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The Deal
March 1, 2004 1:02 PM   Subscribe

The Deal. Why is Washington going easy on Pakistan's nuclear black marketers and supporting the pardon of Abdul Qadeer Khan? According to Seymour Hersh, it's in exchange for Pervez Musharraf allowing U.S. troops into Pakistan to hunt for Osama bin Laden. [Via The Argus.]
posted by homunculus (37 comments total)

 
Meh... more likely the US is going easy on Pakistan because we're trying to usurp control of their nuclear program. Well that and Musharraf is only a few slip ups away from having his back against a wall... and I'll give you the whole OBL theory.
posted by wfrgms at 1:13 PM on March 1, 2004


Well...


...Duh.
posted by aaronscool at 1:18 PM on March 1, 2004


Thanks for the post. Hersh hasn't been the only one to write about this.

But it's not just about bin Laden: the administration realizes that Musharraf might not survive if he tossed Khan in jail. They're going easy on him because they know that his actions arise from necessity. And it's crucial for the U.S. that Musharraf, and not whatever Islamic extremists might take his place, rules Pakistan.
posted by Dasein at 1:19 PM on March 1, 2004


When a nuclear weapon goes off in an american city - it will be because bush took his eye off the ball in his war on terror and WMD's. What an ass**le.
posted by specialk420 at 1:20 PM on March 1, 2004


Yea... Bush, it'll be his fault for sure.
posted by Witty at 1:26 PM on March 1, 2004


"When" it goes off. Right.

Bush is 99 and 44/100 percent pure, dude.
posted by mcgraw at 1:31 PM on March 1, 2004


For more quid pro quo action, see Libya. They get rid of nukes, we get them and our oil companies richer.
posted by callmejay at 1:35 PM on March 1, 2004


Sounds like a good deal to me.
posted by Dasein at 1:39 PM on March 1, 2004


So our ally-of-convenience and recent State Department terrorist list member Pakistan gets a pass for selling nuclear materials to the two-thirds of the Axis of Evil that actually have NBC weapons in exchange for letting us look for the guy we should have been looking for for the past three and a half years but haven't been because we got distracted attacking the one member of the Axis of Evil that didn't have any weapons. Nice.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:10 PM on March 1, 2004


Um, what's the problem with this deal? Here in the imprefect real world, I'd rather have Musharraf in charge of Pakistan's nukes than the Islamic fundamentalists who have repeatedly tried to kill him and seize control of the country.
posted by twsf at 2:53 PM on March 1, 2004


Why do you all hate america so much? The good lord will protectify us and lead us to the chicken dinner. or whatever.
posted by damnitkage at 2:57 PM on March 1, 2004


'What does Mel Gibson's Dad have to say about this?"
posted by Elim at 3:22 PM on March 1, 2004


When an airliner hits a skyscraper in an american city - it will be because clinton took his eye off the ball after two U.S. embassies got bombed, an attack on the USS Cole, and a previous attack on the World Trade Center. What an ass**le.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:25 PM on March 1, 2004


If Saddam ever threatens his neighbors and own folks again - it will be because GHWB took his eye off the ball after Desert storm and let Saddam Fly Choppers! What an Ass**le
posted by Elim at 3:28 PM on March 1, 2004


IF Mel Gibson ever threatens filmgoers with another violent bloodsoaked Epic, it will be because non-xians took there eye off the ball after The Passion of Christ.....

Oh and Hitler (just to complete Godwin's law)
posted by Elim at 3:30 PM on March 1, 2004


If I get fat, it will be because I took my eyes off mypetfat.

As much as I'd like to get down on the government for the deal itself, it does seem like a positive opportunity. Of course, that's ignoring the fact that we failed to see Abdul Qadeer Khan's black market as it grew, and that we've set a somewhat chilling punishment precendent for the spread of massive death causing technologies.
posted by VulcanMike at 4:07 PM on March 1, 2004


We're totally fucked.

North Korea will not proliferate to terrorists - Kim Jong Il is crazy, but not that crazy. He knows there are plenty of insurrectionists drooling to overthrow him, and would jump at the chance to put a nuke in Pyongyang. But as it said in the article, Iran's not got a problem with aiding non-state groups. The terrorists are on their side.

