A quorum being present, the Subcommittee on Na-
tional Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations
hearing entitled, ‘‘U.N. Sanctions After Oil-for-Food: Still a Viable
Diplomat Tool?’’ is called to order.
There is no guarantee United Nations management reforms will
ensure future sanctions will succeed, but the lack of management
reforms will certainly guarantee they fail.
U.N. Security Council Resolution 661 imposed comprehensive
sanctions on Iraq after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Over the next
4 years, proposals to ease, rather than enforce, the sanctions domi-
nated deliberations of the 661 committee composed of all perma-
nent and rotating Security Council members.
From its inception in 1996, the United Nations Oil-for-Food Pro-
gram was susceptible to political manipulation and financial cor-
ruption. The program lacked United Nations oversight and ac-
countability, and trusted Saddam Hussein with sovereign control
over billions of dollars of oil sales and commodity purchases. This
situation, of course, invited illicit premiums, kickbacks and other
forms of corruption.
How is a well-intentioned program designed and administered by
the world’s preeminent multinational organization so systemati-
cally and thoroughly pillaged? The answers emerging from inves-
tigations by the Volcker Commission, the Government Accountabil-
ity Office and from this committee and other congressional commit-
tees point to a debilitating combination of political paralysis and a
lack of oversight that metastasize behind a veil of official secrecy.
Two years ago, this subcommittee first heard how Saddam Hus-
sein’s regime manipulated the Oil-for-Food Program. Our second
hearing addressed problems the Oil-for-Food contract inspectors
faced in dealing with both the Hussein regime and the United Na-
tions. The third dealt with internal deliberations at the U.N. and
willful ignorance of the Security Council members toward the cor-
ruption taking place.
At today’s hearing we will consider implications of this scandal
for future U.N. sanctions.
In the wake of the Oil-for-Food program scandal we ask, how can
the U.N. be expected to properly administer future sanctions
against states such as Sudan or Iran which commit vicious crimes
against their own people and threaten international peace and sta-
Sanctions are essential measures used to maintain or restore
international peace and security. Sanctions are an alternative to
armed conflict. The penalty or price applied to a state must out-
weigh the advantages of wrongful behavior and lead the target
state to rescind its behavior.
No sanction program is effective unless its objectives are widely
shared and supported among key U.N. member-states. And we
have learned from the Oil-for-Food scandal oversight of any sanc-
tion program is absolutely essential.
The GAO noted the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services,
the Inspector General of the United Nations, must be an independ-
ent operation and autonomous. Aggressive independent oversight
ferrets out waste, abuse and fraud in huge bureaucracies and un-
covers illicit activities.
Secretary General Kofi Annan, in March of this year, issued a re-
port setting out sweeping administrative reforms. If these reforms
fail in the face of opposition, the U.N. is vulnerable to continued
scandal. If implemented, these and other reforms will lend credibil-
ity to the United Nations and its ability to enforce its sanctions re-
We are joined today by our Permanent Representative to the
United Nations, Ambassador John Bolton, who will share his views
on prospects for U.N. management reform. We are eager to hear
his views about how sanctions worked in Iraq and how they will
work in the future, particularly in confronting the genocide in
Sudan and deterring Iran’s nuclear program.
On our second panel, the Government Accountability Office, the
former U.N. diplomat and an advisor to the U.N. will provide their
perspectives and recommendations. We look forward all their testi-
I will just again say, Mr. Bolton, it is an honor to have you here,
and I’m going to call on the other Members for their statements.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for holding
I want to acknowledge the presence of our ranking Democrat for
the full committee, Henry Waxman, and thank him for the coopera-
tion and honor that he has given me of my being the ranking mem-
ber of this subcommittee.
Welcome, Mr. Bolton.
As you know, a few days ago, the Congress of the United States
passed H.R. 282, the Iran Freedom Support Act, which essentially
articulated structured sanctions to be imposed on Iran. I am going
to ask that this be submitted to the record as part of the presen-
tation that I am making.
Without objection, so ordered.
We’re at a critical moment for U.S. policy at the
United Nations, particularly regarding Iran. Just last Friday
marked the Security Council’s deadline for Iran to freeze all nu-
clear fuel enrichment and the beginning of an inevitable struggle
at the Security Council over what to do to contain Iran’s nuclear
We’ve seen this kind of struggle at the Security Council before.
The United States spent much time in 2002 pressuring the Secu-
rity Council to take action against Iraq to contain its supposed
weapons of mass destruction. Finally, on November 8, 2002, the
Council approved Resolution 1441, which imposed tough new arms
inspections in Iraq and promised serious consequences to be deter-
mined by the Security Council if Iraq violated the resolution.
Even though Iraq did submit a weapons declaration and began
destroying its Al Samoud missiles as instructed by U.N. Inspector
Hans Blix, serious consequences were imposed on the country any-
It was the United States, however, and not the Security Council,
that determined those consequences for Iraq when President Bush
went to war against Iraq on March 20, 2003.
Experience in Iraq has proven that this administration will act
unilaterally outside the mandate of the Security Council, thereby
rendering the work of the Council almost irrelevant. At the same
time, however, experience has indicated that this administration
will use the U.N. to make its case for war to the world community.
In the coming weeks and months I think it is fairly predictable
that we will see the United States’ case for war against Iran unfold
at the U.N. I think it is highly probable that the administration
has already made the decision to go to war against Iran. There are
already U.S. troops inside Iran.
I want to repeat that: There are already U.S. troops inside Iran.
On April 14th, retired Colonel Sam Gardner related on CNN that
the Iranian ambassador to the IAEA reported to him that the Ira-
nians have captured dissident forces who have confessed to work-
ing with U.S. troops in Iran. Earlier in the week Seymour Hersh
reported in the New Yorker that a U.S. source had told him that
the U.S. Marines were working in the Baluchis, Azeris and Kurd-
ish regions of Iran. On April 10th, the Guardian reported that Vin-
cent Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism chief, said that
covert military action in the form of Special Forces troops identify-
ing targets and aiding dissident groups is already under way and
that it had been authorized.
And Mr. Chairman, I have these articles that I’ve cited for the
record, if I may insert them without objection.
We will insert them in the record without objection.
We also note from the reports that the United
States is supporting military activity in Iran by Iranian
antigovernment insurgent groups, some of which are operating
from U.S.-occupied Iraq, such as terrorist group Mujahedin-e
Khalq, MEK. An article published by Newsweek magazine on Feb-
ruary 14, 2005, confirms cooperation between U.S. Government of-
ficials and the MEK. The article describes how, ‘‘The administra-
tion is seeking to call useful MEK members as operatives for use
Furthermore, an article by Jim Lobe published on antiwar.com
on February 11, 2005, claims that according to Philip Giraldi, a
former CIA official and source about this subject in the American
Conservative Magazine, U.S. Special Forces have been directing
members of the MEK in carrying out reconnaissance and intel-
ligence collection in Iran since the summer of 2004.
Even a statement attributed to Ambassador Bolton, which I
would like elaboration on today, seems to confirm the U.S. policy
for Iran is war.
According to an article published April 10, 2006, in the Guard-
ian, Ambassador Bolton told British parliamentarians that he be-
lieves military action could halt or at least set back the Iranian nu-
clear program by striking at its weakest point.
U.S. policy for Iran advocates regime change, not behavior
change. We should expect that even if Iran decides to negotiate
with the United States Or other Security Council members over its
nuclear program, U.S. policy promoting war in Iran will remain
steadfast. When Iraq destroyed its missiles and submitted its
weapons declaration, abiding by Security Council Resolution 1441,
the administration decided to unilaterally attack Iraq anyway. This
administration is reckless in this regard.
It is imperative that Congress exercise its oversight on the ad-
ministration’s plans for war with Iran before our country is im-
mersed in another quagmire, with more U.S. casualties, diminished
national security and a greater financial burden. I think, therefore,
this committee, this oversight committee, is privileged to have Am-
bassador Bolton with us here today. I have several questions for
him today regarding the administration’s plans for Iran, and I look
forward to his candid answers.
I want to thank the Ambassador for being with us, thank Chair-
man Shays for holding this hearing. If we’re going to determine the
effectiveness of sanctions, we also need to look at those sanctions
in tandem with the U.S. policy with respect to the use of our mili-
tary. Thank you very much.
I’d like to thank the gentleman.
I think, Ambassador, you know that you’re here for the Oil-for-
Food Program and the United Nations, but it might go in other di-
rections; and obviously you should feel free to respond to any ques-
tions that you feel that you have knowledge about or expertise.
Mr. Waxman has told me he’d like to add 3 minutes to his 5-
minute questioning by forgoing his statement. I’ll just acknowledge
that the ranking member of the full committee is here, and then
at this time would——
I just welcome Ambassador Bolton.
Good to see you.
And at this point, the Chair would recognize Mr.
Lynch from Massachusetts.
Welcome, Mr. Lynch.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank you. I
know this is the fourth hearing we’ve had on this issue.
I also want to thank Ranking Member Waxman, and Mr.
Kucinich as well, for staying on this issue.
