Anorak News | Nukes R Us

Nukes R Us

by | 6th, February 2004

‘THE days when the only reason you went to the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury’s or Asda was to buy your weekly groceries have long passed.

Winston advertises the great 2-for-1 deal

These days, the supermarket giants sell more CDs and DVDs than HMV, more pairs of jeans than Levi’s and more nuclear secrets than a Pakistani scientist.

If you wondered where this gradual takeover of the High Street was going to end, the Telegraph supplies the answer in its front-page headline this morning: “The Nuclear Supermarket.”

Up to now, shoppers wanting to buy weapons-grade plutonium, centrifuges and all the other paraphernalia needed to make a nuclear bomb have had to go through a long and laborious process involving several different retail outlets.

No longer. The opening of the world’s first nuclear supermarket means dictators like Kim Jong Il and Colonel Gadaffi can pick up an H Bomb at the same time as getting the Sunday roast.

In fact, you can pick up a basic bomb design and parts for just $5m – and you don’t need us to tell you how many nectar points you can earn for that kind of outlay.

Moreover, for a short time only, the supermarket is running a ‘Buy 2, Get 1 Free’ offer on its intercontinental ballistic missile nuclear range.

But hurry – the Telegraph reports that intelligence agencies and nuclear inspectors are racing to shut it down.

Run by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the so-called father of the Pakistani nuclear bomb, the supermarket has apparently been supplying Iran, Libya, North Korea “and perhaps several other countries” for more than a decade.

And it is described by Mohammed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, as “the most dangerous phenomenon in proliferation for many years”.

“A lot of people were involved,” he said. “Items were made in one country, assembled in others and shipped on false certificates.”

All of which leads the Guardian to ask why this “nukes-for-cash racket” was not exposed beforehand.

“Where were those political leaders who, since 9/11, have endlessly warned that WMD proliferation, linked to terrorism, is the main global security threat?” it asks.

“The answer is they only had eyes for Iraq. Even as this shocking scam flourished unchecked, George Bush and Tony Blair were simply looking the wrong way.

“Mr Bush’s role model, Winston Churchill, would be distinctly unimpressed.”

Although he would appreciate the free box of Havana cigars thrown in with every purchase over $10m.’

Posted: 6th, February 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink