Blue Light Special: Uranium Enrichment Centrifuges, Aisle 11

Revelations about the involvement of A.Q. Khan — Pakistan’s nuclear weapons guru — in the nuclear K-Mart that supplied Iran, North Korea, Libya, and possibly other countries with sensitive nuclear technology keep getting scarier and scarier.

The latest one comes courtesy of this week’s edition of Time Magazine, which has A.Q. Khan’s mug emblazoned across the cover. The cover story, “The Man Who Sold the Bomb,” profiles the man who built Pakistan’s bomb and “masterminded a vast, clandestine and hugely profitable enterprise whose mission boiled down to this: selling to a rogues’ gallery of nations the technology and equipment to make nuclear weapons.”

The article notes that “Despite the U.S.’s obvious interest in uncovering the scope of the nuclear bazaar, neither the Administration nor the IAEA has been allowed to interrogate Khan directly.” Instead, the Bush administration is relying on the Pakistani government — which the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service says may have been complicit in sustaining the network — for intelligence on Khan’s proliferation hijinks. It’s hardly surprising, then, that “the quest to get more information out of Khan has been slow.”

— Andy Grotto