Thursday, November 17, 2005

John Kerry (D-MA)

"Oh, I think we clearly have to keep the pressure on terrorism globally. This doesn't end with Afghanistan by any imagination. Terrorism is a global menace. It's a scourge. And it is absolutely vital that we continue, for instance, Saddam Hussein."
December 14, 2001
Larry King Live

"It would be naive to the point of great danger not to believe that, left to his own devices, Saddam Hussein will misjudge, provoke and stumble into a future, more dangerous confrontation with the civilized world. He has as much promised it."
October 9, 2002

"If Saddam Hussein is unwilling to bend to the international community's already existing order, then he will have invited enforcement, even if the enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act."
September 6, 2002
New York Times

"Well, it wasn't only on that basis. ... Saddam Hussein could not be left to his own devices based on everything we learned about him for seven and a half years while we were inspecting in Iraq. People have forgotten that for seven and a half years, we found weapons of mass destruction. We were destroying weapons of mass destruction. We were, the United States of America, together with Ambassador Butler and the United Nations."
CBS Face the Nation

"Without question we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal and murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. And we all know the litany of his offenses. The reason I think we need to really think about him is because he presents a particularly grievous threat through the consistency with which he is prone to miscalculation. He miscalculated an eight-year war with Iran. He miscalculated the invasion of Kuwait. He miscalculated America's response to that act of naked aggression. He miscalculated the result of setting oil rigs on fire. He miscalculated the impact of sending scuds into Israel and trying to assassinate a former American President. He miscalculated his own military strength and he miscalculated the Arab world's response to his misconduct. And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose and destroy its weapons programs. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it's not new. Since the end of the Persian Gulf War we've known this."
January 23, 2003
Georgetown University

"Why is Saddam Hussein pursuing weapons that most nations agree to limit or give up? Why is Saddam attempting to develop nuclear weapons when most nations don't even try, and responsible nations that have them attempt to limit the potential for disaster? Why did Saddam Hussein threaten to provoke? Why does he develop missiles that exceed allowable limits? Why did Saddam Hussein lie and decieve inspection teams previously? Why did Saddam Hussein not account for all the weapons of mass destruction which UNSCOM identified? Why is he seeking to develop unmanned, airborne vehicles for delivery of biological agents? Does he do all of those things because he wants to live by the international standards of behavior? Because he respects international law? Because he's a nice guy underneath it all and the world should trust him."
October 9, 2002
On the Senate Floor

"I think we ought to put the heat on Saddam Hussein. I've said that for a number of years, Bill. I criticized the Clinton administration for backing off the inspections when Ambassador Butler was giving us strong evidence that we needed to continue. I think we need to put the pressure on no matter what the evidence is about September 11. But I think we have to do it in a thoughtful and intelligent way. ... The important thing is that Saddam Hussein has used weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein fired weapons on Israel! ... In addition to that he has refused to live by the terms of the treaty that he signed at the end of the war in which he agreed to do certain things."
December 11, 2001
The O'Reilly Factor

"[W]hile we should always seek to take significant international actions on a multilateral rather than a unilateral basis whenever that is possible, if in the final analysis we face what we truly believe to be a grave threat to the well-being of our Nation or the entire world and it cannot be removed peacefully, we must have the courage to do what we believe is right and wise."
November 9, 1997

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real .."
November 9, 1997

"The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but as I said, it is not new. It has been with us since the end of that war, and particularly in the last 4 years we know after Operation Desert Fox failed to force him to reaccept them, that he has continued to build those weapons. He has had a free hand for 4 years to reconstitute these weapons, allowing the world, during the interval, to lose the focus we had on weapons of mass destruction and the issue of proliferation."
October 9, 2002

"(W)e need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. We all know the litany of his offenses. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. ...And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose its weapons programs and disarm. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War."
January 23, 2003

Bill Clinton

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
February 17, 1998

"The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow."

