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testimony has been right on point. I wish every Member of the House could hear it.
I would be happy to yield to my friend.
Mr. SNYDER. I think as I talk to members, Mr. Chairman and I don't want to belabor this—but in terms of the topics chosen, a lot of the testimony here today, the discussion was on the export controls, which I don't think is on people's mind. I think there are other questions out there. You are absolutely correct. Do inspections work or not, and how could they work, and will we achieve the goal of disarmament?
We had Dr. Kay and his colleague here a couple weeks ago. But, I think more common questions I am hearing from members are issues about if there was military action what would it look like, what would be the ramifications on the war on terrorism, what would be the potential cost in American lives and lives of allies, those kinds of questions that we have not addressed yet.
The other point I would make is while I, you know, watch the Senate hearings and I can read op eds, to this point we have not had anyone before this committee, I don't think, that has expressed some of the concerns as expressed by General Zinni and General Clark. I know you are doing the best you can with these very abbreviated week schedules, but I think questions can be more fully aired if we have people who have differing views.
I appreciate you. I don't mean to belabor it.
Mr. HUNTER. Understand, my friend, I am going to try to get General Clark to be here. If you would like to have General Zinni, maybe we can get them both at the same time. I like to hear different points of view. I think it is necessary for this debate.
There have been discussions in closed session about—that go to potential military operations, but I think that it was pretty wise of the secretary not to talk about proposed military operations in open session.
At any rate, we really appreciate these two gentlemen being with us. I noticed our distinguished ranking member is here, Mr. Skelton. You have as much time as you wish, sir.
Mr. SKELTON. Just a comment-two things.
Number one, in some instances it has been difficult to get a minority person to come in on the short notice that we have had. Number two, we have inquiries in today to far more than those you named to see if they will testify, and some of them have indicated willingness to do so in closed hearing.
I think in some cases it would be excellent for the American people to hear them. But, we will do our best and continue to do our best. I am not sure if the gentleman knows of the extensive efforts we have made. But, as Harry Truman says, we have done our damnedest so far to get them; and we hope we can fulfill your expectations with people thinking on all sorts of sides of this very, very important and complex issue.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you.
Mr. HUNTER. And, Mr. Skelton, did you have any other questions that you wanted to ask the witnesses?
Mr. SKELTON. The only other question-I think that Dr. Hamza did answer it, but assume, Doctor, that the Saddam Hussein re
gime is removed. What do we do with the various scientists and engineers the day after?
Dr. HAMZA. That is a very good question, sir. Actually, Saddam already found an outlet for them. As a cover, he had to let them in to do some civilian work. So that when the inspector comes after them, they say, “We are not working on a weapons program. We are doing oil exploration or we are doing-building a refinery or we are building a power station.”
They built Iraq's power station, not the generators themselves, but the control rooms and such. They built telephone exchanges. Now, if you call Iraq in two rings, you get anybody you want in Iraq. Of course, this is to get Iraq ready, the communications system, in case of war so an order can go fast between towns and to the required personnel.
You have a very professional and very proven groups now which can be really used to rebuild Iraq. They already rebuilt Iraq after the Gulf War. We had no communications system, no telephones, no power, no gas; and they got all that back in line. Get them back to do that. They could
The Iraq system is really right now run down. Iraq need huge effort to rebuild and reconstruct, and these people can do that. So, I think these scientists and engineers are already, because of the cover required for their work, are already in the civilian sector. They just can be made to do that full time instead of part time just for show and just to cover themselves against inspectors or against whoever comes looking for them.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Skelton.
Mr. Milhollin, is there any other—having looked-you have looked at the Export Administration Act, the proposal that was put forth by the House Armed Services Committee and also by the International Relations—did you look at the International Relations Committee's product?
Dr. MILHOLLIN. Yes, I did, but that has been some time ago.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Are there any—is there any advice that you would like to give us on those pieces of legislation?
I mean, we are moving into this—it is interesting we are moving into this at a time when we are contemplating the passage of an Export Administration Act. At the same time, we are poised to have to spend a lot of American resources and risk American lives, perhaps, to eliminate the product of Western technology, some of it American technology, that passed under a previous regime. So my question is, having learned this difficult lesson, is there any advice that you would recommend with respect to this act? It can be general or specific.
Dr. MILHOLLIN. Well, first, general. I think my question-my answer earlier was that this really is historically obsolete, the law we are looking at. It was framed-it was negotiated, framed, debated, drafted before September 11th. We need to go back and start over. It doesn't fit the new period of history we are living in.
I think that if people of good faith and goodwill put their heads together in the next session of Congress, we can come up with an export control law that would be specifically designed to combat terrorism and that a majority of Congress could support.
Second specific comment would be that the legislation got stronger as it progressed through Congress, and the strongest version, the version that most adapted to protect our national security, is the version that finally came out of this committee. So, if Congress is going to pass anything, it should pass the version of the bill this committee put together.
The next—the most desirable outcome would be to pass nothing. The second would be to pass the version of the bill that this committee put out. The third would be to pass the version of the bill that the House International Relations Committee put out. And, I think, the unacceptable alternative would be to pass the Senate bill as it was enacted.
So, that is my advice.
We are joined by Congressman Simmons who is-I consider him to be a national asset because he has a member of the committee who has a great background in intelligence, and I know he is got some questions. So, Mr. Simmons, you are recognized.
Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; and I apologize for being detained.
Listening to the testimony this morning and then reading the testimony reminded me of Casey Stengel's comment, “Deja vu all over again".
I had the opportunity to serve my country abroad about 30 years ago in a location in the Far East where a weaponization program appeared to be taking place. I was assigned to the embassy there, and one of my duties was to be the Export Transactions Officer, to review exports from the standpoint of whether they contributed to nuclear proliferation.
