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OPENING STATEMENT OF MR. DUNCAN HUNTER
HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE
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
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
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.