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case or what I would call a terrorism-type of situation, you are saying a decade away.
Dr. KAY. I am saying by missiles. But let me be clear. That was not the only way the Soviets intended to deliver it. And it is probably not the only way that he would think of having to deliver it if he wanted to. I don't call that terrorism. I just call it an asymmetrical way of facing the United States. We happen to believe in missiles. There is no reason everyone else should believe in missiles.
Ms. SANCHEZ. And quickly, Doctor, because my chairman
Dr. SPERTZEL. Well, again, it might be a covert delivery system as opposed to overt. Whether you call that terrorism or not is something else. But I could—again I would prefer not to in open session, but I could tell you ways that I suspect, even with our enhanced sensitivity to security, that a determined enemy could deliver an effective biological weapon or agent, particularly to our coastal cities. Ms. SANCHEZ. Thank you, Doctor. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Thank you very much. And I think when you reflect on the fact that we have got in excess of 6,000 cargo containers coming into our ports daily and we inspect around three percent of them, there is a fairly large pool of candidate vehicles for that.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, gentlemen, for being here to testify before us. You know, right now, our country is in a war on terrorism. The American people are behind our President, I believe, on this war and they seem to be open to what we do. Our allies seem to be in agreement with us on the war on terrorism.
With that in mind, Dr. Spertzel, in your opening statement, not your written, but in your opening statement, you made a comment that the greatest threat to the U.S. is in, "biological agents to be used by terrorists." However, when the question was asked about terrorism, Dr. Kay, I believe you said we had no evidence that there was any real linkage between Iraq and the terrorists.
Dr. KAY. On the nuclear; I was speaking only of nuclear. Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Okay. Do we have any evidence then, Dr. Spertzel, that there is any linkage between Iraq and the terrorists?
Dr. SPERTZEL. Yes. Terrorist-terrorism was clearly an integral part of the Iraqi BW program from its very inception in the early 1970s. The nature of the agents, some of the studies that they were conducting clearly indicated that. The evidence is still not concrete yet, but I believe that doctor Christine Gosden is collecting pretty doggone good evidence that Iraq has used aflatoxin against the Kurds in the north and may be still using it. And I already mentioned the case of wheat cover smut, or wheat bunt as we know it in the U.S., by clandestine delivery means. And they acknowledge that it was that they envisioned it; they called it "secretive delivery." I think that was a euphemism for terrorists. So you have that.
And then, as I say, I happen-and I don't believe I am a lone individual anymore because I think I have made a few converts who
happen to believe that that high-quality anthrax spore material last fall very likely has "made in Baghdad" written on it.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. It is all just hypothetical, though. No evidence.
Dr. SPERTZEL. Oh, yeah, if you are looking for a smoking gunMrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. I am.
Dr. SPERTZEL [continuing]. I can absolutely guarantee you, you will not find it. Not now, not in the future. The technology for finding that smoking gun, at least in the biology field, is not there. Absolutely will not find it.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. So we would be asked in Congress to vote on going into Iraq based on total speculation?
Dr. SPERTZEL. That is one way of looking at it. I mean, you know, you do an assessment based on the best information. I mean that is the way we finally forced Iraq to acknowledge their BW program. It was an assessment of the information, admittedly sketchy, but it seemed to make a cohesive story. And that is what you have to act on. It is a value judgment. There is no way around it.
Dr. KAY. Mrs. Davis, if I could add, I have certainly been inarticulate if I have indicated that this is based on simply speculation. We have 11 years of the physical reality of Iraq trying to conceal its weapons program. We have the physical reality of what was discovered in spite of that concealment program. It was not what either Dr. Spertzel or I would have liked to have discovered. We would have liked to have discovered more. But in terms of their weapons capability and weapons programs, those are solid-reality physical evidence, of which we have produced tons of documents. Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. Dr. Kay, for the record I am with you on going into Iraq. The problem I have is to go back to my constituents and tell them why.
Dr. KAY. No. If I indicated speculation, that is not the basis I would ever urge anyone to do. I think there is a lot of real physical evidence there.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. On the nuclear weapons I agree, but I was going back to the comment that Dr. Spertzel made about the greatest threat to the U.S. is the biological agents to be used as terrorists, and I just wanted that clarified.
