The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
October 7, 2004

Duelfer Testimony Exerpts

Excerpts from the Testimony of Charles Duelfer Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence for Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction

"What is clear is that Saddam retained his notions of the use of force and had experience that demonstrated the utility of WMD. He was making progress in eroding sanctions and, had it not been for the events of 9-11-2001, things would have taken a different course for the Regime. Most senior members of the Regime and scientists assumed that the programs would begin in earnest when sanctions ended -- and sanctions were eroding."

On whether is safer with Saddam Hussein behind bars...

"In my opinion there was a risk of Saddam Hussein in charge of a country with that amount of resources and that amount of potential for both good and evil."

"Analytically, the world is better off."

On Saddam's strategy to erode sanctions...

"The steps the Regime took to erode sanctions are obvious in the analysis of how revenues, particularly those derived from the Oil-for-Food [OFF] program, were used. Over time, sanctions had steadily weakened to the point where Iraq, in 2000-2001 was confidently designing missiles around components that could only be obtained outside sanctions. Moreover, illicit revenues grew to quite substantial levels during the same period and it is instructive to see how and where the Regime allocated these funds."

"ISG's investigation also makes quite clear how Baghdad exploited the mechanism for executing the Oil-for-Food program to give individuals and countries an economic stake in ending sanctions. The Regime, following a pattern that Saddam has applied throughout his career, offered rewards and a rationale for accepting them, successfully arguing its case that the sanctions were harming the innocent, and that the moral choice was to elude and diminish them. It is grossly obvious how successful the Regime was. It is also grossly obvious how the sanctions perverted not just the national system of finance and economics, but to some extent the international markets and organizations."

"The Procurement and Finance section notes that a sizeable portion of the illicit revenues generated under the Oil for Food program went to the Military Industrial Commission (the government-run military-industrial establishment). The funding for this organization, which had responsibility for many of the past WMD programs went from approximately $7.8 million in 1998 to $350 million in 2001. During this period of growing resource availability, many military programs were carried out -- including many involving the willing export to Iraq of military items prohibited by the Security Council."

On Saddam's experience at concealing his WMD activities...

"From the experience of dealing with UN inspectors the Iraqis learned a great deal about what signatures we looked for. Iraqis generally knew a lot more about us than we did about them. For various reasons, their ability and desire to conceal their intentions and capabilities were quite good."

On Saddam's belief in the necessity of WMD...

"Saddam committed the brightest minds and much national treasure to developing WMD. Moreover, Saddam saw this investment as having paid vital dividends. Senior Iraqis state that only through the use of long-range ballistic missiles and the extensive use of chemical weapons did Iraq avoid defeat in the war with Iran. There is also a second, less obvious instance where the regime attributes its survival to possession of WMD."

"In the run-up to the 1991 war, Iraq loaded, dispersed and pre-delegated the authority to use both biological and chemical weapons if the coalition proceeded to Baghdad. The Regime believes its possession of WMD deterred the US from going to Baghdad in 1991. Moreover, it has been clear in my discussions with senior Iraqis that they clearly understand that they blundered in invading Kuwait before completing their nuclear weapons program. Had they waited, the outcome would have been quite different. Finally, Saddam also used chemical weapons for domestic purposes -- in the late Eighties against the Kurds and during the Shi'a uprisings after the 1991 war."

On Saddam's efforts to develop missile delivery systems...

"A couple of points are of interest from the Iraq missile efforts. One is that they did not bide by the range limits set in UN Security Council Resolution 687. The range capabilities of the ballistic missiles they were developing exceeded the stated limits. Iraq also used components from SA-2 engines that they had expressly been prohibited. Iraq also produced fuel that was not declared. They also tested UAVs in excess of the range limits."

"Iraq missile developers became so confident that others would violate the sanctions that they designed new missile systems which depended upon the import of guidance systems. Further, they drew upon the foreign expertise that was readily available for such areas as propulsion."

"Iraq continued to work on missile delivery systems in the wake of the Gulf war. Saddam drew a distinction between long range missiles and WMD -- a distinction not drawn in the UN resolutions. Iraq's missile development infrastructure continued to develop under sanctions, and included work on propulsion, fuels, and even guidance systems. As more funding became available following the implementation of the OFF program, Saddam directed more missile activities. In the later years, more foreign assistance was brought in -- including both technology and technical expertise. While it is clear that Saddam wanted a long range missile, there was little work done on warheads. It is apparent that he drew the line at that point ... so long as sanctions remained. However, while the development of ballistic missile delivery systems is time consuming, if and when Saddam decided to place a non-conventional warhead on the missile, this could be done very quickly. The CW and BW warheads put on Iraqi missiles in 1990 and 1991, for example, were built in months."

On Saddam's nuclear ambitions...

"There were also efforts to retain the intellectual capital of nuclear scientists by forbidding their departure from Iraq and keeping them employed in government areas."

"Despite this decay [in his nuclear program], Saddam did not abandon his nuclear ambitions. He made clear his view that nuclear weapons were the right of any country that could build them. He was very attentive to the growing Iranian threat -- especially its potential nuclear component, and stated that he would do whatever it took to offset the Iranian threat, clearly implying matching Tehran's nuclear capabilities. Saddam observed that India and Pakistan had slipped across the nuclear weapons boundary quite successfully. Those around Saddam seemed quite convinced that once sanctions were ended, and all other things being equal, Saddam would renew his efforts in this field."

On Saddam's chemical weapons aspirations...

"As in the other WMD areas, Saddam sought to sustain the requisite knowledge base to restart the program eventually and, to the extent it did not threaten the Iraqi efforts to get out from sanctions, to sustain the inherent capability to produce such weapons as circumstances permitted in the future."

"Over time, and with the infusion of funding and resources following acceptance of the Oil for Food program, Iraq effectively shortened the time that would be required to reestablish CW production capacity."

"By 2003, Iraq would have been able to produce mustard agent in a period of months and nerve agent in less than a year or two."

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