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Inspections in Iraq

Introductory Speaker: Kenneth M. Pollack, director, National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Speakers: Charles Duelfer, visiting resident scholar, CSIS, Khidir Hamza, president, New Coucil for Middle East Affairs, and Richard Spertzel, former U.S. Army Officer
May 2, 2002
Council on Foreign Relations


KP: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you very much for joining us. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Ken Pollock. I am the Director for National Security Studies here at the Washington Office of the Council on Foreign Relations. It’s been a long day, I apologize. Before I start, I need to let all of you know that the Council’s publication correspondence, which is its Journal of Cultural and World Politics, is available. We have copies in the back of the room. It’s an excellent publication and deals with a very underreported, underregarded subject, which is becoming of greater and greater importance with the advance of globalization. You may want to pick up a copy as you walk out. With that said, let us turn to tonight’s subject, which is “Inspections in Iraq.” It probably requires no preface, but I’ll do so anyway, to say that we are at a critical moment in terms of inspections in Iraq.

Right now, even as we speak, the United Nations is discussing with Iraq the possibility of renewed inspections. There is a great deal of attention that has been focused on Iraq, as you’ll all aware, as a result of the attack on September 11th and the renewed interest in the United States in taking some sort of action against the government of Iraq.

The idea of regime change is gaining greater and greater currency. And is an alternative to regime change, or conceivably as a campaign of regime change, the idea of new inspections in Iraq is, once again, becoming an important topic. Here in Washington, in New York and elsewhere. There are people who are suggesting that inspections could be an alternative to regime change, that they could deprive Saddam Hussein of his weapons of mass destruction without the costs that would entailed in some kind of a program of regime change.

Others are suggesting that Saddam Hussein might simply grab at the ring of inspections as a way of saving himself from a massive U.S. effort to topple his regime. And for both of these reasons, there are all the people who are now thinking about regime change and talking about…excuse me, thinking about inspections and talking about inspections in a way that they’ve not in the past. As I said, there are negotiations going on even now in the United Nations. There will be a roll-over of the (Inaudible) Food Program. The (Inaudible) Food Program is itself a critical element of the larger issue of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. As Charles Duelfer continues to remind, Iraq wants control of its pocketbook. And we’ve made very clear that Iraq doesn’t get control of its pocketbook until the weapons of mass destruction issue has been successfully resolved.

We are delighted to present you with a panel of outstanding experts on this subject tonight. To my immediate left is Dr. Richard Spertzel. Richard Spertzel is a former U.S. Army officer where he retired with the rank of colonel. And while in the military, he was the Deputy Commander of USAMRIID(?), the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Dietrich. And during the heyday of UNSCOM, Richard Spertzel was the head of the Biological Weapons Team. And he is one of the many people on Iraq’s list of enemies of the state for the having deprived Saddam of so many of his favorite toys.

Another member of that illustrative group is Charles Duelfer, sitting to my far left. Charles Duelfer is currently a visiting resident scholar at CSIS. But from 1993, until 2000, he was the Deputy Executive Chairman of the U.N. Special Commission on Iraq, UNSCOM. And, in fact, at the end of his time at UNSCOM, he was the Acting Chairman. Before joining the commission, Charles had a long distinguished career. He was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control and Multilateral Defense Matters. And among other prestigious positions, he was from January to March 1991, during Desert Storm, the Director of the State Department’s Task Force supporting Desert Storm.

Finally, to my right is Dr. Khidir Hamza. Khidir Hamza has, with due respect to my other two colleagues on the panel, the most interesting of the resumes here at this table. Khidir Hamza is an Iraqi, born in 1939, and educated in the United States. He was summoned back to Baghdad soon after the Bathus(?) takeover in 1968, and at that time offered a job in Iraq’s Civilian Nuclear Energy Program. But within a short period of time, the then Vice President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, decided that Iraq’s nuclear energy program needed to turn to other purposes, and in particular, to build an Iraqi bomb. And it was to Khidir Hamza that Saddam Hussein and the Bathus regime turned. And until 1994, Khidir Hamza was the key person in Iraq’s nuclear weapons program. A position which he occupied exceedingly unwillingly. And at every turn, did what he could to prevent Iraq from acquiring weapons which he considered unnecessary and immoral. In 1994, he was able to escape from Iraq with the assistance of the Iraq National Congress, and ultimately, the United States Government. And we are delighted to have him, Dr. Spertzel, and Charles Duelfer here on this panel. We’ll start out by taking brief statements from each of the three of them. They’ll speak for ten minutes. And then we will open it up to questions. Now let me remind everyone that unlike most council events, this program will be on the record. If for some reason, someone would like to make a comment off the record, please feel free to do but please also preface your remark by saying that your remark should be taken as off the record. With that said, let me turn it over to Charles Duelfer for the first presentation.



Resident Scholar at CSIS

CD: Thank you, Ken. I’m going to break my comments into roughly four sections. One is a bit of a refresher on what UNSCOM did and how Iraq responded because what I find in some of my discussions is people’s memories have flagged and I’m going to show a few pictures. They’re just, you know, more for entertainment and reminding than anything else. The second part will be “What are the key elements of the new structure, both in terms of the resolutions, the legislative authority for the new organization UNREVIC(?) and how does that differ from the way we operated?”

Third, what I see as the key elements for what would be entailed in having credible monitoring in Iraq, both to assure they don’t reconstitute these weapons and to find out where the weapons are that they still retain. And fourth, very briefly, comments on a prognosis for what’s ahead.

First of all, I want to make one emphatic point and I find that people don’t delve in this deeply. It’s often lost on them that what we’re talking about is not arms control. We’re talking about coercive disarmament. Iraq invaded Kuwait, los, and part of the cease-fire resolution was that it had to get rid of all this stuff. They sacrificed their rights to sovereignty when they invaded Kuwait. This is nothing to do with arms control. Iraq did not enter into this proposition willingly, they lost a war first. The best analog to this activity is the Versailles Treaty where a similar activity took place and had, in my view, similar results. But let me just say that first.

When we began work, we began with the obvious. I mean in some ways, UNSCOM and the IEA were a bit like a child’s soccer game, where, you know, you see a bunch of kids all chasing the ball. We focused on the obvious. Through time, both we and the Iraqis learned a lot and improved our ways of behaving. And I’m going to sketch through some of the things which we did and the ways that Iraq responded. Bearing in mind that I’m trying to keep this in ten minutes.

