US - Iraq War
Pros and Cons
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Colin Powell
Former US Secretary of State

The "On or before Mar. 19, 2003" column lists key statements made before military operations began in Iraq. The "On or after Mar. 20, 2003" column lists statements made after the military operations in Iraq had been initiated on Mar. 19, 2003 at 9:34 pm Eastern Standard Time. The statements are provided solely as a background resource to the question, "Should the US have attacked Iraq?"


On or before Mar. 19, 2003
[listed in reverse chronological order: most recent]

Mar. 18, 2003


Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's interview by International Wire Services:
  • "This conflict, if it comes, with Iraq, will be because Iraq has been developing weapons of mass destruction and has possessed them for 12 years in violation of its international obligations. And the President took this problem to the international community. So we have to do something about it. It's a danger. The President's overall National Security Strategy remains one of working with friends and allies and helping with the crises in the world that include HIV/AIDS, read the whole document. But in that document there is also a reference to the use of preemptive action. It's higher in our list of things one can do to defend oneself, but it is not something that is brand new. We have had preemption as something one could do all along. In this case, we believe we will be acting with the authority of the international community as well as our own obligation to defend ourselves under our Constitution and the President's authority as Commander in Chief."

  • "And I hope the same concern that we expressed to them the actions of Saddam Hussein [sic]. He is the one who has brought this upon the world. Not the United States. He is the one who has continued to pursue these weapons. He is the one who last fall, the United Nations challenged to come into full and immediate compliance and unconditional compliance. And he's the one that chose not to. And we believe the danger is real. And if we do not act now to disarm him as we said we would when 1441 was passed, the clear of intent of 1441 was for him to comply -- meaning disarm. If he didn't, it would be serious consequences. We believe he hasn't. We believe that he tried to deceive us. We believe that a game is being played with inspectors, and so we believe that we have met the test with respect to trying to find a peaceful solution and there are many cases in history where when people were reluctant to take the necessary military steps, the use of force, it was regretted later."
    Mar. 18, 2003 Colin Powell


Mar. 16, 2003

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's interview on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos:

  • "I'm quite confident they will find evidence of the presence of chemical and biological weapons and some elements of a nuclear infrastructure. And I think that that's -- there's no question about that in my mind. Success, if it comes to a military action, will be a better Iraq, a better life for the Iraqi people, the use of the treasure of Iraq, its oil, for the benefit of its people and not to threaten its neighbors and develop weapons of mass destruction.

    Everybody is worried about the conflict. You should worry about a potential conflict. It is always a time of high anxiety. But if it's done well, and I'm confident our military commanders, if they are told to do it by the President, if it has to come to this, will do it well. And we have quite a bit of experience in not only conducting successful military operations but rebuilding a better society afterwards where the Iraqi people can be free of fear, free of torture, free of the kinds of crimes that Saddam Hussein has committed against his own people. And there is a possibility a strong possibility which we will go after and hopefully seize, to put in place a country that is stable, living in peace with its neighbors and no longer a threat to the regions of the world or the United States."
    Mar. 16, 2003 Colin Powell


Mar. 9, 2003

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's interview on NBC's Meet the Press:

  • "We are resting our case for the necessity perhaps of going to war on the fact that Saddam Hussein has developed weapons of mass destruction, has them in his possession, and for 12 years he has violated the will of the international community. It is the international community that has been violated here, not Saddam Hussein. He is the one who has stuck his finger in the eye of the international community. He is the one who has been deceiving and telling lies all these years. And the fact that there is also an al-Qaida connection, I think certainly adds to the case, but we are not resting the whole case on that connection."

  • "It was clear that 1441 said Saddam Hussein is guilty [of maintaining WMD], there are consequences for this guilt; now, one last chance. What we are interested in is getting rid of the weapons of mass destruction. One last chance. Let's see all the people who were involved in these programs, for them to be interviewed, interviewed without threat, out of the country. Let's see all the documents. Let's see all the equipment. Let's see all the facilities."

  • "At this point, if military action is required, it's because the regime has not changed itself, it is not complying with the demands of the international community."

  • "I think 9/11 changes the calculus that one uses for this [invading Iraq]. Saddam Hussein has been a threat to the region and we believe that his development of weapons of mass destruction and his intent toward his neighbors and the hostility he holds toward us; and in the post-9/11 period, where you have this potential nexus between weapons of mass destruction and terrorist organizations, non-state actors who are trying to get such weapons, suggests that this kind of threat has to be dealt with. And he has been in violation not only of, you know, our desire to see him be disarmed and get rid of these weapons of mass destruction, he's been in violation of international obligations for 12 years.

    And so this is a case where we believe the international community should act to protect itself, and, in protecting itself, protect the United States and protect the neighbors of Iraq."
    Mar. 9, 2003 Colin Powell


Mar. 7, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's statement to the United Nations Security Council:

  • "Dr. ElBaradei talked about the aluminum tubes that Iraq has tried to acquire over the years. But we also know that notwithstanding the report today, that there is new information that is available to us, and I believe available to the IAEA, about a European country where Iraq was found shopping for these kinds of tubes. And that country has provided information to us, to IAEA, that the material properties and manufacturing tolerances required by Iraq are more exact, by a factor of 50 percent or more, than those usually specified for rocket motor casings. Its experts concluded that the tolerances and specifications Iraq was seeking cannot be justified for unguided rockets. And I am very pleased that we will keep this issue open.

  • "The point is that this document [IAEA March 2003 Report] conclusively shows that Iraq had and still has the capability to manufacture these kinds of weapons, that Iraq had and still has the capability to manufacture not only chemical but biological weapons, and that Iraq had and still has literally tens of thousands of delivery systems, including increasingly capable and dangerous unmanned aerial vehicles."

  • "So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? My judgment, I think our judgment, has to be clearly not. And this is now the reality we, the Council, must deal with."

  • "We must not walk away. We must not find ourselves here this coming November with the pressure removed and with Iraq once again marching down the merry path to weapons of mass destruction, threatening the region, threatening the world.

    If we fail to meet our responsibilities, the credibility of this Council and its ability to deal with all the critical challenges we face will suffer. As we sit here, let us not forget the horror still going on in Iraq, with a spare moment to remember the suffering Iraqi people whose treasure is spent on these kinds of programs and not for their own benefit; people who are being beaten, brutalized and robbed by Saddam and his regime."
    Mar. 7, 2003 Colin Powell


Mar. 6, 2003

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's speech to a United State Senate Subcommittee:

  • "This is the time we have to deal with this kind of threat, not after we have seen thousands of people die as a result of the use of some of these horrible weapons."
    Mar. 6, 2003 Colin Powell


Mar. 5, 2003

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies:

  • "The question simply is: Has Saddam Hussein made a strategic decision, a political decision, that he will give up these horrible weapons of mass destruction and stop what he's been doing for all these many years?

    That's the question. There is no other question. Everything else is secondary or tertiary. That's the issue. It's an issue that's been on the table for 12 years. It's the issue that was put to Saddam Hussein in 1991 after the Gulf War. And over a period of years, and resolution after resolution, the same question was put to him, the same challenge was given to him, the same instruction was given by the international community, by the Security Council, to Saddam Hussein: Disarm, give up these weapons of mass destruction, stop threatening your people, let your neighbors live in peace, no longer fearful of these kinds of weapons. And for 12 years, Saddam Hussein has given the same answer back repeatedly: No, I will not."

  • "And lets be clear what Resolution 1441 is all about. It's not just a bunch of meaningless words. Every one of those words was fought over. It's not about inspections. It's not about an inspection regime. It is about Saddam Hussein, in the first instance, in the first part of that resolution, being found guilty again, reaffirming his guilt over the preceding 11 years of possessing and developing with the intention of having and potentially using weapons of mass destruction."

  • "We also know that senior Iraqi officials continue to admit in private what they continue to deny in public, that Iraq does indeed, possess weapons of mass destruction. A senior official stated in late January that Baghdad could not answer UNMOVIC's question honestly without causing major problems for Iraq."

  • "... But unfortunately, the inspection effort isn't working. Why? Because it was never intended to work under these kinds of hostile circumstances. It was intended to help the Iraqis comply. They were not intended to be detectives that went around seeking out things in the absence of genuine Iraqi cooperation. Inspections cannot work effectively as long as the Iraqi regime remains bound and determined to hold on to its weapons of mass destruction instead of divesting itself of these terrible items."

  • "Last November, when 1441 was passed, the international community declared Saddam Hussein a threat. In four months since, that has not changed; he is still a threat."

  • "It is always a hard thing for citizens to accept the prospect of war, and it should be. But consider the chilling fact that Saddam Hussein also knows what war is like. He has used war and weapons of mass destruction against his neighbors and against thousands of his own citizens. And in this post-September 11th world, getting those appalling weapons out of his hands is the only way to guarantee that he won't use them again, or he won't make common cause and pass them on through his terrorist connections for use practically anywhere in the world."

  • "Last November, the entire Security Council declared his weapons of mass destruction to be that threat to international peace and security. And if that threat existed last November when we voted for 1441, it certainly exists now."

  • "There was always a difference in the perception of the threat. Some of my colleagues in the [Security] Council have never quite seen it as strongly as we have seen it and that was the case during the seven weeks of the debate and before the debate. There are even some members of the Council who argue most vociferously now for delay or something else, who were anxious to see sanctions go away years ago when it was clear there was something still going on in Iraq.

    The one thing that we all agree upon is that there is no doubt that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and the capability to develop them or else I don't think we would have gotten a 15-0 vote. The debate really is, well, how much should we be concerned about it, how much should we worry about it?

    What we came together and said in 1441 is that they're in breach, continue to be in breach, they have not accounted for so much of this horrible material that they have, they have not allowed the inspectors in to verify the claims that they have made, and that this is a threat to the security of the region.

    We believe what highlights the threat, at least in our eyes, is the nexus that now exists in the post-9/11 world that it was one thing, and it was a bad enough thing, and it was a bad enough thing for Saddam Hussein to have these weapons of mass destruction, either accidentally or deliberately putting them in the hands of terrorists, we would all look back on this moment in time and feel awful if, at some future moment in time, a horrible attack took place and we discover one of these weapons was used, and when we had the chance to do something about it and we had the obligation to do something about it, we didn't do something about it."

  • "For 30 years, Saddam has fed off the blood, sweat, and tears of his people. He has murdered, tortured, and raped to stay in power. He has squandered Iraq's vast oil wealth on lavish palaces and secret police and weapons programs."
    Mar. 5, 2003 Colin Powell


Feb. 28, 2003

Excerpts of Colin Powell's interview by Anne Toulouse of Radio France International:

  • "And if Iraq had disarmed itself, gotten rid of its weapons of mass destruction over the past 12 years, or over the last several months since 1441 was enacted, we would not be facing the crisis that we now have before us."
    Feb. 28, 2003 Colin Powell


Feb. 5, 2003

Excerpts of Colin Powell's remarks to the United Nations Security Council:

  • "That's why we have joined and been active members of the institutions such as the United Nations and a number of other institutions that have come together for the purpose of peace and for the purpose of mutual security and for the purpose of letting other nations which pursue a path of destruction, which pursue paths of developing weapons of mass destruction which threaten their neighbors, to let them know that we will stand tall, we will stand together , to meet these kinds of challenges."

  • "We will not tolerate Iraq continuing to have weapons of mass destruction to be used against its own people, to be used against its neighbors.

    Or worse, if we find a post-9/11 nexus between Iraq and terrorist organizations that are looking for just such weapons -- and I would submit and will provide more evidence that such connections are now emerging and we can establish that they exists -- we cannot wait for one of these terrible weapons to show up in one of our cities and wonder where it came from after it's been detonated by al-Qaida or somebody else. This is the time to go after this source of this kind of weaponry. And that's what 1441 was all about."

  • "But the questions, notwithstanding all of the lovely rhetoric, the question remain, and some of my colleagues have talked about it. We haven't accounted for the anthrax. We haven't accounted for the botulinum, the VX, bulk biological agents, growth media, 30,000 chemical and biological munitions. These are not trivial matters one can just ignore and walk away from and say, well, maybe they won't. We have not had a complete, accurate declaration.

    We have seen the reconstitution of casting chambers for missiles. Why? Because they are still trying to develop these weapons."

  • "Force should always be a last resort. I have preached this for most of my professional life, as a soldier and as a diplomat, but it must be a resort. We cannot allow this process to be endlessly strung out as Iraq is trying to do right now--string it out long enough and the world will start looking in other direction, the Security Council will move on, we'll get away with it again.

    My friends, they cannot be allowed to get away with it again. We now are in a situation where Iraq's continues noncompliance and failure to cooperate, it seems to me, in the clearest terms, requires this Council to begin to think through the consequences of walking away from this problem with a reality that we have to face this problem; and that, in the very near future, we will have to consider whether or not we've reached that point where this Council, as distasteful as it may be, as reluctant as we may be, as many as -- there are so many of you who would rather not have to face this issue, but it's an issue that must be faced. And that is whether or not it is time to consider serious consequences of the kind intended by 1441.

    The reason we must not look away from it is because these are terrible weapons. We are talking about weapons that will kill not a few people, not a hundred people, not a thousand people, but that could kill tens of thousands of people if these weapons got into the wrong hands."
    Feb. 14, 2003 Colin Powell


Feb. 5, 2003

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Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations Security Council (To see full text of speech click here):

  • "Saddam Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction."

  • "Saddam Hussein and his regime are not just trying to conceal weapons; they are also trying to hide people. You know the basic facts. Iraq has not complied with its obligation to allow immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted and private access to all officials and other persons, as required by Resolution 1441."

  • "The gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction pose to the world."

  • "They have never accounted for all the organic material used to make them [biological weapons]. And they have not accounted for many of the weapons filled with these agents such as their R-400 bombs. This is evidence, not conjecture. This is true. This is all well documented."

  • "A third source, also in a position to know, reported in summer, 2002, that Iraq has manufactured mobile production systems mounted on a road-trailer units on road cars."

  • "We know that Iraq has at least seven of these mobile, biological agent factories. The truck-mounted ones have at least two or three trucks each. That means that the mobile production facilities are very few -- perhaps 18 trucks that we know of. There may be more. But perhaps 18 that we know of."

  • "Ladies and gentlemen, these are sophisticated facilities. For example, they can produce anthrax and botulinum toxin. In fact, they can produce enough dry, biological agent in a single month to kill thousands upon thousands of people. A dry agent of this type is the most lethal form for human beings.

    By 1998, U.N. experts agreed that the Iraqis had perfected drying techniques for their biological weapons programs. Now Iraq has incorporated this drying expertise into these mobile production facilities."

  • "Saddam Hussein has investigated dozens of biological agents causing diseases such as gangrene, plague, typhus, tetanus, cholera, camelpox, and hemorrhagic fever. And he also has the wherewithal to develop smallpox.

    The Iraqi regime has also developed ways to disperse lethal biological agents widely, indiscriminately into the water supply, into the air."

  • "There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. And he has the ability to dispense these lethal poisons and diseases in ways that can cause massive death and destruction."

  • "We know that Iraq has embedded key portions of its illicit chemical weapons infrastructure within its legitimate civilian industry."

  • "Under the guise of dual-use infrastructure, Iraq has undertaken an effort to reconstitute facilities that were closely associated with its past program to develop and produce chemical weapons."

  • "Saddam Hussein has chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein has used such weapons. And Saddam Hussein has no compunction about using them again -- against his neighbors and against his own people."

  • "We have no indication that Saddam Hussein has ever abandoned his nuclear weapons program. On the contrary, we have more than a decade of proof that he remains determined to acquire nuclear weapons."

  • "In 1995, as a result of another defector [Hussein Kamel], we find out that, after his invasion of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein had initiated a crash program to build a crude nuclear weapon, in violation of Iraq's U.N. obligations. Saddam Hussein already possesses two out of three key components needed to build a nuclear bomb. He has a cadre of nuclear scientists with the expertise and he has a bomb design.

    Since 1998, his efforts to reconstitute his nuclear program have been focused on acquiring the third and last component: sufficient fissile ,material to produce a nuclear explosion. To make the fissile material, he needs to develop an ability to enrich uranium. Saddam Hussein is determined to get his hands on a nuclear bomb."

  • "While inspectors destroyed most of the prohibited ballistic missiles, numerous intelligence reports over the past decade from sources inside Iraq indicate that Saddam Hussein retains a covert force of up to a few dozen SCUD-variant ballistic missiles./b> These are missiles with a range of 650 to 900 kilometers."

  • "Iraq and terrorism go back decades. Baghdad trains Palestine Liberation Front members in small arms and explosives. Saddam uses the Arab Liberation Front to funnel money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers in order to prolong the Intifadah. And it's no secret that Saddam's own intelligence service was involved in dozens of attacks or attempted assassinations in the 1990s.

    But what I want to bring to your attention today is the potentially much more sinister nexus between Iraq and the al-Qaida terrorist network, a nexus that combines classic terrorist organizations and modern methods of murder. Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi an associate and collaborator of Usama bin Laden and his al-Qaida lieutenants."

  • "When we confront a regime that harbors ambitions for regional domination, hides weapons of mass destruction, and provides haven and active support for terrorists, we are not confronting the past; we are confronting the present. And unless we act, we are confronting an even more frightening future."

  • "He has conducted ethnic cleansing against the Shia Iraqis and the Marsh Arabs whose culture has flourished for more than a millennium. Saddam Hussein's police state ruthlessly eliminates anyone who dares to dissent. Iraq has more forced disappearance cases than any other country -- tens of thousands of people reported missing in the past decade.

    Nothing points more clearly to Saddam Hussein's dangerous intentions and the threat he poses to all of us than his calculated cruelty to his own citizens and to his neighbors. Clearly, Saddam Hussein and his regime will stop at nothing until something stops him."

  • "We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more. Given Saddam Hussein's history of aggression, given what we know of his grandiose plans, given what we know of his terrorist association, and given his determination to exact revenge on those who oppose him, should we take the risk that he will not someday use these weapons at a time and a place and in a manner of his choosing, at a time when the world is in a much weaker position to respond?"
    Feb. 5, 2003 Colin Powell


Feb. 3, 2003

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's op-ed "We Will Not Shrink From War", published in the Wall Street Journal on February 3, 2003 :

  • "In their inspections, Mr. Blix's team discovered a number of chemical warheads not previously acknowledged by Iraq. Iraq also continues to acquire banned equipment, with proscribed imports arriving as recently as last month. The inspectors also reported that Iraqi activity is severely hampering their work. For example, Iraq has refused the inspectors' request to use a U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, a critical tool for inspections. Inspectors are accompanied everywhere by Iraqi minders, are slandered by Iraqi officials as spies, and face harassment and disturbing protests that would be unlikely to occur without the encouragement of the authorities."