It's our own fault, not because of Clinton or GWB or GHWB, but because as a country, we have engaged in duplicitous foreign policy for the past 50 or more years. We are friendless in this world, and any country that doesn't have an interest in preventing terrorism will jump at the chance to fuck us over.
posted by rocketman at 6:37 PM on March 1, 2004


Um, what's the problem with this deal? Here in the imprefect real world, I'd rather have Musharraf in charge of Pakistan's nukes than the Islamic fundamentalists who have repeatedly tried to kill him and seize control of the country.

If you read the article, the problem isn't with Pakistan's nukes. It's with the nuclear black market that has quite probably helped states like Libya, Iran, and North Korea, as well as unknown non-state actors get their hands on knowledge, technology, and materials.

This is the article I've been waiting for on the consequences of Khan's actions. I couldn't understand why this wan't a bigger deal when it was discovered.

"When" it goes off. Right.

Damn right. How can you read this article and not come to this conclusion? What kind of world this will be one day later is anyone's guess.
posted by pitchblende at 7:00 PM on March 1, 2004


as a country, we have engaged in duplicitous foreign policy for the past 50 or more years. We are friendless in this world, and any country that doesn't have an interest in preventing terrorism will jump at the chance to fuck us over

The enemies-until-we-need them act we're pulling with Pakistan is a continuation of this (see Iran, Iraq, Panama, etc. for previous examples). Shoot, selling nukes to our enemies is a smart play for Pakistan, since they'll probably be back on our enemies list sooner or later. Our policy of preemptively attacking countries that don't have weapons, aren't a threat to us, and are cooperating with UN inspectors, while tolerating countries that do have weapons, are a potential threat to us, and kick UN inspectors out is another example of our illogical and duplicitous foreign policy.

After September 11 we needed to make two responses, miliary and diplomatic: find and punish the people who attacked us, and change the duplicitous behavior that's led to the other countries hatred or fear of us that lead them to attack us or aid our attackers. I thought the Bush administration was doing pretty well on the military front until we lost interest in bin Laden and diverted to Iraq, but he administation's dropped the ball on that and completely failed diplomatically.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:18 PM on March 1, 2004


At this point, Osama Bin Laden is probably more important to US politics than to Al Qaeda'a continued existence. Laden no fool. He has successors groomed and ready, I'd guess. Yet - A Q Kahn's game has been called out too. Both have unleashed processes which will be hard to contain.

Is the capture of Bin Laden worth the risk of an Islamic extremist takeover in Pakistan? Most assuredly not. So why the high stakes gambit to grab Bin Laden?

Washington's habit of dancing with those who easily might be, or who are later proclaimed, the mortal enemies of the US is more than disconcerting ; it raises the spectre of design. Item #1 - The Pakistani head of the ISI, later revealed to have been a major funder of the 9-11 terrorists, is in Washington D.C. meeting with various government officials in the week prior to 9-11. Item #3 - A Q Kahn, The scientist who has been behind what was probably the single most effective non-governmental covert nuclear weapons proliferation network in history, gets spanked, lightly, for maximal histrionic effect.......
posted by troutfishing at 7:36 PM on March 1, 2004


Wow.
posted by homunculus at 7:37 PM on March 1, 2004


Elim, I'm glad that you agree with me on how absurd specialk420 statement was.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:36 PM on March 1, 2004


Your link won't load for me, homunculus. What does it say?
posted by interrobang at 9:03 PM on March 1, 2004


it will be because clinton took his eye off the ball after two U.S. embassies got bombed, an attack on the USS Cole, and a previous attack on the World Trade Center. What an ass**le.

So both Clinton and Bush are assholes. Hardly news. That still leaves Americans neck deep in the doodoo.

interrobang : homunculus was pointing to this image.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:58 PM on March 1, 2004


Pakistan gets a pass for selling nuclear materials to the two-thirds of the Axis of Evil that actually have NBC weapons

Man Is Friends Really That Big Of A Loss? That They Have Turned To ARMS Dealing...

;>
posted by Dreamghost at 10:10 PM on March 1, 2004


Clinton was president when the towers got bombed?

And the current commander in chief won't be responsible for any further attacks on American soil?

Oh. I forgot this was President AWOL, who no doubt stepped out for a line of coke when they were giving those National Guard classes about the responsibility of command, and "the buck stops here".
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 10:39 PM on March 1, 2004


Clinton was president when the towers got bombed?

Well if by "towers got bombed" you mean the Khobar Towers, then yes.

But, if you mean the WTC... then no... they didn't get bombed.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:08 AM on March 2, 2004


Cross-timeline hijinks again. In my timeline, some bad men set off a truck bomb in the basement of one of the towers while Clinton was President.

