FTN - 12/8/02

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BOB SCHIEFFER, Chief Washington Correspondent: Today on Face the Nation, Saddam Hussein says he has no weapons of mass destruction. But should we believe him?

Yesterday, Iraq released a 12,000-page declaration on banned weapons and claimed it had no weapons of mass destruction and no current programs to develop them. How should the United States react to this? What if our intelligence contradicts the report? Does this mean we're closer to war?

These are the questions for the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Bob Graham of Florida, and Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, who is the new chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

We'll also talk about the ongoing inspections with former nuclear arms inspector David Albright.

Gloria Borger is here, and I'll have a final word on Roone Arledge.

But first, what to do about Iraq, on Face the Nation.

ANNOUNCER: Face the Nation, with CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer. And now, from CBS News in Washington, Bob Schieffer.

SCHIEFFER: Good morning again, on a weekend that could be a turning point in the developing crisis with Iraq and Saddam Hussein.

The government of Iraq this morning, or yesterday, put out a 12,000-page report in Arabic, claiming that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction. A little more than just a weekend reading assignment, it seems to me.

Joining us to talk about it, from Indianapolis this morning, Senator Richard Lugar, the incoming chairman of the Foreign Relation Committee; here in our studio, Senator Bob Graham, co-chairman of the Select Intelligence Committee of the Senate.

Senator Graham, we have the report now. The U.N. inspectors have the report. It's a long one. The president says no decisions will be made until they've had a chance to study it, analyze it. What happens next?

SEN. BOB GRAHAM, D-Florida: Well, I think the issue of timing is very important now, and there are at least three dimensions to that timing.
One is the state of our military preparedness, when we'll be at a point that we are ready to use force.

Number two is the question of how long will it take to adequately digest what is in these 12,000 pages, share that information with particularly the other permanent members of the Security Council.

And then the third issue of timing is our preparation to deal with the consequences of action in Iraq. We have very compelling intelligence that, when Saddam Hussein's back is against the wall, when he's about to lose power, that's when he becomes the most dangerous. And one of the ways that he will display that danger is by energizing a series of terrorist attacks inside the United States of America. We need to be certain that we've done everything, in the days and weeks that remain, to decapitate the capability for that kind of terrorist attack inside the U.S.

SCHIEFFER: Senator Graham, some critics of the administration say the administration has already made up its mind, that we're going to war with Iraq no matter what this report says. What's your assessment?

GRAHAM: I don't reach that conclusion. I think the administration is genuine in its desire to pursue the issue of disarmament of Iraq, which begins with knowing what it is they've got to disarm. I don't think we would have gone through this process of getting congressional support and then getting the United Nations to adopt a new resolution which gives substantially greater powers to the inspectors, just as a show.

GLORIA BORGER, U.S. News & World Report: Senator Lugar, does the administration now need to make its case? Does it need to declassify some information and let the American people know what it says it knows about Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction?

SCHIEFFER: Senator Lugar, hold on just a second. It seems we've lost audio contact with you. I take it -- you're nodding your head -- you can hear me. Let us try to work on that and get it back in order here. But while we do, we'll talk to Senator Graham.

BORGER: Why don't you answer that question then?

GRAHAM: I think there will be a point in time, Gloria, when we'll have to face that question. We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction storage.

At what point we do what President Kennedy did in 1962, which is to make that information available to the American people and to the international community as a predicate for whatever use of force will follow, is going to be an important strategic decision for this administration.

BORGER: What do you mean by "compelling"? Will this be evidence -- you know, obviously you've seen some -- will this be evidence that, if it's shown to the American people, they will say, OK, that's it?

GRAHAM: Yes. I think that -- it's not of the same character as the 1962 Cuban missile crisis...

BORGER: Not a photograph.

GRAHAM: Because what we're dealing with now are not missile silos, but rather production facilities for biological and chemical weapons, primarily.

But I think we have compelling evidence, both from technical sources and from human sources. The question is, when do we put that on the table in making the case to the American people and to the international community, which would justify the use of force and which would bring with us allies in that use of force.

SCHIEFFER: But, Senator, hearing you this morning, and obviously you've been briefed on all of this, you seem to be saying this morning, "I have seen the evidence, I know what he has, I agree with the administration that there are weapons of mass destruction there." Am I characterizing what you're saying correctly?

