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Did a Fox Guest Intentionally Protect the Bhutto Family by Not Revealing that Benazir Bhutto's Father Officially Lanunched Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Program?

Reported by Melanie - December 27, 2007 -

Neil Cavuto, Fox's "business news" anchor, is on vacation. Terry Keenan has been subbing for him and as always, when Cavuto's gone, the show mellows and rolls along on a fairly even keel. It's certainly more "fair and balanced" without Cavuto editorializing for the hour.

Today's show (December 27, 2007) was no exception. Aside from a very short blurb about the tiger attack in San Francisco, the show was about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. It was generally "fair and balanced" but the answer to a question Keenan asked one of her guests was so off base, it piqued my interest.

The guest in question was Scott Weber, identified as a "former Homeland Security advisor." The topic was, "Bhutto's Murder Sparks Concerns About Pakistan's Nukes." Approximately a minute in, Keenan asked Weber this question:

We know the main reason they were acquired and assembled was the arch rivalry with India. Who armed Pakistan?

Weber answered:

Well, A.Q. Kahn is, ah, the top Pakistani scientist in Pakistan and it was actually discovered in 2004 that he was selling secrets on the black market to countries like North Korea and Iran and Musharraf pardoned him in 2004. But A.Q. Kahn has been a major problem.

Comment: Now, obviously Weber didn't come close to answering Keenan's question. Maybe he didn't know the answer, but he didn't have the integrity to say so, or maybe his vague answer was intentional. I thought I'd look into Scott Weber.

As it turns out, Weber is now a partner in the notorious Washington, D.C.-based law firm, Patton Boggs. Patton Boggs is "best known for its lobbying prowess." Patton Boggs "played a major role in thwarting [Hillary] Clinton's effort to implement healthcare reforms" in the early '90's. Patton Boggs worked to "eliminate the 20-year-ban on the export of Alaska North Slope crude oil; retailers' efforts to block quotas on textile imports; the advertising industry's fight to ward off tax increases," and it lead "efforts related to the passage" of GATT and NAFTA. Immediately after the 2000 presidential election, Patton Boggs help write George Bush's Supreme Court brief, and it counts Pakistan as one of its clients.

I wonder if Weber's association with Patton Boggs has anything to do with his off the wall answer to Keenan's question, the answer to which is that Pakistan got its nukes via a long, circuitous route but it was none other than Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto's father, who "officially launched Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program in 1972."

I don't know if Weber knew this or not, but if he did know it, I can imagine that his objective in not answering Keenan's question directly was to leave the viewer with as good an impression of Pakistan and Bhutto as possible. Grieving the assassination of Bhutto one minute and learning that her father introduced nukes -- possibly soon-to-be-loose nukes -- into the country the next, created some mixed and conflicting emotions in me, to say the least.