The Most Dangerous Man in the World

Now that we no longer have a chimpanzee in the cockpit of the F-16, some folks may be wondering, just who is the most dangerous man in the world?

The answer, I think, is simple: A. Q. Khan, “founder” (or perhaps chief thief) in charge of Pakistan’s first nuclear program, and, more importantly, of his own secret nuclear proliferation ring.

Dr. Khan, just released from house arrest this week, is now wandering around, free, no doubt wondering how to resurrect the absolute worst idea in the entire world today. Specifically: Goodness, how can I make sure that as many fundamentalist Islamic states (and, hey, crackballs like North Korea, too) as possible acquire nuclear weapons, as quickly as possible?

I suppose if one had to define insanity, Khan would be the walking definition.

One can hope that the real reason he was let out of the box was so that the FBI and CIA could track his every movement and unearth the rest of his still-extant client list. Or, even better, that he has been taken off the house arrest regime in hopes that he goes camping, and the tiger enters his tent and eats him, before Khan can destroy the Earth.

I never liked the idea that he only received house arrest. It was a bit like taking a Hitler wannabe and putting him on free-roaming probation in a Nordic country with blue-eyed teens.

Is there a worse crime against humanity than shipping nuclear weapons technology and knowhow to unstable regimes of indiscriminate pedigree and no obvious systems or sense of restraint? You might think there are today, but you would certainly not say it tomorrow, if Khan’s bombs had been used meanwhile.

This jerk belongs in jail, not in house arrest. Think of him like Napoleon, without the good parts. We cannot trust Pakistan, obviously, to do what is right here: they are too glad he gave them the bomb just before India went public with their own. Rather, this is a global problem: he is a walking, living, global threat.

How do we arrange to have him put where he can not do again what he has already done before? I think we need to invent a new crime in the world, perhaps judged not by one’s own country, but by the world itself: nuclear proliferator.

Anyone guilty, whether president, king or Ph. D., would have to be turned over immediately, taught something useful like needlepoint, and jailed on a remote island. On Mars.