Peace Watch
October 10, 2002
Senator Byrd Continues to Fight For A More Reasonable Solution

I've been catching up on what's been going on with the Iraq situation this week via the congressional record. He said a bunch of things yesterday and I haven't read them all yet, but you can get to them all yourself by going to and then clicking on "Text Search" and then typing in "Iraq" and selecting "Senator Byrd" and then "Search."

For yesterday's comments from him, you can just click on this.

Here's the full text of
in case the link goes bad:


Mr. McCAIN. Finally, could I ask Senator Byrd's predilections on this issue?

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Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished Senator from Arizona for his question. I say to the Senator, he has amendments, and he has already submitted his amendments. I would like to have a chance to vote on these amendments before the cloture vote. I hope we will get the cloture vote delayed at least a few hours tomorrow until Senators, such as Mr. Levin, who have amendments will have a fair shot at explaining their amendments and have a vote on them before cloture. I do not know whether the Senate will be disposed to do that or not.

Let me see if I can answer the distinguished Senator from Arizona. I have another amendment I would like to get voted on, too. I would like to offer it to the amendment that is pending. I say to the distinguished Senator from Arizona--and he is a very distinguished Senator--the other amendment would be to provide a sunset provision.

So if the Senate is going to waive its constitutional powers to the extent that I think would be required if the Lieberman amendment were to be agreed upon, I would like at least for the Senate to have a sunset provision so there would be a time limit when the Lieberman amendment would run its course. If the Congress wanted to renew that, Congress could do it, of course, but at least my amendment would say 12 months, and the President could extend that for 12 months.

That is a rough explanation of my amendment. So that would be 12 months for the President under my amendment, providing for the President on his own to extend that for an additional 12 months, but at the end of that time it is over unless the Congress renews or extends it. I would like to have that amendment also voted upon.

I am very willing to enter into some kind of an agreement, say, to vote up or down on both amendments. There would be a vote on the Lieberman amendment and then a vote on cloture tomorrow at some point.

Mr. WARNER. Mr. President, we have been endeavoring to accommodate the pending amendment with the time agreement such that it could be brought up as soon as possible.

The Senator from West Virginia and I have had no discussion about a second amendment, and I urge that we allow the Senator from Tennessee to speak, and in the interim let's gather and see whether or not we can reconcile honest differences and motives.

Mr. REID. If I could just suggest one thing, maybe we could have all of this taken care of by not having a cloture vote. Cloture is going to be invoked by a large margin. Maybe we would not need a cloture vote.

Mr. WARNER. There are Senators on this side who wish to leave intact this present procedure, which is working well. It has produced 13 amendments, 7 of which have been ruled germane thus far by the Parliamentarian. This debate is well underway, well structured, and can proceed.

At the moment, we have a pending amendment, and I urge that we allow the Senator from Tennessee----

Mr. REID. I ask unanimous consent that the 15 minutes allocated to the Senator from Tennessee be given in its entirety. We have taken most of that time. Then during that time, we will confer as to how we can proceed.

Mr. WARNER. I thank the Senator.

The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. DAYTON). The Senator from Tennessee has the floor.

Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, the Members of this body will soon vote on authorizing the President to use the military might of this Nation against Saddam Hussein. This decision has weighed heavily on me, as it has on us all. No one takes lightly the prospect of young Americans risking their lives on the battlefield of war, but we and they swear an oath to defend our rights and freedoms against all enemies. And so our duty we must now do.

Saddam Hussein is a direct and deadly threat to the American people and to the people of the world. He holds the power to murder not just hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands, but millions. He defies all international efforts to restrain that power and keep world peace, and he disdains the value of human life, even the lives of his own people. This is an evil, lawless, and murderous man.

The resolution before the Senate is carefully constructed to encourage the widest possible international support for unified action against Saddam Hussein. The nations of the world need to show him they will no longer tolerate his arrogant contempt for United Nations resolutions, requiring him to give up his weapons of mass destruction and cease the gross human rights violations he has committed on his own people. I support the President's intensive efforts to build such a coalition, and I pray for his success.

No one wants to avoid a war more than I do. I am a physician. I have devoted my life to a profession that is centered on saving lives. Only when we have exhausted all reasonable efforts at keeping peace should we consider waging war. The President shares a firm commitment to this principle. I consider this resolution a strong statement of support for peace and, if the Nation must, for war as well. For if the safety of our people, the security of our Nation, and the stability of the world remain so threatened, we must risk war for peace. To do anything less would leave a grave and growing danger looming over the lives of millions.

This evening I will talk about Saddam Hussein's past, his present, and what I consider his greatest danger, a robust biological weapons program. More than chemical and nuclear weapons, Saddam's biological weapons pose a unique and immediate threat. Unlike other conventional weapons, they are easily made. They can be readily concealed and are beyond the reach of inspectors and can readily be delivered across borders and, yes, even across oceans. In the hands of a madman, biological weapons literally threaten us all.

I refer to the words on this chart concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, excerpts from an October 2002 unclassified CIA report, which reads:

Iraq has some lethal and incapacitating BW--

Biological weapon--

agents and is capable of quickly producing and weaponizing a variety of such agents, including anthrax, for delivery by bombs, missiles, aerial sprayers and covert operatives, including potentially against the U.S. homeland.