Dr. SPERTZEL. Again, as I have indicated, you know, the fact that we know that that was an integral part of their program to start with. I am very concerned about that consortium, if you like, between the three individuals that I named earlier, as related to some obviously clandestine genetic engineering. Otherwise they had no reason to lie to us. I mean, if it was a program there would be no objection to, they could have told us where these people were working and that would have been the end of it.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. I just hoped you had a little bit more information to give me, that was all.
Dr. KAY. So do we.
Dr. SPERTZEL. So do we.
Mrs. DAVIS OF VIRGINIA. But I agree, he is a bad guy and we need to go forward and do something to protect our Americans
I thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you. Mr. Rodriguez.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Thank you very much.
Dr. Kay, I was interested to hear your comments that you made regarding our missile defense, the thought that that might be the worst way of delivering this system. I know that disproportionately we might—we kick in a good amount of resources into that area in which I, you know-maybe I know that this should go into other methods of fighting terrorism instead of our major national missile defense system. But thank you for that comment.
Let me ask you, I have always applied the principle that if our national security is in danger and that we are directly in danger that we ought to act unilaterally and just strike, but that if it isn't, then every effort needs to be made to look at it from a multilateral perspective and to reach out to your friends and allies. I have been real concerned with what the Germans have-the chancellor has said about the lack of discussions with them, the French and everyone else.
And I was wondering how you would-you know, make some comments as it relates to that. But also, if you would be willing to look at if you had a team of inspectors that could go in there and have full access, if you would feel comfortable under those settings. Dr. KAY. Well let me deal with the two-part question. With regard to having allies, look, I was a 97-pound kid who grew up on the east side of Houston. I always found it was useful to have friends. It insured my survival; that, and being able to run fast. So in principle, I think one would like to have it. I think during the period that started when I-about the time I left, it certainly was much worse during most of Dr. Spertzel's time—you had a number of Security Council members decide that if it were a serious problem the U.S. would take care of it. If it is not a serious problem, why shouldn't we go ahead and make economic hay while we can? And so I think we have failed to convince the world that it is their problem as well, and not just our problem. This is one of the problems of being the last superpower. You know, why did the Europeans wait around for us to straighten out Kosovo? It was in their back yard. So I mean, I think there is a large element of that. I think we lost the psychological war of trying to explain that and explaining that it was not sanctions and inspections that were hurting the Iraq people; it was Saddam's behavior. So on that issue, I mean I am with you. I would rather have more, rather than
Your second question is the question that is an extraordinarily troubling question for me, because the question is if we had inspectors in again, wouldn't you feel that they could do it. The issue is not the insertion of inspectors; the issue is the behavior of the Iraqi Government. As long as Iraq can continue to engage in protecting its programs, concealing, denying, and deceiving about those programs, the level of intrusiveness that would be necessary to overcome that, and the resources, wouldn't look, quite frankly, any different than an occupation.
You know, we had two helicopters at our disposal. I came back to the U.S. and I found TV stations that had bigger and better helicopters for traffic reporting. The amount of resources and inspectors you would have to put in to have confidence that you have eliminated a program that they spent two decades on, probably $40
billion if we were to sum all their programs, and 40,000 people, to be sure you really got that-and I don't know what you mean by getting it when we are talking about people as much as things. I just don't see that the mental image I have of that is very much like an occupation. So I don't have any confidence that you can get there by the inspection route.
Mr. SPERTZEL. And what happens if inspectors are there, ostensibly unlimited access, if they come along on a particularly sensitive site and so there is another standoff? What is going to happen? What is the next step? Are we going to have a week-long debate among the permanent five members, and then two of them will abstain and the third one will make some modifications to the resolution to the point that it is not much better than distilled water? What have you accomplished?