  • "On Wednesday, I will present to the Security Council U.S. intelligence showing further evidence of Iraq's pattern of deception. Our evidence will reinforce what the inspectors told the Security Council last week -- that they are not getting the cooperation they need, that their requests are being blocked, and that their questions are going unanswered. While there will be no "smoking gun," we will provide evidence concerning the weapons programs that Iraq is working so hard to hide. We will, in sum, offer a straightforward, sober and compelling demonstration that Saddam is concealing the evidence of his weapons of mass destruction, while preserving the weapons themselves. The world must now recognize that Iraq has not complied with the will of the international community as expressed in Resolution 1441. Iraq has failed the resolution's two tests -- to disclose and to cooperate -- in a manner that constitutes a further material breach of the resolution."

  • "Together we must face the facts brought to us by the UN inspectors and reputable intelligence sources. Iraq continues to conceal deadly weapons and their components, and to use denial, deception and subterfuge in order to retain them. Iraq has ties to and has supported terrorist groups. Iraq has had no compunction about using weapons of mass destruction against its own people and against its neighbors."
    Feb. 3, 2003 Colin Powell


Jan. 26, 2003

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's statement at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland:

  • "When we talk about trust, let me use that as a bridge to one of the major issues of the day, Iraq. Let me try to explain why we feel so strongly about Iraq and why we are determined that the current situation cannot be allowed to continue. We are where we are today with Iraq because Saddam Hussein and his regime have repeatedly violated the trust of the United Nations, his people and his neighbors, to such an extent as to pose a grave danger to international peace and security."

  • "The United Nation's Security Council recognized this situation and unanimously passed Resolution 1441, giving Iraq one last chance to disarm peacefully after 11 years of defying the world community. Today, not a single nation, not one, trusts Saddam and his regime. And those who know him best trust him least: his own citizens, whom he has terrorized and oppressed; his neighbors, whom he has threatened and invaded. Citizens and neighbors alike have been killed by his chemical weapons."

  • "This is not about inspectors finding smoking guns. It is about Iraqi's failure -- Iraq's failure to tell the inspectors where to find its weapons of mass destruction."

  • "After six weeks of inspections, the international community still needs to know the key answers to key questions. For example: Where is the evidence -- where is the evidence -- that Iraq has destroyed the tens of thousands of liters of anthrax and botulinum we know it had before it expelled the previous inspectors? This isn't an American determination. This is the determination of the previous inspectors. Where is this material? What happened to it? It's not a trivial question. We're not talking about aspirin. We're talking about the most deadly things one can imagine, that can kill thousands, millions of people. We cannot simply turn away and say, 'Well, never mind.' Where is is? Account for it. Let it be verified through the inspectors.

    What happened to nearly 30,000 munitions capable of carrying chemical agents? The inspectors can only account for only 16 of them. Where are they? It's not a matter of ignoring the reality of the situation. Just think, all of these munitions, which perhaps only have a short range if fired out of an artillery weapon in Iraq, but imagine if one of these weapons were smuggled out of Iraq and found its way into the hands of a terrorist organization who could transport it anywhere in the world.

    What happened -- please, what happened -- to the three metric tons of growth material that Iraq imported which can be used for producing early, in a very rapid fashion, deadly biological agents?

    Where are the mobile vans that are nothing more than biological weapons laboratories on wheel? Why is Iraq still trying to procure uranium and the special equipment needed to transform it into material for nuclear weapons?"

  • "Saddam should tell the truth, and tell the truth now. The more we wait, the more chance there is for the dictator with clear ties to terrorist groups, including al-Qaida, more time for him to pass a weapon, share a technology, or use these weapons again."

  • "The nexus of tolerance and terror, of terrorists and weapons of mass destruction, is the greatest danger of our age. The international community knows what real disarmament looks like. We saw it in Kazakhstan. We saw it take place in the Ukraine. We saw it South Africa. We see none of the telltale signs of real disarmament, honest disarmament, in Iraq. Instead of a high-level determination to work with inspectors, we have continued defiance. Instead of a transparent disarmament process, we get the same old tactics of deceit and delay, documents hidden in private homes, denial of reconnaissance flights, denial of access to people and facilities, the kind of access that must be unimpeded and unrestricted in order to be successful."

  • "We should not (sic) understand what is at stake here. Saddam Hussein's hidden weapons of mass destruction are meant to intimidate Iraq's neighbors. These illegal weapons threaten international peace and security. These terrible weapons put millions of innocent people at risk."

  • "A resolution was put forward. It's a resolution that puts the burden on Iraq, not on the inspectors. And it is not the United States, it is not the international community, it is not the United Nations that is the source of the problem. The source of the problem is Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi regime and their use of the treasures of Iraqi people to develop weapons of mass destruction."

  • "I think the evidence is there and I think the evidence is clear. The inspections that ended in 1998 under the auspices of the IAEA and UNSCOM made it absolutely clear that there were weapons of mass destruction and there were programs to develop more weapons of mass destruction. That is not speculation, it is a fact. It's a given."
    Jan. 26, 2003 Colin Powell


Jan. 19, 2003

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's interview on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer:

  • "Iraq has given us a false declaration in December, still has not accounted for stocks of various biological and chemical agents that we know they had, and there is a discrepancy between what they had and what they are now reporting they have, and they have not solved those discrepancies. And we simply can't walk away from that kind of discrepancy."

  • "But the president has always said from the very beginning that the object is to disarm Iraq, and if the U.N. is not willing to do it, and is not willing to be relevant in a situation such as this, the United States reserves the option if it feels it must do so to at with like-minded nations to disarm Iraq."
    Jan. 26, 2003 Colin Powell


Dec. 19, 2002

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's remarks at a press conference:

  • "On November 8th, the United Nations Security Council responded to the challenge issued by President Bush in his 12 September speech to the United Nations General Assembly. On that day, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1441, requiring Iraq to disarm itself of its weapons of mass destruction and to disclose all of its nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs.

    Resolution 1441 was the latest in a long string of Security Council resolutions since Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Previous resolution, which included requirements to disarm and to end the cruel repression of the Iraqi people, have all been defied or ignored by Iraq.

    Resolution 1441 recognized that Iraq 'has been and remains in material breach of its obligations,' but gave the Iraqi regime, again, a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations.

    Iraq's answer came on December 7th in a 12,200-page document submitted to the Security Council.

    Resolution 1441 required Iraq to submit a declaration on all its mass weapons program of destruction, a declaration that was 'currently accurate, full and complete,' in the words of the resolution.

    The inspectors told the Security Council this morning that the declaration fails to answer many open questions. They said that in some cases they even have information that directly contradicts Iraq's account.

    Our experts have also examined the Iraqi document. The declaration's title echoes the language of Resolution 1441. It is called, 'Currently Accurate, Full and Complete Declaration.' But our experts have found it to be anything but currently accurate, full or complete. The Iraqi declaration, may use the language of Resolution 1441, but it totally fails to meet the resolution's requirements.

    The inspectors said that Iraq has failed to provide new information. We agree. Indeed, thousands of the document's pages are merely a resubmission of material it gave United Nations years ago, material that the UN had already determined was incomplete.

    Other sections of the Iraqi declaration consists of long passages copied from reports written by the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency. The only changes the Iraqi regime made were to remove references critical to its own conduct. The declaration totally fails to address what we had learned about Iraq's prohibited weapons programs before the inspectors were effectively forced out in 1998."

  • "Before the inspectors were forced to leave Iraq, they concluded that Iraq could have produced 26,000 liters of anthrax. That is three times the amount Iraq had declared. Yet, the Iraqi declaration is silent on this stockpile, which, alone, would be enough to kill several million people.

    The regime also admitted that it had manufactured 19,180 liters of biological agent called botulinum toxin. UN inspectors later determined that the Iraqis could have produced 38,360 additional liters. However, once again., the Iraqi declaration is silent on these missing supplies.

    The Iraqi declaration also says nothing about the unaccounted, unaccounted precursors from which Iraq could have produced up to 500 tons of mustard gas, sarin gas and VX nerve gas.

    Nor does the declaration address questions that have arisen since the inspectors left in 1998. For example, we know that in the late 1990s, Iraq built mobile biological weapons production units. Yet, the declaration tries to waive this away, mentioning only mobile refrigeration vehicles and food-testing laboratories.

    We also know that Iraq has tried to obtain high-strength aluminum tubes which can be used to enrich uranium in centrifuges for a nuclear weapons program. The Iraqi regime is required by Resolution 1441 to report these attempts. Iraq, however, has failed to provide adequate information about the procurement and use of these tubes.

    Most brazenly of all, the Iraqi declaration denies the existence of any prohibited weapons programs at all. The United States, the United Nations and the world waited for this declaration from Iraq. But Iraq's response is a catalogue of recycled information and flagrant omissions. It should be obvious that the pattern of systematic holes and gaps in Iraq's declaration is not the result of accidents or editing oversights or technical mistakes. These are material omissions that, in our view, constitute another material breach."

  • "Resolution 1441 calls for serious consequences for Iraq if it does not comply with the terms of the resolution. Iraq's noncompliance and defiance of the international community has brought it closer to the day when it will have to face these consequences. The world is still waiting for Iraq to comply with its obligations. The world will not wait forever. Security Council Resolution 1441 will be carried out in full. Iraq can no longer by allowed to threaten its people and its region with weapons of mass destruction. It is still up to Iraq to determine how its disarmament will happen. Unfortunately, this declaration fails totally to move us in the direction of a peaceful solution."

  • "'Material Breach.' I think, perhaps, too much has been made of the term. Material breach is a term that comes from the law that says a party to a commitment has failed in meeting the terms of that commitment. Iraq has done that repeatedly in the past. That's why 1441 begins with that statement of past material breach on many occasions by Iraq, still in material breach, and this is a new material breach.

    I don't think we are devaluing the term ['material breach']. I think we are using the term to make it clear to the world that, once again, we have a breach on the part of Iraq with respect to its obligations and therefore the spots have not changed.

    Now, I'll let the other members of the Council make their own judgment as to whether they wish to characterize it as such right now. The important point, I think, is that from what we heard from Dr. Blix and Dr. El Baradei this morning, and what I heard form other members of the Council who have spoken, is that there is no question that Iraq continues its pattern of noncooperation, its pattern of deception, its pattern of dissembling, its pattern of lying. And if that is going to be the way they continue through the weeks ahead, then we're not going to find a peaceful solution to this problem."
    Dec. 19, 2002 Colin Powell


Nov. 21, 2002

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's interview with NBC News':

  • "This is not about oil; this is about a tyrant, a dictator, who is developing weapons of mass destruction to use against Arab populations, and he has used such weapons against Arab populations right in that neighborhood where these articles and editorials you [Brian Williams NBC News] mentioned are being written."

  • "Saddam Hussein is going to be disarmed one way or the other. If there is going to be a war, it will be because of Saddam Hussein, not NATO, not the United Nations and not the United States of America."
    Nov. 21, 2002 Colin Powell


Oct. 20, 2002

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's interview on NBC's Meet the Press:

  • "All we are interested in is getting rid of those weapons of mass destruction. We thing the Iraqi people would be a lot better off with a different leader, a different regime, but the principle offense here are weapons of mass destruction, and that's what this resolution is working on. There are many other resolutions that he has violated, with respect to human rights, with respect to threatening his neighbors, with respect to return of prisoners. All of these, I think, have to be dealt with in due course. But the major issue before us is disarmament. And remember where regime change came from. It came out of the previous administration; it came out of Congress in 1998 when it was thought that the only way to get rid of weapons of mass destruction was to change the regime. And we will see whether they are going to cooperate or not.

    The issue right now is not even how tough an inspection regime it is or isn't. The question is will Saddam and the Iraqi regime cooperate, really cooperate and let the inspectors do their job. If the inspectors do their job and we can satisfy the world community that they are disarmed, that's one path. If we can't satisfy the world community that they are disarmed, that takes us down another path."

  • "Saddam Hussein has used weapons of mass destruction against his neighbors. Despite inspections, despite all the containment efforts we have made, he has not moved away from that policy."
    Oct. 20, 2002 Colin Powell


Sep. 30, 2002

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's interview on PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer:

  • "One, let it be known that Iraq is in material breach of all of its previous commitments under the sixteen or so previous UN resolutions. Secondly, we have to make it clear that in order to deal with the weapons of mass destruction issue, we need a strengthened inspection regime if there are going to be inspections. We saw what happened last time when the Iraqis were able to run the inspectors around, deny them access to certain facilities, make it impossible for them to do their jobs. It is our opinion, the United States opinion, that the inspectors cannot go in under that same set of circumstances, so we need a new resolution. Those are the first two elements: they are in breach, and two, there has to be a tough set of conditions for any new inspection regime."

  • "Now, we've been talking about weapons of mass destruction. Let's not turn loose of the fact that Iraq is in violation of other resolutions that deal with human rights; that deal with the return of property; accounting for prisoners, to include accounting for an American pilot that was lost in the first day of the Gulf War. There are many other things we have to worry about, but the focus has initially been on weapons of mass destruction."

  • "Having brought it to the United Nations, the United Nations must now act, in our judgment. But if at the end of the day there is not that collective will in the Security Council to act, the President reserves the right and the option to do whatever may be necessary in order to protect the United States and to protect our interests. That is the reason he is also asking Congress to pass a resolution giving him that authority to act."
    Sep. 30, 2002 Colin Powell


Sep. 26, 2002

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's remarks (as delivered) to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee :

  • "Now two days ago, we have an Iraqi presidential advisor telling the press in Baghdad that weapons inspectors would be allowed to go wherever they want. But these people are not deceiving anyone. It is a ploy we have seen before on many occasions, and on each occasion, each of these occasions, once inspectors began to operate, Iraq continued to do everything to frustrate their work."

  • "We can have debates about the size and nature of the Iraqi stockpile. We can have debates about how long it will take them to reach this level of readiness or that level of readiness with respect to these weapons. But no one can doubt two things. One, they are in violation of these resolutions. There is no debate about that. And secondly, they have not lost the intent to develop these weapons of mass destruction, whether they are one day, five days, one year, or seven years from any particular weapon, whether their stockpile is small, medium or large, what has not been lost is the intent to have such weapons of mass destruction."
    Sep. 26, 2002 Colin Powell


Sep. 26, 2002

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's remarks (as prepared) to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee :

  • "It is a ploy we have seen before, on many occasions. And on each occasion, once inspectors began to operate Iraq continued to do everything to frustrate their work.

    In May 1991, for example, just after suspension of hostilities in the Gulf War, Iraq accepted the unrestricted freedom of entry and exit without delay or hindrance for UN inspectors and their property, supplies, and equipment.

    In June 1991 – a short month later – Iraqis fired warning shots at the inspectors to keep them away from suspicious vehicles.

    Three months later, in September, the Iraqis confiscated a set of documents from the inspectors. When the inspectors refused to comply with an Iraqi demand to give up a second set of documents, the Iraqis surrounded them and for four days refused to let them leave the inspection site. Finally, when the UN threatened enforcement action, the inspectors were allowed to leave.

    In February 1992 Iraq refused to comply with a UN inspection team’s decision to destroy certain facilities used in proscribed programs and in April of that year Iraq demanded a halt to the inspectors’ aerial flights.

    Later, in July of that year, Iraq refused the inspectors access to the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture. The inspectors had reliable information that the site contained archives related to proscribed activities. They finally gained access only after members of the Council threatened enforcement action.

    In January 1993, Iraq refused to allow the UN inspection teams to use their own aircraft to fly into Iraq.

    In June and July of 1993, Iraq refused to allow the UN inspectors to install remote-controlled monitoring cameras at two missile engine test stands.

    In March 1996, Iraqi security forces refused UN inspection teams access to five sites designated for inspection. The teams entered the sites after delays of up to 17 hours – which of course permitted the Iraqis to remove any incriminating evidence.

    In November 1996, Iraq blocked UN inspectors from removing remnants of missile engines for in-depth analysis outside Iraq.

    In June 1997, Iraqi escorts on board a UN inspector team helicopter attempted physically to prevent the UN pilot from flying the helicopter in the direction of its intended destination.

    In that month also, Iraq again blocked UN inspection teams from entering designated sites for inspection.

    In September 1997, an Iraqi officer attacked a UN inspector on board a UN helicopter while the inspector was attempting to take photographs of unauthorized movement of Iraqi vehicles inside a site designated for inspection.

    Also in September, while seeking access to a site declared by Iraq to be "sensitive," UN inspectors witnessed and videotaped Iraqi guards moving files, burning documents, and dumping ash-filled waste cans into a nearby river."

  • "We can have debates about the size and nature of the Iraqi stockpile of WMD and of mid- and long-range missiles. But no one can doubt the record of Iraqi violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions, one after another, and for twelve long years."
    Sep. 26, 2002 Colin Powell


Sep. 19, 2002

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's interview on NPR's Morning Edition with Alex Chadwick :

  • "Now, let's put the proposition very clearly. If Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction, if the United States and the United Kingdom and others are making all this up, if we are doing such an injustice to Iraq, there is an easy way to find it out. There is an easy way for them to turn the tables on us. And that is to say, "You send in any inspection regime you want to go anywhere you want under any set of circumstances, talk to anybody you want, because we're clean." Well, they're not clean, and that is why they have been trying to frustrate our effort all these years. And the challenge is now before the United Nations to do something about it."
    Sep. 19, 2002 Colin Powell


Sep. 19, 2002

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's testimony before the House Committee on International Relations :

  • "We now see that a proven menace like Saddam Hussein, in possession of weapons of mass destruction, could empower a few terrorists to threaten millions of innocent people."
    Sep. 19, 2002 Colin Powell


Mar. 15, 2002

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's interview on CBS' Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer :

[QUESTION (Bob Shiffer):Mr. Secretary, if you were asking the United Nations to pass a resolution to go after Usama bin Laden, I think there would be unanimous support to do that. I think there would be unanimous support in the United States. But I think a lot of people still want to know what is the link between Usama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein? Some people would say, Brent Scowcroft among them, that in fact Usama bin Laden may have Saddam Hussein on his hit-list because he is after all -- he's not a religious leader and so on. What's the connection?.]