Mr. Ambassador, thank you for your willingness to help this sub-
committee with its work. And at the outset, I’d like to say that
there have been grave disclosures in terms of our failings at the
U.N. with regard to the Oil-for-Food program. And it depends on
whose figures you follow.
GAO has estimated that $10 billion in illicit revenues, kickbacks
and so forth went to the Iraqi Government under Saddam Hussein.
As well, the Congressional Research Service determines that about
$12.8 billion went to the same regime. And there are great mis-
givings about our ability to use sanctions as a proper tool for
statecraft in the future.
We don’t have a whole lot of options here; we don’t have a whole
lot of tools to use in terms of an alternative to military interven-
tion. So this causes us great concern that the United Nations, in
administering this program, in doing oversight of this program, al-
lowed this to happen, and that perhaps it was from the very outset,
by giving Saddam Hussein so much power, we empowered his re-
gime to choose those countries whom he would deal with; we al-
lowed him to negotiate the price of these contracts; we put him in
a position where he was able to steal and skim from these con-
What we’re looking for here is an answer to the question of
whether or not, in the future, sanctions such as these in the Oil-
for-Food program are at all salvageable or at all usable, and wheth-
er enough reforms have been adopted by the U.N. In light of what
has happened here with the Iraqi Oil-for-Food program; whether
those reforms will be effective to prevent the collapse that we have
seen and the tremendous cost not only on the Iraqi people, but on
U.S. taxpayers, and the U.N.’s credibility most of all.
I yield back. Thank you.
Thank you. I thank the gentleman.
At this time, the Chair would recognize Mr. Van Hollen.
Welcome, Mr. Van Hollen.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank
you for holding this hearing, and also thank Mr. Kucinich and Mr.
Waxman for their leadership.
Welcome, Ambassador Bolton. It’s good to have you here, and I
look forward to your testimony. I’m interested in some of the issues
that have already been raised by my colleagues here, especially the
extent to which you think sanctions can be effective in the case of
Iran and Sudan.
I think experience tells us that sometimes sanctions have been
successful as a tool of foreign policy and sometimes they haven’t.
It’s been on a case-by-case basis, depending on the circumstances,
including both whether or not we’re able to get the key trading
partners of a particular country to cooperate together, and the ex-
tent—of course, the extent to which the country which we seek to
impose sanctions on, the extent to which that country is vulnerable
to sanctions and their economy.
And I guess one of the questions that I hope you will answer ei-
ther in your testimony or your answers is, if we’re not successful
in the case of Iran in getting the Security Council to take some ac-
tion that would authorize collective action, economic sanctions,
what are the prospects of getting a group of countries together out-
side that framework to impose sanctions; and how effective would
it be in the absence of an official Security Council action?
The same holds true with Sudan. If we’re unable to get sanctions
imposed on Sudan because of the reluctance of the Chinese or the
Russians—those two players are, of course, key in the Iran case as
well—how successful do you think economic sanctions could be if
you put together a so-called ‘‘coalition of the willing for sanctions’’
in the case of Sudan?
So both the case of Sudan and Iran I’m interested in, and hope-
fully we will get collective action at the Security Council level. But
if that fails, how effective do you think economic sanctions could
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I thank the gentleman.
At this time, seeing no other Members, we will invite the Honor-
able John R. Bolton to give testimony.
As you know, Ambassador, we swear in all our witnesses. There
is only one person we never swore in and that was Senator Byrd,
and I chickened out.
Ambassador, ordinarily we would have a 5-minute
rule, but all the Members want you to make your statement to the
extent that you want to make it, and we don’t have a clock on.
STATEMENT OF JOHN R. BOLTON, AMBASSADOR, PERMANENT
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
I would ask that my prepared statement be submitted for the
record, and perhaps I could try and make a few remarks effec-
tively, in summary.
Well, with that in mind, then, let me just take care
of this business right now and ask unanimous consent that all
members of the subcommittee be permitted to place an opening
statement in the record, and the record will remain open for 3 days
for that purpose, and without objection.
And I ask further unanimous consent that all witnesses be per-
mitted to include their written statements in the record; and with-
out objection so ordered.
Say whatever you would like, sir. Thank you.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Let me begin, if I could, by thanking you and the subcommittee
for holding this hearing. I think, Mr. Chairman, that your leader-
ship in pursuing the implications of the Oil-for-Food scandal
through the work of the subcommittee has been critical in helping
to uncover some of the aspects of how the program was adminis-
tered and, indeed, affecting even the investigation that former Fed-
eral Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker undertook. And I think it’s
been a very valuable example of effective congressional oversight,
and I welcome the fact that you’ve held this many hearings.
I hope that you and the subcommittee will continue your work
because the exposure of some of these problems, which in many re-
spects seem technical and complex and hard to understand, I think,
is important for the American people so that Congress’ efforts to
penetrate some of these problems can be quite important.
The issue of the Iraq sanctions is something that has been a mat-
ter of concern to me for a long time; in fact, since I was Assistant
Secretary of State for International Organizations during the Bush
One administration when the Security Council adopted Resolution
661, and then a few days later adopted Resolution 665, authorizing
the use of force to ensure that Iraq complied with the sanctions.
And even after President Bush left office, I continued to watch
the development of the sanctions program and the Oil-for-Food Pro-
gram as well.
So I think that this is an important case study. You don’t often
get in international affairs such a clear example of a program that
started off in one direction and that veered badly in the wrong di-
rection and eventually ended up not only not providing the kind of
consequences that were originally envisioned for it, but actually
ended up perversely supporting Saddam Hussein’s regime and ex-
posing the U.N. to well-justified criticism for mismanagement and
And we start from the proposition that the President’s efforts at
reform at the U.N. are designed to fundamentally change the way
the organization operates, to make it possible for the United States
and other governments to entrust the United Nations with impor-
tant responsibilities in international affairs.
Louise Frechette, the former Deputy Secretary General of the
United Nations, who just recently left office, said last year, ‘‘Per-
sonally, I hope to God we never get another Oil-for-Food program
or anything approaching that kind of responsibility.’’
Let me say, we don’t agree with Deputy Assistant Secretary
Frechette. It may well be necessary for the U.N. to administer a
complex program of sanctions in humanitarian assistance.
We’re looking now at the extension of the U.N. mission in Sudan
to the Darfur region, what will result in substantial enhancement
not only of the size of the peacekeeping operation, but in efforts to
undertake more effectively the humanitarian and relief operations
and, eventually, the reconstruction and development operations
that the Darfur region so desperately needs. We need an effectively
functioning U.N. We need a U.N. that can handle major sanctions
programs. We need a U.N. that can carry out relief and develop-
That’s why the President has laid the emphasis that he has on
reforms. So that this question of sanctions and the question of the
Oil-for-Food program are very much on the table right now; and it’s
important we understand the implications of the Oil-for-Food pro-
gram scandal and what that means for the future.
And I really think that the work that Chairman Paul Volcker did
is important not only for the mismanagement and corruption that
he uncovered in the Oil-for-Food program, but the lessons and the
insights that Chairman Volcker derived from his work. And I’ve
had the occasion to speak with him several times on this subject,
and I think it’s fair to say—and I think Chairman Volcker said
publicly—when he undertook the responsibility for looking into the
Oil-for-Food program, he did not anticipate the extent of the prob-
lems that he found.
And when his commissions were concluded, he has said publicly,
testified in Congress on a couple of occasions, that he came to un-
derstand that the mismanagement and corruption that he found in
the Oil-for-Food program didn’t spring out of thin air. Just as the
Oil-for-Food program emerged from the United Nations Secretariat,
it used U.N. Secretariat employees, it followed Secretariat proce-
dures and practices; the deficiencies of the Oil-for-Food program
really highlighted the problems that were inherent, that already
existed in the U.N. structure itself, so that the solution to Oil-for-
Food lay not only in how that program was run and was not care-
fully supervised by the United Nations, but in the basic culture of
the U.N. itself; and to prevent future Oil-for-Food scandals re-
quired fundamental change in that U.N. culture.
On one occasion, when he testified up here, a Member of Con-
gress asked Chairman Volcker if he thought there was a culture of
corruption at the United Nations, and Mr. Volcker responded, ‘‘No,
I don’t think there is a culture of corruption, although there is cor-
ruption. I think there is a culture of inaction, a culture of inaction.’’
and I think that’s a very powerful descriptive phrase for the dif-
ficulties we see in the U.N. structure.
And not just the United States, Mr. Chairman, but Secretary
General Kofi Annan himself, who recently submitted a report to
the U.N. General Assembly called ‘‘Investing in the United Na-
tions,’’ where he suggested a series of far-reaching management
changes in procurement systems, in personnel systems, in auditing
and accounting systems and information technology. The Secretary
General himself said that what we needed at the U.
N. was a radi-
cal restructuring of the Secretariat, a refit of the entire organiza-
tion to fit the tasks that member-governments were imposing upon
And I think it was very significant that the Secretary General
himself, who has spent much of his career in the U.N. system, was
the one who used the phrase ‘‘radical overhaul’’ or ‘‘radical restruc-
Certainly we have not agreed with each and every one of his rec-
ommendations, but we absolutely agreed with the thrust of what
he was trying to do, and in many cases, on the management side,
we would be prepared to go further. But I have to tell you, Mr.