But first, let me just show a few pictures and if you can’t see in the back, you’re not missing that much. (Laughter) We got rid of most of these, my view is (Inaudible) left. That’s 600-kilogram range missile. Iraq demonstrated the ability, and built chemical and biological warheads for that. Two hundred and fifty kilogram aerial drop munitions. These happen to be nerve agents filled. There are some left. Something called the R-400. Now these particular ones were filled with sarin. They also had them built with biological agents. Dr. Spertzel can tell you more about that. They’re large.

This is what…the fun part of the job is blowing stuff up. We did this a lot with…this happened to be chemical munitions which we couldn’t move to a central facility we had for getting rid of both chemical and chemical agents and (Inaudible). This site, I show for…to make one point. This is the super-gun. Now throughout our investigations with Iraq, we assumed that they applied a Western way of thinking, in other words, they used cost-benefit analysis. They didn’t. There was no constraints on resources whatsoever, hence ideas like a super-gun were heavily funded. You may think well that looks pretty neat. It can fire perhaps biological warheads. But once they fire once, it’s not like you can move it. (Laughter) Not only that, but you have a lot of difficulty in aiming it and you can’t, you don’t, it doesn’t…(Laughter) (Inaudible) for a minute, and you’ll see why. Anyway, there you go. Contrast that with the scud missiles, which they’re very good at moving and very good at hiding. So (Inaudible). This is a…this I’ll refer back to. This is a U-2 picture which doesn’t really show anything because you can’t…but it shows a bunch of Sedans(?) which are reacting to an inspection. The U-2 could loiter and cover Iraq for a period of time so you’ll be able to see how they reacted. I’m going to refer back to that later. But this was provided to us and an important part of our activity.

What we found subsequently is in April 1991, Iraq took a decision to partially comply. We only found that out years later but they decided, roughly, to provide about a third of their capability. I’m speaking in rough terms and to conceal the rest. This was a presidential decision. For example, Iraq denied it had a biological weapons program for four years. Completely denied it. Iraq also obstructed our work in the sense that they did not allow monitoring, which was mandated by a United Nations resolution, they did not allow any activity and monitoring until the end of 1993. So that was another three years of lost time. They did other things to block our work but I’m just highlighting that when Iraq now says that UNSCOM was intentionally delaying it, there’s another side to that story. I want to speed through some of the techniques that we used because I…we were doing a lot. And Iraq, in fact, did have to accept a lot of activity. And my point will be at the end of this, that even with everything UNSCOM did, we were not able to do the job. We were not able to account for all of Iraq’s weapons. And we found, in fact, that when we thought we were monitoring, Iraq was deceiving us. So bear that in mind when I list all the things that we did. Or most of the things that we did. And we got real creative. I already mentioned the U-2, which the United States very kindly provided. We would task that directly from New York. It would fly. We had to clear it with the Iraqis. Not clear it, but we had to notify the Iraqis ahead of time of its flights. We had helicopters. Initially, the Germans provided us 53’s…UH-53’s. We had also transport aircraft which flew us in from Bahrain. So we had a lot of aircraft. We covered the ground with aerial imagery at various levels.

We also had a…we put in place a monitoring system which we did throughout the period of 1994. Let me highlight some of the parts of that. To do that, we had to do a baseline inspection. In other words, we went from one end of Iraq to the other looking at every facility to see what its capabilities were and to envision what type of monitoring activities would be required. Should it be visited every week, every six months? Who were the people one should talk to? What are the power requirements? What are the materials they use? What types of people are there? Are they microbiologists, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera? Every kind of facility you can imagine. Breweries, hospital laboratories, you know, electronics plants, hundreds of places were visited. All that’s going to have to be done again. If (Inaudible) goes back in. Ultimately, we had about 250 sites which we regularly visited. And those are just declared ones.

Now you might ask yourself, so Iraq you knows you go there. What about the other 440,000 square kilometers of Iraq? There’s a problem. But we retained the ability to go with other sites, hopefully, with no notice. Now I’m going to…we had the authority to go places without notification. But don’t misconstrue that with meaning that was a surprise. We talk about no notice inspection, but, you know, Iraq also learned how we operated. They were coming down a learning curve and it was my judgment, it is my judgment, that there were very few surprise inspections. In fact, there were often the case where Iraq knew where we were going and were guiding our inspectors to get to the site that they knew where they were going when they got lost. I think probably with high confidence, there may have been a high dozen genuine surprise inspections. That may be a bit harsh but, in any case, the Iraqis were very good at knowing how we behaved. Some of the other tools that we had. A lot of sensors. We deployed video cameras at various sites which were fed back data to our Baghdad monitoring center. That was our headquarters in Baghdad. We had air samplers. In other words, these were devices which collected on a daily basis samples of the air which could subsequently be analyzed in a laboratory to see if any chemicals that were tell-tale of chemical weapons were being used. Good area of denial tool.

We had gamma ray missions. We’d fly around in a helicopter and the IEA would have a gamma ray detector. We would have ground-penetrating radars, which we would take around to look for underground facilities. We had, you know, scuba divers looking in the Tigris River finding all kinds of strange things. Gyroscopes and body parts. We had tags and seals were an important tool that we used. Equipment, which was dual use. We would tag and catalogue and the Iraqis would have to notify us whenever they moved that.

The surface-to-air missiles. They have SA-2s. We would tag and seal them because we found at a certain point that the Iraqis were modifying them to ground-to-ground missiles. So we’d take all…I don’t want to use the number because it’s probably sensitive to Iraq, but we would cause the Iraqis to allow us to tag them, and then we would check them on an episodic basis. There’s a lot of them. There’s fewer now presumably, but there were a lot then, and probably still are a lot.

We would use the tool of historic imagery. When Iraq said that they did something in 1991 to destroy missiles and they couldn’t find them, we would go back and, through the good offices of the United States and look at imagery and say, “Well, you said you did this at this location. There is nothing at that location, at that point in time.” That was very irritating for the Iraqis. We did a lot of sampling and analysis of soil samples. Iraq would say they dumped all their VXITUS(?) spot in the ground and we would go take samples to evaluate that. With respect to missiles, we were monitoring a permitted missile program by deploying, what in essence, was a passive radar system. So we deployed this device there. We do plume analysis of their test stands(?), so if they had a missile test, an engine test, we would record it and then look at the plume to see if it, in fact, you know, what was the parameters of that missile, what would it be capable of.