  • "We have been examining all connections that may exist. There are some indications that there were contacts between the Iraqi regime and some al-Qaida members. There is no smoking gun that would link the regime in Baghdad to 9/11, but we can't dismiss it as a possibility entirely, so we're constantly looking for it.

    The real offense and the reason we have taken this case to the UN is not the terrorism angle as much, although that is also part of the resolutions, as it is the weapons of mass destruction and the other elements of the resolutions with respect to how he treats his minorities, how he deals with human rights issues, the return of prisoners, the return and accounting for prisoners that were lost and taken during the Gulf War."
    Mar. 15, 2002 Colin Powell


Mar. 15, 2002

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's interview on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer :

  • "But remember, inspection isn't the issue. The issue is eliminating weapons of mass destruction and dealing with the other issues that are within those Security Council resolutions such as the return of Kuwaiti prisoners, accounting for the American airman who was lost over Iraq in the Gulf War, human rights issues, issues having to do with terrorism, issues having to do with the use of the Oil-for-Food program. There are a lot of elements. Maybe these sorts of elements might also be in another resolution."

  • "The other thing no one needs any more information about is that he has every intention of developing and acquiring and stockpiling and perhaps even using weapons of mass destruction. He's done it before.

    What we are debating is whether or not he has got X number of (inaudible) shells or Y number of biological agents. That is a legitimate discussion to have. We will try to give the Congress and our friends all the information we can, subject to not losing sources and methods by giving out too much. That process will continue this week with administration witnesses going up. We will put out more documents. We put out one document this past week. The British will be putting out a document. I think there's more than enough information out there to satisfy anybody who is interested with respect to the nature of this threat and why this is not a matter we can look away from."

  • "There is no question that there are some linkages between the Iraqi regime and al-Qaida, but so far I haven't seen anything that would give you a linkage to 9/11. We don't rule it out. We are constantly examining the information that comes to us, but there is no direct linkage between the regime in Baghdad and 9/11 yet."

    "What I mean is that we want to work within the multilateral organization that is designed for this purpose, the United Nations, and we hope the United Nations will meet its responsibilities at this time. But the President always has the option of doing whatever he believes is necessary to defend US interests. So it doesn't mean that if the UN fails to act, the United States won't act. The President has made clear that he will do what he believes is necessary, but at this point he is anxious to see the UN act. He has made no decision with respect to a military option, but certainly that is an option."

[QUESTION (Wolf Blitzer):The parts of this resolution, the three parts you describe: the first part enumerating the violations that the Iraqis have engaged in; the second part what they must do, let the UN inspectors back in. Talk to me about the third part, the threat, in effect the ultimatum that is given if there is no compliance. How far do you want that threat to go?]

  • " I think the UN should speak clearly that if, once again, the Iraqis do not respond, the United Nations cannot just say, well, never mind, we'll be back here next year at next year's General Assembly session and talk about it again. I think that the United Nations has to ask for action to be taken by its member-states. Now, how that is actually phrased remains to be seen, and I don't want to put a particular term out there because I would like this to be part of the dialogue that we're having with our friends. But it should be an action event that nations, willing nations or all nations are prepared to act. It doesn't mean that every nation has to participate in a military operation; but once it becomes the word of the Security Council, it is something that is directed to all of the nations of the United Nations to work on. We are all obliged to take steps that would support that."

    Mar. 15, 2002 Colin Powell

Mar. 15, 2002

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's interview on NBC's Meet the Press with Tim Russert :

  • "What makes it imminent, as opposed to next year being more imminent or last year perhaps being imminent? The fact of the matter is what has not changed is his intention, his intention to continue moving in the direction of enhancing his ability to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction. Waiting for another year will not cause that intention to be any greater or less. The intention is there. He has demonstrated it."
    Mar. 15, 2002 Colin Powell


Sep. 8, 2002

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's interview with :

  • "There is no doubt that he has chemical weapons stocks. We destroyed some after the Gulf War with the inspection regime, but there is no doubt in our mind that he still has chemical weapons stocks and he has the capacity to produce more chemical weapons.

    With respect to biological weapons, we are confident that he has some stocks of those weapons and he is probably continuing to try to develop more. And biological weapons are very dangerous because they can be produced just about in any kind of pharmaceutical facility.

    With respect to nuclear weapons, we are quite confident that he continues to try to purse the technology that would allow him to develop a nuclear weapon. Whether he could do it in one, five, six or seven, eight years is something that people can debate about. But what nobody can debate about is the fact that he still has the incentive, he still intends to develop those kinds of weapons. And as we saw in reporting just this morning, he is still trying to acquire, for example, some of the specialized aluminum tubing one needs to develop centrifuges that would give you an enrichment capability.

    So there's no question that he has these weapons. But even more importantly, he is striving to do even more, to get even more. That's why he won't let the inspectors back in. That's why he has frustrated the will of the international community and that's why he has been violating all of these resolutions for all these years."

  • "I think that consideration of what to do about Saddam Hussein is very consistent with the war against terror. There is no question that in addition to developing weapons of mass destruction Saddam Hussein has also supported terrorist activity over the years and in fact was responsible for a terrorist attack against President George Herbert Walker Bush, Bush 41, as we call him. And so for us to continue our campaign against terrorism, it's absolutely correct for us to be looking at Saddam Hussein and his regime as well.

    And what makes this so difficult is that he does have a proclivity toward terrorist activity and he is developing weapons of mass destruction that he might use or perhaps could make available to other terrorist organizations. So I don't think it goes against the campaign against terror; it's very consistent with the campaign against terror."

  • "I think he certainly threatens our interests in the region and he threatens our allies, and he has demonstrated that previously by invading Kuwait. And we also saw during the Iraq-Iran War that he was quite willing to use chemical weapons against Iran. Now, we weren't a party to that one. And we also saw that in order to control his own population he was willing to use chemical weapons.

    And so if he's willing to use weapons in this way, should we say, well, we're too far away for us to worry about this? Or should we assume that with this kind of individual and with this kind of capability, he may eventually find a way to deliver it to the United States mainland? Now, this I think is one of the concerns we have and it's what's driving the President and all of us on this issue."
    Sep. 8, 2002 Colin Powell


Apr. 3, 2002

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's interview on CBS' 60 Minutes II:

[QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, one of the principle foreign policy goals of this nation is to oust Saddam Hussein from Iraq. How do you do that when every Arab nation is aligned against us with regard to Israel and Palestine?]

  • "Well, we continue to examine what options are available to the international community and to the United States. In the first instance, we're working multilateraly within the UN to make sure that sanctions remain on the Iraqi regime, and we had some success in recent days working with other members of the Security Council.

    What we have said to our Arab friends is you may not see Saddam Hussein the same way we do, but you ought to, because those weapons of mass destruction that he is developing -- chemical, biological, nuclear -- they're more likely than not directed at one of you than us. He'll have a harder time getting it to us. And he has demonstrated in the past he will use it. He has gassed Iranians. He has gassed his own people. He invaded Kuwait."
    Apr. 3, 2002 Colin Powell


Dec. 14, 2001

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's interview with Charles Moore published in The Telegraph U.K.:

[QUESTION:When you played your former role of course, the major thing was the Gulf War. What do you think now about Iraq and where Iraq stands now in relation to the war against terrorism?]

  • "It's a terrible regime led by a despotic, evil man. We all wish he'd gone. But for 10 years the international community has kept effective but sometimes leaky sanctions imposed on him in a way that has kept him in the poor."

  • "He has as much money coming in as he did before the Gulf War through the oil-for-food program and smuggling but he hasn't used it for any peaceful purposes in his country because he is isolated."

  • "I wish he hadn't survived but he did. And I have to keep reminding people that it was never the mission of that coalition either by the terms of the UN resolution that authorized that action or by the resolution of the American Congress that endorsed the president executing the UN resolution, nor was it a decision by the President of the United States who started it all out to march to Baghdad to remove Saddam Hussein."

[QUESTION:Does that mean Iraq is not the next target in the war against terrorism. You have a continuing policy about Iraq but has that changed as a result of September 11th?]

  • "Well, watch a little more closely because now that we see what terrorists are willing to do if they get on the right kinds of weapons and knowing the Iraqi regime continues to try to develop weapons of mass destruction, yes. And it is recognized as a sponsor of state terrorism and to include being guilty for the attempt on the life of the first President Bush in 1993."
    Dec. 14, 2001 Colin Powell


May 15, 2001

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's testimony before the Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee Commission:

[QUESTION (Senator Bennett):Mr. Secretary, the U.N. sanctions on Iraq expire the beginning of June. We've had bombs dropped, we've had threats made, we've had all kinds of activity vis-a-vis Iraq in the previous administration. Now we're coming to the end. What's our level of concern about the progress of Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological weapons programs?]

  • "The sanctions, as they are called, have succeeded over the last 10 years, not in deterring him from moving in that direction, but from actually being able to move in that direction. The Iraqi regime militarily remains fairly weak. It doesn't have the capacity it had 10 or 12 years ago. It has been contained. And even though we have no doubt in our mind that the Iraqi regime is pursuing programs to develop weapons of mass destruction -- chemical, biological and nuclear -- I think the best intelligence estimates suggest that they have not been terribly successful. There's no question that they have some stockpiles of some of these sorts of weapons still under their control, but they have not been able to break out, they have not been able to come out with the capacity to deliver these kinds of systems or to actually have these kinds of systems that is much beyond where they were 10 years ago.

    So containment, using this arms control sanctions regime, I think has been reasonably successful. We have not been able to get the inspectors back in, though, to verify that, and we have not been able to get the inspectors in to pull up anything that might be left there. So we have to continue to view this regime with the greatest suspicion, attribute to them the most negative motives, which is quite well-deserved with this particular regime, and roll the sanctions over, and roll them over in a way where the arms control sanctions really go after their intended targets -- weapons of mass destruction -- and not go after civilian goods or civilian commodities that we really shouldn't be going after, just let that go to the Iraqi people. That wasn't the purpose of the oil-for-food program. And by reconfiguring them in that way, I think we can gain support for this regime once again.

    When we came into office on the 20th of January, the whole sanctions regime was collapsing in front of our eyes. Nations were bailing out on it. We lost the consensus for this kind of regime because the Iraqi regime had successfully painted us as the ones causing the suffering of the Iraqi people, when it was the regime that was causing the suffering. They had more than enough money; they just weren't spending it in the proper way. And we were getting the blame for it. So reconfiguring the sanctions, I think, helps us and continues to contain the Iraqi regime."
    May 15, 2001 Colin Powell


Feb. 27, 2001

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's press availability with Commissioner Christopher Patten at European Commission:

[QUESTION:Mister Secretary, do you any have any comment on the Iraqi Foreign Minister's statement that under no circumstances will the Iraqis allow weapons inspectors to return? How does this affect your strategy for re-energizing the sanctions?]

  • "Well that's his choice. The ideas that we are considering -- and of course no decisions have been made -- really are not just re-energized sanctions. They tighten sanctions against those targets of the sanctions in the first place. If we move forward with the proposals that I have been shopping around the region, we will tighten sanctions on weapons of mass destruction material. We will tighten sanctions on armaments. We will tighten sanctions on all those sorts of equipment and other materials that put the people of the region at risk.

    What we would do, then, is remove some of the restrictions on the materials that could go to civilians and to civilian use, so that he will no longer have an excuse of saying that we are hurting the Iraqi people where the intentions of the sanctions from the very beginning have been for the purpose of constraining his appetite for weapons of mass destruction. We will also do everything we can to strengthen the controls we have on the "oil for food" money that goes to the regime. We have had some success in the last couple of days in discussions with the frontline states in the regions to tighten up on his ability to smuggle out things.

    So, at the end of the day, they will have to decide whether inspectors are coming back in. If they don't come back in, then the conditions set by the United Nations will not be met, and he will consider himself still trapped in the box that he has constructed for himself.

    So, there are lots of ways to describe this idea. Some have said that they are going to be "smart sanctions," some have said that they are going to be "re-energized sanctions," but really what we are going to see are strengthened sanctions against the threats that the sanctions were intended to deal with in the first place."
    Feb. 27, 2001 Colin Powell


Feb. 26, 2001

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's briefing for the press aboard aircraft en route to Brussels:

  • Candidly , we then discussed the Iraqi-Syrian pipeline. Of course, as you know, the Syrians want to stay within the context of the UN Security Council resolutions to play their role and they have been on record with that. The President said to me in response to my query that it is their plan to bring that pipeline, and what is going through that pipeline and the revenues generated in that pipeline, to be under the same kind of control as other elements of the sanctions regime. I found that to be a very important statement on his part, and we have passed that information to President Bush; he has been informed of that, and he also was pleased."

  • "The message I've consistently heard is that overdoing it with the sanctions gives him [Saddam Hussein] a tool that he is using against us and really is not weakening him. It's not that he gets any more money; it's that he now can use more of that money to benefit more of his people under UN control. So I still view that if we move in this direction, as not weakening but in effect restructuring them in a more sensible way that keeps us pointed at the target I've been talking about for the past several days and several weeks: weapons of mass destruction, not the Iraqi people."

[QUESTION:You have described to us how you would modify the sanctions so that they would not hurt the Iraqi people as much, but we haven't understood how you would modify the sanctions to tighten the controls over imports of stuff that could be used to make weapons of mass destruction. How will you tighten those?]

  • "As part of this, as we move forward, we get agreement and we make a judgment and frankly, if we also get the support of the Arab League when they meet in two weeks' time --there is a lot more work to be done, and I have people working on this.

    As to how would we modify the list, what additional controls should we put on the money in the escrow account, how should it be monitored in a more effective way, what more work should we do with the front-line states, I think it gives us a stronger position to go to nations that might still be tempted to send in prohibited weapons or prohibited materials when we can give them a unified position that says look, we have all decided this is not the thing to do and there will be consequences of such behavior.

    Right now the consequences have less currency because things are in a state of, I must say, disarray. I think you all would agree with that. I've been reading editorial after editorial. I arrived on the 21st of January to discover cables coming at me from our Ambassadors saying we have to do something. This is that something if we move in that direction. What it does, I think, is gives a much stronger position with which to deal with the financial controls, deal with the leakage, and deal with the question you raised about people who have chosen to put in bad things. But there's a lot more work to be done at a very detailed level."

[QUESTION:Would you go into dual-use a little bit? We were told there may be some easing of dual-use; we don't have many examples: water pump, refrigeration. Are you willing to frankly begin asking very candidly "are you willing to risk a possible military application for the sake of easing the pressure on the people?]

  • "That's a judgment call by the Committee that is currently led by Norway that we'll have to make on every one of these items. If something is clearly high-risk dual-use - and I'm fudging with you now a little bit because I don't know. A water pump? I don't know what the committee would say. My own inclination was, a water pump, that's pretty hard to say. It's so useful for military purposes, but I'm not going to let a water pump not go to a well to fill up water to help a village that might be having cholera or other kinds of epidemics. Eggs: I've heard eggs used as an example; yes, because you can do certain things with eggs that can create a biological weapon. And we also have to face the clear reality that a lot of these items, no matter what kind of regime you have - you know, they've been known to smuggle in Mesapotamia, and they've been doing so for a couple of thousand years.

    But what is interesting is that with the regime that has been in place for the past ten years, I think a pretty good job has been done of keeping him from breaking out and suddenly showing up one day and saying "look what I got." He hasn't been able to do that. So even though there are these complications, and they'll have to work their way through the dual-use question, I have reason to believe that when you're able to keep a box as tightly closed as the box we have for the last ten years, without receiving on our shoulders all the baggage that goes with it that frankly has been causing the whole thing to start to unravel."

[QUESTION:Can I ask you about the Syrian pipeline? Did President Asad agree to stop selling or allowing oil to go through the pipeline immediately? Was this a deal that - or did he say he was going to wait until after the new sanctions policy?]

  • "In this first meeting, I got the commitment I described. We didn't get into details as to what the pipeline's being used for now - is it being used for testing or more, and exactly how to operationalize this.

    As you know, the controls come up for decision every six months, so we'll have to talk to the Syrians to see how they want to handle it. Do they want to move right away? Do they want to wait for the June review period? But I can tell you this: I have high confidence that that will work out because we went back to this point with the President three times - I did not want to leave -- and three times there was solemn agreement on what I just said to you. So I think the Syrians are serious about this, but of course the ultimate test of seriousness is when we see something happen. But I don't think I would have gotten that kind of assurance from that level three times unless they were serious. But we will test their seriousness."
    Feb. 26, 2001 Colin Powell


Feb. 25, 2001

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's remarks with Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon to the press:

  • "I saw the press report concerning the German intelligence agency. I have not had a chance to see the actual report. But if I understand the press report, it says that Iraq has the potential of making such weapons within a few years. I think this just reinforces another one of the messages I am carrying throughout the region -- that Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi regime is a dangerous regime."

    "It seems to me it should reinforce to all the peoples of the region, especially my Arab friends in the region, that we have to enforce the U.N. Resolutions that Saddam Hussein agreed to at the end of the Gulf War. We have to make sure that he is denied the opportunity to continue moving in this direction. We have to make sure that we do everything we can to contain him, to constrain him, to get inspectors back in under the terms of the U.N. resolutions. All of us have to be vigilant, recognizing that these terrible weapons he is trying to develop will be aimed at the people of the region. He has shown before that he is more than willing to use weapons of this nature against the people of the region to pursue his own end."

    "So I think this German report, once we've all had a chance to see it and assess it, will help make the case to the people of the region and the people of the world that Saddam Hussein must be contained until he comes to his senses and until the international community is assured that he is not pursuing the kind of technology indicated by that report and by many other reports that we have seen in recent years."
    Feb. 25, 2001 Colin Powell


Feb. 25, 2001

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's remarks at arrival ceremony, Kuwait City International Airport:

[QUESTION:The Iraqis have threatened Kuwait again. What do you have to say about this?]

  • "Don't worry. We are not going to see a repeat of that disaster. Kuwait is free. Kuwait has friends. Kuwait has allies. Saddam has nothing but rhetoric and shooting his mouth off."

[QUESTION:But still, we have threats and words from Iraqis.]

  • "You have threats, you have words, but you have friends and you have allies. You have strength and you have world opinion. And so Kuwait will remain free. Kuwait will remain secure."

