Feb. 5, 2003 -- Below is the remainder of Powell's address to the U.N. Security Council.
POWELL: To support its deadly biological and chemical weapons programs,Iraq procures needed items from around the world using an extensiveclandestine network. What we know comes largely from interceptedcommunications and human sources who are in a position to know thefacts.
Iraq's procurement efforts include equipment that can filter andseparate micro-organisms and toxins involved in biological weapons,equipment that can be used to concentrate the agent, growth media thatcan be used to continue producing anthrax and botulinum toxin,sterilization equipment for laboratories, glass-lined reactors andspecialty pumps that can handle corrosive chemical weapons agents andprecursors, large amounts of vinyl chloride, a precursor for nerve andblister agents, and other chemicals such as sodium sulfide, animportant mustard agent precursor.
Now, of course, Iraq will argue that these items can also be usedfor legitimate purposes. But if that is true, why do we have to learnabout them by intercepting communications and risking the lives ofhuman agents? With Iraq's well documented history on biological andchemical weapons, why should any of us give Iraq the benefit of thedoubt? I don't, and I don't think you will either after you hear thisnext intercept.
Just a few weeks ago, we intercepted communicationsbetween two commanders in Iraq's Second Republican Guard Corps. Onecommander is going to be giving an instruction to the other. You willhear as this unfolds that what he wants to communicate to the otherguy, he wants to make sure the other guy hears clearly, to the pointof repeating it so that it gets written down and completelyunderstood. Listen.
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Let's review a few selected items of this conversation.Two officers talking to each other on the radio want to make sure thatnothing is misunderstood:
The expression, the expression, "I got it."
"Nerve agents. Nerve agents. Wherever it comes up."
"Wherever it comes up."
"In the wireless instructions, in the instructions."
"Correction. No. In the wireless instructions."
"Wireless. I got it."
Why does he repeat it that way? Why is he so forceful in makingsure this is understood? And why did he focus on wirelessinstructions? Because the senior officer is concerned that somebodymight be listening.
Well, somebody was.
"Nerve agents. Stop talking about it. They are listening to us.Don't give any evidence that we have these horrible agents."
Well, we know that they do. And this kind of conversationconfirms it.
Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile ofbetween 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. That is enoughagent to fill 16,000 battlefield rockets.
Even the low end of 100 tons of agent would enableSaddam Hussein to cause mass casualties across more than 100 squaremiles of territory, an area nearly five times the size of Manhattan.
Let me remind you that, of the 122 millimeter chemical warheads,that the U.N. inspectors found recently, this discovery could verywell be, as has been noted, the tip of the submerged iceberg. Thequestion before us, all my friends, is when will we see the rest ofthe submerged iceberg?
Saddam Hussein has chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein has usedsuch weapons. And Saddam Hussein has no compunction about using themagain, against his neighbors and against his own people.
And we have sources who tell us that he recently has authorizedhis field commanders to use them. He wouldn't be passing out theorders if he didn't have the weapons or the intent to use them.
We also have sources who tell us that, since the 1980s, Saddam'sregime has been experimenting on human beings to perfect itsbiological or chemical weapons.
A source said that 1,600 death row prisoners were transferred in1995 to a special unit for such experiments. An eye witness sawprisoners tied down to beds, experiments conducted on them, bloodoozing around the victim's mouths and autopsies performed to confirmthe effects on the prisoners. Saddam Hussein's humanity — inhumanityhas no limits.
Let me turn now to nuclear weapons. We have no indication thatSaddam Hussein has ever abandoned his nuclear weapons program.
On the contrary, we have more than a decade of proof that heremains determined to acquire nuclear weapons.
To fully appreciate the challenge that we face today, rememberthat, in 1991, the inspectors searched Iraq's primary nuclear weaponsfacilities for the first time. And they found nothing to concludethat Iraq had a nuclear weapons program.
But based on defector information in May of 1991, SaddamHussein's lie was exposed. In truth, Saddam Hussein had a massiveclandestine nuclear weapons program that covered several differenttechniques to enrich uranium, including electromagnetic isotopeseparation, gas centrifuge, and gas diffusion. We estimate that thisillicit program cost the Iraqis several billion dollars.
