Congressional Record: March 2, 2004 (Senate)
Page S1978-S1992


  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I rise today to discuss the subject of the 
removal of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq and to address some of the 
recent criticism regarding whether, given that large stockpiles of 
weapons of mass destruction have not been found, action by the United 
States was justified. When I have concluded, I know there are some 
colleagues who will want to address this same question from slightly 
different perspectives.
  The tragic events of September 11, 2001, demonstrated with great 
clarity that we can no longer afford to wait for threats to fully 
emerge before we deal with them. We paid a heavy price that day for our 
previous half-measures against those who hate us and want to destroy 
  By definition, intelligence is imprecise, and no matter what reforms 
we implement in our intelligence community, the fact is, at least to 
some degree, it will always be uncertain. This is precisely why 
intelligence information is just part of a larger puzzle, as it was in 
the case of Iraq, that we used to determine the direction of U.S. 
  So given the uncertainty about weapons of mass destruction 
stockpiles, were our actions in Iraq justified? The answer to that 
question is most certainly yes. There is no doubt that the United 
States, the Iraqi people, and the international community are far 
better off today without Saddam Hussein in power.
  The inability to find weapons of mass destruction stockpiles now does 
not mean that Iraq did not have access to such weapons, and that under 
Saddam Hussein Iraq was not a grave and gathering danger. In fact, the 
overwhelming body of evidence, including most recently that from the 
Iraq Survey Group, indicates that his regime did, indeed, pose a 
threat, and that its removal will aid in our overall aid against 

  Some of our colleagues have charged that the President led the 
American people to war under false pretenses; that the case for 
removing Saddam Hussein's regime was supposedly based on an imminent 
threat posed by that regime because of its arsenals of weapons of mass 
destruction which now cannot be found. This assertion is categorically 
false, and today I intend to explain why.
  Let's briefly review how we arrived at the decision to authorize 
force against Iraq in October of 2002.
  Contrary to what some would have us believe, the Bush administration 
did not fundamentally change U.S. policy with Iraq from that of the 
Clinton administration. Upon entering office in January 2001, President 
Bush inherited from the Clinton administration a policy of regime 
change. I repeat, the Bush administration pursued the same Iraqi policy 
as the Clinton administration. That policy was based on the 1998 Iraq 
Liberation Act which stated:

       It should be the policy of the United States to support 
     efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from 
     power and to promote the emergence of a democratic government 
     to replace that regime.

  This policy was unanimously approved by this Senate. This legislation 
and, thus, the shift in U.S. policy from containment to regime change 
reflected an acknowledgment that diplomatic solutions for dealing with 
Saddam's intransigence were being exhausted.
  Even before that shift, however, the Clinton administration was clear 
about the nature and capabilities of Saddam

[[Page S1979]]

Hussein's regime and, moreover, believed that if left unchecked, the 
regime would pose a serious threat in the future.
  On February 17, 1998, as he prepared for war against Iraq, President 
Clinton stated the following:

       Now let's imagine the future. What if [Saddam Hussein] 
     fails to comply and we fail to act or we take some ambiguous 
     third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to 
     develop this program of weapons of mass destruction and 
     continue to press for the release of the sanctions and 
     continue to ignore the solemn commitments that he made? Well, 
     he will conclude that the international community has lost 
     its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and 
     do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And 
     some day, some way, I guarantee you he will use that arsenal. 
     . . . In the next century, the community of nations may see 
     more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now--a 
     rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use 
     them or provide them to terrorists, drug traffickers, or 
     organized criminals who travel the world among us unnoticed.

  That quote was from President Clinton's remarks in 1998 as he 
prepared for war against Iraq. He pointed out that the arsenal which 
Iraq possessed--``a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction'' were 
his exact words--will pose a threat because he can provide them to 
terrorists, drug traffickers, or organized criminals who travel the 
world among us unnoticed.
  Note that he talked about weapons of mass destruction which Saddam 
Hussein possessed.
  I have noted no objections or caveats on these warnings by Democratic 
Members of the Senate.
  Later that year, not 2 months after President Clinton signed the 
Iraqi Liberation Act into law, he delivered an address to the Nation 
explaining his decision to order air strikes against Iraqi military 
targets. He discussed the potential long-term threat posed by Saddam 
Hussein. Again, I quote President Clinton:

       The hard fact is that so long as Saddam Hussein remains in 
     power he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of 
     his region, the security of the world. The best way to end 
     that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government, 
     a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a 
     government that respects the right of its people.
       . . . Heavy as they are, the costs of inaction must be 
     weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the 
     world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater 
     threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his 
     neighbors; he will make war on his own people. Mark my words, 
     he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy 
     them, and he will use them.

  Again, I note no dissent from Democratic Senators to these comments 
of President Clinton.
  Consider the striking similarity between these statements by 
President Clinton and the statements Bush administration officials made 
about Iraq during the leadup to Operation Iraqi Freedom. In the first 
statement I cited from February of 1998, President Clinton discussed 
the consequences of inaction in the face of continued noncompliance by 
Saddam Hussein, noting that inaction would lead the dictator to 
conclude the international community had lost its will.
  Consider the statements of President George W. Bush to the United 
Nations General Assembly in September 2002:

       The conduct of the Iraqi regime is a threat to the 
     authority of the United Nations. Iraq has answered a decade 
     of U.N. demands with a decade of defiance. . . . The United 
     Nations [faces] a difficult and defining moment. Are Security 
     Council resolutions to be honored and enforced, or cast aside 
     without consequence? Will the United Nations serve the 
     purpose of its founding, or will it be irrelevant?

  I point out the focus of President Clinton's statements was on the 
totality of our knowledge about Saddam Hussein's history, his defiance 
of the United Nations, use of chemical weapons, aggression against his 
neighbors, savage treatment of his own people.
  This is what we had to gauge his intentions by. This broad focus on 
Saddam's past actions and known capabilities, not any particular piece 
of intelligence, was also what prompted many Members of this body to 
authorize force against Iraq in October 2002. Consider some of the 
statements made in 2002 by my colleagues. First I quote Senator 
Daschle, majority and minority leader:

       Iraq's actions pose a serious and continued threat to 
     international peace and security. It is a threat we must 
     address. Saddam is a proven aggressor who has time and again 
     turned his wrath on his neighbors and on his own people. Iraq 
     is not the only nation in the world to possess weapons of 
     mass destruction, but it is the only nation with a leader who 
     has used them against his own people . . .

  Note: 2002, Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction, no 
qualifications except he is not the only country to do so. No 
expression of doubts or caveats. As minority leader or majority leader, 
Senator Daschle has access to all of the intelligence that is available 
to anybody in this body.

  Now I quote Senator Biden, whose comments I quote not just because he 
is one of the more thoughtful Members of this body and ranking member 
of the Foreign Relations Committee, but also because they happen to be 
very close to the views I expressed on this issue. I quote Senator 
Biden in his colorful way of putting it:

       There is a guy named Saddam Hussein who, in the early 1990s 
     broke international law, invaded another country, violating 
     every rule of international law. The world, under the 
     leadership of a President named Bush, united and expelled him 
     from that country. Upon expulsion, he said a condition for 
     your being able to remain in power, Saddam Hussein, is you 
     sue for peace and you agree to the following terms of 
     surrender . . . If the world decides it must use force for 
     his failure to abide by the terms of surrender, then it is 
     not preempting, it is enforcing. It is enforcing, it is 
     finishing a war he reignited, because the only reason the war 
     stopped is he sued for peace.

  That is exactly true. That is precisely what happened.
  Now let me quote another leader in the Senate, Senator Kerry, who 
said this:

       It would be naive, to the point of grave danger, not to 
     believe that, left to his own devices, Saddam Hussein will 
     provoke, misjudge, or stumble into a future, more dangerous 
     confrontation with the civilized world. . . .

  So this was the backdrop against which we all had voted to authorize 
the President to act and upon which he acted. I should not say we all 
voted to authorize the President because there were a few who did not, 
but the vast majority of the House of Representatives and the Senate 
voted to authorize the President to take appropriate action.
  Some now are voicing second thoughts. Since our successful removal of 
Saddam Hussein from power, it emerges that some of the intelligence 
regarding the regime's weapons of mass destruction capabilities may 
have been wrong, because most notably large stockpiles of chemical and 
biological weapons have yet to be found.
  I feel compelled to point out three obvious facts: One, an 
intelligence failure is not synonomous with a misuse of intelligence. 
Two, this intelligence issue does not fundamentally change the case 
against Saddam Hussein. Three, since Iraq itself had provided 
documentation to the United Nations on its production of chemical and 
biological agents, the question is not whether but what happened to the 
  Let's take the first, the misuse of intelligence. The fact remains 
the Bush administration relied largely on the same intelligence 
information used by the Clinton administration during the late 1990s, 
the same information that was available to Senators and about which 
they spoke on this floor, some of which I have quoted.
  President Clinton's CIA Director was retained by President Bush. By 
and large, the intelligence information was also the same as that of 
the other allied intelligence services, with a primary source being the 
two U.N. inspection bodies UNSCOM and UNMOVIC, the initials of which 
are U-N-S-C-O-M and U-N-M-O-V-I-C, which were led by non-Americans, 
such as Rolf Ekeus and Richard Butler. That Saddam had weapons of 
mass destruction capabilities was widely accepted, even by those who 
vehemently opposed the war. As French President Jacques Chirac 
commented during an interview with ``Time'' Magazine in February of 

       There is a problem--The probable possession of weapons of 
     mass destruction by an uncontrollable country, Iraq. The 
     international community is right to be disturbed by this 
     situation, and it's right in having decided Iraq should be 

  I would note, if he does not have any weapons of mass destruction, 
there is no point in talking about disarming him. The entire world 
community believed he possessed these weapons, among other things 
because he himself had said he did.

[[Page S1980]]

  So given the information the international community had at the time, 
the conclusions about Iraq's capabilities seemed clear. As former head 
of the Iraqi Survey Group David Kay recently stated in his testimony to 
the Senate Armed Services Committee:

       . . . All I can say is if you read the total body of 
     intelligence in the last 12 to 15 years that flowed on Iraq, 
     I quite frankly think it would be hard to come to a 
     conclusion other than Iraq was a gathering, serious threat to 
     the world with regard to WMD.

  I might add, that is exactly what President Bush said. That is 
obviously a big-picture view.
  It seems opponents of the President, in charging the administration 
misled the American people, preferred to point to specific 
intelligence. So let's take a closer look at a couple of those 
examples. First, that the President's reference in his State of the 
Union Address regarding Iraq's attempts to purchase uranium and, 
second, that the administration presented intelligence community 
information on Iraq's WMD capabilities as though it were an undeniable 
fact rather than qualifying it properly with caveats.
  First, there were the following 16 words in the President's State of 
the Union Address:

       The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein 
     recently sought significant quantities of uranium from 

  Major newspapers, the Democratic National Committee, and some 
policymakers claim this is one of the top examples of the Bush 
administration knowingly misleading the American people and presenting 
false intelligence information. As the DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe 

       This may be the first time in recent history that a 
     President knowingly misled the American people during a State 
     of the Union Address. . . . this was not a mistake. It was no 
     oversight and it was no error.

