Condi Rice, primary school teacher

Humiliation cannot be punishment for the world’s worst crimes

Disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan has been punished by being nationally humiliated, US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said on Sunday.

Rice was asked on CNN to clarify President George W Bush’s statement during his debate late Thursday with Senator John Kerry that “the AQ Khan network has been brought to justice.”[HT]

Rice said Bush did not misspeak when he said that the network of Pakistan’s A.Q. Khan — the founder of Pakistan’s nuclear program who was caught selling secrets on the global black market — had been “brought to justice.”

Khan is living in a villa and was pardoned this year by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. None of Khan’s co-conspirators have been brought to trial.

Asked how that could be interpreted to mean Khan has been brought to justice, Rice said, “He has been brought to justice because he’s out of business.”[CNN]

It is election time, but for America’s national security advisor to make such arguments to justify campaignspeak is plainly absurd. If indeed, as Rice claims, A Q Khan has been brought to justice, then there surely is no reason for IAEA or anyone else to investigate the affair further. But no one really knows the extent of Iran’s or North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, and only A Q Khan and his Pakistani handlers can help piece the nuclear proliferation jigsaw together.

Rice’s statements tone suggests a sort of finality to the A Q Khan episode – the world cannot afford to close that casefile that early. Time and again, America has mixed its nuclear non-proliferation policy condradictorily with both cold war dogma and short-term exigencies.

Before the debate, it appeared unfortunate that the Centrifugist was forgotten; after the debate, it is disturbing that he has been forgiven too.

5 thoughts on “Condi Rice, primary school teacher”

  1. I have to wonder where Dr. Rice put that substantial intelligence of her. A.Q.Khan has been “punished” when he was nationally pardoned.
    You can call it election-politics but, sadly, the entire 4 years have been election-politics.

  2. Can Dr.Rice give out details of the A.Q.Khan allies who have been brought to justice? Iraq was attacked for possessing weapons of mass destruction but in case of A.Q.Khan who openly sold nuclear secrets to other countries the punishment is that he stay in a comfy villa without having to account for his deeds.
    America’s action again shows its shortsightedness and its tendency to look for short term gains while endangering everybody’s future.

  3. Kautilya is right.

    I too take seriuos exception to the Bush admin’s schizophernia. Question is, froma realistic, pragmatic point of view, what is to be done? Between Bush an Kerry, Bush, warts and all is by far the better candidate who at least understands the war on terror is an ideological war. For Kerry its just a law-&-order problem.
    Once the US elections are done, Bush would have a freer hand in dealing with recalcitrant allies like Pak and Saudi, fence sitters like Syria and Turkey and open antagonists like Iran. Once Bush no longer has to factor the catch-Osama equation into his electoral math, he can really go tough on Mush. Or so I hope.

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