Diplomat’s Suppressed Document Lays Bare the Lies Behind Iraq War

The American and British’s governments’ case for going to war in Iraq was “torn apart” by the publication of previously suppressed evidence. In fact, Tony Blair – and no doubt many people in the Bush administration – were pretty sure that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction. This is only the beginning; we are going to see many more instances of ‘laying bare’ the lies that were told to enable the ‘pre-emptive’ war against Saddam Hussein to start. So many lives lost, so much money spent, so much respect lost – how can the costs of this blunder ever be recovered?
RLC

Bush’s Insistence That The Military Stay

I have been so accustomed to being offended, even scandalized, by the policies of President Bush that my first reaction to the report of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group has been to accept it, and to again see Bush’s refusal to accept all that they recommend as more of his usual ignorant obstinacy. However, after a little reflection I have to say that their recommendation that the U. S. military get out of Iraq by a certain time is a mistake (anyway, it will not happen, as I explain below). Here, at least, I understand George W. Bush’s insistence that the American military should stay long enough to quell the opposition.

The invasion of Iraq was a blunder of incomparable proportions – it was a blunder to go in under false pretenses (to say nothing of the dishonesty of leading the American people to believe that Saddam was involved in the 9/11 attack), and it was a blunder to start a “pre-emptive war” – but now that we have actually invaded Iraq, what is there to do? Bush claims that we have to finish the job; indeed, I do so wish that the US could overcome the image that its troops normally flee from conflict after a few losses. I grieve for the loss of American military personnel for what was a boondoggle of unforgivable proportions. None of this had to be. But now – now that the mess has been made, the U. S. may create more mayhem if it does not follow through.

The pattern has not been missed on Osama, who has repeatedly pointed out the American practice of avoiding conflict: American troops withdrew after 241 servicemen were killed in Lebanon in 1983; they withdrew after 19 were killed in Mogadishu in 1993; they did nothing much to avenge the deaths of 5 servicemen in Riyadh or 19 killed in Dhahran in 1996; and after 220 people were killed in the bombing of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the Clinton administration did no more than fire off some rockets into Afghanistan (most of which missed). If the American servicemen are withdrawn now, after four years of war, the loss of nearly 3,000 lives, and the squandering of scandalous billions of dollars, Osama and the most radical takfiri militarists will, as they suppose, be proven right. The most radical of militants will be emboldened to continue violent causes, if not in the West then least in various countries of the Middle East.

The situation is complicated by multiple mis-readings of each others’ point of view. The Americans think of themselves as liberators who are doing good – even if as it happens they are acting very much in their own self interest (more below). The Iraqi people want the Americans to leave because they see the Americans as invaders like the Ottomans and British. The radical Islamists see themselves as fighting unbelievers in the Middle East and Americans as well as others in the West in order to establish – rather, re-establish – a proper Islamic society under a true Caliphate, the sort that has not existed since, say, the eighth century. What is not being made clear is that even if our troops are “pulled out” they will not be far away and could be sucked into conflict again. Whatever the Americans do or appear to do, there is virtually no chance that they will genuinely “leave” the area: The huge natural wealth of the region will continue to draw American interests, indeed those of the whole world, into the area.
Note this map:

Within this ellipsis is 70% of the world’s known oil resources and about 70% of the world’s known gas resources. This region is destined to be the focus of future struggles for dominance in the world. (BGR, 2006, “Petroleum” Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Hannover. http://www.bgr.bund.de/cln_030/nn_468074/EN/Themen/Energie/Bilder/Ene__Erdoel__allg__BILD2__g__en.html (accessed October 14, 2006)]

No wonder the Americans are building the largest embassy in the world just outside Bagdad – to mention another matter not much reported to the American people. The new embassy will be as big as the Vatican, about 104 acres. It will house a number of high-rise buildings, already being constructed. That the Bagdad embassy will be strategically situated in such fossil-fuel rich area is of course no accident. So it turns out that, whatever the appearances, whatever the Baker-Hamilton report recommends, the United States is not really leaving.

RLC

Perspectives From Central Asia: Installment Four

More on public sentiments in Central Asia:

Kate Clark of Unreported World has reported that “five years after the fall of the Taliban, western intervention has produced a mafia-style state” in the northern part of the country.