[QUESTION:You said yesterday in Egypt that Iraq will be at the top of your agenda as Foreign Minister.]

  • "I am sure that it is something we will talk about tomorrow. And it is at the top of the agenda to make sure that we continue to contain Iraq so that it does not develop the kind of weapons that it is trying to develop. We have been successful for the last ten years in keeping him from developing those weapons and we will continue to be successful."
    Feb. 25, 2001 Colin Powell


Feb. 25, 2001

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's press briefing en route to Kuwait:

[QUESTION:Are you stunned that he [Saddam Hussein] is still in power after all these years?]

  • "Stunned isn’t the word. I never ever have underestimated the power of a dictator, and I don’t think you’ll find me on the record ever predicting his demise at that time. But I also thought that we had pretty much removed his stings and frankly for ten years we really have."
    Feb. 25, 2001 Colin Powell


Feb. 24, 2001

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's remarks with foreign minister of Egypt Amre Moussa:

[QUESTION:The Egyptian press editorial commentary that we have seen here has been bitterly aggressive in denouncing the U.S. role and not welcoming you. I am wondering whether you believe you accomplished anything during your meetings to assuage concerns about the air strikes against Iraq and the continuing sanctions?]

  • "I received a very warm welcome from the leaders and I know there is some unhappiness as expressed in the Egyptian press. I understand that, but at the same time, with respect to the no-fly zones and the air strikes that we from time to time must conduct to defend our pilots, I just want to remind everybody that the purpose of those no-fly zones and the purpose of those occasional strikes to protect our pilots, is not to pursue an aggressive stance toward Iraq, but to defend the people that the no-fly zones are put in to defend. The people in the southern part of Iraq and the people in the northern part of Iraq, and these zones have a purpose, and their purpose is to protect people -- protect Arabs -- not to affect anything else in the region. And we have to defend ourselves.

    We will always try to consult with our friends in the region so that they are not surprised and do everything we can to explain the purpose of our responses. We had a good discussion, the Foreign Minister and I and the President and I, had a good discussion about the nature of the sanctions -- the fact that the sanctions exist -- not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein's ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq, and these are policies that we are going to keep in place, but we are always willing to review them to make sure that they are being carried out in a way that does not affect the Iraqi people but does affect the Iraqi regime's ambitions and the ability to acquire weapons of mass destruction, and we had a good conversation on this issue."

  • "May I just add a p.s. that if I was a Kuwaiti and I heard leaders in Baghdad claiming that Kuwait is still a part of Iraq and it's going to be included in the flag and seal, if I knew they were continuing to try to find weapons of mass destruction, I would have no doubt in my mind who those weapons were aimed at. They are being aimed at Arabs, not at the United States or at others, yes I think we should ... he [Saddam Hussein] has to be contained until he realizes the errors of his ways."
    Feb. 24, 2001 Colin Powell


Feb. 24, 2001

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's remarks with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov to the press:

[QUESTION: (summarized) Mr. Powell, what's now the Arab public opinion has been very angered by the recent strike. What kind of assurances are you going to give the Arabs, or is this going to be a constant policy of strike in Iraq with or without (inaudible)?]

  • "The message I plan to give all the leaders I speak to and to the Arab public is that the cause of this problem that we have is in Baghdad. It is Saddam Hussein who refuses to abandon his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations has an obligation and, as part of the United Nations, the United States has an obligation to do everything we can to cause him to come into compliance with the agreements he made at the end of the Gulf War. He threatens not the United States. He threatens this region. He threatens Arab people. He threatens the children of Egypt, the children of Saudi Arabia, the children of Kuwait with these weapons. He has used them before, so I think we all have a solemn obligation to keep him in check.

    As part of that obligation, the United States and the United Kingdom patrol over the no-fly zone. We do so to protect the people within those no-fly zones and, from time to time, Iraq has challenged our presence; and when they do challenge our presence, we have to respond in order to protect our pilots who are protecting the people who live within those zones."
    Feb. 24, 2001 Colin Powell


Feb. 23, 2001

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's remarks in press briefing abroad aircraft en route to Cairo, Egypt:

[QUESTION:Iraq sanctions? Domestically but still have some impact because of the dual use challenges?]

  • "I think it's important to point out that for the last 10 years, the policy that the United Nations, the United States has been following, has succeeded in keeping Iraq from rebuilding to the level that it was before. It's an army that's only one-third its original size. And even though they may be pursuing weapons of mass destruction of all kinds, it is not clear how successful they have been. So to some extent, I think we ought to declare this a success. We have kept him contained, kept him in his box.

    And, beginning with the oil for food program a few years ago, we became sensitive to the needs of the Iraqi people and found a way to give them the wherewithal to provide for the Iraqi people. The oil for food program gives him a great deal of money, on top of which he smuggles quite a bit, which gives him an additional amount of money, that exceeds the amount of money he was getting ten years ago.

    The difference now is that the UN regime keeps a lot of that money from being spent on weapons the way it was ten years ago, and so I think we need to turn the debate onto his actions as opposed to our actions. He is the one who is not providing for his people with the money that the oil for food program and his smuggling is providing. He is the one who is threatening the region, not the United States."

[QUESTION:With all due respect, that's absolutely the same line we heard from the last administration, and meanwhile, sanctions become increasingly unpopular among people in the region, if we're going to go on….]

  • "Let me finish, let me finish. I'll take all your questions. The difference is that we can now make the case that all we're trying to do is not anything with respect to the welfare of the people of Iraq, it's the weapons of mass destruction we're after, and if he comes into compliance with the UN resolutions and the agreements he made at the end of the Gulf War with respect to the UN obligations and if he does that and lets the inspectors back in, there is a way to get through this process.

    What I'm going to be talking to my friends about in the region is that we are taking this heat that somehow we are affecting the people of Iraq, that somehow we are losing the support of Arabs in the street, as they are often called. And if we are losing that support and it's affecting the whole sanctions regime, then I want to hear about that directly from our friends in the region and let's exchange ideas about how we can make this sanctions regime a more effective and more directed to its sole purpose which is to constrain the development of weapons of mass destruction.

    I think it's a case that can be made, I think it's a case that has a powerful message behind it, and it's a case I'll be making, and I'm going out to consult, not to lay down edicts. I'm going out to listen to other ideas and bring those ideas back. I'm going to share what I hear with my friends in Brussels, our NATO allies and our EU colleagues in Brussels, and then I'm going to come back and report all that to the President, and see what seems to be appropriate after further consultations with the United Nations as well."

[QUESTION:Did the bombing make your job tougher?]

  • "I think the bombing shows that we will not, in the process of looking at whether we should modify the sanctions regime, not overlook his bad behavior, and we will use military force where we think it is necessary.

    This particular incident that got all of the attention last week, it was in response to his efforts, his activities in the no fly zone, around the no fly zone, which puts our pilots at risk. We have always said we would respond to such activities, normally it's not noticed, in this case it was noticed and it became a very big story. It was at the upper end of our scale of response, and if he puts our pilots at risk, we will respond.

    If he does things which we think move in the direction of threatening his neighbors or in violating the terms of the agreements that came out of the Gulf War, we have prepared to respond militarily. He should know that and he should understand that.

    To the extent that it has made my trip a little more difficult because there's been some response in the region that was unfavorable, shall we say, or there's a bit of criticism -- in some places quite a bit of criticism -- over the fact that we did that, to the extent that makes my job and my work a little more difficult, well, so be it. But it makes the point that we will not allow the negotiating track or whatever we're doing with respect to sanctions overcome what we're prepared to do militarily. And if it means my trip is a little more difficult, I'm prepared to take on that added burden."

[QUESTION:It may be legitimate to say that the no fly zones, especially the southern one, have outlived their usefulness. Are you considering any changes in the way that you manage the no fly zones or the level of concentration that you put on them?]

  • "We think both no fly zones continue to serve a purpose of protecting the people who live under those no fly zones as well as giving us advance warning of actions he might be taking directed against his neighbors outside of his boundaries. So the no fly zones are staying in place. But we are always in the process of reviewing how to manage them, how best to fly them; and I would expect that Mr. Rumsfeld is undertaking that review as part of our overall review."

[QUESTION:If you modify the sanctions, what are the risks there?]

  • "If the sanctions are modified, it won't be as a result of just America saying let's modify the sanctions. It will be because we have been able to agree with our friends in the region and with our friends at the UN that the sanctions should be modified so that we can remove this hammer that is being used against us, suggesting that we are hurting the Iraqi people, and we can make it clear that the sanctions directly relate to the provocation. Now, that's what I'll be listening to arguments about and ideas on."

[QUESTION:What can you say to our Arab allies in the Gulf who want to see the sanctions lifted, but who want to contain Iraq?]

  • "Every conversation I've had on this subject in recent weeks, and I've had quite a few, with those leaders in the Gulf, the representative leaders in the Gulf and with my friends in the United Nations, recognize the danger that Saddam Hussein and his weapons development activities present to the region.

    I haven't heard anybody say to me, no, he's a nice guy, he's not doing this, forget about it, remove the whole thing, because we want to welcome him back. Everybody I've spoken to understands that this guy and his regime and his activities present a danger to the region -- not a danger to the United States, a danger to the region, to the people of the region, to the children of the region.

    What they are concerned about and what I have had presented to me and the frustrations I've heard are that we've got to take another look at how it is being done, because there is a belief, at least within a number of the Arab communities, that we are hurting the people of Iraq and we are not hurting the regime and the regime's activities with respect to improving its military capacity or developing weapons of mass destruction.

    Because this is a consultative process, and because President Bush has made it clear to everybody that we're going to act after consulting with our friends, I'm going out to hear these arguments firsthand, in addition to just listening to representatives who have come and visited me which I've appreciated, but I want to hear it firsthand."

[QUESTION:Is there no danger that if you streamline sanctions that Saddam will be able to play it that he won, that he beat them down and forced the United States…]

  • "No matter what we do, he will claim some level of success. But you can claim one thing, and the reality is something else. And the reality in his situation is it's a sad, tragic case of a tribal leader trapped in a jail of his own making, protected by his security, with young people who are not benefiting from a world that is changing. He pursues these weapons that will, at the end of the day, not bring him what he thinks they will bring him, and it's a tragedy that his nation's wealth is being squandered in this way.

    So he will claim what he wishes to claim. He will claim that Kuwait still belongs to Iraq. He will claim that he is winning the mother of all battles. Meanwhile, our economy continues to do well, nations around the world are enjoying the benefits of freedom, others are trying to figure out how to join this new world, and he sits there in his palaces, squandering the wealth of his people."
    Feb. 23, 2001 Colin Powell


Feb. 20, 2001

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's remarks with German Minister of Foreign Affairs Joschua Fischer to the press:

[QUESTION:Secretary Powell, the US has put a lot of effort and time, money, and risking American lives in patrolling the no-fly zones over Iraq. Do you think the results have been worth that effort? And as the Administration goes forward in looking at Iraq policy, do you expect containment to be the bottom line still?]

  • Well, we're looking at every option in all parts of our policy: the UN part of our policy which requires Iraq to give up these weapons of mass destruction, and of course we have our own policies with respect to Iraq where we believe a change of regime would be in the best interest of all concerned.

    The fact of the matter is that both baskets, the UN basket and what we and other allies have been doing in the region, have succeeded in containing Saddam Hussein and his ambitions. His forces are about one-third their original size. They don't really possess the capability to attack their neighbors the way they did ten years ago.

    The danger he presents to the world is that he does pursue weapons of mass destruction, against the agreements that he entered into. So we will be talking with our friends in the region -- that's the purpose of my trip this weekend -- and we are reviewing with the Pentagon and all other parts of the US Government the full range of options available to us. And we will be announcing our decisions in due course.

    Containment has been a successful policy, and I think we should make sure that we continue it until such time as Saddam Hussein comes into compliance with the agreements he made at the end of the war. But we have to find ways to do it to not hurt the Iraqi people. We are not after the Iraqi people. We don't want to hurt the Iraqi people. But we don't want Saddam Hussein and his efforts to hurt the people of the region or to threaten the people of the region. And that's what it's all about."
    Feb. 20, 2001 Colin Powell


Feb. 14, 2001

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's remarks with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to the press:

  • "With respect to US policy, when it comes to our role as a member of the Security Council, we obviously are bound by UN resolutions. And we're not trying to modify those; we're trying to find ways to make sure that the will of the international community is met by the Iraqi leadership.

    And so we are constantly looking at ways to make it possible for us to be assured that there are no weapons of mass destruction and there are no programs underway that would produce weapons of mass destruction; at the same time, do it in a way that does not hurt the Iraqi people. We have sympathy for the people of Iraq. We have sympathy for the children of Iraq. We see a regime that has more than enough money to deal with the problems that exist in that society, if only they would use that money properly, if they would see that all of the people of Iraq are benefiting from the money that they have, more money than they had 10 years ago.

    And so that is our goal, to make sure that Iraq complies with the arms control agreements it entered into, and let's move on beyond this. And the burden of this is in Baghdad. The initiative should be in Baghdad for them to do what is required and what is right."
    Feb. 14, 2001 Colin Powell


Feb. 11, 2001

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview on CBS's Face the Nation:

[QUESTION:This is, as you know, the tenth anniversary of the Gulf War. Do you believe Saddam Hussein is stronger or weaker than he was?]

  • "He's weaker, he's much weaker. That million-man army of ten years ago is gone. He is sitting on a very much smaller army of perhaps 350,000 that does not have the capacity to invade its neighbors any longer. He is living in three concentric rings of jails that he has created for himself in order to protect himself behind a security cordon. He has a great deal of money available to him through our Oil-for-Food Program, which he refuses to use entirely for the benefit of his people and for his children. Instead, he continues to pursue weapons of mass destruction to threaten the people and children of the region."

[QUESTION:But the CIA director told Congress this week that Hussein has "grown more confident" in his ability to hold onto his power.]

  • "I'm sure he can hold on to his power, but if power is essentially sitting in palaces in Baghdad while the rest of the world leaves you behind, and you are wasting the treasure of your people, I don't consider this confidence that is well deserved. I think it would be better if he were less confident in a democratic system where he was responsive to the will of the people.

    What he can't do is invade his neighbors any more, but he can threaten his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction, which is why we entered into this agreement at the end of the Gulf War to contain his ability to move in that direction. And in my trip I'm going to be telling everybody in the region--I'm also going to be discussing with our friends in the Security Council -- the absolute necessity of making sure that he is not allowed to simply walk away from this and pursue weapons of mass destruction."

[QUESTION:Well, let me just ask you about this, then, because we're now seeing that Russia and France are showing signs they want to ease the sanctions on Iraq. There are commercial flights arriving there daily with uninspected cargo. There have been no arms inspections since 1998. What could or should be done about that?]

  • "Well, but there are some positive signs here. We have been able to keep weapons from going into Iraq. We have been able to keep the sanctions in place to the extent that items that might support weapons of mass destruction development have had some controls on them. We have also had the Oil-for-Food Program that puts some controls on the use of the money that is made available to him so that that money is used for peaceful, safe purposes.

    But at the same time, there is a lot of smuggling. There is leakage in the regime of controls that are around him. But I think we can rally again, pull that coalition back together. It hasn't broken up, it hasn't fallen apart. A few planes going in from time to time does not cause this to be a failure. In fact, it's been quite a success for ten years, but there is leakage, there is slippage.

    And I think it's my responsibility, for President Bush, to try to rally again to make sure we keep the finger pointed where it deserves to be pointed, on the Iraqi regime, and not the Iraqi people, and remind everybody in the region he isn't threatening America; he is threatening the nations of the region, every nation around him, and we all have an obligation to make sure that he complies. And it should not be us begging for him to let the inspectors in. At the end of the day, he's going to have to let the inspectors in if he wishes ultimately to recapture freedom of movement totally.

[QUESTION:But how do you do that? I mean, you're saying that the inspectors need to be going back in there. How do you do that?]

  • "Well, we have to wait and make sure that he understands that he will continue to pay a rather significant price for his intransigence, and he will not escape from the regime that has been placed around him entirely until he satisfies the international community that he is no longer doing what he says he isn't doing. And if he isn't doing it, but he's lying, and we know he's lying, and so he is doing it. And until he is willing to let people come in who can verify that he isn't doing it, we can consider that he is still lying to us."
    Feb. 11, 2001 Colin Powell


Feb. 11, 2001

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer:

[QUESTION:And as much as you'll be talking about the peace process during this trip, you'll also focus on the situation involving Iraq and Saddam Hussein, reports that over these past two years since there have been no inspectors there, he's pursuing weapons of mass destruction. What, if anything, can you do to reverse that situation if, in fact, that's unfolding inside Iraq?]

    "I think what we have to do is make sure we continue to tell the world that we are not after the Iraqi people. We are after these weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein said he would not be producing and entered into an agreement at the end of the Gulf War that he would not be producing.

    And we have to make sure that we keep the pressure on him to meet that commitment. Because those weapons are not threatening American youngsters. They're not threatening the American people. They're threatening the people of Jordan and Syria and Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and Israel, and of the region. And so he has to comply with what he said he would do, and what the UN insists that he does, as part of the end of the Gulf War.

    And so what I will be doing when I visit is to make sure everybody has this message clearly and to make have sure we do what is necessary to keep him contained so that he cannot get access to weapons, he cannot get access to the materials that allow you to produce weapons of mass destruction, and that we control the money that is available to him.

    The tragic situation here, the tragicness of this whole situation, is that he could be taking care of every youngster in Iraq. He could be of providing medical care and food and everything everybody in his society needs if he would turn away from this ridiculous pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and use the money that is made available to him to build his society and make it ready for the 21st century. And to become a responsible nation in that part of the world and not threaten his neighbors. His neighbors are the ones who are being threatened, not the United States, and we are helping his neighbors deal with the threat that he presents to them."

[QUESTION:But the coalition that you, among others, helped put together ten years ago seems to be crumbling right now, at least big chunks of it. The Russians don't like these sanctions, even the French don't like these sanctions. Several of the Arab allies are now dealing with Iraq rather openly. Is this going to be your major challenge, trying to put that coalition back together?]

    "I don't know that it's fallen apart. I think there certainly have been some fractures in it. But I think we all have a common objective, and I think we can rally everybody around that common objective. And it's an arms control objective to not let this regime get access to weapons of mass destruction.