The usual metric: Neil Armstrong, Eagle, 20 July 2722AUC.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:23 AM on March 2, 2004


They really named their son George Bush too? The same name as the father? Man, that George Bush dude could've used just a little more imagination. And look, they gave him the same middle name of "Walker"!

[sorry, please continue your discussion]
posted by madman at 5:19 AM on March 2, 2004


Diplomacy is the fine art of saying "Nice Doggy" while you search for a big rock.
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:32 AM on March 2, 2004


WTC 1993
posted by clavdivs at 9:48 AM on March 2, 2004


I put a grain of salt on anything Seymour Hersch writes, ever since his story at the time of the start of the current Iraq war claiming that the units sent there were horribly undersupplied because Pentagon planners could not adapt to the fast-track warfighting approach pushed by Rumsfeld. Whatever else you may say about Rumsfeld and the war, there were no major supply-chain disasters in the operation. The present story, headed with the rubric "Fact", might more safely be labeled "Speculation."
posted by beagle at 10:08 AM on March 2, 2004


headed with the rubric "Fact", might more safely be labeled "Speculation."

well, even if we don't consider his glorious past (and we should), Hersh's The Stovepipe is the best explanation yet for why -- and how -- Bush attaqed Iraq.

far from being a Clinton fan -- I'm not crazy for Eisenhower Republicans -- I just think he is the most successful Republican President of the 20th Century, not that it's a great achievement per se, but I also think some of the Clinton-era legislation -- Telecommunications Act, Defense Of Marriage Act, Welfare Reform -- did America a lot of damage
But I am also slightly bemused at the American Right's fixation on Clinton National Security (obvious) shortcomings when it was the Right, thirsty for impeachment blood, that whined about "wagging the dog" when Clinton tried at least to bomb a few aspirin factories in retaliation for Osama's attacks. Not many Republicans concerned about (Bush family business partner) Bin Laden, back then huh? but fuck Clinton anyway I guess. it's also nice how the Bush crowd seemed utterly uninterested in pre-911 "some really bad shit is going down very soon" abundant intelligence.
but anyway, it's Clinton's fault.

clavdivs, I don't remember many Republicans screaming bloody murder at the -- admittedly very lame -- Clinton-era narrowly legalistic strategy to consider the 1993 WTC attack as a simple law-and-order case instead that a National Security issue.
Funnily enough, I remember those good Republicans waving poor Vince Foster's briefcase in the Senate, and chasing the Whitewater lame-ass non-existent road to impeachment (sniffing stained dresses 5 years later was more succesful, actually)
;)
posted by matteo at 8:27 PM on March 2, 2004


I put a grain of salt on anything Seymour Hersch writes, ever since his story at the time of the start of the current Iraq war claiming that the units sent there were horribly undersupplied because Pentagon planners could not adapt to the fast-track warfighting approach pushed by Rumsfeld.

Maybe you're not keeping up on current events. It certainly didn't keep the US from acheiving military victory, but if you don't think there were serious logistical problems, then you're not paying attention. Maybe when the Army's Combined Arms Center finishes the report, you'll reconsider your opinion of Mr. Hersh.
posted by pitchblende at 10:19 PM on March 2, 2004


funny matteo, I do d not remeber asking you anything and when i do need some information, i wont ask you. troll elsewhere. And your as dumb as a sack of SHIT if you think I'm gonna react to this vince foster thing, WTF is that analogy. I think you need a break sir. Have any vacation time coming? tell you what, go read some books on the matter then put up a FFP and when can talk m-kay. til then, go get your FUCKIN shinebox you old, washed up, greasy motherfucker.

;)
posted by clavdivs at 8:08 AM on March 3, 2004


As the United States presses Iran and other countries to shut down their nuclear-weapons-development programs, government auditors have determined that the United States is making little effort to recover large quantities of weapons-grade uranium — enough to make roughly 1,000 nuclear bombs — that the government dispersed to 43 countries over the past several decades.

Iran and Pakistan were among the countries that received the highly enriched uranium, generally with the expectation that it would be returned. The chief nuclear-weapons expert in Pakistan recently made the stunning disclosure that his network had secretly sold uranium and nuclear technology to Libya, Iran and North Korea.
posted by homunculus at 11:34 AM on March 7, 2004


U.S. Widens View of Pakistan Link to Korean Arms
posted by homunculus at 11:53 AM on March 13, 2004


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