  That is a grave charge. Charges that the administration purposely 
included false information in the President's speech I deem despicable, 
an attempt to create a scandal where one does not exist. The President 
had every reason to believe the information in his speech was true. It 
had been vetted by the CIA Director and it was consistent with the 
judgment of the intelligence community in October 2002. The National 
Intelligence Estimate at that time said Iraq was ``vigorously trying to 
procure uranium ore'' from several African countries.
  The British government, which the President cited, included a 
judgment in its dossier similar to that of the intelligence community's 
majority judgment on this point.
  In retrospect, Director Tenet stated this phrase, though factually 
correct and approved in the interagency process, should not have been 
included in the President's speech because it was not central to the 
intelligence community's judgment that Iraq was reconstituting its 
nuclear weapons program. In other words, it was just a piece of 
evidence, not important enough to include in a speech like the State of 
the Union speech, and certainly not what we relied upon for our 
conclusion Iraq was trying to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program. 
In any event, it does not suggest in any way that the President was at 
fault for including the information, or that he had any intention of 
misleading the American people. The President believed the text was 
sound. It was not in error. If there was an error, it was simply 
including a piece of information which really wasn't central to making 
the case, but not misleading the American people.
  Second, the President's critics argue he failed to mention caveats in 
the intelligence community's assessment of Iraqi capability. This 
criticism is highly misleading. According to the 2002 National 
Intelligence Estimate, and I have an unclassified copy of it here, the 
intelligence community had ``high confidence'' in the following 

       Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding, its 
     chemical, biological, nuclear, and missile programs contrary 
     to U.N. Resolutions.
       Iraq possesses proscribed chemical and biological weapons 
     and missiles.
       Iraq could make a nuclear weapon in months to a year once 
     it acquires sufficient weapons-grade material.

  So the National Intelligence Estimate, prepared by the entire 
intelligence community, led by the CIA Director George Tenet, had high 
confidence, among other things, in the fact that Iraq possessed 
proscribed biological and chemical weapons and missiles. After the fact 
we found some of the missiles. We found the programs to make chemical 
and biological weapons. But we don't find the big stockpile of those 
weapons. It turns out the intelligence community's high confidence in 
this statement was either misplaced or we simply haven't found the 
material yet, or it went somewhere else. We don't know the answers to 
those questions.
  As to this, the only dissent came from the State Department. But even 
in its alternate view it said Saddam continues to want nuclear weapons 
and available evidence suggests Baghdad is pursuing a limited effort to 
maintain and acquire nuclear weapons capabilities.
  Moreover, it appears the State Department did not have significant 
objections to the key judgments related to chemical, biological, and 
missile programs.
  So it is clear, it is fair to say, we had a general opinion of 
Saddam's capabilities, that that is what the President addressed.
  I want to also make it clear the President and the administration 
never claimed Iraq posed an imminent threat, as some have said. To the 
contrary, administration officials said the United States and the 
international community needed to act before it became imminent. 
Indeed, President Bush challenged those who wanted to wait until the 
threat was imminent in his 2003 State of the Union Address, saying the 

       Some have said that we must not act until the threat is 
     imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced 
     their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they 
     strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly 
     emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would 
     come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam 
     Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

  So said President Bush.
  Administration officials did use words like ``immediate'' and 
``urgent'' but more to convey the importance of dealing with the threat 
they judged to be growing; that they did not imply or state was 
imminent, in other words, that the attack was about to occur. They did 
not say that.
  Indeed, that the threat was not yet imminent was well understood on 
both sides of the aisle. As Senator Daschle, whom I quoted earlier, 
stated in explaining his support for the resolution authorizing the use 
of force against Iraq:

       The threat posed by Saddam Hussein may not be imminent, but 
     it is real, it is growing, and it cannot be ignored.

  I submit he was correct. One can argue, and indeed some of my 
colleagues have argued, administration officials were at times too 
certain in the way they said it, too certain in their statements using 
phrases like ``we know.'' But given all the information we had about 
Saddam's history of using and producing weapons of mass destruction, 
his aggressive intentions, and the intelligence community's high 
confidence in the key areas of assessment, it is difficult to imagine 
how the administration could have determined Iraq was not a threat that 
needed to be dealt with immediately.
  So, no, there may have been mistakes in intelligence. We have yet to 
find that out. But there was not a misleading--an attempt to mislead by 
the administration.
  The second point is the larger point, that whatever deficiencies 
there may have been about the stockpiles of weapons of mass 
destruction, it doesn't change the basic case against Saddam Hussein. 
Some of what I have quoted earlier makes that point. While it is 
troubling our intelligence cannot tell us where these stockpiles are, 
the larger case remains. The Bush administration, supported by a large 
coalition, pursued a responsible policy, given all of the pieces of the 
puzzle it had. As I said, there was Saddam's previously known missile 
capabilities and chemical and biological weapons programs; his desire 
to acquire a nuclear weapon; his continuing flagrant violation of 
numerous Security Council resolutions; his history of aggression 
including, I might add, shooting at American airplanes constantly in 
the no-fly zone while we were trying to enforce that, if you will 
recall; and even an attempt to assassinate former President Bush. Add 
to this the regime's vast human rights

[[Page S1981]]

abuses which really only came to light after we were able to liberate 

  In other words, absent any statement or specific piece of 
intelligence, the case against Saddam Hussein was already made by 
Saddam Hussein himself and this was before, as I said, we found the 
mass graves of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.
  Our colleague Senator Kerry summed it up well at the time. He said 

       I believe the record of Saddam Hussein's ruthless, reckless 
     breach of international values and standards of behavior is 
     cause enough for the world community to hold him accountable 
     by the use of force, if necessary.

  I want to quote that again:

       I believe the record of Saddam Hussein's ruthless, reckless 
     breach of international values and standards of behavior is 
     cause enough for the world community to hold him accountable 
     by use of force, if necessary.

  There is no suggestion here we had to find weapons of mass 
destruction, or even necessarily that we had to believe those weapons 
existed at the time, even though, as I said, we all did, based upon the 
intelligence at the time, but that this gross violation of human rights 
was, in and of itself, a sufficient casus belli.
  Given the same causes and information, what then accounts for the 
differences between the actions of the Bush and Clinton 
administrations? Very simply, the Bush administration made a decision 
that, post 9/11, it was too dangerous to allow American security to 
rest in the hands of an international organization that, after 12 
years, had failed to enforce its own resolutions demanding Iraqi 
compliance with the 1991 Gulf war cease-fire. It was too dangerous to 
allow a regime to stay in place which had demonstrated a clear intent 
to develop weapons of mass destruction, had ongoing ties to terrorist 
organizations, and whose leader made it abundantly and routinely clear 
the United States was his enemy.
  We needed to begin the process of changing the facts on ground in the 
Middle East.
  In fact, it was, in part, the very uncertainty that made dealing with 
Saddam Hussein an urgent matter.
  As Senator Kerry explained before his vote in favor of the 
authorization to use force:

       In the wake of September 11, who among us can say, with any 
     certainty, to anybody, that those weapons might not be used 
     against our troops or against allies in the region? Who can 
     say that this master of miscalculation will not develop a 
     weapon of mass destruction even greater--a nuclear weapon--
     then reinvade Kuwait, push the Kurds out, attack Israel, any 
     number of scenarios to try to further his ambition to be the 
     pan-Arab leader or simply to confront in the region, once 
     again miscalculate the response, to believe he is stronger 
     than those weapons?
       And while the administration has failed to provide any 
     direct link between Iraq and September 11, can we afford to 
     ignore the possibility that Saddam might accidentally, as 
     well as purposely, allow those weapons to slide off to one 
     group or other in a region where weapons are the currency of 
     trade? How do we leave that to chance?

  While we have not and may not find these weapons stockpiles, the case 
against Saddam Hussein is not diminished. His was a threat that needed 
to be dealt with.
  The third and final point, the jury is still out as to what happened 
to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and when. It is an intelligence 
failure--a lack of knowledge, not an attempt to mislead people--that we 
don't know the answer to that question. Presumably, some day we will 
find out or at least come closer to the resolution of the issue. 
Perhaps some day we will find some of the weapons, or maybe we will 
find evidence they were destroyed or removed before the war. There is 
no way now to know.
  But one fact is certain. What we know is that at one time Saddam 
Hussein had chemical and biological weapons. Saddam Hussein admitted it 
and the entire world believed it. What is more, that Saddam used those 
weapons against Iran and against the Iraqi Kurds will remain forever 
etched in our minds.
  I point to simply one picture among many which we can present to 
remind us of the fact that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass 
destruction and used them--in this case, against his own people. Who 
will forget the picture of this Kurdish mother with arms wrapped around 
baby, both dead, as a result of Saddam Hussein's perfidy--the use of 
his chemical weapons.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, will the Senator yield for a question?
  Mr. KYL. I am happy to yield for a question.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Is it not correct that was one issue upon which 
everyone was in agreement prior to the Iraq war, the French, the 
Germans, the Russians, the British, ourselves, the United Nations, the 
world in its entirety? The one thing they agreed on prior to the Iraq 
war was the point the Senator from Arizona was just making.
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, if we didn't agree on anything else--and 
there were some issues we agreed on--all of the countries mentioned, 
all of the intelligence services mentioned by the Senator from 
Kentucky, in fact agreed on that point.
  Among other things, they agreed because they read the documentation 
provided to the United Nations by Saddam Hussein in which he admitted 
he had biological and chemical weapons stockpiles. We knew he had used 
them. He said he had them. The question now is, What happened to them 
between sometime in the late 1990s, maybe right up to a week or two 
before the Iraqi war, and the time we were able to go in after the 
Iraqi war in search of them since we haven't yet found large 
stockpiles? We found some things. We certainly found missiles. We have 
found the programs to reconstitute the chemical weapons program and the 
biological weapons program. But what we thought we were going to find 
was a lot of artillery shells filled with chemical munitions and some 
mortars and things of that sort. We thought they were going to be used 
against our troops. That we haven't yet found. That is a mystery. You 
can say it is an intelligence failure, but as the Senator from Kentucky 
pointed out, nobody disagreed with the proposition that at one time he 
had those weapons. There is a lot of evidence to that fact.
  Mr. McCONNELL. So if there were any effort to mislead the public, an 
awful lot of countries were complicit in this effort, were they not?
  Mr. KYL. If there was an effort to mislead, there would have been a 
lot of countries complicit and a lot of Senators complicit. I don't 
believe for a minute that, in fact, any of us attempted to mislead; 
that Jacques Chirac attempted to mislead, that the United Nations, or 
President Bush attempted to mislead. We were all going forth with the 
same intelligence. We all reached the same conclusion.

  Maybe we don't know yet, but at some point in the last few months or 
years Saddam Hussein buried, sent to Syria, blew up, or otherwise got 
rid of those weapons. We just do not know. But about their existence at 
one time, there can be no doubt.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I thank my friend from Arizona.
  Mr. KYL. I thank the Senator very much. The Senator made the last 
point I wanted to make in this regard, and then I will conclude my 
  We were briefed every day of the war at 9 o'clock in an area here in 
which we can receive classified briefings by the general in charge of 
the operation at the Pentagon and representatives of the CIA, the 
Defense Department, State Department, and others. Every morning they 
checked several boxes to remind us of the status of the open 
  Before the operation started, they told us about their belief that 
Saddam Hussein would lob artillery shells with chemical munitions at 
our troops. They pointed out that they were going to make efforts to 
try to prevent this from happening. They called it the ``red line'' 
around Baghdad. When we got that close, then there would be this threat 
of chemical weapons fired against our troops--maybe biological.
  So before the war, they began the bombardment on the command and 
control systems that would send the orders out to the generals in the 
field. They bombed artillery sites hoping to destroy their artillery 
weapons. They bombed the warehouses where they thought the munitions 
might be stored. They dropped millions of leaflets warning that if any 
officer carried out an order to use these weapons against the allied 
forces we would hold them accountable as war crime criminals.
  As our troops got closer to that red line, they had to don the 

[[Page S1982]]

that would protect them against these munitions. It was not easy to 
fight under those conditions, but we believed this attack could very 
well occur.
  We got to the Baghdad Airport. By that briefing, the generals were 
scratching their heads saying: We are not sure why, but we haven't been 
attacked with these artillery shells. Yet maybe it is because we 
destroyed the artillery units that would have fired them. Maybe they 
just got scared because of our leaflets or they couldn't issue the 
orders. We are not sure. But for some reason they didn't fire them. For 
several days, they continued to wonder about that.
  My point is this: At the highest levels, our troops and our leaders 
at the Department of Defense all believed this was a threat that could 
well materialize against our troops. They went to great lengths to try 
to protect against it. This was not a matter of somebody misleading the 
American people. We believed it, our troops believed it, the generals 
believed it, and the Defense Department believed it. And, yes, the 
President believed it. Nobody was trying to mislead anyone. We based a 
lot of our actions on this belief.
  Let me conclude my remarks by saying this: Much has been made of 
David Kay's acknowledgment that all of the intelligence agencies 
apparently were wrong about the weapons stockpiles. But listen to what 
David Kay said as he reflected on the decision to go to war:

       I think at the end of the inspection process we'll paint a 
     picture of Iraq that was far more dangerous than even we 
     thought it was before the war. It was a system collapsing. It 
     was a country that had the capability in weapons of mass 
     destruction areas and in which terrorists, likes ants to 
     honey, were going after it.