"The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home. I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq's history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else. The United States looks forward to a democratically supported regime that would permit us to enter into a dialogue leading to the reintegration of Iraq into normal international life. "
October 31, 1998
Press Release Upon Signing the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998

View the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998

Letter to Congress

"We are convinced that as long as Saddam Hussein remains in power, he will continue to threaten the well-being of his people, the peace of the region and the security of the world. We will continue to contain these threats, but over the long term the best way to address them is through a new government in Baghdad.

To that end, working with the Congress, we have deepened our engagement with the forces of change in Iraq to help make the opposition a more effective voice for the aspirations of the Iraqi people...

Chemical Weapons
April reports to the UNSC President reconfirmed January's findings that UNSCOM identified as priority chemical weapons disarmament issues: VX; 155mm mustard shells; an Iraqi Air Force file of chemical weapons documents; R-400 bombs filled with CBW (field inspections needed); and chemical weapons production equipment (field verification is needed for 18 of 20 shipping containers UNSCOM knows were moved together). The reporters identified as key monitoring priorities the ability to verify Iraqi compliance at listed facilities and to detect construction of new dual-use facilities...

Biological Weapons
April reports to the UNSC President reconfirmed January's findings that UNSCOM identified as priority outstanding biological weapons disarmament issues Iraq's incomplete declarations on "the whole scope of the BW program." The declarations are important because "Iraq possesses an industrial capability and knowledge base, through which biological warfare agents could be produced quickly and in volume." The report also identified the importance of monitoring dual-use biological items, equipment, facilities, research and acquisition at 250 listed sites. The effectiveness of monitoring is "proportional to Iraq's cooperation and transparency, to the number of monitored sites, and to the number of inspectors...

April reports to the UNSC President reconfirmed January's findings that UNSCOM identified as priority missile disarmament issues: 50 unaccounted for, SCUD conventional warheads; 500 tons of SCUD propellants, the destruction of which has not been verified; 7 Iraqi-produced SCUDs given to the army, the destruction of which cannot be verified; truckloads of major components for SCUD production that are missing; the concealment of BW warheads; and the lack of accounting for VX-filled warheads. The report identified the capability to monitor declared activities, leaps in missile technology, and changes to declared operational missiles. There are 80 listed missile sites...

Nuclear Weapons
In a February 8, 1999, report to the UNSC President, IAEA Director General Mohammed El-Baradei summarized previous IAEA assessments of Iraq's compliance with its nuclear disarmament and monitoring obligations. The report restates that "Iraq has not fulfilled its obligation to adopt measures and enact penal laws, to implement and enforce compliance with Iraq's obligations under resolutions 687 and 707, other relevant Security Council resolutions and the IAEA OMV plan, as required under paragraph 34 of that plan...

Human Rights Violations
The human rights situation in Iraq continues to fall far short of international norms, in violation of Resolution 688. For over seven years, the Iraqi government has refused to allow the U.N. Human Rights Commission Special Rapporteur for Iraq, Max Van der Stoel, to visit Iraq. U.N. human rights monitors have never been allowed in. Meanwhile, increasingly disturbing reports of the most serious nature continue to emanate from Iraq. For example, 2,500 political prisoners have been summarily executed without due process of law since Fall 1997, according to detailed reports Mr. Van der Stoel received. Often, the bodies are said to have been returned to the victim's families showing clear signs of torture...

The assassination of three of Iraq's most senior Islamic clerics is of special concern. In February, Ayatollah Mohammed al-Sader -- the most senior Shia cleric in Iraq -- was assassinated, along with two of his sons, after attending Friday prayers in Najaf. This follows the similar killing of Sheikh Borojourdi in April 1998 and Ayatollah Ah al-Gharawi in June 1998. In each case, the killings reportedly followed months of arrests and interrogations by government security services, and have been widely attributed to agents of the regime. The deaths also come in the context of a resurgence of repression in southern Iraq, as the regime works toward the destruction of the Marsh Arabs' way of life and the unique ecology of the southern marshes.

The regime also continues to ignore appeals by Mr. Van der Stoel and others for access by human rights monitors to investigate these reports.In the north, outside the Kurdish-controlled areas, the government continues the forced expulsion of ethnic Kurds and Turkomans from Kirkuk and other cities. In recent months, hundreds of families have reportedly been expelled from Kirkuk. Reports from the Kurdish-controlled areas where the displaced persons are received indicate that they are forced to leave behind almost all of their personal property. Due to a shortage of housing, many are still living in temporary shelters.

