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know something is going to a nuclear, chemical, biological or advanced conventional weapon program, you have to apply for a license. But, that was about it. At the same time that the Gulf War taught us that we had had inadequate controls with respect to Iraq, the Cold War was ending.
And so, we had our industry demanding that since the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM) was directed at the Soviet empire, and since the Soviet empire was dissolving or had dissolved, that we didn't need COCOM anymore. And, COCOM was the bedrock for Western export controls. So, our government, on the one hand, was deciding that we needed to do better on things like Iraq or countries like Iraq, but on the other hand, was being pressured to reduce export controls to everybody else. So, what we did was, overall we cut the control list so that now we are only controlling about ten percent of what we controlled in 1989.
Mr. HUNTER. In your estimation, is that dangerous?
Dr. MILHOLLIN. I think it is very dangerous. We are just now controlling, because of industry pressure, the very top slice of dual use technology. That is, only the most highly performing machine tools and so forth, whereas you can do a lot with things that operate under those levels.
Mr. HUNTER. That is what, you know, the one thing that struck me when we looked at the nuclear tests in Pakistan and India, and correct me if I am wrong, because you gentlemen are experts. But, I heard a comment from the scientific community, that what kind of surprised us was, they got a lot of the technology right out of the open from the United States, because our people didn't think that anybody would want to make a mid-grade nuclear weapon or a crude nuclear weapon. We all thought that the only thing that would be utilized would be high-end stuff
. But, in the end, a lot of the stuff that they used was published information; is that accurate?
Dr. MILHOLLIN. Well, as Mr. Hamza has said, and he is quite right, almost every component of a nuclear weapon is made with dual-use equipment. Very few things in a nuclear weapon require specialized things, specialized equipment that is dedicated to nuclear weapon manufacture.
Mr. HUNTER. Okay. Now, on that point, let me go to something that is in the EAA or in the proposed EAA. This committee has always required close scrutiny by the Department of Defense. We have got a provision that says that if the Secretary of Defense says that an item doesn't go, it doesn't go.
That has always been opposed by industry, and they give a number of reasons. They say that the Defense Department is too slow, and “We will take care of everything in Commerce.” But, the point is sometimes you need to have some insight into the military application of what ostensibly looks like a commercial technology or a benign technology to know what the real value of that technology is to a weapons system, and sometimes that is an insight that only a Department of Defense expert might have.
So, if you show it to somebody who is from the Department of Commerce, who is used to checking out various grades of flour products, he may not understand, for example, as we didn't under
stand—I believe it was 1972 when we sold the Bryant grinders to Russia that makes tiny ball bearings. We found out later they used these tiny ball bearings to accurize their SS-18 warheads aimed at the United States. We didn't realize those Bryant grinders had the dual-use of being potentially very dangerous in a military sense.
So, the difference between the Armed Services' version of an export control regime and that that is preferred by other more commerce-minded committees, is we require Department of Defense (DOD) to have scrutiny. So, I guess my question to you is, do you think that that DOD scrutiny will help to discover dual uses for certain technologies where they may not be altogether apparent to other agencies?
Dr. MILHOLLIN. I think that the committee's changes in the bill as it came through were excellent. I think you also have to say to yourself, “Well, is this really a military question, is this a security question, or is it simply a trade question?" If you agree that it is at least as much of a security question as it is a trade question, then I think you have to conclude that you need a security point of view in the decision process; and that means the Secretary of Defense.
Mr. HUNTER. Dr. Hamza, do you have any comment on that?
Dr. HAMZA. It is always in the end the intelligence that will tell you what possible dual-use item will be used by a certain country. Because, for example, for a country like Iraq, many more dual-use items should be restricted than, say, a country like, right now, Egypt. Because, in the end the intelligence angle, that should take care of what is possible and what is the intent right now in that place and how would they use it.
So—but, for example, I give one case. Pakistan came to us with an offer to do the waste disposal system for our petrochemicals very cheaply; and we agreed. They took the contract, went to England and bought maraging steel tubes for use in the centrifuge program based on the Iraqi contract. Now, this is dual-use item, which was bought under false pretenses, which is Iraq. They never sent it to Iraq. They took the first batch to Pakistan. The second batch was good.