  Kay stated on numerous occasions that Saddam Hussein was in clear 
material breach of Security Council Resolution 1441. The Iraq Survey 
Group, of which he was head, discovered hundreds of cases of activities 
that were prohibited under the original United Nations cease-fire 
resolution and that should have been but were not reported under 
Resolution 1441.
  The group found a prison laboratory complex which may have been used 
in human testing of biological agents. It found ``reference strains'' 
of biological organisms which can be used to produce biological 
weapons. It found new research on agents applicable to biological 
weapons, including the Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever. It found 
continuing research on ricin and aflatoxin. It also found plants and 
advanced design work on new missiles with ranges well beyond what was 
  Not just the words of Resolution 1441 but the entire credibility of 
the U.N. was at stake. The years of Iraqi violations had to come to an 
end. Now that awful and bloody regime has come to an end.
  In the final analysis, whatever the inaccuracies of specific pieces 
of intelligence, that Saddam Hussein continued to harbor intentions for 
the development and use of WMD remains true. The observations of David 
Kay, once again, showed this. He reported earlier this year that Iraq 
``was in the early stages of renovating the nuclear program, building 
new buildings.'' This is the regime that, as I said, David Kay called 
``far more dangerous than even we thought. To wait any longer to remove 
it would have been a gamble not worth taking.''

  I yield to the Senator from Kentucky.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Murkowski). The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I thank the Senator from Arizona and appreciate so 
much his contribution to this important discussion about the war in 
Iraq and how we got into it and what people understood at the time.
  It has occurred to me there is a criminal analogy that summarizes the 
debate we seem to be having. So let's pose a hypothetical question to 
all of our fellow Senators. Say the FBI has received a credible tip 
that a domestic terrorist group is planning to bomb the Capitol. This 
group is responsible for previous deadly terrorist attacks, we know 
that, but has been able so far to avoid capture. When the FBI breaks 
down the door to the group's rural compound, they find all sorts of 
prohibited weapons--machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, and grenade 
launchers. They also find detailed plans to gun down lawmakers, 
diagrams of the Capitol, and information on how to construct a large 
bomb capable of destroying the Capitol Building. But they do not find 
the bomb itself or any grenades or the grenade launchers. They found 
all of the other things, but they did not find the bombs themselves or 
the grenade launchers.
  Should the FBI apologize to the terrorists and offer to replace their 
door, even though they just caused the apprehension of the terrorists? 
Since they had yet to construct the bomb, should the terrorists go 
free? Should we fret that we acted before the bomb was ready, even 
though the terrorists' intent to attack the Capitol was absolutely 
  The answer is obviously and definitely no; we should not wait until 
terrorists roam our streets before responding. We should not wait until 
the planes have been hijacked or until the bombs have been assembled. 
We should not have waited until Hussein's army once again stood ready 
at the border. We should not have waited until the threat he posed to 
the United States and its allies was imminent. We should not have 
waited for the French to say it was OK to act to defend the free world.
  Some seem to suggest that even though we know Saddam Hussein 
continued to develop ballistic missiles prohibited by the U.N., our 
military effort was illegitimate because we have not yet found WMD 
warheads or the missiles. I can confidently state that Saddam's 
ballistic missiles were not for the Iraqi space program.
  On another note, I am fairly confident that the Iraqi people do not 
believe for a minute that their liberation is any less legitimate 
because we have yet to find stockpiles of WMD. I raise this simple 
analogy because the fundamental questions about our policy in Iraq are 
fairly basic. The crux of the matter is that Saddam Hussein posed a 
growing threat to the United States, to our allies, and to his own 
people. There is no doubt that Iraqis and Americans alike are better 
off now that Saddam Hussein is in prison and his evil sons have met 
their end.
  Now it occurs to me, we have also lost sight of the moral dimension 
that accompanied our liberation of Iraq. I represent in my State Fort 
Campbell, KY, the home of the 101st Airborne. I followed their efforts 
in that country very closely. This is the unit whose brave soldiers 
brought to justice Usay and Quday Hussein. The 101st Airborne got them. 
My colleagues are surely not unaware of how vile these two murderers 
were and how deserving they were of the tow missiles that ended their 
brutish lives.
  In case we have forgotten that, let me recount a little bit of their 
evil legacy. According to many reports, Usay Hussein routinely ordered 
his bodyguards to snatch young women off the streets so that he could 
rape them. He also ordered political prisoners to be dropped into tubs 
of acid to punish them. Usay was also in charge of Iraq's olympic 
committee where he oversaw the training of that country's professional 
athletes. Usay's training regimen included torturing and jailing 
athletes for poor performance. Usay would sometimes force Iraq's track 
stars to crawl along a strip of newly poured asphalt, and once required 
soccer kickers to kick a concrete ball until their feet were broken 
after they failed to reach the 1994 World Cup finals. This was Usay 

  Although it is difficult to think of an individual more brutal and 
evil than Usay Hussein, his brother, Quday, who was known by many 
Iraqis as ``the snake'' for his blood thirsty manner, surely comes 
close. Quday was responsible for the massacre of tens of thousands of 
Shiite Muslims in the wake of the first gulf war. Maybe some of our 
colleagues have forgotten about the marsh Arabs who live in southern 
Iraq. These Iraqis used to live in the Iraqi wetlands that covered 
nearly 3,200 square miles. They had lived in these marshes for hundreds 
and perhaps thousands of years until Quday ordered them drained in a 
massive ethnic cleansing operation. Quday was also responsible for 
horrible cleansings of Hussein's prisons.
  When Hussein's prisons became overcrowded, the regime did not build 
more jails or let prisoners go. Instead, Quday ordered mass executions 
in order to reduce overcrowding. A London-based

[[Page S1983]]

human rights group reports that these unlucky prisoners were sometimes 
put feet first into massive shredders at Quday's request.
  We do not hear much about these awful crimes anymore, so maybe some 
of our colleagues have forgotten, if they ever knew, about the extent 
of the Hussein family's brutality. I highlight their brutality in order 
to ask a serious question about the reality of the international system 
in the absence of American action. Does anybody seriously believe that 
had the 101st Airborne not banged down their door, Usay and Quday would 
have been brought to justice? Of course they would not have. Without 
the 101st Airborne going after them, they would not have been brought 
to justice. Absent U.S. leadership, I cannot imagine a situation in 
which the U.N. would have been able to arrange for the apprehension and 
trial of the Hussein family.
  Had the United States not acted in Iraq, who could say with any 
confidence that Usay and Quday would not this very day be raping young 
Iraqi girls and torturing Iraqi dissidents. Of course they would still 
be doing that. That is what they did.
  Had the United States not acted in Iraq, could anyone say with any 
confidence that Saddam would not be plotting our doom, that his sons 
would not be torturing the Iraqi people, and that his regime would not 
be preparing to rebuild the WMD infrastructure we all have agreed 
Hussein once had?
  In conclusion, Madam President, it is more than enough to justify the 
war in Iraq and the liberation of the Iraqi people.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. KYL. Madam President, I know the majority leader wishes to speak 
next; and then I know the distinguished chairman of the Judiciary 
Committee is here as well. I now yield to Majority Leader Frist.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. FRIST. Madam President, I just want to share with my colleagues 
some recent experiences I had in meeting with Kurdish physicians not 
too long ago in my office, not too far from here, because it relates so 
dramatically to the debate and to the unfolding of many of the 
questions that seem to be raised today.
  I should really begin by saying in my home State of Tennessee there 
are a number of Kurdish residents who live, who reside particularly in 
the area of Nashville where I am from. I have had the opportunity to 
meet with them and to listen to their concerns and have had the 
opportunity to support a project called the Health Partnerships With 
Northern Iraq, which is a project that is sponsored by the Meridian 
International Center here in the District, with the support of the 
State Department. It is a fantastic program, it is a great program, the 
purpose of which is to train Kurdish doctors in northern Iraq to do 
primary care; that is, basic care. It is probably 90 percent of health 
care in terms of responding to individual needs of families and 
  What is interesting is these doctors, for a period of time, spent a 
few weeks, and then months, of their training in this country in 
primary care, and part of that time was spent in Tennessee at East 
Tennessee State University.
  Last January, I met with this group of Kurdish doctors in my office, 
just down the hall. They came to me as a physician, as a doctor, and 
also as majority leader, but they came to me with very specific 
concerns. They shared with me that they knew the war to topple Saddam 
Hussein was near, and they were concerned--these are Iraqi physicians--
that they would be attacked with chemical and biological weapons. Their 
concern, as I will share with my colleagues shortly, was based on 
practical experience, experiences they have firsthand knowledge of, in 
terms of being with people who had suffered from attacks.
  But at the time when they were in my office, they came to me because 
they said: We are simply unprepared to be practicing primary care in 
our homeland in northern Iraq. They were in a region of about 6 million 
individuals, which had 240 primary care centers, but they had very few 
supplies. They had only the very most rudimentary needs in terms of 
treatment. They had no personal protective equipment in terms of 
biological contaminants or chemical weapons. They had no ability to 
contain or even treat victims of a chemical or biological attack. They 
had little time for the intensive training they knew they would need in 
order to respond to such a biological or chemical attack. Yet they came 
to my office very specifically asking for help.
  Dr. Ali Sindi, the delegation leader, asked for basic supplies. He 
asked for medical supplies and some help with acquiring medical 
supplies, coming to the majority leader, but also coming to a 
physician. He asked for hydrogen peroxide. He asked for bleach. 
Hydrogen peroxide and bleach, as most people know today, are used to 
decontaminate affected areas from biological or chemical weapons. He 
asked for gas masks. He asked for chemical suits. He asked for 
antibiotics in the event there was a biological attack.
  He noted--and, again, it was a group of Kurdish physicians--he told 
me the Kurdish water systems are generally open to the air and, a lot 
of times, sitting on the rooftops of the villages there. So he, 
concerned about chemical and biological attacks, said: And in addition, 
what I need is some kind of protection for these rooftop water systems.
  Their fear--these doctors' fear, the doctors from Iraq--was not based 
on intelligence briefings. Their fear was based on experience. Their 
fear was based on reality. Their fear was based on what they had seen, 
and their fear was based on what they had actually treated; that is, 
chemical weapons, weapons of mass destruction.
  As the Senator from Arizona knows, the Kurds had been attacked by 
chemical weapons before, most notably in the city of Halabja. There, 
thousands of innocent Kurds were killed with weapons of mass 
destruction, these chemical weapons. These doctors from that region had 
come to see me. They had treated victims of that particular attack. 
They know from that direct experience what chemical weapons, weapons of 
mass destruction, can do. These doctors believed, obviously, the Kurds 
were going to be attacked with chemical weapons once again. They asked 
from me and from our Government, through me, for that help to be 
  At this juncture, I ask the Senator from Arizona, in light of these 
doctors' past, direct experience with weapons of mass destruction--
these chemical weapons--does the Senator agree the Kurds were acting 
reasonably when they, with this direct experience, believed Saddam 
Hussein possessed and intended to use weapons of mass destruction; 
namely, the chemical weapons they had seen and had experience with 
being used before?
  Mr. KYL. Madam President, I would answer the question this way: It is 
easy for us, in this sort of antiseptic environment of the Senate, to 
talk about these matters. But I was moved by the story of these Kurdish 
doctors, who saw it with their own eyes. I cannot imagine how they 
would not believe, and why we should not think it reasonable they would 
believe, Saddam Hussein would do this again, that he had every 
intention to, every capability of doing it again.
  When I look at this picture, I think of the words of Secretary Powell 
when he visited Halabja and saw what occurred there and basically vowed 
the United States would never, ever again allow something like that to 
happen if he could do anything about it. It made me proud. It made me 
recommitted to the proposition that when we know something like that is 
going on, or we believe it to be the case, like these Kurdish doctors 
did, we have a duty to do something about it.
  I absolutely agree with the Senator.
  Mr. FRIST. I thank the Senator from Arizona.
  Again, these physicians who came to see me from Iraq had seen with 
their own eyes these chemical weapons having been used before. They had 
come--and this is just last January--to me to say: We need help to 
protect ourselves and our communities from the use of these biological 
and chemical weapons.
  Is the Senator aware many of the critics of the war to topple Saddam 
Hussein seem to suggest there was never cause to be concerned with 
Saddam Hussein? In fact, if you listen closely to the critics, they go 
so far as to imply there was never a threat at all.

