No laws to protect intelligence officers from official reprisal
From an amazing blog that is almost devoted to tracking the shenanigans of the Centrifugist—David Isenberg’s Nuclear Underground—comes this reminder of the plight of Richard Barlow:
At the time [in the late 1988-89], the [US] government was poised to sell $1.4 billion worth of new F-16 fighter planes to Pakistan to help the mujaheddin fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. But Congress, through two laws passed in 1985, had forbidden the sale of any equipment that could be used to deliver nuclear bombs.
Barlow wrote an analysis for then-Secretary Dick Cheney that concluded the planned F-16 sale violated this law. Drawing on detailed, classified studies, Barlow wrote about Pakistan’s ability, intentions and activities to deliver nuclear bombs using F-16s it had acquired before the law was passed.
Barlow discovered later that someone rewrote his analysis so that it endorsed the sale of the F-16s. Arthur Hughes, the deputy assistant secretary of defense, testified to Congress that using the F-16s to deliver nuclear weapons “far exceeded the state of art in Pakistan” — something Barlow knew to be untrue.
In the summer of 1989, Barlow told Brubaker, Rostow and Michael MacMurray, the Pakistan desk officer in charge of military sales to Pakistan who prepared Hughes’s testimony, that Congress had been misled.
Within days, Barlow was fired…
Twenty Senators and eight legislative committees have considered his case (for pension) over the years without resolving it, suggesting a larger dilemma: No process exists to compensate fired whistle-blowers in the intelligence field, and those who retaliate against them face no criminal penalties.[WP]
Seymour Hersh first wrote about Barlow and the American cover-up of Pakistan’s nuclear dealings in 1993. But no one cared until 2003. Now a slew of articles and books have emerged that tell the truth about how America allowed Pakistan to make and keep the bomb. Apart from Isenberg himself, Mark Hibbs, William Langewieshe, Luke Ryland, Gordon Correra and now Adrian Levy & Catherine Scott-Clark have brought the story to a wider international audience.