    And I think it is possible to rally not only the members of the Security Council around that objective again, but all of our friends in the region, because we have a mutual interest in him not getting those weapons and we have a mutual interest in helping the people of Iraq. We are not after the people of Iraq; we are after those weapons. And until he satisfies the international community that he does not have such weapons, that he's not developing such weapons, we have a goal to make sure that we keep the pressure on."
    Feb. 24, 2001 Colin Powell


Feb. 9, 2001

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's remarks to a press briefing:

  • "As I travel throughout the region, I will be concentrating on the UN part of the policy, as opposed to the United States bilateral relationship with respect to Iraq and our other activities in the Gulf and with the Iraqi opposition. And the UN piece of it is rather straightforward and clear: it is an arms control regime. It is an arms control regime that Iraq agreed to at the end of the Gulf War, and it exists for one purpose, and that was to keep Iraq from threatening its neighbors with weapons of mass destruction that would be delivered by missiles. It was a regime that was for the purpose of protecting the children in the region, protecting the people of the region, and bringing Iraq into a world where one does not threaten and attack its neighbors with these kinds of horrible weapons.

    And part of that regime was to deny Iraq the opportunity to purchase weapons or material that would allow them to do this, to keep their missile programs under control, and the Oil-for-Food program was put in place as a way of making sure that this regime did not hurt the people of Iraq. Saddam Hussein has more money available to him now than he had at the beginning of the last decade. At the beginning of the last decade, he wasted the money available to him by investing in the military. He can't do that as well now because of the regime that we have placed upon him. And there is more than enough money to take care of books for the children of Iraq, food for the children of Iraq, medicine for the children of Iraq. All that the children of Iraq require there is money for.

    But what we will not allow him to have money for and not remove these sanctions from preventing him from doing is to go forward with weapons of mass destruction. And the sooner he comes to that realization that we can rally around that simple proposition that I just laid out for you, and the sooner he allows inspectors to come in and see whether or not he is or is not doing this. We think he is; he says he is not. There is a simple answer: Let the inspectors in, and we can get beyond this.

    But until he does that, then I think we have to be firm; we have to be vigilant. And I will be carrying this message to my friends in the region. It is a problem of his making, and any suffering that is taking place in Iraq is the cause of his actions and his policies."
    Feb. 9, 2001 Colin Powell


Feb. 4, 2001

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's interview on ABC's This Week:

[QUESTION:First, do you think he has been developing weapons of mass destruction? Do you have any evidence?]

  • "Well, we have to assume that he [Saddam Hussein] has never lost his goal or gone away from his goal of developing such weapons. And that is unfortunate because, as long as he pursues that goal, the United Nations has to remain engaged. He made a commitment at the end of the Gulf War that he would not develop these weapons and he would demonstrate to the international community that he was not doing so. He has failed to meet those obligations.

    And as a result, the people of the region are threatened; the children of the region are threatened by Saddam Hussein and his potential possession of these kinds of weapons. And so I think the UN has to remain steadfast and demand that he do what he said he was going to do.

    We should find a way to do this that does not hurt the Iraqi people. The Iraqi people are not suffering as a result of what the UN is doing; they are suffering as a result of what Saddam Hussein is doing. He has got more money available to him now through the Oil-for-Food program than he ever had before the Gulf War. If he would use that money properly, if he would use it to educate children, if he would use it take care of the health needs of the Iraqi children, there would be no problem. But instead, he continues to find ways to direct this money into inappropriate purchases."

[QUESTION:What you seem to be suggesting to me that, at the moment, you don't have enough evidence to believe that you should follow through on President Bush's words to take out those weapons.]

  • "We reserve the right to use whatever means may be necessary if we had a specific set of targets, or something occurred to us, or we found something that we think would be appropriate to go after."
    Feb. 4, 2001 Colin Powell


Feb. 1, 2001

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's remarks in a press briefing:

[QUESTION:Do you see Iraq emerging as a problem in the short term again?]

  • "Problem? Iraq is a problem for its own people. I think we have to keep reminding everybody that this is an arms control problem. They are threatening their neighbors. They threaten the children of the region with weapons of mass destruction. They can't project conventional power very effectively, so they're trying to gain strength by threatening the people of the region. They made a commitment to do away with these weapons, and I think the international community and the United Nations has to hold them to that commitment. And I'll be working with our friends in the region; the President will be working with our friends in the region and our friends in the United Nations to hold them to account for the obligations they made."
    Feb. 1, 2001 Colin Powell

On or after Mar. 20, 2003
[this column in chronological order: oldest]

Mar. 26, 2003


Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview by Abu Dhabi Television:
  • "This war is being conducted under the authority of UN Resolution 1441 and earlier Resolutions 678 and 687. 1441 is the most relevant one because last November by a vote of 15-0 the Security Council said this was Iraq's last chance. They must take this last chance or face serious consequences. They did not comply. They did not make that strategic choice to get rid of their weapons of mass destruction. So it is a war that is being conducted with international authority. And I am confident that when it is over, people will see that we are committed to a better Iraq, an Iraq that is democratic and living in peace."

  • "A point was made about we are not doing this with the support of allies and we are not doing with this UN authority. We very much are doing it with UN authority. All last fall, we fought for and obtained a UN resolution that followed from the President's speech of 12 September where he challenged the UN. We didn't go off unilaterally and say we're just going to invade Iraq. We brought the problem to the United Nations where it belonged. It's the United Nations' will that is being thwarted by the actions of Saddam Hussein. The President took it to the UN.

    After seven weeks of tough negotiations, we got UN Resolution 1441. It was a diplomatic success on the part of the United States and the part of every member of the Security Council that participated in that debate and got a 15-0 unanimous vote. And there was no question about what we were voting for. We were voting for a resolution that said Saddam Hussein is in violation of his obligations. He's guilty. Not let's find out if he's guilty. He's guilty, the resolution said.

    It then said there is a way for him to end this problem by changing what he has been doing, changing the nature of his regime, cooperating fully, complying fully, immediately, unconditionally, fully right now, not nine months from now when inspectors are prowling around, not two years from now and then we report back to the UN -- but now, immediately, unconditionally, fully and actively cooperating with the inspectors.

    The inspectors went in for the purpose of helping him comply, not for the purpose of searching the countryside to find out that which was hidden, but to verify that which he would bring out into the open. And so we said, let the inspectors go in and see if he's willing to obey from this time."

[QUESTION:Let me ask you simply; are you confident that you are going to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? And if not, what happens then? Where do you stand?]

  • "No, I'm quite confident we will find weapons of mass destruction and right now we are trying to finish these battles, and that's our priority. But already, as you may have noted in the hospital down south, when we went into that hospital that was being used as a military site against all international rules, we found lots of weapons and we also found chemical warfare suits, we found gasmasks, we found atropine surrettes that are an antidote for nerve agent.

    Now, these materials were not purchased by the Iraqi army because they expected that we would use chemical weapons, they know we don't have chemical weapons. So they must have been purchased because they thought chemical weapons might be present on the battlefield and the only one who could deliver such chemical weapons would be the Iraqi armed forces. So we are confident that as this conflict comes to an end and we can get about searching the entire country, weapons of mass destruction will be found -- evidence of their production, evidence of development of weapons of mass destruction will be found."
    Mar. 26, 2003 Colin Powell


Apr. 2, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview by Turkish TV:

[QUESTION:I know we don't have any time, but my last question is about your personal feelings when you see on television the civilian casualties, especially the children, then you go in the press conference with the foreign minister today, there was some news about the bombing of a maternity hospital in (inaudible). What do you think about that? Personal feelings as a human being?]

  • "We regret any loss of innocent life. No army in the world is more careful than the American army with our coalition partners, especially the British and the Australians, in surgically picking targets so that we do not cause harm to innocent civilians. No army is more careful.

    Now, that is not to say that there won't be accidents. That is not to say that mistakes won't occur. It is also not to say that others aren't shooting in the area. I mean, the Iraqis are shooting; they are firing missiles into the air that will come down somewhere. I don't know about this particular incident or what happened. But any loss of innocent life is a tragedy for all of us. But let us remember the cause of this. The cause of this is a dictator by the name of Saddam Hussein who would not comply with his international obligations, who for 12 years kept on developing weapons of mass destruction, kept on suppressing people. Saddam Hussein has killed more Muslims inside of Iraq that any other cause of death inside of Iraq.

    He has tortured people, he has mutilated people, he has put them in prisons. He has starved people to death because he has not used the money coming from the Oil-for-Food program to take care of his people and so let's not lose sight of the cause of this current problem in this current conflict. It is Saddam Hussein, a man who has gassed his own people, a man who has been responsible for the worst kind of atrocities the world has ever seen, a man who has invaded him Muslim neighbors, a man who has shot missiles at neighbors and at countries far away. He is the cause of this problem and the sooner he is removed and this regime is put into the dustpan of history, into the trashcan of history, the better off the Iraqi people will be, the better off the Turkish people will be, and the better off the region and the world will be."
    Apr. 2, 2003 Colin Powell


Apr. 3, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview by ZDF-TV of Germany:

[QUESTION:I hear what you are saying. What many people in Europe will hear, through your words, is this is how the new partition of labor will be: America is looking for its Allies, is going its course with or without Allies, any number that’s available, and be it zero. And then the U.N.’s role is to go in as a good Samaritan and clean up the mess. That’s all they can do. America is already looking at its next destination.]

  • "That’s absurd. It’s an absurd, simplistic, shorthand response to what people think we’re doing. In fact, we went to the U.N. in the first place with respect to this problem. It was a problem that belonged to the U.N. for twelve years -- this terrible regime that tortures its people, that developed weapons of mass destruction, that used them against its own people and then invaded its neighbors on two occasions. And we finally said to the United Nations, 'If you would be relevant, if the international community would be relevant, we must deal with this.'

    This is not a regime that will simply roll over and play dead. It will fight back. It will try to avoid consequences. So we got a very strong resolution passed. Unanimously. Fifteen to zero. And when it became clear to a number of members of the Security Council that it was time to apply those serious consequences, we took it back to the U.N. And the U.N. said, 'Well, can’t agree on this.'

    But 1441 made it clear – it was more than sufficient authority. Now there were some members of the Council who said, 'We’ll veto anything.' And there were others of us who felt we must move forward. We must remove this danger to the world. Especially this regime that developed weapons of mass destruction and might actually allow some of these weapons to fall in the hands of terrorists. We will not apologize for this. We believe that we did what is right and we recognize that there is a great deal of opinion, especially in Europe, that thinks this was not the right approach. But I hope we will change this opinion, when everybody sees that after this conflict we’re not leaving it to be swept up by the United Nations. We are going to work with the United Nations and work with the international community. And guess who will be the major contributor, who will pay the most money to help the Iraqi people to get back on their feet. It will be the United States, as always.
    Apr. 3, 2003 Colin Powell


Apr. 3, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview by European Editors:

  • "This was a war against weapons of mass destruction. This was a war against a rogue regime that is also a terrorist regime that for twelve years had violated its obligations under a total of seventeen UN resolutions. Once again, even after the whole Security Council came together last November, fifteen to zero, and said, "Stop. Stop now. Immediately. Unconditionally. Without hesitation. No more fooling around. You’re guilty. You’re in material breach. Stop it.” And they still played games. And they tried to stretch it out. And they tried to break the will of the international community. And so we saw Operation Iraqi Freedom."
    Apr. 3, 2003 Colin Powell


Apr. 12, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview by Sir David Frost of BBC:

  • "We have all hoped that Saddam Hussein would leave the scene. He terrorized his nation for several decades. He threatened his neighbors. He tortured people. He developed weapons of mass destruction. He was a source of instability in the region.

    In the Gulf War, we kicked him out of Kuwait -- which was our mission -- contained him, and hoped that he would depart from the scene. But he didn't, and he continued to do those things which are absolutely reprehensible.

    And so, finally, we took the case back to the United Nations last fall, got a solid resolution, 1441, which gave legitimacy to the use of military force if he didn't comply with his many obligations over a period of ten years. He didn't comply with those obligations, force was used, and now his regime is no longer."

  • "I mean, when we went to the UN last year, notwithstanding all the debating and notwithstanding all the speculation in the press, all of us agreed. We all talked about it. And at the key meeting that we held, Don, Vice President Cheney, myself, Condi Rice and the President all agreed that going to the UN was the correct thing to do; it was a UN problem, let's take it to the UN.

    But we also agreed that when we went to the UN that it had to be with the understanding that if the UN did not act, then we were prepared to act either with UN authority or with a willing coalition. We were all unified in that regard."

[QUESTION:How important is it that we discover -- I mean, there's been no definitive findings reported. How important is it that we do discover weapons of mass destruction? Would it be embarrassing if we didn't?]

  • "Well, we will find weapons of mass destruction. For the last three weeks we've been fighting battles, and once this combat period is over we can then turn our attention to finding the weapons of mass destruction. And I think they will be found. That was the basis upon which we went in, and I think there is strong evidence. There's no question about the fact that there are weapons of mass destruction, and they will be looking for them."

[QUESTION:And if there are, they would tend to be likely to be chemical and biological, rather than nuclear, wouldn't they?]

  • "There is, I think, a higher likelihood of there being chemical and biological weaponry. The nuclear program we also think is there, but we don't think it was as advanced as, perhaps, their chemical and biological weapons programs were."

[QUESTION:Have we learned anything significant about the possible links between al-Qaida and Iraq?]

  • "Not so far because of -- what we've been watching is ground -- we've been watching an air-land battle for the last three weeks. But I think as we capture people, as people turn themselves in, as we get into records, and as we're able to interview people, I think we will learn a lot more about what Iraq has been doing for these many years, and I think we will learn a lot more about how they have been supporting terrorism. And I would not be at all surprised if we find a lot more with respect to their links with different terrorist organizations, as well as al-Qaida."

[QUESTION:But at the beginning, in the period leading up to the IIA, obviously you want to be there without the UN and without France interfering in the search for the weapons of mass destruction because you could argue that they have vested interests in them not being found. I mean, you don't want them there at that time.]

  • "We don't feel a need right now to consult with respect to the weapons of mass destruction because the campaign is still underway. When General Franks has said that hostilities are over, made that recommendation to the President, and when the country has been secured and the situation stabilized, then we will turn our attention to the search for weapons of mass destruction. And the United States and its coalition partners, the United Kingdom and other nations -- there are now some five nations in Iraq now as part of the coalition right in Iraq -- then we will turn our attention to looking for these weapons of mass destruction and we will see what assistance can be provided in this effort."

[QUESTION:That's right, though you wouldn't probably want France, Germany or Russia as part of that.]

  • "Well, it's not a role for France, Germany and Russia. I mean, we will be the liberating authority. We will have occupational responsibilities. But it's -- I don't want to quite couch it that way because what we want to do is find these weapons of mass destruction and make sure that the whole world sees them and understands the nature of this regime. And we will want these weapons of mass destruction and the infrastructure associated with it seen by the whole world and verified by the whole world."

[QUESTION:And talking about the UN, as we have been, the events since last September through to today, I mean, most people would say that obviously the UN has been weakened by what's gone on, maybe seriously. But seriously weakened? I mean, that's inevitable, I suppose, because of what happened.]

  • "I think it has been weakened. I don't think we should deny this, sort of soft-pedal it.

    The UN was presented with a challenge by the President last September, and the challenge was simple: For 12 years you have issued instructions to Saddam Hussein via resolutions to get rid of his weapons of mass destruction, to comply, and he has ignored those instructions; so you have one last chance to give him one last chance, and if he doesn't take this last chance, you have to impose your will.

    The UN and Security Council understood that. They passed the resolution, 1441, unanimously. But then it got strung out because people thought, well, let's just keep inspecting, let's add more inspectors, let's have a longer inspection period. And they wouldn't face the simple, simple fact that Saddam Hussein was not complying and he was using extended inspections in order to drag it out, and hopefully interest would fade.

    That, I believe, was a failure on the part of the Security Council. And at that point, we believed we had more than enough authority from 1441 that a willing coalition could take action."

[QUESTION:And so, I mean, would you think that the UN should stay weakened, which would be welcome to some people in Washington, or would you like to strengthen it again?]

  • "I want to see the UN as a strengthened institution. The UN is our international institution; 191 nations belong to the United Nations and the United Nations does important work around the world.

    The United States has expressed its support for the United Nations in recent years. We have paid our arrears. We have, as you know, rejoined UNESCO. We support international organizations financially. We participate in them fully.

    So we want to see a vibrant UN, but the UN has to meet its responsibilities, however distasteful sometimes meeting those responsibilities are, such as imposing serious consequences, the use of force, over a nation such as Saddam Hussein's Iraq."
    Apr. 12, 2003 Colin Powell


Apr. 13, 2003

Excerpts taken from Colin Powell's interview on the BBC's Breakfast with Frost :

[QUESTION (David Frost):How important is it that you do discover weapons of mass destruction? Would it be embarrassing if you didn't?]

  • "Well, we will find weapons of mass destruction. For the past three weeks we've been fighting battles and once this combat period is over we can then turn our attention to finding the weapons of mass destruction - and I think they will be found.

    That was the basis upon which we went in and I think there is strong evidence, there is no question about the fact that there are weapons of mass destruction and we will be looking for them."

[QUESTION (David Frost):And if there are, they would tend to be likely to be chemical and biological rather than nuclear, wouldn't they?]

  • "There is, I think, a higher likelihood of there being chemical and biological weaponry. The nuclear program, we also think is there, but we don't think it was as advanced as perhaps the chemical and biological weapons programs were."
    Apr. 13, 2003 Colin Powell


Apr. 23, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview by BBC for Iraq Documentary:

  • "To really put it in context, I have to take you to an earlier period, to the beginning of the administration, 2001, January of 2001, when the President came in. Iraq was on our mind then because we had been watching for the nine years after the Gulf War, ten years after the Gulf War, an Iraq that had been kicked out of Kuwait. Kuwait had been freed, but nevertheless Iraq was not complying with the obligations it entered into as a result of ending the Gulf War.

    Mr. Cheney, Vice President Cheney now, and Secretary of State Powell, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had more than a passing interest in what went on in that part of the world in Iraq. When we came in, we discovered that the sanctions regime that was being used to contain Iraq was falling apart, the Security Council was losing interest in it, they wanted to get rid of the sanctions, a number of the permanent members. We also realized that we had this no-fly zone where we were patrolling every day over the northern and southern part of Iraq, and it didn't seem to be serving an especially useful purpose over time.

