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Public Statements

Federal News Service - Hearing of the House Committee on International Relations on The Bush Administration and Nonproliferation - Transcript - Part I

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


Federal News Service March 30, 2004 Tuesday
Copyright 2004 The Federal News Service, Inc.
Federal News Service

March 30, 2004 Tuesday

HEADLINE: PANEL I OF A HEARING OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

SUBJECT: THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION AND NONPROLIFERATION: A NEW STRATEGY EMERGES

CHAIRED BY: REPRESENTATIVE HENRY HYDE (R-IL)

WITNESS: JOHN R. BOLTON, UNDER SECRETARY FOR ARMS CONTROL AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

LOCATION: 2172 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING, WASHINGTON, D.C.

BODY:

REP. HENRY HYDE (R-IL): The committee will come to order.

We live in a world and in a city where rumblings of warning blend into a familiar background, where fluency in the language of crises is widely shared, where doomsayers and Cassandras readily ply their trade. Some alarms are of an immediate nature and are drawn from the empirical world; others are distilled from more abstract projections. But I can think of no scenario more frightening, more disastrous, than that of terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction, of which nuclear weapons are the transcendent example.

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REP. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (R-FL): Thank you so much, Mr. Chairman. I have a fuller version of my remarks that I'd like to include in the record. But I'd like to commend you, Mr. Chairman, and President Bush and his administration for their commitment and their dedication to rid the world of threats posed by dictators such as Libya's Qhadafi.

In looking to our future relations with Libya, however, is the U.S. going to require continued U.S. verification and compliance beyond the removal of current equipment and material?

Unfortunately, Iran's actions and statements indicate that the regime in Teheran has failed to heed the lessons of Iraq and Libya and the contrasting responses from the U.S. to the two. So beyond reporting the Iran case to the U.N. Security Council, what is the overarching U.S. strategy with respect to Iran's proliferation efforts?

The Russian minister of atomic energy continues to indicate that Russia may soon deliver thousands of fuel rods to the Iranian nuclear reactor, and we're interested in knowing what we are doing to ensure that the Russian Federation does not transfer this material.

I commend the administration's efforts at imposing penalties on entities and individuals engaged in this illicit activity. So I would appreciate hearing the undersecretary's views on the implementation of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act that would deny Iran the funds to pay for this threatening activity.

And turning to Syria, given reports about efforts by the Syria regime to enlist the assistance of Australia to intercede with the U.S., does this indicate Syrian interest in following Libya's lead? And would we trust such an overture from the Syrian regime, given its decades of manipulation of U.S. policy?

And turning to one more rogue state just 90 miles from our shores, I wanted to ask Undersecretary Bolton about the problems with existing intelligence reporting on Cuba. And I noticed in your written testimony you addressed these issues. I wanted to know if the intelligence community is addressing them and is coordinating. Further, are Cuba's activities being evaluated within the context of the Cuba-Venezuela-Brazil access and within the growing operations of the Middle East terrorist groups that are operating in our own hemisphere?

And just in closing, Mr. Chairman, I'd like to underscore my support for President Bush's counterproliferation initiatives and for Mr. Bolton's efforts in promoting and implementing this critical component of the president's vision of a more secure America and a more secure world. And I'm interested in some of the details concerning the proposals to close loopholes in the NPT and about the U.N. Security Council resolution, given the negotiations between the three EU foreign ministers in Iran, negotiations which, in my opinion, undermined our efforts to sanction Iran for its breaches and non- compliance. And what steps are we taking to safeguard ourselves against countries clinging to the lowest common denominator rather than taking concrete steps to counter proliferation?

So Mr. Bolton, welcome again to our committee, and I thank you for your proud service to our country.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Mr. Bolton and Mr. Sherman, we're already past two minutes, but --

MR. BOLTON: -- where we are working in the IAEA --

REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: -- we'll wrap up the exchange.

MR. BOLTON: We are working in the IAEA. We need the support. We need the diplomatic support of Japan and others. And I hope you would join with us in encouraging the Japanese to continue to support these multilateral efforts.

REP. SHERMAN: I would encourage --

REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Sherman. Mr. Weller.

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REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Thank you, Mr. Weller.

REP. WELLER: Thank you.

REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Mr. Delahunt.

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REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: If the gentleman would yield just for a second; I'm not going to take away from your time, Mr. Delahunt. But I would like to tell the members that, of course, they're free to pursue their line of questioning regarding Pakistan or any line of questioning, but I would like to point out that both the chairman and the ranking member have had classified briefings on this subject and that perhaps, if they could contact the chairman and the ranking member or we could hold another classified hearing on this topic, because I know it goes further than what Mr. Bolton is prepared to say in this open hearing. But please continue, Mr. Delahunt.

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REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Thank you very much, Mr. Delahunt. Ms. McCollum.

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REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Can't tell you in open session.

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REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Will the gentle woman yield?

REP. MCCOLLUM: Madam Chair?

REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Yes?

REP. MCCOLLUM: I asked questions. I have an election certificate. I would like some answers, and I do not wish to be grilled by Mr. Bolton.

MR. BOLTON: Well, I think --

REP. MCCOLLUM: He is here to testify in front of this committee. I have every right with the oath of office I took to ask questions, and I asked him respectfully, and I would respectfully ask for answers.

REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Thank you, Ms. McCollum.

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REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Thank you. Ms. Lee?

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REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Thank you very much, Ms. Lee.

REP. LEE: Thank you, Madam Chair.

REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Ms. Watson.

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REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Yes, of course. It is.

REP. WATSON: -- is said goes down on the record.

REP. ROS-Lehtinen: Thank you, Ms. Watson-of course it does.

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REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Thank you, Ms. Watson. If you could just wrap it up in the next few seconds.

REP. WATSON: Okay. I am very fearful with this proposal that the United States would go it alone. And I would hope that in subsequent hearings we could get some actual feedback of what the intentions are, should this proposal be absolutely confirmed and affirmed and joined.

REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Thank you, Ms. Watson. Mr. Schiff. So sorry. Mr. Rohrabacher-sorry, Dana, I didn't look. Sorry.

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REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Thank you, Mr. Rohrabacher. Mr. Schiff.

REP. ACKERMAN: Would-would the gentleman yield?

REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: If-I have been kind enough to let other members run over their time, including Mr. Rohrabacher, and if we could just this moving, Mr. Ackerman, in a minute I will recognize you. Mr. Schiff.

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REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: You can wrap up your questions, Mr. Schiff.

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REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Thank you, Mr. Schiff. And I know that all of you want to get into this discussion. I've been very generous in allowing all the members to go way over their time limit. And I will ask them to please submit their follow-up questions in writing to Mr. Bolton, who I know will be eager to respond.

And I will also pass on to the chairman and the ranking member the eager interest of our members to continue these discussions, both in an open and a closed format, and will make sure that I will tell both of them of our strong interest.

I also have a set of questions that, in the interest of time and to our next panelists, I will submit to you in writing, Mr. Bolton. And I would now like to thank you for your testimony.

REP. ACKERMAN: Madam Chair?

REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: I will recognize Mr. Ackerman to make a one- minute final statement, and we're all running over. Mr. Ackerman.

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REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Correct.

REP. ACKERMAN: And we would appreciate it if we could have another session with Mr. Bolton.

REP. ROS-LEHTINEN: Right. And I will make sure that I follow up with that with our chair and our ranking member.

Thank you again, Mr. Bolton, for being here today.

MR. BOLTON: Thank you, Madam Chairman.

END

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