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22 April 2003

Central Command Daily Briefing Transcript

(Operation Iraqi Freedom update) (5780)

Army Brigadier General Vincent Brooks, CENTCOM deputy director of
operations, briefed the media April 22 at CENTCOM's headquarters at
Camp As Sayliyah near Doha, Qatar.

Following is the transcript of the briefing:

(begin transcript)

UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
BRIEFER: BRIG. GEN. VINCE BROOKS, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
LOCATION: DOHA, QATAR
TIME: 7:03 A.M. EDT
DATE: TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2003


GEN. BROOKS: Well, good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. This is the
33rd day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, since coalition forces entered
Iraq. Currently, our operations have focused on actions related to
establishing security and setting the conditions for a stable and free
Iraq. The coalition is working closely with Iraqi citizens, Iraqi
workers, and humanitarian organizations. Dangers are still evident,
and there are continuing examples of lethal preparations being made by
individuals who would seek instability instead of stability.

Our efforts to pursue regime leaders and to defeat regime pockets of
resistance continue to prove successful. In the meantime, our forces
are establishing a presence throughout the country to better support
those stability efforts that are ongoing.

Even as we proceed further away from decisive combat, we remember
those who lost their lives in this cause, and we also remember their
loved ones.

In the last 24 hours, forces have begun moving into a better posture
for establishing security and stability, and in some cases they've
encountered pockets of resistance. Near Mosul in northern Iraq and in
an airfield just to the west of it, coalition forces yesterday took
some direct small arms fire from a small and disorganized force. The
force was repelled and it also moved away from the airfield before any
of them could be captured.

This reminds us that there will still be fire fights like this, not
uncommon to stability operations in other places. And there will also
be offensive action to defeat any of the elements that are identified
who would seek to cause instability through force.

Our clearing operations in Baghdad continued as 5th Corps forces took
over the entire city, expanding into the eastern area formerly secured
by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. During an action to stop a
looting, soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division discovered a
significant amount of money behind a false wall. The amount is
believed to be in excess of 600 million U.S. Dollars in $100 bills.
This video clip shows the movement that followed the seizure.

(Begin video clip.)

These are $100 bills. They were moved on multiple pallets into a C-130
aircraft. Security was obviously a concern throughout. The items were
moved to a secure location, transported by truck, and placed into a
secure warehouse where law enforcement officials can have an
examination of those particular items. We do have an estimated amount
now, since it must be counted after all of them are opened. Not all
containers have been opened at this point. They will be protected
throughout that period of time.

(End of video clip.)

Over the last two days, coalition forces have taken two of the top 55
regime leaders into custody. The first is Jamal Mustafa Abdullah
Sultan al-Tikriti, who is the deputy chief of tribal affairs office,
and who we believe may have insights into the regime's inner circle.
The second is Mohammed Hamza al-Zubeidi, a Ba'ath Party commander, a
former deputy prime minister, and a key regime player with insights
into regime decisions.

These captures raise the count to 11 of the 55 currently in coalition
custody. And our coalition efforts continue in pursuing all former
regime leaders that are not yet accounted for.

As the campaign continues and the situation changes, our operation
also changes. Security, as I've mentioned, is one of the key areas of
our current focus. While we work to make Iraq safe for Iraqis and
others who are in country to help, it's clear that we continue to
battle those who would rather see our peace efforts fail. Coalition
forces are finding or being guided to caches of improvised explosive
devices like the one I am about to show you. This is an explosive vest
recently found. Some of these vests are vests that are normally used
to carry ammunition.

I've got some additional images of the vests. Explosives are inserted
into the pockets, or in some cases they are sewn actually into the
fabric. This is a -- the vest having been laid open. One more please.
This is a little packet that is sewn into the fabric itself. It
contains ball bearings to increase the amount of lethality when the
explosion occurs. We have found a number of these in several different
locations, and at this point we're over 800 that have been found in
multiple finds.

In other cases, we find objects that would normally be used in a
casual setting being converted into deadly devices. You see some
marble-looking coffee tables. These tables are actually laden with
explosives and other materials that are intended to increase
casualties and be more lethal when they're used. They're construction
with sophistical electronic devices or timers like you see in this
case. Let's back up one, please. Back up one slide. Let me make sure
they hear me in back. Let's back up one slide, please. Thank you. This
is a timing device that's in the top of that same container. It can be
used to be detonated remotely or command detonated. And the next one
shows another device. Let's go ahead to the next picture. Pretty
sophisticated work that's being done. The finding of such devices
reinforces the reality that terrorist tactics and actions were
certainly supported by the regime. Further, it reinforces the need for
deliberate work to root out the terrorists that are still present in
Iraq.