GRAHAM: Well, I am saying -- Bob, I have seen enough evidence -- I don't know if I've seen all the evidence, but I've seen enough just to be satisfied that there has been a continuing effort by Saddam Hussein, since the end of the Gulf War, particularly since 1998, to reestablish and enhance Iraq's capacity, weapons of mass destruction, chemical, biological and nuclear.

SCHIEFFER: Well, walk us through what ought to happen next, in your view. The Administration's going to analyze this. Let's just say they conclude that Saddam Hussein is once again lying, as he has so often in the past, and he is claiming he doesn't have the weapons, when in fact we know that he has.

What do we do next? Do we make that evidence public? Do we go back to the United Nations and ask for another resolution? Or do we just go in and whack him right now?

GRAHAM: Well, first, it shouldn't be a leisurely stroll through this information. We should be moving as expeditiously as we can. And while we are engaged in that, we should be running to decapitate these terrorist groups which have clearly threatened and clearly have the capability, including operatives inside the United States, who were recruited and trained to engage in terrorist activities, we need to take every possible step to degrade their capabilities.

SCHIEFFER: Let's go back to Senator Lugar. I think we have his audio capability back.

Senator Lugar, I'm just going to give you a free shot here.

(LAUGHTER)

SEN. RICHARD LUGAR, R-Indiana: Thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHIEFFER: What is your assessment of what has happened? What should be our reaction now to the release of this report by the Iraqis?

LUGAR: The Administration has to assess how many allies that we will need. This is taking for granted that the report will perhaps reveal a few hundred pounds of chemical weapons, or a miscue here or there.

At the present time, we'll have to decide whether we want a Security Council resolution, or, barring that, whether Turkey is still with us, and various other vital allies, in terms of our military preparation. And as Senator Graham has said, the timing then of effective military work, even after we've decided who all is aboard with us.

BORGER: Well, let me ask you the question I started to ask you before, which was, when or should the United States declassify some of its intelligence, and let the American people and the international community know what it says it knows about Iraq's capacity with the weapons of mass destruction?

LUGAR: Well, the administration will have to make a judgment as to how much declassification it wants to do, even while it's working with our allies, who clearly will probably learn what we know, have to make some political judgments.

It may very well be that the advice of our allies will be that we ought to go very public, that we ought to have worldwide opinion, quite apart from their own opinion.

I think these are delicate judgments. It depends upon the nature of the intelligence and likewise the potential war effort in which we're involved, in which we would not want to reveal everything.

BORGER: What do you think, though, Senator? Would you like to see more information declassified?

LUGAR: Yes, but my own experience in Russia has been that, if you don't have the scientists, the workers really pointing out precisely the dual use, where it is, where it was stored, what people have done for the last 10 years, you don't have very much.

And I think, at the end of the day, we've come back to that. Hans Blix has been very reluctant to give safe passage to people out of Iraq. I hope that he would be less reluctant. As they come out and they are interviewed, then I think the world will learn a lot.

Absent that, it'll be a detective effort which simply won't work. We'll be chasing around for the better part of weeks and months.

SCHIEFFER: So what you're saying is, the inspectors should try to basically encourage these people to defect...

LUGAR: Of course. That's where...

SCHIEFFER: ... and we should protect them in doing that.

Is that doable?

LUGAR: Of course. And that's where the information comes.

In Russia, at place after place, if we had not had good work by our CDR people, to begin with, U.S. people, who then made it possible for people like myself to go in and take a look at vials in ice boxes or caves, or things that could be used for perfume and chemical weapons at the same time, we wouldn't have a clue.

Now, these inspectors are much better off than we are in that judgment, but not better off in terms of having the goods, in other words, of indicating, really, what has been going on and what is still likely to be there.

SCHIEFFER: I understand the concept that you're talking about here, but I wonder, just from a practical standpoint, how do you do that?

Let's suppose that one of these inspectors gets one of these scientists and he agrees to leave the country. How do you get him out of the country without putting the whole inspection team in danger? Because obviously Saddam Hussein and his military people are going to do whatever they can to stop that from happening?

LUGAR: Well, at that point...

SCHIEFFER: And even if you do it, and they find out about it later, won't they arrest the inspectors, or whatever?

LUGAR: No, I think, at that point, you have had the serious breach in a big way. Saddam has to let people work with the U.N., or clearly they are in violation.

He's supposed to make a full disclosure, absolutely truthful, full disclosure. Now, if Saddam is involved in stopping people from offering testimony that leads to full disclosure, that clearly is a breach, and a very big one.

