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OPENING STATEMENT OF MR. DUNCAN HUNTER
HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE HEARING ON IRAQ'S WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION PROGRAM
AND TECHNOLOGY EXPORTS
September 19, 2002
Today, the Committee on Armed Services continues its review of the Iraqi threat and United States policy toward Iraq, with a specific focus on how the U.S. and the international community should act in concert to restrain Saddam's weapons of mass destruction programs.
This morning's hearing marks the third of a number of planned public sessions designed to 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 and the international community.
In the past two weeks, the Committee received classified briefings from the CIA and DIA; heard testimony from former, senior UNSCOM inspectors about Iraq's illicit weapons programs; and received the Administration's position on Iraq yesterday from Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.
Next week, the Committee will hold another public hearing on U.S. policy toward Iraq, but will hear from private sector foreign and defense policy experts.
Today, he Committee will learn how the Iraqis built and sustained their weapons of mass destruction programs through the legal, and illegal, acquisition of technology on the world market, and how the United States' own export control system may have contributed to the problems we are now facing with Iraq.
It is ironic that presently pending before the Congress is legislation to reauthorize the Export Administration Act. The EAA, as it is more commonly known, is the primary legislative vehicle through which the United States exercises control over sensitive “dual-use” items---those with both military and commercial application.
These national security export controls are critical to ensuring that our adversaries and potential enemies don't acquire the high technologies that will threaten the United States national security, or reduce the qualitative advantages of our armed forces.
The irony is that, rather than strengthening these systems of control, the legislation that is being pushed through Congress dramatically liberalizes these key protections, making it easier for Saddam Hussein and his ilk to continue their weapons of mass destruction programs.
This morning our witnesses---who we hope will connect the dots between export controls, technology transfers, and Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program---are....
• Dr. Gary Milhollin, Director of the Wisconsin Project on
Nuclear Arms Control. Dr. Milhollin has been watching and documenting Iraq's WMD programs for years, and is also an expert in national security export controls.
• We are also pleased to have Dr. Khidir Hamza, a trained nuclear
engineer who worked in various parts of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program both before and after the 1990-91 Gulf War. Dr. Hamza will tell us how Saddam Hussein acquired the technologies necessary for its weapons of mass destruction program, even while under the watchful eyes of U.N. inspectors and the restrictions of U.N. sanctions.