Chairman, on Friday the Secretary General’s proposals for reform
suffered a significant setback in New York when the General As-
sembly 5th Committee—this is the committee that deals with
budget matters—adopted a resolution which, for all practical pur-
poses, tanks the Secretary General’s reform proposals.
We opposed that. We worked with the other major contributors,
we tried to find a compromise with the Group of 77—the G–77,
which actually has 132 members—the developing countries of the
United Nations, because we wanted to support the thrust of what
the Secretary General had come up with.
And many of these re-
forms that the Secretary General proposed were in direct response
to Paul Volcker’s reports and the investigations of this committee
and others in Congress to try to minimize the possibility in the fu-
ture of the kind of mismanagement and corruption that we saw in
So we were disappointed at the outcome of the vote, which was
108 in favor of this G–77 resolution, 50 against, 3 abstaining, 30
countries not voting.
It’s a very significant split between the countries that voted in
favor of the G–77 and those who voted against. The 108 countries
that voted to effectively sideline the Secretary General’s report con-
tribute about 12 percent of the U.N. budget. The 50 countries that
voted against their resolution, the 50 countries that voted in favor
of reform, contribute 86.7 percent of the U.N. budget. So I think
the disjunction between voting power in the General Assembly and
contributions to the U.N. system have probably not been so graphi-
cally exposed in recent years.
We’re going to continue our efforts, Mr. Chairman, on manage-
ment reform, and not just management reform, but program re-
form, reviewing the nearly 9,000 mandates that the U.N. Secretar-
iat currently operates under, to find outdated, outmoded, ineffec-
tive, wasteful and duplicative mandates and programs, and elimi-
nate them. Because the objective we have is to get to a point where
we could turn to the U.N. if we needed another Oil-for-Food pro-
gram or needed another program of comparable size.
We have a number of other reforms that we’re pushing as well,
the deficiencies of which were also highlighted in the Oil-for-Food
For example, we are of the view that the existing U.N. Office of
Internal Oversight Services [OIOS] which was set up at the sugges-
tion of the United States in the early 1990’s when Dick
Thornburgh, the former Governor of Pennsylvania, was Under-Sec-
retary-General for Management, has not been given the kind of
independence and autonomy that you in Congress understand
when you talk about an inspector general office in the Federal Gov-
ernment’s major departments. We think OIOS has a lot of poten-
tial, but we don’t think it has the independence or the budget that
it needs to look into the U.N. effectively.
There is a recent GAO audit of OIOS that came essentially to the
same conclusion so that the strengthening of OIOS’s independence
and reach is important. And had OIOS been as effective and as
strong as we wanted in the early 1990’s when Governor
Thornburgh recommended it, maybe they would have been able to
look into the developing Oil-for-Food program and uncover some of
the problems and allow the U.N. to take corrective action. Unfortu-
nately, that did not happen.
As a number of you have said in your introductory statements,
the U.N. now faces important decisions on sanctions possibly with
respect to Iran and its nuclear weapons program and its continuing
state sponsorship of terrorism around the world. We recently in the
Security Council imposed targeted sanctions on four individuals re-
sponsible for gross abuses of human rights in the Sudan, and we’re
looking at other sanctions that might be imposed to try and bring
the parties to a resolution of the conflict in Darfur.
That’s not the only course we’re pursuing. My colleague, Deputy
Assistant Secretary Bob Zoellick, flew last night to Abuja to lend
a hand to try to rescue the African Union mediation of the peace
process there. But certainly we are committed to taking action
through the United Nations to try and restore stability in Darfur
and bring security to the people there to allow the refugees and the
internally displaced persons to return to their homes in safety.
So these kind of issues are going to be with us, and I think, in
fact, Mr. Chairman, in growing importance over the next months
and years. And I think getting the U.N. to the point where it can
administer these kind of sanctions programs effectively without
mismanagement and corruption is critical and important, not only
for the reasons that we want American taxpayers’ dollars to be
spent effectively, but for the benefit of the people for whom these
sanctions and programs are carried out so that we don’t have the
anomalous result that came from the Oil-for-Food in Iraq.
So, Mr. Chairman, let me just close—and I appreciate your giv-
ing me some latitude in terms of timing—I’d be delighted to answer
the subcommittee’s questions and look forward to them.
Thank you, Ambassador. I think the entire sub-
committee appreciates your statements and is happy that you had
the time to make the points you needed to.
At this time, the Chair would recognize Mr. Kucinich as the
ranking member of this subcommittee.
And thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to
defer to the head of our Democratic side, the ranking member on
the full committee, Mr. Waxman.
And as I stated earlier, Mr. Waxman, we’re putting
down 8 minutes, not 5. Hopefully, we’ll have a chance to do a little
bit of a second round as well, but we’ll see.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Mr.
Ambassador Bolton, I’m pleased that you are here.
The hearing today is about the Oil-for-Food program, and one of
the fundamental purposes of the program was to provide food and
other necessities without giving Iraq the ability to develop weapons
of mass destruction.
The position of the Bush administration prior to the war was
that the Oil-for-Food program international sanctions and U.N. in-
spections had failed. We now know that President Bush made a
horrible misjudgment, he led our Nation into war on false prem-
ises. And I wanted to ask how President Bush and his administra-
tion could have been so fundamentally wrong.
Mr. Bolton, prior to becoming U.S. Representative to the U.N.
you were the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International
Security at the State Department. You were the senior advisor to
the President and to the Secretary on all arms control issues.
job was to, ‘‘manage global U.S. security policy principally in the
areas of nonproliferation, arms control, regional security and de-
fense relations and arms transfers and security assistance.’’
I’d like to ask you about one of the major reasons the administra-
tion concluded that the Oil-for-Food program and related U.N. ef-
forts were not working, namely, the administration’s claim that de-
spite these international pressures, Iraq was nonetheless seeking
uranium from Najjar.
As you know, a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s WMD
was issued in October 2002. The NIE stated that Iraq was, ‘‘vigor-
ously trying to procure uranium,’’ from Africa. This language is
amazing, given how wrong it was and how many U.S. intelligence
officials voiced opposition at the time.
Can you tell us who actually wrote that language, who was the
specific individual who drafted the sentence?
I have no idea. I’m not a member or was
not a member of the Intelligence Community. NIEs were drafted by
the Intelligence Community; I had no role whatever in the prepara-
tion of that document.
OK. Let’s take a closer look at the facts.
The CIA clearly didn’t accept the Niger claim. Appearing on 60
Minutes last week, Tyler Drumheller, the head of CIA operations
in Europe, reported that he didn’t believe the claim. He also said
the CIA station chief in Rome didn’t report the allegation. Robert
Walpole, the CIA’s top weapons official, also expressed strong
doubts about the claim; and of course we know George Tenet was
personally involved in efforts to get the White House to stop re-
peating the claims, pulling it from the President’s October 7th
speech in Cincinnati.
We also know that the Defense Department officials opposed it.
General Carlton Fulford, the Deputy Commander of U.S. European
Command, traveled to Niger personally and debunked the claim.
He reported his findings directly to Richard Myers, the chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And your agency, the State Depart-
ment, also opposed the claim; Secretary Powell refused to make the
claim in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly.
Given the doubts raised by all of these officials from all these dif-
ferent agencies, can you identify a single person anywhere in the
U.S. Government who supported the uranium claim, and if so,
I’m not aware of any. I think the people
read the NIE, and that was the information that was available.
You were the top arms control official in the ad-
ministration. Are you saying you don’t know of a single person who
supported one of the primary claims that led our Nation to war?
I’m saying, Congressman, that there are
people responsible for the abrogation and presentation of intel-
ligence information; that was done through the vehicle of the NIE
that you quoted and other products of the Intelligence Community,
and that was the information that was available to decisionmakers.
So the claim came——
Could I just finish, please.
I don’t have a separate—and didn’t in my
previous job—have a separate intelligence capability; so the infor-
mation that was provided was the information that was available.
The NIE was supposed to gather information from
all the relevant agencies.
Let me turn to the United Nations. On December 7, 2002, Iraq
submitted a declaration claiming it had no weapons of mass de-
struction. We now know that was true. On December 19th, how-
ever, your agency, the State Department, issued a so-called ‘‘fact
sheet’’ to the United Nations stating that the Iraqi declaration, ‘‘ig-
nores efforts to procure uranium from Niger.’’ This was the first
time the U.S. Government made the Niger claim publicly.
The press immediately jumped on it, and NBC Nightly News re-
ported, ‘‘What could Iraq be hiding? U.S. Officials say Iraq at-
tempted to buy uranium from Africa to procure nuclear weapons.’’
But by this time the State Department had received the actual
documents underlying the Niger claim, and your intelligence bu-
reau was saying they were bogus. My question is why the United
States was making false claims to the United Nations; who put this
claim into the State Department fact sheet?
