Congressional Record: January 9, 2003 (Senate)
Page S112-S113                       


  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, as we begin the 108th Congress, I want to 
talk about the situation in Iraq and our response to it, because I 
believe there may be a fundamental misunderstanding as to the process 
that is underway to bring about Iraq's disarmament. Pursuant to U.N. 
resolution 1441, the U.N. Inspection Commission and the International 
Atomic Energy Agency are to provide updates to the U.N. on the results 
of their inspections to date. These updates are intended to be interim 
reports, not final conclusions. I think we all, particularly the 
administration and the press, need to be very aware of that fact.
  The January 27 report will only be one of a number of such reports 
that will be presented to the Security Council over the weeks and 
months to come. It is not a determining date on the issue of whether or 
not Iraq has materially breached U.N. resolution 1441, or whether we 
will use force against Iraq. We are not in the fourth quarter of some 
football game. In fact, we have just begun to share a small quantity of 
the large amount of information that we have relative to Iraqi suspect 
  Let us look at the events that led up to the unanimous decision by 
the United Nations Security Council on November 8 of last year to set 
up an enhanced inspection regime to afford Iraq an opportunity to 
comply with its disarmament obligations. Iraq, as we all remember, 
invaded Kuwait on August 1, 1990. After numerous demands and 
diplomatic, economic, and political action by the international 
community, on November 29, 1990, almost 4 months after the attack, the 
U.N. authorized member states ``to use all necessary means'' to 
liberate Kuwait.
  Iraq's defeat at the hands of a United States-led coalition in 1991 
was followed by a U.N. Security Council resolution in April 1991 that 
established a number of conditions for a cease fire, notably including 
a demand for the destruction of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction 
programs, and Iraq accepted that resolution.
  In the intervening years, Iraq repeatedly obstructed and failed to 
cooperate with the weapons inspectors of the United Nations and of the 
atomic energy agency that were charged with the responsibility of 
disarming Iraq.
  With this historical background, the Security Council adopted 
resolution 1441 on November 8 of last year to set up an enhanced 
inspection regime. Under resolution 1441, Iraq is required to provide 
the United Nations inspectors and the IAEA ``immediate, unimpeded, 
unconditional, and unrestricted access to any and all areas, including 
underground areas, facilities, buildings, equipment, records and means 
of transport which they wish to inspect, as well immediate, unimpeded, 
unrestricted, and private access to all officials and other persons 
whom the inspectors of the IAEA wish to interview,'' and that includes 
outside of Iraq. Resolution 1441 also requires Iraq to provide a 
complete, accurate, and full declaration of all aspects of its weapons 
of mass destruction and delivery systems programs.
  In order to assist the U.N. Security Council in its oversight of 
implementation of Iraq's disarmament, resolution 1441 set out a time 
line of events. Using November 8, 2000, the date the U.N. Security 
Council adopted resolution 1441, Iraq was required to accept the 
resolution within 7 days. It did so. Iraq was required to provide a 
full declaration of weapons of mass destruction within 30 days of 
November 8. It said that its declaration was a full one and it did it 
on the 29th day.