    And the issue remained what to do about his weapons of mass destruction regime. So it was a subject that was on our mind throughout the first part of 2001, even before 9/11 came along. In fact, each one of those tracks, what to do about it if we ever had to do something militarily was on our agenda. We started to think about that, but no war plans were generating yet. We were thinking about it -- what do about the no-fly zone and what do about sanctions.

    Sanctions became the Secretary of State's problem and I worked for a year to put in place what subsequently became known as "smart sanctions," only allowing humanitarian foodstuff to get in and making sure that weapons were kept out.

    Then along comes 9/11, and immediately the issue arose: How do we respond to the Taliban and al-Qaida, who was being hosted by the Taliban in Afghanistan? And the issue arose immediately: Iraq. Since Iraq was a source of weapons of mass destruction, it was a terrorist-sponsoring state. And there was some concern that there might be a connection between what happened at 9/11 and Iraq because of its terrorist activity and its sponsorship of those kinds of activities.

    And so in our very first series of meetings after 9/11, the famous meeting that took place up at Camp David on the Saturday after 9/11, we focused on this. Should we go after al-Qaida immediately, and the Taliban, and put down an ultimatum to them? And at the same time, should we deal with an Iraq, or at least start to think about dealing with an Iraq, and what should our priorities be -- or one or the other, how to handle it."

  • "We had concluded that if the United Nations was not prepared to act in a forceful way that forced Iraq to comply and deliver these weapons of mass destruction, and all the programs associated with them, and 'fess up to the past 15 years, 12 years, of misbehavior, we would go forward with the support of the United Nations' military approval, another -- you know, another statement by the United Nations, or without it. And if they did not comply and the Council chose not to take note of it, then we would act with a willing coalition.

    We said that at the beginning. We never hid that from anybody. There was no hidden card here. I never had a conversation with any of my foreign minister colleagues when that point was not made, nor did the President. We were willing to act with a willing coalition, leading a willing coalition, if we could not get a coalition blessed by the Security Council.

    And we made it absolutely clear when we negotiated 1441 and we got it passed that we believed there was sufficient authority in that resolution that if Iraq did not comply, the serious consequences called for by that resolution were appropriate and were certainly in accordance with international law, with that resolution and earlier resolutions."
    Apr. 23, 2003 Colin Powell


Apr. 29, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview by U.S. News and World Report:

  • "I think right now we had both a military victory and a political victory. There's a theory, or a doctrine that rests on the name of the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that says you create a political goal and you use your military force to achieve that political goal. The principal political goal was to get rid of the weapons of mass destruction within Iraq, and the only way to do that was to remove the regime, remove the regime. That's been done. So that is not only a military victory, it is also a political victory."
    Apr. 29, 2003 Colin Powell


May 4, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview with NBC's Meet the Press:

[QUESTION (Tim Russert):Talking about Iraq, you said in due time you believe we will find weapons of mass destruction ... And Vice President Cheney said Saddam Hussein had reconstituted his nuclear program. So we have the Vice President and the Secretary of State. Is there any evidence of a reconstituted nuclear program in Iraq that we have found thus far?]

  • "We haven't found any evidence of nuclear weapons in Iraq as a result of what we have been able to see so far. But a program is more than just a weapon. We didn't think he had a weapon at the time I made that statement or the time the Vice President made his statements or any of the other of my colleagues who made statements.

    But what he did keep intact were the scientific wherewithal. And by that, I mean he not only had people with the know-how, but he kept them together so that the know-how could be exploited at a time that he chose. He kept in place the infrastructure. And so he never lost the infrastructure or the brainpower assembled in a way to use that infrastructure if he was ever given a chance to do so because the international community had turned its attention in another direction.

    And so it is still our judgment, and it is still my judgment, that if he was given the opportunity and if the international community said fine, you're okay, we're not going to bother you anymore, he would still have pursued that objective. He never lost, in my judgment, and the judgment of the intelligence community, the intent to develop a nuclear weapon, and he kept in place the scientific brainpower and the infrastructure that would have allowed that to happen in due course."

[QUESTION:How important is it to the credibility of the United States and your own personal credibility that we find weapons of mass destruction?]

  • "Oh, I think we will find weapons of mass destruction. I'm the one who presented the case, and proud to have done so. And let me tell you, Tim, we spent a lot of time on that presentation. It was about five straight days and nights of work with the most senior experts of the intelligence community. And with a smile on my face, I would like to point out that over my right shoulder was the Director of Central Intelligence in that picture, George Tenet. We all stood behind that presentation.

    And keep in mind that the whole Security Council acknowledged that Saddam Hussein had these weapons of mass destruction when they voted 15-0 for the basic resolution, 1441. It begins with a statement that Saddam Hussein is in material breach of his obligations to account for all of the anthrax and botulinum toxin and all the other things that previous inspectors said he either has and hasn't accounted for, or he won't tell us what happened to this material if he no longer has it. And that was the basis upon which 1441 rested.

    And it may well be that as we continue our work with the many teams that are now about the countryside we will find that some of the gaps that were there that he wouldn't account for, we can now account for; even if we don't find weapons, we can find out what happened to that material, I am confident."

[QUESTION:But it is important.]

  • "Sure, it's important. I am confident that we will find evidence that makes it clear he had weapons of mass destruction."
    May 4, 2003 Colin Powell


May 4, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's remarks after an interview with NBC's Meet the Press:

  • "The rationale was the same. There was the weapons of mass destruction. Let's be clear. The basis of UN Security Council Resolution 1441, was a judgment on the part of all 15 members of the Security Council, that the Iraqi regime had been in violation of its obligations under all sorts of previous resolutions to account for its weapons of mass destruction. All 15 nations agreed when they passed that resolution. And I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We're just getting it just now."
    May 4, 2003 Colin Powell


May 14, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview with NTV Television (Russia) :

[QUESTION:Mr. Secretary. You talked about this a second ago. The resolution to allow to lift sanctions on Iraq. Now, Russia has a different point of view. You have threatened the world, the United States, for a year and a half that there are of mass destruction in Iraq, and so far nobody has found them. So, if the war was carried out because of weapons of mass destruction, so maybe let’s let the inspectors go back and make us all sure in the world that there aren’t -- or there are, but the fact that they’re not found yet, the weapons of mass destruction, isn’t it troublesome?]

  • "Well, we have started to identify some vehicles that are very suspicious in nature and look quite similar to some of the vehicles that I presented in my speech to the United Nations on the fifth of February. So we’ll continue to examine those vehicles to see whether they are mobile biological laboratories. We are going through a great deal of documentation that our troops have picked up, and we have thousands of experts and soldiers who will be examining the entire country and look at suspected sights. Whether or not there is a role for UNMOVIC to play in the absence of the Saddam Hussein regime is an entirely different situation. This is something they’ll have to examine. I’m aware that some of our Security Council partners, including the Russian Federation, believe that there is a role for UNMOVIC. We believe that that may not be the case any longer. But it’s an area that we’ll have to debate. I don’t subscribe to the domino theory, that what we have done in Iraq will necessarily bring down regimes all over the area. What we have done in Iraq is get rid of a terrible dictator. A dictator who we know was developing weapons of mass destruction. You tell me why he didn’t let the United Nations have full access. You tell me why he didn’t turn over the documentation, why he didn’t account for all the things he has been doing for the last 12 years. For 12 years, he ignored the UN. We also know that he had such weapons. He has used such weapons in the past. And, on top of that, he terrorized his population, he wasted the revenue of the people on weapons and on building up a military force to threaten his neighbors. He killed people. He murdered people. We’re now finding mass graves, full of innocent people who were murdered by this regime. And, so the United States is not going to apologize. Nor are our coalition partners going to apologize for undertaking this military operation which will determine whether there are any remaining weapons of mass destruction and bring the truth out in due course. And also have the effect of bringing down a dictator, and the world will be better off for it, is better off for it, and the people of Iraq will be better off for it. And they now have an opportunity to use their oil wealth to build a better country that will be a democratic country. That’s not a domino theory meaning the United States is going to go somewhere else and do the same thing. Not at all. But, what we might have is an example to the region of what can happen when you don’t have dictators around and when you’re willing to use the wealth that you have in the ground, your oil, for good purposes."
    May 14, 2003 Colin Powell


May 15, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview with Echo Moskvy Radio (Russia):

[QUESTION:Have you found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?]

  • "We're still looking. We have many hundreds of soldiers and experts who are looking at all of the different sites throughout Iraq to locate weapons of mass destruction. We have found some trailers that contain equipment inside of them that look like the material that I presented to the United Nations, but we want to make absolutely sure, so those trailers, those mobile vans that we have found, are undergoing the most intense analysis now.

    Even the Iraqis themselves admitted that they had done all of these things, that they had these programs, and when the UN passed its resolution, it was with the understanding that Iraq did have such programs. The programs had been established by previous inspection regimes, but Iraq had not accounted for the disposition of these programs or what they had remaining."
    May 15, 2003 Colin Powell


May 15, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview with French American Press Club:

[QUESTION:Mr. Secretary (inaudible), may I ask what are the latest news about weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein?]

  • "The mobile vans that you may have been reading about, it is becoming clear that these vans can have no other purpose than the production of biological weapons. Our intelligence community has been very thorough in its examination and has ruled out any other option. I think that’s a clear indication that Saddam Hussein had the programs of the kind we were talking about. The vans look exactly like the pictures, the cartoons that I used during my presentation on the 5th of February. And, I’m sure that as we send more investigative teams in and a very, very expert group of individuals - a couple thousand of them are on their way now - and as they go through all the documents and as they take a look at all the potential places where weapons of mass destruction might have been stored, might have been developed, there will be more information forthcoming.

    There is no question that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and every nation that voted for UN resolution 1441 last November 8th acknowledged that, because the very basis of the resolution was that Saddam Hussein and that regime was in material breach of its obligations. By not accounting for its weapons of mass destruction, and by denying things that were known to be true from previous inspections and by submitting a false declaration they made themselves they made themselves even more in breach of their obligations and I am confident that the evidence will prove that that finding of guilt in 1441 was accurate and was a solid basis for subsequent actions that were taken."
    May 15, 2003 Colin Powell


May 22, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview with French Television 1 (TF-1):

[QUESTION: Since you did not find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, do you think that at least on that point France was right?]

  • "No, France agreed that there were weapons of mass destruction when they voted for Resolution 1441. France, along with all the other nations that voted for 1441, acknowledged that Iraq was in material breach of its obligations to come forward with all the information that it had concerning weapons of mass destruction. France along with the others believed that there was still a program there. Now, if France and the United States differ as how to find out about that program, we believe that the inspectors were being deceived and would never get to the answer. So, we believed that after a reasonable period of time with inspectors, without the kind of cooperation that was required by 1441, it was appropriate to use military force. So far, we have found the biological weapons vans that I spoke about when I presented the case to the United Nations on the 5th of February, and there is no doubt in our minds now that those vans where designed for only one purpose, and that was to make biological weapons. I’m also confident that as our experts continue looking through the documentation and interview people they will find out more information."
    May 22, 2003 Colin Powell


May 30, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's remarks to the press aboard Air Force One en route to Krakow, Poland:

[QUESTION:Getting back to weapons of mass destruction for a minute. You were obviously on the ground in the region as a military commander. You know as much about Hussein and his capabilities as anybody in the government, probably. Are you surprised that 72 days into this operation there have not yet been any of the large catches of weapons found that were predicted before hand?]

  • "Well, we found the vans. And we found a lot of documents. And the initial read from the documents suggests that these programs were there. Now, reflect again on what the charges were in 1441 and what the international community has been saying for years. There were gaps in knowledge. And the Iraqis would not step forward and bridge those gaps.

    We had clear evidence that so many liters of a particular item had been produced, botchulinen, or anthrax, so many rounds of chemical artillery had been produced. And they refused to explain the gaps between what we know is produced and what inspectors could identify. And so that, in itself, was the violation, or one of the violations that formed the basis of resolution 1441. We knew they were doing things -- not just gaps in knowledge, we knew they were doing things.

    The presentation I made on the 5th of February, where I put up the cartoons of those biological vans, we didn't just make up them up one night. Those were eyewitness accounts of people who had worked in the program and knew it was going on, multiple accounts. And when I put them up, showed the four cartoons, people kind of, well, who knows. Guess what? You should have seen the smile on my face when one day the intelligence community came in and gave me a photo, and said, look. And it was almost identical to the cartoon that I had put up in New York on the 5th of February.

    We have examined those vans repeatedly for the last several weeks, and we are confident that's what they are. Now, there will be other theories that come from time to time -- oh, it was a hydrogen making thing for balloons. No. You now have a white paper from the intelligence community reflecting the views of the Director of Central Intelligence and the Director of DIA that that's what it's for, with appropriate balancing caveats in there, to say, we haven't found any contamination within it because they either haven't been used or they've been cleaned. But there's no question in the mind of the intelligence community as to what it was designed for.

    And so that is a clear case of solid evidence. And then gaps in intelligence which we're trying to fill as a result of the exploitations taking place."
    May 30, 2003 Colin Powell


June 2, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview by Canale 5 (Italy:

[QUESTION: Back to Iraq, you didn't find the smoking gun, did you?]

  • "Well, there are smoking guns all over. Remember, Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. We found then in 1991. The inspectors found them when they went in. We destroyed some of their weapons of mass destruction in 1991. They have weapons of mass destruction, they've had them, they used them against Iran. That is not disputable. They used weapons of mass destruction against their own people. We know that they threw the inspectors out in 1998 rather than let the inspectors find more weapons of mass destruction.

    And so, when the United Nations met last year and passed Resolution 1441, it was because every member of the Security Council that voted that day believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and something had to be done about it. We gave Iraq an opportunity to say to the world, no we don't. Here are all of our papers, here is all the documentation, we're opening everything, come and see that we have nothing. They didn't do that. They hid. They gave a false declaration, they continued to try to keep the inspectors from getting everywhere that the inspectors needed to go.

    And we made a case, I made the case to the United Nations just in February as to what we knew, and I showed drawings of a biological laboratory, now everybody can see it. We're confident as we continue our work with exploitation, as we send in more experts, as we interview more Iraqis, as we translate more of the documents, we will find more evidence of what they have been doing over all these years.

    So, this suggestion that there were never any weapons - yes there were. The inspectors found them, we found them, we've seen them.We blew up some, but we always believed that Iraq continued to have theses weapons and continued to develop these weapons. And there can be no suggestion that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. They did and the whole world knew it. And when finally Iraq refused - refused - to account for their weapons, to tell us what happened to anthrax and to botulinum, to tell us what they were doing to come clean and avoid a war -- then we had to use military force and go ahead and remove this regime because this regime did not comply with the will of the international community."
    June 2, 2003 Colin Powell


July 9, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview by BBC World News:

  • "But here is the more important point. There should be no doubt in anyone's mind, no matter what you might think about one piece of intelligence or another piece of intelligence, that Saddam Hussein was trying to develop nuclear weapons in the past. And, if freed of sanctions and allowed to continue unabated without sanctions, without the international community intervening, he would have continued to pursue weapons of mass destruction."
    July 9, 2003
    Colin Powell


Sep. 7, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's remarks on CBS News' Face the Nation:

  • "We want the UN to play a vital role. The president has said this from the very beginning."

  • "I think we did not realize how badly the infrastructure was, how much damage had been done in the 30 years of Hussein's regime. And so it's taking us perhaps a little longer than we might have anticipated to bring those systems back online."
    Sep. 7, 2003 Colin Powell


Sep. 7, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's remarks on NBC's Meet the Press:

  • "We put forward to the world, and in my presentation on the 5th of February, the best intelligence information that we had, that he had weapons and that he had programs. David Kay is in charge of our efforts now with some 1,500 inspectors and analyst and experts. He will provide an interim report later this month, and I'm confident when people see what David Kay puts forward, they will see that there was no question that such weapons exist, existed, and so did the programs to develop more."

[QUESTION:Was our intelligence overstated? Did we miss this?]

  • "I don't think so, Tim [Russert, NBC]. And I don't think that charge is an accurate one. I can tell you that I sat for a period of four days with the analysts, and there was no blowing up or overdoing what they were telling me. We did not hype it. I did not put forward a presentation on the 5th of February before the world at the United Nations Security Council that wasn't solidly supported by the best analysis that we were able to bring to the effort. If there was anything that looked the least it, you know, not supportable, we didn't use it. And these are the most dedicated people in the intelligence community who put that presentation together. So we did not try to hype it or blow it out of proportion."
    Sep. 7, 2003 Colin Powell


Sep. 11, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview by Germany's ARD with Tom Buhrow:

[QUESTION:Now, the perception in Europe is they were uneasy about the war from the beginning, they're waiting for weapons of mass destruction to turn up, and there was talk of the U.S. Government -- UN is becoming irrelevant, et cetera. Is this drive for a new resolution partially an admission that things didn't go as planned and maybe some critics weren't so far off?]

  • "No, I don't think so. We have never declared the UN irrelevant. If we though the UN was irrelevant, President Bush would not have taken this problem to the UN last September.

    He took it to the UN because it was the UN's problem. These were UN resolutions that were being violated. And we went into the conflict with the support of many, many European nations. Let's remember how many European nations were supportive of what we did in Iraq. And these were leaders who stepped forward. Even though public opinion was against them, they nevertheless, saw the righteousness of this cause. And they are still there."
    Sep. 11, 2003 Colin Powell


Sep. 11, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's remarks on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer:

[QUESTION:I guess the other critics are suggesting there was a basic miscalculation in the postwar strategy the you had, that's resulting in your having to go back to the U.N. Security Council, in effect, ask these other nations for help because you miscalculated what was going to happen?]

  • "That's not the reason we went back to the U.N. We always knew the U.N. would play a role. Remember, the president, on many occasions, said that he wanted the U.N. to play a vital role. Why? Because the president believes in the U.N., and the U.N. is the institution that brings the whole world together."
    Sep. 14, 2003 Colin Powell


Sep. 15, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's remarks from Halabja Mass Grave site ceremony:

  • "This is a very special place and I should say something special to you. What can I say to you? I cannot tell you that choking mothers died holding their choking babies to their chests. You know that. I cannot tell you that Saddam Hussein was a murderous tyrant. You know that. I cannot tell you that the world should have acted sooner. You know that. I cannot tell you of the suffering of those who were poisoned but nevertheless lived. You know that."

