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EFFORTS TO DETERMINE THE STATUS OF IRAQI WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION AND RELATED PROGRAMS

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2004

U.S. SENATE,
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES,

Washington, DC. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 11:05 a.m., in room SD-106, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senator John Warner (chairman) presiding.

Committee members present: Senators Warner, McCain, Inhofe, Roberts, Allard, Sessions, Collins, Ensign, Dole, Cornyn, Levin, Kennedy, Byrd, Reed, Akaka, Bill Nelson, E. Benjamin Nelson, Dayton, Bayh, Clinton, and Pryor.

Committee staff members present: Judith A. Ansley, staff director; and Gabriella Eisen, nominations clerk.

Majority staff members present: Charles W. Alsup, professional staff member; L. David Cherington, counsel; Regina A. Dubey, research assistant; Gregory T. Kiley, professional staff member; Thomas L. MacKenzie, professional staff member; Lucian L. Niemeyer, professional staff member; Lynn F. Rusten, professional staff member; Scott W. Stucky, general counsel; and Richard F. Walsh, counsel.

Minority staff members present: Richard D. DeBobes, Democratic staff director; Evelyn N. Farkas, professional staff member; Richard W. Fieldhouse, professional staff member; Maren R. Leed, professional staff member; Gerald J. Leeling, minority counsel; Peter K. Levine, minority counsel; and William G.P. Monahan, minority counsel.

Staff assistants present: Michael N. Berger, Leah C. Brewer, Andrew W. Florell, and Nicholas W. West.

Committee members' assistants present: John A. Bonsell, assistant to Senator Inhofe; James Beauchamp, assistant to Senator Roberts; Jayson Roehl, assistant to Senator Allard; Arch Galloway II, assistant to Senator Sessions; Derek J. Maurer, assistant to Senator Collins; D'Arcy Grisier, assistant to Senator Ensign; Lindsey R. Neas, assistant to Senator Talent; Clyde A. Taylor IV, assistant to Senator Chambliss; Christine O. Hill, assistant to Senator Dole; Russell J. Thomasson, assistant to Senator Cornyn; Mieke Y. Eoyang, assistant to Senator Kennedy; Christina Evans and Terrence E. Sauvain, assistants to Senator Byrd; Elizabeth King, assistant to Senator Reed; Caroline Tess, assistant to Senator Bill Nelson; Eric Pierce, assistant to Senator E. Benjamin Nel

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son; Todd Rosenblum, assistant to Senator Bayh; Andrew Shapiro, assistant to Senator Clinton; and Terri Glaze, assistant to Senator Pryor. OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN WARNER,

CHAIRMAN Chairman WARNER. The committee meets today to review a further report, and I stress a further report, from Dr. David Kay on his efforts and the efforts of the team which he was privileged to work with, known as the Iraq Survey Group (ISG). He served as the special advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) in determining the status of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and related programs in Iraq.

After assuming this position last July, Dr. Kay made his initial interim official report to this committee on October 3. As members of the committee are aware, Dr. Kay has stepped down from this position and has been succeeded by Charles A. Duelfer, a former colleague and member of the U.N. Special Commission with Dr. Kay, who has been appointed by Director Tenet to continue this important mission. I met with Mr. Duelfer the day before yesterday and we just momentarily met with him in the Intelligence Committee room.

Dr. Kay volunteered, and I emphasize that, volunteered to resume his public service, worked diligently for 6 months in Iraq under difficult and often dangerous conditions, and just concluded his work last week and reported to the DCI. I thank you and I thank your wife for your public service.

Working with General Dayton and the ISG, your mission was to search for all facts, I repeat all facts, relevant to the many issues about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and related programs. You initiated what was and continues, I emphasize continues, to be a very difficult, complex mission, that in your own words is yet to be completed.

As you cautioned us when you took up this post in July, patience is required to ensure we complete a thorough assessment of this important issue. In this hearing today, we hope to receive your assessment of what has been accomplished to date, I repeat to date, and what, in your professional judgment remains to be done by the ISG. It is far too early to reach any final judgments or conclusions.

In recent days, I mentioned I met with General Dayton, I met extensively with Dr. Kay over the recess period, and Mr. Duelfer, and have received the assurances of General Dayton and Mr. Duelfer that they will be prepared to present to Congress a second official interim report of the ISG in the timeframe of late March.

It is crucial that the important work of the ISG go on. Thus far, the findings have been significant. Dr. Kay has stated that although we've not found evidence of large stockpiles of WMD or forward-deployed weapons, the ISG has made the following evidence as a part of their record that will be forthcoming: first, evidence of Saddam Hussein's intent to pursue WMD programs on a large scale; actual, ongoing chemical and biological research programs; an active program to use the deadly chemical ricin as a weapon, a program that was interrupted only by the start of the war in March; evidence of long-range missile programs that, in all probability, were ultimately going to be used to deliver WMD; evidence that Saddam Hussein was attempting to reconstitute his fledgling nuclear program as late as 2001; and most important, evidence that clearly indicates Saddam Hussein was conducting a wide range of activities in clear contravention of the United Nations' resolutions.

As you recently stated, Dr. Kay, and I quote you, “It was reasonable to conclude that Iraq posed an imminent threat. What we learned during the inspection made Iraq a more dangerous place potentially than in fact we thought it was even before the war.' Further, you said on NBC's Today show on Tuesday that it was "absolutely prudent for the U.S. to go to war.”

Dr. Kay, I concur in those conclusions. I believe a real and growing threat has been eliminated and a coalition of nations acted prudently in the cause of freedom. I'd be interested if you concur in my conclusions.

While some have asserted that the President and his senior advisors may have exaggerated or manipulated pre-war intelligence on Iraq's WMD programs, Dr. Kay reached the following conclusion, which I think is different. As you stated recently, “We have to remember that this view of Iraq (pre-war assessment of WMD capabilities) was held during the Clinton administration and did not change in the Bush administration. It is not a political got-you issue. Often, estimates are different than reality. The important thing is, when they differ, to understand why.”

That's precisely why I called this meeting, Dr. Kay, to continue the work of this committee in developing a body of fact from which reasonable people at the conclusion of that collection of facts can reach their own objective thoughts and conclusions. It's been a difficult process, but the ISG work is not completed.

Now, you have stated that you believe there did not exist large stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons, but I hope that you will, in your testimony, indicate that since the work is not completed, since Iraq is as big as California and Baghdad approximates the sprawling territory of Los Angeles, that we could find caches and reserves of weapons of mass destruction, chemical or biological, or even further evidence about the nuclear program.

We also would hope that you'd address the question of whether or not Saddam Hussein had some kind of “breakout” capability for quickly producing chemical or biological weapons, and was this not a basis for constituting a conclusion that there was an imminent threat from Saddam Hussein and his military.

Why were the Iraqi WMD records systematically looted or destroyed, and why do scientists in custody today continue not to be forthcoming, if there was nothing to hide or nothing substantial existed?

The work of the ISG has shown that Saddam Hussein had WMD intentions, had WMD programs that did survive, and did outwit for 12 years the United Nations Security Council and the resolutions, indeed, the inspections in large measure. If ultimately the findings of the ISG do differ from the pre-war assessments of our Intelligence Community, differ from assessments of the United Nations, differ from assessments of intelligence services of many other nations, indeed, that is cause for concern. But we are not there yet

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