Nonetheless, Iraq continued to tell the IAEA that it hadno nuclear weapons program. If Saddam had not been stopped, Iraqcould have produced a nuclear bomb by 1993, years earlier than mostworse-case assessments that had been made before the war.
In 1995, as a result of another defector, we find out that, afterhis invasion of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein had initiated a crash programto build a crude nuclear weapon in violation of Iraq's U.N.obligations.
Saddam Hussein already possesses two out of the three keycomponents needed to build a nuclear bomb. He has a cadre of nuclearscientists with the expertise, and he has a bomb design.
Since 1998, his efforts to reconstitute his nuclear program havebeen focused on acquiring the third and last component, sufficientfissile material to produce a nuclear explosion. To make the fissilematerial, he needs to develop an ability to enrich uranium.
Saddam Hussein is determined to get his hands on a nuclear bomb.He is so determined that he has made repeated covert attempts toacquire high-specification aluminum tubes from 11 different countries,even after inspections resumed.
These tubes are controlled by the Nuclear Suppliers Groupprecisely because they can be used as centrifuges for enrichinguranium. By now, just about everyone has heard of these tubes, and weall know that there are differences of opinion. There is controversyabout what these tubes are for.
Most U.S. experts think they are intended to serve as rotors incentrifuges used to enrich uranium. Other experts, and the Iraqisthemselves, argue that they are really to produce the rocket bodiesfor a conventional weapon, a multiple rocket launcher.
Let me tell you what is not controversial about these tubes.First, all the experts who have analyzed the tubes in our possessionagree that they can be adapted for centrifuge use. Second, Iraq hadno business buying them for any purpose. They are banned for Iraq.
I am no expert on centrifuge tubes, but just as an old Armytrooper, I can tell you a couple of things: First, it strikes me asquite odd that these tubes are manufactured to a tolerance that farexceeds U.S. requirements for comparable rockets.
Maybe Iraqis just manufacture their conventional weapons to ahigher standard than we do, but I don't think so.
Second, we actually have examined tubes from severaldifferent batches that were seized clandestinely before they reachedBaghdad. What we notice in these different batches is a progressionto higher and higher levels of specification, including, in the latestbatch, an anodized coating on extremely smooth inner and outersurfaces. Why would they continue refining the specifications, go toall that trouble for something that, if it was a rocket, would soon beblown into shrapnel when it went off?
The high tolerance aluminum tubes are only part of the story. Wealso have intelligence from multiple sources that Iraq is attemptingto acquire magnets and high-speed balancing machines; both items canbe used in a gas centrifuge program to enrich uranium.
In 1999 and 2000, Iraqi officials negotiated with firms inRomania, India, Russia and Slovenia for the purchase of a magnetproduction plant. Iraq wanted the plant to produce magnets weighing20 to 30 grams. That's the same weight as the magnets used in Iraq'sgas centrifuge program before the Gulf War. This incident linked withthe tubes is another indicator of Iraq's attempt to reconstitute itsnuclear weapons program.
Intercepted communications from mid-2000 through last summer showthat Iraq front companies sought to buy machines that can be used tobalance gas centrifuge rotors. One of these companies also had beeninvolved in a failed effort in 2001 to smuggle aluminum tubes intoIraq.
People will continue to debate this issue, but there is no doubtin my mind, these elicit procurement efforts show that Saddam Husseinis very much focused on putting in place the key missing piece fromhis nuclear weapons program, the ability to produce fissile material.He also has been busy trying to maintain the other key parts of hisnuclear program, particularly his cadre of key nuclear scientists.
It is noteworthy that, over the last 18 months, Saddam Husseinhas paid increasing personal attention to Iraqi's top nuclearscientists, a group that the governmental-controlled press callsopenly, his nuclear mujahedeen. He regularly exhorts them and praisestheir progress. Progress toward what end?
Long ago, the Security Council, this council, required Iraq tohalt all nuclear activities of any kind.
Let me talk now about the systems Iraq is developing todeliver weapons of mass destruction, in particular Iraq's ballisticmissiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs.
