Senator Carl Levin
United States Senate
269 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Re: Iraq's nuclear program
Dear Senator Levin:
Landmark Legal Foundation ("Landmark"), like you, is concerned that when public officials make representations about a matter as grave as Iraq's nuclear program, that such representations are properly sourced.
We understand that you have called for wide-reaching investigations into the President's statement during his January 28, 2003, State of the Union Address that "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." You allege that the Bush Administration may have manipulated intelligence information or pressured intelligence agencies to deceive the American people into supporting war against Iraq. Of course, these are very serious charges.
We are compelled, therefore, to question your repeated assertions about the existence of an Iraqi nuclear program and the bases and sources for these assertions.
For example, on October 9, 1998, you delivered a speech on the Senate floor in which you stated, in part:
"With respect to Iraq's history, the Security Council noted Iraq's threat during the Gulf War to use chemical weapons in violation of its treaty obligations, Iraq's prior use of chemical weapons, Iraq's use of ballistic missiles in unprovoked attacks, and reports that Iraq attempted to acquire materials for a nuclear weapons program contrary to its treaty obligations."
On which "reports" were you relying for your contention that "Iraq attempted to acquire materials for a nuclear weapons program?"
Moreover, as recently as August 4, 2002, during an appearance on the CBS News program Face the Nation, you had the following exchange with co-host Gloria Borger:
Borger: ... This week the Iraqis invited the chief U.N. arms inspector back in. We have said this is a phony invitation. So has the United Nations. Senator Levin, what do you do? Do you send in arms inspectors? Do you think that they will ever really get to the bottom of the question of what Saddam really has?
Levin: Well, I think you send them in, but you don't have any illusions as to whether they'll get to the bottom of what he has. Because I assume he would continue to attempt to hide those chemical and biological weapons and continue with a clandestine nuclear program if he can.
What evidence did you rely on to assert that Iraq would "continue with a clandestine nuclear program?"
There are numerous other examples in which you've alleged unequivocally the existence of an Iraqi nuclear program (and other weapons of mass destruction) -- in the media, in committee hearings, and on the Senate floor - over the course of the last 4-5 years. As a key member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, when you make allegations of this kind, they are presumed to be credible and substantiated. Therefore, we ask that you immediately reveal the sources on which you relied to make your allegations.
Mark R. Levin