Indeed, these biological weapons literally threaten us all--``potentially against the U.S. homeland.''

Saddam Hussein has pursued the most deadly weapons known to man, with brutal determination. His arsenal has included tens of thousands of tons of chemical agents and biological agents. He has come within months of acquiring nuclear weapons, and he has developed many means, both in number and type, to deliver his desired destruction.

History shows that dictators do not amass such weapons without the intent to use them. Indeed, Saddam Hussein has accumulated chemical weapons and used them to attack his neighbors and even murder his own people. During the Iran-Iraq war, which lasted from 1980 to 1988, Saddam Hussein inflicted 20,000 casualties by striking with chemicals--mustard gas, sarin, and tabun. He also used mustard and nerve agents to murder as many as 5,000 Iraqi Kurds and inflict the misery of chemical warfare on another 10,000.

I show this chart briefly to demonstrate the impact of these chemicals. Saddam Hussein used the chemicals on his own people. We can see the effects of this tragedy among the victims, who are women and children in this picture.

Saddam Hussein was fully prepared to use biological weapons during the gulf war. In 1995, Iraq admitted it had produced 19,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 8,500 liters of anthrax, and 2,200 liters of aflatoxin. That is enough botulinum toxin--remember, that is the most potent poison known to man--to kill every man, woman and child on Earth.

Iraq also admitted it had loaded thousands of liters of agents into bombs, into munitions, into dozens of warheads and aircraft spray tanks, just as American and allied forces prepared to liberate Kuwait. Before the gulf war, intelligence experts believed Saddam Hussein was at least 8 to 10 years from having a nuclear weapon. That estimate was way off. Iraq had already assembled many of the pieces needed to build a nuclear weapon. What it lacked was fissile material that makes up the explosive core of a nuclear device. If Saddam Hussein had been able to obtain that material, either by making it or buying it, he would likely have had a nuclear bomb by no later than 1993.

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Indeed, Iraq has gone to great lengths to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Its efforts to hide the weapons have been equally ambitious. Saddam Hussein has defied the international community almost from the moment he came to power in 1979. His rule has been a constant threat to peace among the Iraqi people, in the Middle East, and throughout the world.

Saddam Hussein has twice invaded sovereign nations. In 1980, he launched the Iran-Iraq war solely for territorial gain. Eight years, one million casualties and hundreds of billions of dollars later, the war ended with Iraq gaining nothing. In 1990, Saddam Hussein started the gulf war by invading Kuwait. His objective? Seize control of his neighbor's oil fields. We expelled him. As we did, he fired dozens of Scud missiles into Israel and into Saudi Arabia and the waters off Qatar.

Iraq has shown as much contempt for the international community as it has shown aggression toward its neighbors. Since 1990, Iraq has violated 16 United Nations Security Council resolutions. Inspectors charged with enforcing those resolutions have been deceived, they have been obstructed, they have been intimidated by Saddam Hussein and his henchmen.

Saddam Hussein has funneled as much as $9 billion from the United Nations Oil-for-Food program into his weapons of mass destruction program and other illegal activities, starving his people and strangling the economy.

To Saddam Hussein international treaties are worth less than the paper on which they are written. Iraq is the only nation publicly cited for violating the Geneva Convention ban on using chemical weapons. Its biological weapons program has directly violated the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. And Iraq has utterly ignored the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which has been signed by 187 countries since its inception in 1968.

Saddam Hussein said in a recent speech, ``The present of any nation or people cannot be isolated from its past .....'' Indeed. What Saddam has done in the past is reckless, lawless and appalling. But what he is doing now should frighten us all and compel the world to action. Not only does he continue to develop and produce weapons of mass destruction, but he's more likely to use them than ever before. I am particularly concerned about the unique and immediate threat Saddam's biological weapons program presents.

Iraq has lethal and incapacitating biological weapons agents potentially to use against the United States homeland.

Iraq likely produced two to four times more biological agents than it publicly admitted in 1995. United Nations inspection teams could not account for biological culture growth media that would have easily tripled Saddam's stocks of anthrax--a bacteria that can be rapidly and easily produced as a weapon of mass destruction. Mr. President, 30,000 munitions designed solely for chemical and biological agents were also unaccounted for. Missing biological agents, missing biological munitions and Iraq's pattern of deception lead to only one conclusion: Saddam Hussein today retains a large arsenal of deadly living microorganisms available as weapons of mass destruction.

That arsenal likely contains stocks of live viruses and bacteria produced not only before the Gulf War, but also after, especially since weapons inspectors left Iraq in 1998. Saddam has expanded so-called ``dual-use'' facilities--laboratories, research centers and manufacturing plants that have civilian or commercial uses, but are likely used to build his arsenal of microbiological terror, as well.

