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Dr. HAMZA. For example, initially there was no demand or serious demand by the inspectors to talk to the scientists. And, they accept it. The scientists Iraq offered as a front. They did not go try to get to the base, actual working base of the whole scientific and engineering enterprise.
Mr. SPRATT. But, did they destroy the physical facilities?
Dr. HAMZA. The physical facilities were destroyed. Iraq didn't care about that, because they can rebuild them. Iraq can rebuild now, a physical plant within months. What remains is the equipment. Equipment can be imported or rebuilt.
Mr. SPRATT. Thus far, that has kept them from building apparently a centrifuge plant, an enrichment plant, has it not?
Dr. HAMZA. How do we know? The order is in the tens of thousands. That tells you it is not a process in which you are trying to make one or two. What is given is two centrifuges. That is all that was given, and some tubes, something like a thousand tubes. That is all the inspectors got. What is imported now—and this is the order that was caught. I don't know if there were others that were not intercepted, is tens of thousands of tubes. That tells you also on the other side that Iraq is now in the plant-building stage, not in the process of research and development. You don't need that many tubes for research and development. You need that many tubes when you are putting together a huge plant for a huge facility.
Mr. SPRATT. What would you do if you were given the authority to write the charter for the new inspectors so that they would have maximum effectiveness?
Dr. HAMZA. That is what I did. That is, ask for the scientists out in a neutral territory and talk to them without minders. Iraq never allowed inspectors in the best of time to talk to the scientists without minders. And, as such, all the information extracted was defective.
Mr. SPRATT. What if they were authorized to take the scientists out of country, noncoercively but take them out of country for questioning and interrogation?
Dr. HAMZA. That happened once, but Iraq suggested which scientists go in 1993. They went to Vienna. Iraq sent three scientists. They were all party members. They were all loyal such and such. They were not the top scientists and the real active ones. They went to Vienna. The inspectors got nothing out of them and they went back. This is not the kind of debriefing I am talking about. It is actually—because now there is much better information on who did what inside Iraq. I mean the U.S. and the international atomic energy know in detail who did what in Iraq and they can precisely say who they want and who is important to talk to.
Mr. SPRATT. Thank you very much, sir.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I'll try to be brief so that others can ask questions. But, Dr. Hamza, I am curious as to what the thinking process was when-around the lab or around the facilities. What were you told or what did you discuss among yourself was the reason for developing what you were doing, the nuclear program or any other weapons of mass destruction?
What was the reasoning given for doing this and focusing on this particular type of program?
Dr. HAMZA. I detail this in my book. The initial impetus for the whole nuclear enterprise in Iraq was a book by Paul Jarda, an American, called “The Israeli Bomb." And, the book states that Israel, within a decade or two, will have something like 200 nuclear weapons. When I went to Iraq in 1970, everybody was talking about that book. And, there were 50 copies of it in the atomic energy library, Saddam read it, and within a year we got his envoys asking us what to do.
So, the whole thing started as a strategic matter with Israel. Israel has three population centers, so the program was designed initially to produce something like three, four nuclear weapons. So, the reactor, which we bought from France, was more or less enough to do that within, say, a decade. So, it is very—it started as a very basic, a very simple weapon program with no large scale production in mind, just a few nuclear weapons, and that is that, just to counterbalance Israel.
If, some day, we sit around a table with Israel, we have a card in our hands. Then the Iraqi-Iran War started and, thus, Saddam panicked and then he wanted a large arsenal to counter the Iranian hordes, who were coming into Iraq in droves and there was no stopping them. Later on, he found out that he can stop them with chemical weapons. But, all the same, the program was redirected into a larger scale of production possibly. But, the orders we got initially in 1982 is to design a program that could produce up to six nuclear weapons a year. That is a huge program by Iraq, by any small country standard.
