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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Discussion with Former Weapons Inspector Terry Taylor

Aired January 27, 2003 - 12:04   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Terence Taylor, the man in charge from 1993 to '97 sat here in complete disbelief I think the whole time he heard the ambassador speak. Walk us through why you're reacting the way you are.
TERRY TAYLOR, FMR. INSPECTOR: I wasn't in charge of all the inspections. I was one of the inspectors.

ZAHN: You were one of the chief inspectors, I should have said. I just elevated you. We like you so much around here.

TAYLOR: I think what you've heard from the Iraqi ambassador is the essence of the problem. He defines cooperation as allowing access to many hundreds of sites and listing thousands of inspections. As we well know, they're not handing over information of substance unless the inspectors find it or catch them out.

I know from firsthand with the team that looked for four and a half years for the Iraqi biological weapons program, and they gave us no documents, they gave no information; they just said no, we don't have one, and so we're still up against this again, and even then, you heard the Iraqi ambassador saying, well, we have handed over all the information we have and nothing is hidden.

But we heard in the report by the inspectors, chief inspectors, that a 3,000-page document was found in the private home of an Iraqi Nuclear scientist. I mean, first of all, that's not correct at all.

ZAHN: And the Iraqi ambassador made sort of an odd statement about whatever we will find referring to maybe documents that will be turned over in the future?

TAYLOR: Well it's not clear what he really meant. I think he claims that they've handed over all the relevant documents, but he also indicated that, well, the inspectors may find more and they may even find more as they go along, so this is where the problem lies.

ZAHN: Final thought from you as we wrap up our special coverage here about the twin messages that both Mr. Blix and Mr. Elbaradei had today. One was to the U.N., we need more time, one was to the Iraqis, yes, you may be giving us access, but you're not giving us any new information.

TAYLOR: Yes, that's the clear message now, and I think the judgment by members of the Security Council is how much more time, if any, are they going to allow for the inspection process to continue. The two chief inspectors made it clear they were not only just getting full up to strength for their fully and comprehensive inspections, you heard the term used by Mohammed Elbaradei for the early stages of the inspection, the first month or so, was in the nature of a reconnaissance, so now we're getting up to full speed.

They don't have the high-altitude surveillance plane to overfly the Iraqis of set conditions which are impossible to accept, as reported by Dr. Hans Blix, and we had that in the 1990s. We had all this assistance, all the helicopters and so on. We still had a tough job to do. I think these have an even harder job to do than we had in the 1990s.

ZAHN: Well, we appreciate your insights today, and your reaction to what we just heard, Terence Taylor, once again, of the chief inspectors from 1993 to 1997 in Iraq.

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