Let me mention a little bit about the security. I said that we didn’t have many really surprising inspections. UNSCOM is an international…was an international organization. I may not have been typical of the U.N. but we had a task which caused us to want to protect our information. In a government, this would be called counterintelligence. We found, basically, that we had to have secure phones. We did inspection planning off-site. We would use false plans. We would do training overseas. We did all kinds of things to try to elude detection by the Iraqis in advance. All without a lot of success.

We did a lot of things to try to collect information. We developed a system ultimately of talking to Iraqis who left Iraq. We did share information, exchanged information, in essence, with supporting governments of conducting our mission in Iraq. We came up with one…there was one key inflection point I’m going to mention. I’m going to rush the rest because I know I’m over my time already.

Hussein Khamal(?), Saddam’s son-in-law who had been in charge of all these programs from the perspective of the family, he left in August of 1995. And with his departure, and what he revealed to us, and more importantly, in fact, what the Iraqi government revealed to us afterwards in sort of a fit of panic, we learned three key things. One, even while we were monitoring, Iraq was conducting prohibitive activities. Right under our nose. Two, there was a government system for doing that. And three, there were still stuff that they had been hiding. They provided us a lot of documents for example. But there were very defined gaps in documents that they provided.

After that, Ambassador Kaos(?) was the head. He was convinced that we ought to go after this systems directly in something we called a “concealment investigation.” So we began some of our very intrusive inspections going after the highest levels of the government because we figured…one thing we know for sure, these decisions are taken starting at the top. So when there were all these crises about going to palaces and presidential areas, it was all derivative of the problem that we faced where the government, at the highest levels, was directing these concealment activities in the one place we knew we could try to get at it was at the top of the management food chain, and in the security organizations. That was the rationale.

A couple words on the difference between the current circumstances and legislation and what we had. The security council passed a resolution a year after Desert Fox, in December 1999, called 1284. It ratifies all the previous obligations on Iraq. But then it goes beyond and says, “Well, in reaction to a lot of people who are more sympathetic to Iraq and those who viewed that UNSCOM was not terribly U.N. like, they said, ’Let’s set a lower standard for a lower reward for Iraq.’” And this standard is that if Iraq cooperates, then they will get the sanctions suspended. And there’s an important distinction in words. Cooperation is one thing, compliance is another.

And I point to that. There’s (sic) a couple of other weaknesses under the current circumstances, as I view it. The Security Council has much more direct control over the operations of UNMAVIC. They have to provide their organization and their planning to the Security Council for approval. There’s room for a lot of intervention on the part of some council members. Not all of whom have the same agenda that perhaps we do in Washington. There’s also ambiguity in 1284 about when Iraq gets their money back. And this is important to Iraq, but it also is something which we face in trying to convince people to put inspectors in. It is…there’s obscure language, even by U.N. standards about what will happen if Iraq does all the right things. Are they going to get their checkbook back? Are they going to get control of their own oil revenues? The Russians have steadfastly defended this point and raised this point on the part of the Iraqis. And with reference to the current circumstances in New York, there is dog which is not barking right now, and that silence…this is getting tortured, that silence is echoing, I think, in Baghdad quite loudly right now. The Russians are not raising, in the current debate over oil for food renewal, the issue of when will Iraq gets its revenues back. And I don’t want to go too far out o that. But I do think just point that out. Finally, and to me most importantly, there is no performance criteria in the mandate which is given to UNMAVIC. And by no performance criteria, I mean UNMAVIC is not mandated in the sense that…there’s no language which says you must put into Iraq a monitoring and inspection system which is adequate to put you in a position where you can make a judgment about Iraqi compliance.

So UNMAVIC, when they go in, they can put in as extensive or as minimal a monitoring inspection system as they determine. But the council doesn’t tell them “I want you to go in there and I want you to put in a system which will allow you to make a judgment about Iraqi compliance.” All I have to do is go in there and say, “They put in a system and Iraq is cooperating.”

Now I don’t want to put too much weight on UNMAVIC because, you know, Hans Blix(?) and UNMAVIC, they could be, you know, Vlad the Impaler, or I don’t know…there must be some Viking analogy I can make. Attila the Hun or something. But they can do no more than what Iraq will permit, and the Security Council will back up.

There was a statement which Terakases(?) would make regularly, to me and others. He’d say, “You are not General MacArthur. You did not occupy Iraq; therefore, there’s (sic) limits to what you can do.” And he was absolutely right. You know, you say, “We want to go inspect, you know, some warehouse,” and ultimately, they would say, like kids in a playground, “You and what army?” And, you know, no army. (Laughter) Maybe a couple of cruise missiles. But that’s the best you could get.

I think I have some comments on what would be required for monitoring but I’m way over my time. Let me just summarize by saying a couple of things. One, it would have to…they need more access, more people, and more intrusiveness than we have. They’ve got to be able to go into computers, have real surprise inspections. Let me give an example. One of the first things that strikes me that would be necessary is if UNMAVIC goes in, we know which scientists and engineers were involved in these programs. It’s probably got a database, 2- or 300 people. Interview them. We should be able to interview all those people and find out, “What have you been doing for the last three years?” Verify that. And without Iraqi supervision. Interviewing Iraqis in Iraq with Iraqi supervision is not a fun experience. Dick has done a lot of it. People shake in their boots, but they’re afraid they’re going to say the wrong thing and that can have deadly consequences.

Finally, I personally don’t see where this lands. I mean if you look down each path of inspectors going in, I just don’t see, over the long run, where it winds up. And I think the dynamics are wrong. For one fundamental reason…a coalition is demanding that the country give up something which it considers absolutely vital to its national security and survival. These guys, bear in mind, believe that the weapons saved them a war with Iran, and they believe that it contributed heavily to keeping America from going to Baghdad in 1991. Why should they give them up? Unless what?