[[Page S1984]]

  Is the Senator from Arizona familiar with the details of one of the 
most horrendous examples of Saddam's brutality, the 1988 massacre of 
Kurdish civilians in the village of Halabja? Indeed, at the time, 
50,000 Kurds lived in the village of Halabja, a city that is very close 
to the Iranian border. They had already suffered immeasurably from the 
8 years of conventional war between Iraq and Iran. But for Saddam 
Hussein, that was not enough.
  On March 16, 1988, the Iraqi regime launched an artillery attack 
against Halabja, driving the residents of the city there underground. 
They went to these underground shelters and to the basements for 
protection from this overhead attack. But that is when the real, true 
terror began. Iraqi helicopters then came in with planes, and they came 
back once again, but this time with chemical weapons. The chemical 
weapons were all carefully documented--nerve gas, VX, mustard gas--all 
weapons of mass destruction, which were aimed at these buildings, these 
cellars, all of a sudden turning these cellars in which the Kurds were 
hiding into gas chambers. They fled, of course, gathering their 
families, exposed, running for their lives.
  Graphic evidence showed the results of Saddam's use of weapons of 
mass destruction. The Senator from Arizona just showed that picture 
with the question: No weapons of mass destruction?
  It reminds me so dramatically of what one survivor relayed at the 

       People were dying all around. When a child could not go on, 
     the parents, becoming hysterical with fear, abandoned him. 
     Many children were left on the ground by the side of the 
     road. Old people as well. They were running. Then they would 
     stop breathing and die.

  Experts agree over 5,000 innocent citizens died as a result of the 
chemical weapons attack. These were weapons of mass destruction used on 
Halabja. Again, those physicians in my office told me these stories. 
Other survivors had scarring of the lungs, something called fibrosis of 
the lung, where the lung becomes nothing but a fibrous scar. Others 
were blinded permanently. The consequences of this cruelty continue to 
this day, and indeed these physicians continue to treat the residual 
effects of people in that Kurdish community. Chemicals contaminated the 
food and water supply. The chemicals caused cancer. The chemicals 
caused those respiratory diseases like fibrosis. They caused 
infertility and high levels of severe abnormalities in Halabja's 
  Christine Gosden, a British professor of medical genetics, traveled 
to northern Iraq in 1998 to study the effects on the Kurdish population 
of the poison gas unleashed on them. She founded the Halabja Medical 
Institute and discovered the consequences of the chemical weapons 
attack were even more damaging than she expected. She wrote in the 
Washington Post:

       What I found was far worse than anything I had suspected--
     devastating problems occurring 10 years after the attack. 
     These chemicals seriously affected people's eyes and 
     respiratory and neurological systems. Many became blind. Skin 
     disorders, which involve severe scarring are frequent, and 
     many progress to skin cancer. An increasing number of 
     children are dying each year of leukemias and lymphomas.

  The Halabja Medical Institute, in its research on the attacks, 
discovered something even more vicious. Its conclusions noted:

       While these weapons had many terrible direct effects, such 
     as immediate death, or skin and eye burns, Iraqi government 
     documents indicate they were used deliberately for known 
     long-term effects, including cancers, birth defects, 
     neurological problems, and infertility. Inexpensive in terms 
     of death per unit cost, there is evidence that these weapons 
     were used in different combinations by Baath 
     forces attempting to discern their effectiveness as 
     weapons of terror and war.
  Yes, Saddam's regime conducted experiments using chemical weapons on 
innocent Kurdish civilians. These are Kurdish civilians in his own 
country. Experimenting. The Kurdish physicians told me--it is to vivid 
in my mind--that in buildings like hotels with different wings, single 
floors, people would be herded and placed into these rooms; one wing 
would be to test VX gas on humans, killing them, and another wing would 
be mustard gas, and there would be another gas in a third wing, to see 
which was more effective.
  Iraqi soldiers even went so far as to return to the town after that 
attack in Halabja to study how efficient, how effective those chemicals 
weapons were, using the number of people who died as a measure of 
  I want to ask the Senator from Arizona another question. Does the 
Senator from Arizona have any doubt in his mind that Saddam would 
continue to develop and use such weapons at the first possible 
  Mr. KYL. Madam President, I will answer in a couple of different 
ways. First of all, I served on the Intelligence Committee for 8 years, 
and I was convinced, based upon the intelligence estimates provided to 
us over that period of time, these weapons were possessed, they had 
been used, and they would likely be used again if he had the 
opportunity to do so, and that there were weapons programs ongoing 
within the country of Iraq. So I don't have any doubt, as the Senator 
has so eloquently pointed out here, that the Kurds, who he referred to 
and spoke with, were absolutely right that these kinds of attacks would 
occur again.
  I wondered whether I was alone in this and, of course, in looking, I 
found that I was not. Let me note two or three things colleagues have 
said. Then I will turn to Senator Hatch. But I note that in 1998, long 
before President Bush came to town, President Clinton had come to the 
same conclusion, based upon the intelligence that had been provided to 
him by the intelligence agencies. A couple things struck me and then I 
will move on. He said:

       Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and 
     ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: 
     he has used them, not once but repeatedly.

  That is the point the leader made.

       Unleashing chemical weapons against Iranian troops . . . 
     against civilians, firing Scud missiles at the citizens of 
     Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Iran . . . even against 
     his own people, gassing Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq.

  I also found it interesting that in December of 1998, in an Oval 
Office address, President Clinton said this, and I take just one 

       I have no doubt today that, left unchecked, Saddam Hussein 
     will use these terrible weapons again.

  That was the President of the United States responding to the 
intelligence he was given. I know some colleagues have said the current 
administration hasn't qualified the intelligence enough. They have not 
said we think or we judge. They said we are pretty sure. Here is 
President Clinton staying, ``I have no doubt today.'' That is not 
caveated or qualified.
  Then several members of his cabinet--I looked at what they had to 
say. Madeleine Albright, the distinguished Secretary of State, said:

       I think the record will show that Saddam Hussein has 
     produced weapons of mass destruction, which he's clearly not 
     collecting for his own personal pleasure, but in order to 
     use. Therefore, he is qualitatively and quantitatively 
     different from every brutal dictator that has appeared 

  That is her judgment.
  Secretary of Defense William Cohen talked about Secretary Albright, 
indicating Saddam Hussein has ``developed an arsenal of deadly chemical 
and biological weapons. He has used these weapons repeatedly against 
his own people as well as Iran.''
  We are talking about an arsenal of weapons here. Here is the former 
Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration talking about that. 
He went on to say in this particular interview, which occurred at Ohio 
State University:

       I have a picture which I believe CNN can show on its 
     cameras, but here's a picture taken of an Iraqi mother and 
     child killed by Iraqi nerve gas. This is what I would call 
     Madonna and child Saddam Hussein-style.

  That is the picture Secretary Cohen at that time displayed on the 
screen. He said:

       Now, the United Nations believes that he still has very 
     large quantities of VX.

  VX is the nerve agent which is so deadly. As Dr. Frist knows, a 
single drop can kill you within a couple of minutes.
  Here is Secretary Cohen and Secretary Albright referring to the 
United Nations believing that he still has a large quantity of this 
product, the point being that everybody thought he had it.
  The United Nations thought he had it, Secretary Cohen thought he had 
it, Secretary Albright thought he had it, and President Clinton thought 
he had it.

[[Page S1985]]

  I found it interesting that Senator Leahy, the distinguished ranking 
member on the Judiciary Committee, said in 1988--and he is right on 

       If Saddam Hussein had nothing to hide, why would he have 
     gone to great lengths to prevent U.N. inspectors from doing 
     their job?

  That is a question we all asked.

       There is no doubt that since 1991, Saddam Hussein has 
     squandered his country's resources to maintain his capacity 
     to produce and stockpile chemical and biological weapons.

  The point is, a lot of our colleagues had no doubt and they said they 
had no doubt.
  Senator Kerry--I will make this the last quotation--in 1998 said:

       We do know that he had them--

  Referring to WMD--

       in his inventory, and the means of delivering them. We do 
     know that his chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons 
     development programs were proceeding with his active support.

  The bottom line is the distinguished majority leader is absolutely 
correct. But not only do we have reason, not only did those Kurdish 
physicians have reason to believe he had these horrible weapons and 
would use them again, so did the leaders of our country, including the 
leaders of the United Nations all throughout this period of time of 
1996, 1998, right on up forward.
  Unless the distinguished majority leader has anything else, I yield 
at this point to the distinguished chairman of the Senate Judiciary 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. HATCH. Madam President, I ask my colleagues on the floor just to 
think this through. I have been watching this debate about the threat 
of Iraq, frankly, since the early 1990s. I have been privileged to 
serve in this body since 1977, which means I have been here long enough 
to see the evolving trends in terrorism, from the Iranian revolution to 
the perversion of the Islamic faith and advent of fundamentalism. I 
also have been here through all the stages of relations with Iraq since 
the rise of Saddam Hussein.
  I recall the debate prior to the first gulf war. While certainly not 
absolutely partisan, that debate in 1990 was the last time we had a 
very partisan debate on foreign policy. Through the 1990s, while I had 
many disputes with the Clinton administration over various aspects of 
foreign policy, I seemed to recall that partisanship on the question of 
Iraq had diminished. In fact, the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 was 
passed in this body unanimously and in the House overwhelmingly and was 
signed into law by President Clinton.
  I think my colleagues would have to agree with this. I would like to 
ask my colleagues if they agree with the following assessment: Since 
the fall of 2002, the debate over Iraq policy has become more and more 
partisan and more and more bitter. While the authorization to use force 
was passed by a large majority--I believe it was 77 to 23--and with the 
support of many of my Democratic colleagues, including some not present 
today, the debate since then has been troubling to me.
  You would think that Congress could maintain our proper role of 
oversight without descending into partisan attacks. You would think 
that with our military in the midst of a historic mission and over 500 
American families grieving because their loved ones paid the ultimate 
sacrifice, that legitimate criticism could be expressed without 
partisan rancor or misleading rhetoric. You would think so.
  One of the most troubling aspects of the criticism of our President 
and his policy was the suggestion, deceivingly made, that the threat of 
Saddam Hussein was not imminent. I believe these criticisms beginning 
last year deliberately tried to confuse the American public. The threat 
was not imminent, the critics said, implying the response to go to war 
was not required.
  Yet I have reviewed most of the President's rhetoric, and I have 
concluded that he made numerous honest statements that declared that 
after the historic attacks of September 11, we would not be defining 
our response by outdated measures of imminence. I went back and read a 
key quote from the President's State of the Union Address in 2003 in 
which he declared to us, the American people, and to the world:

       Some have said we must not act until the threat is 
     imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced 
     their intentions politely, putting us on notice before they 
     strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly 
     emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would 
     come too late.

  That is what he said, and it was right then, and it is right today. 
So will my colleagues recall this extremely clear statement? Do they 
think his words were casually stated? Give me a break.

