VP Cheney: Hussein Has 'Absolutely No Intention' of Meeting World's Demands
By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2003 Saddam Hussein has the means and the will to use chemical and biological weapons. He could share them with global terrorists.
In either case, the outcome would be horrific. Therefore, the Iraqi dictator must be stopped. It's that simple, according to Vice President Dick Cheney.
"Saddam Hussein's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction poses a grave danger not only to his neighbors but also to the United States," the vice president said today at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Arlington, Va.
Hussein's outlaw regime protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda, Cheney told the group. The Iraqi leader could decide to provide weapons of mass destruction secretly to terrorists for use against America, he warned.
"That is why confronting the threat posed by Iraq is not a distraction from the war on terror; it is absolutely crucial to winning the war on terror," he said.
The declaration Iraq provided to the United Nations clearly demonstrated that Hussein has "absolutely no intention" of meeting the world's demands to disarm, Cheney said.
Hussein is continuing his decade-old game of defiance, delay and deception by blocking unrestricted aerial reconnaissance and hiding documents and materials from the U.N. inspectors, he said. Iraqi intelligence agents are posing as scientists, and Saddam Hussein has decreed that real scientists who cooperate with U.N. inspectors will be killed along with their families, he added.
The United Nations has confirmed that Iraq has sufficient supplies to produce over 25,000 liters of anthrax, more than 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin and as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard gas and VX nerve agent, Cheney noted. U.N. officials also know Iraq had about 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical weapons and several mobile biological weapons laboratories designed to produce germ warfare agents.
"Saddam Hussein has never accounted for nor destroyed these instruments of terror," Cheney said. "His desire for nuclear weapons remains undiminished."
The United States, he said, is determined to prevent the world's terrorists and their sponsors from realizing their evil ambitions.
"We will not accept a serious threat to our country, to our friends and to our allies," Cheney vowed. "Whatever action is required, whenever action is necessary, we will defend the freedom and the security of the American people."
On Feb. 5, he said, Secretary of State Colin Powell will present information and intelligence to the U.N. Security Council about Iraq's ongoing defiance.
"Our purpose is not simply to follow a process," he said. "It is to end the terrible threats to the civilized world. And as the president said the other night, the course of this nation does not depend upon the decisions of others."