BORGER: Senator Graham, do you have a sense that this is going to take months, that this is going to take weeks? What's the timetable?

GRAHAM: Well, I think one of the things that affects the timetable is the climate in Iraq. There has been a military judgment that the ideal time for the use of force in Iraq would be during the winter months, when our technology will function most effectively, and to avoid going to war in the heat of the spring and summer.

So, whether there is a cutoff time that's being established by the defense planners, that we must make a decision by X date in order to be able to initiate and complete action within the most advantageous time of the year is another factor.

BORGER: So that's...

SCHIEFFER: Let me just shift the subject just a minute, because there's something else I want to ask you about, and that is, your Intelligence Committee is getting ready to consider recommendations about what to do about intelligence failures, a big report you'll vote on this week.

Reports in "The New York Times" today and "The Washington Post" say that the leaders of the committee have decided that what is needed here is a Cabinet-level official to oversee all of the intelligence agencies. Do you want to put that on the record and confirm that's what you're going to recommend?

GRAHAM: That has been a consistent recommendation of commissions which have looked at the intelligence community over the last several years.

We found, in looking at the specific questions of what happened before September the 11th, that one of the major causes, in terms of the intelligence community failures, were the fact that people weren't talking with each other. An agency had a piece of information which they weren't sharing. They had a piece of information which was not being used to strengthen our immigration service's ability to keep bad people out of the country.

I believe that that problem would be substantially alleviated if there was somebody in charge who could assure that all of the agencies were on the same page and all participating as a team, as opposed to a dozen separate agencies.

SCHIEFFER: So, would you say that's the most significant recommendation that your committee will make?

GRAHAM: We will make about 20 recommendations. That is certainly one of the most important, but others relate to how we should go about the process and the timing of strengthening our internal intelligence collection.

SCHIEFFER: Let's go back quickly to Senator Lugar, because we kind of gave him short shrift today.

Senator, would you agree with that? Do you think there needs to be someone to oversee all the agencies who's not a member of one of the agencies? Would that help this situation?

LUGAR: Yes, it would.

Usually the recommendation in the past is that the director of the Central Intelligence Agency ought to be that person, but I'm certainly open to suggestions as to how you formulate it.

We do need, as Senator Graham has said, and that's clear from the testimony before the committees, people who talk to each other. The firewalls have to come down, and that will be very tough, given the culture within our own government.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, gentlemen, I think we're going to have to leave it there.

Senator Lugar, again, we apologize to you for -- these things just happen some times.

LUGAR: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHIEFFER: Senator Graham, thank you so much for being with us.

GRAHAM: Thank you very much.

SCHIEFFER: We'll be back with more. We'll be talking to a former inspector, to kind of go over this process of what's happening in Iraq right now, in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: With us now is David Albright who's something of an expert on this sort of thing because he was one of the inspectors.

And I guess your specialty is nuclear.

DAVID ALBRIGHT, Former United Nations Weapons Inspector: Nuclear, yes.

SCHIEFFER: Nuclear things.

Mr. Albright, I was intrigued that both Senator Graham and Senator Lugar said that they think these inspectors should encourage Iraqi scientists and so forth to basically defect. Is that practical? Can that be done?

ALBRIGHT: Yes, it can. It's tough. I mean, it hasn't really been thought through in all the ways you need to, but you can do it. First and foremost, you have to make sure you're protecting the Iraqis.

And you also, because of the nature of the resolution, have an obligation to do this because the inspectors can now interview the Iraqis without their minders. And if they tell you something that you're going to use, you have a responsibility to safely get them and their families out of Iraq.

And I think the ability to interview the Iraqis alone is extremely important to detect lying or to encourage Iraqis to blow the whistle on a secret program.

BORGER: When do you think the United States should make its own intelligence information available to the inspectors and go through the process? We've said no, not yet.

ALBRIGHT: And I think the time isn't quite right. I mean, we really have to analyze the declaration and find, in a sense, the right intelligence information to use. If the point is to show non-compliance, then you want to show it in a convincing way. And you also -- the intelligence agencies need to build up trust with the inspectors to make sure that stuff doesn't leak.

BORGER: So what are they looking for on this document? They get a phonebook written in Arabic. What are they now combing through it looking for? And what can they tell immediately, you know, right off the bat?

ALBRIGHT: Well, much of it's in English, actually.

BORGER: Oh, OK.

