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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Politics: Sibel Edmonds

A.Q. Khan, renegade Pakistani nuclear scientist considered a hero in Pakistan

Seen anything about Sibel Edmonds' testimony in the paper lately? I recall reading something about a week ago, but it's been pushed off the front page by the much more thrilling business of an intoxicated Britney Spears losing her mind or her kids or her underwear.

The Times of London has an interesting article today on Edmonds' testimony. Sibels worked for the FBI as a Turkish language translator, and, as part of her job, listened in to hundreds of sensitive intercepted conversations while based at the agency’s Washington field office. An excerpt from her testimony as described in the article states, in part:
... foreign intelligence agents had enlisted the support of US officials to acquire a network of moles in sensitive military and nuclear institutions.

Among the hours of covert tape recordings, she says she heard evidence that one well-known senior official in the US State Department was being paid by Turkish agents in Washington who were selling the information on to black market buyers, including Pakistan.

The name of the official – who has held a series of top government posts – is known to The Sunday Times. He strongly denies the claims.

However, Edmonds said: “He was aiding foreign operatives against US interests by passing them highly classified information, not only from the State Department but also from the Pentagon, in exchange for money, position and political objectives.”
If true, this is simply scandalous. Pakistan is known to be a hub of nuclear weapons information. Its top nuclear scientist, A.Q. Khan, has been proved to have sold nuclear weapons technology to Libya, Iran, and North Korea. Although he is supposedly under house arrest, no attempt has been made by Pakistani authorities to punish the man.

Despite the expenditure of billions of dollars from U.S. taxpayers, American officials have never been permitted to question Dr. Khan. They are not even permitted to ask him questions directly. All questions must be submitted to the Pakistani intelligence authorities, the notorious ISI. The ISI presumably submits the written questions to Dr. Khan and delivers his replies to the U.S. intelligence officials.

Seems like a poor return on our investment. How do we even know that Dr. Khan is responsible for the answers?

Edmonds told the Times that Turki officials acted as a conduit for ISI to deflect suspicion from the Pakistanis.
Intercepted communications showed Ahmad (General Mahmoud Ahmad, then the ISI chief) and his colleagues stationed in Washington were in constant contact with attachés in the Turkish embassy.

Intelligence analysts say that members of the ISI were close to Al-Qaeda before and after 9/11. Indeed, Ahmad was accused of sanctioning a $100,000 wire payment to Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers, immediately before the attacks.

The results of the espionage were almost certainly passed to Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani nuclear scientist.

Khan was close to Ahmad and the ISI. While running Pakistan’s nuclear programme, he became a millionaire by selling atomic secrets to Libya, Iran and North Korea. He also used a network of companies in America and Britain to obtain components for a nuclear programme.
Edmonds also informed the Times that one of her fellow translators at the FBI was the daughter of a Pakistani embassy official who worked for Ahmad. The translator was given top secret clearance despite protests from FBI investigators.

Feel safer now, America? While Bush's boys in Afghanistan and Iraq were rounding up innocent civilians and incarcerating them for years in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, where they were tortured, his people in the State department were employing ISI moles at the behest of their Pakistani bribers. State was smuggling known terrorists out of the country as a favour to the Pakistani government, lest they "spill the beans."

While we were using napalm and white phosphorus against civilians in Fallujah, the real terrorists were eating our lunch right here at home. Jeezus, this is repulsive.

Is there a single reason left to keep impeachment of Dick and boy george "off the table"?

Nancy? Harry? Are you slimy gutless worms out there?

Go read the whole article for yourself. Try not to vomit.

All this time, we've been chasing illusory monsters in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Meanwhile, a total of $10 billion dollars of taxpayer money has been paid to the Pakistani government, which is sending money to terrorists and permitting Saudi Arabia to run madrassahs in Pakistan that espouse an anti-U.S. position. What are we doing to combat this? We're giving $22 million to - get this - Pervez Musharraf to "promote democracy."

Pervez Musharraf. A military man who led a coup against the civilian government and refuses to resign either his military or his civilian position. Who routinely jails opponents and suppresses dissent by the simple expedient of having dissenters killed. Who is undoubtedly largely responsible for the murder of Benazir Bhutto and several hundred of her followers.

We wonder what the size of his Swiss bank account is.

Meanwhile Preznitwit Stupie McMidas has announced plans to involve the U.S. military in the border areas of Pakistan. To which the Pakistani army and foreign ministry have replied unequivocally that Stupie and his minions are decidedly unwelcome in Pakistan. And it cost us only $10 billion to buy that endearing response. For $10 billion, we deserve better, George. How about a rebuilt bridge in Minnesota, or a repaired levee in Truckee, or a lawsuit against your brother's flawed pumps in New Orleans, for which the beleaguered city is still paying? How about fixing one single fucking thing at home?

And Hillary Clinton, who ought to know better, rushed in to stick her foot in her mouth with some yammer about a joint U.S.-UK team to oversee the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. The Pakistani military spokesman put paid to that idea in no uncertain terms:
"We do not require anybody's assistance. We are fully capable of doing it on our own," said [Major General Waheed Arshad].
Good work, Hill.

In essence, Pakistan is a failing, if not failed, state. If we had paid attention to the true perpetrators of the incidents of September 11th, we would not be in this position now. But no. We had to elect the biggest idiot on the planet, a fool who will go down in history as a total failure in foreign policy.

He really does have the reverse Midas touch, doesn't he? Everything he touches turns to shit.

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