I have no idea. I didn’t participate in the
drafting of the fact sheet. I first saw it, for the first time I believe,
last year during my confirmation hearing.
Well, the fact sheet was created from a draft of the
speech to the Security Council by Ambassador Negroponte. I under-
stand that Ambassador Negroponte, your predecessor, spoke to the
Security Council on or around December 19th, and the fact sheet
was developed from a draft of his speech.
But what I don’t understand is why this claim was in Ambas-
sador Negroponte’s speech to begin with. What role did you play in
preparing Ambassador Negroponte’s speech to the Security Coun-
If you were the top arms control official in the U.S.
Government, Iraq’s nuclear program was the No. 1 arms control
issue in the administration.
Are you saying you played no role in the speech, you didn’t help
draft it, you never reviewed it?
Did you put the claim into the speech prepared for
I certainly did not. I just said twice I had
no role in the preparation of the speech.
OK. Did you have access to the transcript, a re-
cording of Ambassador Negroponte’s speech?
Did I have access to it? Probably. Did I
read it? I don’t think so.
Could you provide to the subcommittee, as well,
the drafts of the speech that form the basis for the fact sheet? Do
you have that available?
I don’t have that available.
I’d like to ask you one final set of questions.
On April 9th of this year the Washington Post issued a story en-
titled, ‘‘A Concerted Effort to Discredit Bush Critic.’’ This article
makes an astonishing claim; it says that in January 2003 the Na-
tional Intelligence Council, which coordinates the U.S. Intelligence
agencies, issued a memo that forcefully debunked the uranium
claim in unequivocal terms. Contrary to the NIE, this memo
warned that the Niger story was baseless and should be laid to rest
according to the Post.
Were you aware of the January 2003 memo from the National
Intelligence Council? Did you receive it, and can you provide a copy
to this subcommittee?
I don’t know whether I received it at the
time or not. I don’t have any recollection of it. I certainly don’t have
a copy of it today.
The article says that the memo was distributed
widely, including to the White House, yet it was during this exact
same timeframe that the White House escalated its use of this
For example, on January 20th President Bush sent a letter to
Congress that included the uranium claim. On January 23rd Dep-
uty Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz made the claim in his speech
before the Council on Foreign Relations. Condoleezza Rice wrote an
Op-Ed making the uranium claim on January 23rd. On January
29th Defense Secretary Rumsfeld made the claim during a nation-
ally televised press conference; and of course, the President made
the claim in his State of the Union Address on January 28th, the
now infamous 16 words.
Again, you were the top arms control official. How could it be
that the President, the Defense Secretary, the National Security
Adviser, all of these top administration officials are making this
claim when the National Intelligence Council specifically warned it
Your answer will be your last response.
I think you would have to ask them.
Do you accept any responsibility for having failed
these officials for allowing them to repeat these falsehoods? This is
my last question.
I don’t think anybody ever asked me
whether I thought they ought to say it or not.
I’m sorry to disappoint you, Congressman; I had no role in this
You didn’t speak out against it——
With all due respect, the gentleman’s time is——
Well, could I just get an answer?
You didn’t speak out for it; did you speak out against it?
The gentleman’s time is over. Thank you.
I would like to answer.
I don’t recall this being an issue that I spent any time on. Sorry.
Mr. Bolton, obviously we’re going to have questions
about a lot of issues.
One of the things I find rather refreshing, usually when wit-
nesses don’t want to answer questions before us, they end up
spending 5 minutes responding to each question so someone doesn’t
get a chance to ask their questions. And you gave the ranking
member a chance to go through a lot, and that’s appreciated.
I want to ask you, what is the reason the group of G–77 opposed
the reform agenda in your judgment? Why did they oppose it?
I think there is a complex of reasons there.
I think, first, they’re concerned about the potential loss of programs
and jobs in the U.N. system that might occur if we really did have
a radical restructuring of the Secretariat. I think they’re concerned,
as well, because the exact dimensions of our reform efforts are not
entirely clear. And I think they’re concerned as a matter of alloca-
tion of political responsibility that if the major contributors to the
U.N. stick together, they might be able to reshape the programs in
a way that their mere numericals in voting power on the floor of
the General Assembly might otherwise not be able to do.
I want to tell you, though, Mr. Chairman, we believe that the re-
forms that we are proposing in the U.N. are for the benefit of all
of the member-governments. We think that if the U.N. were more
effective, more efficient, more transparent, more responsive, that
the United States—and I think others—would be more willing to
entrust it to important responsibilities in the solution of inter-
national problems. It’s when we see a vehicle that is not effective,
not responsive, not transparent, that we’re reluctant to entrust it
with important tasks.
So it is our intention, and we’re making substantial efforts, to try
and convince the G–77 that they should embrace these reforms,
that they’re not just something that the United States or the other
major contributors want; and as I noted in my opening remarks,
that many of these reforms are reforms that the Secretary General
himself has proposed, so they’re hardly an American conspiracy.
Can you tell me, though, how are you going to be
able to convince the bulk of these nations to allow these reforms
to go forward? I mean, I’m just thinking, diplomacy is great, but
ultimately how are you going to get it done?
Well, I am hoping that the vote on Friday
will be perceived by a good chunk of the G–77 to be a Pyrrhic vic-
tory; that is to say, although the arithmetic was in favor of their
resolution because of the numbers on the floor of the Fifth Commit-
tee, they will see that repudiating the countries that contribute the
overwhelming bulk of the U.N. budget isn’t a way to win friends
and influence people.
And this is something that Congress has been concerned over the
years but it is not just the American Congress, the Japanese Diat
has expressed great concern about the fact that Japan is the second
largest contributor to U.N. assessed budgets—191⁄2 percent is the
Japanese share, second only to ours of 22 percent—and yet it now
looks increasingly likely that Japan will not succeed in its efforts
to acquire a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. And
there are strong indications that many members of the Japanese
Diat are going to look to a downward adjustment of Japan’s share.
And other large contributors, I think, share many of these con-
cerns. So this is something that will require a substantial amount
of advocacy on our part, but we think it’s important to, and we’re
trying to, engage in that advocacy.
When you talk about depoliticizing the Security
Council, what are you making reference to?
Well, I think the question of reform of the
Security Council has taken up a great deal of oxygen in the U.N.
system over the past year or so, and the prospects for a change in
the permanent membership at this point do not look very substan-
tial, although it’s certainly the position of the United States that
the permanent membership, as it now stands, reflects the world of
1945 instead of the world of 2006.
We believe that Japan, for example, should be a permanent
member of the Security Council, and we’re prepared to continue to
work for that; but the opposition of China, the opposition of other
countries have made it impossible so far to achieve that objective.
Let me make a point and then have you respond to
In the Volcker report he said, no weapons of mass destruction in
Iraq, but he also said that Saddam had bought off France and Rus-
sia in the Oil-for-Food program, which is what we’re talking about,
and that he was absolutely convinced that we would not have their
support in providing any action against Iraq. I am struck with the
fact that we never would have because the French and the Rus-
sians were bought off. We hear France, as it relates to dealing with
the nuclear issue in Iran, say to us, they’re not going to support
sanctions if it doesn’t pass U.N. muster, which means we’ve got to
get the Russians and the Chinese to agree.
Knowing their issue about energy, I wonder how it’s ever pos-
sible. And then I begin to think, well, you’ll never see the U.N. ever
take meaningful action on any issue.
And let me just say, it’s my understanding—and I said it in my
statement, of sanctions—if you don’t want war, if you don’t want
military actions, you’ve got to have sanctions that work.
So if you could just respond to this final question I’ve asked.
Well, I think your point about the role of
sanctions is critical. If you look at the other two ends of the spec-
trum, one is the application of diplomatic and political measures on
one hand, use of force on the other, sanctions—which were really
developed in American political theory as a diplomatic tool by
Woodrow Wilson—provides something in the middle, something
that may give you the opportunity to exert leverage and pressure
to achieve a desired outcome short of the use of force.
And I think that, as Congressman Van Hollen said, whether
sanctions succeed or not depends on the particular facts and cir-
cumstances of a given situation. I would offer the example of Libya,
where targeted sanctions were imposed in the wake of the bombing
of Pan Am 103, which over time I think were an important contrib-
uting factor—among others to be sure—but were an important con-
tributing factor to the Libyans to give up the pursuit of nuclear
So the utility of sanctions—for the effect they can have on the
desired target, but also for the political support that can be gained
to show, for example, that use of force is not the first option, not
the preferred option—that you’re willing to undertake other meas-
ures short of the use of force, helps build and keep coalitions to-
Specifically with respect to Iran, it is true that there have been
statements by Russia and China that they will not accept sanc-
tions. My own view is that as we get into the concrete drafting of
particular Security Council resolutions, we’ll see how those posi-
tions play out in fact.
And we will be turning this week, in fact, to a resolution which
we will propose under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter which will
make mandatory on Iran all of the existing IAEA resolutions call-
ing on it to suspend its uranium enrichment program and so on.