ALBRIGHT: And they're supposed to be in English. And it appears that part of the declaration is just the old declaration. And so you want to see if the Iraqis answered the unresolved issues in 1998. And there's a lot of issues that were outstanding in the biological weapons area and chemical weapons. And so, have those been answered? If they haven't, then Iraq is in non-compliance.

You're looking at what they've done since '91, and you want to look very carefully at those sections which I understand are considerably shorter, particularly in the nuclear area.

So I think quickly you can start making a decision about whether Iraq is providing new information.

SCHIEFFER: Do you think we'll actually find out anything that we didn't know?

ALBRIGHT: I hope so. I hope they answer these questions. And there's been suspicions they've continued their nuclear weapons program. And I would expect them to talk about that. And if they haven't, then to provide an argument and evidence why they haven't.

SCHIEFFER: You know what I find kind of interesting and what makes it kind of hard for me to believe that they can get anything done is you see all of these people wearing these little blue baseball caps driving around in these cars with these hordes of reporters following them around.

How are they going to surprise anybody? And how do you find anything if you don't surprise them?

ALBRIGHT: Well, I don't know. I mean, I think they're going to have to work out a procedure. I mean, they may get lucky. I mean, maybe a critical site's in Baghdad. And they can be driving around the circuitous route and then suddenly hit the facility, and they can have all the reporters there. If it's outside of Baghdad, it's going to be considerably harder.

So really, inspectors and the governments have to think through how they're going to proceed and coordinate closely while maintaining security.

BORGER: Is there any possibility that the inspectors can get their work done within the next couple of months? I mean, is that...

ALBRIGHT: I think they can get their work done if they're focused on showing non-compliance. It takes much longer to show that Iraq is complying. It's a very hard problem and would take at least a year.

BORGER: Well, how can you, for example, prove that you have destroyed weapons? I mean, isn't that kind of a hard thing to...

ALBRIGHT: This has happened many times with Iraq, where they destroyed things and said, oh, we had these things. And in some cases, inspectors had to go out there and be involved in digging up areas. Some of the times the stuff is dangerous, in liquid form. I mean, it's a real mess to go back and do archaeology. And so you don't want them to do that.

But it can be dealt with and, particularly, if people understand that the point of inspections is not to find the smoking gun, it may be just to find the smoke, and that that is sufficient to show that Iraq is not complying.

SCHIEFFER: Well, I mean, nobody really, I guess, thinks that they're going to just drive around and suddenly find a bunch of weapons stored in a warehouse. I mean, what are they looking for? They're looking for various components that could be put together and give them this capability?

ALBRIGHT: Well, they're also looking for inconsistencies in statements. Also, some indication that the story isn't complete. You may not know where the facility is. You may not know what actually happened there. But you can determine that they haven't been told the whole story.

And that was very important in the case of North Korea. And that led almost to war because the determination of the international community was that was sufficient to show that North Korea was not completely telling the truth.

SCHIEFFER: We have just a few seconds left. What do you think? Do you think this will be successful? Do you think we'll find what we need to find?

ALBRIGHT: I think the inspectors can find whether Iraq is in compliance or not, and that's really the job of the inspectors. And so I think that can be done.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, thank you very much. That's very helpful.

ALBRIGHT: Thank you.

SCHIEFFER: We appreciate you coming by.

Back with a final word in just a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: Finally today, I want to add a few sentences to all that's been said about Roone Arledge, who died on Thursday. He more or less invented modern television sports coverage, and he was hailed for all the technological innovations he brought to TV: the freeze frames, the instant replay, the sophisticated graphics.

The accolades were well deserved, but here's why I admired him. Too often in television, we become so carried away with the wonders of technology that we use it just to show we have it. Arledge knew better. He used technology to tell the story better. He never let it drive the story or get in the way of the story.

More importantly, when he built ABC News into a powerful news-gathering organization, he did not build it around technology. He built it around great reporters, which are the core of all good news organizations.

Too often, TV executives put the most telegenic young person on camera, surround them with all kinds of sophisticated graphics, and then assign a corps of off-camera producers to make them look good, but not Arledge. He was not afraid to hire smart people, the best he could find. He put them out front and depended on them to drive the coverage. He understood that excellence filters down and almost never filters up.

So, as others celebrate the bells and whistles that he brought to TV news, I'll remember his old-fashioned side. He believed that, if a story broke, you sent the best people you could find out to see what was happening, and then tell the rest of us about it, and tell us whether we need to worry about it.

That's the part of Roone Arledge I liked.

That's it for us. See you next, right here on Face the Nation