The truth that the CIA is desperate to conceal

The New York Times reports:

A seven-year effort by the Central Intelligence Agency to hide its relationship with a Swiss family who once acted as moles inside the world’s most successful atomic black market hit a turning point on Thursday when a Swiss magistrate recommended charging the men with trafficking in technology and information for making nuclear arms.

The prospect of a prosecution, and a public trial, threatens to expose some of the C.I.A.’s deepest secrets if defense lawyers try to protect their clients by revealing how they operated on the agency’s behalf. It could also tarnish what the Bush administration once hailed as a resounding victory in breaking up the nuclear arms network by laying bare how much of it remained intact.

“It’s like a puzzle,” Andreas Müller, the Swiss magistrate, said at a news conference in Bern on Thursday. “If you put the puzzle together you get the whole picture.”

The three men — Friedrich Tinner and his two sons, Urs and Marco — helped run the atomic smuggling ring of A. Q. Khan, an architect of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb program, officials in several countries have said. In return for millions of dollars, according to former Bush administration officials, the Tinners secretly worked for the C.I.A. as well, not only providing information about the Khan network’s manufacturing and sales efforts, which stretched from Iran to Libya to North Korea, but also helping the agency introduce flaws into the equipment sent to some of those countries.

The Bush administration went to extraordinary lengths to protect the men from prosecution, even persuading Swiss authorities to destroy equipment and information found on their computers and in their homes and businesses — actions that may now imperil efforts to prosecute them.

While it has been clear since 2008 that the Tinners acted as American spies, the announcement by the Swiss magistrate on Thursday, recommending their prosecution for nuclear smuggling, is a turning point in the investigation. A trial would bring to the fore a case that Pakistan has insisted is closed. Prosecuting the case could also expose in court a tale of C.I.A. break-ins in Switzerland, and of a still unexplained decision by the agency not to seize electronic copies of a number of nuclear bomb designs found on the computers of the Tinner family.

The fact that the CIA and the US government have gone to such lengths to try and prevent the details about the CIA’s involvement in global nuclear proliferation being exposed, means that we can only speculate about what kind of damning information remains hidden.

Several scenarios seem possible:

  • that the CIA’s efforts to track the AQ Khan network reached a point where it might have appeared that it was aiding and abetting the network’s operation;
  • that bungled CIA efforts to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program resulted in Iran acquiring know-how or technology that it might not have otherwise been able to obtain;
  • and conceivably, that the CIA’s involvement in Iran’s nuclear program was so deep that it was exerting an influence over the strategic direction of the program.
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2 thoughts on “The truth that the CIA is desperate to conceal

  1. Norman

    Surprise, surprise, the C.I.A. pops up again. Does the agency bear responsibility for Nuclear proliferation? They seem to have their fingers into just about every nook & cranny of the illegal enterprises that are known to and perpetrated on mankind. Yet at the same time, they appear to be inept in the process. Could this be by design? One thing is certain, that being, the U.S. Government is corrupt, right up to its eyeballs. The ties that bind, look as though they are coming undone. Could this be the time that, like in the Wizard of Oz, the curtain is pulled back to expose the hoax?

    Like the Ponzi, new participants have to be added on a constant basis, and those that know, have to be paid off to keep quiet. Of course, the C.I.A. has the wherewithal to pay them off, also to dispose of the players, but I think in this case, there are too many, so many, that it would require Nuclear annihilation, only that would mean the end of the known World, due to the individuals being spread out. It’s not like dropping a few well places bombs on Israel, which is a small country, then call it collateral damage, this is greater.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, if the C.I.A. and the U.S. Military, retreat to the confines of the U.S.A., then just maybe, the act of letting sleeping dogs lie, could keep the dark things in the dark. But, knowing how once greed, corruption, fraud and a multitude of other acts against humanity take hold, the participants, at least the lower ones, will go screaming to their graves, before they will give up the power they have grown used to.

    So, will the continuation of the Wikileaks expose more of this, will the various Countries Legal systems finely do the right thing and expose the wrong doing, is this just another ringing out of the old, to be replaced with the new? Accede to the whims of the few, or finely to realize the futility of it all! We shall see.

  2. Vince J.

    CIA is a criminal entity.
    We Latin Americans have known this fact for quite some time now.
    You have no idea who does the cocaine smuggling Colombia/US route!
    Oh… and those military bases…

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