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... Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends,
it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,
and to institute new Government ...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A.Q. Khan Released

If they have nukes, they'd use them -- Pastorius

One step closer, sez I.

"By the pricking of my thumbs something wicked this way comes. . ."


Pakistan frees nuke scientist who helped Iran, Libya, and North Korea with nuclear technology

Khan confessed in 2004 to being involved in supplying nuclear weapons technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea. This is the dawning of the Age of Obama: note that Khan emphasizes that he doesn't care what Bush or Cheney thinks about his being freed. The idea that Obama might object doesn't even seem to enter his mind. And note his pointed response to the possibility that the international community might object to his being freed: "Are they happy with our God? Are they happy with our Prophet?"

"Pakistan nuclear scientist 'free,'" from the BBC, February 6 (thanks to all who sent this in):

A court in Pakistan has freed disgraced nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan from house arrest. Dr Khan, who has been under tight restrictions since 2004, can now leave home and receive visitors.Dr Khan welcomed the ruling and said he was not bothered what the international community thought of his release.

Dr Khan admitted transferring nuclear secrets to other countries in 2004 but was later pardoned by former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

The US has repeatedly said it wants to question Dr Khan but Pakistan has always refused access....

When asked about what the international community would think, he said: "Let them talk. Are they happy with our God? Are they happy with our Prophet?

Are they happy with our leaders? Never, so why should we bother what they say
about us?"

He added: "I would be more worried about what you (Pakistani journalists) say about me, not what Bush says or what Dick Cheney says. I don't damn care."...

In January, the US imposed sanctions on people and companies linked to Dr Khan.

Last July, Dr Khan told the media that Pakistan had transported uranium enrichment equipment to North Korea in 2000 with the full knowledge of the country's army, then headed by Gen Musharraf.

The former leader has repeatedly stated that no-one apart from Dr Khan had
any knowledge of the transportation of nuclear technology....

& Today's Update

"Pakistan may be giving Khan 'license to resume, perhaps directly, his past actions to aid, abet and profit from the spread of nuclear weapons.'"

There could be serious potential fallout from the freeing of A.Q. Khan, about which Robert wrote yesterday here. But have no fear, since the "US wants assurance from Pak on AQ Khan's future role." That's the headline of this article from the Times of India, February 7:

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama wants assurance from Islamabad that released Pakistani scientist Abdul Qader Khan, accused of leaking atomic secrets, isn't involved in any of the activity that led to his arrest.

"Obviously the president and this government want assurances that Dr Khan is not engaged or involved in any of the activity that resulted in his house arrest earlier," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Friday.

A Pakistani court on Friday ordered the release of Khan, considered the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb, who spent five years under house arrest after admitting selling nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

"We've seen the reports of the release but have yet to receive official word from the government," Gibbs said.

"Obviously, this president has made clear many times the great concern that he has about nuclear proliferation."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also expressed concern about the release of Khan. In the House, foreign affairs committee chairman Howard Berman suggested that US aid to Pakistan could suffer because of the development.

Berman said he is "deeply concerned" that Pakistan may be giving Khan "license to resume, perhaps directly, his past actions to aid, abet and profit from the spread of nuclear weapons."

Congress, Berman said, will take Pakistan's refusal to allow US officials to interview Khan "into account as we review and create legislation on US-Pakistan relations and the circumstances under which US assistance is provided to Islamabad."

CIA spokesman George Little called Khan "one of the most dangerous proliferators in history" and praised the disruption of his smuggling network as "a genuine intelligence success."

Earlier, state department spokesman Gordon Duguid describing Khan as "a serious proliferation risk" said in US view "it would be unfortunate if the court released him."

"We believe AQ Khan remains a serious proliferation risk. The proliferation support that Khan and his associates provided to Iran and North Korea has had a harmful impact on international security, and will for years to come."

"The Pakistanis are well aware of our position on this," he said. "This is not a new position."
Asked if the US was anticipating Khan's release when it recently announced sanctions targeting him, the spokesman said: "The sanctions were announced to target the AQ Khan network, which we are actively pursuing and we are trying to roll up."

"And the United States and its international partners have done a good job in tracking down this network. That should have no effect or influence on whether or not Mr. Khan is let out of his current status of detention," he said.


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posted by midnight rider at permanent link#


Blogger Michael Travis said...

Hasn't the poor man suffered enough? What do you want from him? I am sure that he is sorry for his mistakes.

He has paid hi debt...let him resettle in the USA...he has a lot to offer..he'd make a very good citizen....just like the relatives of our Prez.


Sunday, February 08, 2009 9:17:00 pm  
Blogger midnight rider said...

Yeah, we could put him up with the soon to be released Gitmo Detainees. . .

Sunday, February 08, 2009 9:33:00 pm  

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