So, you have this system in the end, it is a Pakistani company. The British know that Pakistan is doing centrifuge program. Now, they either should have made sure that this goes to Iraq or should not have accepted the Pakistani pretext of using it.
In the end, intelligence is what decides what you are going to do with this.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Milhollin-incidentally, Dr. Snyder, if you have any questions, you just jump right in. We are going to go I have been monologuing here for quite a while and hogging the time. So, go ahead, Dr. Snyder. Take all the time you need.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your lengthy time you put in these hearings the last couple days.
Actually, it is better now that I am talking. Because, before the votes we had a Marine Corps gunnery sergeant sitting in the audience, and they are the closest thing to God I have personally encountered, and I am more relaxed now that he is not here.
I want to ask a question. I had a comment I would like to make about the hearing schedule. My comment, Dr. Hamza, is I was really appreciative of you bringing up the point about the families and the personnel. It reminds me, you know, if you destroy General Rommel's tank but General Rommel isn't in it, you haven't really helped yourself much at all.
This issue came up yesterday with Secretary Rumsfeld because, very correctly so, he says, our goal should be disarmament. And, my question is, I made the comment that, even so, if we completely disarm them but the scientific base of knowledge is still there, we still have a problem.
Dr. Kay, when he was here a week or two ago, said that he wished he had had the ability to issue green cards. And, my question of him was, “Well, I wonder why we didn't give him that issue, the ability to take a willing scientist and family members out of the country permanently if they choose not only to get more reliable information but that would be one less scientist to work in the program." So, I appreciate you saying something about it.
Mr. Milhollin, today's Post-I don't know if you saw this article. It has got pictures of what is referred to as aluminum parts, but the headline is "Evidence on Iraq challenged. Experts question if tubes were meant for weapons program”.
The only question I want to ask the last line says, according to their source here, "Government experts on nuclear technology who dissented from the Bush administration's view told him they were expected to remain silent."
Now, as a scientist and coming out of an academic environment-I am a family doctor, generally—if somebody reports information to me, I expect to hear if there is dissenting views. How do you respond to that general—I am not asking about these aluminum tubes, but —
Dr. MILHOLLIN. I think that
Mr. SNYDER. Does it concern you, if this is accurate, that experts in the area of nuclear technology, according to this press report, were advised to remain silent? When they say “remain silent”, that means don't tell Members of Congress that you disagree with the majority view. Does that concern you if government is giving that kind of order to our nuclear experts?
Dr. MILHOLLIN. I think certainly I have always recommended a transparency in all cases, and particularly with respect to export controls. I think our whole export control process should be transparent, and I should be able to find out what the Commerce Department is approving. The rest of the world doesn't agree with me.
But, with respect to shutting people up, I mean, I am not an expert in that, but I don't see why the committee couldn't require that more than one view be given to it. It seems to me only fair that, by the nature of these cases, you are looking at only a certain amount of evidence and you are being required to draw an inference from that evidence. So, I think it is perfectly appropriate for the committee to want to know more about the evidence and want to know more about the analytical process so you can make up your own mind who is more credible.
Mr. SNYDER. Seems like we should not have to read that there are dissenting views in the newspaper.
Mr. Chair, if I might, I want to make a comment about the committee hearings. I appreciate you scheduling these hearings. I appreciate you stepping forward in the absence of Chairman Stump in his difficulty with his illness. But, I don't remember if it was you or Mr. Skelton who referred to the aggressive schedule of briefings. In my view, we have not had an aggressive schedule of briefings. I mean, for several weeks prior to the August recess, you know, I was watching what happened on the Senate side because they were having briefings on this or reading press reports about it.
We now are in, apparently, on about a two-day workweek here where we go home or are going home at 3:00 today, and I am going to stay around because Mr. Spratt is holding-has arranged an informal briefing tomorrow on Iraq, but then we are coming back Tuesday night for votes. We are now down to the last two or three weeks of the session. I think it is going to be very difficult to have, "An aggressive schedule of briefings."
