July 31, 2005/August 1, 2005 **** Plame leak damaged a major CIA investigation linking senior Bush administration officials to WMD proliferation.
July 31, 2005/August 1, 2005 **** Plame leak damaged a major CIA investigation linking senior Bush administration officials to WMD proliferation. U.S. intelligence insiders have pointed out that the White House is using “Rovegate” and “Who in the White House said what to whom?” as a smoke screen to divert attention away from the actual counter-proliferation work Mrs. Wilson and her Brewster Jennings & Associates team were engaged in. The arrival of Timothy Flanigan as Patrick J. Fitzgerald’s boss is likely related to the mountains of evidence Fitzgerald has now collected to indict senior White House officials, particularly, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, for criminal conspiracy in exposing a sensitive U.S. intelligence operation that was targeting some of their closest political and business associates. Libby, it will be recalled, was the attorney for fugitive global smuggler and Clinton-pardoned multi-billionaire Marc Rich, someone who has close ties to the Sharon government and Israeli intelligence.
It is no coincidence that FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds uncovered nuclear material and narcotics trafficking involving Turkish intermediaries with ties to Israel at the same time Brewster Jennings and the CIA’s Counter Proliferation Division was hot on the trail of nuclear proliferators tied to the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon and the A. Q. Khan network of Pakistan.
Feith and Libby: Ultimate targets of CIA counter-proliferation team? Time magazine reported on July 31 that White House knew about Plame’s identity long before Joseph Wilson’s July 6, 2003 OP ED in the New York Times. Feith and Libby had reasons to be worried about Plame and her team’s counter-proliferation work.
An arrest in early 2004 points to the links between Israeli agents and Islamist groups bent on producing weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. According to intelligence sources, this was a network that was a major focus of Edmonds’ and Valerie Plame Wilson’s work. In January 2004, FBI and U.S. Customs agents arrested Asher Karni, a Hungarian-born Orthodox Jew, Israeli citizen, and resident of Cape Town, South Africa, at Denver International Airport for illegally exporting 200 electrically triggered spark gaps — devices that send synchronized electrical pulses and are used in nuclear weapons — to Pakistan via a New Jersey export company named Giza Technologies of Secaucus (owned by Zeki Bilmen — whom the FBI has identified as a Turkish Jew who was already under surveillance by the CIA team). The cargo manifest listed the equipment as electronics gear [lithotripters used to break up kidney stones] for the Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, South Africa. However, the initial shipment of 66 triggers did not go to the hospital but to Karni’s Top-Cape Technology of Cape Town, South Africa. Top Cape, in turn, sent the triggers to AJKMC Lithography Aid Society in Islamabad, Pakistan through Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Top-Cape “officially” traded in military and aviation electronics equipment. It was during the summer of 2003, when Valerie Plame and her team — at a critical stage of their investigation of the A. Q. Khan network — were outed by White House officials Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, and at least one other individual (possibly Elliot Abrams), that Karni received an e-mail from his long time Pakistani associate Humayun Khan (no relation to A. Q. Khan) asking for 200 triggers to be sent to his Islamabad-based company, Pakland PME.
After initially attempting to purchase the devices from a sale agent in France — an attempt that proved unsuccessful when the French agent demanded a U.S. export license for the triggers because the end destination was Pakistan — Karni managed to obtain the triggers from Perkin-Elmer’s manufacturing plant in Massachusetts through Giza Technologies. Karni’s e-mail traffic to and from Khan was being intercepted by a covert agent in South Africa and being forwarded to U.S. authorities. It is not known whether the covert agent was a Brewster Jennings’ asset but it would not be surprising considering Karni was an important link in the A. Q. Khan nuclear smuggling network. By the time the initital shipment of 66 triggers were sent to Karni’s Cape Town office, U.S. and South African intelligence were already closely monitoring the transaction and the key players involved. It is also noteworthy that Karni previously worked for a Cape Town electronic import firm called Eagle Technology but was fired after it was discovered by his boss that he was making secret deals to ship nuclear components to Israel, India, Pakistan, and possibly, North Korea. Karni had been in South Africa for 20 years after arriving from Israel. His time in South Africa coincided with the apartheid government’s rapid development of its own (since disestablished) nuclear weapons program and very close military ties between South Africa and Israel.
A.Q. Khan link to Israeli smuggler: Designed to speed up Iranian nuclear development to justify U.S./Israeli attack on Iran.