Clark was far from the region where the Taliban are rising, but there she found “an economy dominated by the drugs trade.” Those in power are the commanders from the days of the Northern Alliance. Now they are prominent in the police and in parliament, and some of them are accused of human rights abuses. “The father of a child killed in an attack on NATO Peace-keeping forces says civilians have no-one to turn to – commanders are powerful in the local administration and foreign peace-keepers are seen to be working with them.” Clark interviews a local commander who claims that “senior members of the police force with links going up to the heart of the Kabul government” are in involved in the drug trade. He tells her that the local people are “re-arming themselves and selling weapons to their old enemies, the Taliban,” because not only in opium but in weapons “serious money” can be made. She is shown “palaces” that “commanders and cabinet ministers have built on government land.” She meets a woman, unnamed, who has “publicly criticized the warlords” and so has become “a magnet for those wanting to complain about abuses.” The
young woman is, however, plagued by death threats. Such is the situation in late 2006.

Compare the hope that was expressed by a courageous young woman in 2004, Malalai Joya, in the face of threats in her time. Joya was at that time was running an orphanage and health clinic. “One woman’s words defy might of Afghan warlords; Malalai Joya tells Hamida Ghafour of the threats she faces in a battle to end her country’s violence”] She also was courageous, openly accusing the “warlords and criminals” of her area, Farah, of “drug trafficking, land seizures, rape, and looting of houses.” Farah is a very different province of Afghanistan, and it is now at risk of being overrun by the new Taliban. Even in those days Joya was being threatened; her home had just been ransacked by soldiers. Even so, she had been able to persuade President Karzai to evict the sitting governor of Farah for criminal activity. “These people should be taken to court,” she said. If not, she warned, “Those people will be in parliament and the country will revert to bloodshed. Maybe it will be me they kill, but there will be others whose voices will be louder than mine.” The bloodshed she predicted seems to be coming true, but we wonder if there will really be others like her with the courage to speak out. Pray that she and others like her will have the courage to call a spade a spade in the face of the rising criminality of public officials.
RLC

“Extraordinary Rendition” of an Innocent Man

I have been deeply grieved by this brutality which is relevant and troubling.
RLC

Canadian Was Falsely Accused, Panel Says
By DOUG STRUCK
Published: September 19, 2006 (The Washington Post)

TORONTO, Sept. 18 – Canadian intelligence officials passed false warnings and bad information to American agents about a Muslim Canadian citizen, after which U.S. authorities secretly whisked him to Syria, where he was tortured, a judicial report found Monday.
more…