A permanent member of the Security Council obviously has the op-
tion to veto such a resolution, but a permanent member also has
the option to abstain. And when a permanent member abstains,
that is acquiescing in the Security Council’s taking action, assum-
ing there’s otherwise a majority of nine votes.
We just saw a case of that in the Sudan sanctions that I men-
tioned. Last week we adopted a resolution sanctioning four individ-
uals by a vote of 12 to 0 to 3, Russia, China and Qatar abstaining,
12 votes in favor, no votes against. So Russia and China in that
case chose not to veto the imposition of sanctions by abstaining, al-
lowing the sanctions to go into effect.
And while it would be desirable to have a unanimous Security
Council when we adopt this resolution under Chapter 7, directing
Iran to comply mandatorily with the IAEA resolutions, it’s not im-
possible that we would proceed without them. And if they abstain,
then that resolution would go into effect, as would subsequent
sanctions resolutions if we get to that point.
Before recognizing Mr. Kucinich—I don’t usually do this, but two
people you know that actually work in this hearing are recorders,
and I just want to welcome Elizabeth and Dianne back; and Dianne
has had twins. Elizabeth has four children; and I just learned that
Geoffrey, her 5-year-old who plays the trumpet, is going to be on
the Today program on May 11th.
We thank you both for your work. And you’re mothers, besides
doing all of this, and they’re extraordinary children besides. And
you have to record all of this while I’m saying it, don’t you? I ap-
plaud you both. Thank you.
Thank you. And, Mr. Kucinich, you have the floor.
And Mr. Kucinich, you have the floor.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for in-
jecting a note of humanity into these hearings because it is always
good to get the personal connections. So thank you.
Ambassador, thanks again for being here. You spoke of Woodrow
Wilson and his view of sanctions as being kind of a midpoint. And
we are here talking about the effectiveness of sanctions.
I am wondering about the effectiveness of sanctions if a series of
steps have already been taken that leapfrog past what sanctions
could hope to achieve.
Question, if the United States is engaging in covert anti-govern-
ment activity in Iran, is this legal under U.N. law?
Well, U.N. doesn’t impose law, and in any
event, it is not appropriate to comment in a public session on any-
thing related to intelligence activities, and so with respect, I will
simply decline to discuss that. It is not anything I would have any-
thing to do with. Any way, my job is in New York.
If the United States has combat troops in Iran,
would that be a violation of the U.N. charter?
Congressman, I have no knowledge of that
subject at all, and I just don’t think it is helpful to speculate on
that matter. If there are others in the administration you would
like to talk to on it, I am sure you could summon them, but it is
not anything I am involved with in any way.
And what would be a legal justification for one
sovereign country to insert its military forces into another sov-
ereign country under U.N. law?
Article 51 of the U.N. Charter provides for
the inherent right of individual and collective self-defense. That is
a pretty good basis.
I will ask that again, for one sovereign country
to insert its military forces into another sovereign country?
This is not self-defense.
Well, I think the self-defense defense, as
the Secretary General’s high level panel a few years ago recog-
nized, comes in a multitude of forms. And you asked a hypothetical
question, and I gave you an answer——
Hypothetically it is preemption self-defense.
It certainly can be. Absolutely, as the Sec-
retary General’s own high-level panel recognized.
Then is Iran an imminent threat to the United
Congressman, you know, the President has
made it clear that his purpose and his priority is to achieve a
peaceful and diplomatic resolution to the threat to international
peace and security imposed by the Iranian nuclear weapons pro-
gram. He has said repeatedly, as has Secretary Rice, that, of
course, we never take any option off the table. But the priority that
we are addressing now and certainly, my responsibility is diplo-
macy in the Security Council.
Do you know of a Presidential National Security
Directive on regime change in Iran?
I do not.
When did you become aware that regime change
in Iran was U.S. policy?
I don’t think that is an accurate statement
of the policy. I think Secretary Rice testified before Congress I
guess it was some months ago now that we were requesting a $75
million increase in support to an aggregate level of $85 million for
activities supporting democracy in Iran. And I think that is the ul-
timate objective we seek, a free and democratically elected regime
in Iran that we could hopefully persuade to give up the pursuit of
We have seen a report in the New Yorker by Sey-
mour Hersh that a U.S. source told him that U.S. Marines were op-
erating in the Baluchis, Azeris and Kurdish regions of Iran. Have
you ever heard of that report?
I have never heard of the report. I have
never read the article, nor do I intend to.
Do you have an interest as to whether or not—
as the U.S. Ambassador, you don’t have any interest as to whether
or not U.S. Marines are actually operating in Iran right now?
I said I had not heard of the report, and
I didn’t intend to read the article in the New Yorker.
If I give you this article right now and walked it
over right now, would you look at it?
I don’t think so honestly, Congressman, be-
cause I don’t have time to read much fiction.
Well, you know, now if it wasn’t fiction, Mr.
Bolton, would that be of interest to you?
Congressman, it is of interest to me to be
as fully informed on matters affecting my responsibilities in the
government as I can. I have no responsibility for the matters you
are talking about, and I think that there is a lot of unfounded spec-
ulation. The President has been as clear as he can be that his pri-
ority is a peaceful and diplomatic resolution of the Iranian nuclear
weapons program. And that is the direction I am trying to carry
out in New York.
That is my job.
Well, wait a minute, Mr. Ambassador. We know
U.S. troops are in Iran. How does this affect your negotiations?
Well, Congressman, you know more than I
do. That is all I can say.
Here’s what we are going to do. We are going to go
to Mr. Lynch.
I am sorry, Mr. Chairman?
You have the floor. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you.
Mr. Ambassador, if I could followup, first on Mr. Waxman’s ques-
tions. As he has stated, prior to becoming the U.S. Representative
to the United Nations, you were the under Secretary for Arms Con-
trol and International Security at the State Department. You were
the senior adviser to the President and to the secretary on all arms
control issues. Your job was to manage global U.S. security, prin-
cipally in the areas of nonproliferation, arms control, regional secu-
rity and defense relations, and arms transfer and security assist-
Now, I accept your previous answers that you had no involve-
ment with the Niger uranium purchase theory, but given your job
description, given the sphere of your responsibility, I find it stun-
ning that you were, I believe, you were, just as you say, out of the
loop with all those responsibilities that you have in advising in
President; that he came to the American people and basically pre-
sented his theory, which we now know is false, that Saddam was
trying to buy uranium from Niger. I just find, again, it stunning
you were not in the loop. I believe you. I believe that you have no
culpability in that theory.
But I also think that the opposite side of the coin is equally
damning, that you were excluded from all of that given your re-
sponsibilities. Do you tend to agree with that? Do you see what I
No, I don’t think I was excluded from any-
thing. I think that the questions that Congressman Waxman was
asking dealt with issues of intelligence collection and analysis. And
in that sense, I was a consumer, not a producer. My job was not
part of the Intelligence Community; it was not part of my respon-
Well, I beg to differ, sir, with all due respect. And
I think this goes to Mr. Kucinich’s questions as well, that with re-
spect to the theory, again, or the supposition that we may have
U.S. troops operating in Iran.
Now, I don’t think you should take anything at face value in any
periodical. However, I do suggest very strongly that you have an
obligation to inform yourself. And I just came back from Iraq last
Sunday. And let me just leave it at that, that I do believe you have
an obligation to inform yourself.
And I don’t think that you should, on an issue of
such great importance and given your position, that you should
deny the opportunity to at least weigh that evidence and weigh
that information, sir.
Basically, one of the main criticisms of the sanctions issue, if we
can get back to that, is that there are no guidelines, no firm stand-
ards by which we implement. There is some information and are
some guidelines on the authorization of sanctions, but at the imple-
mentation stage, there has been great criticism about how we carry
those out and the relationships between the Secretariat and also
with governments and the legal relations between those.
Have you made recommendations or do you have solid rec-
ommendations that would coincide with what Secretary General
Annan is recommending to the U.N. that might solve that problem?
Well, I think one of the difficulties with the
sanctions regime on Iraq in the aftermath of the cease-fire in 1991
was that attention, international attention, drifted away from the
enforcement of the sanctions regime. And that occurred during the
1990’s. That was a problem that the United States was partially
responsible for, that it simply did not receive as high priority as it
had in an earlier period.
And I think that is a central element of the question of the util-
ity of sanctions once applied, in other words, that the imposition
of sanctions in the first instance ought to have an objective and a
purpose, and there ought to be ways of trying to evaluate whether
the sanctions remain effective or whether they have ceased their
usefulness. And I can give you an example of that in the U.S. con-
text, not U.N. sanctions but U.S. sanctions. After India and Paki-
stan tested nuclear weapons in 1998, the United States imposed a
variety of trade sanctions on both countries.
And I can tell you that by the early part of the summer of 2001,
what was then the relatively new Bush administration had come
to the conclusion that the sanctions that had been in place against
India and Pakistan were not having any effect, that the govern-
ments of India and Pakistan manifestly were not going to give up
the nuclear weapons they had acquired and that the sanctions that
we had put in place were impeding our ability to discuss with both
India and Pakistan not only the issue of their nuclear capability
but a range of other issues as well, so that actually, even before
September 11th, but then shortly thereafter, the decision was made
to lift the sanctions because they weren’t effective.