  I have given a lot of thought to the concept of imminence since 
September 11, and as we debated our response to Iraq, I recognized that 
the definition of ``imminence'' is necessary to support a doctrine of 
preemption. I wonder what our various Senators' views about this are 
since the definition of ``imminence'' is different in the 21st century 
than it was in the 19th or the 20th centuries.
  During the debate over authorization of the use of force last year, I 
made the following points:
  Osama bin Laden launched an attack that changed the way America sees 
the world. We had to recognize that the concept of imminence was not an 
abstract idea as we contemplated preemptive use of force. Preemption is 
not a new concept in international law, despite what many of the 
President's critics suggest. It is as old as Grotius, the founder of 
modern international law.
  Contrary to critics' misinformed assertions, the U.S. has never 
foresworn the use of preemption, not since the U.N. charter and not 
under either Democratic or Republican administrations.
  Preemption has always been conditioned on the idea of imminent 
threat. In the prenuclear era, we could see conventional armies 
amassing on a border and base imminence on that measure. But in the 
nuclear era, the idea of imminence grew quite a bit murkier.
  Was it the fueling of an enemy ICBM? Was it the glare on the rocket 
as it left the launch pad? Was it the warheads' return through the 
atmosphere? Because we raised these questions, by the way, was the 
reason the U.S. rejected a ``no first use'' policy during the era of 
strategic competition with the Soviet Union. Was that the reason we did 
that? You bet your life.
  Imminence becomes even murkier in an era of terrorism and weapons of 
mass destruction. When did the threat of al-Qaida become imminent? I 
know when it became manifest. Not, by the way, on September 11. Osama 
bin Laden had struck many times before then. On September 11, the 
threat became catastrophic. It was well beyond manifest. It was well 
beyond imminent.
  Today, most people agree the threat of Bin Laden should have been 
considered imminent well back into the 1990s. I first started speaking 
of this threat in 1996, but I now believe this threat could have been 
considered imminent even before that.
  Do my colleagues agree we had to reconsider the definition of 
``imminence'' after September 11, that the threat of terrorism forces 
us to redefine threats to our national security, that it would have 
been irresponsible for any administration entrusted with national 
security to avoid doing so? Does anybody disagree with that?
  Would my colleagues allow me just a few more questions which I would 
like to ask everybody in this body, please? I wonder if my colleagues 
would agree with this assessment about the threat that Iraq poses.
  I had to make, for my own conscience and to present to my 
constituents, my own assessment of the threat posed by Iraq. The 
threats Saddam Hussein posed to his own people were clear. Free Iraqis 
today will be undertaking the grim task of exhuming mass graves for a 
long time. Saddam's threat to his neighbors and our friends in the gulf 
and Middle East are also well established. But all of us had to 
determine what threat was posed to the United States.
  I feared a nexus between weapons of mass destruction and a terrorism-
sponsoring state, and we feared they had weapons of mass destruction. 
The U.N. confirmed they had had weapons of mass destruction. They used 
weapons of mass destruction against their own people and threatened the 
use of them against others. They used them against others, as well, in 
the Iranian war.
  On weapons of mass destruction, we know that we have not discovered 
any weapons of mass destruction so far. This debate has been joined on 
a number of levels. I fully support the chairman of the Senate Select 

[[Page S1986]]

on Intelligence in his determined efforts to learn about the failures 
of our intelligence, if there were, in fact, failures.
  We still have not even looked at the vast majority of sites in Iraq 
where weapons of mass destruction may still lie. I know that every 
intelligence community professional agrees with our need to learn from 
many errors because all of us know the value of accurate intelligence, 
while all of us recognize the limits to perfectibility.
  On another level, both in the Intelligence Committee and in the 
public arena, the debate has become more partisan, acrimonious and, 
once again, deceptive.
  Will my colleagues agree with me that the cost of making intelligence 
oversight partisan is not worth the devaluation of a tool that we need 
more than at any other time in our history?
  I would like to know if my colleagues would agree with the following 
conclusion about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. We faced 
a weapons of mass destruction gap.
  This gap was the difference between the chemical and biological 
stockpiles we had confirmed existed until the late 1990s and the lack 
of evidence regarding their status or destruction in 2002--their 
status, their destruction, or their removal someplace else. The gap was 
significant. No other Western government or intelligence government 
could explain it, nor could the United States verify that the gap had 
been closed by the cooperation of the Iraqi regime in proving the 
destruction of these weapons.
  This was a requirement, by the way, under international law, made to 
the international community, a requirement that was the result of the 
cessation of hostilities at the end of the first gulf war; a 
requirement that unmet left that war unresolved, unconcluded, and 
therefore without a promise of peace.
  The attempts at denial and deception by the Iraqi regime were 
blatant. The refusal to cooperate with the international community was 
obstinate. The potential threat posed by a regime violently hostile to 
the United States was grave. I hope my colleagues will agree that it 
would have been irresponsible for any administration entrusted with the 
national security to avoid reaching similar conclusions.
  There was the threat of terrorism. For well over a decade, Iraq was 
on our list of state sponsors of terrorism. Every Member in this body 
had ample opportunities to review the evidence supporting this claim--
this verified knowledge, by the way.
  To my knowledge, no Member on either side of the aisle questioned the 
President's determination, or this determination.
  Now, of course, we have not proven a link to September 11, and 
ultimately there will likely not be a causal link. Perhaps Saddam was 
directly involved. Perhaps we will learn more.
  Association is not causation, as every logic professor would say. 
Caution in leaping to conclusions is in order. Associating with 
terrorist groups, as we know Saddam Hussein has done and had done, 
training them, giving them moral and financial support, is different 
than directing them. Nevertheless, his links to terrorism had been 
evident for a long time.
  The President has made it clear, since his first speech before the 
Congress days after September 11, that associating with terrorist 
groups would no longer be responded to with apathy. The previous 
administration did so, there is no question about that, and America's 
security was gravely compromised.
  Do my colleagues remember the President's speech to the Congress 
after September 11, 2001? Do they recall, as I do, the public's 
overwhelming support for what the President said that day?
  Certainly the evidence of Al-Zurqawi whose documents were captured 
and released a few weeks ago, as well as the reports in the press 
suggesting links with the Ansar-al-Islam indicated a troubling link 
between Iraq and al-Qaida.
  I am waiting for some of the administration's critics to suggest that 
these two terrorist elements were caused by our intervention in 
Afghanistan and that had we supported the status quo there we would not 
be facing the terrorists of the jihadists and Ansar-al-Islam. That 
would have been another very specious analysis.
  It is true that Al-Zarqawi and Ansar became more active as a result 
of our intervention in Afghanistan, when we deposed the Taliban and al-
Qaida and fled from that country to hide in Pakistan or to get safe 
passage from Iran to travel to Iraq. In my estimation, if Saddam 
Hussein was not involved in September 11, his regime certainly became 
more dangerous to us as a result of our attack on the Taliban in 
  I hope my colleagues can imagine that this President or any President 
would not have had to respond similarly to the way President Bush 
responded to the Taliban's protection of al-Qaida after September 11, 
2001. That is, of course, unless a President had judged the threat of 
al-Qaida imminent before that fateful day.
  Finally, I would like my colleagues to allow me a question or two on 
the responses we have heard from David Kay's testimonies. The response 
to the Kay testimonies has also been very troubling to me because the 
testimonies of an honest and substantive man have been subject to 
partisan rancor over the President's difficult decision to go to war.
  Listening to some commentators, one would think Kay's honest 
assessment that weapons of mass destruction will not be found, an 
assessment that I believe may still be premature, could be interpreted 
into a challenge to the sincerity of the administration's estimate of 
the Iraqi threat.
  As I have said, I believe we need to investigate any flaws in our 
intelligence that David Kay or any other serious professional exposes. 
Yet this is what David Kay told us. In an interview earlier this month, 
he said: I certainly believe that Iraq was a gathering threat. In fact, 
in many ways, it will probably turn out that Saddam and that regime 
were more dangerous than we anticipated because, in fact, it was 
falling apart into unbelievable depravity and corruption.
  Where is that quote among all of our liberal commentators in this 
country today? Where is that quote? That was one of the most important 
quotes he made.
  The week before, Kay told the public, in responding to a question of 
whether the decision to go to war was prudent: I think it was 
absolutely prudent. He said: I think it was absolutely prudent. In 
fact, I think at the end of the inspection process we will paint a 
picture of Iraq that was far more dangerous than even we thought it was 
before the war. It was of a system collapsing. It was a country that 
had the capability and weapons of mass destruction areas and in which 
terrorists, like ants to honey, were going after it.

  The fact is, it took guts for the President to do what he did. He was 
right, and history will prove him to be right.
  When I hear these testimonies of David Kay, I become concerned of yet 
another intelligence failure: We did not adequately assess the 
political degradation of the Saddam Hussein regime, the political 
degradation of a regime that killed 300,000-plus of its own citizens, 
men, women, and children, and buried them in mass graves, and helped to 
kill a million others in its war with Iran. We did not adequately 
assess the political depravity and degradation of Saddam Hussein's 
regime. Iraq had become a gangster state.
  It was, according to David Kay, and all the reports we are now 
getting from free Iraq, more dangerous than we thought. Yet some 
criticize the President's decision? Give me a break. They ought to be 
criticized. The critics know these facts as well as I do, and ignoring 
them is a terrible thing.
  I would just like to ask my colleagues whether the assessment by 
David Kay should not support the President's brave decision to address 
the threat of the Hussein regime by implementing a policy of regime 
change--a policy that had been nearly unanimously supported in our 
Government for 4 years?
  Was Iraq a grave and gathering threat, as the President said? I ask 
my colleagues, especially those who have been so critical of the 
President, would it have been responsible for any administration 
entrusted with the national security to avoid reaching similar 
conclusions? I think Senator Kerry was right when he said this:

       I believe the record of Saddam Hussein's ruthless, reckless 
     breach of international

[[Page S1987]]

     values and standards of behavior, which is at the core of the 
     cease-fire agreement, with no reach, no stretch, is cause 
     enough for the world community to hold him accountable by use 
     of force, if necessary.

  The ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee said, back in 

       There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is 
     working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will 
     likely have nuclear weapons within the next 5 years. We also 
     should remember we have always underestimated the progress 
     Saddam has made in the development of weapons of mass 

  That was said in the Congressional Record. Why the difference today? 
Let's go back to my friend, Senator Kerry, the Senator from 
Massachusetts, again. Back in 1990 he said:

       Today, we are confronted by a regional power, Iraq, which 
     has attacked a weaker State, Kuwait. . . . The crisis is even 
     more threatening by virtue of the fact that Iraq has 
     developed a chemical weapons capability, and is pursuing a 
     nuclear weapons development program. And Saddam Hussein has 
     demonstrated a willingness to use such weapons of mass 
     destruction in the past, whether in his war against Iran or 
     against his own Kurdish population.

  My gosh, that was said in the Congressional Record on October 2, 
  On November 9, 1990, the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts 
said this:

       [Saddam Hussein] cannot be permitted to go unobserved and 
     unimpeded towards his horrific objective of amassing a 
     stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. This is not a 
     matter about which there should be any debate whatsoever in 
     the Security Council, or, certainly, in this Nation.

  All I can say is why did he say that then, and why, as a candidate, 
is he saying the things he is saying today?
  The distinguished Senator from Massachusetts said:

       [W]hile we should always seek to take significant 
     international actions on a multilateral rather than a 
     unilateral basis whenever that is possible, if in the final 
     analysis we face what we truly believe to be a grave threat 
     to the well-being of our Nation or the entire world and it 
     cannot be removed peacefully, we must have the courage to do 
     what we believe is right and wise.

  That is in the Congressional Record on November 9, 1997.
  I think the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts deserves credit 
for those statements. He was warning America during the Clinton years 
of how terrible the Saddam Hussein regime really was. He deserves 
credit for that.
  On November 9, 1997, the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts was 
right again. He said:

       It is not possible to overstate the ominous implications 
     for the Middle East if Saddam were to develop and 
     successfully develop and deploy potent biological weapons. We 
     can all imagine the consequences. Extremely small quantities 
     of several known biological weapons have the capability to 
     exterminate the entire populations of cities the size of Tel 
     Aviv or Jerusalem. These could be delivered by ballistic 
     missile, but they also could be delivered by much more 
     pedestrian means; aerosol applicators on commercial trucks 
     easily could suffice. If Saddam were to develop and then 
     deploy usable atomic weapons, the same holds true.

