The article highlights again that the New York Times continues to engage in 'Judy Miller reporting' by warmongering and acting as a mouthpiece for the government.
This is the second article in a multi-part series. This article will focus on the countries involved, and how and why the NY Times continues to act as a government mouthpiece by focusing attention on, and warmongering toward, Iran, and minimizing the role of so-called allies such as Turkey and Dubai. (The first piece of the series focused on the players in the AQ Khan / BSA Tahir nuclear smuggling ring.)
The Sanger/Broad article is obviously designed to drum up support for a war against Iran. Without evidence or support, they write that Iran is "presumably racing for the capability to build a bomb." They say this despite the fact that the US Intelligence Community's 2007 National Intelligence Estimate states that "Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen."
The Sanger/Broad article quotes government-friendly sources stating that there were two 'successful' 'sting' operations against the Iranian nuclear program, without noting that at least one of the so-called stings in 2006 was against the nuclear power program, not a weapons program.
The entire premise of the destruction of evidence in the prosecution case against the Tinner family, key suppliers to the AQ Khan network, in Switzerland is that the Tinners were supplying "electronic blueprints for an advanced nuclear weapon on computers."
These blueprints were destroyed, we were told, so that they wouldn't get into "the hands of a terrorist organization or an unauthorized state." It isn't until the final page of a four-page article that Broad and Sanger inform us that the IAEA has "no evidence that Iran had acquired the bomb plans." (please see Broad and Sanger's previous article on this and note how they were played for a fiddle by their government sources. No correction has been made to the article.)
Ignoring Other Countries
By focusing on Iran, and cherry-picked elements of the Tinner case, the New York Times journalists, acting as government mouthpieces, chose to ignore the other countries involved in the network, countries who are not members of the Axis of Evil.
The article notes that the list of customers "may extend further" than Iran, North Korea and Libya, but does not question why these other customers have not been made public. Could it be that these countries are allies of the United States?
We know that:
"The wider nuclear network has been monitored for many years by a joint Anglo-American intelligence effort. But rather than shut it down, investigations by law enforcement bodies such as the FBI and Britain's Revenue & Customs have been aborted to preserve diplomatic relations."
In the case of former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, we know that the same excuse - "sensitive diplomatic relations" - was used to gag her and all the details behind her case. Which diplomatic relations are we referring to here? In 2005, Sibel noted that these 'diplomatic relations' are "not named since obviously our officials are ashamed of admitting to these relations."
How is it possible that these relationships outweigh the very serious implications of the spread of nuclear weapons?
Turkey's role in the nuclear black market has been well documented, though poorly reported in the US. Turkey acted (and may continue to act) as both a manufacturing base for nuclear hardware, as well as a trans-shipment point for goods on their way to the end-customers such as Libya and Pakistan.
In 2000, Bill Clinton signed an order to allow Turkey access to US nuclear technology, but this order was blocked because, according to President Bush, certain Turkish entities were actively engaged in "certain activities directly relating to nuclear proliferation."
Note the timing here. Turkey was known to have been involved in the nuclear black market at least three years prior to the 'official' outing of the AQ Khan ring when a ship containing nuclear hardware, from Turkey and elsewhere, was intercepted on its way to Libya.
President Bush recently re-signed Clinton's order allowing Turkey access to US nuclear technology, although there is no evidence that Turkey has rectified any of these problems.