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The AQ Khan/Iraq connection...revealed!

Uncovering an embarrasing situation for the Bush gang
Last February, Abdul Qadeer Khan was officially pardoned by Gen. Pervez Musharraf for his sales network of nuclear secrets and materials. It was a made-for-t.v. event, and generally considered to be a complete sham. The Bush gang accepted the show wholeheartedly.

AQ Khan, the "father" of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, a national hero there. He defied all the odds and brought nukes to a third-world country, to act as a deterrent against India's nukes. In 2002 the two countries almost fought the world's first 2-sided nuclear war, but fortunately they backed down.

Khan was forced to make a public confession about his network because Iran and Libya had pointed the finger at him--Libya more so than Iran. He also then admitted helping North Korea with their nuclear program, although North Korea had not singled him out.

It is generally believed that AQ Khan has acted with the consent of successive military dictatorships in Pakistan, if not directly under government orders. Gen. Musharraf, an iron-fisted kind of dictator (arent' they all?) told Khan not to incriminate the Pakistani government, since that might compromise national security. Musharraf urged the Pakistani media to be quiet about the whole affair.

At the time of the public confession, it seemed strange that all these countries were mentioned, yet Iraq was not. It seems there was an unspoken agreement between AQ Khan, Musharraf, and especially the US, not to mention Khan's relationship with Iraq. It's interesting to note--AQ Khan began his underground criminal network in the mid-70's, yet his "confession" and almost all media reports are only concerned with post-Cold War crimes. Everything before that is justified, which must be a huge relief to the US, given the close, friendly relationship with Iraq in the 80's.

The NYT dared to go back to the 80's and revisit the AQ Khan/Iraq connection, reposted here:
 http://nuclearactive.org/docs/LES021904a.html

OR  http://nuclearactive.org/docs/LESO21904a.html

"But there were clues that the technology had spread even further: a German intelligence investigation determined that Iraq and possibly Iran and North Korea had obtained uranium-melting expertise stolen from Urenco [by AQ Khan] in 1984, Mr. Hibbs reported in Nucleonics Week several years later.

"In 1989, two engineers, Bruno Stemmler and Karl Heinz Schaab, who had worked for Germany's MAN New Technology, another Urenco subcontractor, sold plans for advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges to Iraq. Then went to Baghdad to help solve problems in making the equipment work.

"David Albright, a former weapons inspector for the International Atomic Energy Agency, said he helped retrieve a full set of blueprints from Iraq after the major combat operations ended last year [2003]. United States inspectors have not found evidence that Mr. Hussein had restarted his nuclear program, but Mr. Albright said there were still drawings unaccounted for.

"It's an unnerving issue,' said Mr. Albright, who is president of the Institute for Science and International Security. 'A lot of nuclear weapons design stuff could be missing in Iraq.'"

Note how this is the exact opposite of what most media accounts reported at the time. They strictly kept to the line that AQ Khan supplied nuclear material to Iran, Libya, and North Korea, no one else.

There's alot of coverage from last February that revisited a mid-90's investigation of the AQ Khan/Iraq connection. From the LA Times, Feb. 22, 2004:

"In autumn 1990, a Greek approached Iraq's secret intelligence service with a putative offer from Khan to provide help building centrifuges and designs for a nuclear bomb, according to documents and two diplomats.

"Another document said the initial cost would be $5 million, plus a 10% commission for Khan on everything purchased. Iraq already had spent billions of dollars trying to enrich uranium for an atomic bomb, with mixed results.

"IAEA officials turned to Pakistan for help, but were told that the offer was a hoax. Requests for assistance from U.S. intelligence turned up no other information...

"The diplomats said the IAEA has reopened its inquiry because of the striking similarities between what Iraq was offered and what Libya bought from Khan."

Keep in mind that since 1984, Iraq had some of the nuclear designs that Khan had stolen from Urenco, as noted in the NYT aricle.

