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Wolfowitz Delivers Policy Address

Aired January 23, 2003 - 13:08   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Now, another speech that we are monitoring and that is Paul Wolfowitz. We're going to take this live now, deputy secretary of defense, delivering a policy address on Iraqi disarmament.
PAUL WOLFOWITZ, DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: ... by the international community.

In Iraq's case, unfortunately, the situation is the opposite. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 gave Saddam Hussein one last chance to choose the path of cooperative disarmament, one that he was obliged to take and agreed to take 12 years ago.

We were under no illusions that the Baghdad regime had undergone the fundamental change of heart that underpinned the successes I just mentioned. Nevertheless, there's still the hope, if Saddam is faced with a serious enough threat that he would otherwise be disarmed forcibly and removed from power, there is still the hope that he might decide to adopt a fundamentally different course.

But time is running out.

The United States entered this process hopeful that it could eliminate the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass terror without having to resort to force, and we put more than just our hopes into this process.

Last fall, the Security Council requested member states to give, quote, "full support," unquote, to U.N. inspectors. The United States answered that call, and President Bush directed departments and agencies to provide, I quote, "material, operational, personnel and intelligence support," unquote, for U.N. inspections under Resolution 1441. Such assistance includes a comprehensive package of intelligence support, including names of individuals whom we believe it would be productive to interview and information about sites suspected to be associated with prescribed material or activities.

We have provided our analysis of Iraq's nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs, and we have suggested an inspection strategy and tactics.

We have provided counterintelligence support to improve the inspectors' ability to thwart Iraqi attempts to penetrate their organizations.

And the United States has also made available a wide array of technology to support the inspectors' efforts, including aerial surveillance support in the form of U-2 and predator aircraft.

So far, Iraq is blocking U-2 flights requested by the U.N. in direct violation of Resolution 1441, which states that inspectors shall have free and unrestricted use of manned and unmanned reconnaissance vehicles.

Let's consider for a moment what inspectors can do and what they can't. As the case of South Africa and the other success stories demonstrate, inspection teams can do a great deal to verify the dismantling of a program if they are working with a cooperative government that wants to prove to the world that it is disarmed.

It is not the job of the inspectors to disarm Iraq. It is Iraq's job to disarm itself. What inspectors can do is confirm that a country has willingly disarmed and provided verifiable evidence that it has done so. If a government is unwilling to disarm itself, it is unreasonable to expect the inspectors to do it for them.

They cannot be charged with a search-and-destroy mission to uncover so-called smoking guns, especially not if the host government is intent on hiding them and impeding the inspectors' every move. Inspectors cannot verify the destruction of weapons materials if there are no credible records of their disposition.

Think about it for a moment. When an auditor discover discrepancies in the books, it is not the auditor's obligation to prove where the embezzler has stashed his money. It is up to the person or institution being audited to explain the discrepancy.

It is quite unreasonable to expect a few hundred inspectors to search every potential hiding place in a country the size of France, even if nothing were being moved. And of course, there is every reason to believe that things are being moved constantly and hidden.

The whole purpose, if you think about it, for Iraq constructing mobile units to produce biological weapons could only have been to be able to hide them. We know about that capability from defectors and other sources. But unless Iraq comes clean about what it has, we cannot expect the inspectors to find them.

Nor is it the inspector's role to find Saddam's hidden weapons when he lies about them and conceals them. That would make them not inspectors, but detectives charged with going through that vast country, climbing through tunnels and searching private homes. Sending a few hundred inspectors to search an area the size of the state of California would be to send them on a fool's errand or to play a game. And let me repeat, this is not a game.

David Kay, a former chief UNSCOM inspector, has said that confirming a country's voluntary disarmament is a job that should not take months or years. With cooperation, it would be relatively simple because the real indicators of disarmament are readily apparent. They start with the willingness of the regime to be disarmed; the commitments communicated by its leaders; the disclosure of the full scope of work on weapons of mass destruction; and verifiable records of dismantling and destruction. Unfortunately, though not surprisingly, we have seen none of these indications of willing disarmament from Iraq.

So let's discuss what disarmament does not look like. Despite our skepticism about the intentions of the Baghdad regime, we entered the disarmament process in good faith. Iraq has done anything but that.

Instead of a high level commitment to disarmament, Iraq has a high level of commitment to concealing its weapons of mass terror. Instead of charging national institutions with the responsibility to dismantle programs, key Iraqi organizations operate a concealment effort that targets inspectors and thwarts their efforts. Instead of the full cooperation and transparency that is evident in each of those disarmament success stories, Iraq has started the process by openly defying the requirement of Resolution 1441, and I quote, "to provide a currently accurate, full and complete declaration of all of its programs."

