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in to try to destroy those air defenses. Those pilots are taking risks to knock out technology that U.S. exports have helped create. The fiberoptic technology, the switching equipment and other things, high-speed computers that went from Huawei Technologies, from the United States went from some of our leading companies. They made Huawei a big exporter out of a very small, rather insignificant company.
The effect is that by not being prudent in export control with respect to Huawei, we have enabled Iraq to build an air defense network that threatens our pilots. The lesson here is that when you decide on a policy of allowing sensitive exports to go out in order to increase export revenue, those exports don't just go away. They can come back to bite you. So, this is not just a question of trade, it is a question of body bags.
I would like to end my statement here by suggesting that we may be making the same mistake now that we made in the late 1980s, when we created the Iraqi threat that we are still trying to deal with. I am sure the committee has been briefed on the question of aluminum tubes, a shipment that was intercepted on its way to Iraq. Our government sources have been cited as saying they think the tubes were intended for centrifuge needs to process uranium to a nuclear weapons grade. As it turns out, these tubes and their equivalent that is maraging steel and carbon fibers, which can also be used to make the critical part of centrifuges, these are items for Iraq's weapons effort. All of these technologies fit the mass market criteria that are contained in the new Export Administration Act. And, that is why I have opposed this act before this committee. My staff
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Milhollin, I hate to hold you up during the statement, but you are saying that the tubes that we are talking about, which some experts believe were to be used for the nuclear weapons program, would, in your opinion, be legalized for sale if we passed the proposed Export Administration Act?
Dr. MILHOLLIN. That is right. I had my staff do a study this week. We called a number of aluminum suppliers in the United States to inquire whether aluminum tubes that meet the export control criteria in the present EAA would be available widely and the answer is “Yes." My staff was able to order-well, they were invited to order thousands of these tubes from numerous suppliers in the United States.
Now, if you look at the criteria in the new Export Administration Act for mass market items, those criteria would be met by this availability. So what we would be looking at here if we pass the current EAA is that we would be, with one hand, helping Iraq make nuclear weapons, and with the other hand, smashing Iraq for doing so with imports.
I can't believe that this is a wise policy. I don't think our country can have it both ways. We can't be telling the world that we are the leaders in export control, we can't be asking all the other countries in the world to help us keep this material out of the hands of terrorist-supporting nations, and at the same time to facilitate our own industry decontrol it for export.
I know that the members of the committee must be saying to themselves, "Well, we would never sell this to Iraq, but the fact is, if we can decontrol our own exports, we have no hope of getting other countries to keep the control over theirs." This is a game where everybody watches everybody else. And so, if we put trade above national security, everybody else will do so, too. And, the next time our intelligence agencies detect such a shipment, they are not going to be able to stop it because everybody will say this is decontrolled. It is not important. What are you talking about? I think is a risk that we can't take and shouldn't take.
So that is why I urge the committee to remember when it considers the EAA, that this is a signal to the whole world on nuclear proliferation.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, Dr. Milhollin.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Milhollin can be found in the Appendix on page 224.]
Mr. HUNTER. And Dr. Hamza, we appreciate you being with us this morning. And, you bring a unique perspective as a former leader of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program. We look forward to your testimony, sir. STATEMENT OF DR. KHIDHIR HAMZA, FORMER IRAQI NU
CLEAR ENGINEER, DIRECTOR, COUNCIL ON MIDDLE EAST-
Dr. HAMZA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, distinguished members. Actually, the remarks from Dr. Milhollin will cover some of my introductory remarks, so I will skip them and go to the next step. Whenever we found the U.S. reluctant to supply us with some of the equipment and materials, for example, we wanted to upgrade our computers in atomic energy from IBM 360 that came a new series at the time to a new series, I believe it was 370, and IBM wanted export license for atomic energy.
Mr. HUNTER. What year was this?
Dr. HAMZA. That was around 1985, 1984. The Japanese NEC Corporation provide us without export license and asked for only a letter that we use this computer for student purposes for teaching. And, they give us the same level of computer that the U.S. required a license for without any licensing.