  The inspectors were to start within 45 days of November 8; the 
inspections began on November 25th.
  The inspectors were to provide an update on their inspections to the 
Security Council within 60 days of the date that the inspections 
commenced. They have announced their intention to provide these first 
interim progress reports on January 27, within that time limit.
  The inspection process was begun with reasonable speed. The 
inspectors have already inspected a Presidential palace that had 
heretofore been subject to special rules, and they are inspecting on 
weekends and holidays. Their principal job right now is to establish a 
baseline for future inspections and testing Iraq's willingness to 
cooperate. This is the key, the inspection process is at its beginning. 
As of the end of December, virtually all of the arms inspections had 
taken place in the Baghdad area as the U.N. inspectors only had one of 
its eight helicopters in Iraq and had just opened a headquarters in 
Mosul in northern Iraq.
  Again and most significantly, the United States and other nations 
with sophisticated intelligence capabilities have only just begun to 
share intelligence with the arms inspectors and are proceeding 
cautiously in light of the reported Iraqi infiltration of the 
inspectors during the 1990s. In fact, today's Washington Post reports 
that Secretary of State Powell stated in an interview yesterday that 
the administration was holding back much of the information in its 
possession, waiting to see if the inspectors ``are able to handle and 
exploit'' the information that we did give them.
  The inspection process is estimated to take months, not weeks, and 
this timetable was understood by the Security Council from its 
inception. That is why the U.N. resolution refers to the January 27th 
reports from the inspectors as ``updates,'' and that is why January 27 
is not a deadline for deciding whether to use force.
  British Foreign Secretary Straw noted on December 19, with respect to 
the declaration filed by Iraq on its weapons of mass destruction and 
delivery systems: that [``What we've got today is a further step in a 
very calm and deliberate process to try by every means possible to get 
Iraq to comply with its international obligations peacefully and 
therefore and thereby to resolve this crisis in a peaceful manner.'']
  In an interview at Crawford, TX, on December 31, President Bush 
seemed to agree with the British Secretary when he stated that he hoped 
the Iraqi situation will be resolved peacefully. And in answer to a 
reporter's question, President Bush said: ``You said we're headed to 
war in Iraq--I don't know why you say that. I hope we're not headed to 
war in Iraq.'' On that same day, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said 
``Obviously they [the inspectors] are carrying out their work and in 
the meantime Iraq is cooperating and they are able to do their work in 
an unimpeded manner, therefore I don't see an argument for a military 
action now.'' And, in a press conference at the Pentagon just 
yesterday, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said ``I don't know why anyone 
would use the word 'inevitable.' It clearly is not inevitable.''
  The arms inspections in Iraq are at an early stage. The United States 
has just begun to provide information to the inspectors about suspect 
sites. Barring a dramatic development, the interim progress reports 
that the inspectors will make to the U.N. Security Council on January 
27 will only be one of a number of such reports that will be presented 
to the council over the months to come.

  Earlier today, Mohamed ElBaradei, Director General of the IAEA, at a 
press conference at the United Nations stated ``We will provide an 
update report on the 27th of this month. However, that report, we 
should emphasize, is an update report, it is not a final report. It's a 
work in progress. And this simply would register where we are on the 
27th of January, but we obviously continue to we'll our work afterward, 
and we still have a lot of work to do.''
  In the absence of the U.N. inspectors finding that Iraq currently 
possesses or is developing weapons of mass destruction or that Iraq is 
not cooperating with the inspections, we need to give

[[Page S113]]

the inspectors the needed time to complete their work. In the meantime, 
we need to provide targeted intelligence to inspectors to facilitate 
their effort, without disclosing sources and methods, of course. That 
is our best chance of bringing about Iraq's voluntary disarmament or, 
failing that, obtaining broad international backing, including U.N. 
authorization for a multilateral effort to forcibly disarm Iraq.
  If we prejudge the outcome of the inspections or if we don't furnish 
the arms inspectors with targeted intelligence, we will not be able to 
obtain the international support, as represented by U.N. authorization 
for the use of force, that is so highly desirable and advantageous to 
us. Forcibly disarming Iraq without international support would be 
perceived as a unilateral attack by the United States and a few allies. 
International support is critical to reducing the short-term risks, 
such as a loss of regional cooperation with resulting increased 
probability of U.S. casualties and reduced likelihood of international 
contributions in a postconflict environment.
  International support is also important to reducing long-term risks, 
such as a loss of international cooperation in connection with the war 
against al-Qaida, and increased probability of terrorist attacks 
against us.
  In summary, January 27 is the first interim report. It is not D-Day, 
decision day, as to whether to attack Iraq. We must not prejudge the 
outcome of the very inspection process that we worked so hard to put in 
place as being highly relevant to the question of whether we launch 
attack on Iraq. We must share all the information we can on suspect 
sites. And finally, if we don't share our information with the U.N. 
inspectors, or if we prejudge the outcome of these inspections, we will 
increase the likelihood that we will go to war and increase the risks, 
short term and long term, to our troops and our Nation in doing so.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.