Finally, I think, you know, this may seem a bit over the top but Iraq may actually accepts inspectors at some point. You know, for all the reasons which you can imagine. You know, to deflect a military action by the United States but there’s also a history here of using people as a shield. I was in charge of organizing two evacuations of UNSCOM from Iraq. And they were a bit hair-raising because we didn’t know what was going to happen. One time there was no military action but the last time was in December ’98, and it was not a…it was a bit tense. I think something that, you know, might be in the back of their minds is they’re going to have 250 or 300 people there, which may make it very difficult for the United States to do something which they would put them in jeopardy. I’ll end there. I’m sorry for I’m going over. KP Thank you, Charles. Dr. Richard Spertzel, the floor is yours.

RS: I want to principally talk about monitoring but I want to start out by giving a quick recap. Iraq has the means, the motive, and has shown the willingness to use BW weapons. They have the physical plant, even today, in spite of all that we destroyed, they have more than enough sufficient physical plant to have a sizeable program. They have the personnel, and they’ve kept them intact as a group. They have the necessary materials to produce agent, and they have the necessary seed stock. In many respects, their program was state of the art. I’ve heard a lot of people say that it wasn’t. That’s not true.

And they were fully capable and had the knowledge and the know-how to dry(?) a superb product. Throughout the whole program, from its very beginning, back in 1973, or perhaps late ’72, it was under the Intelligence Service. And throughout most of the program’s history, they went out of their way to conceal it and to keep it secret, much more so than their chemical and their missile program. Inclusion of their program under the intelligence service, based on some (Inaudible) tentative information, continued at least through December of 1998. I can’t speak since then because I haven’t been involved directly since then.

Throughout the history of our inspections, they’ve revealed only what they thought we already knew. And they had, as Charles already mentioned, at least anthrax in warheads, and more ominously, perhaps, we found the evidence of anthrax inside of fermenters that, according to the Iraqis, they never used for anthrax.

Beginning in 1997, Iraq began what I call a retrograde, in terms of their admission, their acknowledgement of their VW program. That is, they started denial of what they had already admitted. And perhaps a culmination of that was in the recent NBC interview in which Tariq Aziz(?) nowasearch(?), they did not recognize any biological material.

The monitoring teams in biology were constantly faced with identifying and discovering the unknown. That included facilities undeclared by Iraq that should have been declared. We were constantly finding new equipment, right on up through the fall of 1998, equipment that should have been declared.

Now the monitoring teams are not set up for the discovery. That was not the purpose, and I don’t envision that being the purpose of the monitoring teams under UNMAVIC. They’re designed for deterrence at declared sites. And guess what sites will be declared? And UNSCOM, and I assume the same will be true of Bonmobic(?), is not task with and not designed for addressing the terrorist scale(?), research development and production. That’s a whole different ballgame.

Now monitoring it when it was established in 1994 and actually bio did not go into full effect until April of ’95, was predicated on Iraq’s full and willing cooperation…did not happen. And it’s unlikely to happen now.

Iraq, it was also predicated and Iraq providing a full and complete disclosure of its VW program. That did not happen. And it’s unlikely to happen. It was also based on Iraq making full and accurate site disclosures. And ladies and gentlemen, that did not happen. And I…it’s safe to say, will not happen. Now some fundamental requirements of the monitoring. You need highly qualified inspectors. You need the full support of the U.N. Security Council. And I’m really talking about full and unqualified support. It appears that the council, in the past, and some things I’ve heard in the present, is unable to equate failure to cooperate with failure to comply. A big difference between the two.

There’s also a requirement for information supplied by all member states. Now we have a lot of cooperation but we did not get it from all members states. And I suspect there will be less cooperation now for various reasons. As Charles already mentioned, absolute requirement for success if immediate unconditional access, which involves both the physical locations as well as personnel. The last year and a half when our inspections teams were still in Iraq, Iraq was going out of the way to limit the interaction between the inspectors and the key scientists at a site for…at the sites being monitored. And an integral part is to have that kind of understanding between the two if you expect inspectors to walk in, and spend an hour or two hours, going through a plant, or university laboratory and have any idea of what’s going on.

There must be full access to documents. And the documents need to be supplied. They shouldn’t have to be pulled out of Iraqi facilities like trying to pull teeth of a chicken. It must be accepted by Iraq, and everything I’m hearing, coming out of Iraq and the last year, it’s not going to be accepted by Iraq And finally, it has trauma be enforced by all members…all members of the U.N. Security Council. And absolutely the P-5 members.

Any limitations or conditions will reduce the effectiveness and the credibility of the inspection. And it’s not fair to the inspectors. There needs to be a demand by the Security Council that Iraq provide complete disclosure of its weapons of mass destruction. And provide supporting evidence that can be verified. Now just casual statements by someone doesn’t count. A classic story I like to tell, and the words, I can back it up with the minutes of an inspection. Finally, one day it got to me in doing one of our interview sessions. And that was being lied to. And I said to the individual, I said, “You know that I know…that you’re lying. So why are you doing it?” And very haughtily, and outraged, “Dr. Spertzel, it is not a lie when you’re ordered to lie!” (Laughter) Okay?

Now with that attitude where do we go next? There needs to be a harsh penalty for non-compliance. Now in terms of monitoring sites, there needs to be a short travel time to visit a site. It was impossible for us to have a surprise visit, even remotely consider it to be a surprise if we had to go to the northern or the southern, or the far western part of Iraq. Because the minute we went there, if it included bioteams…biomembers, it was only a few sites that were going to be inspected. So how much surprise was that?

UNSCOM operated from a central site in Baghdad. This should be changed. And I’ve heard some indication that it will be changed under the new…under UNMAVIC. There needs to be satellite inspection teams. And the implication for this is going to be a lot of more personnel, a lot more logistics required, more transportation. And more financial implications. Beyond that, that appears to be envisioned by UNMOVIC.

And some serious areas of concern. And that is Iraq’s consideration for using mobile production facilities. Now we first heard about that in biology from General Amril Al-Saudi(?), which I think, in a moment of weakness, he said he instructed the bio personnel to evaluate using mobile facilities for production purposes. And then he quickly backed off about five minutes later in saying that, no, that was just a whim of his at the time and it wasn’t taken seriously. Well, reports that I’ve heard recently, not from any intelligence sources but from other open sources, indicate that maybe there’s a lot more to that than just that whim of Dr. Saudi.