First, missiles. We all remember that before the Gulf War SaddamHussein's goal was missiles that flew not just hundreds, but thousandsof kilometers. He wanted to strike not only his neighbors, but alsonations far beyond his borders.
While inspectors destroyed most of the prohibited ballisticmissiles, numerous intelligence reports over the past decade, fromsources inside Iraq, indicate that Saddam Hussein retains a covertforce of up to a few dozen Scud variant ballistic missiles. These aremissiles with a range of 650 to 900 kilometers.
We know from intelligence and Iraq's own admissions that Iraq'salleged permitted ballistic missiles, the al-Samud II (ph) and the al-Fatah (ph), violate the 150-kilometer limit established by thiscouncil in Resolution 687. These are prohibited systems.
UNMOVIC has also reported that Iraq has illegally important 380SA-2 (ph) rocket engines. These are likely for use in the al-Samud II(ph). Their import was illegal on three counts. Resolution 687prohibited all military shipments into Iraq. UNSCOM specificallyprohibited use of these engines in surface-to-surface missiles. Andfinally, as we have just noted, they are for a system that exceeds the150-kilometer range limit.
Worst of all, some of these engines were acquired as late asDecember — after this council passed Resolution 1441.
What I want you to know today is that Iraq has programs that areintended to produce ballistic missiles that fly of 1,000 kilometers.One program is pursuing a liquid fuel missile that would be able tofly more than 1,200 kilometers. And you can see from this map, aswell as I can, who will be in danger of these missiles.
As part of this effort, another little piece of evidence, Iraqhas built an engine test stand that is larger than anything it hasever had. Notice the dramatic difference in size between the teststand on the left, the old one, and the new one on the right. Notethe large exhaust vent. This is where the flame from the engine comesout. The exhaust on the right test stand is five times longer thanthe one on the left. The one on the left was used for short-rangemissile. The one on the right is clearly intended for long-rangemissiles that can fly 1,200 kilometers.
This photograph was taken in April of 2002. Since then, the teststand has been finished and a roof has been put over it so it will beharder for satellites to see what's going on underneath the teststand.
Saddam Hussein's intentions have never changed. He is notdeveloping the missiles for self-defense. These are missiles thatIraq wants in order to project power, to threaten, and to deliverchemical, biological and, if we let him, nuclear warheads.
Now, unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs.
Iraq has been working on a variety of UAVs for more than adecade. This is just illustrative of what a UAV would look like.This effort has included attempts to modify for unmanned flight theMiG-21 (ph) and with greater success an aircraft called the L-29 (ph).However, Iraq is now concentrating not on these airplanes, but ondeveloping and testing smaller UAVs, such as this.
UAVs are well suited for dispensing chemical and biologicalweapons.
There is ample evidence that Iraq has dedicated mucheffort to developing and testing spray devices that could be adaptedfor UAVs. And of the little that Saddam Hussein told us about UAVs,he has not told the truth. One of these lies is graphically andindisputably demonstrated by intelligence we collected on June 27,last year.
According to Iraq's December 7 declaration, its UAVs have a rangeof only 80 kilometers. But we detected one of Iraq's newest UAVs in atest flight that went 500 kilometers nonstop on autopilot in the racetrack pattern depicted here.
Not only is this test well in excess of the 150 kilometers thatthe United Nations permits, the test was left out of Iraq's December7th declaration. The UAV was flown around and around and around in acircle. And so, that its 80 kilometer limit really was 500 kilometersunrefueled and on autopilot, violative of all of its obligations under1441.
The linkages over the past 10 years between Iraq's UAV programand biological and chemical warfare agents are of deep concern to us.Iraq could use these small UAVs which have a wingspan of only a fewmeters to deliver biological agents to its neighbors or iftransported, to other countries, including the United States.
My friends, the information I have presented to you about theseterrible weapons and about Iraq's continued flaunting of itsobligations under Security Council Resolution 1441 links to a subjectI now want to spend a little bit of time on. And that has to do withterrorism.