An additional aspect of establishing security entails working with
citizens, and also helping to establish police forces. I've got a
short video here of some coordination done with local police.

(Video clip is shown.)

Our efforts in security also make it possible to have some events
occur that would never have occurred under the regime. The next video
shows a portion of the ongoing pilgrimage with participants walking
from An-Najaf a few days ago. That's just a short portion. I know that
there have been a number of networks that have covered the pilgrimage
as well -- a very important event that's ongoing. The pilgrimage now
has moved on to Karbala, and there are estimates that there are more
than a million people participating in something that would not have
been possible before. And thus far, it has occurred without any
significant incidents.

Our coalition efforts to restore and rehabilitate infrastructure are
ongoing as another focus. And these efforts are key to putting Iraq's
future on the best possible footing. Telecommunications are one aspect
of the infrastructure to be restored. Service is available in some
local areas, but the country-wide system will require deliberate
restoration in order to get it back up online. In the next images, a
coalition civil affairs team is meeting with telecommunications
engineers to discuss the Basra communication center.

Also in the infrastructure, we focus on the oil system. Now, oil
system restoration will have an impact on the power and water
industries, and also on the economic development of Iraq. At the base
level, workers are required. Iraq's professional and trained workforce
are returning to work all over the country, including in the oil
industry. In this image, an Iraqi contractor hired by the coalition to
assist Iraqi oil workers in returning to work, interviews a southern
oil company worker inside of a small school near Basra. And this
interview occurred on the 16th of April.

On a larger country-wide level, the restoration of the entire system
requires a thoughtful and technical approach. The coalition formed
what we call task force RIO, and it stands for Restore Iraqi Oil. This
task force was formed prior to the start of hostilities to address the
challenge of restoring and rehabilitating the Iraqi oil system. This
coalition task force organized the efforts to assess and extinguish
the oil well fires, and has made assessments as well as initial
restoration actions in the southern and northern oil fields.

In the next video, you'll see a recent meeting between the task force
commander, engineer Brigadier General Bob Creer (sp) and the Iraqi
technicians for oil, water, electric, members of the Office of
Humanitarian Assistance and Reconstruction, as well as contractors
that are working for the coalition. Let's go ahead and play the tape,
please.

(Video clip is shown.) This discussion addressed security for workers
as well as money that might be used and the restoration of electrical
power through the systems.

We continue to facilitate food distribution as well for the Iraqi
people on several levels. In the next image, you'll see soldiers of
the 402nd Civil Affairs Battalion from Greensboro, North Carolina
distributing rice to the Iraqi people on the 19th of April.

Medical care remains an area of focus. The coalition provides medical
care as required, and also enhances the medical care provided by the
Iraqi medical system. A new field hospital opened on April 20th, and
we've got a short video of that hospital as it opened. This is a field
hospital and has U.S. and Spanish health professionals working in it,
and their resources committed, and it can provide care ranging from
primary care to minor surgeries and x-rays.

Every day we find new evidence of the extraordinary disregard the
former regime held for the Iraqi people. Coalition assessments and
even media observations have seen the poor conditions of parts of the
Iraqi medical system. Many hospitals and clinics suffer from a lack of
local power, medical supplies and other needed items. The needed
materials were available to the regime, but they were withheld from
delivery.

On April 19th, the 30th Medical Brigade from Heidelberg, Germany sent
a team to assess the quantities of spare generators and parts that
were found in warehouses operated by the Iraqi Ministry of Health.
They found that available supplies and parts exceeded the coalition
expectations and have been available since before the war. These are
generators -- we know we've been trying to move generators to a number
of hospitals, they've been available. Although these certainly require
some work and repair, they are available indeed. Other supplies were
also found at this warehouse in considerable numbers.

As we said, we believe that there are enough supplies here, certainly
that exceeded the coalition's expectations, but they're enough to make
immediate impact on the condition of several medical facilities, and
the coalition will facilitate delivery as soon as possible. I think we
have one more image. Okay.