Such a facility would be virtually impossible for monitors to identify and I don’t care what authority they have in Iraq. That’s asking too much of scientists who aren’t trained as inspectors to accomplish. You also have to understand that the inspectors, you’re facing a situation in which you have the whole state of Iraq behind the countering of the few inspectors in the field. That’s hardly a fair advantage. And I keep coming back that…the BW program was under the intelligence community of Iraq. It was not under MIC(?) but under Hussein Kamal(?) in his second hat as head of the SSO. And there’s a lot of evidence to support hat.

Now you’re constantly dealing, or the inspectors are constantly dealing in reporting to an international body, as Charles has already stated, of the Security Council, with shifting goals and attention. I, for one, was called everything but human from a couple ambassadors to the Security Council. And I bitterly resented having them attack the messenger. It’s not fair to the inspectors. There’s been an established pattern of denial and concealment as has already been alluded to. It certainly was continuous through 1998.

I was on the last bio inspection team in Iraq. In a causal statement, the question that I had asked, and much to my surprise, we were presented with another document that they had just found. A document allegedly dated back to about five years previously. It did not take much effort to show that it was probably created the day before. From 1996, Iraq has chosen to portray its BW program as a minimal program, conducted by ignorant scientists. It could not be further from the truth. I’ve already mentioned 1997, Iraq denied items which it had already acknowledged. And in August of ’98, in a letter Tariq Aziz sent to the U.N. Security Council, I’d like to read it.

“The program was newly established. Its planning was not complete and it lacked the necessary personnel and expertise, particularly in respect to weapons. Because of the specialized senior personnel, it had not become operational.” Well, they’ve admitted 25 scud warheads filled with a mixture of bio agents, as well as the R-400 bomb. Now I would agree with them, the R-400 wasn’t worth much.

“The equipment used in the context of the program could not produce biological agents. Really? What about the 8,500 leiders(?) of anthrax that they acknowledged and we believe that was probably double that, if not more produced. And Iraq was not able to import the necessary equipment for this purpose.” Sheer lies. He also went on to add, in other documents, “UNSCOM refused to recognize the truth of Iraqi statements.” I wonder why? The report in 1999, to the Security Council, continued this pattern of denial. An updated recent version of this report has been circulated to the council and council members in which it states that it obliterated its program in 1991. It’s not true. There is sufficient evidence to indicate that it continued right on up through the ’90’s and probably to the present day. It also stated that it met all the requirements for lifting sanctions. An awful lot of questions need to be answered first. The world’s leading experts, biology experts, including experts from Russia, from China, from France, disagree with Tariq Aziz’s statements and I’ve already mentioned the recent denial of even the weaponization piece. In view of this attitude by Iraq…(SIDE B)

RS:…will, or can be successful.

KP: Thank you very much. Before we go on to our last speaker, every time I do this I forget one important point to make in my introductions, and of course, I did that with Khidir Hamza. I failed to point out that he is embarking on an important new venture, which he is going to be the president for the new Council for Middle East Affairs, which will the located in New York and will have a number of other important Iraqi luminaries. We certainly wish him well in that endeavor. And now I will turn the floor over to Dr. Khidir Hamza.



President, New Coucil for Middle East Affairs

KH: One important point one has to point out in the whole scheme of this inspection thing. And this is declared by Iraq, the former Iraqian Ambassador to the U.N. openly said it. It is not the duty of Iraq to abide by the rules of the Security Council. It is the duty of the whatever inspection authority is made and whatever regime is established to make sure Iraq is free of weapons of mass destruction. This is openly declared by Iraq.

So, if you say Iraq is not abiding, Iraq is lying, Iraq says it is its right. Iraq did not make the rules of the security, did not agree to them. And did not sign for them, signed a cease-fire agreement. That’s the official Iraqi position. So if you say Iraq’s lying, they say, “Yes, we are.” And, yeah. I mean the whole thing is a forced system imposed on a country which does not want it. So why is it so strange that Iraq denies, and obstructs and lies, and do all this? It’s not strange. I mean Iraq openly declares that this is a system that’s imposed…unfair, and imposed on it by force. And it not legally bound. Even legally, now. Nor morally bound. Don’t lament(?) it. But if it is forced to do so, it will do so. But to the minimum that it will get it by. Now the initial inspection is regarded, and this is now…let’s get back to the ground level scientists, and engineers, and workers, and this is a huge group we are talking about…something like 15,000 people. Only the nuclear program more than 10,000. This huge group now allowed a lot of latitude on orders to the inspectors and destroyed a lot of weapons and systems, and sanctions were not lifted.

So they came back and started reevaluating, “Why did we do that? Why did we give them so much?” Now I was there in part of the process and left after that. Now the reevaluation of position is that we went too far. Now you hear Aziz saying, “We don’t have these biological (Inaudible).” It’s not strange. This is a back-up to the ground, even the root position of Iraq scientists and engineers who said, “Well, the political solution you told us will happen, it didn’t happen. We gave away a lot. And we got nothing back in return.”

So what you have here is a consensus on a political and a technical level that this is wrong and we are not cooperating with it. So good luck for the inspectors who go there. They are not going to get any cooperation on any level…because people at the ground level will think they are being cheated out of a lot of equipment, and facilities. Okay? The politicians said they made a mistake in admitting so much. And the whole system is against them.

Now what happens in a system, in an environment like this, is that everybody will design his own scheme (Inaudible) trying to cheat the inspectors and the inspecting body that’s coming over. Now in all facilities…now the Germans have noticed, in their report last year, they said there is a report this year but I haven’t seen it. But they say it’s about the same as last year. The Germans have been noticing a trend. And that Iraq is switching from importing materials to making them.

And what Iraq is doing, you see, importing equipment is easier than importing, say, the chemical precursors for biological weapons, volcanic (Inaudible), and whatever weapons you want. But if you buy the equipment on a good cover, for dual use, and you have a good open cover for it, and you manage to ship them to another…to the other use(?) you want, then you can make the materials locally and the triggers that will allow the inspectors because of a report of importing such-and-such material from such-and-such company, will not be there. What you will get…and actually one of the companies is a New Delhi company called (Inaudible) AC, the Germans found out was importing a lot of stuff from Germany itself. And they didn’t ship them directly to Iraq. Shipped them through Malaysia and other routes and put them together inside Iraq. So what you have is the international system Iraq established before the war for purchasing, for money laundering, for money channelling, from one place to the other, is being put to full use right now to import unrelated, seemingly unrelated pieces of equipment from all around the world, put a very good cover for them…Iraq is becoming very good at that. They can sit down and give you excellent stories about what they need to do with this and that. And the put them together inside Iraq and this will avoid a lot of the sanctions regime, which is merely based on material actually. And the dual use equipment presumably are supposed to be monitored to go into certain uses. And this can be also handled later.