  He was warning the nation and he deserves credit for having done so 
  On February 23, 1998, the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts 
said this:

       There are a set of principles here that are very large, 
     larger in some measure than I think has been adequately 
     conveyed, both internationally and certainly to the American 
     people. Saddam Hussein has already used these weapons and has 
     made it clear that he has intent to continue to try, by 
     virtue of his duplicity and secrecy, to continue to do so. 
     That is a threat to the stability of the Middle East. It is a 
     threat with respect to the potential of terrorist activities 
     on a global basis. It is a threat even to regions near but 
     not exactly in the Middle East.

  I am hooked. Incredible. I am proud of the distinguished Senator from 
Massachusetts for having said that during the Clinton years. I just 
wish he would acknowledge that he said that during the Bush years.
  There are other distinguished Senators who knew of this threat and 
who made statements on what we should do back during the Clinton years, 
and even during the Bush years.
  It bothers me that this President has been so viciously attacked by 
people who know the facts and who knew them back during the Clinton 
years and spoke out about them during the Clinton years, who are so 
willing to demean this President during the years of George W. Bush as 
President. It never ceases to amaze me how out of tune we become when 
Presidential years come along. I think it happens to both sides. I 
really believe that. I believe there are partisans on both sides. But I 
have never seen it like it is today.
  It used to be that we supported whoever was President in foreign 
matters. We stand together. I guess this partisanship really began 
during the Vietnam war. But it has reached a pitch today that is 
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I yield to the other Senator from Utah, Mr. 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cornyn). The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. BENNETT. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from Arizona for the 
time and for the opportunity to address this issue. Let me make one 
statement at the beginning that I think needs to be made on the 
political rhetoric that is surrounding this issue. I am not questioning 
the patriotism of those who are complaining about, disagreeing with, or 
even attacking the President. I question their accuracy. I question 
their wisdom. But I am not questioning their patriotism. I think that 
needs to be made clear because in the debate over this war, there has 
been rhetoric that, in my opinion, has gone over the top.
  The former Vice President with the blood rushing to his face and the 
veins standing out on his neck screeched before a crowd which has been 
repeated on the television that the President has betrayed this 
country. You can disagree with George W. Bush. That is legitimate and 
proper and in an election year expected. But you should not accuse him 
of being a traitor. You should not accuse him of treason.
  I want to make it clear again that as I disagree with those who are 
attacking the President, I am not attacking their patriotism or their 
love of this country. But I do disagree with their wisdom and with 
their accuracy.
  In the speeches that have just been given, we have had a lot of 
conversation about what I would consider past history. I am not going 
to get into that; that is, what did we know about weapons of mass 
destruction? What did the inspectors know? What should we have done 
here? What should we have interpreted there? I will leave that to the 
historians themselves to sort out. A debate on those issues becomes an 
attempt simply to bash the President and avoid the fundamental issue.
  The fundamental issue that we have to face as Senators, as 
policymakers, is what do we do now? We are in Iraq whether you voted 
for the resolution, as Senator Kerry and Senator Edwards did and as I 
did, or whether you voted against it, as Senator Durbin did. Debating 
the wisdom of that at this point is merely an exercise in avoiding the 
reality of the situation with which we find ourselves faced now. What 
do we do now?
  The large majority of this body along with a large majority of the 
Members of the House of Representatives, and the unanimous vote in the 
Security Council of the United Nations took us to war. What do we do 
  That is the fundamental question that we should be addressing and 
that we should be facing.
  Oh, say some, no, no. The fundamental question is whether or not 
there were weapons of mass destruction. And, since there were not, the 
real question is, Did the President lie?
  Well, let us look at the situation we are facing now with respect to 
weapons of mass destruction. The question is not are there weapons of 
mass destruction in Iraq and did the President lie? The question is, 
What happened to the weapons that everybody knew were in Iraq, and has 
the President taken proper steps to protect us from them?
  When I say the weapons that everybody knew were in Iraq, whom do I 
include in that? The first person to convince me there were weapons of 
mass destruction in Iraq was Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State to 
President Clinton. She met with us here in the secure room of the 
Capitol; the room where we get top secret briefings from the highest 
possible level. It was in that room that Madeleine Albright sat down 
with the Members of the Senate and laid out the irrefutable evidence 
that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and justified to

[[Page S1988]]

us the Clinton administration's determination that they would go to 
war, and they did.
  Bombing another country is an act of war, and the Clinton 
administration, in 1998, in response to the irrefutable evidence that 
Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, took the United States 
to war. We did not invade Iraq with troops, but certainly dropping 
bombs in the quantity and regularity with which we dropped them in 1998 
is an act of war. We did it unilaterally. We did it without consulting 
the United Nations. We did it without talking to the French or the 
Germans in the way that some of the President's critics say we must. We 
did it because we knew Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
  David Kay and his inspectors have been to Iraq, and they say they 
cannot find warehouses full of weapons of mass destruction, which 
raises the fundamental question that most people are not addressing. 
What happened to them? Where are they? We know he had them. We went to 
war to deal with them. What happened to them?
  I think there are four possible answers to that question.
  First, one that has been raised by President Clinton himself, we got 
them all in the bombing. President Clinton said we didn't know how many 
we got. We could have gotten all of them. We could have gotten none. 
But we did our best to try to destroy them.
  One answer to the question of why David Kay was unable to find 
weapons of mass destruction when he got into Iraq with his inspectors 
is the possibility that we got them all in the bombing and had no way 
of knowing that.
  No. 2, the second possibility raised by David Kay and others is that 
they were trucked out of the country. They went off the border to Syria 
or someplace else. They are still in existence. They just aren't still 
in Iraq. We don't know the answer to that. But that is a possibility.
  Possibility No. 3, they were destroyed by Saddam Hussein himself. 
Someone would ask why would he want to do that. Look at the man. Look 
at what he did. Look at his record. He believed that the United States 
would, in fact, not invade. We had bombed in the first gulf war. We had 
bombed in 1998. He believed we would bomb again but that we would not 
invade, or, if we did invade, we would not topple him. After all, we 
didn't topple him last time.
  Pressure from the French, pressure from the Germans, said don't go 
ahead with this. He could very well have believed that the 
international community would put enough pressure on President Bush 
that the United States ultimately would stop short of removing him, 
particularly if inspectors from the U.N. got into Iraq and discovered 
there were no weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, he could have 
destroyed them himself on the assumption that he would stay in power 
and then, as soon as the inspectors were gone, he could reconstruct his 
weapons program, reestablish weapons of mass destruction, and be right 
back where he was before we took the action in 1998. That is the third 
  The fourth possibility is that they are still there. There is the 
possibility that we haven't been able to find them but they are still 
there. That is a very serious question, one that is being ignored by 
everybody who is debating the question of whether Bush went to the 
United Nations the right way, or whether he said the right things, or 
whether he read the right intelligence. Those questions are minor 
compared to the consequences of answering this question.
  Let me pose it again and go through the four possibilities and give 
you my answer.
  What happened to the weapons of mass destruction that everybody in 
the world knew he had? We destroyed them in the bombing, or they were 
taken over the border to someplace else, or Saddam Hussein himself 
destroyed them in order to fool the inspectors, or they are still 
  My answer is I believe all four. I believe we destroyed some in the 
bombing. I believe some got over the border. I believe he dismantled 
some of his programs, and I believe there are some still to be found.
  That means, if I am right, there is work to be done to help make the 
world safer that is not being done while we are being distracted by an 
irrelevant debate that is best left to historians.
  There is possibly still a threat out there that we are not addressing 
because we are paying so much attention to the questions of what kind 
of intelligence did he read and did he have the right 16 words in the 
State of the Union Message. We waste our time on that when we are 
facing this far more serious and obvious question.
  What happened to the weapons that we knew he had? We should not rest 
easy until we have an answer to that question.
  Which of the four or combination of the four possibilities really 
applies? The real question we are facing as we look ahead to November--
and make no mistake, this debate is all about looking ahead to 
November--is what will the United States do after the Presidential 
election is over?
  How will we proceed in Iraq once the determination has been made as 
to who will control our foreign policy for the next 4 years? That is 
the fundamental question the American voters need to be debating. That 
is the question they need to pay attention to as they make up their 
minds as to whom they will support in this election.
  The choice is fairly clear. We can only guess about the future, but 
the best indication of the future lies in the actions of the past. 
President Bush has made it pretty clear what the future would be with 
respect to Iraq if he prevails in November. President Bush has made it 
clear if he prevails in November, we will stay the course in Iraq. We 
will stay in Iraq until we have succeeded in our goal, which is to 
plant in Iraq a self-governing, westward-looking, open society where 
private property rights are respected, where the rights of individuals 
to vote and control their destiny are preserved, and where free market 
principles will prevail; an Iraq that will stand as an example to the 
rest of the Middle East that freedom, democracy and capitalism can 
indeed thrive there. President Bush is an optimist who believes those 
things are so fundamental in the human spirit that they can survive in 
an Islamic background.
  There are pessimists around who say no, the Muslims can never live in 
democracy. The Muslims can never live in freedom. President Bush is an 
optimist who says, I don't believe that--without trying to change their 
religion or attack their culture. I believe they will respond to 
freedom and the Americans will stay there until we have achieved the 
goal of planting freedom there.
  That is the answer to the question of what will happen in Iraq if 
George W. Bush wins this election. That is an easy answer to give 
because his past resolve and his past determination have been very 
  The second question, of course, is what will happen in Iraq if 
President Bush loses the election and we get a new steward in charge of 
our foreign affairs. That question is a little harder to answer because 
we do not have as clear a track record. On the assumption that the 
junior Senator from Massachusetts will become the President if 
President Bush loses the election, we do have the signposts indicating 
what he would do if he inherited the situation we now have. He said on 
``Face the Nation,'' the first thing he would do is go to the United 
Nations and apologize. I am not quite sure for what he would apologize, 
but he has indicated the first thing he would do is to go to the United 
Nations and apologize.
  If I may quote the columnist for the New York Times, Tom Friedman, 
who spoke to a group in Europe. They turned to him after the weapons of 
mass destruction question arose and asked, Are you now prepared to 
apologize for your defense of Bush and your support for this war? He 
said something like this: Well, let me see. We have removed Saddam 
Hussein, one of the most brutal dictators of the world, found in the 
process that he had slaughtered at least 300,000 of his own people whom 
he had buried in mass graves. We know he is responsible for a million 
more deaths in the two wars he started with his neighbors over the last 
12 years. We know he supported terrorism, down to the detail of paying 
$25,000 to anyone who would wrap himself in dynamite and blow himself 
up just so long as he could take another human being with him, and that 