congress defunding public radio and tv

FYI.Public Broadcasting Targeted By House
Panel Seeks to End CPB’s Funding Within 2 Years
By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 10, 2005; Page A01
A House subcommittee voted yesterday to sharply reduce the federal government’s
financial support for public broadcasting, including eliminating taxpayer funds
that help underwrite such popular children’s educational programs as “Sesame
Street,” “Reading Rainbow,” “Arthur” and “Postcards From Buster.”
In addition, the subcommittee acted to eliminate within two years all federal
money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — which passes federal funds
to public broadcasters — starting with a 25 percent reduction in CPB’s budget
for next year, from $400 million to $300 million. In all, the cuts would
represent the most drastic cutback of public broadcasting since Congress created
the nonprofit CPB in 1967. The CPB funds are particularly important for small TV
and radio stations and account for about 15 percent of the public broadcasting
industry’s total revenue.
Expressing alarm, public broadcasters and their supporters in Congress
interpreted the move as an escalation of a Republican-led campaign against a
perceived liberal bias in their programming. That effort was initiated by the
Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s own chairman, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson.
“Americans overwhelmingly see public broadcasting as an unbiased information
source,” Rep. David Obey (Wis.), the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, said
in a statement. “Perhaps that’s what the GOP finds so offensive about it.
Republican leaders are trying to bring every facet of the federal government
under their control. . . . Now they are trying to put their ideological stamp on
public broadcasting.”
But the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on labor,
health and human services, and education asserted that the panel was simply
making choices among various worthy government programs, and that no political
message was intended.
The subcommittee’s action, which came on a voice vote, doesn’t necessarily put
Big Bird on the Endangered Species List. House members could restore funding as
the appropriations bill moves along or, more likely, when the House and Senate
meet to reconcile budget legislation later this year. The Senate has
traditionally been a stronger ally of public broadcasting than the House, whose
former speaker, Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), waged a high-profile but ultimately
unsuccessful campaign to “zero out” funding for the CPB a decade ago.
The cuts nevertheless surprised people in public broadcasting. In his budget
sent to Congress in February, President Bush had recommended reducing CPB’s
budget only slightly.
Several denounced the decision by the panel, which has 10 Republicans and seven
Democrats, as payback by a Republican-dominated House after years of complaints
from conservatives who see liberal bias in programs carried by the Public
Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio. Broadcasters noted, for example,
that the 25 percent cutback in next year’s CPB budget was a rollback of money
that Congress had promised in 2004.
PBS, in particular, drew harsh criticism in December from the Bush
administration for a “Postcards From Buster” episode in which Buster, an
animated rabbit, “visited” two families in Vermont headed by lesbians. And
programming on both PBS and NPR has come under fire in recent months from
Tomlinson, the Republican chairman of the CPB, who has pushed for greater
“balance” on the public airwaves.
A spokeswoman for NPR, Andi Sporkin, directly blamed Tomlinson for yesterday’s
action, saying, “We’ve never been sure of Mr. Tomlinson’s intent but, with this
news, we might be seeing his effect.”
Tomlinson did not return calls seeking comment. In a statement, he said,
“Obviously, we are concerned [by the cuts], and we will be joining with our
colleagues in the public broadcasting community to make the case for a higher
level of funding as the appropriations measure makes its way through Congress.”
John Lawson, the president of the Association of Public Television Stations, a
Washington-based group that lobbies for public broadcasters, called the
subcommittee’s action “at least malicious wounding, if not outright attempted
murder, of public broadcasting in America.” He added, “This action could deprive
tens of millions of American children of commercial-free educational programming.”
Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio), the subcommittee’s chairman, said the cuts had
nothing to do with dissatisfaction over public radio or TV programs. “It’s
pretty simple,” he said in an interview. “The thinking was, there’s not enough
money for everything. There are ‘must-do,’ ‘need-to-do’ and ‘nice-to-do’
programs that we have to pay for. [Public broadcasting] is somewhere between a
‘need-to-do’ and a ‘nice-to-do.’ “
The subcommittee had to decide, he said, on cutting money for public
broadcasting or cutting college grants, special education, worker retraining and
health care programs. “No one’s out to get” public broadcasting, Regula said.
“It’s not punitive in any way.”
In fact, none of the Republican members of the subcommittee publicly denounced
public radio or TV funding at yesterday’s markup. Public broadcasting drew
supportive statements from Obey and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.).
Regula suggested public stations could “make do” without federal money by
getting more funding from private sources, such as contributions from
corporations, foundations, and listeners and viewers.
But the loss of $23.4 million in federal funds for children’s educational shows
— which PBS calls its “Ready to Learn” programs — could mean the elimination
of these programs, said an official at Alexandria-based PBS who asked not to be
named because the network still hopes to regain the funding. PBS’s revenue
totaled $333 million in fiscal year 2004.
The Ready to Learn group includes “Sesame Street,” “Dragontales,” “Clifford” and
“Arthur,” among others.
The House measure also cuts support for a variety of smaller projects, such as a
$39.6 million public TV satellite distribution network and a $39.4 million
program that helps public stations update their analog TV signals to digital format.
Small public radio stations, particularly those in rural areas and those serving
minority audiences, may be the most vulnerable to federal cuts because they
currently operate on shoestring budgets.
“This could literally put us out of business,” said Paul Stankavich, president
and general manager of the Alaska Public Radio Network, an alliance of 26
stations in the state that create and share news programming. “Almost all of us
are down to the bone right now. If we lost 5 or 10 percent of our budgets in one
fell swoop, we could end up being just a repeater service” for national news,
with no funds to produce local content.
Stankavich, who also runs a public radio and TV station in Anchorage, said
public radio is “an important source of news in urban areas, but it’s
life-critical in rural areas,” especially in far-flung parts of Alaska unserved
by any other broadcast medium.Please see my “concerns” page:
http://artsci.wustl.edu/~canfrobt/Concerns
My blog: http://rcanfield.blogspot.com/