Now there are several points Iraq has been getting ready for. Dr. Spertzel mentions some. For example, the scientists in charge of the program. Now if you see Saddam nowadays, his meeting was even on Iraqi TV, we get some here from Arabs(?) at the stations, and we get some from Iraqi opposition sometimes. Also they do some taping. And he will sit down among his chiefs of the nuclear energy. And you look at them and he didn’t recognize a single guy there. You see some party hacks(?) sitting around him, but none of the major scientists. And so what is happening is they are establishing already some artificial organization as a front. And this will front for the program with the international inspectors and the inspectors will be dealing with these guys who have nothing to do with the program. For example, the head of the (Inaudible) groups I was told was…before the inspectors were terminated, they were cross-examinated(?) in ’98, was transferred. Okay, where is he transferred to? Atomic Energy. Go to Atomic Energy, don’t see him there.

Where is he? They tell you he is somewhere else. And you go running around in circles and you never see him. He’s somewhere doing something. Who (Sighs) the head now? Some party hack in civil engineering is running atomic energy right now. Okay? And he has nothing to do with atomic energy. There was head of the battery division, a battery factory somewhere. Now if you are dealing with this system, and you want to establish monitoring later on, and verification, you may tell what? You may tell these guys. The real guys would be sitting somewhere else, doing something else.

So the whole thing is a shell game being made by Iraq to just divert the whole international effort to something else and build another thing. And another thing is…there are two things to look at. First, there is not a single major defection since 1995. Or actually to put it correctly, 1990. Since Carmel(?) left.

The reception of Carmel was so bad by the West, he was sent back, more or less forcefully, by the Jordanians…he was under house arrest in Jordan, was not given safe haven. It sent such a bad signal to Saddam’s entourage and major scientists, and the major figures around him, that if you come out, risk your neck, there is nobody there to receive you, to get you a safe haven somewhere, to put…you are not going to sit well outside Iraq. Don’t come out. Stay where you are. It is safer, it is better for you there. That’s the signal, everybody got inside. There’s not a single major defection since 1995. And if you look at the major defections…seven ambassadors defected after the Gulf War. Where are they now? Not a single one of them here. They…our ambassador to the U.N., a Dr. Mohammed Mashab(?), a Saddam crony(?), and older hand in the back pocket of Saddam, was denied asylum in U.S., had to go to Canada. After he went to Canada, he was given asylum in the U.S. He refused to come here.

Dr. Rochelle(?), the former chairman of the Nuclear Energy Program, our ambassador to Canada defected, went to England, he was not received well in England. Now he’s in Saudi Arabia. And so and so and so. So what you have here is a story of botched defections that accumulated to create an image of an (Inaudible) coming West…to anybody who’s coming out of there. So how would you know what’s going on down there? So what you have is a situation where it is closed inside and nobody coming out outside. Nobody can speak inside. And there is nobody coming out to tell you outside when safety was going on. So how would you know what’s going on?

Now another thing here. You want to do monitoring, for example, from the outside. You say, “Okay, I don’t care what they are showing me. I don’t care about the guys who are talking to me. I’ll go and monitor myself.” I was once working here on one of the centers, and we sat down and also with some IAA people. We looked up…you need just the north of Iraq, 200 monitoring stations, just north of Iraq. To monitor, to know if there are any radioactive nuclear material.

Now Iraq is not going the road of reactors and plutonium. It’s going the road of a Richmond(?), which is much less radioactive than the usual road of plutonium. So it’s much harder to detect. There is much less waste, there’s actually very little or no radioactive waste. What you are dealing is strictly with uranium. Nothing else. And uranium is very low in radioactivity. There’s a natural element. Also in the import angle, the triggers angle, what would the trigger…internationally Iraq is working on this, on that. Iraq has enough uranium now for three bombs with the waste, a loss in the processes.

Now Iraq also has natural uranium. It has…in the phosphates deposits in Iraq, and the sulfate deposit, there is considerable amount of uranium. Now it’s not economically viable ratio. It’s not a percentage that you’d want to make money on in the West. But who cares in Iraq about this, that you want. If you are looking about nuclear weapons, you are not looking at the economic angle there. So the Germans estimate that the processing is (Inaudible) which is a major sulphate deposit area in Iraq. It’s correct to a degree. They say all the nuclear programs is (Inaudible) which is to the Israeli side of the Iraqi border. Of course, it’s ridiculous. Iraq would never put all its nuclear facilities on the Israeli side of the border. But it indicates one thing. It indicates Iraq is going into, or processing of uranium locally. It’s not even going to the international markets for it. It has about ten tons of natural uranium and 1.3 tons of slightly rich uranium, which is enough for three bombs. But it’s going for more. Three bombs are not going to be provide Iraq with deterrence. Iraq needs much more to provide itself with enough safety for deterrence. Safety in terms of weapons. To have a credible deterrence, Iraq has to test. It’s not like the Israelis. I mean everybody believes the Israelis have nuclear weapons without testing because people know their capabilities, know their science base and technology base. But if Saddam tomorrow declare he has no nuclear weapons, who’s going to believe him?

So what he needs to do is test. And testing one is not going to be…provide the credible Iraqi possession of enough nuclear weapon to make it…to clear deterrence. So you need to test two or three like the Pakistanis did. Like the Indians did. You have to show possession of…and a quantity and capability to produce and accumulate.

Now the program itself, if we are looking at the angle of inspectors, the program itself is fragmented, or it can be fragmented very easily. That goes for the biological program, that goes for the chemical and that goes also for the nuclear. The only angle that is difficult to fragment it to very small units is the Richmond(?) angle and these you can hide in the large military establishments, or the large industrial establishment. Refineries and such.

