Saturday, June 03, 2006

the swiss / AQ Khan story

* re the swiss / AQ Khan story, calipendence sent through this interview from demnow.
the setup:
"The Bush administration is ignoring requests from Swiss officials to hand over information that would help prosecute alleged members of Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan's underground nuclear network. We speak with the spokesperson for the Swiss Attorney General, Hansjurg Mark Wiedmer, former U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq, David Albright and Pakistani physicist, Zia Mian of Princeton University."

then this:
Over the past year Swiss officials have requested at least four times that the Bush administration share documents and evidence related to Khan's nuclear black market. But the United States has never responded.
four times, never responded.
Swiss officials maintain it needs U.S. assistance in order to convict three Swiss men accused of helping AQ Khan set up a secret Malaysian factory to make components for gas centrifuges.
needs assistance to convict.
DAVID ALBRIGHT: Well, the thrust of the testimony was really just to point out that the Swiss government has been making requests for over a year for cooperation from the United States, and I helped them prepare a request to the State Department, a very senior official, who was very much involved in this case, Robert Joseph, who is Under Secretary. And so far, the U.S. government hasn't even acknowledged the receipt of these requests, and I know when I made some calls over the last couple of months, my phone calls weren't returned. And so, I think there's a problem that, frankly, I don't understand.
Robert Joseph. Remember the name. He hasn't had the exposure that he deserves. He's probably evil. He was involved in the Plame leak, the SOTU 16 words, he took Bolton's job (moved from NSC), and would love to bomb iran. he's also paid-up neocon.
DAVID ALBRIGHT: I find it embarrassing as an American, that, you know, given the stature and the importance this president has put upon crushing the A.Q. Khan network and prosecuting the members of that network, that they simply don't even have the courtesy to give the Swiss any response at all.
i'm not exactly sure how much crushing and prosecuting has been done. A couple of them are under mansion-arrest. and that's about it. oh, and the bushista's blew Plame's cover, who was investigating AQKhan. The AQKhan/Iran link surfaced in Aug03, after Plame was outed.
DAVID ALBRIGHT: Without Khan's help, we probably wouldn't be having this crisis with Iran now... Khan's assistance was vital, along with the assistance from certain European companies that were associated or were working with Khan. And so, I think that we're facing this crisis now with Iran largely because Khan and his associates helped Iran put together a gas centrifuge program.
it's all quite mysterious, no?

or not. here's larisa:
"Intelligence sources would not identify the specifics of Plame's work. They did, however, tell RAW STORY that her outing resulted in "severe" damage to her team and significantly hampered the CIA's ability to monitor nuclear proliferation.

Plame's team, they added, would have come in contact with A.Q. Khan's network in the course of her work on Iran."
Sy Hersh wrote an article in 2004 called "Why is Washington going easy on Pakistan’s nuclear black marketers?"
In public, the Bush Administration accepted (AQ Khan's) pardon at face value. Within hours of Musharraf’s television appearance, Richard Armitage, the Deputy Secretary of State, praised him as “the right man at the right time.”
Is it possible that the 'AQ Khan network' is actually a misnomer - in the most literal sense - that they used the wrong name? Perhaps it should be called the D. Rumsfeld Network. Or the D. Cheney Network. Or perhaps the R. Perle Network. Here's Stanton (talking about Sibel):
"US officials like Cheney and Rumsfeld—and those operating in and out of government, (and their counterparts in Pakistan and Turkey) took a Pontius Pilate approach to Pakistan’s black market acquisition of nuclear weapons components, as well as Turkey’s complicity in helping that cause through drug money profits, to include the illicit manufacture of parts essential to a nuclear weapon. According to Anwar Iqbal of UPI (October 2004), Turkish workshops “made the centrifuge motor and frequency converters used to drive the motor and spin the rotor to high speeds. These workshops imported subcomponents from Europe and elsewhere, and they assembled these centrifuge items in Turkey. Under false end-user certificates, the components were then shipped to Dubai…”"
Perhaps that is key to understanding Sibel. In fact, when Sibel first contacted me, she sent through three articles - all detailing the nuclear black market. And perhaps this is what Sibel means when she says that plamegate and sibelgate (and others) are the same story.

speculative follow-up post here

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