Indeed, with its December 7th declaration, Iraq resumed a familiar process of deception. Secretary Powell has called that 12,200-page document, "a catalog of recycled information and brazen omissions" that the secretary said "totally fails to meet the resolution's requirements. Most brazenly of all" -- and I'm still quoting Powell -- "the Iraqi declaration denies the existence of any prohibited weapons programs at all," unquote.

Among those omissions are large quantities of anthrax and other deadly biological agents and nuclear-related items that the U.N. Special Commission concluded Iraq had not accounted for. There are also gaps in accounting for such deadly items as 1.5 tons of the nerve gas VX, 550 mustard-filled artillery shells and 400 biological- weapons-capable aerial bombs that the U.N. Special Commission concluded in 1999 -- and this is the U.N.'s conclusion -- Iraq had failed to account for.

There is no mention of Iraqi efforts to procure uranium from abroad. Iraq fails to explain why it's producing missile fuel that seems designed for ballistic missiles it claims it does not have. There is no information on 13 recent Iraqi missile tests cited by Dr. Blix that exceeded the 150-kilometer limit.

There is no explanation of the connection between Iraq's extensive, unmanned aerial vehicle program and chemical or biological agent dispersal. There is no information about Iraq's mobile biological weapons production facilities. And very disturbingly, Iraq has not accounted for some two tons of anthrax growth media.

When U.N. inspectors left Iraq in 1998, they concluded, and I quote, "The history of the special commission's work in Iraq has been plagued by coordinated efforts to thwart full discovery of Iraq's programs," unquote.

What we know today from the testimony of Iraqis with firsthand knowledge, from U.N. inspectors and from a variety of other sources about Iraq's current efforts to deceive inspectors suggests that Iraq is fully engaged today in the same old practices of concealment and deception. Iraq seems to be employing virtually all of the old techniques that it used to frustrate U.N. inspections in the past.

At the heart of those techniques, of course, he's hiding things and moving them if they're found. In the past, Iraq made determined efforts to hide its prohibited weapons and to move them if inspectors were about to find them.

In 1991, one of the first and only instances where the inspectors found prohibited equipment, they came upon some massive calutrons, devices used for enriching uranium, at an Iraqi military base. Even at that early stage, Iraq had begun to make provisions to move its illegal weapons in case inspectors stumbled across them. As the inspectors appeared at the front gate, the Iraqis moved the calutrons out the back of the base on large tank transporters.

Today those practices continue, except that over the last 12 years, Iraqi preparations for concealing their illegal programs have become more extensive and sophisticated. Iraq's national policy is not to disarm, but rather to hide its weapons of mass terror. That effort, significantly, the effort of concealment, is led by none other than Saddam's own son, Qusay, who uses a special security organization under his control for that purpose.

Other security organizations contribute to these anti-inspection activities, including the National Monitoring Directorate, whose ostensible purpose is to facilitate inspections. Instead, it provides tip-offs of sites that are about to be inspected and uses minders to intimidate witnesses. Iraqi security organizations and a number of government agencies provide thousands of personnel to hide documents and materials from inspectors, to sanitize inspection sites and to monitor the inspectors' activities.

Indeed, the anti-inspectors vastly outnumber the couple of hundred of U.N. personnel on the ground in Iraq.

Already we have multiple reports and other evidence of intensified efforts to hide documents in places where they are unlikely to be found, such as private homes of low-level officials and universities. We have reports and other evidence of prohibited material and documents being relocated to agricultural areas and private homes or hidden beneath mosques and hospitals.

Furthermore, according to these reports, the material is moved constantly, making it difficult to trace or find without absolutely fresh intelligence. It is a shell game played on a grand scale with deadly, serious weapons.

Those efforts of concealment are assisted by active surveillance and penetration of the inspectors. In the past, Iraq systematically used its intelligence capabilities to support efforts to conceal its illegal activities. Former inspector David Kay recalled that in 1991, the inspectors came across a document warning the chief security official of the facility they were about to inspect that David Kay would lead the U.N. team. That warning had been issued less than 48 hours after the decision had been made for Kay to lead the team. And at that time, fewer than 10 people within the inspection organization were supposed to know the operational plan.

In the 1990s, there were reports that Iraqi intelligence recruited U.N. inspectors as informants, and it was known that Iraqi scientists were fearful about the confidentiality of their interviews. Recent reports that Iraq continues these kinds of efforts are a clear sign that it is not yet serious about disarmament.

Today we also anticipate that Iraq is likely to target U.N. computer systems through cyber intrusions to steal inspections, methods, criteria and findings.

And we know that Iraq has the capability to do that. According to Qedar Hams (ph), a former senior official in Iraqi nuclear program, Iraq's Babylon software company was setup to develop cyber warfare capabilities on behalf of the Iraqi intelligence service in the early 1990s.

PHILLIPS: Continuing to monitor Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense, as he talks about Iraq and its continuation of hiding weapons of mass destruction.


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