Most surprisingly though is the evidence reported in this essay from an Indian thinktank:
 http://saag.org/papers10/paper916.html (from Feb. 7, 2004)

"Pakistani sources claim that there has been another bombshell in the admissions of guilt made by Khan's colleagues and juniors, who are still under custody and questioning. They are reported to have stated that during his over 40 visits to Dubai in the last three years, he had met Iraqi intelligence officials who sought his help in having some of the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) material of Iraq airlifted from Syria to Pakistan for being kept in safe custody there to prevent their falling into the hands of the UN inspectors. Khan allegedly agreed to their request. According to them, in October, 2002, Khan had a Pakistani aircraft, which had gone to Iran to deliver some equipment, stop in a Syrian airport on its way back. It picked up the Iraqi WMD 'material' and brought it to Pakistan for safe custody on behalf of Iraq. It is not clear what did they mean by material--only documents or something more?"

This is also reported in a Pakistani journal, but the above is the source for that:
 http://dailytimes.com/pk/default.asp?page=Story_10-2-2004_pg7_7

So, no need to worry about the missing "weapons design stuff" that Mr. Albright spoke of in the NYT article. Apparently its safe and sound back in Pakistan, where it originated from. AQ Khan had his own important reasons for wanting to get the evidence back to Pakistan--to save himself and the Pakistani government some embarrasment.

A comical picture emerges of the US chasing its own tail around the world. But it's not that funny, because the US becomes more and more implicated in the global crimes it is supposedly fighting against.

TO BE CONTINUED
Cont'd 03.Sep.2004 18:13

JR

The title of NYT article is "Roots of Pakistan Atomic Scandal Traced to Europe" on Google's cache--doesn't look like those links worked.

NOTE--URENCO is the Uranium Enrichment Company in Almelo, the Netherlands. AQ Khan worked for a URENCO subcontractor and had an office there, which is how he came to possess blueprints for uranium enrichment centrifuges in '74 or '75, and thus start Pakistan's military nuclear program.

The assumption that AQ Khan wanted to get nuclear material out of Iraq is based on this paragraph from the SAAG article:

"According to reliable sources, during these meetings A.Q. Khan pleaded with the Iranians to return the copies of the drawings of the URENCO uranium enrichment plant in Holland which he had given to them in the past and not to tell the IAEA inspectors anything about the Pakistani origin of the centrifuges. The Iranian officials evaded his requests to return the drawings, but reportedly assured him that they would not reveal anything which might embarrass Pakistan. And yet, they did. Why? What had gone wrong in Pakistan-Iran relations which made Teheran insensitive to Pakistani concerns."

From that, it's easy to assume that Khan also wanted those same drawings back from Iraq, which had them since 1984, according to the NYT article. The SAAG essay doesn't make that connection though.

Due to the very friendly relationship with the dictator Musharraf, it would not serve US interests to pursue the allegations that AQ Khan smuggled nuclear material out of Iraq before the war, EVEN THOUGH that was the alleged purpose of the war--to find out what Iraq was doing and how. Not only that, but it fully serves US interests to keep silent about this and hope that it doesn't hit mainstream media. The US becomes complicit in the very crimes it is supposedly fighting against.

Aside from the Osama containment policy worked out with Pakistan, the entire war of terror as we know it is this:

Keep Pakistani nuclear designs and equipment out of anybody else's hands, threaten and intimidate countries that already have the Pakistani equipment, and continue to justify the actions against Iraq, where the Pakistani-assisted nuclear program had not been started back up since 1991.

Strangely, the most important ally for the US/UK duo in this war of terror is.....Pakistan.

NOTE 04.Sep.2004 10:56

JR

I may have misread the paragraph in the NYT article, "...Iraq, and possibly Iran and North Korea, had obtained uranium melting expertise stolen from Urenco in 1984..."

I assumed this meant that in 1984, those countries obtained the designs and such that AQ Khan had stolen a decade earlier, but it might mean that those countries obtained it from another source in 1984. If that's the case, it doesn't say who the source was, or when those countries obtained the stuff, just in or sometime after 1984. From the context of the article it seems to suggest that it was AQ Khan, or at least the "Khan network" where the Urenco plans came from, which I'm sure is the case. There are other clues in that article about the connection.