Abuse of rape victim by the Pakistan government

Thank God for Nicholas Kristof. I pray that Pakistan will face up to itself;
this should help if anything will. Best, RLCRaped, Kidnapped and Silenced
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
New York Times: June 14, 2005No wonder the Pakistan government can’t catch Osama bin Laden. It is too busy
harassing, detaining – and now kidnapping – a gang-rape victim for daring to
protest and for planning a visit to the United States.Last fall I wrote about Mukhtaran Bibi, a woman who was sentenced by a tribal
council in Pakistan to be gang-raped because of an infraction supposedly
committed by her brother. Four men raped Ms. Mukhtaran, then village leaders
forced her to walk home nearly naked in front of a jeering crowd of 300.Ms. Mukhtaran was supposed to have committed suicide. Instead, with the backing
of a local Islamic leader, she fought back and testified against her
persecutors. Six were convicted.Then Ms. Mukhtaran, who believed that the best way to overcome such abuses was
through better education, used her compensation money to start two schools in
her village, one for boys and the other for girls. She went out of her way to
enroll the children of her attackers in the schools, showing that she bore no
grudges.Readers of my column sent in more than $133,000 for her. Mercy Corps, a U.S. aid
organization, has helped her administer the money, and she has expanded the
schools, started a shelter for abused women and bought a van that is used as an
ambulance for the area. She has also emerged as a ferocious spokeswoman against
honor killings, rapes and acid attacks on women. (If you want to help her,
please don’t send checks to me but to Mercy Corps, with “Mukhtaran Bibi” in the
memo line: 3015 S.W. First, Portland, Ore. 97201.)A group of Pakistani-Americans invited Ms. Mukhtaran to visit the U.S. starting
this Saturday (see www.4anaa.org). Then a few days ago, the Pakistani government
went berserk.On Thursday, the authorities put Ms. Mukhtaran under house arrest – to stop her
from speaking out. In phone conversations in the last few days, she said that
when she tried to step outside, police pointed their guns at her. To silence
her, the police cut off her land line.After she had been detained, a court ordered her attackers released, putting her
life in jeopardy. That happened on a Friday afternoon, when the courts do not
normally operate, and apparently was a warning to Ms. Mukhtaran to shut up.
Instead, Ms. Mukhtaran continued her protests by cellphone. But at dawn
yesterday the police bustled her off, and there’s been no word from her since.
Her cellphone doesn’t answer.Asma Jahangir, a Pakistani lawyer who is head of the Human Rights Commission of
Pakistan, said she had learned that Ms. Mukhtaran was taken to Islamabad,
furiously berated and told that President Pervez Musharraf was very angry with
her. She was led sobbing to detention at a secret location. She is barred from
contacting anyone, including her lawyer.”She’s in their custody, in illegal custody,” Ms. Jahangir said. “They have gone
completely crazy.”Even if Ms. Mukhtaran were released, airports have been alerted to bar her from
leaving the country. According to Dawn, a Karachi newspaper, the government took
this step, “fearing that she might malign Pakistan’s image.”Excuse me, but Ms. Mukhtaran, a symbol of courage and altruism, is the best hope
for Pakistan’s image. The threat to Pakistan’s image comes from President
Musharraf for all this thuggish behavior.I’ve been sympathetic to Mr. Musharraf till now, despite his nuclear negligence,
partly because he’s cooperated in the war on terrorism and partly because he has
done a good job nurturing Pakistan’s economic growth, which in the long run is
probably the best way to fight fundamentalism. So even when Mr. Musharraf denied
me visas all this year, to block me from visiting Ms. Mukhtaran again and
writing a follow-up column, I bit my tongue.But now President Musharraf has gone nuts. “This is all because they think they have the support of the U.S. and can get
away with murder,” Ms. Jahangir said. Indeed, on Friday, just as all this was
happening, President Bush received Pakistan’s foreign minister in the White
House and praised President Musharraf’s “bold leadership.”So, Mr. Bush, how about asking Mr. Musharraf to focus on finding Osama, instead
of kidnapping rape victims who speak out? And invite Ms. Mukhtaran to the Oval
Office – to show that Americans stand not only with generals who seize power,
but also with ordinary people of extraordinary courage.Please see my “concerns” page:
http://artsci.wustl.edu/~canfrobt/Concerns
My blog: http://rcanfield.blogspot.com

fwd: Pakistan’s Role in Scientist’s Nuclear Trafficking Debated

Much goes on under the radar of public information. The story of A. Q. Khan and
his nuclear trafficking is still vitally important. Our world is becoming ever
more deadly. RLCPlease see my “concerns” page:
http://artsci.wustl.edu/~canfrobt/Concerns
My blog: http://rcanfield.blogspot.com/Forwarded Message:

From: “Zalmai M.” <zalmai786@yahoo.com>
To: afghaniyat@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Pakistan’s Role in Scientist’s Nuclear Trafficking Debated
Date: May 17, 2005
–> LA TIMES
> Pakistan’s Role in Scientist’s Nuclear Trafficking Debated
> Islamabad’s awareness of a black market led by the father of its
> atomic bomb is still uncertain.
> By Douglas Frantz
> Times Staff Writer
> May 16, 2005
>
> In the fall of 2000, Pakistani intelligence agents followed the
> country’s most influential nuclear scientist as he flew to the Persian
> Gulf port of Dubai.
>
> Abdul Qadeer Khan, acclaimed as the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb,
> was under surveillance as he met with men described by a former senior
> Pakistani military officer as “dubious characters.”
>
> Rumors had persisted for years that Khan was selling atomic secrets,
> but Pakistani intelligence was on his trail for another reason. His
> unauthorized trip violated new rules imposed by President Pervez
> Musharraf to assert government control over Pakistan’s main nuclear
> weapons laboratory, which Khan ran as his fiefdom.
>
> Upon Khan’s return to Pakistan from the United Arab Emirates city,
> Musharraf warned the scientist to obey the rules. When Khan persisted
> in his travels, he was forced to retire. But the investigation went no
> further.
>
> Khan’s secret life in Dubai and beyond is the subject of a meticulous
> international inquiry tracing a black market in nuclear technology
> that stretched over 15 years and three continents.
>
> Investigators have concluded that Khan masterminded a hugely
> profitable network that provided uranium enrichment equipment to Iran
> and North Korea, countries whose nuclear ambitions are now causing
> global anxieties. Libya paid the ring an estimated $100 million for
> atomic warhead designs and plans for a complete bomb factory before
> giving up its program.
>
> After more than a year of investigation, one of the crucial unsolved
> mysteries is whether Khan could have run his network without the
> knowledge, and possibly the connivance, of Pakistani military and
> political leaders. The answer is vital to discovering not only the
> full scope of Khan’s trafficking, but whether Pakistan has adequate
> safeguards to protect its arsenal of 30 to 50 atomic weapons.
>
> Interviews in the Middle East, Europe and the United States with
> former Pakistani government and military officials, international
> investigators and Western diplomats show that warnings about Khan’s
> illicit trafficking were ignored by a succession of Pakistani
> political leaders and military strongmen.
>
> Neither Musharraf nor his predecessors fully investigated Khan despite
> years of accusations from U.S. officials and international media,
> Khan’s visible accumulation of enormous wealth and the significance of
> his dealings in Dubai.
>
> His crucial role in building an atomic bomb to match India’s was
> deemed more important than controlling his activities. And over the
> years, Khan had orchestrated a publicity campaign that made him so
> popular that he was virtually untouchable. The decision to turn a
> blind eye gave Khan extraordinary freedom.
>
> “The military knew that Khan’s orders came from the very top and that
> it was state policy to get the bomb, by hook or by crook,” said the
> former senior Pakistani military officer who was involved in nuclear
> oversight and spoke on condition of anonymity. “He delivered what we
> all thought was impossible, and that was what mattered.”
>
> International investigators say they might never learn exactly who
> knew what in Pakistan. Neither the United States nor the International
> Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, has been
> allowed to interrogate Khan, who was pardoned by Musharraf after a
> televised confession in February 2004 and remains under house arrest
> in Islamabad, the capital.
>
> Musharraf has maintained that Khan ran the illegal trade without
> government knowledge. Former and current aides to Musharraf argue that
> until late 2003, there was no proof that Khan was selling to other
> countries the same technology he was acquiring on the black market to
> build Pakistan’s bomb.
>
> An Anti-Extremism Ally
>
> The Bush administration, which regards Musharraf as an ally in the
> fight against Islamic extremism, has not pressed for access to Khan.
> U.S. officials have said they are satisfied with the Pakistani
> president’s assurances.
>
> To outside nuclear experts, it defies logic that a scientist as
> prominent and privy to secrets as Khan could travel freely, operate
> outside security restrictions and ship sensitive technology overseas
> for years without attracting official scrutiny.
>
> “What he did was simply impossible without the full cooperation of
> people outside his laboratory,” said Michael May, director emeritus of
> Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a U.S. nuclear weapons
> facility in California. “It’s inconceivable to me that he had this
> broad global network without people knowing about it, even Musharraf.”
>
> Until Washington and the IAEA provided evidence to Pakistan in 2003,
> Khan parried accusations about his activities by saying he was the
> victim of a U.S. smear campaign for making Pakistan a nuclear power.