So aside from these, and you can split these into three, four units, anyway, in any case. But the bomb itself, you can manufacture somewhere the explosives, somewhere the trigger, somewhere the core itself. I mean the Chinese machine the core’s by hand of the uranium wall. I mean if you want to risk it that much, I mean you don’t need high tech. You can do the thing low tech. The Iraqi delegation that went in 1985 to China was stunned by the low tech approach of the Chinese to the nuclear weapon.

They showed them a plant for uranium enrichment by diffusion, which is leaking, which is unhealthy, which is rusty. And it was making bomb grade uranium. And they came back, “Why do we need all these computers and high tech? We could do the things with bombs and bikes(?). What we need is the barriers to enrich uranium. Iraq did perfect a barrier and the UNSCOM reports confirm that Iraq did perfect uranium enrichment barrier though Iraq denies that it is using it for enrichment anymore. They said, ”We’ve perfected the barrier, but we made only one.“ If you believe that, that’s fine.

Okay, now the other angle is…I have just one comment on Charles Duelfer super-gun thing. And that tells you an angle about Iraq. Now why would Iraq want the super-gun? Why would Iraq want satellites by the way? Why does Iraq do these things which seems unrelated and to esoteric for a country like Iraq. There are several things. I mean by coincidence, I was transferred to the military industry in 1987, by the end of which Gerard Bulle(?) was coming to negotiate with Iraq on the super-gun.

So I would talk with that side. ”What do we need the sitting duck for? It’s an easy target. I mean how will you use“…and he said, ”No, no, no. This is a story. It’s cheap but ten, 15 million, that’s nothing in the Iraq military program. But with this, he’s here with his teams. And he’s an expert, or aeronautical engineering for projectiles. And that goes for artillery, for improving missiles, which are shaking Iraq, and they arrive at the targets sometimes in pieces. So you have a lot of things to learn from him. For what? Ten, 15 million, what is that to Iraq? Anyone can put in a front show and they can look further, a step or two, than what you would expect. I mean everybody was laughing at the super-gun. What is the super-gun? What do you do with it? Satellite? You are kidding. Iraq want to do something. But why Iraq would want to do satellite? Iraq was serious about making a satellite. And (Inaudible) went through its stages, suppose the stages, Iraq would have flown a satellite. Why would it need a satellite? For targeting? For guidance to the missile trajectories. With its unreliable missile directional systems, it needs something to control it from up there. Fly a satellite and shoot a few missiles. And you are in control. So what you have is a system that can, sometimes, look a little further and, I guess, to wrap up now. (Laughs) (Background Conversation)

KM: You can say a few closing remarks.

KH: Okay. Yeah, and about research. Strangely, it is legal by International Atomic Energy Agency standards, to do (Inaudible) scale research. It’s absolutely legal to look into nuclear weapons on a smaller scale. You don’t even have to declare it much, according to the International Atomic Energy Rules. If you do research in nuclear weapons, you probably, if it goes beyond a certain skill, you just have to declare it. But it’s not illegal. The same goes for biological. Iraq understands that the international system very well. And this is one of its loopholes. It allows research in the barriers weapon area if it at the small scale. Even the new rules of the International Atomic Energy Code 93 plus 2. Okay, also insists, like Charles Duelfer said, and Dr. Spertzel, that the country declares its facilities so the inspector cannot go somewhere else on his own. And Iraq would not, of course, declare except what it wants you to know.

KP: Thank you very much, Dr. Hamza. All right, I’d like to open it up to questions. If you could raise your hand and when I call on you, please stand and identify yourselves to the speakers. Jim Woolsey(?), you had the first hand.

JW: Thank you. Jim Woolsey, Shang Gardner(?). Scott Ridder(?) has been making some statements in recent months and years that depart very substantially from things he’d written and said earlier. Would one or more of you give some assessment of some of the more salient things that he’s said, and give us also an assessment of what you think he is saying them.

M: This is on the record. I don’t know. I mean I know what…I worked very closely with Scott. He was a key factor in our concealment investigation. He was highly motivated to penetrate the concealment mechanism. I know all the briefings he gave and the assessments he made when he was working for UNSCOM about what Iraq retained, their motivations, the security organizations, which were involved in retaining weapons. I’ve also heard his public statements that he’s made since then where he, I think, is making a judgment that…I hear him say two things. One is that UNSCOM was intentionally at the behest of one member of the Security Council, that would be the United States, delaying work. So in other words, the sanctions would stay on. He also says that, if I’m interpreting what (Inaudible) what Iraq retained in 1995, was very little and basically rounds to nothing. I don’t understand the evolution of his thinking and I wouldn’t really want to characterize it. You have to ask him. It’s certainly not something that I would agree with. Based on the same data I saw, the same things he saw, if not more. And all the information which I have seen post, you know, when Scott left in terms of more Iraqis who have left, some who were public and some were never were public. Some who came to the United States, some who never came to the United States, all suggest that the programs continue.

M: I want to just add one more thing. Again, I have no idea why the change. I will say this, that I violently…not violently but I seriously disagree with your statements on how much on the biology, as well as the other weapons of mass destruction have been identified. If you don’t know how much was there, there’s no way you can make an estimate of how much you have revealed and how much you’ve identified. And I’d also like to add to my knowledge, Scott has never visited even a single bio site.

KP: Great. Next (Inaudible) Steve Sellars(?).

SS: Thank you. Steve Sellars. I’ve got two questions. First, what evidence do you have on which you base your conclusion that Saddam still has militarily significant amounts of chemical and biological weapons and his nuclear weapons program continues? And secondly, would it be fair to say that each of you believe that even if a completely unfettered and unrestricted inspection regime could be established in which the inspectors could go wherever they want, interview whomever they wanted, and so on, that even under those circumstances, it would not be possible to eliminate Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction.

M: (Inaudible) answer?