That is at least an example. But I don’t think you can write hard
and fast rules. I do think that the sanctions in the case of most pol-
icy tools depend on the environment in which they are imposed and
But I do think that having a better, a greater clarity and objec-
tions when sanctions are imposed and greater rigor in analyzing
their effectiveness during their lifetime would be a sensible thing
Just a quick followup.
Just one very quick followup. Based on what the Sec-
retary General is recommending in his reform package that was de-
feated last Friday, how closely on a scale of 1 to 10, how closely
does his reforms—I know you have said you would go further—but
how closely does he come to where you would like to see him in
terms of those reforms?
In terms of what he recommended in his
report, ‘‘Investing in the United States,’’ I can say this roughly, I
think between 80 and 90 percent of those suggestions are things
that we would agree with. As you indicated, we would probably go
further in some cases, but in terms of the utility of what he had
suggested, we are with him on a very high percentage.
OK, thank you very much.
Thank the gentleman.
Mr. Van Hollen.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Mr. Ambassador, for your testimony.
I believe that the fact that the United States thumbed its nose
at the United Nations in the leadup to the war in Iraq and the de-
cision to go to war in Iraq without going back and getting greater
authorization consensus to the U.N. process has made it more dif-
ficult to persuade others that the United Nations must now take
collective action with respect to Iran.
I also think the fact that we lost a tremendous amount of credi-
bility with respect to claims about weapons of mass destruction
when it turned out not to be weapons of mass destruction has
made it more difficult with respect to Iran.
I would just take us back to one of your predecessors, Ambas-
sador Adlai Stevenson, at the time of the Cuban missile crisis who
unveiled with great drama the fact that the Soviets were putting
missiles into Cuba, and it turned out to be true.
And I would contrast that with Secretary Powell’s performance
in the United Nations with your predecessor, Ambassador
Negroponte, where he displayed evidence against Iraq which he
has conceded turned out to be false and which, I think, has under-
mined our credibility in a significant way. And Secretary Powell
has acknowledged that this was one of the low points of his career.
The President has acknowledged himself that the failure to find
weapons of mass destruction despite our earlier comments and evi-
dence has made it more difficult in this area to persuade others be-
cause of a greater skepticism which he said is understandable. If
you could talk a little bit about how that has affected your efforts
at the United Nations. The President has acknowledged the issue.
What steps have you had to take to reassure your colleagues, and
how much has this been a problem?
Well, first, I don’t think it is accurate to
say that the United States thumbed its nose at the Security Coun-
cil before launching the operation that overthrew Saddam Hussein.
In the first place, there was no need to go to the U.N. even to
obtain Resolution 1441. It is perfectly clear that Iraq’s persistent
violations of the cease-fire resolution, Resolution 678, renewed the
authority—Resolution 687 rather—renewed the authority of Reso-
lution 678 to use force, so that in terms of—because when a partici-
pant in a cease-fire resolution, acknowledging it as Iraq did repeat-
edly, violates, vitiates the force of the cease-fire, so there is no need
under Security Council precedent or authority to go back even for
But second, and as you quoted the phrase, serious consequences
if Iraq didn’t comply with 1441, there wasn’t a country in that
room that didn’t know what serious consequences meant.
So in terms of whatever obligations we had under Security Coun-
cil previously existing resolutions or current practice, there is no
doubt that we did what was necessary. And the only tragedy there
is that the Security Council itself didn’t follow through to enforce
its own resolutions, because if the Security Council doesn’t care
about the integrity of its resolutions, you can be sure nobody else
Second, on the issue of weapons of mass destruction, you know
I think one of the, in Iraq, one of the most important aspects of
the conclusion that Saddam Hussein still had weapons of mass de-
struction came not from intelligence but from Iraq itself.
In 1991, under the terms of Resolution 687 Iraq was required to
Mr. Ambassador, I promise I have limited
time. And listen—listen——
I will give an answer.
Let me say this to you, I will let you have more time.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Iraq was required to make a declaration of
WMD assets that they had. And one of the declarations that Sad-
dam made in 1991 was declaration of a considerable amount of
chemical agent, chemical weapons agent.
The terms of 687 required that, under the supervision of
UNSCOM, the first, Iraq was required to prove the destruction of
the weapons it had declared.
And during the entire period from 1991 forward to 2002, Iraq
never proved it had destroyed the chemical weapons agent that it
Hans Blix, the chairman of UNMOVIC, the second U.N. weapons
investigation, went to the Iraqis, and as he has recounted the story
himself, he said, where is the proof that you have destroyed the
chemical agent that you have declared? And the Iraqis said, well,
we destroyed it; we just didn’t keep any records of it. Hans Blix
said to the Iraqis in his own recounting of the story, that stuff isn’t
marmalade. If you destroyed it, you have records of it. And the
Iraqis never produced records.
This was deemed sufficiently credible by our military and by
other of our coalition military leaderships that when they went into
Iraq, the forces took with them chemical weapons protective gear.
That was a decision that—that gear is hot. It is heavy. It is cum-
bersome. No responsible military leader would have burdened their
combat troops with that equipment unless they had thought that
the potential use of chemical agents was significant.
Mr. Chairman, with all due respect, I had a
We haven’t forgotten your question yet. The gen-
tleman has 2 minutes. Go for it.
You have time.
Let me quickly respond. I asked, the President
himself has acknowledged in statements that our failure to find
WMD in Iraq has created more difficulties with respect to persuad-
ing other countries with respect to Iran. He has said it, and Mr.
Bolton just gave us a long talk. The fact of the matter is, El
Baradei and Hans Blix, before we went to war in Iraq, both of
them urged the United States to take greater time to allow the
U.N. weapons inspectors to make a determination about whether
or not weapons of mass destruction existed. We decided to ignore
that request for additional time. And the result in the end was we
know there were no weapons of mass destruction.
Now, I am very pleased you have mentioned the fact with the
earlier resolutions, 678 and 687, because before we went into Iraq
on the eve of the invasion, the President did cite those two resolu-
tions. And he said the United States and our allies are authorized
to use force in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. This
is not a question of authority; it is a question of will, which is the
argument you were just making.
Now, we are currently trying to get the United Nations to act
under Chapter 7 Security Council with respect to Iran. Chapter 7
is the provision under the U.N. charter, action with respect to
threats to the peace, breaches to the peace and acts of aggression.
I would submit to you, Mr. Ambassador, that one of the reasons
it is very difficult now to get the support of these countries in the
Security Council is their fear that we will later use that Security
Council resolution as a justification to use military force perhaps
unilaterally. And you have just referenced two incidences where
the President did that.
Let me ask you, if the United Nations Security Council were to
invoke Chapter 7 with respect to sanctions against Iran, can you
give them assurance that the United States will not later rely on
that resolution to take unilateral military action against Iran?
The purpose of invoking——
I would appreciate if you answer the questions
directly related to your duties as our Ambassador.
That is why I like to get it straight what
Chapter 7 does. And I would refer to you Article 39 of the U.N.
Charter which states that it is the Security Council’s responsibility
to ascertain whether there is a threat or a breach of international
peace and security and to make recommendations to deal with that
The Iranian nuclear weapons program is unquestionably a threat
to international peace and security, as we have been urging for
over 3 years now to have the International Atomic Energy Agency
refer the Iranian program to the Security Council. That is some-
thing that the Security Council in its March Presidential statement
unanimously agreed that it was time to call on Iran to comply with
those IAEA resolutions. And it is the subject of the Chapter 7 reso-
lution that we are urging now on the Security Council.
The reason to urge a Chapter 7 resolution is that, under the U.N.
Charter, a Chapter 7 resolution is mandatory on all U.N. members,
mandatory even on Iran, whether it likes it or not as long as it is
a U.N. member. The purpose of Chapter 7 therefore is not to lay
the basis necessarily for any further action, peaceful action, sanc-
tions action or the use of force. It is to make it mandatory on the
government of Iran. And that is the purpose of it right now.
We are going to do this one resolution at a time.
Mr. Chairman, if I could just get an answer
to the question, which is—look, I referenced the earlier resolution,
U.N. resolutions the President relied on to take military action in
Iraq. I would suggest that one of the reasons it is going to be dif-
ficult to get the consensus we want to take it to the Security Coun-
cil for economic sanctions is the fear that the United States will
later point to that as justification for unilateral military action. I
am wondering if you are able to tell the Chinese and the Russians
and the others that we will not point to that action of the Security
Council with respect to sanctions as justification later on for unilat-
eral U.S. Military action.
Your question contains a non sequitur
which is why it is not possible to answer, but I would say what is
significant in the Council today is that the United States, France
and Britain are together on this; Russia and China are not yet. But
I don’t think any of us would advocate—I hope not—that Russia
and China would dictate the steps we ought to take to protect our
own national security.
I am certainly not suggesting that, Mr. Ambas-
sador. I am asking you if that is the element that is making it
more difficult to get consensus because of the earlier way we dealt
with the Security Council.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
And thank you, Mr. Ambassador, you have been here
about an hour and 20 minutes. Do you have 10 more minutes?
