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.
In the article, Sanger and Broad (who co-wrote a book, Germs, with Judy Miller):
1) Provide an incomplete and misleading story by conveniently withholding pertinent, established facts.
2) Spin the story towards Iran, and away from other governments, fulfilling the government's propaganda needs again.
3) Carry out no investigation, relying on government spokespeople without checking facts, relying on documents, or agenda-free sources.
In this article, I will focus on the way that the New York Times cherrypicked details, excluding key, relevant information resulting in a misleading story which coincidentally fits the government's agenda like a glove. In the coming days, I'll return to some of the other problems with the article.
Der Spiegel, which has done great work covering this story, described the hierarchy of the network, noting that the Tinners were just one of four division managers:
"At the top of the hierarchy was a confidant of Khan's, Sri Lankan businessman Buhary Seyed Abu Tahir, who acted as a business manager of sorts, responsible for payments and contracts. He also appointed several division managers, who may not even have known of each other's existence. They were comprised of the Swiss Tinner family of engineers, including Friedrich Tinner and his sons Urs and Marco, who were apparently responsible for centrifuge parts; Briton Peter Griffin, a specialist in the procurement of tool-making machines; and (Gotthard) Lerch, whose job, as the prosecution claims, was to obtain the pipes that connect the centrifuges. Lerch's source for the pipes was Gerhard Wisser, a German national living in South Africa, with whom he had been doing business for decades."
Here is a more complete list of known actors in the nuclear proliferation ring that the Tinners were involved with:
Tahir, based in Dubai, was AQ Khan's Chief Operating Officer and right hand man. Tahir began working with Khan in 1995. In 2002, Tahir recruited Urs Tinner to help produce centrifuge parts, supplied in part by his brother and father. Tahir's involvement in the network was documented in a Malaysian Police Report in 2004, soon after a ship called the BBC China was intercepted on the way to Libya, filled with products from AQ Khan.
Interestingly, Tahir was released from prison two months ago in Malaysia because he is no longer considered a 'national security threat.'
Selim Alguadis, Gunes Cire & Hank Slebos
Turkish businessmen Alguadis and Cire were also key suppliers to the Tahir-Tinner ring. Alguadis' company, EKA, and Cire's company ETI Elektroteknik were both caught supplying hardware for Libya's nuclear program when the BBC China was intercepted.
Hank Slebos, a supplier to Khan's network for decades, was also a part owner of Gunes Cire's ETI Elektroteknik.
Despite their role supplying BSA Tahir, neither Alguadis nor Cire were ever convicted, and their companies continue to operate freely in Turkey. Slebos was sentenced to 12 months prison (8 months suspended, 4 months served) in 2005 for his role.
Turkey has a key role in the nuclear black market. In fact, IAEA investigators noted that the nuclear hardware supplied by Turkey to the AQ Khan ring - including 7000 centrifuge motors - "could be used in manufacturing enough enriched uranium to produce 7 nuclear weapons a year."
Karni is an Israeli businessman based in South Africa. Zeki Bilmen is a Turkish businessman and CEO of Giza Technologies, headquarted in New Jersey. Karni purchased 200 spark-gaps in the United States from Giza Technologies n 2003 and then re-exported it to Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI.
Prior to 2002 Bilmen was also overheard on wiretaps translated by former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds.
Zeki Bilmen was never charged. Karni was released on $100,000 bail and is now now a free man.