[[Page S1989]]

kept his people in absolute degradation and subjugation for 38 years. 
Now he is gone with his torture chambers and his secret police and his 
brutality, and I am supposed to apologize for that?
  I am not quite sure what Senator Kerry might say to the U.N. when he 
goes to apologize, but apparently what he will say, as I try to gather 
from the speeches he has given, is the United States should no longer 
act unilaterally, that we should get international support before we go 
forward in an event like this, and presumably he would then say to the 
U.N. we are where we are, the responsibility now of building the kind 
of Iraq George W. Bush envisioned--I give Senator Kerry the credit of 
assuming he is in favor of that kind of Iraq--the responsibility for 
building that kind of Iraq now lies with you, United Nations. We in 
America are going to show a little humility--that is another word he 
used--show a little humility on this issue and turn it over to you and 
let you take over the responsibility of producing the results we all 
want in Iraq.
  If that is, indeed, his program--and I assume we will find that out 
as the election goes forward--I make these observations. Number one, 
the United Nations has no force with which it can provide security to 
the Iraqis. There is no United Nations army. There is no United Nations 
police force. There are no United Nations federal marshals or any other 
kind of enforcement facility you might think of. The only force the 
United Nations can ever use is the force that would be provided to it 
by its member states. The United Nations can pass resolutions, the 
United Nations can threaten people, but the threats carry no force 
unless the member states of the United Nations respond to the U.N. 
resolutions and can go forward.
  That is the point President Bush made when he spoke to the United 
Nations and said to them, if you won't enforce your resolutions, we 
will. I don't think we need to apologize to the United Nations for 
enforcing their resolution 1441 that passed by a unanimous vote in the 
Security Council and which David Kay has now said Saddam Hussein was in 
complete violation of. That is something we should remember as we have 
this debate.
  The history is not all that comforting to me. Koffi Annan sent a 
group of U.N. folk into Iraq to help with the nation building and here 
is the series of events that occurred. The head of the U.N. mission 
showed up and took possession of a building where he was going to 
operate. The Americans showed up and put their armored vehicles around 
the building. He came out and said, No, that is too militaristic. You 
Americans are too quick to show force. We are the United Nations. We 
come in peace. Get rid of the armored vehicles.
  The American commander, after arguing with this fellow, said all 
right, and he got rid of the armored vehicles, but he spread concertina 
wire through the courtyard, and the U.N. head of the group came out and 
said, get rid of that. You are too militaristic. We are the United 
Nations. We are not the United States. We are not here to show military 
force. We are here to help build the country.
  Finally, the Americans took away the concertina wire and the next day 
a truck bomb drove across the courtyard, blew up the building and 
killed the man who had said, I don't need this kind of protection. 
After this, Koffi Annan said, get them out of there. We can't provide 
their security. We can't keep them safe.
  I welcome the United Nations involvement. I hope we get the United 
Nations involvement, but I don't think that track record speaks very 
well for the idea that the first thing we should do about dealing with 
the problem in Iraq is to go to the United Nations and show some 
humility and apologize. The number one civil right which all of us 
desire more than anything else and that is most essential in Iraq is 
the right to walk down the street without being shot, the right to walk 
out in public without being beaten over the head. To establish security 
is the first responsibility of civilization. Security in Iraq is being 
provided by the American military and its allies in the Iraqi forces.
  George W. Bush, for all of the mistakes that have been made, and all 
of the difficulties that have been encountered, has demonstrated 
America's resolve to provide this civil right to Iraqis. The United 
Nations has fallen short in this category.
  This is the fundamental question all of us should look at: Instead of 
debating whether the President looked at the right piece of 
intelligence, whether the committees had the right information, whether 
this or that or the other was looked at and was not, the real question 
is, where do we go from here. We are where we are, regardless of how we 
got here. Where do we go from here--the question the American people 
will decide in November.
  I close with this anecdote or comment from Bernard Lewis. Bernard 
Lewis probably knows more about this region than any other academic in 
America. He has spent more time studying it, and has written books on 
it. He spoke to a group of us, and he was an optimist. He agreed with 
President Bush that democracy could be planted in the region and we 
should stay the course until we do it. He made this comment. He said: 
Listen to the jokes. In the Middle East, the only form of expression 
that is not censored is the jokes. And this is the joke that is going 
around in Iran, right next to Iraq. Two Iranians are talking. The first 
Iranian is complaining about how bad the government is, how bad things 
are. The second Iranian says: Yeah. They go back and forth, saying: 
What are we going to do? Where are we going to turn? Finally, the 
second Iranian says: I know. What we need is an Osama bin Laden. The 
first Iranian says: Are you crazy? That would make things that much 
worse, and the second Iranian says: Nope. If we had an Osama bin Laden, 
then the Americans would come and save us.
  There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people in the 
Middle East who are watching what we are doing in Iraq in the hope 
that, in the words of the joke, the Americans will ``come and save 
  We have set our hand to the plow to that particular assignment. We 
should not turn back now. We should back our President and his resolve 
to see this through until freedom, prosperity, and self-determination 
are established in Iraq, from which it will then spread, change the 
Middle East, and ultimately transform the world.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Utah for an 
incredibly fine speech. I appreciate the remarks he gave tonight very 
much, and I am sure the President does, as well.
  At this time, I yield to the Senator from Georgia.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Georgia.
  Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Arizona for 
yielding, as well as for his leadership on this issue. He has provided 
strong and forceful leadership in support of the war on terrorism. It 
is vitally important that all of us, not just as Members of the Senate, 
but as Americans, support this administration and support our troops in 
making sure we win this war on terrorism.
  I would like to start by saying I have spent the last 3 years working 
on intelligence issues, first in the House and now in the Senate 
Intelligence Committees, and have learned some things that are very 
relevant to this discussion.
  First, many across the aisle supported massive cuts to the 
intelligence community budget throughout the 1990s. Between 1992 and 
1998, in fact, the Central Intelligence Agency closed one-third of its 
overseas field stations, lost one-quarter of its clandestine service 
case officers, lost 40 percent of its recruited spies, and CIA 
intelligence reports declined by nearly one-half.
  The Clinton administration, supported by many Democrats in this 
Chamber today, decided from the outset that the end of the cold war 
meant we no longer needed intelligence on national security threats. 
The end of the cold war divide in actual fact made the world a much 
more complex place, with a host of new, unconventional, and asymmetric 
threats to our security we were not well prepared to address. Instead 
of dismantling our intelligence apparatus in the 1990s, recent history 
has proved beyond a shadow of doubt we should have been expanding and 
enhancing the quality of those capabilities so we could better 
understand and

[[Page S1990]]

counter the new nature of the threat. The record will show many on our 
side of the aisle were making this very point throughout the 1990s.
  It is absurd to argue, as some in the other party appear to have 
suggested over the years, that by emasculating the CIA and our other 
intelligence agencies, our Nation's security would not be affected, or 
even would be enhanced.
  I would just add that penetrating terrorist groups and rogue states, 
so-called hard targets, is a difficult and dangerous business. It 
requires a robust overseas intelligence presence, adequate and 
sustained resources, a wide-ranging stable of recruited and vetted 
spies, strong bipartisan support from Congress and the White House, and 
a willingness to take calculated risks. I submit the facts of the 1990s 
strongly suggest we had none of these.
  In addition, it is apparent to me the intelligence community during 
the 1990s was skewed far too heavily in favor of technical collection 
of intelligence over what is the cornerstone of the business: human 
intelligence gathering or HUMINT, i.e., using spies to acquire 
information on the plans and intentions of our adversaries.
  When my House Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland 
Security took a hard look at the erosion of our intelligence 
capabilities in the 1990s, right after 9/11, it became clear to me our 
human spies were almost considered to be obsolete by the Clinton 
administration and its appointed intelligence community leadership.
  When David Kay spoke about his experiences searching for WMD in Iraq 
on the ``Jim Lehrer News Hour'' last month, he said:

       We are not very good as a nation in our intelligence 
     capability at reading the most fundamental secrets of a 
     society, what are its capabilities, what are its intentions? 
     We can't photograph those. You need Americans on the ground 
     penetrating those societies and people who are speaking their 

  I fully agree with Dr. Kay, and would just note it takes a long time 
and a great deal of effort to build such human espionage capabilities. 
Yet our colleagues across the aisle proved in the 1990s that such 
capabilities, however imperfect, could be torn down quickly and with 
  In July of 1997, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, over in the House, 

       I think the day for the CIA has come and gone.

  I cite the Congressional Record, dated July 9, 1997. In that same 
debate, then-Congressman David Bonior commented:

       [W]e are spending, according to the New York Times, over 
     $30 billion on intelligence, and the cold war is what? Nine 
     years, seven years, eight years over with?

  I cite again the Congressional Record, dated July 9, 1997. That same 
year, here in the Senate, the junior Senator from Massachusetts 
questioned: ``Why is it that our vast intelligence apparatus continues 
to grow . . .'' now that the cold war struggle is over?
  I cite the Congressional Record, dated May 1, 1997. Two years before 
that, the same Senator proposed we cut the intelligence budget by $1.5 
billion, not for specific programs but across the board. In 1994, that 
same Senator wanted to cut the intelligence budget by $1 billion and to 
freeze intelligence spending. That is the record.
  Now, it is going to be awfully hard for certain individuals in the 
other party to justify their actions on national security matters 
during the near decade-long period of neglect and erosion of our 
intelligence capabilities of which they were directly complicit. It is 
stunning--although not surprising--that such individuals are now 
seeking to rewrite their own history.
  I add that the junior Senator from Massachusetts in 1995 proposed to 
cut $1.5 billion from the intelligence community. That bill he 
introduced would have exacted cuts of $300 million in each of the 
fiscal years 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and again in the year 2000. The 
proposal was so out of line with reality that there were no cosponsors 
on the bill and, thank goodness, it never made it to the floor.
  I ask the question, Why is it that an atmosphere of extreme risk 
aversion pervaded the intelligence community during the 1990s and lasts 
even to the present day in some respects?
  There are two particular events that bother me. First, when I chaired 
the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security 
in 2001 and 2002, I was particularly struck by the internal CIA 
guidelines promulgated in 1995 by then-Director of CIA, John Deutch, 
that severely limited the ability of CIA case officers to meet with, 
develop, and recruit foreign nationals who may have been involved in 
dubious activities or have blood on their hands.
  We found, through extensive oversight work and dialog with CIA field 
officers, that these so-called Deutch guidelines had a significant 
chilling effect on our ability to operate against terrorist and rogue 
state ``hard targets.'' After all, how can one penetrate a terrorist 
organization or Saddam's brutal regime, for that matter, without 
dealing with unsavory people?
  The guidelines were, in my view, a primary cause of the risk aversion 
to which I refer in my question, and they actually stayed in effect 
through July of 2002, when we finally succeeded after many efforts to 
compel the DCI to repeal them.
  The second event concerns Mr. Deutch's decision during his mercifully 
short tenure as DCI to conduct a CIA-wide ``asset scrub,'' which 
applied an inflexible reporting standard to all CIA spies that, if not 
met, resulted in their automatic firing.
  The fact is, the spying business is a lot different than a simple 
calculation of profit and loss. Spies are human beings who put their 
lives on the line to spy for us. We have a special responsibility to 
them and their families. Just because a spy's access may have dried up 
for a time, that doesn't mean they won't prove useful later on on other 
issues. Moreover, since we have had many gaps in our clandestine 
coverage of key issues at the time of the scrub, termination of spies 
was done without regard to how we might otherwise cover a subject by 
other means. Thus, our gaps were further exacerbated.
  In my opinion, the Deutch guidelines and Deutch asset scrub are two 
of the major driving forces behind the risk aversion to which I 
referred in my question.
  Mr. President, that is a direct byproduct of those years of neglect 
and resource starvation during the previous administration.
  I want to first make it clear that it has been my experience that the 
stifling problem of risk aversion went from Washington to the field, 
and not vice versa. I know that the young, often idealistic, aggressive 
CIA case officers out on the front lines are not the problem.
  Risk aversion starts when elected officials, on whose support CIA 
depends in the face of failure as well as success, abandons the 
discipline. The ``end of the cold war'' and ``peace dividend'' type 
arguments of those in the other party during the 1990s clearly 
manifested themselves in the form of political abandonment of our 
intelligence community.
  During those years of Democratic control of Congress, Hill support 
for the intelligence mission was also questionable. I refer back to my 
previous remarks about what the junior Senator from Massachusetts and 
others tried to do to further reduce the intelligence community during 
the 1990s as a case in point.
  Moreover, the record will clearly show that during the periods of 
Republican control of the House and Senate, significant efforts were 
made to increase the top line of President Clinton's annual 
intelligence budget requests. Some of these Republican efforts were 
successful; others were not. But for the most part, we brought the 
previous administration along kicking and screaming.
  It should not be surprising that when the politicians turn their back 
on the intelligence community, politically appointed intelligence 
seniors start to become more reluctant to approve operations that might 
result in some sort of political flap because they know they won't be 
  When such intelligence seniors start to become overly conservative, 
the managers below them follow suit. After a while, bureaucratic 
obstacles, and other hoops through which field officers must jump 
before getting operations approved, start to appear. That is where you 
get the Deutch guidelines and the Deutch asset scrub.

