Friday, August 26, 2005

Assassinate This Guy

In the wake of the most recent episode of Pat Robertson's clinical insanity, this little reminder comes wafting over our transom. I re-nominate my personal favorite candidate for extrajudicial "cleansing", Abdul Qadeer Khan.

Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, confirmed for the first time that a Pakistani nuclear scientist had provided North Korea with centrifuge machines that could be used to make fuel for an atomic bomb, a Japanese news agency reported.

In an interview Tuesday with Kyodo News, Musharraf said the former head of his country's nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, had sent "centrifuges -- parts and complete" to North Korea. The Pakistani leader did not divulge the number of centrifuges that had arrived in North Korea, saying, "I do not exactly remember the number."

Musharraf also said Khan might have sent North Korea uranium hexafluoride, which can be enriched in centrifuges and then processed into fuel for civilian nuclear reactors or atomic warheads.

"Might"? Might? This is an important specific to elide; one hopes for a more declarative offering. Never mind. What we already know for a fact indicates that Khan's efforts have single-handedly endangered more human beings than all but a handful of things or people you can even contemplate. This asshole should be on a slab. He should leave his villa feet first. Period.

Further developments only bolster my argument for taking Khan out, and I don't mean for a nice lunch at a café:

Two men accused in South Africa of involvement in a global nuclear weapons black market face fresh charges after new evidence against them was uncovered linking them to Dr Qadeer Khan of Pakistan, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Gerhard Wisser, a German living in South Africa, and his Swiss colleague Daniel Geiges were arrested in September last year after prosecutors said they had evidence linking them to the Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan network.

Dr Khan, the father of Pakistan’s atom bomb, has admitted to supplying nuclear secrets to countries under embargo, including North Korea, Iran and Libya, which in 2003 vowed to abandon its nuclear programme.


South Africa was among 20 countries named last year by the UN’s atomic agency as recipients of Mr Khan’s nuclear secrets.

I understand the wheres and whys of Musharraf leaving Khan alone; I even understand why we leave him alone. Were we to give Khan his just desserts and dispatch him forthwith, the usually calm and pro-American Pakistani populace would suddenly take a break from gang-raping lower-class women to turn on us and Musharraf.

Nonetheless, I submit that this is a story that should push every other story off the front page, if only to get this matter discussed more proactively. There is no rational reason that an insect like Khan should just be allowed to get away with this as completely as he has. At the absolute minimum, making sure every armchair rube knows exactly who this clown is and what he did would force Pakistan to rethink their protection of him -- they'd at least have to publicly justify it to the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, I guess we just cross our fingers and hope against hope that ol' A.Q.'s handiwork isn't already on its way over here, stashed in the cargo hold of some freighter. Feelin' safer already.


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