Our concern is not just about these elicit weapons. It's the waythat these illicit weapons can be connected to terrorists and terroristorganizations that have no compunction about using such devicesagainst innocent people around the world.
Iraq and terrorism go back decades. Baghdad trains PalestineLiberation Front members in small arms and explosives. Saddam usesthe Arab Liberation Front to funnel money to the families ofPalestinian suicide bombers in order to prolong the Intifada. Andit's no secret that Saddam's own intelligence service was involved indozens of attacks or attempted assassinations in the 1990s.
But what I want to bring to your attention today is thepotentially much more sinister nexus between Iraq and the al Qaedaterrorist network, a nexus that combines classic terroristorganizations and modern methods of murder. Iraq today harbors adeadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, an associateand collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda lieutenants.
Zarqawi, a Palestinian born in Jordan, fought in the Afghan warmore than a decade ago. Returning to Afghanistan in 2000, he oversawa terrorist training camp. One of his specialities and one of thespecialties of this camp is poisons. When our coalition ousted theTaliban, the Zarqaqi network helped establish another poison andexplosive training center camp. And this camp is located innortheastern Iraq.
(Picture of camp shown.)
The network is teaching its operatives how to produce ricin andother poisons. Let me remind you how ricin works. Less than a pinch — image a pinch of salt — less than a pinch of ricin, eating justthis amount in your food, would cause shock followed by circulatoryfailure. Death comes within 72 hours and there is no antidote, thereis no cure. It is fatal.
Those helping to run this camp are Zarqawi lieutenants operatingin northern Kurdish areas outside Saddam Hussein's controlled Iraq.But Baghdad has an agent in the most senior levels of the radicalorganization, Ansar al-Islam, that controls this corner of Iraq. In2000 this agent offered al Qaeda safe haven in the region. After weswept al Qaeda from Afghanistan, some of its members accepted thissafe haven. They remain there today.
Zarqawi's activities are not confined to this small corner ofnorth east Iraq. He traveled to Baghdad in May 2002 for medicaltreatment, staying in the capital of Iraq for two months while herecuperated to fight another day.
During this stay, nearly two dozen extremists converged onBaghdad and established a base of operations there. These Al Qaedaaffiliates, based in Baghdad, now coordinate the movement of people,money and supplies into and throughout Iraq for his network, andthey've now been operating freely in the capital for more than eightmonths.
Iraqi officials deny accusations of ties with al Qaeda. Thesedenials are simply not credible. Last year an al Qaeda associatebragged that the situation in Iraq was, quote, "good," that Baghdadcould be transited quickly.
We know these affiliates are connected to Zarqawi because theyremain even today in regular contact with his direct subordinates,including the poison cell plotters, and they are involved in movingmore than money and materiale.
Last year, two suspected al Qaeda operatives were arrestedcrossing from Iraq into Saudi Arabia. They were linked to associatesof the Baghdad cell, and one of them received training in Afghanistanon how to use cyanide. From his terrorist network in Iraq, Zarqawican direct his network in the Middle East and beyond.
We, in the United States, all of us at the State Department, andthe Agency for International Development &0151; we all lost a dear friendwith the cold-blooded murder of Mr. Lawrence Foley in Amman, Jordanlast October, a despicable act was committed that day. Theassassination of an individual whose sole mission was to assist thepeople of Jordan. The captured assassin says his cell received moneyand weapons from Zarqawi for that murder.
After the attack, an associate of the assassin leftJordan to go to Iraq to obtain weapons and explosives for furtheroperations. Iraqi officials protest that they are not aware of thewhereabouts of Zarqawi or of any of his associates. Again, theseprotests are not credible. We know of Zarqawi's activities inBaghdad. I described them earlier.
And now let me add one other fact. We asked a friendly securityservice to approach Baghdad about extraditing Zarqawi and providinginformation about him and his close associates. This servicecontacted Iraqi officials twice, and we passed details that shouldhave made it easy to find Zarqawi. The network remains in Baghdad.Zarqawi still remains at large to come and go.
As my colleagues around this table and as the citizens theyrepresent in Europe know, Zarqawi's terrorism is not confined to theMiddle East. Zarqawi and his network have plotted terrorist actionsagainst countries, including France, Britain, Spain, Italy, Germanyand Russia.
