The China Connection
Why Clinton-Gore Cannot Be Trusted with National Security
By Congressman Curt Weldon
The Chinese espionage scandal and wholesale auctioning of sensitive technologies to China should erase any doubt in the minds of Americans that President Bill Clinton and Vice-President Al Gore are not to be trusted with our country's national security.
The dark legacy left by the Clinton-Gore Administration will place the lives of Americans at greater risk for generations to come. Under the Clinton-Gore watch China stole classified thermonuclear weapons information, stole electromagnetic weapons technology that it can use to attack U.S. satellites and missiles, and stole classified research that can be used to detect and threaten our previously invulnerable nuclear submarines. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
But China did more than just steal information form the United States. Through a complex system of influence peddling and campaign contributions, China was also able to obtain relaxations on exports on a wide variety of sensitive technologies. In other words, the Clinton-Gore Administration gave away sensitive technologies to China in order to please big donors to the Democrat Party.
The relaxation of export controls, removal of national security agencies from the export approval process, and the dissolution of an international forum for controlling the transfer of military technologies under the Clinton-Gore Administration created an environment ripe for mistakes and abuse. It was the equivalent of setting out the welcome mat for the Chinese to gain access -- completely legally -- to our most sensitive technologies.
And the Chinese certainly took advantage of the situation. China -- which until 1996 had no high-performance computers to help design nuclear weapons -- had over 600 high performance computers in 1998, all originating from the United States. The Chinese have also obtained access to precision machine tools that it diverted to build military aircraft, cruise missiles, and nuclear weapons.
The seriousness of this matter is compounded by the fact that China is one of the world's worst proliferators of military technologies. It is likely that this technology will soon find its way into the hands of countries like North Korea, Iran, and Iraq.
Given the serious ramifications of the findings and recommendations of the bipartisan Cox Report, one would think that the American people could expect a serious, thoughtful response from the Clinton-Gore Administration. Instead, all we have seen are Administration attempts to "spin" the report and attempts to convince the American public that the President and Vice-President bear no responsibility for what has happened.
But they do. It was the Clinton-Gore Administration that eliminated FBI background checks at some of our most sensitive weapons laboratories. It was the Clinton-Gore Administration that eliminated color-coded employee ID badges -- denoting clearance levels -- at classified Department of Energy laboratories. It was the Clinton-Gore Administration that reinstated the security clearance of an employee being investigated for giving out sensitive and classified information. And it was the Clinton-Gore Administration that allowed the exports of these sensitive technologies.
But President Clinton and Vice President Gore have spent more energy trying to cover their butts than closing the barn door. The Administration has cracked down on the brave employees within the Departments of Defense and Energy who blew the whistle on the ineptitude of Clinton's political appointees and flawed policy toward China. Meanwhile, the people who bear the blame for the damage to our national security are walking away scott-free.
It is important to note, however, that the recent scandal does not mean that we should completely cut off relations with China or end trade. The United States can continue to engage in meaningful trade relations and the export of materials to China. But we have to be smart about it. We can't be giving China access to technologies that endanger our national security. The Clinton-Gore Administration left the flood gates wide open. There is a middle ground and we need to find it. On the issue of our political relations with China, we need to return to Ronald Reagan's principled approach to foreign policy: trust but verify.
If the Clinton-Gore Chinese espionage has taught us anything, we must learn that our military secrets and technology require constant vigilance and safeguarding. And President Clinton and Vice President Gore are not to be trusted with that oversight.