So, I mean, when we do export controls here, it should be also put as with the view that the other side might sell what we would hold here. For example, at the time a new desktop computer, I believe 368, came out, which is a little bit fast that could be used for various weapon purposes, control and other purposes, and there were restrictions on selling it to countries like Iraq. So, when I went to Hewlett-Packard branch in Baghdad to buy three of these computers for my use, they said we cannot sell it to you from the U.S., but we can sell it to you from Singapore.
So, the same American company which cannot sell us through the U.S. can sell us through its subsidiary in Singapore. So, that should be also kept in mind. But, all the same, what Mr. Milhollin said is true, atomic energy, if you look around about 80 to 90 percent of the equipment we have are from the U.S.
Mr. HUNTER. Are from?
Dr. HAMZA. U.S. Almost all radiation detector equipment, many of the radiation sources, most of the computers, a lot of the materials we use are sourced from the U.S. so, the problem with this,
it has to be taken on a larger picture. For example, the U.S. refrised to sell us satellite for our Arab sat. Arab sat is run by director general, who is an Iraqi. It is owned by percent by Iraq, 70 percent by Saudi Arabia, but they appointed an Iraqi director who was a friend of mine. And, he says the U.S. export controls were so tight that he tried to find other suppliers and he went to the French and they sold it with no condition. The U.S. concerns were mitary use. Is this satellite going to be used for military purposes or not. And nobody wanted to sign for that in the region for fear there might be war they might be using it for communication other purposes. So, the first Arab sat was French. The second Arab sat, when the U.S. saw that other suppliers are not as concerned as they are, they relaxed the controls and sold us the second Arab sat almost with no conditions. So, you see, I mean the thing is the export controls has to be either global and with the U.S., also, and it make export control has to also some kind of enforcement from its partners on the other side.
I try here to give also some sense of the size and the work built of the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs. The fissile material, export fissile material acquisition work by Iraq is really a minor concern. It could happen. Iraq could change its policies under pressure and probably try to acquire fissile material the short way or the fast way, but Iraqi nuclear weapon program is a very serious one. It is built around making turning Iraq into a nuclear power in the region. Buying materials in the black market is not a sure thing to do to carry this program through. So, Iraq built a large portion, 90 percent of its program, to actually manufacturing the fissile material locally that is enriching uranium locally. Iraq has a supply of uranium and also has local supplies of uranium from its own deposits. It is not viable as it is in the West but they are for Iraq cost is not a major factor, and for Iraq they are of significant enough percentage to be possible to extract. So, Iraq has the local uranium resources, all it needs is enrichment to turn this uranium into weapon grade and use and produce as much as it wants nuclear weapon materials.
To get a sense of this, after the Gulf War, Iraq turned its nuclear engineers and nuclear teams into the civilian sector for two reasons. First, to get a way out of the way of the inspectors, and as such, they are not available most of the time for inspectors to talk to; second, when it worked in the civilian sectors, it acquired the civilian sector capability as part of its resources. So, actually, Iraq incorporated all industries outside even atomic energy and all other resources engineering, scientific capabilities, universities, industrial infrastructure in its weapon program.
In 1994, Saddam declared the program to make 1,000 Ph.D.s he called it. It is really a larger scale program to train, on a graduate level, scientists and engineers to be incorporated into the weapons of mass destruction program. It is very hard for the universities to accept this program because what it does, it grants degrees on work it will not see. The universities has to grant masters and Ph.D. For thesis of research it doesn't know, hasn't seen.
So the law was promulgated forcing the universities to accept our word, the weapons of mass destruction branch's word that this is of this caliber, masters or Ph.D. What this does is incorporate the
university structure into the weapons of mass destruction, also. The university professors became unwitting partners to creating the staff needed for the weapons of mass destruction.
So, what we are looking at is really a giant factory, a whole country turned into a giant factory for weapons of mass destruction work on all its phases, whether research or production. So, you have the chemists, the biologists, the physicists, the engineers, all from universities being incorporated into the program. Also, intensive hiring under the umbrella that the atomic energy is now working for the civilian sector, it could incorporate a large amounts of people in its ranks and it is really economically viable because they do take some civilian contracts.
Now, just take the program for the inspectors they would go to atomic energy and they say what is this scientist, he is working in such and such civilian program, he is no longer working for us. They produce contracts and works and in that civilian sector and as such, become unavailable to the inspectors for future debriefing.
