3 minute read

The Merchant of Menace
“To limit nuclear proliferation, the U.S. must pursue all nations developing atomic weapons, friend or foe, with equal diligence.”
Jeff Siddiqui
Lynnwood, Washington, U.S.

A.Q. Khan’s sale of nuclear secrets and a complicit Pakistani government have made the world a ticking time bomb [Feb. 14]. This international smuggling operation took place under the nose of the CIA and other global intelligence agencies. Given that track record, there is no reason to feel confident that Khan is safely under house arrest in Islamabad.
Larry Dennison
Port Townsend, Washington, U.S.

TIME’s reporting on Khan’s dangerous game of selling nuclear technology reminded me how vitally the world needs a global nuclear nonproliferation policy. But the credibility of the nuclear powers in limiting the spread of the Bomb is hampered by their inaction in pursuing disarmament. Even worse, the U.S.’s plan to design a new generation of nuclear arms deprives it of any moral leadership in the nuclear nonproliferation campaign. Khan’s nefarious transactions made the world a more dangerous place; the development of smarter bombs by the U.S. would do the same thing.
Peter Schoch
Meisterschwanden, Switzerland

Your story described how Khan’s global smuggling network sold nuclear materials. I am not defending Khan, but I must point out that the U.S. has the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons and is the only country to have used them on human beings. In the process of removing Saddam Hussein, the U.S. showered conventional bombs on Iraq, killing innocent citizens. The torturing of prisoners in Abu Ghraib was also a heinous crime. So it is hypocritical for Americans to condemn Khan when it is the U.S. that has lost the confidence and trust of the world.
Nizar Ali

To limit nuclear proliferation, the U.S. must pursue all nations developing atomic weapons, friend or foe, with equal diligence. Otherwise the message is that our friends can get away with anything. To this day, the U.S. has a hard time publicly discussing Israel’s nuclear weapons, let alone trying to put a stop to them. It should not come as a shock that other nations in the Middle East are trying to build their own nuclear devices.
Jeff Siddiqui
Lynnwood, Washington, U.S.

Physician-Assisted Abuse
“The Abu Ghraib scandal you don’t Know” described how the prison’s medical system became an “instrument of abuse, by design and by neglect” [Feb. 14]. It is inexcusable that the U.S. did not provide adequate medical services and supplies for prisoners. All the abuses and atrocities committed at Abu Ghraib must continue to be reported to the American public. U.S. citizens need to know and to demand an accounting and restitution by our officials.
Karen A. Netwal
St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.

The Cost of Iraq’s Elections
Some observers think that the triumph of the Iraqi elections was not heralded as it should have been here in the U.S. or in Europe [Feb. 14]. But people who think like that just don’t get it. Were the American people asked to liberate Iraq and support a fledgling democracy there at a cost in lives and dollars that may be unbearable? I thought we invaded to protect ourselves from weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. has a President who changes the script as he goes along.
Sybil J. Hinkle
Napa, California, U.S.

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