DATE=2/5/97
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-209712
TITLE=CIA / CHEMICAL WEAPONS (L-ONLY)
BYLINE=DAVID SWAN
DATELINE=SENATE
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:

INTRO: THE HEAD OF THE (U-S) CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY IS SUPPORTING THE GLOBAL CHEMICAL WEAPONS TREATY, THOUGH HE CONCEDES IT WILL BE HARD TO VERIFY WHETHER COUNTRIES COMPLY WITH THE PACT. V-O-A'S DAVID SWAN REPORTS, THE TREATY IS FACING RESISTANCE IN THE SENATE, WHERE THE WHITE HOUSE IS PUSHING FOR AN EARLY VOTE ON APPROVAL.

TEXT: ACTING C-I-A DIRECTOR GEORGE TENET SAYS THE "CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION" CANNOT BE PERFECTLY VERIFIED. TESTIFYING BEFORE THE SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE, MR. TENET SAID ANY COUNTRY DETERMINED TO CHEAT ON THE PACT CAN EASILY DO SO.

// TENET ACT //

WE CAN NEVER GUARANTEE THAT A POWER THAT SIGNS UP TO THIS AGREEMENT WON'T CHEAT. THESE CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS ARE SMALL, THEY'RE EASILY HIDDEN.

// END ACT //

BUT MR. TENET ARGUES THE TREATY IS STILL WORTHWHILE. HE TOLD THE LAWMAKERS IT SHOULD HAMPER -- IF NOT TOTALLY STOP -- CHEMICAL TERRORISM, LIKE THE DEADLY NERVE GAS ATTACK ON THE TOKYO SUBWAY TWO YEARS AGO. MR. TENET SAYS THE ACCORD PROVIDES VALUABLE TOOLS FOR TRACKING THE DEVELOPMENT AND SPREAD OF SUCH WEAPONS -- EVEN IF SOME NATIONS ARE LESS THAN HONEST ABOUT THEIR CHEMICAL ARSENALS.

// TENET ACT //

I WOULD NEVER ASSUME THAT WHAT SOME COUNTRIES WHO MAY SIGN UP (TO THE TREATY) PROVIDE ME IS GOING TO BE ABSOLUTELY ACCURATE. I MEAN, THERE'S GAMBLING IN THIS CASINO.

// END ACT //

THE TREATY IS ONE OF PRESIDENT CLINTON'S TOP FOREIGN POLICY GOALS. IN HIS STATE OF THE UNION MESSAGE (TUESDAY NIGHT), HE URGED THE SENATE TO SET PARTISANSHIP ASIDE AND RATIFY THE PACT BY APRIL 29TH, WHEN IT FORMALLY TAKES EFFECT.

REPUBLICANS ARGUE THE TREATY IS SERIOUSLY FLAWED BECAUSE OF THE VERIFICATION PROBLEMS AND BECAUSE THE COUNTRIES MOST LIKELY TO USE CHEMICAL WEAPONS HAVE NOT EVEN SIGNED IT. THE CRITICS' CONCERNS HAVE BEEN HEIGHTENED BY A PENTAGON REPORT SUGGESTING RUSSIA COULD PRODUCE LARGE AMOUNTS OF CHEMICAL AGENTS WITHIN WEEKS. THE C-I-A SAYS IRAN ALSO HAS AN INCREASINGLY ACTIVE CHEMICAL WEAPONS PROGRAM. (SIGNED)

NEB/DS/RRM

05-Feb-97 1:39 PM EST (1839 UTC)

Source: Voice of America