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PREPARED STATEMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD

SEPTEMBER 18, 2002

OPENING STATEMENT OF MR. DUNCAN HUNTER

HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE
HEARING ON U.S POLICY TOWARD IRAQ

September 18, 2002

Today, the Committee on Armed Services continues its review of United States policy toward Iraq.

This morning's hearing marks the second of a number of planned

public sessions designed to educate and inform the Committee, and the

American people, on the various issues surrounding Iraq's continued

violation of numerous United Nation's resolutions, its illicit

development of weapons of mass destruction, and the threat that Saddam

Hussein poses to the United States, the Middle East, and the

international community.

Last week, the Committee received a classified briefing from the

CIA and DIA. We also heard from former, senior UNSCOM inspectors

about Iraq's illicit weapons programs, and Saddam Hussein's persistent

efforts to thwart the efforts of the U.N. inspectors so that he might

preserve, and advance, his weapons of mass destruction programs.

Tomorrow, the Armed Services Committee will hear how the

Iraqis built and sustained their weapons of mass destruction programs

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through the legal, and illegal, acquisition of Western technology, and

how the United States' own export control system may have contributed

to the problems we are now facing with Iraq.

We also continue to plan further hearings for the coming weeks

that will examine in greater detail the various aspects of the policy

options before us.

Today, however, we are honored to have Secretary of Defense

Donald Rumsfeld before the Committee to discuss U.S. policy toward

Iraq. He is the first cabinet-level official to appear on the Hill regarding

Iraq, so we are all anxious to discuss these matters with him today.

Secretary Rumsfeld is joined by General Richard Myers, Chairman

of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Welcome gentlemen.

Mr. Secretary, before we ask you for your opening remarks, I want

to invite Mr. Skelton, the Ranking Democrat on the committee, to offer

any comments he might have.

Thank you Mr.Skelton.

Secretary Rumsfeld, the floor is yours.

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