I am having fun, Mr. Chairman. I can
spend a few more minutes.
Why don’t we do this, Mr. Kucinich, why don’t I give
you 3 minutes, and then, I am following the order, I am trying to
be respectful of the process.
I would certainly yield to Mr. Waxman in a heart-
Thank you, Mr. Kucinich, and Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Bolton, it was interesting, your response to Congressman
Van Hollen’s question, because you went through a lot of legalisms
of why we were justified in taking the action we did to enforce the
U.N resolutions where the U.N. didn’t care enough to enforce it
themselves. But we do have a credibility problem, and that is that
we went to war not for the U.N. to enforce U.N. resolutions but to
stop Iraq from developing weapons of mass destruction.
I must tell you, I voted for that resolution, because I deferred to
the administration when they said that Iraq had been a nuclear
I want to clarify your answers to my question because you said,
despite the fact you were the top arms control official in the admin-
istration, you were not involved in the preparation of the December
19, 2002, State Department fact sheet in which the administration
first made public the uranium claim. You also testified you had no
involvement whatsoever in the development of the December 19th
speech by Negroponte in which the fact sheet was based. I under-
stand from the Department of State, State Department Inspector
General, however, that your office was deeply involved in both the
preparation of the fact sheet and the Negroponte speech. Was it
true that your office, specifically the nonproliferation bureau, was
involved in the preparation of the Negroponte speech?
They may well have been. I should explain
to you, Congressman, that when I was under secretary, I had four
separate bureaus reporting to me. They did a lot of staff work on
a lot of issues that never came to my attention and appropriately
so. I couldn’t do all the work of the 600 people who reported to me.
So you had no involvement in the draft of a speech
to the United Nations claiming that the reason we need to be con-
cerned about Iraq was because they were trying to get uranium to
build a nuclear bomb. You also testified you had no involvement in
the preparation of the fact sheet. And I have here, however, a
timeline prepared by the State Department IG, and here what is
it says, December 18, 2002, 8:30 a.m. at Secretary Powell’s morning
staff meeting, the assistant secretary for the Bureau of Public Af-
fairs and department spokesman asked the under secretary of arms
control and international security—you—for help in developing a
response to Iraq’s December 7th declaration to the U.N. Security
Council that could be used with the press.
The Under Secretary Bolton agrees and tasks to the Bureau of
Nonproliferation, and so according to the IG, your office subse-
quently reviewed multiple drafts of the facts sheet, and I would
like to make this time line part of the record of this hearing Mr.
Without objection so ordered.
Your testimony in response to my initial round of
questions was that you had no involvement, but this Inspector
General review finds that you did.
How can you explain this?
The question that was put to me by Rich-
ard Boucher was, should this fact sheet be drafted by the Bureau
of International Organization Affairs or the Bureau of Non-
proliferation Affairs. And I suggested it be prepared by the NP Bu-
reau, which is, I think, had greater technical knowledge of what
would be or what would not be in the Iraqi declaration.
But that was a matter——
That wasn’t the question I asked. I asked you if
you were involved at all——
I had no involvement. I had no involve-
ment myself in the preparation of the fact sheet.
The gentleman’s time has expired, but if some other
Member wants to yield.
May I say one concluding comment, Mr. Chairman,
you have been generous——
Would the gentleman suspend a second? I am happy
to have one of your other colleagues lend you their 3 minutes. I
have no problem with that.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to make one conclud-
OK, if that is all it is.
It isastounding to me that you were in charge of
this job, and you said before that you take that responsibility to be
fully informed on matters that affect your duties. That is why you
don’t bother to read the column that Mr. Kucinich——
Seymour Hersh wrote. But you are in charge of
your own duties. When you are in charge of arms control and the
biggest issue is whether we are going to go to war against Iraq on
the issue of nuclear weapons, and you are charged with developing
the fact sheet, and your people are charged, you are charged, and
therefore your people develop the speech, don’t you think you have
some responsibility to know what was going on?
The speech was written by and for Ambas-
sador Negroponte. And as I say, at the staff level in the State De-
partment, lots of things get cleared by lots of people.
I don’t clear all of the Ambassadors. I didn’t clear—I believe, any
of Ambassador Negroponte’s speeches, and I think there are prob-
ably hundreds of people in the State Department today who don’t
clear any of my speeches that I give. Let me finish.
You are not accepting responsibility for what’s
going on under your inspection.
Mr. Waxman, one last point, and you are just going
on. I am happy to have someone else yield to you. If Mr. Kucinich
wants to yield, or Mr. Lynch whatever——
Mr. Chairman, I made my point. We will keep
strict track of the time you use as well.
I want to say, Congressman, I wish I could
explain to you more comprehensively how the State Department
works, because I think your questions reveal that perhaps you
would benefit from that information.
No, my questions are about what you did as the
boss of the department that was supposed to be in charge of arms
control which was directly involved in the biggest issue of our time,
The biggest disappointment to you, Con-
gressman, is that I had no involvement. I am sorry about that.
You didn’t do your job.
Ambassador, I thank you for being here. And I thank
the Members for their questions.
Mr. Kucinich you have 3 minutes.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Ambassador, you previously equated U.N. Article 51 the
right of self-defense with the doctrine of pre-emption.
We know that Article 51 says in measures taken by members in
the exercise of this right of self-defense shall be immediately re-
ported to the Security Council.
Has the United States notified the Security Council that the
United States has begun an operation against Iran?
There is no notification that has been
given, but by saying that, I don’t want to leave any implication
that there is some operation that we haven’t reported because I
think to the extent that is implied in your question, it is inac-
Do you agree that the United States would have
an obligation as stated under Article 51 that if the United States
had inserted combat troops in Iran or coordinated anti-Iranian in-
surgent groups like MEK to notify the Security Council——
I am not going to speculate on something
that is entirely hypothetical.
If the United States has troops in Iran, would
Iran be justified in invoking article 51?
I’m not going to speculate on that either.
Now I want to get this straight for members of
the subcommittee. The Ambassador can’t comment about troops in
Iran. He can’t talk about troops in Iran, or he has no knowledge
of troops in Iran. And he calls Mr. Hersh’s article and of inserting
troops in Iran, fiction. Mr. Ambassador, which is it? Are there
troops in Iran and you can’t talk about it, or are there no troops
I have no knowledge one way or the other
of that subject nor is it appropriate. I work at the State Depart-
ment, not the Defense Department.
Can you say, Ambassador Bolton—according to a
report in the Guardian newspaper in early April, you told British
Parliament you believe military action could halt or at least set
back the Iranian nuclear program. Are you confident that U.S. in-
telligence on Iran is comprehensive and sufficient to accurately tar-
get the Iranian nuclear program? Do we know where? How much
The report was inaccurate.
What report? You’re saying this never happened?
You never said that?
Well, let me ask you this, are you confident that
we have the information that we need to be able to ratchet up the
conflict with Iran?
I think that there are many aspects of the
Iranian nuclear weapons program and the Iranian ballistic missile
program that we don’t know about. And I think that is something
that shouldn’t give us comfort. It should increase our level of con-
cern about the extent to which the Iranians have, in fact, accom-
plished their efforts to master the entire nuclear fuel cycle and to
derive and to develop ballistic missile capability of longer and
longer range and greater and greater accuracy.
Are you familiar with the report that Iranians
captured dissident forces who confess to working with U.S. troops
in Iran? Have you had any discussions with anyone about the pres-
ence of U.S. troops in Iran? Have you heard any complaints about
it? Has anybody asked you about it? Do you have any interest in
I certainly have interest in it. With respect
to every other question I have been asked, I have only ever heard
it from you today.
Mr. Lynch has the floor.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ambassador, I just
want to go over a distinction that we have had here today in this
As I said before, you did make it very clear that you had no in-
volvement in drafting the H.R. and the fact sheet, for Mr.
However, as my team member, Mr. Waxman, pointed out, there
is a State Department Inspector General memo that indicates that
you tasked your staff, the Bureau of Nonproliferation, to partici-
pate in the preparation. So was the distinction here that you didn’t
do it personally, but that your staff actually helped with the fact
sheet or the remarks by Mr. Negroponte?
If I could make two comments on that. No.
1, I don’t think I actually followed through and asked the Non-
proliferation Bureau to do that. I think ultimately the Bureau of
Public Affairs asked them to do it.
Second, in terms of the relationship between Under Secretaries’
bureaus at the State Department, the four Assistant Secretaries
that reported to me also reported directly to the Secretary and the
Deputy Secretary. So I wouldn’t in any way call them my office.
They were independent bureaus that had their own reporting
chain to the Secretary. They were under my general supervision,
but as is the case with all Under Secretaries and this may be a
striking comment on the management of the State Department, but
I never considered those bureaus my office.
In any event, I didn’t see the fact sheet until well after it was
I have limited time so I think you have
And it was a fact sheet suppressed——
I have limited time. I think you have answered. So
even though they are under your supervision for all intents and
purposes, you are saying they weren’t under your control and that
this was done without your knowledge—do you see the irony here
Mr. Ambassador? Do you see the irony here? We are trying to in-
duce accountability with the U.N.
