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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.


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Opening Statement for The Honorable Ike Skelton (D-MO), Ranking Member, Committee on Armed Services, U.S. House of

Representatives Full Committee Hearing on Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction

Program and Technology Exports

September 19, 2002

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank you for your leadership in quickly scheduling a range of hearings on issues related to Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction program. We in Congress and the American people need to understand clearly the nature of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein so that we can carefully consider what action the United States must take. The hearings we have had so far—with former United Nations weapons inspectors and with Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers—have provided valuable information about Iraq's weapons programs and the danger they may pose to the United States and our allies.

I hope that our witnesses today can add to the information we already have by helping us understand just how Iraq built his chemical, biological, nuclear, and long-range missile programs and how he got

what he needed. We need to know what is there so we can know how to

respond. Dr. Milhollin has tracked technology transfers to Iraq for some time and Dr. Hamsa brings the unique insider perspective of one who

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