Feb. 15, 2006 -- The following is a translation of portions of one pivotal tape-recorded meeting that took place in late April or May of 1995. In it, Saddam Hussein and his senior aides discuss the fact that United Nations inspectors had uncovered evidence of Iraq's biological weapons program -- a program whose existence Iraq had previously denied. At one point, Hussein Kamel, Saddam's son-in-law, and the man who was in charge of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction efforts can be heard speaking openly about hiding information from the U.N.
SADDAM HUSSEIN: Lieutenant General Hussein
HUSSEIN KAMEL: Thank you, sir.
Sir, I would not be speaking so openly if it were not for your excellency's and Mr. Tariq's clarification and statement that we produced biological weapons.
We did not reveal all that we have. On the subject of missiles, they can bring up three issues with us now, in one year or in two years' time. They are undeclared -- one of them being the location. Secondly, they don't know about our work in the domain of missiles. Sir, this is my work and I know it very well. I started it a long time ago, and it is not easy. The issues are more dangerous, a lot more dangerous than what they came to know. I am explaining to your excellency, sir.
With regard to the issue of the chemical, sir, which we assume that they have not raised, and our belief that the sole problem is that of the biological weapons. No, sir. I think they have detailed information about the missiles, and if they want to bring them up, they will as I said because we did not complete. In the chemical, sir, they have a problem far bigger than the biological, bigger than the biological.
Not the type of the weapons, not the volume of the materials we imported, not the volume of the production we told them about, not the volume of use. None of this was correct. They don't know any of this. We did not say we used them on Iran. We did not reveal the volume of the chemical weapons that we had produced. We did not reveal the type of the chemical weapons. We did not reveal the truth about the volume of the imported materials. Therefore sir, if they want to create problems, I see that our argument now is that biological is everything. No, sir, I disagree and I have to be candid in front of your Excellency. I substantially disagree on this issue. They want it item by item. For the time being, they are not raising all of them with us and we did not declare. I will come back, sir, to the question of whether is it better for us to declare or to stay? In the nuclear, sir, in the biological, we also disagree with them. Not the 17 tons, no. We have a disagreement which is essential and known. We know it ourselves.
All this, sir, and we have some teams working; one team working in the same direction, but the other team does not know. How come they [the inspectors] don't know -- if they want to? There is what leads to knowledge. There are materials we have imported from America by volume. We have imported from Europe by volume.
As for the nuclear, we say we have disclosed everything but no. We have undeclared problems in nuclear as well, and I believe that they know. There are teams working with no one knowing about some of them.
Sir, I regret that I am speaking so candidly but although everything has ended, if they find out. No, sir, they didn't know, frankly speaking not all the methods, not all the means, not all the scientists and not all the places. Yes, some of the activities have been uncovered but so that you know, sir, when they say biological is the issue, no sir, the biological is the least [important]; I am sorry to say it is the most futile of the problems. OK, the 17 tons is no problem but thousands of tons here and thousands of tons there. Where did they go? How were they manufactured? And how were they used? Sir, we really have to be frank, so that the resolution that comes is not restricted to the biological and the next day the missiles and then the nuclear the next day and then the next day and the next day.
I go back to the question of whether we should reveal everything or continue to be silent. Sir, since the meeting has taken this direction, I would say it is in our interest not to reveal. Not just out of fear of disclosing the technology we achieved, or to hide it for future work. No. The game has gone on for too long. And now it has become clear to many officials of countries that are coerced to work with America...