According to detainee Abuwatia (ph), who graduated from Zarqawi'sterrorist camp in Afghanistan, tasks at least nine North Africanextremists from 2001 to travel to Europe to conduct poison andexplosive attacks.
Since last year, members of this network have been apprehended inFrance, Britain, Spain and Italy. By our last count, 116 operativesconnected to this global web have been arrested.
The chart you are seeing shows the network in Europe. We knowabout this European network, and we know about its links to Zarqawi,because the detainee who provided the information about the targetsalso provided the names of members of the network.
Three of those he identified by name were arrested in France lastDecember. In the apartments of the terrorists, authorities foundcircuits for explosive devices and a list of ingredients to maketoxins.
The detainee who helped piece this together says the plot alsotargeted Britain. Later evidence, again, proved him right. When theBritish unearthed a cell there just last month, one British policeofficer was murdered during the disruption of the cell.
We also know that Zarqawi's colleagues have been active in thePankisi Gorge, Georgia and in Chechnya, Russia. The plotting to whichthey are linked is not mere chatter. Members of Zarqawi's network saytheir goal was to kill Russians with toxins.
We are not surprised that Iraq is harboring Zarqawi and hissubordinates. This understanding builds on decades long experiencewith respect to ties between Iraq and al Qaeda.
Going back to the early and mid-1990s, when bin Ladenwas based in Sudan, an al Qaeda source tells us that Saddam and binLaden reached an understanding that al Qaeda would no longer supportactivities against Baghdad. Early al Qaeda ties were forged bysecret, high-level intelligence service contacts with al Qaeda, secretIraqi intelligence high-level contacts with al Qaeda.
We know members of both organizations met repeatedly and have metat least eight times at very senior levels since the early 1990s. In1996, a foreign security service tells us, that bin Laden met with asenior Iraqi intelligence official in Khartoum, and later met thedirector of the Iraqi intelligence service.
Saddam became more interested as he saw al Qaeda's appallingattacks. A detained al Qaeda member tells us that Saddam was morewilling to assist Al Qaida after the 1998 bombings of our embassies inKenya and Tanzania. Saddam was also impressed by al Qaeda's attackson the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000.
Iraqis continued to visit bin Laden in his new home inAfghanistan. A senior defector, one of Saddam's former intelligencechiefs in Europe, says Saddam sent his agents to Afghanistan sometimein the mid-1990s to provide training to al Qaeda members on documentforgery.
From the late 1990s until 2001, the Iraqi embassy in Pakistanplayed the role of liaison to the al Qaeda organization.
Some believe, some claim these contacts do not amount to much.They say Saddam Hussein's secular tyranny and al Qaeda's religioustyranny do not mix. I am not comforted by this thought. Ambition andhatred are enough to bring Iraq and al Qaeda together, enough so alQaeda could learn how to build more sophisticated bombs and learn howto forge documents, and enough so that al Qaeda could turn to Iraq forhelp in acquiring expertise on weapons of mass destruction.
And the record of Saddam Hussein's cooperation with otherIslamist terrorist organizations is clear. Hamas, for example, openedan office in Baghdad in 1999, and Iraq has hosted conferences attendedby Palestine Islamic Jihad. These groups are at the forefront ofsponsoring suicide attacks against Israel.
Al Qaeda continues to have a deep interest in acquiring weaponsof mass destruction. As with the story of Zarqawi and his network, Ican trace the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraqprovided training in these weapons to al Qaeda.
Fortunately, this operative is now detained, and he has told hisstory. I will relate it to you now as he, himself, described it.
This senior al Qaeda terrorist was responsible for one of alQaeda's training camps in Afghanistan.
His information comes first-hand from his personalinvolvement at senior levels of al Qaeda. He says bin Laden and histop deputy in Afghanistan, deceased al Qaeda leader Muhammad Atef(ph), did not believe that al Qaeda labs in Afghanistan were capableenough to manufacture these chemical or biological agents. Theyneeded to go somewhere else. They had to look outside of Afghanistanfor help. Where did they go? Where did they look? They went toIraq.
