father of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program and alleged purveyor
nuclear technology to rogue states, Dr. A.Q. Khan, lectures students in
days. Now, according to recent reports, Khan has provided proof
that Pakistan officials knew of his dealings
with Iran and North Korea.
The Frontier Post,
Letter from North Korean to A.Q. Khan Resembles CIA Iraq War Forgery
"How odd that a British journalist sat on this bombshell of a letter for so long, choosing this moment to release it to select American newspapers. ... Could this be connected to the methodical Western campaign to depict the Pakistan military as undependable and a poor protector of the nationís nuclear assets?"
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan appears on the cover of Time Magazine, February 2005. After years of protecting Khan, also known as the father of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, Islamabad may be preparing to prosecute him for providing nuclear technology to rogue states. A British researcher claims that Khan gave him a letter that proves his nuclear dealings with Iran and North Korea were known to and approved by Pakistan government officials.
It does strike us as intriguing:
Found among a bundle of secret documents is a
letter allegedly passed on to a British journalist some time ago from
Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, and written by a North Korean official discussing the transfer
of money to senior Pakistan military officers for access to nuclear technology.
to the Washington Post, in order to defend himself from Pakistan
government charges that he ran a nuclear smuggling operation without official
consent, Dr. A.Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear program, gave Simon
Henderson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy documents that
appear to show North Koreaís government paid more than $3.5 million to two
Pakistani military officials as part of the deal. The letter, along with a
statement by Khan describing the deal, suggests that at least some top-level
Pakistani military officials knew early on about Khanís extensive sale of
nuclear weapons technology to other countries, including North Korea, Iran and
How odd that the journalist
sat on this bombshell of a letter for so long, choosing this moment to release
it to select American newspapers. Could this be due to recent failures by the Pakistan
military? Could this be connected to the rough patch it is experiencing
domestically, being as it is in the vortex of a powerful and methodical Western
campaign to depict the Pakistan military as undependable and a poor protector
of the nationís nuclear assets? The letter's release smacks of being part of a
great game. It is no secret that the Western powers haven't taken kindly to Pakistan's
acquisition of nuclear prowess. On this count, the Americans have dogged Pakistan,
notwithstanding their patently specious and pious-sounding vows to the contrary.
Both military officers cited
in the letter have debunked it as a fake, rejecting out of hand its accusations
against them. Indeed, oneís heart goes to our committed scientists, engineers
and technicians as well as successive leaderships who have worked together throughout
- in the teeth of the enormous opposition of Western powers and lobbies - to obtain
for the nation its life-sustaining nuclear deterrence. This was no individual
feat - it was the sterling accomplishment of exemplary teamwork. We salute that
community of nuclear hands who sweated day and night to give this invaluable defense
capability to the nation and would in no event compromise on it.
If for any reason, someone
has faltered and become a thorn in the flesh of the nation, he would certainly receive
the abhorrence of the people, one and all. No one, regardless of rank or status,
should harbor any illusions on this score. Of course, only a penetrating
inquiry can establish the authenticity of the letter and the information it
contains. But from the way it has been reported in the U.S. press, serious
questions about its authenticity are unavoidable.
What other explanation could there
be, when U.S. reports note that the letter, written in nearly perfect English, is
too well-written to believe a North Korean wrote it? What other conclusion can one
draw when these reports not only raise doubts about the letter's authenticity,
but then assert that it is genuine? That a letter may not be real but is in
fact authentic, cannot both be a description of reality. At best, this may be nothing
but ambiguity and vagueness; and at worst, it is sheer skullduggery and
Indeed, the caveats and
hedging connected with reports about the letter are quite reminiscent of a letter
that U.S. officials and spooks fabricated in the name of Saddam Husseinís
intelligence chief, Tahir
Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti.
In that fake letter, drafted
in the White House, Habbush informed Saddam that the ringleader of the
September 11 terrorist strike, Mohammad Atta, had
actually trained for the mission in Iraq, thus exposing a link between Saddam
and al-Qaeda that had no basis in fact.
Apprehending that Habbush, who
with CIA collusion was then hiding in Jordan, might not sign such a letter, the
CIA took it to Ayad Allawi,
then a member if Iraq's Interim Governing
Council. As was arranged in advance, Allawi gave it to a reporter for a
leading British daily, which was published with similar caveats and hedging. Furthermore,
the CIA doled out $5 million in U.S. taxpayer money to Habbush to purchase his
eternal silence, and securing him safe refuge in Jordan as well. Pulitzer prize-winning
author Ron Suskind unraveled this forgery in his meticulously-researched work, The Way of the
In any case, the faked letter
eventually became redundant, as the U.S.-led war party's Pyrrhic victory plunged
Iraq into a dreadful orgy of bloodshed. Furthermore, the report was
overshadowed by a bigger story: Saddamís arrest on the day it was published.
Now it remains to be seen what
becomes of this latest artwork, the letter allegedly written by the North Korean