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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.
Mr. Rodriguez. Thank you for testifying before us and thank you for your testimony and thank you for the work for our country. Thank you.
Mr. Hunter. I thank the gentleman. And it is clear, that despite the fact that we are all running for reelection, Doctor Kay and Doctor Spertzel aren't. We appreciate your candid remarks today.
Mr. Kirk. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think I am the only Member of Congress here who flew against the Iraqis in 2000. What we saw was a dramatically upgraded Iraqi defense. And in 1998, when my squadron flew against them, we saw a very limited ability to reach our altitudes. And by the time I was up against them in April of 2000, we had lead all over our altitude, new surface-to-air missiles. Around the intel shed, we said Iraq was back. We could feel it. We could see it at our altitudes.
I have been in the intelligence community for quite a while. I didn't know that we had missed the target so badly. You describe 40,000 employees we didn't know about, a $10 billion program and 24 sites unhit by Operation Desert Storm. It sort of describes to me a nuclear Pearl Harbor in which the intelligence community simply didn't get it. So, let's assume that if we can miss 40,000 employees, $10 billion, and 24 sites, we could miss 40 kilograms of fissile material.
Tell me again, if the Iraqis had 40 kilograms of fissile material, what is your estimate of the time to a workable weapon?
Dr. Kay. If it were a fissile material that is in a final stage, assuming it is highly enriched uranium, ready to work, six months to using their initial device design, to have a single device that would work. Actually with 40, they could probably have two devices that would work. It would be roughly of the power—depends on how they do it—roughly of the power of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And there again, there are some physics things that affect that. But believe me, if you are underneath it, the difference between 10 kilotons and 17 kilotons is largely theoretical.
Mr. Kirk. Thank you. My understanding is in September of 2000, Saddam Hussein gave a speech in which he called on his nuclear mujahedeen to defeat the West. He also modified the Czech L-29 aircraft to be an unmanned aerial vehicle. I hate to be direct here, but you have been. Can you tell me how many people—say a 1,000-foot air burst of that crude weapon would be in an L-29, if it made it over Tel Aviv, how many people would be killed?
Dr. Kay. Well, if you managed to get a weapon of that size over Tel Aviv at about 1,000 feet, you said, for the air burst, you probably would be looking at prompt casualties—this is, from the immediate radiation over pressure fire—I used to do these things on a circular slide rule with a little bit more precision as I have gotten older—I would guess you are probably talking about somewhere on the order of between—and you understand, it depends on is it a clear day or a cloudy day, all of these things affect it—probably 50,000 reasonably prompt deaths. Could be much larger, depending on a couple of things.
Mr. Kirk. But 50,000 Israelis, basically.
Dr. Kay. Yes.
Mr. Kirk. You talked about these states being small states and not being able to hang together with casualties of that nature. It would seem that Israel could be one of those states that wouldn't hang together, suffering.
Dr. Kay. Actually, I would have more confidence that Israel would hang together, at least for longer than I would other states in the region which, trying to be a diplomat, maybe I won't name.
Mr. Kirk. Has Scott Ritter gone crazy?
Dr. Kay. Fortunately, I avoided psychology as a profession. You know, I have given you the only explanation that you have got to think about. Either he lied to you or he is lying now. I don't know which. I don't know why.
Mr. Kirk. He told CNN that the Iraqis were not involved in a weapons of mass destruction program and had no intention. And yet the Iraqis in July of 1995 said that they had produced 19,000 liters of botulism, 84,000 liters of anthrax, 2,000 liters of aflatoxin, Clostridium and ricin, had built 166 biological bombs, 25 missile warheads, and had 86 declared biological sites. But according to Mr. Ritter, that is not being involved in a weapons of mass destruction program.
Dr. Kay. That is true, and he has become an expert on nuclear, too. He is, you know, he is—I am as puzzled and upset as you are, Mr. Kirk.
Mr. KlRK. Now we have managed to—you managed to help dismantle one biological site at Al Hakam, right? But the—inspections, I am told, officially ended in 1997 really.
Dr. SPERTZEL. Effectively. Inspectors were still there to December of 1998, but effectively, we were marching to Iraq's tune from October of 1997 onward.
Mr. KlRK. We have had four years without inspections. I understand we have information that a defector from the Mutana state enterprise says there are several mobile factories
Mr. Hunter. Will the gentleman suspend?
Mr. Kirk. Yes.
Mr. Hunter. We may have some classified areas that the gentleman is moving into.
Mr. KlRK. This is in the New York Times material that the committee gave me.
Dr. Spertzel. Let me comment on it.
Mr. Hunter. Gentlemen, we just had a classified briefing in which some of that information has been discussed. If the gentleman wants to quote a
Mr. Kirk. I am quoting directly from the New York Times article that the committee staff gave us. According to the New York Times—and what I am exclusively using is the New York Times— that we have mobile nerve gas factories, microtoxin, bacterial toxin, and an anticrop toxin. In your estimation, would that be available?
Dr. Spertzel. Yeah. I am not sure why they would have selected some of those agents. But the first—we actually had, in perhaps a weak moment by General Omar Asadi, when we were pressing him as to when Iraq—when Al Hakam was conceived, and he said that there was a delay because he first asked the bio group to consider mobile laboratories. We also know that Iraq actually imported a couple fully functional mobile labs. I don't know what was inside