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Leader
10 Feb 04,, 01:05
Key Excerpts from David Kay's Testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee


Acting in Iraq was justified to protect the United States and the world

Senator McCain: "[Y]ou agree with the fundamental principle here that what we did was justified and enhance the security of the United States and the world by removing Saddam Hussein from power?"

David Kay: "Absolutely."

"It would be hard to come to a conclusion other than Iraq was a gathering, serious threat"

Senator Kennedy: "Many of us feel that the evidence so far leads only to one conclusion: that what has happened was more than a failure of intelligence, it was the result of manipulation of the intelligence to justify a decision to go to war..........."

David Kay: ".......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."

"Iraq was in clear violation of the terms of Resolution 1441"

"In my judgment, based on the work that has been done to this point of the Iraq Survey Group, and in fact, that I reported to you in October, Iraq was in clear violation of the terms of Resolution 1441. Resolution 1441 required that Iraq report all of its activities: one last chance to come clean about what it had. We have discovered hundreds of cases, based on both documents, physical evidence and the testimony of Iraqis, of activities that were prohibited under the initial U.N. Resolution 687 and that should have been reported under 1441, with Iraqi testimony that not only did they not tell the U.N. about this, they were instructed not to do it and they hid material."

"Iraq was in clear and material violation of 1441. They maintained programs and activities, and they certainly had the intentions at a point to resume their program. So there was a lot they wanted to hide because it showed what they were doing that was illegal. I hope we find even more evidence of that."

"The world is far safer with the disappearance and removal of Saddam Hussein"

"I think the world is far safer with the disappearance and the removal of Saddam Hussein. I have said I actually think this may be one of those cases where it was even more dangerous than we thought. I think when we have the complete record you're going to discover that after 1998 it became a regime that was totally corrupt. Individuals were out for their own protection. And in a world where we know others are seeking WMD, the likelihood at some point in the future of a seller and a buyer meeting up would have made that a far more dangerous country than even we anticipated with what may turn out not to be a fully accurate estimate."

Analysts were not pressured

"And let me take one of the explanations most commonly given: Analysts were pressured to reach conclusions that would fit the political agenda of one or another administration. I deeply think that is a wrong explanation. And never -- not in a single case -- was the explanation, 'I was pressured to do this.' The explanation was, very often, 'The limited data we had led one to reasonably conclude this. I now see that there's another explanation for it' ...... And each case was different, but the conversations were sufficiently in depth and our relationship was sufficiently frank that I'm convinced that, at least to the analysts I dealt with, I did not come across a single one that felt it had been, in the military term, 'inappropriate command influence' that led them to take that position."

"Absolutely no doubt" Saddam harbored ambitions to develop and use WMD

Senator McCain: "Saddam Hussein developed and used weapons of mass destruction; true?"

David Kay: "Absolutely."

Senator McCain: "He used them against the Iranians and the Kurds; just yes or no."

David Kay: "Oh, yes."

Senator McCain: "OK. And U.N. inspectors found enormous quantities of banned chemical and biological weapons in Iraq in the '90s."

David Kay: "Yes, sir."

Senator McCain: "We know that Saddam Hussein had once a very active nuclear program."

David Kay: "Yes."

Senator McCain: "And he realized and had ambitions to develop and use weapons of mass destruction."

David Kay: "Clearly."

Senator McCain: "So the point is, if he were in power today, there is no doubt that he would harbor ambitions for the development and use of weapons of mass destruction. Is there any doubt in your mind?"

David Kay: "There's absolutely no doubt. And I think I've said that, Senator."

"We have learned things that no U.N. inspector would have ever learned given the terror regime of Saddam"

Senator Clinton: "I think that rightly does raise questions that we should be examining about whether or not the U.N. inspection process pursuant to 1441 might not also have worked without the loss of life that we have confronted both among our own young men and women, as well as Iraqis."

David Kay: "Well, Senator Clinton, let me just add to that. We have had a number of Iraqis who have come forward and said, 'We did not tell the U.N. about what we were hiding, nor would we have told the U.N. because we would run the risk of our own' -- I think we have learned things that no U.N. inspector would have ever learned given the terror regime of Saddam and the tremendous personal consequences that scientists had to run by speaking the truth." That's not to say, and it's not incompatible with the fact that inspections accomplish a great deal in holding a program down. And that's where the surprise is. In holding the program down, in keeping it from break out, I think the record is better than we would have anticipated. I don't think the record is necessarily better than we thought with regard to getting the final truth, because of the power of the terrorist state that Saddam Hussein had."

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