[[Page S1991]]

  Now we have to figure out how to undo the bureaucratic risk averse 
mindset that has taken a decade to spread across the intelligence 
community like a cancer and, like a cancer, radical treatment with 
often painful side effects may very well be required.
  That is what happens when national security becomes relegated to the 
bottom of our Nation's priorities. Fortunately, we have a President now 
who is anything but risk averse and who puts the long-term security 
interests and safety of all Americans at the top of his list of 
  On the issue of terrorism and homeland security, Americans deserve 
strong leadership, not political games. Our President is providing the 
positive leadership that will ensure the safety of our citizens.
  I yield back to the Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I very much appreciate those remarks coming 
from a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence.
  I now will yield to the Senator from Alabama.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Arizona for his 
leadership on this important matter. I feel very strongly that our 
country is not fully aware--at least the public debate on the 
television and so forth have not shown a full awareness of the 
leadership that President Bush has given this country to help us deal 
with the challenges facing us.
  I thank Senator Chambliss for his comments about the intelligence-
gathering functions. I wish to share some of my insights into where we 
are and where we can expect to be going.
  After 9/11, the President of the United States was a challenged 
leader. He faced difficult times. We lost 3,000 people. Some decisions 
had to be made. He decided that business as usual would not continue 
and the United States was going to have to take a leadership role 
against terrorism.
  About that time, former Secretary of Defense and former Secretary of 
Energy, James Schlesinger, who served in President Carter's Cabinet, 
testified before our Armed Services Committee, of which the Chair is a 
member. Mr. Schlesinger talked about the U.N. and its inability to make 
decisions and take action. He referred, quoting another writer, to the 
UN as being ``an institution given only to talk.''
  Well, in the last decade, before President Bush took office, during 
the 8 years under President Clinton's leadership, we did a lot of 
talking about the problems facing the world. We did a lot of talking 
about Iraq. We passed a resolution in this body that declared it to be 
the policy of the United States to effect a regime change in Iraq. 
President Clinton signed it but we didn't do anything. We talked but we 
didn't do anything.
  We now have a President who decided that we need to show some courage 
and leadership, and he did that. One of the first things he did, and I 
ask the American people to recall, was that he confronted a great 
country, Pakistan. Pakistan's intelligence agencies, Senator Kyl knows 
as a senior member of the Intelligence Committee, were collaborating 
with the Taliban government in Afghanistan. Everybody knew that and 
that there was a lot of partnership there. We now know they were 
participating in the proliferation of nuclear weapons. President Bush 
challenged them and he said: President Musharraf, you have to choose. 
This is very serious. Are you going to allow Pakistan to be a country 
associated with the Taliban and terrorism, or are you going to stand 
your country in the future against that kind of activity?
  To his credit, President Musharraf made a decision. It was not 
academic. It was not talk. It was: Mr. Musharraf, you must make a 
  Since that time, he has been helpful to us in many ways, at risk of 
his own life. His opponents have attempted to assassinate him. Would 
anybody suggest that had our President been weak and waffling and 
vacillating, that the President of Pakistan would have made that 
decision, would he have put his very life on the line against 
  Then he made the same challenge to Mullah Omar in Afghanistan where, 
as you remember, Bin Laden was training his terrorist soldiers. He 
said: You must reject that; you must turn against the al-Qaida; you 
must turn to your country; and you must choose. Mullah Omar chose. He 
chose to remain friends with Bin Laden and al-Qaida terrorist groups. 
He chose not to side with the nations who turned against terrorism.
  Mullah Omar, I suppose, is hiding in some cave somewhere in 
Afghanistan. His government is completely gone. Yes, Bin Laden, who was 
in his country, attacked and damaged our Pentagon, and killed our 
soldiers right out here at the Pentagon. But his pentagon no longer 
exists. It is rubble. And there is a new government with a new 
constitution in the works to preside over a new Afghanistan where women 
have a chance to have freedom and prosperity; when I was there I saw 
that the people are re-building all over that country. Houses that had 
been destroyed are being refurbished, and people seemed to be making 
real progress there. That is such a tremendous step forward for the 
  Then the challenge was placed before Saddam Hussein. We had the U.N. 
try to find these weapons. We know he used these kinds of weapons. We 
know he was not complying with the U.N. resolutions. The U.N. found him 
in violation of those resolutions and voted in 1441 that he was in 
violation of the resolutions. We gave him every chance to renounce 
weapons of mass destruction, and to demonstrate that he had complied 
with multiple U.N resolutions. Because he lost the first gulf war he 
made a commitment to eliminate these kinds of weapons and to comply 
with U.N. resolutions, but he refused to do so. And President Bush 
  Saddam Hussein was dug out of a hole in the ground and is now in the 
Bastille where he used to put his people and kill them. But he is not 
going to be killed. He will be given a fair trial.
  The people of Iraq are forming a new government. Production is up. 
Electricity production is up. I know the chief of police there, and 
there are 70,000 new police officers, some of them being killed this 
day, but they are standing firmly for freedom in a new Iraq.
  Lo and behold, after we dug Saddam Hussein out of the ground, Muammar 
Qadhafi of Libya, known as one of the world's most significant 
terrorists in the past, renounced his terrorism and called for the 
United States and Great Britain--he did not talk to the U.N., but he 
wanted us to be involved in his renunciation of terrorism and he has 
allowed inspections.
  During the former administration--and I am not criticizing, but I was 
frustrated--when President Clinton was in office, we talked all the 
time about nuclear proliferation but accomplished little. But only 
recently, we had Abdul Khan, the chief nuclear scientist in Pakistan 
come forward. What did he say? He said he was proliferating weapons 
from Pakistan to North Korea to Iraq to Libya and to Iraq. That had 
been going on but it is not going on now because he has renounced it 
and told all that he had done to the world.

  Iran is now allowing the United Nations to come in and inspect their 
nuclear program. The nations in the East--China, Japan, and South 
Korea--are confronting North Korea. We are not going to keep rewarding 
North Korea for bad activity, as has been done in the past. We are 
going to insist they step up like these other nations and assume a 
place among the decent nations in the world, or they are not going to 
get any benefits from us. We are going to keep the pressure on, and 
that is exactly the right thing for us to do.
  These events have occurred for one reason and one reason only: We 
have a President of the United States who loves this country, who 
believes in our values. He believes in freedom. He believes in 
democracy. He wants to see the world be a better place. He does not 
want to just preside over the office of President. He wants to do 
something good for this world, and he is doing it.
  As a direct result of his leadership, we made extraordinary progress 
in just 2 years, progress not seen in decades.
  It has been tough. Our soldiers are at risk, and they are putting 
their lives at risk every day to effect a policy that those of us in 
this Senate voted for by an overwhelming vote. Some of them voted for 
it and then turned around and voted not to support our troops. But most 
of the Senators here, Republicans and Democrats, have stayed. Yes, we 
have had complaints, but when has there ever been a war when everything 
has gone perfectly smoothly?

[[Page S1992]]

  I urge the Members of this body, my Senate colleagues, to look at 
what has occurred, to recognize that we are seeing the benefits of 
extraordinary and courageous leadership. When they do so, we shall hear 
less carping, less complaining, less whining, and less second-guessing 
than we have heard. We are making progress. We are going to continue to 
make progress. We are going to make this world a better place and safer 
place for the people of the United States.
  I thank the Chair. I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Talent). The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. KYL. Mr. President, let me summarize what I think has been 
established during the last couple of hours. The reason we took to the 
floor is because there has been a lot of criticism of the President of 
the United States and the administration for its actions in finally 
deciding that enough was enough with Saddam Hussein, that his continual 
violation of the U.N. resolutions had to be enforced by someone, and 
that before there was an imminent threat posed by his dangerous regime, 
it was important for the United States and a coalition of other 
countries to take action to remove him.
  The criticism has come both from potential Democratic nominees for 
President, Members of this body, news organizations, and others outside 
the body, but we sought to try to put into perspective some of these 
criticisms and to point out that at the end of the day, there should be 
no question that President Bush did the right thing.
  The three key points were, first, that an intelligence failure is not 
the same thing as intelligence misuse or misleading, and if there was a 
failure because the intelligence agencies were wrong about the 
stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction that they thought existed and 
which we have not been able to find, it is not the same thing as saying 
that the President misled anyone or that anyone else with access to 
intelligence misled anyone.
  The second point was that whatever the state of intelligence, the 
case for removing Saddam Hussein is still very strong, a point which 
several of our colleagues have made repeatedly on both sides of the 
aisle, as well as President Clinton and other members of his 
administration prior to the Bush administration.
  And, third, that the question regarding the weapons of mass 
destruction, the stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons is not a 
matter of whether they existed but what happened to them; that everyone 
who had access to the intelligence was convinced they existed.
  In fact, we know they existed at least one time because they were 
used against the Kurds and against the Iranians. Saddam Hussein 
himself, in submitting documents to the United Nations, admitted they 
existed. This was, I believe, either 1996 or 1998 and then again in the 
year 2002. So we had his admission that they existed. As Senator 
Bennett said a while ago, nobody knows whether they were destroyed, 
shipped someplace else, or whether we destroyed them, but eventually we 
will find out the answers to those questions.
  The fact we cannot find those weapons of mass destruction 
stockpiles--primarily artillery shells with chemical munitions--does 
not detract at all from the case against Saddam Hussein or make the 
case that somehow or another the American people were somehow misled by 
the President.
  In closing, I will quote from the chairman of the Senate Intelligence 
Committee and the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. 
What the current ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee 
had to say is: As the attacks of September 11 demonstrated, the immense 
destructiveness of modern technology means we can no longer afford to 
wait around for a smoking gun. I do believe that Iraq poses an imminent 
threat, but I also believe after September 11 that question is 
increasingly outdated. It is in the nature of these weapons and the way 
they are targeted against civilian populations that documented 
capability and demonstrated intent may be the only warning we get. To 
insist on further evidence would put some of our fellow Americans at 
risk. Can we afford to take that chance? We cannot.
  The ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee is the junior 
Senator from West Virginia, Mr. Rockefeller. These were his comments on 
October 10, 2002. Yet today we find some saying the President contended 
there was an imminent threat, when he did not, and that we should not 
have acted unless, in fact, there was an imminent threat.
  I think Senator Rockefeller was correct, and I know he has access to 
all of the intelligence because, of course, he is the ranking member of 
the Intelligence Committee.
  Now I will read from the chairman of the Intelligence Committee: I 
have seen enough evidence. I do not know if I have seen all the 
evidence, but I have seen enough to be satisfied that there has been a 
continuing effort by Saddam Hussein, since the end of the gulf war, 
particularly since 1998, to reestablish and enhance Iraq's capacity of 
weapons of mass destruction, chemical, biological, and nuclear.
  That was the immediate past chairman of the Senate Intelligence 
Committee, the senior Senator from Florida, Mr. Graham. He, too, had 
access to all of the intelligence.
  My point in quoting my two colleagues is that in the Senate, those of 
us on the Intelligence Committee had access to the same intelligence 
the President did, at least similar intelligence to what other 
countries in the world had, and all of us, including the United States, 
believed these things. We had the same intelligence that was given to 
the President.
  We were not misleading anyone. The President obviously was not 
misleading anyone. The fact that it turns out some of the intelligence 
turned out not to be totally correct is not the same thing as saying 
somebody misused the intelligence. I hope my colleagues on the other 
side do not cross that line of accusing the President of intentionally 
misleading the American people because to do so, in effect, would be 
also to accuse our own colleagues of that very same thing. I do not 
believe, based upon what I know of my colleagues, that that could be 
said of any one of them. So I hope we can get over this notion that 
just because not all the intelligence was correct, therefore, it must 
mean somebody was misleading someone else. I think we have established 
that is not true and that it would be very wrong to try to pursue that 
line of attack against President Bush simply because we happen to be in 
an election year.
  We will have more to say on this subject in the future, but I want my 
colleagues to understand that if there are charges made against the 
President or against this administration relating to the use of 
intelligence with respect to the war in Iraq, those charges will be 
rebutted. I appreciate very much the attention of my colleagues to this 
matter this evening.