> The argument resonated among government officials and commanders who
> viewed the U.S. as a fickle ally that favored India.
>
> Khan’s trip to Dubai three years earlier offered a golden opportunity
> for Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency and
> Musharraf, a general who had seized power in 1999, to get to the
> bottom of his activities.
>
> Investigators and IAEA reports said Khan had shifted his base of
> operations to the United Arab Emirates city to coordinate the huge
> order from Libya for an off-the-shelf nuclear weapons plant. He
> traveled there often to meet with suppliers and Libyan officials, and
> he even maintained a luxury apartment in a fashionable neighborhood.
>
> Musharraf set the stage for a potential crackdown early in his tenure
> when he created a military unit to enforce uniform controls on the
> country’s nuclear weapons installations, including Khan’s laboratory.
>
> The former senior military officer said that, with Pakistan having
> achieved its goal of becoming a nuclear power, Musharraf was
> determined to see the elimination of financially damaging
> international sanctions that followed the nation’s 1998 nuclear tests.
> That meant regaining control of Khan and his laboratory.
>
> “It was time to stop this dirty business,” said the ex-officer, who
> clashed with Khan several times after Musharraf began trying to limit
> the scientist’s activities.
>
> Khan refused to answer questions about suspicious transactions at his
> laboratory or report his travels and meetings with foreigners. At
> meetings of senior officials, including Musharraf, he complained
> openly about the restrictions, according to two participants in the
> sessions. His determination to not alter his behavior became clear
> when Musharraf received the Inter-Services Intelligence agency report
> on Khan’s trip to Dubai in late 2000.
>
> The president summoned the scientist to his office and confronted him
> with the evidence, according to the ex-military officer. Khan argued
> that ISI had no business following him, but he assured the president
> that he had gone to Dubai only to finalize the sale of 50
> shoulder-fired antiaircraft rockets manufactured by his laboratory for
> a Middle Eastern country.
>
> Musharraf, whose grip on power was tenuous, was wary of Khan’s
> popularity and unconcerned about his trade in anti-aircraft rockets.
> He accepted the explanation, admonishing him to abide by the new
> restrictions.
>
> Khan was undeterred. Within weeks, intelligence agents reported
> spotting him back in Dubai with another suspicious group of men.
>
> Musharraf had heard enough. In late March 2001, a month before Khan’s
> 65th birthday, the president forced him to retire as director of the
> laboratory and barred him from the facility that carried his name:
> Khan Research Laboratories. Musharraf softened the blow by naming him
> to a Cabinet-level position as a presidential advisor and permitting
> him to travel freely. But that’s where the investigation ended.
>
> The previously undisclosed confrontation was described by the former
> senior officer and confirmed by a second retired Pakistani officer,
> both still aligned with Musharraf, on condition that their names and
> ranks be withheld. They said they would face government retaliation if
> they were identified.
>
> The conventional wisdom has been that Musharraf removed Khan in
> response to U.S. pressure. But the ex-officers said the scientist was
> demoted because he resisted the new procedures. They said the
> punishment was sufficient because the president was unaware of Khan’s
> nuclear trafficking.
>
> “It was happening right under our noses and we didn’t know,” the
> former senior officer said. “We got what we wanted — a bomb. We knew
> that he was using these dubious characters, greedy suppliers in Europe
> and other places, but this was in our military interest. So some dirty
> acts were allowed to go on.”
>
> A ‘Nuclear Wal-Mart’
>
> The question remains whether anyone in authority wanted to know what
> else Khan was doing as he scoured the world for equipment for
> Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, creating what IAEA
> Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei has called a “nuclear Wal-Mart.”
>
> Never examining Khan’s activities very closely gave Pakistani leaders
> plausible deniability in case he was discovered.
>
> “If Pakistani officials didn’t recognize that there was a problem
> here, it’s because they didn’t want to recognize it,” said Scott D.
> Sagan, co-director of Stanford University’s Center for International
> Security and Cooperation. “This is a damning indictment of their
> processes, and that’s the best scenario.”
>
> Khan’s freedom had its origins in Pakistan’s race to match India in
> developing nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
> launched Islamabad’s program in 1972, but the military took over in
> 1977 after Bhutto was deposed by Gen. Zia ul-Haq.
>
> Pakistan was under international sanctions aimed at stopping it from
> building nuclear weapons, so Khan was given an open account to buy
> what he needed on the black market. The clandestine nature of the
> transactions meant that most were done in cash.
>
> Khan, a metallurgist, had a ready blueprint. He had worked in Europe