We are trying to tell Kofi Annan to get his act together and to
take responsibility, and to be accountable, and yet, here we are on
this merry-go-round about, you have people under your super-
vision, but they are not under your control, and it is just under cir-
cumstances that would require very close scrutiny and supervision,
this is an issue of major U.S. policy.
Preparation of a fact sheet, Congressman,
is not a major issue of U.S. policy. This was a staff level
When we are making much decisions whether or not
to go to war because Iraq is trying to acquire nuclear weapons; that
is a major issue.
Congressman. Congressman, this was not
a policy issue of any significance. It was the preparation of a fact
sheet to hand to the press about the Iraqi declaration of their
They were try trying to persuade the Congress to ap-
prove the War Powers Act. That was what this is about.
Mr. Van Hollen, the gentleman’s time has expired.
Mr. Ambassador, Mr. Van Hollen will have 3 minutes. I will have
3 minutes. And thank you for spending so much time with us.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you Mr. Ambassador. I would just point out that fact
sheet was the first time where the United States publicly made the
claim that Iraq was seeking uranium from——
I thought you actually said a moment ago
or maybe Mr. Kucinich did that the fact sheet was based on Am-
bassador Negroponte’s statement.
First of all, Mr. Ambassador, I did not say
that. I don’t know who said that. But I did not say that. But my
question to you, if I could just get back to my earlier question, with
respect to the President’s statement where he acknowledged that
the fact that we didn’t find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq
created some credibility issues with respect to claims the United
States has made with their intelligence. Yes or no? Have you seen
any evidence of that in your discussions with your colleagues at the
I think some people have raised it. I think
they are some of the same people who would object to doing what
is necessary on Iran in any case, and I would say that, in fact, most
of the information that is under consideration before the Security
Council now on Iran has been disclosed in publicly available re-
ports from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Let me ask the question I raised in my open-
ing statement: I hope we are successful in getting the Security
Council to take actions and impose economic sanctions against
If we are not successful in getting U.N. Security Council to do
that, how successful could we be, would we be able to exert any le-
verage if you put together a group of nations outside the U.N. Se-
curity Council action to take economic, impose economic sanctions
against Iran, or is that really a nonstarter?
I think that would be critical if when we
get to the point of trying to have the Council adopt targeted sanc-
tions against Iran, if we were not successful in getting the extent
and scope of the sanctions that we wanted, if we were faced with
a veto by one of the permanent members, if for whatever reason
the Council couldn’t fulfill its responsibilities, then I think it would
be incumbent on us, and I am sure we would press ahead, to ask
other countries or other groups of countries to impose those sanc-
tions because the—for one thing, the Iranians have been very effec-
tive at deploying their oil and natural gas resources to apply lever-
age against countries to protect themselves from precisely this kind
of pressure. In the case of countries with large and growing energy
demands like India, China and Japan, the Iranians are trying to
induce them to make extensive capital investments, such as Japan
in the Azadegan oil field. It would make it very difficult for those
countries or other countries similarly situated to do what they oth-
erwise would do on a major proliferation question.
And with respect to Sudan, if we are unable
to get the Security Council to take further action against Sudan,
I am glad they took the action they did against the four Sudanese
Government officials, but if we are not able to get the Security
Council to take other collective action against Sudan, whatever
form it might take, to what extent is the United States going to
work to put together a coalition of nations that would do so?
Well, I think this is certainly something I
would have to look at. We have relied on the request of the African
Union, and I think the overwhelming international opinion, we
have relied on the mediation efforts of Salim Salim ina BUJ JA to
try and work out a peace agreement among the government of
Sudan, the three major rebel groups and others.
Now, that target date for the completion of the Abuja agreement
was Sunday, April 30th. And I think, as everybody knows, it has
been extended for a couple days, Deputy Secretary Zoellick has
flown out there. It looks to be in difficult straits, but we will have
to see what happens. And I think the question of what we do next
is in part dependent on the outcome. And I don’t want to give you
an overly long answer, but there are three possible outcomes to
Abuja. One is a peace agreement that the parties comply with fully.
The second is a peace agreement that most comply with but some
do not. And the third is either no agreement or an agreement that
everybody signs and nobody complies with.
The circumstances of what we would do in terms of the U.N.
peacekeeping mission in Darfur and the delivery of humanitarian
assistance depend critically on which environment we are talking
So we have been pushing the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping
Operations to do contingency planning for all of those potential out-
comes so that whichever it turns out to be, we are not slowed down
in our efforts to effect a transition, rapid transition between the Af-
rican Union mission in Darfur and the U.N. mission we expect to
Thank you. I am going to claim my time and just to
one, to thank you Ambassador Bolton.
Ambassador, you described the dysfunction of the U.N. before
anyone else did.
And now I think most people recognize it. You’ve been tremen-
dously criticized over the years for doing that. I want to just say
as one Member of Congress, I appreciate it. You are just being
straightforward, and the irony is that now you want to reform the
U.N.; some people say you want to destroy it.
You know, you want the system to work properly. And we have
had a golden opportunity to which I think we have used some of
it well, to understand the significance as it relates to Iran and
Sudan, if people don’t want military force to be used, you have to
be able to depend on sanctions.
And I am struck by the fact though that you can never take off
the table military force.
I wish President Carter had not said we will not use military
force to have Iran free the diplomats it took as hostages. What an
outrage to have taken diplomats. They must have said, America,
what a country. The bottom line is you had President Reagan come
in and just say the truth. Something you might have said. He said
taking diplomats is an act of war, and we will treat it as such. He
didn’t say what he would do. And the diplomats were returned. I
happen to believe the Libyan president saw what happened to Sad-
dam and said, you know what, I like diplomacy. But he knew be-
hind there was the potential that he could have been replaced.
So I happen to believe you can never take off the table your mili-
tary force. If Saddam ever thought we would get him out of Ku-
wait, he never would have gone in. And I believe if he ever believed
that we would remove him from power, he would like gladly be in
the Riviera with his billions of dollars. But he didn’t believe it be-
cause the French and Russians and others told him we weren’t
That is the tragedy of it. So I understand why you are reluctant
to say, force is on the table. But you are the diplomat, but I hope
we back up your diplomacy with strong potential to help people re-
alize particularly the Europeans if you are not going to go along
with sanctions, what do you leave as the end result, and then to
know, my God they get the weapon. They get a nuclear weapon,
then I am pretty sure that you will have Saudi Arabia and others
say the same thing. So this is a huge issue. I wish we had focused
a little more on that aspect of this because that is the bottom line
I have people who marched in my office very concerned about
what has happened in Sudan. But if Khartoum does not believe
that there is going to be action taken against them, I don’t know
how diplomacy works. And I guess what I would love is for you just
to tell me in concluding with Iran and with the Sudan, you are
working diplomatically to get an agreement.
Do you feel that you are making headway? Do you feel that you
are just kind of in Never Never Land right now? Where are we at?
Well, I think both in the case of Iran and
really in the case of Darfur as well, that these constitute tests for
the Security Council.
In the case of Iran, this is a perfect storm of a country that for
decades has been the leading state financier of terrorism, one of
the leading state sponsors of terrorism in the world, providing
funds and equipment and weapons to groups like Hamas and
Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, at the same time a gov-
ernment that now seeks to acquire nuclear weapons and advance
ballistic capability, it is a country led by a president who denies the
existence of Holocaust, calls on Israel to be wiped off the map, who
held a seminar last year called the world without the United
States. This is not a man you want to have with his finger on the
nuclear button, or with the capability of delivering nuclear weap-
ons to terrorist groups that could transport them around the world.
So if you believe, as we do, that terrorism and the proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction are the two greatest threats to
international peace and security that we face, this is a test for the
Security Council to deal with Iran and to bring an end to its nu-
clear weapons program.
In the Sudan, you have a government that has been responsible
over the years for the deaths of more than 2 million of its citizens
in the southern part of Sudan, that is now subject of a comprehen-
sive peace agreement we hope will hold, but having engaged in
genocide and murder and causing hundreds of thousands if not mil-
lions of people to have to leave their homes in the Darfur region,
that has put off the Security Council in ways large and small.
A couple of weeks ago, they refused, the government of Khar-
toum refused to give visas to four military planners from the U.N.
Department of Peacekeeping Operations so they could get on to the
ground in Darfur to do the kind of kicking of tires and looking at
the terrain and everything that would help facilitate planning. So,
so far, the government has been able to withstand our efforts there.
We will see if the sanctions that we recently imposed and other
ones that may come might have an influence on their thinking. But
the Security Council, in many respects, the same problem we faced
in other situations, is the Security Council serious about its resolu-
tions, or is it not? That is the test in Sudan.
Well, I thank you very much for being here. You have
been very responsive I think, and we appreciate, I appreciate deep-
ly the work you do as an ambassador. We are going to have a 5-
minute recess and then convene with our second panel. Thank you.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.