While there are many facilities that remain unsatisfactory, others are
being brought back into service for the benefit of the Iraqi people.
The next image shows a hospital in Kirkuk. It has a clinic for women
and children. It's clean and functional. The hospital recently
reopened, and that was due to the efforts of coalition civil affairs
teams in restoring electrical power and water into the city. Most
importantly, every day more Iraqis are receiving the needed care, and
they have a chance at a better future.

With that, ladies and gentlemen, I'll take your questions. Yes sir,
please.

QUESTION: Thank you. Patrick Mercer, Agence France Presse. Can you
tell us about this cease-fire that apparently has been reached with
the People's Mujaheddin -- whether -- can you confirm whether it's
true or not?

GEN. BROOKS: We've had some encounters of various sorts with the
People's Mujaheddin. We know that there was a presence inside of Iraq
and had been for some time. And this -- some of our actions involve
targeting them with lethal fires. There was some movement, some
negotiations that were undertaken by our coalition special operations
forces. At this point, a cease-fire is in effect, and some of the
People's Mujaheddin have moved into what can best be described as
assembly areas, in a non-combat formation. They do have combat
equipment, but in a non-combat formation. That's unfolding at this
time, and we still have some work to do to bring that all to a
closures, but it is in fact an ongoing action.

Yes, please.

Q: Nicole Winfield from Associated Press. On the Mujaheddin, can you
speak about what would become of the fighters? You spoke last week
about the possible capitulation or surrender. The Muja is considered a
terrorist organization by the State Department, so, you know, could
you let them just melt away, or do you have to treat them as enemy
POWs and deal with them as terrorists? And can you speak about the
role of the INC in the capture of these two from the list of 55, they
claim to have been involved in the capture? Have indeed these guys
been handed over to you from the INC? Thanks.

GEN. BROOKS: We certainly know that the United States has maintained
the MEK, as we describe it, on the terrorist list, and they still are.
So, until that changes, we view them that way. However, there's
discussion that's ongoing right now to determine exactly what the
condition and what the status will be and how we'll handle them. It's
premature for me to describe exactly what that will be at this point.

As for the Iraqi National Congress, we certainly have been working
with them throughout this operation. They did play a role in the
handover of Jamal Mustafa, and that was a useful role that they
played. I don't want to characterize it too precisely and too
specifically, since they've already proven that they have some access
that's of value to the coalition. And we certainly appreciate their
efforts in that regard.

Q: (Off mike.)

GEN. BROOKS: I don't know that there was any involvement of INC in
that particular case. I certainly know there was involvement in the
other one that I described that occurred yesterday.

Yes, please.

Q: (Inaudible.) General, I have two questions. Firstly, just now you
mentioned you found -- coalition forces have found $600 million behind
false wall. Can you tell us how this money will be used, for the
rebuilding of Iraq or for paying for the war bill?

My second question is, can you tell us how many children in Baghdad
now have access to clean water? Thank you.

GEN. BROOKS: The money that I showed is first to be secured and
examined by law enforcement officials to determine first whether it's
real money. It could be counterfeit money. We certainly can't tell
that at the level where the soldiers secured and (moved?) it.

So examination by law enforcement officials, perhaps determining where
it came from, who might have been involved in its production, its
movement, what its intended uses might have been. Any number of
questions have to be answered first, so that the immediate priority is
secure it until law enforcement officials can examine it and then let
them do their work.

Afterwards, decisions will be made depending on what it is we actually
have. We certainly wouldn't want to distribute false money. But there
will be other decisions that are made if it indeed is $600 million in
U.S. currency. This command will not make a determination on how that
will be used, so I would defer that question to a later time as we
have more information.

As to the people who have access to fresh water, you mentioned
children. But everyone is part of our concern. We have ongoing efforts
to try to make it possible for water to flow throughout the country.
We've had some great success in the last several days at restoring
power, restoring natural gas lines.

I described a few days ago what happens when natural gas is restored
from Kirkuk to Mosul and how that then goes to an electrical power
dam, which then can provide power to Baiji, which then can provide
power through Tikrit or straight into Baghdad.

At the same time, we have work that's happening in Basra. We already
know that we've gotten the water increased in Basra to well above the
pre-war level. And that level continues to provide more and more
people access to it; other areas as well throughout the country,
whether we're providing reverse-osmosis water purification, done
through military means, or whether we're trucking in the water
supplies that have been ongoing for a number of days through water
distribution points, like the one at Umm Qasr.