> for a consortium that enriched uranium for civilian nuclear reactors.
> When he abruptly returned to Pakistan in 1975, he brought plans for
> centrifuge machines and other technology to enrich uranium, along with
> a list of European suppliers. Military engineers built a laboratory
> for Khan at Kahuta, about 30 miles southeast of Islamabad.
>
> Khan’s style of work would prove essential to his later trafficking.
> Former government officials said he refused to permit auditing of the
> laboratory’s books, dispatched shipments on his own signature and
> reported directly to the prime minister. Top scientists were paid
> double what their peers made at Pakistan’s other nuclear installations.
>
> New information from the two former officers shows that laboratory
> security was firmly under Khan’s control too. They said the army
> officers who monitored the laboratory and its employees were paid by
> Khan, not the military, and that many of them stayed there after retiring.
>
> Khan ensured his freedom of operation by delivering what he promised.
> Senior Pakistani military officers said Kahuta was enriching uranium
> to weapons grade by 1984 and that Pakistan could have detonated a
> nuclear bomb as early as 1986, a view supported by U.S. intelligence
> reports. Pakistan’s first nuclear tests occurred May 28, 1998, 17 days
> after India exploded its own bombs.
>
> Though much of the work was done by other scientists at a competing
> laboratory, Khan emerged as a heroic symbol of defiance of India and
> the West. He also had grown rich, which he never bothered to hide. Few
> saw it as a red flag in a country where official corruption is not
> uncommon.
>
> “People assumed that he was skimming from his purchases of equipment
> for Pakistan’s atomic program, and that was viewed as almost his right
> because he was a hero who had delivered the bomb,” said Husain
> Haqqani, a former Pakistani government official and the author of an
> upcoming book, “Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military.”
>
> Much of Khan’s wealth came from selling nuclear expertise and
> technology. The IAEA reported last year that Khan received $3 million
> in cash from Iran for enrichment equipment in 1994. Investigators have
> since tracked more large payments to accounts in bank-secrecy havens
> across Europe.
>
> At the time ISI followed Khan to Dubai, its investigators also
> informed Musharraf that the scientist had accounts containing millions
> of dollars and owned seven houses in Islamabad, one of the former
> officers said.
>
> Iran’s Early Designs
>
> Iran, which the U.S. accuses of pursuing nuclear weapons, is
> threatening to create an international diplomatic crisis by resuming
> uranium enrichment at plants whose initial designs and equipment were
> procured through Khan’s network.
>
> Tehran was Khan’s first known customer, and the history of that
> relationship demonstrates the difficulty of determining who in
> Pakistan knew of Khan’s trafficking. The two countries signed a pact
> to cooperate on nuclear energy in 1987 and Iranian scientists trained
> at Pakistani civilian installations, according to a 1992 report by the
> Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, a human rights advocacy group.
>
> In 1989, Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani told Pakistani Prime
> Minister Benazir Bhutto that Pakistani generals had offered to share
> nuclear weapons technology with Iran, according to two former
> high-level Pakistani officials who were privy to the conversation.
>
> The two officials said in separate interviews in 2003 that Rafsanjani
> was looking for Bhutto’s blessing for a deal that he said had been
> initiated by Gen. Aslam Beg, commander of the Pakistani armed forces
> from 1988 to 1991.
>
> Bhutto told both Rafsanjani and Beg that she objected, the former
> officials said.
>
> Beg said in a recent telephone interview that he had initiated several
> joint defense projects with Tehran and that he had favored closer ties
> to Iran to counter U.S. influence. But he denied authorizing anyone to
> transfer Pakistan’s nuclear expertise to Iran.
>
> “I have not been part of any illicit activity where we could pass on
> any nuclear technology to anyone else,” Beg said. “Nuclear technology
> was not in my domain. It was under A. Q. Khan and the political leaders.”
>
> Bhutto, who lives in exile in London and Dubai, has said the military
> retained control of the nuclear program while she was prime minister.
> Historians and political analysts say the military has been the
> dominant political influence in Pakistan since the nation’s creation
> in 1947.
>
> Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Henry S. Rowen said Beg
> threatened to provide nuclear weapons technology to Iran in January
> 1990. The incident was first reported by Associated Press last year
> and confirmed by Rowen in a recent interview.
>
> Rowen said he was in Pakistan trying to calm relations between New
> Delhi and Islamabad when he told Beg that the U.S. might have to cut
> off aid to Pakistan because of its nuclear program.
>
> “In the midst of our conversation, he said that Pakistan might be
> forced to share its nuclear technology with Iran,” said Rowen, now a
