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IRAQ'S WEAPONS MASS DESTRUCTION PROGRAM AND TECHNOLOGY EXPORTS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES, Washington, DC, Thursday, September 19, 2002.
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:20 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Duncan Hunter presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DUNCAN HUNTER, A
Mr. HUNTER. Folks, 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 (WMD) 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 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and I might add we had yesterday's briefing that we opened up to the full membership, some 83 members of the House beyond the Armed Services Committee membership, and we heard testimony from former senior United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) inspectors about Iraq's illicit weapons programs; and we have also 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 the committee will learn how the Iraqis built and sustained their weapons of mass destruction programs through the illegal and legal 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 a 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 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, the gentleman who has been with us many times, and I think one of our most valuable citizens, 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.
And, I might point out to the members and to the American people,
The New York Times op-ed written Friday, April 24th, 1992, by Dr. Milhollin entitled Iraq's Bomb, Chip by Chip, in which he traced back all of the contributors, including many Western corporations, of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program.
We are also pleased to have Dr. - Doctor, if I butcher your name here, you please correct me-Dr. Khidhir Hamza, is that close enough for government work?
Dr. HAMZA. That is close.
Mr. HUNTER. Who was a trained nuclear engineer who worked in various parts of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program, both before and after the 1990, 1991 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 the United Nations (U.N.) inspectors and the restriction of U.N. sanctions.
Gentlemen, I want to thank you both for agreeing to appear before the committee today, and before we begin, I want to invite the very distinguished gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton, the ranking Democrat on the committee to offer any comments that he might have.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hunter can be found in the Appendix on page 219.] STATEMENT OF HON. IKE SKELTON, A REPRESENTATIVE
FROM MISSOURI, RANKING MEMBER, COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
Mr. SKELTON. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. I thank you for your leadership in quickly scheduling a range of hearings on the issues related to Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction program. We here in Congress, as well as 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, General Myers, have presented valuable information about Iraq's weapons pro
grams and the danger they may pose to our country 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 its 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 quite some time, and Dr. Hamza brings the unique perspective of one who has been inside Saddam's weapons complex.
Gentlemen, we thank you for being here today and we hope you can share some additional light on the threat we face. In considering how Iraq got the weapons of mass destruction, we believe he has today, we must be willing to look at how United States actions may have, however unintentionally, contributed to his effort. Some American products and those of our friends may have gotten through our export control system into Saddam's hands, highlighting how easily technology can move in our global economy. But for me, it highlights too, the need to work hard to fashion an export control system that balances the competitiveness of U.S. industry with our security responsibility to prevent more critical technologies and materials from reaching those who would develop weapons of mass destruction.
This committee took a step in that regard when we approved a strengthened version of the Export Administration Act, one that seems more important now as we face the possibility of war to dismantle the proliferation we worked so hard to prevent. But in the near term, Mr. Chairman, the immediate challenge facing us is deciding how to proceed against Iraq. Doing that requires the best information possible. That is what I hope our witnesses will focus on today, the detail of Saddam's weapons programs and their insight as to how they can be eliminated. We thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Skelton can be found in the Appendix on page 221.]
Mr. HUNTER. I want to thank the ranking member and remind our colleagues and those listening that I am just filling in for Bob Stump, who is the chairman of this committee, and who is a little under the weather right now, but nonetheless, told me the other day, make sure we had an aggressive schedule of briefings to educate both our members and the American public on this very important issue that is facing us. So, we all wish our chairman well and look forward to him being back with us here in just a couple of days.
Mr. Milhollin, you have been a very valuable resource for this committee, one of the guys that I think kind of people that make this country great and that is that you are an honest broker who is very candid and who tells it like it is in some fairly difficult debates we have historically had on technology control, and this tug of war between what the ranking member described as industrial competitiveness and security interests.
But, we really appreciate the energy you expend and the intellect and evenhandedness that you bring to this issue. Thanks for appearing before us for about the 50th time and, sir, the floor is
STATEMENT OF GARY MILHOLLIN, DIRECTOR, WISCONSIN
PROJECT ON NUCLEAR ARMS CONTROL Dr. MILHOLLIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I hope I can live up to that introduction. I am very pleased to appear today to discuss the challenge of Iraq and the relation between that challenge and the export of sensitive technology, I would like to begin by offering for the record some publications that my organization has produced on Iraq, and also, I would request permission to update my written remarks after the hearing if that is appropriate.
Mr. HUNTER. Without objection.
