After returning from a two week holiday where I kept myself in a blissfully news free vacuum, I was delighted to read the Sunday Telegraph's report on Mandelson vis-a-vis Libya. Whilst it was great to see Mandy's mendacity once again cast into the public light, there was a missing piece to the Libyan puzzle not mentioned by the Telegraph:
Whilst I'll leave others to debate the other backroom interests (and there are plenty in Anglo-Libyan relations) behind the decision to release Megrahi (and the reasons for Mandy, Brown et al for lying regarding any behind the scenes negotiations), there is one particular cluster of reasons to wonder at Libya's hidden hand over the British government - that is the tail end of the A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network.
In previous posts, and a published article, I have highlighted the British end of the Khan network, a story that forms part of a web of interconnected conspiracies and scandals linking together elements in the governments of the U.S., U.K., Israel, Pakistan, Turkey, Syria, North Korea and even Iran. These 'elements' have been involved at a very deep level with international conspiracies involving nuclear technologies, drugs and money laundering. It is regarding these networks of interests that Sibel Edmonds has recently been able to testify - where they linked to a certain Congresswoman, Jean Schmidt.
Nowhere was the British part of the Khan network more closely connected than with its interests in Libya. And it was Libya's apparent betrayal of the network that led to it being welcomed back to the Western fold. This is an extremely important point that is NOT being discussed in the MSM on the current Libyan/Lockerbie issue. It was the father and son team, Peter and Paul Griffin, through various front companies such as Weargate Ltd, who provided the business end of the UK part of the network to Libya. British Custom's own investigation into the Griffins revealed not only the extent to which Peter Griffin was directly involved in the Khan network, but also specifics, right down to the plans for component workshops, being traded with Libya.
Back in 2003 when Libya 'came in from the cold', it was announced across the MSM that the Anglo-American intelligence effort supposedly monitoring the network had carried out a crippling strike when it raided the BBC China, with components for nuclear weapons manufacture intended for Libya. This was a lie. It was in fact the Libyans who 'blew up' the network, forcing the hand of the Anglo-American services to act; the instigator of the raid was the Libyan regime, not the Anglo-American operation that had supposedly been working against the network (in fact, just monitoring it without interference right back to the 70s (!!!)). Part of the deal was that this would be played to give the West a much needed, and overdue, "victory" in "The War Against Terror" (TWAT) and a reprieve for their apparently underperforming intelligence agencies.
Out of the various links and beneficiaries in the Khan network, Libya had the closest relations with the British side. As such, given that most of the evidence linking parts of the British establishment to the Khan network (Customs, MI5, MI6), was in Libya, this issue had to be dealt with very carefully. With new British businesses, investment and travellers pouring into Libya, there was a substantial liklihood that someone could stumble on evidence regarding one of the Griffin's front companies. Any third party going public with this evidence would lead to a lot of British Officials with a lot of explaining to do. It will be no surprise to readers then to learn that British Intelligence services had already been in negotiations with Libya prior to their "renouncement" of pursuing WMD programmes.
The long and the short of this is that the Libyan regime still has the British government over the barrel of the Khan network. At an instant, the Libyans could reveal the role that British front companies (with the knowledge of Customs and "Intelligence") played in providing Libya with components and know-how for building nuclear weapons. They no doubt seek to maximise this advantage for as long as possible.
Custom's own confidential 2005 report stated:
‘From material available, Peter Griffin appears to be a member of the A. Q. Khan network working closely with B. S. A. Tahir and others. He has a long history of personal and business dealings with Dr. A. Q. Khan and there is evidence to show that for many years, Peter Griffin has been engaged in the proliferation of technology and equipment to Pakistan’s WMD programme...[Griffin] played a hugely significant role in assisting the Libyans in their quest to develop a nuclear weapon.’
Whilst this may not have played a direct role regarding the decision to release Megrahi you can bet that it was very prominently in the minds of the British officials who are in the know about the Khan network and Britain's position within it. Indeed, one of the things I hope to help discover over the coming months and years is exactly who knew (knows) what. I suspect Mandelsnake, with high profile connections that also place him squarely within the drugs and laundering triangle along with the nuclear network (and I suspect, if I can research back far enough, with BCCI), knows a great deal indeed.
It should also be noted, in the context of Anglo-American relations, that the Griffins are now on the U.S. wanted list. They are still at large, and unharrassed in the U.K. (Paul) and France (Peter), and continuing to operate their businesses.
Background reading: 'Britain Spinning in the Sibel Edmonds Web'