  • "The 5,000 men and women and children murdered in Halabja live in the memory of those who knew them. And those who knew them constructed a museum so that others might always remember them."
    Sep. 15, 2003 Colin Powell


Sep. 15, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's remarks at press stakeout after a visit to the Halabja Memorial Museum:

  • "I've just completed a very moving visit here in Halabja to see the kind of mass grave, the wall that's been constructed around it, as well as we've come to this very moving museum to see witness that cannot be denied of Saddam Hussein's crimes against humanity and crimes against his own people. We'll never forget the 5,000 people who were gassed here, who lost their lives, Saddam Hussein's use of weapons of mass destruction. It wasn't the first time he had done it, but it certainly is nothing that anybody in this country has to worry about any further, nor any of the neighbors."

  • "At the time, Halabja was commented on by the Administration. And it was commented on both by the White House at that time, as well as by the States Department. Strongly condemned. And there was no effort on the part of the Reagan Administration at that time to either ignore it or not take note of it.

    With respect to weapons of mass destruction, as one of the speakers said here today, if you want evidence of the existence and use of the weapons of mass destruction, come here now to Halabja, look today and see it. What happened over the intervening 15 years? Did he suddenly lose the motivation? Did he suddenly decide that such weapons were not useful? The international community did not believe so, and that's why they've passed resolution after resolution. And we all await Dr. Kay's reports, what he has found, and I expect those reports to be forthcoming in the not too distant future."
    Sep. 15, 2003
    Colin Powell


Sep. 19, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's Op/Ed "As Long as It Takes," published in The Wall Street Journal:

  • "I have just returned from Iraq. What I saw there convinced me, more than ever, that our liberation of Iraq was in the best interests of the Iraqi people, the American people and the world.

    The Iraq I saw was a society on the move, a vibrant land with a hardy people experiencing the first heady taste of freedom. Iraq has come a long way since the dawn of this year, when Saddam Hussein was holding his people in poverty, ignorance and fear while filling mass graves with his opponents. The Iraqi regime was still squandering Iraq's treasure on deadly weapons programs, in defiance of 12 years of United Nations Security Council resolutions. While children died, Saddam was lavishing money on palaces and perks, for himself and his cronies."
    Sep. 19, 2003 Colin Powell


Sep. 22, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview by The Charlie Rose Show:

  • "I went up to Halabja in the Kurdish area and I visited the mass grave where 5,000 people who were gassed-- who were gassed by Saddam Hussein in 1998 -- 1988 -- where they are buried, and a very moving ceremony. And I met with so many of the survivors, people who were horribly disfigured and are suffering as a result."

  • "Mothers who died with their babies in their arms. And I visited their memorial. and this was a use if a weapon of mass destruction, poison gas -- sarin, VX -- the worst things that have ever been developed with respect to gasses -- used against innocent civilians. And they are absolutely overjoyed that the man and the regime who was responsible for that is gone."

  • "Well, there is a very intense process if interrogation that's taking place. Not all the information has been made available back here because a lot of it we want to keep and correlate with other interviews and other information as it comes forward. But there is no doubt in my mind that everything that has been said about this regime over the years was true. It truly was evil. It's filled mass graves. We're finding mass grave after mass grave. And this isn't just, 'Well, so what, it's a mass grave.' It's a mass grave full of innocent people who were shot, who were murdered, who were slaughtered, and people who were gassed by weapons of mass destruction."

  • "In my presentation on the 5th of February before the Security Council, I talked about the weapons of mass destruction which we know he had, we were confident that he had throughout this whole period, so was the United Nations by passing resolution after resolution after resolution condemning him for having these weapons of mass destruction."
    Sep. 22, 2003
    Colin Powell


Sep. 25, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's remarks made following UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's luncheon for P-5 members:

[QUESTION:Secretary Powell, in February 2001, you said that Saddam has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. What caused you to change your assessment?]

  • "I didn't change my assessment. What I said was, at the time, three weeks into the Administration when I was trying to get sanctions retained, and we did succeed in getting sanctions retained, I made that observation. But you've said -- you will note that I did not say he didn't have weapons of mass destruction. And I think that interview I also went on to say that it was important for us to keep the pressure on and for inspectors to be able to get back in for sanctions to be kept in place. He was a threat then. The extent of his holdings were yet to be determined. It was early in the Administration. And, in fact, the matter was long before 9/11, so a lot changed between February 2001, but I don't find anything inconsistent between what I said then and what I said all along."
    Sep. 25, 2003 Colin Powell


Sep. 25, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's remarks on CBS's Late Night with David Letterman:

[QUESTION:If it turns out now that there is no tangible evidence of weapons of mass destruction, is this a breach of faith to take this country into war, on the part of the Administration?]

  • "No, I think there will be tangible evidence, and we have to remember that it's not the United States claiming he had weapons of mass destruction. The whole world acknowledged this over a period of twelve years when the UN passed resolution after resolution, and when the UN inspectors came back and told us that there were these unaccounted for stockpiles of anthrax and all sorts of other terrible things."

    And, Dave, let me give you another example. Last week, on a beautiful day, I went up to a city in Northern Iraq called Halabja. And in 1988, just 15 years ago, Saddam Hussein, on a bright morning, gassed that town, and killed 5,000 people in a matter of a couple of hours. I went to see the mass grave where they were. I went to the museum they've created to memorialize that terrible event.

    Now he did that 15 years ago. It wasn't the first time he'd done it, it wasn't the last time he'd done it. Now anybody that wanted to drift through the future assuming that he had totally given up that capability and had no intention of ever using it again, fine, but that's not a chance or a risk the President was willing to take. So that is evidence of what he did in the past, there is no question about it, and he never satisfied the demands of the United Nations to account for that kind of material or what he did with it, and that's what causes conflict to come about."
    Sep. 25, 2003
    Colin Powell


Sep. 28, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's remarks on ABC's This Week with George Stephanoplous:

[QUESTION:Finally, when you saw those headlines in The Washington Post this morning, this House letter of Congressman Porter Goss and Congresswoman Jane Harman saying the intelligence when you went into Iraq was faulty. There were significant deficiencies. Are you still confident that the intelligence was as good as it could have been?]

  • "Let me answer it this way. Two weeks ago today, I was in Halabja. Halabja is a city in northern Iraq, where, and on a Friday in March of 1988, Saddam Hussein gassed the people with VX, with sarin, nerve agents, and it killed 5,000 people in one day; that was 15 years ago.

    "Now, if you want to believe that he suddenly gave up that weapon and had no further interest in those sorts of weapons, whether it be chemical, biological or nuclear, then I think you're -- it's a bit naïve to believe that.

    For the next 10 years, inspectors, after the Gulf War, especially since 1991 through 1998, that seven year period, were looking for the infrastructure, looking for these weapons. We found a lot of these weapons after the Gulf War in 1991, and we destroyed a lot of them, but a lot was left over.

    And then in 1998, President Clinton and his administration, came to the conclusion that there was still an infrastructure, there were still weapons there, there were still facilities to produce such weapons, and conducted a four day bombing campaign in late 1998, based on the intelligence that he had; that resulted in the inspectors being thrown out.

    So from 1998 until we went in earlier this year, there was a period where we didn't have benefit of UN inspectors actually on the ground. And our intelligence community had to do the best they could, and I think they did a pretty good job. And to say that, well, since you don't have positive information, or you don't have information that satisfies us, we should assume that all of these weapons are gone or they weren't there in the first place, defies the logic of the situation over the years, and what we know about this regime.

    In 1999, the UN inspectors put forward a report and said, "There is so much that we haven't been able to learn, that has been denied to us by the Iraqis." And so I think the intelligence community has done a good job. And when Congress requested the intelligence community's assessment last fall, Director Tenet went up and provided to the Congress a National Intelligence Estimate that had all of this information in it."

  • "The fact of the matter is that the President went in and conducted this war because there was every reason to believe, and I still believe, that there were weapons of mass destruction and weapons programs to develop weapons of mass destruction.

    And it was also a regime that supported terrorist activity, and it was a regime that had abused the human rights of its own people. And I don't think we have anything to be regretful about. The mass graves are now being opened for people to see. The destruction that Saddam Hussein brought upon his own people, his own infrastructure is now obvious, and we have an obligation. And so I have no second thoughts about what we did."
    Sep. 28, 2003 Colin Powell


Sep. 28, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's remarks on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer:

[QUESTION:Let me just ask you to look back for a moment, because there are some statements that have come to light in the last week or so that I think raise questions about going to war in the first place. February of 2001, Colin Powell quoted as saying about Saddam Hussein: "I think we ought to declare containment a success. We have kept him contained, kept him in a box." So my question is, if he was contained in 2001, how did he get uncontained by early 2003?]

  • "He was still contained in the sense that I was describing it, in that he no longer had the ability to project conventional power outside of his borders because the Gulf War, the first Gulf War pretty much reduced his conventional forces. In that same February statement, I did not say he didn't have weapons of mass destruction. I believed then that he had weapons of mass destruction.

    How many, I didn't know if it was significant or not. We didn't think it was significant, but a lot changed with 9/11. With 9/11, we saw what could happen with the nexus between nations that had weapons of mass destruction and terrorists who might be anxious to get those weapons of mass destruction."

[QUESTION:But you did say, though -- you said, "He threatens not the United States. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction." It wasn't just you. It was Dr. Rice, later in 2001. Vice President Cheney, who said, "Saddam is bottled up." I guess my question is, how did something that happened here in the United States, al-Qaida behind it, affect what was going on, on the ground in Iraq?]

  • "Because it focused the President's attention, all of our attention, on the fact that if there were nations in the world that were continuing to hold or develop weapons of mass destruction, in the aftermath of 9/11, where we saw the kinds of terrorist organizations that were out there that would stop at nothing to strike us or other civilized nations, then a nexus existed between the possibility of such terrorists getting access to these kinds of weapons.

    And, also, the reality of it was that Saddam Hussein did have these weapons. The previous administration acknowledged it. The previous administration went to a mini-war in late 1998 and bombed Saddam Hussein's facilities for four years. And so here -- for four days -- excuse me -- and here it was five years later, in 2003, the President made a decision, based on this continued violation of UN resolutions for all these years, after taking the case to the UN, that the world in this post-9/11 environment could no longer tolerate that kind of activity by a regime as irresponsible as Saddam Hussein."

[QUESTION:But you can understand why these questions are being asked. We now have the David Kay report coming out, and we're told that he's going to say there's been no weapons found.]

  • "Let's wait to see what Dr. Kay actually says. But let me make this point. I made it earlier in a number of interviews.

    Two weeks ago I was a place called Halabja in northern Iraq, where 15 years ago Saddam Hussein gassed people on a Friday morning in March of 1988 with sarin, with VX, and killed 5,000 people. I saw the mass graves. I saw the victims. I saw those who lost loved ones.

    In 1991, after the first Gulf War, we found chemical weapons. We learned a lot about the program. We put in place an inspection regime to pull it all out. By 1998, Saddam had frustrated that inspection regime. President Clinton found it necessary to bomb his facilities. The inspectors left, and then there was this four-year period that was a gap.

    Are we supposed to believe that, oh, gee, he gave up all that capability, he no longer has the intent?

    Yes, we tried to keep him bottled up, but bottled up does not mean gone away. It means bottled up and still a danger. And 9/11, it seemed to us, pulled the cork out of that bottle, and it was a danger and a risk we no longer wish to take."
    Sep. 28, 2003
    Colin Powell


Oct. 3, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's remarks after meeting with Hungarian Foreign Minister Laslo Kovacs:

  • "And for those of you who have not had a chance to read Mr. David Kay's report, I suggest you go to the CIA website -- it's quite easy to find -- and you'll find an unclassified version of his report which talks to the dozens and dozens of programs that they have uncovered dealing with weapons of mass destruction.

    The Kay report also talks about a number of the issues that we have presented to the international community, I presented on the 5th of February in New York: missiles that exceed the ranges permitted by the UN that could go out to a thousand kilometers; unmanned aerial vehicles that they were developing; it describes in considerable detail the deception programs that the Iraqis had; and Mr. Kay documents the fact that they were doing everything they could to hide things from the UN inspectors who were sent in last year; and he makes the point that this is the beginning of a process, this is an interim report.

    With respect to chemical weapons, there are hundreds of facilities that have to be looked at, 600,000 tons of munitions that they have to go through to see if there are any chemical munitions among them. He talks about the hard drives that have been destroyed. He talks about the possibility of laboratories where human beings were exposed to biological agents for testing purposes -- something we also talked about earlier this year.

    And so I think one has to look at the whole report. Have we found a factory or a plant or a warehouse full of chemical rounds? No, not yet. But as he said, there is much more work to be done.

    So I hope that as people examine the interim report, they will come to the conclusion that this was a regime that was determined -- whatever they had on hand at the moment -- they were determined to have the capability to develop chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, if allowed to do so, and it is clear that they never lost that intent. The programs were kept intact and they were just waiting to see if they could break out of sanctions, if they could break away from the constraints of the United Nations and start all these programs up again to build on top of that which they already had.

    Mr. Kay also showed evidence of biological weapons elements such as botulinum, such as other horrible elements that the Iraqis were keeping hidden from the United Nations.

    So I think it is clear that this was a regime that had not given up, had not abandoned, had not declared honestly to the United Nations what they were doing. And he is slowly uncovering it. It's one thing to talk about intelligence reports, another thing to talk about false declarations; now, we have people on the ground who are pulling it up, witness by witness, program by program, document by document. And as Mr. Kay said, Dr. Kay said, there's a lot more work to be done, and we look forward to his future reports and I congratulate him for the work that he's done so far."

[QUESTION:This Administration went to war with Iraq, saying that the regime had weapons of mass destruction and it was an imminent threat to U.S. national security. Are you still confident that actual weapons of mass destruction will be found in Iraq?]

  • "Do you think vials of botulinum should constitute a weapon of mass destruction? Do you think missiles that are being developed outside of the requirements and restrictions of the United Nations that could carry such sorts of weapons out to a thousand kilometers, as we said we were aware, or that unmanned aerial vehicles are dangerous items that clearly suggested that this was a regime that was trying to develop more of these weapons, had these weapons, had used these weapons?

    It isn't a figment of anyone's imagination that just 15 years ago they gassed and killed 5,000 people with sarin and VX at a place called Halabja I visited just a few weeks ago. They never lost that capability. They never lost that intent. And Dr. Kay, I think, has documented clearly the first line after his rhetorical question -- what have we discovered -- we have discovered, he says, dozens and dozens of weapons of mass destruction programs that had been hidden from the UN deliberately. And there are pictures in the unclassified version on the CIA website that shows the kinds of things that they were trying to keep hidden and away from inspectors.

    And so there is no doubt about it. The difference here between Iraq and, say, other countries that we have concerns about is that Iraq was in direct violation of resolution after resolution after resolution, which called upon them to come into compliance. And Iraq is a country that has actually used these weapons. It was a danger. It was a danger to the world. How clear and present it was people can judge. We thought it was a danger to the world and had to be dealt with. That's what the United States did in concert with a willing coalition of nations and the Iraqi people are better off as a result, the region is better off, the world is better off, and we are even more convinced with the Kay report that we did the right thing."
    Oct. 3, 2003 Colin Powell


Oct. 7, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's Op/Ed "What Kay Found," published in The Washington Post:

  • "The interim findings of David Kay and the Iraq Survey Group make two things abundantly clear: Saddam Hussein's Iraq was in material breach of its United Nations obligations before the Security Council passed Resolution 1441 last November, and Iraq went further into breach after the resolution was passed.

    Kay's interim findings offer detailed evidence of Hussein's efforts to defy the international community to the last. The report describes a host of activities related to weapons of mass destruction that "should have been declared to the U.N." It reaffirms that Iraq's forbidden programs spanned more than two decades, involving thousands of people and billions of dollars."

  • "Although Kay and his team have not yet discovered stocks of the weapons themselves, they will press on in the months ahead with their important and painstaking work. All indications are that they will uncover still more evidence of Hussein's dangerous designs."

  • "Kay and his team found strains of organisms concealed in a scientist's home, and they report that one of the strains could be used to produce biological agents. Kay and his team also discovered documents and equipment in scientists' homes that would have been useful for resuming uranium enrichment efforts."

  • "Kay and his team have 'discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002. The discovery ... has come about both through the admissions of Iraqi scientists and officials concerning information they deliberately withheld and through physical evidence of equipment and activities that the Iraq Survey Group has discovered that should have been declared to the U.N.'"

  • "The Kay Report also addresses the issue of suspected mobile biological agent laboratories: "Investigation into the origin of and intended use for the two trailers found in northern Iraq in April has yielded a number of explanations, including hydrogen, missile propellant and BW [biological warfare] production, but technical limitations would prevent any of these processes from being ideally suited to these trailers. That said, nothing . . . rules out their potential use in BW production." Here Kay's findings are inconclusive."

  • "Kay and his team have, however, found this: 'A clandestine network of laboratories and safe houses within the Iraqi Intelligence Service that contained equipment subject to U.N. monitoring and suitable for continuing CBW [chemical-biological weapons] research." They also discovered: "a prison laboratory complex, possibly used in human testing of BW agents, that Iraqi officials working to prepare for U.N. inspections were explicitly ordered not to declare to the U.N.'

    The Kay Report confirms that our intelligence was correct to suspect the al-Kindi Co. of being involved in prohibited activity. Missile designers at al-Kindi told Kay and his team that Iraq had resumed work on converting SA-2 surface-to-air missiles into ballistic missiles with a range of about 250 kilometers, and that this work continued even while UNMOVIC inspectors were in Iraq. The U.N.-mandated limit for Iraq was a range of 150 kilometers.

    The Kay Report also confirmed our prewar intelligence that indicated Iraq was developing missiles with ranges up to 1,000 kilometers. Similarly, Kay substantiated our reports that Iraq had tested an unmanned aerial vehicle to 500 kilometers, also in violation of U.N. resolutions.

    What's more, he and his team found that elaborate efforts to shield illicit programs from inspection persisted even after the collapse of Hussein's regime. Key evidence was deliberately eliminated or dispersed during the postwar period. In a wide range of offices, laboratories and companies suspected of developing weapons of mass destruction, computer hard drives were destroyed, files were burned and equipment was carefully cleansed of all traces of use -- and done so in a pattern that was clearly deliberate and selective, rather than random."