So, that is why the diffusion. We went into diffusion and later into centrifuge, which are a larger scale of production than the reactor. The reactor is difficult to duplicate. It limits you by its size. When you make a centrifuge, it is up to your capacity on how many centrifuges you want to make. You make a factory to manufacture centrifuges, and as many you make, as much as you get more product. So a product is not limited in an enrichment facility as it is in our Riyadh facility. That is why we switched later after the Israelis bombed the reactor, the Saudis offered to buy us another one. Saddam accepted the offer in principle, took the money and switched it to an enrichment facility.
So, enrichment is the Pakistani now what they chose and the new choice for this kind of program, and it would give Iraq-Iraq no longer wants two, three nuclear weapons. That is why I don't think Iraq is very aggressive even after I left. I left in 1994.
I don't think Îraq is very aggressive in trying to purchase this. I think Iraq is aggressive in trying to get enough equipment to produce it locally because this is the long-range prospect of having enough arsenal and a credible deterrence for Iraq for the region to be living under the immunity of this umbrella to do what it wants.
To go more into terrorism, use its other options of chemical and biological weapons, menace the region. Do what it wants with total immunity. To do that it needs several nuclear weapons and a credible deterrence for its system.
Mr. HEFLEY. Thank you very much.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to welcome both of our witnesses today and Dr. Hamza, let me ask you this question: Prior to the Iran War, and maybe you have touched on this, but I am sorry that I came in a little late, the Gulf War, where did Iraq obtain technology and materials for the different parts of items of mass destruction? And, the reason I ask you is because I see a parallel with what is happening in Afghanistan and what is what has happened during the Gulf War in Iraq. Did anybody intentionally arm Iraq with this kind of materials that would develop materials of mass destruction?
Dr. HAMZA. No. Actually, that is the problem. This thing is not controllable from the outside. There is no way you can control it from the outside because the system is intended to acquire weapons no matter what you do. That is why inspection would be pointless, because if you inspect now and take away what they have, what guarantee do you have in the future they don't put it together back again? The knowledge base is there. The scientists are there and the will is there, a very strong determination. One point on this is since 1995, we didn't have a single person from the weapons of mass destruction leave the country or defect. Not one.
After the defection of Kamel, Saddam's son-in-law, that was the last. Nobody from the core of the program, that is why we have no witnesses there. All the evidence is circumstantial. But also, one should notice that the evidence was circumstantial before the Gulf War that there was an Iraqi nuclear weapon program which was found to be true. Was circumstantial in the case of India and turned out to be true. So most nuclear weapons case all you can find about them is some indications where they are going and most of the time it is true.
Now, Iraq was not supplied intentionally with weapon technology, but the man who gave us the centrifuge technology, Qadeer, was tried in Germany. And, the judge found the German government so complicit and so knowing if what he is giving us and doing nothing about it, he sentenced him only to time served. He did not put him in jail for more than the time he already spent.
And this is also another lesson. I mean, the only man caught giving us weapons of mass destruction technology was sentenced to time served. Nobody ever went to jail for providing us with the technology for weapons of mass destruction.
Mr. ORTIZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BARTLETT. I want to thank our two witnesses very much. Appreciate your testimony. Mr. Milhollin, clearly we are on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, we do not want to sell material to Iraq that could be used in their weapons programs. On the other hand, we are having a very difficult time maintaining an adequate military industrial base in this country.
Now, most of the materials that are listed in your two charts are dual-use materials and many of them are widely available for a number of other sources in the world. Now, how do we determine what we will export and what we will not when on the one hand, the material is dual use material, broadly available, could be used
for other programs, broadly available from other places in the world while on the other hand, we are trying very hard to maintaining an adequate military industrial base. Whichever way we make that decision, we are putting at some risk our national security, are we not, and how do we decide what is the right balance there? If we cannot maintain an adequate and military industrial base, are we not putting our national security at some risk?
Dr. MILHOLLIN. You are correct. It is a decision and you are correct that—but, I would say that there is an assumption which I would question and that is that export controls have a negativehave a significant negative impact on our military industrial base. I don't think the case for that can be made. The items that are controlled are only those items that can be—that if diverted can be specifically useful in making weapons of mass destruction. That slice of our economy is very tiny.
Mr. BARTLETT. You think that is such a small percentage of what we export that we are not putting our industrial base at risk by denying those exports?
