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Saturday, September 25, 2004

Kristof and the 800-lb. elephant in the room
Posted by Jill | 10:04 AM
The Grey Lady is on a roll today. I don't dare hope that this means the press is awakening from their slumber; they know which side their bread is buttered on, and they value the lives of their children and pets -- and their livelihoods.

But still, a very hard hitting day at the Times today.


President Bush has been searching vainly for Osama bin Laden for three years now, so I've decided to help him out. I'm traveling through Pakistan and Afghanistan to see whether I can find Osama, bring him back in my luggage and claim that $25 million reward.

So for the last few days, I've been peering into mosques and down village wells, even under mullahs' couches. No luck so far, but I did find something almost as interesting.

I'm talking about the arrangement under which the U.S. cuts Pakistan some slack on nuclear proliferation, in exchange for President Pervez Musharraf's joining aggressively in the hunt for Osama - in the hope of catching him by Nov. 2.

If a nuclear weapon destroys the U.S. Capitol in coming years, it will probably be based in part on Pakistani technology. The biggest challenge to civilization in recent years came not from Osama or Saddam Hussein but from Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb. Dr. Khan definitely sold nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya, and, officials believe, to several more nations as well.

But, amazingly, eight months after Dr. Khan publicly confessed, we still don't know who the rest of his customers were. Mr. Musharraf acknowledged as much in an interview.

"I can't say surely that we have unearthed everything that he's done, but I think we have unearthed most of what he's done," Mr. Musharraf said. Translated, that means: I'm afraid you're eventually going to find out about other transactions that we're still trying to hide.

American intelligence experts haven't been able to interrogate Dr. Khan, and Mr. Musharraf claims that the U.S. has not even asked to do so. "Let me put the record straight: nobody asked us to be allowed to question him," Mr. Musharraf said.

President Bush apparently did not ask for that direct access at his meeting on Wednesday with Mr. Musharraf, and it's clear that the administration is not pressing the issue. Why? Because Mr. Bush in this election season has another priority: getting Mr. Musharraf to help catch Osama.

So George W. Bush, who has allowed Osama bin Laden to run free until the time most beneficial to his re-election, has, as part of this most cynically political move, decided to look the other way at REAL weapons of mass destruction emanating from Pakistan.

And this president is making us safe from terror....how again?
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