Dr. KAY. Very often when you get those standoffs, as Dick knows, you are at a point where you are asked the same questions you ask us. "What is the evidence that that is an important place?" And because they are trying to conceal from you and mislead you-and let me give you, Mr. Rodriguez, an actual example that occurred to me. The second inspection I took in, we had a supposed defector who came in and said they had buried nuclear materials in the central Baghdad cemetery. Now, you know, I am from Texas. I am willing to do a lot of things. Digging up cemeteries is one of those things that I have got to have a lot of evidence on. It was, we later found out, and penetrated-thank goodness I had a little bit of my mother's common sense and didn't carry out an inspection. It was a provocation they ran against the team, hoping we would dig up the central Baghdad cemetery, hunting for something that wasn't there, but would have meant great television footage not in favor of us. It was referred to as a cat-and-mouse game. I have never liked that term because when you are the mouse it is not much fun. The cat has a lot more fun, and the inspectors were the mouse. We are talking about disputes when we are going to be asked the same questions about evidence. There may in fact be nothing there, because they have carried out a successful provocation. As long as that government is not willing to give up its weapons of mass destruction program, it just is not credible that inspectors, by themselves, will be able to do that against their determined opponent. If Saddam changes his spots and becomes an enlightened leader of the Middle East
Mr. SPERTZEL. On another occasion, one of the things that didn't make the headlines was a team was stopped only for a few hours, and they sat there and they watched with binoculars two little fires on the roof of the building, which turned out to be an asphalt roof. And when they, Iraq, was asked about those fires, "oh, the janitor was just burning the trash for the day." Yeah, right. We all go around doing that on asphalt roofs.
Now, I have no idea what was in those documents that they burned, but I sure wish I did. And, that is what inspection teams are faced with when there is not a desire on the part of the country and when you cannot rely on having any backup.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Let me I just want to go throw it back to the analogy, Dr. Kay, that you mentioned. If you had been-that you were a 90-pound weakling and you needed support.
Dr. KAY. Ninety-four pounds.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. You know, that concerns me. And if you are a pretty healthy individual, does that mean that we should act like a big bully and not reach out?
Dr. KAY. No, it means we should-I mean, my interpretation is I still believe in getting as many friends to go to a fight as I can, if I have to fight. But, I also believe in not bringing a knife to a knife fight. I like odds that are in my favor and not against.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Yeah. One of the struggles that we are having is that you are extremely knowledgeable, but a lot of us are not there yet in terms of deciding whether our sons and daughters should risk their lives, you know, despite the fact that say that they do have, you know, what they-you know, in terms of working on nuclear and all the other stuff, despite that, you know, whether we should go to the extreme, despite the fact that we are also in a war right now with a terrorist which I see also very differently, although Iraq cannot be seen in isolation from what is happening in the Middle East.
And my sincere concerns are that as a country we have been negligent and not fully engaged in the Middle East; that we have been negligent in terms of comments in reference to Taiwan and China; that we have been negligent in our comments regarding Korea; and that some of that has been deliberate, and that this is part of all that process. And if it is, it is a game that we shouldn't be playing because it is a serious situation. And if we do want peace, we have to be directly engaged in, directly involved, and to send Colin Powell for a weekend down there doesn't cut it.
And so I am real concerned with our foreign policy in terms of the way it has been operating. And for us to bring this forward, it also brings to question, is this dialogue just prior to the November election and then are we going to see it again prior to the 2004 election?
Dr. KAY. Fortunately that is in your field, not mine, and you have those responsibilities. I think both of us understand the awesome nature of those-and I wish we could share with you in a more effective way our experience. I think that is one of the limitations of the way we have communicated the results of the inspection. I can tell you, you know, that occurs even among inspectors. We both served as chief inspectors and had teams that we took in and led. And I know Dick had the same experience I had. I took people in who didn't believe the Iraqi program was as bad as they had been told before they went in as inspectors, and came out much more rabid than I am. I had one who was a-well, this was a period when the Soviet Union still existed during the brief early days of inspection-who came out absolutely convinced, because he saw what we saw.
Our failure is our ability to communicate the depth of their deception, denial, clandestine nature, concealment nature of their program and the evil around the regime. And I know, failing to communicate that, we leave men and women like you with an awesome responsibility, and not much help we can provide. I accept it as a failing on my part.