Iraq has rebuilt known biological weapons facilities that were destroyed during the Gulf War, by our military, or after, by weapons inspectors. Also, Saddam retains the equipment and, even more crucial, the human expertise to continue building his biological weapons capability. Unlike nuclear weapons, which take years and massive resources to make, biological weapons are inexpensive, can be made easily, within weeks, in a small room, with minimal equipment and manpower. That is what makes biological weapons so unique and capable of causing such death and destruction.

To that end, our intelligence community believes Iraq has built mobile germ warfare production laboratories. Iraq has learned a lot about weapons inspections since the Gulf War. Saddam hid his biological weapons program from inspectors for 4 years. Mobile biological labs are the ideal weapon of deception. They can be quickly moved in inconspicuous trailers and hidden in very small spaces, including, for example, in a single room in one of Saddam Hussein's presidential palaces. Such laboratories would be almost invisible to the outside world.

There is also evidence that Iraq may be developing and producing a new generation of more virulent biological agents. Defectors allege that Iraq is developing an agent called ``Blue Nile''--which may be a code name for the ebola virus. Ebola is a deadly virus for which there is no treatment and there is no vaccine. And many experts believe Saddam Hussein may have stocks of the smallpox virus. One of the last naturally occurring smallpox outbreaks occurred on Iraqi soil in the early 1970s, which is precisely when Iraq launched its weapons of mass destruction program.

Though U.S. defenses against smallpox are now much stronger, a 2001 study by Johns Hopkins University found that a smallpox attack launched at three locations in the United States could kill in a worst case scenario one million and infect another two million Americans within two months.

Saddam has invested not only in developing and producing new viruses and bacteria, but also new means to deliver those agents. Iraq has experimented with a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles as part of its longstanding weapons of mass destruction program. But intelligence experts believe Iraq has vastly improved its designs and now has a drone aircraft that can carry and spray up to 80 gallons of anthrax. Such an airplane would be the most effective way to deliver biological weapons over a vast area and would represent a dire threat to the Iraqi people, its neighbors and the international community.

The danger of germ weapons is not merely that Saddam Hussein has them, but that he would use them . . . even against the United States. Biological agents are ideal terrorist weapons. Unlikely other weapons of mass destruction, one cannot hear them or taste them or smell them. They can be invisible to the human eye.

They can be transported long distances without detection in, for example, a terrorist's pocket. They can take hours and even days to take effect, allowing a terrorist to be long gone--to escape.

Thus, Saddam's robust biological weapons program, combined with the support of terrorism, is a deadly force capable of exceeding the death and destruction of even a nuclear bomb.

Saddam does support terrorism. Iraq harbors several terrorist groups that have targeted and murdered American citizens. The Iraqi regime has been in contact with al-Qaida for at least a decade and, as recently as this year, allowed a senior leader to receive medical treatment in Baghdad.

I am hopeful that inspectors will return to Iraq with totally unfettered access to all suspected biological weapons sites. But, remember, such a site can be an 8-by-12-foot room deep in the basement of a huge Presidential palace.

I am hopeful that Saddam Hussein will disarm and destroy his ability to develop and produce such weapons in the future. But I am not optimistic. Saddam Hussein knows his chemical and biological stocks are the source of his power at home and in his region and can be a tool of blackmail. Weapons of mass destruction are as much a part of Saddam Hussein as freedom and democracy are of America.

The test of our resolve in the war on terror was Afghanistan. There we fought the terrorist group and its supporting regimes that murdered more than 3,000 of our own citizens. We were attacked, and, as any capable nation would do, we responded.

Now we face a second test. Saddam Hussein has not yet struck, and we hope he doesn't. We hope he disarms his weapons of mass destruction and chooses peace over war. It is his choice. But should he force us to war, we will fight for a noble and a just cause--to prevent a future and far worse attack than that of September 11, 2001. America will be victorious in this next phase of the war on terror, for the worst of a

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dictator cannot defeat the will of a free people.

Saddam Hussein will fight to preserve his grip on power and protect weapons that murder millions. But if we must fight, we will do so for love of country, for respect of humanity, and for the rights and freedoms that all people deserve to enjoy, including the Iraqi people.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico, under the previous order, is to be recognized.

The Chair wants to say that it is his view that the subject matter is of enormous gravity, and the subject matter and statement of the Senator is most compelling. So anyone who does not share that view will leave the Chamber. And that will be pursued by those officers. And the Sergeants at Arms in the galleries are requested to ensure the gallery follows the same.

The Chair recognizes the Senator from New Mexico.

Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, before I proceed, I would like to congratulate the distinguished Senator from Tennessee. When he writes his name uses the title ``Senator'' followed by ``M.D.'' I think you will always be a doctor even if you are not always a Senator. I am happy to know you in both capacities--as a member of the medical profession--and among our ranks as senators. We in the Senate are very fortunate that a few years ago at the peak of your profession you decided to come here, and your people there in Tennessee sent you. I have been here 30 years--roughly five times, I think, that you have been here. I have gotten to know you very well. I consider you among one of my very best friends--not only here but in the world. I am very proud of what you had to say here tonight.

I am not going to speak about the technical matters. If anybody wants proof about the quantity and the tremendous damage that the weapons which Saddam probably possesses can cause humankind, they can read Senator BILL FRIST's statement just ahead of mine.

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