Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., Energy & Natural Resources Committee

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, March 19, 2002. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: One guy who says enough already when it comes to the U.S. buying oil from Iraq is Montana Senator Conrad Burns, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Senator, good to have you.


CAVUTO: What do you make, sir, of this, all of a sudden, eagerness on the part of Saddam Hussein to show his wears?

BURNS: Well, I think one thing, he has got to soften his line. He knows he is under the microscope right now. And we know that there is so much black-market oil coming out of there, and we also know that he is selling some oil up to his limit that's under the U.N. order. And we know with those monies that he's using on the black market side of it is probably buying some arms and buying some stuff, you know, weapons of mass destruction.

CAVUTO: I'm sorry, Senator, but this oil that we're now getting from Iraq in excess of 1.1 million barrels, either directly or indirectly, you're saying that he is still likely using that money to get stuff?

BURNS: Oh, there's no doubt in my mind.

CAVUTO: So when you hear Scott Ritter talking about the fact that we should give weapons inspectors a chance and this is a positive development, you don't seem to be buying that?

BURNS: No, I don't because money is fungible. He can move that money from buying medicines and foods and those necessities that he needs for his people there, and use the left over money, or whatever, to buy weapons of mass destruction or to build those weapons.

Now, and I think inspectors should go in because when ever they are there and they are looking around, he's not doing other things, and besides that. And I think it points out the seriousness of this vote coming up on energy this week on Anwar. I really think there's a relationship there.

CAVUTO: You know, Senator, one worry I have is that this Neville Chamberlain argument, that, you know, we want proof that you know, look, are you behaving. Are you doing what you're doing? It's sort of like Hitler did. He would appear with Neville Chamberlain and said, all right, this is as far as I'm going to go. I'm going to behave, I'm going to do everything right. I always kind of fear that history is repeating itself here, that Saddam is going to say...


CAVUTO: ... well, you know, that's a worry, that he's hoodwinking us.

BURNS: I know, but, listen, you don't have a Neville Chamberlain here that's in the White House, United States of America. You've got the president of the United States who has identified this guy for what he is. And he is a part of that axis of evil. And he knows that and he knows he is carrying that mark.

CAVUTO: So, let me ask you, Senator...

BURNS: And so, we're going to go right back to the old...

CAVUTO: OK. But sir, let me ask you, all of a sudden you find out now that everything is copacetic, that he has no weapons there. Would you still advise the president obliterate him?

BURNS: I am not going to advise the president. I'm not going to put words in his mouth. What I'm saying is we got to call him what he is. And, you know, I come from a part of the country, if you don't call a rattlesnake a rattlesnake, you know, you have got problems. And so, I think he understands what it means to be in this spotlight. And so I think his actions and what he does were having a lot to say about that right now.

CAVUTO: All right. Sir, a pleasure. Appreciate it...

BURNS: Because this president is not going to let up on his pressure.

CAVUTO: OK. Senator Conrad Burns, appreciate it, sir.

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