  • "One year ago, when President Bush brought his concerns about Iraq to the United Nations, he made it plain that his principal concern in a post-Sept. 11 world was not just that a rogue regime such as Saddam Hussein's had WMD programs, but that such horrific weapons could find their way out of Iraq into the arms of terrorists who would have even fewer compunctions about using them against innocent people across the globe."

  • "Three weeks ago I paid my respects at a mass grave in the northern city of Halabja, where on a Friday morning in March 1988, Hussein's forces murdered 5,000 men, women and children with chemical weapons."

  • "President Bush was right: This was an evil regime, lethal to its own people, in deepening material breach of its Security Council obligations, and a threat to international peace and security. Hussein would have stopped at nothing until something stopped him. It's a good thing that we did."
    Oct. 7, 2003
    Colin Powell


Oct. 15, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview with Matt Frei of BBC Television:

[QUESTION:Let me ask you about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction. Earlier this year, in February, you gave a presentation at the United Nations in which you talked about the imminent threat posed by Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. Eight months later, we still haven't found anything of substance. And now, one of your former senior intelligence officials in your own department is claiming that you basically misled this nation and the world in that presentation.]

  • "That's nonsense. I don't think I used the word "imminent" in my presentation on the 5th of February. I presented, on the 5th of February, not something I pulled out of the air. I presented the considered judgment of the intelligence community -- the coordinated judgment of the intelligence community of the United States of America. And the information I presented -- some of which has already been validated by David Kay.

    And the investigation continues. We have found clear indications that Saddam Hussein maintained the infrastructure for chemicals -- weapons of mass destruction. We found some evidence of them. We haven't found stockpiles yet. The work continues. The investigation continues. There is an individual, I guess, who is going on a television show to say I misled the American people. I don't mislead the American people and I never would. I presented the best information that our intelligence community had to offer."
    Oct. 15, 2003 Colin Powell


Oct. 16, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview with Juan Williams of National Public Radio:

[QUESTION:]

  • "But we will all know in the course of events and the passage of time, as Mr. Kay, the chief inspector out there now, finishes his work. In his preliminary reports, he has made it clear that all of these programs were being actively sought by Hussein. He never gave up his intention to reconstitute full panoply of weapons of mass destruction, and we are still looking to see whether he had stocks on hand.

    But we found enough to make it clear that what he had done in the past, gas people and try to get biological and nuclear weapons remained his goal, and he had the infrastructure in place to do it, and we will pull it all out before we are finished. We've got miles of documents to exploit, hundreds of people to interview, and hundreds of sites yet to be looked at."
    Oct. 16, 2003
    Colin Powell


Oct. 19, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview with CBS' Face the Nation:

[QUESTION:... this week Senator Kennedy, who is obviously a critic of this war, says the American people were told lie after lie after lie in the buildup before the war and in those days after. What kind of response would you make to Senator Kennedy?]

  • "I have to -- I have to disagree strongly with Senator Kennedy. The American people were not told lie after lie after lie. The American people were told that we have a dangerous situation in Iraq, that Saddam Hussein was ignoring 12 years of UN resolutions, that he had and was developing weapons of mass destruction, and I think Dr. Kay's report certainly suggests that there are programs for the development of weapons of mass destruction. We're still looking to see what stocks may be there, but let there be no doubt about what Saddam Hussein's intentions always were. He had weapons of mass destruction, he has used weapons of mass destruction, and the President determined that it was not a risk the world should have to face any longer."
    Oct. 19, 2003 Colin Powell


Oct. 26, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview with NBC's Meet the Press:

[QUESTION:As you know, a big debate about weapons of mass destruction. They have not been found. You had talked, leading up to the war, about aluminum tubes that Saddam may have been using to reconstitute a nuclear program. No evidence of that. People now refer back to February of 2001, when you made a comment about Saddam and his capability, and I’m going to show it to you and give you a chance to talk about it:

'Frankly, the sanctions have worked. Saddam has not deployed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors.'
It appears you were right back then in February of 2001, and yet the American public and the world was told something much different leading up to the war, that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction that were a risk to our country and the world. You felt otherwise in February of 2001.
]

  • "In February 2001, take the last sentence first. He did not have significant military conventional capability to threaten his neighbors because we dealt with that in the first Gulf War. What I said in the first part of that phrase did not say he had none. I did not think he had a significant capability, but he did have a capability. And everybody agreed with that assessment: foreign intelligence sources agreed with it; the previous Administration, President Clinton and his Administration agreed with it; the United Nations agreed with that assessment year after year, resolution after resolution. And the information we presented earlier this year, and the presentation that I made before the United Nations on the 5th of February of this year, was the best judgments that were made by the intelligence community -- all members of the intelligence community of the United States coming together. And it was a judgment that was shared by a number of other countries around the world.

    On the aluminum tubes, our agencies still have an open mind as to what they are. And when I made my presentation, our judgment was that they were usable for centrifuge purposes, but I also noted that there was a difference of opinion on that issue. And I think as Dr. Kay finishes his work, and as the Senate and the House complete their intelligence work, and George Tenet finishes his own internal assessment of how they did it and what the assessment looked like, we’ll get to the truth of it."
    Oct. 26, 2003
    Colin Powell


Oct. 26, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview with CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer:

[QUESTION:Looking back now, and obviously all of us are much smarter with hindsight, are you still convinced that Iraq, on the eve of the war, posed a significant danger to the United States and its friends in that part of the world, and that there were, in fact, significant quantities of chemical and biological weapons ready to be used against U.S. forces?]

  • "I never made a statement that said they were ready to be used. What we’ve said, and what I said on the 5th of February, was that they had an intention of developing these weapons, they had an intention of keeping these weapons, and that the evidence suggested they had biological and chemical weapons and they were interested in producing nuclear weapons."
    Oct. 26, 2003 Colin Powell


Oct. 30, 2003

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview with CNN en Espanol with Patricia Janiot:

  • "But keep this in mind: The intelligence that I presented, in what I thought was an objective way, was the same intelligence that caused the previous administration, under President Clinton, to attack Iraq back in 1998; it's the same intelligence that has been available to other nations in the Security Council and caused them to believe that Iraq had this kind of capability and these weapons and presented a threat to the world. And that's why the United Nations passed resolution after resolution after resolution.

    And so there's no question that he had the intention. Saddam Hussein had the intention to have these weapons. We believe he did have these weapons. He certainly had the capability to produce them. And there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that if we had not acted in the way we acted, and taken him and his regime out of power, as soon as he had managed to get rid of inspectors and sanctions, the programs would have flourished once again.

    We don't have to worry about that any more. We can debate how accurate the intelligence is, but the one thing we don't have to worry about is that these programs or these weapons are going to be there to threaten the region or to threaten the world."
    Oct. 30, 2003
    Colin Powell


Jan. 7, 2004

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's interview with ABC's Nightline:

  • "For years, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that Saddam Hussein and the members of his regime had every intention of developing weapons of mass destruction. That's incontrovertible. Nobody would disagree with that. Even the article [The Washington Post, Barton Gellman, 'Iraq's Arsenal Was only on Paper' 01/07/04] this morning suggests that.

    It is also incontrovertible that they have used weapons of mass destruction. They gassed their Iranian enemies. They gassed their own people."

  • "So everything we have seen over those years since they actually used these weapons in 1988 led us to the conclusion, led the intelligence community to the conclusion, that they still had intent, they still had capability and they were not going to give up that capability. What they actually had in the way of inventory was something we had to try to analyze, and we put the best people on it. And the intelligence community presented all the information they had in national intelligence estimates and information they provided to the Congress. It was also consistent with information that UN inspectors had come up with over the years and foreign intelligence agencies had come up with over the years."

  • "And, you know, my background is not diplomacy, it's infantry; and you take an intent and the capability and it produces something that could kill you. The Iraqis had the intent. They had the capability. We could not get inside all of Iraq to determine what weapons might actually be there, but there was a sufficient body of intelligence information that suggested to us that there were weapons programs -- chemical, biological, nuclear; I don't think we overstated that. If you look again at what I said to the Security Council, I think it was a balanced presentation, recognizing some of the unknowns."
    Jan. 7, 2004 Colin Powell


Jan. 8, 2004

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's remarks to a press conference:

[QUESTION:Mr. Secretary, can I try you on something a little less rosy than some of the things you cited? Iraq U.S. inspectors are pulling out. Carnegie, in a report today, says the threat was vastly exaggerated, Iraq posed no immediate danger to the U.S. They have some recommendations that the CIA Director's job be made a career job instead of a political appointee. A lot of probables, a lot of maybes were left out by senior officials in describing what intelligence had uncovered.

Looking ahead, but also looking back, would you -- would you have rephrased your speech to the UN, in light of all of this, if you had another chance?]

  • "No. I knew exactly the circumstances under which I was presenting that speech to the UN on the 5th of February: the whole world would be watching, and there would be those who would applaud every word, and there would be those who were going to be skeptical of every word.

    That's why I took the time (clears throat) -- excuse me -- I took the time to go out to the agency and sit down with the experts. And anything that we did not feel was solid and multi-sourced, we did not use in that speech.

    What the Carnegie report, which I have not read, but I'm familiar with it from press accounts this morning, it said that there was that capability within Iraq and they were doing these kinds of things. And they believe that we, perhaps, overstated it, but they did not say it wasn't there.

    The fact of the matter is, Iraq did have weapons of mass destruction, and programs for weapons of mass destruction, and used weapons of mass destruction against Iran and against their own people. That's a fact.

    Now, that's back in 1988 when they used it against their own people. But throughout the '90s, when they had every opportunity to come clean, make the declarations, and get right with the international community, they had the chance to respond to every one of those UN resolutions during the '90s, when they were threatened by President Clinton in 1998 with a bombing and they still didn't come clean, and then they caused the inspectors to have to be forced out of the country, there is, I think, a solid case that has been made to many governments by their intelligence agencies, and that has been the consistent view of UN inspectors and of the United States intelligence community, that this was a danger we had to worry about.

    Now, in terms of intention, he always had it. And anybody who thinks that Saddam Hussein, last year, was just, you know, waiting to give all of this up, even though he was given the opportunity to do so, he didn't do it. What he was waiting to do was see if he could break the will of the international community, get rid of any potential for future inspections, and get back to his intentions, which were to have weapons of mass destruction. And he kept the infrastructure. He kept the programs intact.

    Where the debate is, is why haven't we found huge stockpiles, and why haven't we found large caches of these weapons. Let's let the Iraqi Survey Group complete its work. There has been the movement out of some of the individuals from the group. I presume that their particular job is finished.

    But I am confident of what I presented last year. The intelligence community is confident of the material they gave me; I was representing them. It was information they presented to the Congress. It was information they had presented publicly, and they stand behind it. And this game is still unfolding."

[QUESTION:On the subject of weapons of mass destruction, Mr. Secretary, one of the other conclusions of that report was that there was no evidence of a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida and that there was no evidence of a likelihood that he would transfer weapons to al-Qaida.
What do you think about that, looking back? And I know that, you know, hindsight is 20/20, but to think back ... Do you think that there were ways other than war to have handled this threat and that the -- that it was not an imminent threat to the United States?
]

  • "My presentation on the 5th of February when I talked to this issue made it clear that we had seen some links and connections to terrorist organizations over time, and I focused on one particular case, Zawahiri, and I think that was a pretty solid case.

    There is not -- you know, I have not seen smoking-gun, concrete evidence about the connection, but I think the possibility of such connections did exist and it was prudent to consider them at the time that we did.

    Were there other ways to solve this problem? I think the President gave the international community every opportunity to solve this problem another way. The international community gave the Iraqis 12 years to solve this problem any other way.

    The President took the case to the international community and said: For 12 years, you have been defied. What are you going to do now? It's time for us to act.

    And the President, after a reasonable period of time -- inspectors were still being thwarted, we got an incorrect, ridiculous declaration from the Iraqi Government in response to Resolution 1441 -- and after waiting a sufficient period of time, the President decided he had to act because he believed that whatever the size of the stockpile, whatever one might think about it, he believed that the region was in danger, America was in danger, and he would act and he did act.

    And he acted with a large number of countries who felt likewise, and he acted under the authority that we were absolutely sure we had because we negotiated it that way in UN Resolution 1441."
    Jan. 8, 2004
    Colin Powell


Jan. 19, 2004

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's remarks in an interview on ABC Australia With Maxine McKew :

[QUESTION (Maxine McKew):Nonetheless, you acknowledge there is no evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida?]

  • "There are clues and there are indications that there were contacts between the two, but we're not overstating the case that there is solid evidence that would connect, for example, Saddam Hussein with what happened on 9/11. But we're still uncovering information, and I think we have presented this in a balanced, careful way. I tried to be very careful and objective in my presentation last February 5th."

[QUESTION:Nonetheless, don't you think the case for war looks a lot weaker now that we know that Saddam posed no immediate threat to his neighbors or to anyone else? No weapons have been found.]

  • "Well, I think he was a threat. Just his very presence was a threat. He had the intention and he had the capability, and if he was ever released from UN sanctions or the pressure that was being applied against him, I don't think any thinking person can believe he was suddenly going to decide, 'I don't have to have this capability anymore.'

    Now, we have not found yet large stocks of weapons, so we don't yet know and can't establish what he had in the way of inventory. But what he had in the way of programs to generate inventory and what he had in the way of intentions is absolutely clear, and so we stand by that.

    And a lot of the material I presented in February last was what happened to stocks of botulinum and anthrax. He wouldn't account for what happened. And so his failure to account condemned him, right then and there, to be in further material breach of his obligations.

    And should the world just say, 'Well, he won't account, let's forget about it'? He could have accounted. He could have avoided it. He didn't avoid it. He decided that he would just stiff the United Nations because he believed the United Nations would not act.

    Well, the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and so many other nations did act, and that's why we are where we are now, with a dictator gone, no more mass graves being filled, and a democratic process being laid out for the Iraqi people.

    At the beginning of this conversation, we discussed and debated how to go about putting democracy in place in Iraq. That's a better thing to talk about, and I'm more encouraged talking about that, than I am about weapons of mass destruction that we don't have to worry about anymore or a dictator we don't have to worry about anymore."
    Jan. 16, 2004 Colin Powell


Jan. 22, 2004

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's remarks in an interview on First Channel Russia with Pyotr Marchenko :

  • "Military action was justified by Iraq's violation of 12 years of UN resolutions. Iraq had the intent to have weapons of mass destruction and they had previously used weapons of mass destruction. They had programs to develop such weapons. And what we were trying to find out was what inventory they actually had, and we are still examining that question.

    Many intelligence agencies had the same conclusion we did, that Saddam Hussein had such weapons, had such programs, and could not be trusted. The UN felt this way. President Clinton's Administration felt this way.

    Saddam Hussein was given a chance when we passed UN Resolution 1441 unanimously -- all of us, to include the Russian Federation -- and said come clean, let us know what you have been doing, it is time for you to answer the international community."
    Jan. 22, 2004
    Colin Powell


Jan. 24, 2004

Excerpt taken from Colin Powell's remarks to a press briefing en route to Tbilisi, Georgia :

  • "The Administration’s plan is to stay with the 15 November Agreement, with a plan to transfer sovereignty at the end of June. There are a lot of things that have to happen. We’ve got to get a fundamental administrative law written and a lot of work is being done on that. They’re getting closer and closer. A security agreement has been drafted and we’re working on that. It’s being looked at within the interagency process. And so, notwithstanding various reports, the Administration and the President is committed to the 15 November plan and lay out."

[QUESTION:David Kay, after his departure was announced, said he told Reuters that he concluded that there were no Iraqi stockpiles…told Reuters that there were no Iraqi weapons stockpiles to be found. You said a year ago that you thought there was between one hundred and five hundred tons of chemical weapons. Who’s right?]

  • "I think the answer to the question is I don’t know yet. Last year when I made my presentation, it was based on the best intelligence that we had at the time. It reflected the National Intelligence Estimate that the intelligence community had presented to all Administration officials and had briefed to the Congress. And it was consistent with the views of other intelligence agencies of other governments and it was consistent with the body of reporting over the years, to include reporting that had come out of UNSCOM, that there were large unanswered questions about what they had or did not have.

    I went into that briefing with a good solid comprehensive presentation on what our intelligence community believed was credible. In the presentation and all the other things they said about the Iraqi stockpiles, we were not only saying that we thought they had them, but we had questions that needed to be answered. What was it: one hundred tons, five hundred tons or zero tons? Was it: so many liters of anthrax, ten times that amount or nothing? And what we demanded of Iraq was that they account for all of this and they prove the negative of our hypothesis. And all they did was make statements without proving it, proving it to our satisfaction.

    And what unfolded, in our judgment, was that we found a regime, that given the opportunity to present an honest fair comprehensive declaration, not only given that opportunity but required to provide…to take that opportunity to provide such a declaration, did not. And this is a regime that had never lost its intention to have such programs and such weapons. This is a regime that previously was know to have and use such weapons against its on people and against its neighbors, and had refused for twelve years to answer these very direct questions from the United Nations, as reflected in the many resolutions. And in 1998, when challenged again by President Clinton and his team, refused once more. President Clinton, acting on that same basis of intelligence, undertook Operation Desert Fox and bombed for four days. Inspectors left and we had a gap of five years.

    The intelligence community studied it very hard and when I made the presentation on behalf of the United States it reflected their best judgment. Now, I think their best judgment was correct with respect to intention, with respect to capability to develop such weapons, with respect to programs. I think where the question is still open, and we’ll just have to let ISG continue its work and let Charlie Duelfer get out there -- He has also expressed opinions similar to Mr. Kay. Let him get out there and see what he sees, go through the documents, finish the interviews, look at any other sites they have to. What is the open question is: how many stocks they had, if any? And if they had any, where did they go? And if they didn’t have any, then why wasn’t that known beforehand? But, I think the intelligence community put all the effort they could into it to try to find answers to those questions, and they were not helped by the way the Iraqi’s conducted themselves. The Iraqis were hoping the international community would falter, that we would not make them comply. And it was their great hope that they just stretch it all out until one more year had passed and then another UN meeting came along and nothing happened. And they ultimately got out of the sanctions and could go do whatever they wished to do. And that was a risk that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair and Prime Minister Aznar and Prime Minister Howard and many other leaders chose not to take."
    Jan. 22, 2004 Colin Powell

 

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