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1/31/03 - WOLFOWITZ ON IRAQ - 2003-01-31

After Husayn Kamil, Saddem Hussein’s son-in-law, defected in 1995, United Nations weapons inspectors learned of a large-scale cache of documents about Iraq’s biological weapons programs. Those documents were stored on a chicken farm.

The Saddam Hussein regime has worked hard to obtain and conceal vast quantities of weapons of mass destruction. Consider that in 1997, U-N inspectors found that Iraq had produced and weaponized at least ten liters of ricin. That is enough to kill tens of millions of people. Weapons inspectors also found that Iraq had over nineteen-thousand liters of anthrax with the potential to kill hundreds of millions.

“Indeed,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, U-N inspectors think Iraq has manufactured two to four times the amount of biological agents it has admitted to -- and has failed to explain the whereabouts of more than two metric tons of raw material for the growth of biological agents.”

As Mr. Wolfowitz said, “Despite eleven years of inspections and sanctions, containment and military response, Baghdad retains chemical and biological weapons and is producing more. And Saddam’s nuclear scientists are still hard at work.”

Whether Iraq disarms voluntarily or is disarmed by force is up to Saddam Hussein. So far, the Iraqi regime has not made the decision to disarm. Unless it does, the threat posed by Saddam’s weapons programs will grow.

As President George W. Bush said, “The history, the logic, and the facts lead to one conclusion: Saddam Hussein’s regime is a grave and gathering danger. To suggest otherwise is to hope against the evidence. To assume this regime’s good faith,” said Mr. Bush, “is to bet the lives of millions and the peace of the world in a reckless gamble. And this is a risk we must not take.”