer of which would become legal. Is that under the so-called mass market provision that is in that EAA?
Dr. MILHOLLIN. Yes, it is. The mass market provision is found in section 211 of the bill, I believe. And, if you would like, I can just go through the criteria very quickly for you. The first—the criteria are very broad and, I must say, they are unprecedented. They have never been introduced in any law in the United States yet. The first criterion is that the item must be available for sale in large volume to multiple purchasers, and my staff certainly determined that that was true.
Second, the item must be widely distributed through normal commercial channels. That is also true. There are at least a dozen, and probably scores of distributors in the United States. I would say scores of distributors in the United States and certainly many distributors in foreign countries that make this material and can sell it. The item must be conducive to shipment and delivery by generally accepted commercial meanings of transport, and these tubes can be delivered by truck.
And then, finally, the items may be used for their normal intended purpose without substantial and specialized service provided by the manufacturer. That is also true. So the problem we have is that these criteria are very broad and if you just do experiments with particular items, you will find that it would be very
easy to show that not only high strength aluminum, but also maraging steel and carbon fibers would also meet these criteria.
Carbon fibers are used to make tennis rackets. Maraging steel is used to make lots of different things. I think that if this bill becomes law, we are going to find demonstrations that any number of things that have been controlled for a long time will be mass market and therefore, under the bill, the Secretary of Commerce has no discretion. He must decontrol the item.
So, what concerns me about this is that we are getting excited about something going into Iraq for making nuclear weapons and, at the same time, we seem to be on the verge of decontrolling the same technology. It just seems to me to make no sense.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you.
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, I have several questions, but I will reserve them and yield at this time to the gentleman from South Carolina.
Mr. SPRATT. Thank you, Mr. Skelton. Mr. Milhollin, let's be clear. The Export Administration Act which you are describing, which is still pending, would not override would it, the specific import sanctions restrictions imposed upon Iraq? Those would still stand and they would still govern what imports could go to Iraq.
Dr. MILHOLLIN. That is true from the United States. My point is that export controls like this are multilateral, and if the United States drops these controls, so will everybody else. And, we will have no hope of interdicting shipments from the rest of the world for products that no longer are controlled.
Mr. SPRATT. But, every country under the United Nations would still be obliged, whether they were complying or not, to impose these restrictions, import restrictions upon Iraq, except for certain exceptions mostly for humanitarian purposes.
Dr. MILHOLLIN. Well, if these are dropped from our export control list, there would be no reason to retain them on the special list of goods that is—the special goods control list that has been drawn up for Iraq, because that control list for Iraq is taken from ours and other—is taken from multilateral export control laws. I mean, the wording is identical. So, if we dropped it from here, it is going to be dropped from the U.N. restrictions on Iraq and it will go under oil for food.
Mr. SPRATT. Okay. Mr. Hamza, or Dr. Hamza, you described the futility of inspections. Were you in Iraq at the time that the U.N. inspectors, UNSCOM, uncovered four uranium-enriched, or four different nuclear plants, the centrifuge plant that was then partially constructed, the gaseous diffusion plant that I think you have done a pilot project of? Were you there then, and if so, how is it that they were able to find and destroy these facilities?
Dr. HAMZA. Iraq actually was not very determined to keep all the pieces of equipment. They wanted the controversy over with and the inspection—Iraq understood the inspection process as not a serious disarmament process in a sense. The whole inspection process was based on dismantling equipment and facilities, had nothing to do with the knowledge base or the scientists or the engineers.
Mr. SPRATT. Now, how would you do that, though? How would you deal with the brain power base in order to