Gradually Iraq, and Iraq understood from the beginning that its assets are not just pieces of equipment and facilities, but rather its scientists. Any equipment destroyed can be either built internally or imported later probably a better version and newer model. But, the scientists are its assets. So, it made it difficult for the inspectors to talk to the scientists right from the start. This gradually created tensions between the inspection teams and the Iraqi government minders who make it available to scientists and engineers.
When the Iraqi government woke up to the fact that the inspectors' main concern after 1996 was the scientists and engineers, things started to going downhill. And, ended up in stopping the inspection process in 1998, and the whole thing collapsed.
Now here is the test: If Iraq is serious about allowing the inspectors back in to check its weapons of mass destruction program, should allow the inspectors to take the Iraqi scientists into a neutral territory and allow them, also, if it has nothing to hide, to take their families with them and the members designate as their immediate families and allow them in a neutral territory without Iraqi minders to be debriefed and talk to inspectors.
My bet is Iraq will refuse this. It already refused when inspectors were talking about this. They called them human vampires, they want to suck Iraqi blood. They took it from the human rights angle.
My guess any of these scientists they came to a neutral territory with his family would ask for asylum somewhere. 90 percent of them would. There are hundreds of millions in its share of Iraqi oil sources that can support those scientists abroad and it can create the equivalent of the U.S. witness protection program for these scientists. This is not new. In 1998, we asked for this and the American Federation of Science actually wrote a letter at the time and we got no answer from the Clinton administration.
Another thing about the inspection regime, there is a defector engineer who was, I believe, interviewed in The New York Times, brought with him contracts of something like 20 sites he built, he is a civil engineer. They included underground small-scale labs with lead impregnated concrete and residents on top of the concrete layers which indicate radiation work. Small underground laboratories everywhere, under bunkers, under palaces, under their buildings.
Now, this is what he tells us. The other part of the story, there is an organization created in 1995 headed by Saddam's younger son, Qussey. It is called the counter-monitoring group. What it does once inspectors are known where they are going to go, out of 270 inspectors, only 6 were surprise inspections. So, Iraq always knew it was happening. Once Iraq find out where the inspectors are going to go for every site there is a backup site.
The monitoring group, the counter-monitoring organization, what it does, has its own technicians and its own engineers and its own transport system. They go to that site, remove all the relevant equipment, incriminating material, documents, and of course, the scientists and engineers, and take them to the backup site. And, under this system, and this is being divvied up, according to the information we are getting right now has been divvied up is there is a growing organization since 1995 until the inspectors left.
This is not a very viable organization with lots of resources, and its business is to defeat the inspectors. It runs ahead of them, sanitizes sites, removed scientists, removed documents, everywhere the government and this engineer confirmed this to us by telling us for every site, he built a second backup site with the exact same specs. So what we have here is a system that is functioning for a long time now since 1995, that is, is expert at removing equipment and people and materials from anywhere the inspectors want to go.
Now, how the inspectors will find their way around in Iraq when they go back, and how would they be able to find any smoking gun, I don't know, and I don't think they will.
Mr. HUNTER. Dr. Hamza, thank you very much for a very important statement.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Hamza can be found in the Appendix on page 230.]
Mr. HUNTER. And, what I would like to do is go now to questions, if we could. I had one just to start off with. You—I think the question that is on everyone's mind is, in your estimation, is there a nuclear weapon program going on in Iraq now that is getting close to maturity, and if not, how far away is it?
Dr. HAMZA. Iraq resolved all its nuclear technology bottlenecks in the 1990s. In 1993, it resolved the technology bottleneck for enrichment by diffusion. In 1999, the Germans gave Iraq the complete technology, actually gave Iraq 130 classified reports and installed one complete centrifuge unit and one barshield installation and gave Iraq also all this for $30,000. And, gave Iraq also around 20 carbon fiber cylinders, which are state-of-the-art centrifuge cylinders for around $1 million. This is, according to his lawyer, who came here and talked about it a few years back.
Now, this is something like one year of research given to Iraq up front. So, Iraq now has already the units which were later given to inspectors, but it has the videotapes of the units were installed, how the units were operating and videotapes of the lectures and demonstrations given to them, and they have 130 classified reports that cover all aspects of centrifuge.
Iraq never puts all its eggs in one basket. It has another technology for uranium enrichment which is called diffusion. The