Presidential Letter to Congress on Iraq
May 19, 1999

Televised Address to the Nation

Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.

Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world.

Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons...

Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. Unleashing chemical weapons against Iranian troops during a decade-long war. Not only against soldiers, but against civilians, firing Scud missiles at the citizens of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran. And not only against a foreign enemy, but even against his own people, gassing Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq.

The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again...

As the UNSCOM reports concludes, and again I quote, "Iraq's conduct ensured that no progress was able to be made in the fields of disarmament."In light of this experience, and in the absence of full cooperation by Iraq, it must regrettably be recorded again that the commission is not able to conduct the work mandated to it by the Security Council with respect to Iraq's prohibited weapons program."

In short, the inspectors are saying that even if they could stay in Iraq, their work would be a sham.Saddam's deception has defeated their effectiveness. Instead of the inspectors disarming Saddam, Saddam has disarmed the inspectors.This situation presents a clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere.

The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance.And so we had to act and act now.Let me explain why.

First, without a strong inspection system, Iraq would be free to retain and begin to rebuild its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs in months, not years.

Second, if Saddam can crippled the weapons inspection system and get away with it, he would conclude that the international community -- led by the United States -- has simply lost its will. He will surmise that he has free rein to rebuild his arsenal of destruction, and someday -- make no mistake -- he will use it again as he has in the past.

Third, in halting our air strikes in November, I gave Saddam a chance, not a license. If we turn our backs on his defiance, the credibility of U.S. power as a check against Saddam will be destroyed. We will not only have allowed Saddam to shatter the inspection system that controls his weapons of mass destruction program; we also will have fatally undercut the fear of force that stops Saddam from acting to gain domination in the region.

That is why, on the unanimous recommendation of my national security team -- including the vice president, the secretary of defense, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, the secretary of state and the national security adviser -- I have ordered a strong, sustained series of air strikes against Iraq.

They are designed to degrade Saddam's capacity to develop and deliver weapons of mass destruction, and to degrade his ability to threaten his neighbors...

So we will pursue a long-term strategy to contain Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction and work toward the day when Iraq has a government worthy of its people.

First, we must be prepared to use force again if Saddam takes threatening actions, such as trying to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction or their delivery systems, threatening his neighbors, challenging allied aircraft over Iraq or moving against his own Kurdish citizens.

The credible threat to use force, and when necessary, the actual use of force, is the surest way to contain Saddam's weapons of mass destruction program, curtail his aggression and prevent another Gulf War.

Second, so long as Iraq remains out of compliance, we will work with the international community to maintain and enforce economic sanctions. Sanctions have cost Saddam more than $120 billion -- resources that would have been used to rebuild his military. The sanctions system allows Iraq to sell oil for food, for medicine, for other humanitarian supplies for the Iraqi people.We have no quarrel with them. But without the sanctions, we would see the oil-for-food program become oil-for-tanks, resulting in a greater threat to Iraq's neighbors and less food for its people.

The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world. The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government -- a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people. Bringing change in Baghdad will take time and effort. We will strengthen our engagement with the full range of Iraqi opposition forces and work with them effectively and prudently.

The decision to use force is never cost-free. Whenever American forces are placed in harm's way, we risk the loss of life. And while our strikes are focused on Iraq's military capabilities, there will be unintended Iraqi casualties...

Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people. And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them.

Let me close by addressing one other issue. Saddam Hussein and the other enemies of peace may have thought that the serious debate currently before the House of Representatives would distract Americans or weaken our resolve to face him down.

But once more, the United States has proven that although we are never eager to use force, when we must act in America's vital interests, we will do so.In the century we're leaving, America has often made the difference between chaos and community, fear and hope. Now, in the new century, we'll have a remarkable opportunity to shape a future more peaceful than the past, but only if we stand strong against the enemies of peace. Tonight, the United States is doing just that. May God bless and protect the brave men and women who are carrying out this vital mission and their families. And may God bless America.