Those efforts are ongoing everywhere. Some of that goes into Baghdad
as well. There are packaged products that go into Baghdad and have
come in by flights flown by coalition but donated by others. There is
effort to bring the power systems back on. We know that we have the
southern part of Baghdad powered again, with the power having been
restored. We have six other locations throughout Baghdad that can
provide power on a somewhat sporadic but nevertheless available basis.

And all of these tie back into the water system. I don't know the
exact amount of who has access to water right now in Baghdad. It's a
growing number with every day that goes by and with every effort we
make to restore the power. And that will certainly increase as time
goes on.

Yes, please.

Q: Martha Brant with Newsweek. I've got a couple of questions about
WMD. There was a report in the New York Times yesterday suggesting
that one of the MET teams had made some progress, received some leads.
I wonder if you can comment on that.

And then I'm trying to better understand how the MET teams work. Do
they do all the field analysis? Do they send it back here for further
analysis? Do you know how many of the teams in Iraq are actually
dedicated specifically to WMD? I'm just trying to better understand
the system in place, if CENTCOM is a clearing house for that info. And
how does it work?

GEN. BROOKS: Well, let me give you some of that. First, we continue to
receive more and more bits of information. Some of this comes from
individuals that we take into our custody. Some of it is offered
freely by citizens that have some piece of information.

As I mentioned before, we did organize for what we call site
exploitation, which means that we have teams that have been dedicated
solely to that purpose. The METs, the mobile exploitation teams, are
only one example of that. And I'll come back to what they are and how
they are configured in just a moment.

But with each piece of information, we go and we pursue it, see if
there's something there that's worthy of further examination. It may
be in some cases that tactical units receive the information first.
Someone that's local or someone that's taken into custody says, "I
have something I think you ought to see." And they'll take a tactical
unit to a location and begin an initial examination.

All of our tactical units have the ability to do some initial
detection of chemicals, and they use their equipment, which is very
sensitive but nevertheless doesn't provide full confirmation of what
an agent might be. If there's something that requires further
examination as a result of these initial finds or something that looks
suspicious or some papers, perhaps, that might indicate they are
associated with a chemical, biological or other weapon-of-mass-effect
program, then more examination will occur.

When there's a suspected agent involved -- and I mean a chemical or a
biological agent involved -- we may commit additional assets. For
example, there are some mobile systems we have. A chemical
reconnaissance vehicle that's common to several of our units has the
ability to do some onboard testing to try to narrow down what the
agent might potentially be. That's happened in several cases.

In some of those cases we found, at a later time, that the materials
were dual-use. They could have been used in a weapons program; they
might also have been used in an agricultural program. And the
quantities and substances were not something that would indicate
weaponization.

There's yet another layer, and that's where these teams come in. We
have teams that have been organized that have a variety of embedded
capabilities. They're what we call inter-agency teams. So there might
be someone that has expertise in nuclear, somebody that has expertise
in chemical, someone that has expertise in biological, someone that
has expertise in weapons themselves, someone that has expertise in
artillery systems, all these things. They're task-organized. And if
there's something that's suspected that may not be part of that team,
we'll find the expertise added to the team and then put the team in
place.

It is mobile. What that means is it can go to a variety of places in
the country where we happen to find pieces of information. We've done
a number of those at this point. Some of them have been to sites that
we, before the war, anticipated might still be involved in the
weapons-of-mass-destruction program.

We know that in the past they have been, but they haven't been
examined in all cases. We've been to a number of those as we worked
our way through the western desert, as we approached closer to
Baghdad, as we took control of some depots and facilities like
airfields.

Beyond that, as we find these additional bits of information that
would indicate that things are buried, hidden, dispersed,
disassembled, all these types of information that we're currently
receiving, we go off on what we refer to as an ad hoc search,
something that wasn't pre-planned but something nevertheless that we
can respond to.

In reality, for every one of the ones we have planned, we're finding
two or three more that require an ad hoc search, and so that work is
ongoing. It's very deliberate. We don't get excited about it at the
first indication. You've probably noticed that by now. And the reason
is because it requires detailed examination.

When the mobile exploitation teams find something that's worthy of
further examination from their part that exceeds their technical
ability or that requires further verification, they can be evacuated
to the United States for a more detailed examination.

And we've had some cases of that thus far. There have been some cases
of that, where we've had some samples, for example, that have been
taken back for further examination. And that's where we get the
confirmation that, yes, it might be chemical, but it might be dual-use
as well.

