Q: General Shalikashvili, today
your predecessor, General Powell, testified on the Hill. He supported
the Chemical Weapons Convention. But he also said that the revelations
of the past couple of days, that the CIA had failed to list panacea
on a list of suspected Iraqi chemical weapons sight was quote,
"outrageous", and said that if he were still in office,
he would be ranting and raving about this. You are in office.
What's your reaction to the news of the last couple of days?
A: Well I am -- I would let General
Powell make his own judgments how he would react to it. I'm not
one who rants and raves. That doesn't mean that I'm not very
much concerned with any kind of information that indicates that
we could have provided some warning and didn't. The proper thing
to do now in my judgment is to ensure that the correct investigations
are conducted into the reasons why such information might not
have been made available and ensure we fix the system so that
in the future, if in fact there was this omission, something like
that cannot happen again.
Q: Is this an intelligence failure
in your opinion?
A: I have no idea. I don't know
enough about it either than what the CIA has revealed about that
case, so I think it's too early to draw any conclusions.
Q: General, on the Chemical
Weapons Convention, as I understand the Chiefs' position is that
you feel that you can deter the use of chemical weapons based
on the Gulf War without having a chemical weapons deterrent.
In your statement of the use of overwhelming and devastating response,
does that include the use of nuclear weapons or is that strictly
limited to a conventional response?
A: I don't think it would be very useful for me to be terribly specific on that issue other than to tell you that we do not exclude any capability that's at our disposal.
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