December 16, 1998
Addressing the Nation

Hillary Clinton (D-NY)

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members . It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
October 10, 2002

Harry Reid (D-NV)

"What is my position on Iraq? Saddam Hussein is an evil dictator who presents a serious threat to international peace and security. Under Saddam's rule, Iraq has engaged in far-reaching human rights abuses, been a state sponsor of terrorism, and has long sought to obtain and develop weapons of mass destruction."
From Sen. Reid's own website as of November 7, 2005.

Al Gore

We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
September 23, 2002

Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

Even if we give first priority to the destruction of terrorist networks, and even if we succeed, there are still governments that could bring us great harm. And there is a clear case that one of these governments in particular represents a virulent threat in a class by itself: Iraq. As far as I am concerned, a final reckoning with that government should be on the table.”
February 12, 2002
Remarks to the US Council on Foreign Relations

We need national resolve and unity, not weakness and division when we're involved, engaged in an action against someone like Saddam Hussein, who is trying to get weapons of mass destruction and threaten his neighbors...[I]f you allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons, how many people is he going to kill with such weapons? He's already demonstrated a willingness to use these weapons; he poison gassed his own people. He used poison gas and other weapons of mass destruction against his neighbors. This man has no compunctions about killing lots and lots of people."
December 16, 1998
On Larry King Live

Campaigning in 1992

It was an Iraq-based group that mastermindedthe assassination attempt against Israel's ambassador to the UK, which occurred in June 1982...

The Reagan/Bush Administration was also prepared to overlook the factthat the terrorist who masterminded the attack on the Achille Lauroand the savage murder of American Leon Klinghoffer fled with Iraqiassistance. Nor did it matter that the team of terrorists who setout to blow up the Rome airport came from Baghdad with suitcasebombs...

Within days of the end of the Iran-Iraq War, Saddam Hussein--seeing that he had gotten away with using poison gas against the Kurdspreviously--launched additional major gas attacks on them. The war was over, and he was determined to settle accounts. Saddam's attacks created, in addition to the wave of deaths, a flight of about a halfmillion Kurdish refugees...

In April 1989, a nuclear proliferation expert from the Department of Energy reported
intelligence indicators that Iraq had a crash program underway to build an atomic bomb. In June, the Defense Intelligence Agency reported that Iraq was running a major European network to procure military goods that were not supposed to be sold...

Most significant of all...the CIA reported to Secretary of State James Baker and other top Bush administrationofficials that Iraq was clandestinely procuring nuclear weapons technology through a global network of front companies...

March, 1990, brought no improvement, when US and British agents arrested several Iraqis in the act of trying to smuggle nuclear triggering devices into Iraq. In April, Saddam Hussein issued his infamous threat to burn up half of Israel with chemical weapons. Still, Bush (Senior) toadied up to Saddam...

May arrives, and a terrorist attack on the public beaches of Tel Aviv was launched and thwarted. It was planned by a Palestinian group operating openly in Baghdad...

Incredibly, immediately following the war, President Bush reverted to form. At President Bush's encouragement, an armed resistance to Saddam Hussein sprang up in Iraq. But at the critical moment, it was George Bush's decision to betray that resistance by tolerating Saddam Hussein's use of attack helicopters to put down the rebellions. That was a clear violation of the terms of the cease fire, and it was a violation we had more than enough power to suppress. Had we insisted on the terms of the ceasefire, there would have been a much better chance that today we would not be facing Saddam Hussein in power...

We require a fresh approach from a new leader of vigor and high intelligence, of courage and vision, who believes to the core that the enemies of freedom cannot be anything but the enemies of our country. I think that the people of the United States have and will take the opportunity to select such a leader. Bill Clinton is that man.

September 29, 1992
Speech to Center for National Policy

Ted Kennedy (D-MA)

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
September 27, 2002

"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed."
September 27, 2002

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
December 16, 1998

John Edwards (D-NC)

"Saddam Hussein's regime represents a grave threat to America and our allies, including our vital ally, Israel. For more than two decades, Saddam Hussein has sought weapons of mass destruction through every available means. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons. He has already used them against his neighbors and his own people, and is trying to build more. We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal."
October 10, 2002

"The debate over Iraq is not about politics. It is about national security. It should be clear that our national security requires Congress to send a clear message to Iraq and the world: America is united in its determination to eliminate forever the threat of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction."
October 10, 2002

Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years has made in development of weapons of mass destruction...

