Sunday, December 26, 2004

Happy Nuclear Year!

Cheerful prospects for the future in the New York Times today. Dr A Q Khan, the Pakistani nuclear scientist found smuggling nuclear weapons components to paying customers all over the world, and his associates seem not to be undergoing the most rigorous of interrogations:

In the 11 months since Dr. Khan's partial confession, Pakistan has denied American investigators access to him. They have passed questions through the Pakistanis, but report that there is virtually no new information on critical questions like who else obtained the bomb design. Nor have American investigators been given access to Dr. Khan's chief operating officer, Buhari Sayed Abu Tahir, who is in a Malaysian jail.
"This disjunction has helped to keep many questions about the network unanswered, including whether the Pakistani military was involved in the black market and what other countries, or nonstate groups, beyond Libya, Iran and North Korea, received what one Bush administration official called Dr. Khan's "nuclear starter kit" - everything from centrifuge designs to raw uranium fuel to the blueprints for the bomb.
Federal and private experts said the suspected list of customers included Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Algeria, Kuwait, Myanmar and Abu Dhabi."
According to Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack, that I read a few weeks ago, the White House believed that he had given terrorists a nuclear weapon to be detonated in Manhattan. That was a false alarm, but how many more might there be? Maybe I should find myself a nice little house in the countryside with its own water supply, upwind of any large cities.