Saturday, July 5, 2008

Case closed, you wish

The godfather of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, is increasingly frustrated at his house arrest. On July 4th, he started to declare his own independence to news agencies: he says the Pakistan government was fully involved in nuclear proliferation:
"His claims stood in stark contrast with his 2004 confession that he was solely responsible for spreading nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya. But Dr. Khan has since renounced that confession, saying he made it to avoid implicating other Pakistani officials."
(NYT link, registration required)

This new claim has the ring of truth, as many analysts will tell you. Boston Brahmin himself had argued, back in 2004 when Khan was arrested, that:
In a country so completely dominated by the army, it is inconceivable that the country's crown jewels at Kahuta could be sold without the knowledge of the brass.
(Pointer to 2004 post by Boston Brahmin) Yet, the New York Times, Washington Post, and other Western news outlets continued for years to repeat as facts, Pakistan government claims that AQ Khan was a "rogue" scientist working on his own.

Khan's interviews yesterday took the government by surprise. But denials were quick: "all lies and false statements". Today, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry insisted that its nuclear proliferation case was closed. (link to AP wire article).
Case closed? You wish.