M: Now suppose…at the last meeting, a year ago, we were talking about this and we (Inaudible) I think a year from now we’ll have the same meeting, discussing the same subject, and probably two years the same. And this is unending story but let’s go over it again. Now, suppose you want…I bought a Vax(?) machine from England at the time. It’s an America machine I bought in England, 1987, to design nuclear weapons with. My assistant was American trained. (Inaudible) Rodd(?). He’s running the center now. I’m told. The computer I bought, which is old now, is sitting in…but with Dr. Rodd in it. That’s important. He’s one of the main designers now sitting in that military wing of hospital for the mentally insane on the outskirts of Baghdad. Now that’s one aspect. Suppose I’m an inspector and I would go there. Now I know what they did and the cover. And the cover is oil domes. They are looking for oil domes. Now you do explosions on ground surface. Okay? And that’s shock wave, the wave of the explosion go, hit whatever underground and bounce back. And then, from this bouncing back, you can tell what is underground. If there is oil, you can tell. There is an oil down there. You locate I and you dig there. Okay? And they have charts of it. They have maps They have the data. They have the seismic…it’s called seismic prospecting. They have the seismic data and the seismic prospecting and they’ll bring the charts and show them to you.

What do you do if you’re an inspector? Now how can you say they are lying? They are working actually. They have a contract. And they are getting paid for it. Okay? So how would you verify the truth in a situation like this? They are working on nuclear weapons right now, but they are doing seismic prospecting also.

So what you have is…you have an unique experiment actually. It happen nowhere else. Nuclear energy, nuclear people, which is the largest technological team in Iraq, about 7,000 at the end of the war and increased till 12,000, was sent, disbanded, more or less into groups and sent into the country, into the civilian sector, to rebuild it after the war. They rebound rebuilt power stations. They built telephone exchanges. They rebuilt refineries. They built even factories, the battery factory and other…ammonia factories, hydrogen plants, everything. Was done by atomic energy. This is civilian work. This is excellent cover.

Now when you bring them back in, they have that background with them. They work (Inaudible) window stream(?). So what you have now is this system, where if it open completely, and you can access the scientists and talk to them, you still get nowhere. Because these scientists are the same scientists who did the power stations and telephone exchanges and refineries, and they’ll show you their work, and they have contracts. So that’s for verification. Okay? You want somebody else to come in to the other?

KP: (Inaudible) just to be clear, your answer to Steve Sellars’ second question is basically yes.

M: Yes.

KP: That regardless of how good the inspection regime is, the Iraqis are still (Inaudible)

M: It’s covered. Completely.

M: The first question about the continuing program. Now there’s some stuff that I’m obviously not going to say in an open meeting. But even our inspectors, (Inaudible) already mentioned the situation of parceling out a little piece here, a little piece there. We were assembling the last year and a half one particular item that was…in which the work was being conducted at, I believe, if I recall correctly, seven different sites, that anyone individually wouldn’t cause you to raise your eyebrows, collectively, they’re very worrisome. And we also had some absolute solid evidence of the importation into Iraq in late ‘94 and early ‘95 in multiple shipments what amounted to…would be a 5,000 meter fermentation plant. The names associated with that…it should have gone to the Alhacom(?) complex, in which case it would have been destroyed in May of ’96. But it wasn’t there. It’s somewhere in Iraq. I have no idea where. That’s (sic) just two examples along that line. The evidence for, you know, could they find it? No way. If a country wants to hide a biological program, and if they’re willing to take the risk of a roulette game, of getting caught, no inspection regime is likely to find it. And I don’t care which country it is unless there’s a total open free society.

M: Just made a couple comments. I find myself defending inspectors a little bit here. There is an argument about…is something better than nothing. And I think it’s clear in the decade that UNSCOM was present in Iraq, they achieved less than they might have otherwise if they’d been completely unconstrained. I think there’s a lot of political risks though of going down that path, where if you put inspectors in, then you get some degree of cooperation, some degree of obstruction, and when you confront that obstruction, are people going to interpret that as non-compliance.

Ultimately the problem, which we faced, was you get some dopey inspector who’s knocking on the door of, you know, Muhgabahadra(?) headquarters, or some warehouse, and the Iraqis say, “You can’t go in there because, you know, it’s (Inaudible) house or something.” You know, whatever. You report that to the Security Council and, you know, is that something you’re willing to go to war over? And you wind up having this problem of, you know, is that…is any particular point worth going to war over? Will the council back you up? That’s the problem. Not all (Inaudible) is the same. You know, missiles, I think, clearly will show up.

If somebody flight tests a missile that missile that goes 600 kilometers, somebody’s going to notice. To a certain extent, you can imbed long-range missile development in a permitted program. So you’re going to conceal it for a while. You know, you’ll get an argument with legitimate debate on whether, you know, if inspectors go in, even if they’re imperfect, they contain Iraqi capabilities to a certain extent? I think there’s legitimate debate there. Bearing in mind what Dick said about (Inaudible). But if you put it in the political context of where does all land? We put inspectors in. They report partial compliance. Then you go to war, or suppose you go in and they have a system, which doesn’t catch them. And they report everything’s fine. Then the council’s…are you going to say, Okay, Iraq, you can have your checkbook back. Is the United States and others…are they going to vote for that? And if they do, I mean maybe I’m cynical, but, you know, Saddam going to do then? He gets his checkbook back, and he’s got all these scruffy inspectors knocking on his doors. My guess is one option is you would tell him to get lost.

I mean I just don’t see where the paths go that’s positive. But I would defend some form of inspection may have some ability to contain cheating a little bit.

KP: I had two in the back. I have Rob and then a woman to his right. Let’s stop with Rob back there.

RL: Robert Lithock(?), Woodrow Wilson Center. The premise of this meeting is the resumption of inspections. And my question is on the use of force in the event of non-compliance with those inspections. In Operation Desert Fox, Secretary Cohen and General Cashfili(?) said that the United States abstained from striking biological and chemical sites for fear of spewing toxins into suburbs of Bagdad. Does the concern over collateral damage essentially preclude the use of force to enforce compliance in the event of Iraqi stonewalling again?

M: Not necessarily. To start with that, in that environment, if you’re really that concerned, make it a daylight strike around noon time and the only place that cloud’s going to go is straight up into the air. Secondly, that unless it is a storage site with dried agent, there really should be minimal, if any, collateral damage from the bio material that might be there. And there’s certainly no risk from the stand point of an R&D site. Research and Development Site.

M: I’ll make a semi-glib comment, but if they knew where those sites were, they would have told us and we would have inspected them. So I think they’re making a virtue of necessity that, you know, in normal striking BW(?) site. Didn’t know where they were.

M: I agree. (Inaudible) to the left?

WF: I’m Wendy Freeman from SAIC. There was a

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