I have great respect for these two men, and the topic of export controls is a very important one. But, that is not the question that is on Members' minds right now. I had dinner with about ten Members last night. I ran into people. What I hear people say in meetings this morning, they are saying “We need more information.” My questions aren't being answered.
You know, this morning at the hearing when we were at our maximum we had less than a third of the members here. The majority of subcommittee chairs and ranking members were not here.
It is not because this topic isn't important. It is an important topic, and I appreciate both of your work in it, but it is not the question that is on people's minds. We have a resolution apparently coming from the White House today that very likely will lead to men and women in uniform going into harm's way. That is the issue that is on people's minds, and I would hope that we will have an aggressive schedule of briefings.
I know that I am told we have Richard Perle and Ms. Matthews scheduled for next week. I would like to see us have both open and closed briefings with some of the former high-ranking military officials that are publicly saying things.
Wes Clark has written in the op-eds in the London Times and made multiple speeches. General Zinni has had some very prominent comments. General Scowcroft—these are people who are patriots who are asking questions about the topic. I think it could be helpful to have people of their caliber who have differing views both in the closed session, but also in open session, so that the American people might hear these former officers and their exchange with the Armed Services Committee; and, frankly, I think we are running out of time. But
Mr. HUNTER. Let me—I thank my friend. Let me just comment.
First, if you wanted to hear the dissenting view, it has been on the tubes, it has been presented. The fact that there is one very candidly to the committee—and I will be happy to talk to you in a classified setting about that, those dissenting views.
Mr. SNYDER. You are talking about the aluminum tubes.
Mr. HUNTER. Also, what the Post has said, that people were told to shut up, either wasn't carried out because they didn't or it is not true. I would be the last person to say-malign the Washington Post, but I think you used the word—you said they were expected to not voice their opinions, and you paraphrased that as "they were advised".
Mr. SNYDER. The line from the news I just read, the press report, told they were expected
Mr. HUNTER. Well, expected doesn't say somebody told them not to say anything. Does that mean that they received—they didn't get the invitation to the golf game of the week or somebody didn't invite them to lunch or does it mean somebody actually said “Don't say your opposing view."
But, if you want to be informed on the opposing view, the fact that opposing views existed that were briefed to this committee, talk to me a little later.
Second, we have had—we are doing these hearings as often as we possibly can. We were the first committee to have the Secretary. We have now had two classified briefings. We are going to have another one. In fact, our goal is to have every single member of the House
Incidently, every single member of the House was invited to the last classified briefing, not just the committee. Eighty-three members appeared. Our goal is to see to it that every single member of the House has multiple opportunities to come and get a classified briefing.
Now, with respect to all the personalities that are out there who have views, we want to get as many of them in as possible. We have been working to get General Clark. That was recommended by the minority side, by Mr. Skelton and by Mr. Spratt, that we get General Clark in; and I think that is an excellent recommendation. We are trying to get him.
So—but, last, to go to the relevance of this testimony, this testimony may be more important in my mind than the classified testimony we have heard or even the testimony of the Secretary yesterday, because the real question of what we do is largely juxtaposed against the issue of the effectiveness of inspections. Do inspections work? And, that was obvious from Mr. Spratt's—the thrust of Mr. Spratt's questions. How intense would the inspections have to be? What kind of duration? How could you make them work? Because inspections, obviously, are an alternative to military action.
So, Dr. Hamza—the insight of Dr. Hamza as a person who was helping to lead the nuclear weapon program of Iraq and his description of how he and his colleagues successfully evaded and avoided detection and how they continued the nuclear weapons program even while our inspections were going on and while Mr. Spratt was holding up these trophies of what they found—again, I was reminded of what we see in the San Diego papers all the time, which is the trophies of the big cocaine busts that are made on the border, and then we get inside information that shows us that, actually, for every pound that was busted and held up for the news conference there were ten pounds that went through. His explanation of how these inspections were successfully derailed, I think, goes to the heart of whether we accept inspections as a viable alternative to military action.
So, I mean, I think we all have a candid and a straightforward and a sincere interest in whether or not these things work. So, his