RealNews

U.S. Hopes to Gain From Pakistan Pardon

He is a black-market profiteer who worked to help Iran and North Korea acquire the nuclear weapons secrets that President Bush said makes them part of an “axis of evil.” Yet when scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan received a public pardon Thursday from Pakistan’s leader, there was nary a murmur of protest — in fact there was praise — from American officials. To weapons inspector David Kay and others, it was an outrage. “I can think of no one who deserves less to be pardoned,” said Kay, former head of a U.S. team that searched for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He said Khan was “running essentially a Sam’s Club” of weapons technology. Yet others say the public response may mask U.S. officials’ real motivation. What they are hoping, according to American officials speaking on condition of anonymity, is that Khan’s pardon becomes a plea bargain of sorts, with Pakistan trading leniency in exchange for Khan’s information about the still-at-large members of the worldwide nuclear black market. Full Story

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