China Sold Nuclear Missiles to Saudi Arabia, Ex-CIA Officer Claims
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
An ex-CIA analyst who oversaw intelligence dispatches on Saudi Arabia has asserted in a new self-published book that China provided the Middle Eastern nation with nuclear-capable ballistic missiles during the early years of the Bush administration, the Washington Post reported yesterday (see GSN, Aug. 24, 2009).
"I believe the People’s Republic of China delivered a turn-key nuclear ballistic missile system to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the course of several years beginning no later than December 2003," asserted Jonathan Scherck in his book "Patriot Lost," which has not been approved by the CIA.
Scherck concluded that Beijing was selling Riyadh nuclear missiles based on his year and half of reviewing intelligence dispatches from Saudi Arabia from 2005 to 2007, information on U.S. satellite photographs from these years, and conversations with other CIA personnel who were in touch with officials in former Vice President Dick Cheney's office.
He believed the Bush White House was keeping the nuclear deal secret in order to maintain ties with a key ally and major oil exporter, according to a press release: "This heavily shrouded deal and Washington’s shocking complicity constituted a flagrant violation of the long-standing but crippled Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty" (see GSN, June 1).
The book does not supply many concrete details to back up the nuclear assertion, according to the Post.
Copies of the book have been sent to Senate Select Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee ranking member Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.).
Scherck worked briefly as a CIA employee and then as contract staffer at the agency. He wrote that his job as a go-between for field agents collecting human intelligence and officials with the National Security Council gave him uncommon access "to what was being said overseas at the time about Saudi Arabia’s procurement of a new ballistic missile system from China."
"I read things, I heard things, I saw things," Scherck wrote. "Admittedly, I did not see all -- but I saw enough."
In past years, there has been a regular stream of reports claiming covert cooperative nuclear and missile activities between China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia (Jeff Stein, Washington Post, June 7).
NTI: Global Security Newswire - China Sold Nuclear Missiles to Saudi Arabia, Ex-CIA Officer Claims