We also have to acknowledge that any military operations against Saddam Hussein pose potential risks to our own homeland, too. Saddam’s government has contact with many international terrorist organizations that likely have cells here in the United States...

Americans will return to a situation like that we faced in the Cold War, waking each morning knowing we are at risk from nuclear blackmail by a dictatorship that has declared itself to be our enemy. Only, back then, our communist foes were a rational and predictable bureaucracy; this time, our nuclear foe would be an unpredictable and often irrational individual, a dictator who has demonstrated that he is prepared to violate international law and initiate unprovoked attacks when he feels it serves his purposes to do so.

The global community -- in the form of the United Nations -- has declared repeatedly, through multiple resolutions, that the frightening prospect of a nuclear-armed Saddam cannot come to pass. But the U.N. has been unable to enforce those resolutions. We must eliminate that threat now, before it is too late.

But this isn’t just a future threat. Saddam’s existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose a very real threat to America, now. Saddam has used chemical weapons before, both against Iraq’s enemies and against his own people. He is working to develop delivery systems like missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that could bring these deadly weapons against U.S. forces and U.S. facilities in the Middle East.

And he could make those weapons available to many terrorist groups which have contact with his government, and those groups could bring those weapons into the U.S. and unleash a devastating attack against our citizens. I fear that greatly.

We cannot know for certain that Saddam will use the weapons of mass destruction he currently possesses, or that he will use them against us. But we do know Saddam has the capability. Rebuilding that capability has been a higher priority for Saddam than the welfare of his own people -- and he has ill-will toward America.

I am forced to conclude, on all the evidence, that Saddam poses a significant risk.

Some argue it would be totally irrational for Saddam Hussein to initiate an attack against the mainland United States, and they believe he would not do it. But if Saddam thought he could attack America through terrorist proxies and cover the trail back to Baghdad, he might not think it so irrational.

If he thought, as he got older and looked around an impoverished and isolated Iraq, that his principal legacy to the Arab world would be a brutal attack on the United States, he might not think it so irrational. And if he thought the U.S. would be too paralyzed with fear to respond, he might not think it so irrational.

Saddam has misjudged what he can get away with, and how the United States and the world will respond, many times before. At the end of the day, we cannot let the security of American citizens rest in the hands of someone whose track record gives us every reason to fear that he is prepared to use the weapons he has against his enemies.

As the attacks of September 11 demonstrated, the immense destructiveness of modern technology means we can no longer afford to wait around for a smoking gun. September 11 demonstrated that the fact that an attack on our homeland has not yet occurred cannot give us any false sense of security that one will not occur in the future. We no longer have that luxury.

September 11 changed America. It made us realize we must deal differently with the very real threat of terrorism, whether it comes from shadowy groups operating in the mountains of Afghanistan or in 70 other countries around the world, including our own.

There has been some debate over how "imminent" a threat Iraq poses. I do believe that Iraq poses an imminent threat, but I also believe that after September 11, that question is increasingly outdated. It is in the nature of these weapons, and the way they are targeted against civilian populations, that documented capability and demonstrated intent may be the only warning we get. To insist on further evidence could put some of our fellow Americans at risk. Can we afford to take that chance? We cannot!

The President has rightly called Saddam Hussein’s efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction a grave and gathering threat to Americans. The global community has tried but failed to address that threat over the past decade. I have come to the inescapable conclusion that the threat posed to America by Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction is so serious that despite the risks -- and we should not minimize the risks -- we must authorize the President to take the necessary steps to deal with that threat.
October 10, 2002

"The fact that Zarqawi certainly is related to the death of the U.S. aid officer and that he is very close to bin Laden puts at rest, in fairly dramatic terms, that there is at least a substantial connection between Saddam and al Qaeda."
February 5, 2003
Speaking to Wolf Blitzer on CNN regarding the implications of al Zarqawi's presence in Iraq before the war.