> professor at Stanford University. “I didn’t take it all that
> seriously, though I told him if that were to happen, Pakistan would be
> in terrible trouble with the United States.”
>
> Beg said he did not recall such a conversation with Rowen.
>
> There is evidence that Pakistan offered Iran nuclear technology and
> know-how even before the meeting between Bhutto and Rafsanjani. In
> March of this year, an IAEA official said that middlemen affiliated
> with Khan had met with Iranian officials in Dubai in 1987 and had
> offered to sell enrichment technology and designs for an atomic
> weapon. Iran said its officials had turned down the offer of weapons
> designs but had agreed to buy equipment for centrifuges to enrich
> uranium and a list of potential suppliers.
>
> “Khan might have had meetings in 1987 [with Iranians] we know now, but
> it was when Beg came to power that A. Q. Khan got his green light to
> deal with Iran,” said a former Pakistani official who had access to
> records of the internal investigation of Khan’s activities.
>
> Iran received undisclosed shipments of centrifuges, components,
> designs and other help from Pakistan until the mid-1990s, according to
> IAEA reports. Much of the equipment came directly from Khan’s laboratory.
>
> A Deal for Missiles
>
> Khan’s transactions with North Korea also appear to have roots in a
> deal sanctioned initially by his government.
>
> Bhutto has acknowledged buying designs for missiles at Khan’s request
> during a visit to North Korea in late 1993. At the time, Khan’s
> laboratory was developing missiles to carry nuclear warheads. It came
> to rely heavily on North Korean designs.
>
> U.S. intelligence officials said Khan’s relationship with North Korea
> changed when Pakistan ran short of cash in the late 1990s. They said
> he traded advanced centrifuge technology to North Korea for more help
> with missiles. The North Korean assistance led to the development of
> the Ghauri missiles, which are part of Pakistan’s nuclear delivery system.
>
> North Korea is thought to currently have enough weapons-grade
> plutonium for five to eight bombs, though the technology involved was
> not provided by Khan. Concern is mounting that it is about to conduct
> an underground nuclear test.
>
> But U.S. officials also say the North Koreans are developing a second
> method for producing atomic weapons, based on uranium enrichment
> technology from Khan.
>
> To many experts, Khan’s trade with North Korea stands out as the
> clearest evidence that the Pakistani military knew at least something
> about his nuclear trafficking.
>
> “They can’t say that this was a guy out on his own and we were shocked
> when we learned that he was doing this,” said George Perkovich of the
> Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.
>
> While acknowledging Khan’s sales to Iran and Libya, Musharraf and
> other senior Pakistani officials deny that North Korea received
> nuclear technology. They say Pakistan paid for the North Korean help.
>
> “The money was on the books,” said the former senior military officer.
> “Unless Khan kept the money for himself and gave North Korea nuclear
> equipment instead, we paid for it.”
>
> Tracking the proceeds from Khan’s nuclear commerce has proved
> difficult, according to international investigators. Some records were
> intentionally destroyed, and huge sums disappeared into a labyrinth of
> bank accounts in Dubai, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
>
> Pakistani officials acknowledged that profits from sales of
> antiaircraft rockets and other conventional weapons designed by Khan
> Research Laboratories have helped finance the facility’s nuclear research.
>
> Perkovich and others suspect that a portion of the trafficking
> proceeds went into the laboratory’s coffers too. But no one has
> offered proof, and as with many aspects of Khan’s clandestine
> activities, it remains an open question.
>
> Khan has not appeared in public since his televised confession. He is
> not allowed to use a telephone, read a newspaper or watch television,
> although he may swim once a day in his pool.
>
> Two former laboratory security chiefs, an army major and a brigadier
> general, were among 11 people investigated by Pakistani authorities in
> addition to Khan. Of these others, only Mohammed Farooq, a senior
> scientist at KRL, remains in custody.
>
> “Unfortunately, the entire proliferation took place under the orders
> and patronage of Dr. A. Q. Khan,” reads a transcript of the closed
> briefing Musharraf gave Pakistani journalists hours before Khan’s mea
> culpa. “I can say with certainty that no government official or
> military personnel were involved.”
>
> Pakistani journalists close to Khan have said he claims that Beg and
> others approved his sales of nuclear technology.
>
> A former Pakistani official and the former senior Pakistani officer
> both said outside investigators would never be allowed to question
> Khan because he knows too many secrets and for fear of what he might
> say, true or not.
>
> “He might name names, he might say that Gen. Beg authorized his
> activities,” the former senior officer said. “It would create a
> problem that Pakistan does not need.”
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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