Dr. MILHOLLIN. No question. I mean, the numbers prove it. Right now, first of all, we are approving over 90 percent of everything that even goes through the licensing process. So, the number of things that are actually denied is only a tiny fraction of that which goes
through the process. And, that which goes through the process is only a tiny fraction of our economy. It is something like a fraction of, a small fraction of 1 percent. You—there is no sense or sensitive enough to measure any kind of economic and employment impact on the United States from export controls. Because they have such a slight impact.
So for me, I think that prevention is much cheaper than cure. That is, Iraq gives you the case where you are going to have to cure a problem created by loose export controls and the cure is expensive. It is expensive in lives. It is expensive in money and expensive in just in the time it takes our government to figure out what to do about this. I think that far outweighs the small cost to our industry, to the small number of companies that actually make things that are controlled.
Mr. BARTLETT. There is an old adage that says that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We somehow forget that today when we have broken our ties with the common sense past, haven't we? Let me ask you a question about weaponizing these biological agents. I think that everybody recognizes that it is very much easier to produce these biological weapons than it is to weaponize them. And, until you are able to weaponize them, even though you may have very large quantities of these, you may be very ineffective in using these. How robust is the Iraqi program at weaponizing these agents?
Dr. MILHOLLIN. My expertise is primarily in nuclear and missile technology, and so I would like to use this as a preface to the answer I give. I think that from reports we have heard, that there is an estimation that Iraq did make progress in weaponizing anthrax. But, whether that progress is sufficient so that it could today launch a successful anthrax attack, I am not so sure I know the answer to. But, it is an excellent question. Of course, the absence of inspections makes it all the more difficult to answer with
any kind of confidence since it has been four years since we have really done any inspections in Iraq.
Mr. BARTLETT. Let me ask a question about weaponizing smallpox. It's my understanding the best way to weaponize smallpox is to find a dozen or so people that are willing to be infected with smallpox and die as a result of that infection, and then to travel broadly in this country going to ball games and circulating through airports. You don't even have to go through the security perimeter in the airport to interface with a large number of people. You are familiar, I am sure, with the dark winter where the agent was releasing only three places and in that exercise, it took a great while to contain and it spread, I think, to 35 states and 15 foreign countries before we contained it. Isn't this the best way to weaponize smallpox.
Dr. MILHOLLIN. Could very well be. That is, I guess, a possibility that someone has imagined. I have quite a bit of natural human imagination. I suspect that if we all sat around for a while, we might be able to come up with something better or worse, I guess, depending on how you define it.
Mr. BARTLETT. That is worse enough, isn't it? Dr. MILHOLLIN. Yeah. It is bad enough as it is. I think from what I know about smallpox and now with the kind of travel we do, it would be a very serious threat, even if a few people had it. Som but again, I must say honestly that I am not going to try to pronounce a subject for which I am perhaps not your best witness.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. I thank the gentleman. And Mr. Taylor. And incidentally folks, we are going to have three votes here. I think, you know we are going to get broken up during the day as we get into the noon hour. I am inclined to keep going here, and maybe Mr. Saxton, if you could maybe go vote and come back and I could make at least that first vote. I think we need to keep going and get this hearing done. So, Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. I thank both of you gentlemen for being here. And, I am very much alarmed by what you tell me. I guess I have been here long enough to hear the critics say that the Clintons were weak on defense, so therefore they were asleep at the switch and the Republicans were pro business, and so therefore they were asleep at the switch. If somebody had a buck to be made, then they are going to cooperate with them. In an ideal world, how would you put better controls on American technology leaving our shores and getting into the hands of people who would potentially harm us. You outlined the problem well enough to get my attention. How would you solve the problem?
Dr. MILHOLLIN. That question is to me, sir?
Dr. MILHOLLIN. Shall I go first? I think at a minimum we need to understand that export controls have been greatly reduced since the Cold War, but that we are in a new war and we need new kinds of export controls for that war. And that war is just as serious as the Cold War. And, yet we are facing it with a weaker system. I would go back and review decontrol decisions that we have