Dr. MILHOLLIN. First, I would like to offer an op-ed from The New York Times written this past Monday on inspections. I have a copy I will provide to the staff; second, an article from commentary magazine, the October issue which also discusses inspections; third, a graphic from The New York Times Week In Review this past Sunday, which describes several dangerous nuclear imports and what we can learn from those imports, including the aluminum tube episode that I think the committee has probably been briefed on.
Then, I would like to also include in the record the article that you just referred to from 1992, which lists U.S. contributions to Saddam Hussein's missile and nuclear sites and, then a graphic, which I have put here on a board, which shows world wide contributions to Iraq's program, and then, finally, a report that my organization prepared on Commerce Department licenses that, in my judgment, contributed very much to Iraq's mass destruction weapon capabilities.
[The information referred to can be found in the Appendix beginning on page 241.]
Mr. HUNTER. Without objection, those will be included in the record.
Dr. MILHOLLIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to begin by just saying that there is no question that Iraq has an active weapon of mass destruction program. I know the committee has been briefed on this in detail, but I think perhaps I should just mention briefly that in the nuclear area, we know Saddam Hussein has a workable weapon design, lacks only the fissile material to fuel it, that the risk there is that this material is available many places in the world.
We know that smugglers are after it, and we know we are not likely to get a phone call if on some unlucky day enough to make a few bombs winds up in Iraq. Second, we know that the Iraqis are working on short-range missiles which are permitted under U.N. resolutions, but at the same time, they are using this program to develop the technology for long-range missiles. We also know that Iraq has illicitly held back a few Scuds. We are not sure how many. But, in the event of hostilities, we have to expect that these may be used.
In the chemical weapon area, we know that Iraq has made nerve gas and mustard gas, has weaponized these agents, and I can tell you that in a round table we had recently with U.S. generals, there is a tremendous amount of concern about Iraq's chemical artillery.
Finally, in the biological area, we know that Iraq has made anthrax, and there are also rumors about Iraq's interest in smallpox.
So what we are looking at is a rather complete weapon of mass destruction program that we know is possessed of a great capability that is not being carefully inspected or inspected at all, and that we have to assume is still operating. I must say that I might say that our organization maintains a web site in which we try to provide a continuous update of Iraq's weapon of mass destruction status. It is www.Iraqwatch.org. It is an easy place to go to find upto-date information on all of the programs. And, I have here a printout from today's version which I recommend to the committee.
I would like to say a few words about how Iraq managed to build these programs. The short answer is with imports. Almost all from the West, and almost all legal. The article that Mr. Hunter held up a moment ago from the New York Times in 1992 was prepared by my organization from U.S. export control records. If you look at this document, you will see that it is entitled "Iraq's Bomb: Chip By Chip." you can see that America's leading electronic companies sold sensitive equipment directly to the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission where atomic bomb fuel was made, to sites where A-bomb detonators were made, and to the Ministry of Defence which oversaw Iraq's missile and A-bomb development. U.S. exports also went directly to a site called SOD-16, which was Iraq's main missile building site. There is no question that virtually every nuclear and missile site in Iraq received high-speed American computers. And, these were all licensed by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
You have to ask yourself, "Why?" There were investigations at the time, which this committee perhaps remembers, that revealed that the Commerce Department knew what the risks were, but approved the exports anyway. Why did it do that? Because it was following a policy of preferring trade to national security. I am going to suggest later that we are at risk of doing the same thing now. The United States was not alone in supplying Iraq. I have produced a graphic here from The New York Times which my organization produced that shows the worldwide contribution to Iraq's programs. You will notice by looking at this graphic that German firms sold as much to Iraq to its mass destruction weapon programs as the rest of the world combined. We produced this pie chart, which is divided down the middle with Germany on one side and the rest of the world on the other. German firms help increase the range of Iraq's Scud missiles. Those increased-range Scuds killed our troops in Saudi Arabia and they also killed Israeli civilians in Tel Aviv.
I must say, from my own part, I find it shocking that Germany did so much to create Iraq's weapon of mass destruction threat and seems to be the main country in the West today that is least willing to confront it.
As far as I can tell, these exports, the ones that we have tracked, are still a problem today. They have never been fully accounted for. So, if we actually sent troops into Iraq, to counter the mass destruction threat that Iraq poses, I think we have to accept the fact that these troops will be trying to undo what our own Western companies have created.
I would like, also in my testimony, you will notice that I also cite the example of Huawei Technologies. That is a Chinese company that helped Iraq build its air defenses. Today we are sending pilots