Carl Levin (D-MI)

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandated of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
September 19, 2002

Bob Graham (D-FL)

"There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has invigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, December 5, 2001

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."
December 8, 2002

William Cohen

Clinton's Secretary of Defense holds up a five-pound bag of sugar on ABC's "This Week" in 1997 to illustrate the quantity of chemical weapons necessary to kill hundreds of thousands of Americans.

"The United Nations decided that he must get rid of all of his biological and chemical weapons. Now we discovered — the United Nations discovered — that he had immense amounts on hand. We discovered, for example, that this is a facility that was producing — that was, in fact, producing — biological and chemical weapons that had evaded the initial discovery by the inspectors.

Now once that was discovered with the help of overhead capability...

Cokie Roberts: And this was just last year?

Cohen: This was back in 1996 in which this was destroyed. So, that facility that went undetected initially has been destroyed. They have destroyed enormous amounts of chemical and biological weapons.

It’s important when we talk about weapons of mass destruction that we translate into something that the American people, and hopefully, the world community can understand.

For example, when we talk about Anthrax — Anthrax, if you took a five-pound bag of sugar and accept — call this Anthrax {producing a 5-pound bag of Domino® table sugar from under the interview table}. This amount of Anthrax could be spread over a city — let’s say the size of Washington. It would destroy at least half the population of that city. If you had even more amounts...

If you had more amounts of Anthrax — let me just get to this point. One of the things we found with Anthrax is that one breath and you are likely to face death within five days. One small particle of Anthrax would produce death within five days.

VX is a nerve agent. One drop from this particular thimble as such — one single drop will kill you within a few minutes.

Cokie Roberts: Would you put that bag down please.

William Cohen: Now I want to point out — I will spill it on the table — point out that he has had enormous amounts, and I’d like to go to some of the lies that have been told about this, because originally, if we could look at this particular chart, the original declaration of Iraq, he said he had small quantities of nerve agent for research.

We found almost four tons of VX — that little vial I just showed you — four tons of it.
He said he had no...

Cokie Roberts: Could wipe out populations of whole countries.

William Cohen: Millions, millions, if it were properly dispersed and through aerosol mechanisms and so forth.

He said he had no offensive biological weapons program. We found 2,100 gallons of anthrax — that little pound of sugar here that I showed you — had 2,100 gallons of that.

He said he had only 49 combat-ready missiles. We found at least triple that number.

November 16, 1997
"This Week" on ABC

"I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons...I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out."
April 2003

Robert Byrd (D-WV)

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
October 3, 2002

Sandy Berger

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
February 18, 1998

Madeline Albright

"Iraq is a long way from [the USA], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
February 18,1998

"Hussein has .. chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
November 10, 1999

"No one has done what Saddam Hussein has done, or is thinking of doing. He is producing WMDs and he is qualatively and quantitatively different from other dictators."
February 18, 1998

"I'm really surprised that people are defending the rights of Saddam Hussein."
February 18, 1998

"Saddam's goal ... is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed."

"As we made very clear this week, we will take unilateral action when we feel our national interests have been threatened."
August 23, 1998

"Saddam was not just another dictator. He had invaded both Iran and Kuwait, and yearned to develop a nuclear bomb to impress an Arab world that despised him."
From "Madam Secretary"

It seemed to me obvious that, under the circumstances, it would have been immoral not to confront Saddam Hussein."
"Madam Secretary"

Wanting to shield Iraqi's from suffering, they [protesters] thought the way to do that was to oppose us. But most hadn't seen the video footage of Saddam's attack on the Kurdish village of Halabja in 1998, where five thousand died...they accused us of not caring but seemed to have no conception of the suffering that appeasing a ruthless dictator might cause."
Madam Secretary

"The world has not seen, except maybe Hitler, somebody who is quite as evil as Saddam Hussein. If you don't stop a horrific dictator before he gets started to far, then he could do untold damage."
February 19, 1997

General Wesley Clark

"There's no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat... Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He's had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001... He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn't have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we."
September 26, 2002

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