And so this is a very deliberate process. The most important part of
it, frankly, is that with every day that goes by we get more and more
information. We have more pieces of the puzzle being revealed to us.
And, given some of the players that we are currently taking into our
custody and those we continue to seek, we remain confident that we'll
find the evidence of the program that's been in place in Iraq for some
time.

Okay, please.

Q: Alex Neal (sp) with Army Times. A question on -- questions on two
topics. One, could you discuss the level of threat of suicide attacks,
particularly in comparison to when some of the deadly attacks were
carried out at the checkpoints, and whether any lessons learned have
been applied to manning and rules of engagement and so forth at
manning of the checkpoints?

And secondly, since Iraq has been -- areas of responsibility have been
divided among the military branches, how might that affect unit
rotations, what type of units are brought in, and ultimately whether
there's any short-term plans to bring some of the units that have been
serving the longest, such as 3rd ID, back home any time soon? Thank
you.

GEN. BROOKS: Well, actually, let me address the first part of your
question. From what I showed you today, the suicide vests that we
found and the reports of the presence of people who want to
destabilize, not seek stability, we remain concerned about the
potential for suicide attacks. It's very clear that that capability
exists.

Have we retrieved all of the vests that there are? We don't know.
There's certainly no way to know that. We know that there's someone
who's been producing, importing and using those types of vests. Have
we found every improvised explosive device that there is in Baghdad or
elsewhere around Iraq? Impossible to say.

We know that there's someone who produces them, distributes them, and
intended, at least, to use the ones that we found. And because of
that, we remain vigilant in our work. It's not a matter of just
standing on the street and observing things. Our work must be
offensive in its orientation, which means you've got to go find the
places, like the ones you saw, where these things might be located, to
prevent their use.

Those actions are ongoing. So that's one of the first and most
important lessons that has been applied. And that's not a new lesson.
That didn't come from this operation.

As to rules of engagement on the checkpoints and other places, we have
learning organizations, and they learn by everything that occurs,
everything they're involved in -- the things that went well, the
things that didn't go as well as they wanted, and more importantly,
what can be done to either sustain those or to improve those. That's
an embedded part of our current military culture. And it applies even
to combat operations.

So adjustments are usually made down at the tactical level, whether
it's the standoff distance or where you put sandbags, how much wire
you put out, what you use to canalize or channelize the movement of
vehicles that might approach. As you've seen, we've had some success
in driving down the frequency of vehicular improvised explosive
devices.

At the same time, we are not disengaging ourselves from the
population. In fact, we're engaging with them in a number of ways. And
so that requires us to be alert and conscious, but it also requires us
to maintain a degree of force protection that prevents an easy attack
against coalition forces.

Now, you mentioned unit rotations and what decisions might be made in
that regard. It's still certainly rather early to talk about that for
all units. At the same time, we've made some adjustments to try to
build the composition of the force in such a way that it matches what
our current mission needs are and what we anticipate will be our
mission needs in the near-future.

Some of our aircraft, for example, have been relocated from operating
in this area of responsibility back to other bases, home bases back in
the United States or in other countries. There'll be some additional
adjustments that occur over time. Some of our maritime component has
relocated either to different parts of the world, where they have
additional responsibilities, or back to home ports that they've been
deployed for an extended period.

At the same time, we increase much of our presence on the ground. And
that's required to be able to expand the physical presence that's
required to create the conditions of stability and to provide security
as required. And so you see a different flow happening with many of
the land-component forces.

The forces that are flowing in right now were always part of the plan.
They were always part of the calculation. And, in fact, we have
stopped the flow of some that we don't anticipate will be required
from the original plan.

As to times for rotation, we're doing examination right now to see
what should be the sequence of movement out, what size the force
should be, who should come out first. And those will be decisions that
are made not just here at Central Command but also in conjunction with
our national commands for all coalition forces. And it will take some
time as we go through that. We're alert on it. We're watching it. And
that continues.

Please, Mimi.

Q: Thank you, General. Mimi Spillane (ph), CBS News. The United
Nations is saying it's being denied an air corridor to bring relief
into Baghdad. Is that accurate? And given how important humanitarian
relief is, wouldn't you want as much help as you could get?

And the second question, if you could comment on yesterday's
demonstration in Baghdad after the arrest of Mohammed al-Fartusi, or
the apparent arrest, and the kind of anger you're finding among the
Shiites?