During my three-year tour there, I encountered many of the things that have been raised here today with regard to Iraq. I encountered that one of the greatest suppliers of technology and resources was the United States of America. I also encountered that European countries—the Netherlands, France, Germany and others—were also suppliers; and that while we were trying to implement a nuclear proliferation or nonproliferation pre-regime, our own country and our allies were contributing to the problem that we faced. When inspectors came into the country to look for evidence of the program and the weaponization, they would end up going to sanitized sites.
I think the doctor very pointedly testified that when these activities occur in a country, they will do everything in their power to keep them from the eyes of a curious world.
In my experience, very strong diplomatic pressures were brought to bear which effectively curtailed this program, at least at the time I was involved; and the difference then and now is that we have a country where perhaps diplomatic pressures from the United States alone are not enough. So, my question to you is, are there diplomatic or export opportunities that we can exploit, either ourselves or through the United Nations, through the IAEA or other organizations, that we can take advantage of now over the short-term that would be steps short of surgical strikes or in fact introducing forces into the country? Are there opportunities like that that we should be focusing on?
Dr. MILHOLLIN. My impression is that we are doing our best already, given the intelligence that we are receiving. That is, we have, as you know, an ongoing program of trying to detect shipments, intervene, convince the manufacturer, the middleman, the shippers not to go through with it. I think the public in general doesn't recognize how important good intelligence is. Without good intelligence this process doesn't work, and we also can't even estimate what effect these imports are having in Iraq.
One of our big problems now is that the administration is putting out lists of things, which are sourced to the open media. We would expect more than that for the amount of money we are spending for intelligence. So, these opportunities are going to continue to come up. I would
say that the battleground is shifting to some extent from Western Europe, which was the big problem before the Gulf War, now to Eastern Europe. The newly free countries, former members of the east bloc, are the targets for Iraq's procurement activities, at least in the missile domain.
I, myself, know of several instances in which Iraq tried to buy missile parts that are prohibited to it by U.N. resolutions during the 1990s after the prohibition came into effect. I am not aware that these were picked up by our intelligence agencies. The U.N. inspectors found them because they were going through indictments in Iraq.
I would also say that I think we, the United States, should not be reluctant to embarrass suppliers in the media who break the rules. One of our problems in Iraq before the war was that Germany was exporting a tremendous amount of technology and we were reluctant to embarrass the Germans in public. I think if we had decided to embarrass them sooner, Iraq would have received much less.
Mr. SIMMONS. I thank you for that response.
I guess my opinion on that subject is very clear: I would far prefer to embarrass a country engaged in activities that are adverse not only to us but to the peace and stability of the region than to have American sons and daughters die in a conflict where the weapons in many respects aimed against them have been purchased from our allies and from companies within our own United States of America. I mean, ultimately, as Americans, we commit our most precious resource to the defense of our Nation, and it is not money, and it is not technology. It is our sons and daughters.
Dr. MILHOLLIN. I have spoken to companies about this over the years. What they fear most is being linked to the spilling of American blood in the media. They don't really fear our government or our government's investigators, our government as prosecutors as much as they fear public exposure. So, I think that is one of the great weapons we have that we should be willing to use more often.
Mr. SIMMONS. I thank you for those responses.
I would also like to publicly thank Dr. Hamza for the courage that he has shown in speaking out on these issues. I know from my own experience that that kind of courage can be risky, dangerous, in fact. I am sure that grows out of a deep conviction in his own heart and in his own mind, and I thank him for those convictions and for that courage.
This is not an easy business. The stakes are high and sometimes sovereign nations look adversely at people who speak out on these issues. So, I thank him for his courage.
I thank the chairman for having this hearing. I look forward to joining with the chairman on all of his recommendations so that we can begin the process of stopping some of the transactions that are taking place and we can begin to address this very critical aspect of this problem for which a military response is not necessary. A diplomatic response and maybe even a public media response could be very helpful.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman; and I think an excellent point pursuant to your testimony that came out was that this is an era, it is a new era. It is an era of terrorists with high technology, and we need to have a regime in place--an export control regime that addresses that challenge. And, right now, we have an antiquated regime that doesn't address the challenge and, basically, as a substitute, simply opens the floodgate for technology to spill out. So I look forward to working with the gentleman from Connecticut.
Again, I think we all regard you as a real national asset here because you are one of the few guys who has an intelligence background, and on this committee I think that is a very important asset. I thank you.
I want to thank the ranking member, too, Mr. Skelton, for his hard work.
We are going to move forward and try to have more hearings on this very important issue as the weeks go by. We are going to run them back to back as often as we can, and our goal is to try to see to it that every single member of the House has at least one classified briefing on this and has several opportunities to come to hearings at different times. Because everyone has a difficult schedule.
But also, Mr. Milhollin and Dr. Hamza, thank you for your testimony today. I think we need to address this need for a new technology control regime soon, and I hope the administration understands that, that this is a new era, and, hopefully, we can work together.
So, don't run out of here when we get finished with you here today, Mr. Milhollin. We need some more advice from you. We would like to talk to you a little bit more about your thoughts on where we go in the near future here.
And, Dr. Hamza, thank you so much for giving us an insight which is invaluable. There is nothing like having somebody who was inside the program telling us what was happening. I think especially on the issue of inspections, you have been very—your testimony very much complements that, the U.N. inspectors who appeared here a couple of days ago and also some of the information we received in our classified briefing. Thank you.
Thanks to everyone and thanks to our great staff for helping to put this hearing on.
With that theoh, I have to ask, also, unanimous consent that Senator Kyl's statement be included in the record. So without objection we will include that statement in the records, also. He has some very cogent remarks on this issue. We appreciate that.
[The prepared statement of Senator Kyl can be found in the Appendix on page 234.)