Length: 3 minutes, 55 seconds

« Previous Clip Next Clip »

View Congressional Record
Watch Full Session

Loading text...

Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.

Mr. Speaker, I wanted to see if I could add something to this debate that had not been covered tonight, because I think on both sides of the aisle we have had very articulate arguments. So I have brought with me a book called The Threatening Storm by Mr. Kenneth Pollack. Mr. Pollack was the expert on Iraq in the Clinton administration in both the CIA and at the Security Council, and I would like to read a quick passage about the kind of regime that Saddam Hussein imposes on his own people.

``This is a regime that will gouge out the eyes of children to force confessions from their parents and grandparents. This a regime that will crush all of the bones in the feet of a 2-year-old girl to force her mother to divulge her father's whereabouts. This is a regime that will hold a nursing baby at arm's length from its mother and allow the child to starve to death to force the mother to confess. This is a regime that will burn a person's limbs off to force him to confess or comply. This is a regime that will slowly lower its victims into huge vats of acid, either to break their will or simply as a means of execution. This is a regime that applies electric shocks to the bodies of its victims, particularly their genitals, with great creativity. This is a regime that in 2000 decreed that the crime of criticizing the regime, which can be as harmless as suggesting that Saddam's clothing does not match, will be punished by cutting out the offender's tongue. This is a regime that practices systematic rape against its female victims. This is a regime that will drag in a man's wife, daughter or other female relative and repeatedly rape her in front of him. This is a regime that will force a white-hot metal rod into a person's anus or other orifices. This is a regime that employs thalium poisoning, widely considered one of the most excruciating ways to die. This is a regime that will behead a young mother in the street in front of her house and children because her husband was suspected of opposing the regime. This is a regime that used chemical warfare on its own Kurdish citizens, not just on the 15,000 killed and maimed at Halabja but on scores of other villages all across Kurdistan. This is a regime that tested chemical and biological warfare agents on Iranian prisoners of war, using the POWs in controlled experiments to determine the best ways to disperse the agents to inflict the greatest damages.

``This is the fate that awaits thousands of Iraqis each year. The roughest estimates are that over the last 20 years more than 200,000 people have disappeared into Saddam's prison system, never to be heard from again. Hundreds of thousands of others were taken away and, after unforgettable bouts of torture that left them psychologically and often physically mangled, eventually were released or escaped. To give a sense of scale, just the numbers of Iraqis never heard from again would be equivalent to about 2.5 million Americans suffering such a fate.'' Mr. Speaker, not since Hitler and not since Stalin have we seen so much evil delivered by one man. On top of that, these are the least of the reasons why this authorization is needed. This tyrant has amassed a large cache of chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction and is aggressively seeking nuclear weapons. He sees America as the only obstacle to his perverse ambitions, and that is what he shares with al Qaeda, these terrorists against us, this deep hatred for America. We must not let him share anything else with these terrorists, Mr. Speaker.

With that, Mr. Speaker, it is a painful vote, it is a painful subject, it is a painful issue, but this is a cause that we cannot go unanswered. I urge a yes vote, and I urge passage of this resolution.