As for Humayun Khan, the Los Angeles Times discovered that the Pakistani “businessman” had been involved in nuclear weapons smuggling since 1975 when he was engaged in business with a former Nazi named Alfred Hempel, who was the kingpin in a global nuclear smuggling network active throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Hempel died in 1989. In an interview aired by PBS’s Frontline on July 26, Humayun Khan said he never realized Karni was Jewish, stating that the Israeli masqueraded as a Muslim. However, what is clear is that an Israeli-based network, involving key neo-conservatives in the Bush adminstration, were attempting to speed up the clock on the delivery by the A. Q. Khan network of prohibited nuclear material to countries like Iran, thereby justifying a pre-emptive U.S. (and Israeli-supported) attack on Iranian nuclear installations. It was this network that attracted the attention of the CIA and when it realized some of the “men behind the curtain” were in the Pentagon, they had their smoking gun evidence of double dealing by Bush administration officials and their compatriots in the Sharon government.
Although AJKMC, the Pakistani company, said it merely printed copies of the Koran, U.S. investigators pointed out the initials also stand for the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference, an Islamist opposition party that supports groups allied to Al Qaeda in Kashmir. Some anti-terrorism experts believe that Osama Bin laden may be hiding in Kashmir.
A Malaysian link was also discovered in Karni’s network, which is significant in light of developments involving Brewster Jennings’ exposure by Rove and Libby. A Swiss citizen named Urs Tinner was arrested by German authorities in October 2004. Tinner was accused of supervising the manfucture of centrifuge components in Malaysia. The United States demanded Tinner’s release, which led to speculation that Tinner was a U.S. intelligence asset who penetrated the A.Q. Khan network and may have been part of the Brewster Jennings operation.
According to FBI insiders, wiretaps of phone calls in the Giza-Bilmen-Karni smuggling ring yielded the name Douglas Feith, the Undersecretary of Defense for Plans and Policy and one of Donald Rumsfeld’s chief advisers, and Turkish MIT intelligence members of the American Turkish Council, a lobbying group which represents some of America’s largest defense and private military contractors.
In May 2005, Der Spiegel magazine reported that Tinner was, in fact, a CIA agent. Germany announced that Tinner would be extradited to Switzerland, something that Der Spiegel reported was the result of a “deal” cut between Germany and the United States. A February 2004 Malaysian police report named both Urs Tinner and his father, Friedrich, as principal engineers in overseeing the machining of uranium-enrichment centrifuge components at a Scomi Precision Engineering (Scope) plant in Malaysia. Friedrich Tinner, owner of a Swiss firm named PhiTec AG, was named in an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report as one of many Swiss individuals involved in shipping nuclear components to Libya and Iran. Swiss authorities had previously cleared Friedrich Tinner of charges that he shipped centrifuges to Iraq. Friedrich Tinner’s other son, Marco, owned a firm called Traco that was also reported as a supplier of equipment and services to Scomi.
If the Tinners were working for the CIA, one subject of interest for them was a Sri Lankan businessman named B.S.A. Tahir who arrived in Malaysia via Dubai in the mid-1990s. In a February 2004 speech at the National Defense University in Washington, DC, President Bush stated that Tahir was A. Q. Khan’s “chief financial officer and money launderer.” Investigators discovered that Tahir made several trips to Germany and Turkey, the native country of Karni’s spark trigger supplier Bilmen, to meet with suppliers for the Khan network.
Israeli nuclear arms smuggler Asher Karni: His links to Bush administration and Israeli officials may have been the real reason Valerie Plame and Brewster Jennings & Associates operations were exposed.
A Federal Judge in Denver said Karni could be released on $75,000 bail but the government appealed the decision to Judge Thomas Hogan of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC. Hogan is the judge who ordered New York Times reporter Judith Miller to prison for her failure to testify before the Grand Jury. The federal prosecutors’ appeal failed and Karni was released on bail into the custody of Rabbi Herzel Kranz. Karni was ordered to wear an electronic monitor and was ordered to remain at the Hebrew Sheltering Home in Maryland.
UPDATED: On Aug. 5 Israeli citizen Karni was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina to three years in prison for trying to ship the nuclear triggers to the A. Q. Khan network in Pakistan. It is an amazing sentence when one considers that U.S. citizen Jose Padilla is being held indefinitely in a US military prison, without trial, for allegedly trying to set off a “dirty” radiological bomb.