The support that (inaudible) describes included Iraq offeringchemical or biological weapons training for two al Qaeda associatesbeginning in December 2000. He says that a militant known as AbuAbdula Al-Iraqi (ph) had been sent to Iraq several times between 1997and 2000 for help in acquiring poisons and gases. Abdula Al-Iraqi(ph) characterized the relationship he forged with Iraqi officials assuccessful.
As I said at the outset, none of this should come as a surpriseto any of us. Terrorism has been a tool used by Saddam for decades.Saddam was a supporter of terrorism long before these terroristnetworks had a name. And this support continues. The nexus ofpoisons and terror is new. The nexus of Iraq and terror is old. Thecombination is lethal.
With this track record, Iraqi denials of supporting terrorismtake the place alongside the other Iraqi denials of weapons of massdestruction. It is all a web of lies.
When we confront a regime that harbors ambitions for regionaldomination, hides weapons of mass destruction and provides haven andactive support for terrorists, we are not confronting the past, we areconfronting the present. And unless we act, we are confronting aneven more frightening future.
My friends, this has been a long and a detailed presentation.And I thank you for your patience. But there is one more subject thatI would like to touch on briefly. And it should be a subject of deepand continuing concern to this council, Saddam Hussein's violations ofhuman rights.
Underlying all that I have said, underlying all the facts and thepatterns of behavior that I have identified as Saddam Hussein'scontempt for the will of this council, his contempt for the truth andmost damning of all, his utter contempt for human life. SaddamHussein's use of mustard and nerve gas against the Kurds in 1988 wasone of the 20th century's most horrible atrocities; 5,000 men, womenand children died.
His campaign against the Kurds from 1987 to '89 includedmass summary executions, disappearances, arbitrary jailing, ethniccleansing and the destruction of some 2,000 villages. He has alsoconducted ethnic cleansing against the Shi'a Iraqis and the MarshArabs whose culture has flourished for more than a millennium. SaddamHussein's police state ruthlessly eliminates anyone who dares todissent. Iraq has more forced disappearance cases than any othercountry, tens of thousands of people reported missing in the pastdecade.
Nothing points more clearly to Saddam Hussein's dangerousintentions and the threat he poses to all of us than his calculatedcruelty to his own citizens and to his neighbors. Clearly, SaddamHussein and his regime will stop at nothing until something stops him.
For more than 20 years, by word and by deed Saddam Hussein haspursued his ambition to dominate Iraq and the broader Middle Eastusing the only means he knows, intimidation, coercion and annihilationof all those who might stand in his way. For Saddam Hussein,possession of the world's most deadly weapons is the ultimate trumpcard, the one he most hold to fulfill his ambition.
We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons ofmass destruction; he's determined to make more. Given SaddamHussein's history of aggression, given what we know of his grandioseplans, given what we know of his terrorist associations and given hisdetermination to exact revenge on those who oppose him, should we takethe risk that he will not some day use these weapons at a time and theplace and in the manner of his choosing at a time when the world is ina much weaker position to respond?
The United States will not and cannot run that risk to theAmerican people. Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons ofmass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option, notin a post-Sept. 11 world.
My colleagues, over three months ago this council recognized thatIraq continued to pose a threat to international peace and security,and that Iraq had been and remained in material breach of itsdisarmament obligations. Today Iraq still poses a threat and Iraqstill remains in material breach.
Indeed, by its failure to seize on its one lastopportunity to come clean and disarm, Iraq has put itself in deepermaterial breach and closer to the day when it will face seriousconsequences for its continued defiance of this council.
My colleagues, we have an obligation to our citizens, we have anobligation to this body to see that our resolutions are complied with.We wrote 1441 not in order to go to war, we wrote 1441 to try topreserve the peace. We wrote 1441 to give Iraq one last chance. Iraqis not so far taking that one last chance.
We must not shrink from whatever is ahead of us. We must notfail in our duty and our responsibility to the citizens of thecountries that are represented by this body.
Thank you, Mr. President.
• Click here for the first part of Powell's speech.