GEN. BROOKS: Well, first, let me say that all of the airspace over
Iraq is military airspace and military-controlled, as it has been
since a notice to airmen was issued publicly and internationally at
the start of this combat operation. The airspace requires control by
some airspace control authority. And right now, that's the coalition.

Now, you're exactly right about taking the help that we can -- that we
can take. And there's great help that's coming in. There have been a
great number of convoys that have come in. Over 90 humanitarian
assistance convoys have come in through various points, with coalition
support and with coalition knowledge, contributed by a variety of
humanitarian organizations. We know that we've had a number of flights
to go into Baghdad International and to Tallil Airfield near Nasiriyah
as well carrying humanitarian assistance on coalition aircraft because
of the defensive conditions that are required during that delivery.

As time goes on, the airspace will become normalized, if you will,
where commercial traffic can move through it. We're not there yet. And
it will be done in a deliberate way, and it -- like the start that
took that airspace away internationally, it will be restored in a way
that is public and is made known to all airmen. It's a notice to
airmen, is what it's called. That time is coming.

For right now, the best thing to do is to coordinate with the
coalition. And we can facilitate any humanitarian organizations that
choose to assist in the process. It doesn't require them to have an
open corridor to do that. And that's work that's ongoing. And I think
we will sort out the specific problem that you referenced.

You mentioned demonstrations. Let me just comment on demonstrations.
Do you think demonstrations would have occurred seven months ago, that
you're seeing? This is what we see as a major success story. We have
demonstrations in our own countries that would prefer us not to have
been here. Those demonstrations continue even now. That's their right.
We fight for their right to be able to have those demonstrations.
We've now fought for the right of Iraqi to be able to have similar
demonstrations to express their concerns.

Clearly there are some who would like for us to leave very soon.
Clearly there are some who would like for us not to have come. I think
there are some regime members that might like -- might have liked for
us not to have come. And there are others who benefited from the
regime during its time who would like to see us leave as quickly as
possible before real stability is set and they lose whatever grip they
had on their nefarious activities. That work is ongoing.

And so while we see demonstrations, we don't feel disappointed by that
at all. In fact, we feel rather excited about it. They have a right to
express their concerns, and they are. It's been done in a non-violent
way. That's all we would ask. And we certainly support that as it goes
on.

I have time for one more. Please.

Q: General, David Schuster (ph) from NBC News. I thought I heard you
say a few minutes ago that some samples of WMD, possible WMD had been
taken out of theater to be analyzed. I wonder if you can just tell us
if there are any results from any of those samples and how long
results might take.

And then secondly, on Saddam Hussein, yesterday, Ahmad Chalabi said
that he had credible information that Saddam has been sited at least a
dozen times in Baghdad. I think Secretary Rumsfeld was asked about
this yesterday and referred questions to CENTCOM. So I'll refer that
to you.

Thank you.

GEN. BROOKS: Well, the samples that I referred to, we've had samples.
And I would not characterize them as WMD at this point. We've not
found any weaponized chemicals, biological agents or any nuclear
devices at this point. That work is ongoing, as I've mentioned. And
we'll be patient about it, and we'll remain very deliberate about how
we do our work. Some of what has been evacuated though might have been
used in chemical training locations. That's how we're characterizing
most of these. The amount was too small to be weaponized.

We continue to examine documents as well though, and computer drives
that have been taken. And we have information that has to be developed
at this point before we can determine what we've actually found. The
amount of time this requires really depends on what it is we have
ongoing and how far it has to be evacuated back. It does take some
time. I don't think we have a full answer the whole scope of how long
it takes to take a sample to an answer on every particular type of
item we might find. It's been about 10 to 12 days, roughly, on some of
the items that we find forward, do preliminary testing on, determine
that it's worthy of further evacuation, send it back to the States for
examination and then get some answer -- about that period of time,
somewhere less than two weeks. Will that continue? Most likely. As we
find more things and may find more volume, it may be easier to
determine it in the field, but perhaps not. So that's something that
we have yet to see as we proceed through.

And as to the statements about whereabouts of former regime leaders,
we don't have any current, credible intelligence that tells us that.
Certainly, as we gain current and credible, actionable intelligence,
we've demonstrated for 33 days that we will act on it. And as we gain
additional information, then we'll see what comes out of that.

Thanks very much, ladies and gentlemen.

(end transcript)

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