Pity the poor nuclear black or gray market businessmen. They labor day and night, day after day, setting up front companies, bribing officials, exploiting their friends, falsifying cargo manifests, all just to meet their customer’s demands. And what do they get out of it? Just a lousy profit. But do they get any recognition? Heck, no.
But now things are different. Our clandestine, illicit, businessmen are getting their fifteen minutes of fame because last Thursday the US government, wait for it, drum roll please, (TA DAH!) unveiled the National Counterproliferation Initiative. As the October 11 Los Angeles Times reported:
The National Counterproliferation Initiative aims to crack down on the black-market networks that US officials believe have flourished worldwide for decades and continue to clandestinely provide American hardware and software to numerous nations and possibly to terrorist organizations.
Many of those nations are aggressively using middlemen, front companies and black marketeers to obtain US-made parts that they cannot buy directly because of trade restrictions. The products include components for nuclear weapons systems, guidance systems for rockets and missiles, and base ingredients for chemical and biological weapons.
For detail, see the US Department of Justice press release.