Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #255 The Wen Ho Lee Case

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1. This broadcast highlights aspects of the Wen Ho Lee case that have escaped the attention of most media voices. A Taiwanese American citizen who had been employed as a nuclear scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lee was falsely charged with espionage in 1999, triggering a Republican-led congressional investigation. That investigation hinted that Lee’s alleged espionage on behalf of the People’s Republic of China was linked to “Chinese” campaign donations to the Clinton administration. The case garnered much journalistic attention, and cast a pall of suspicion on Asian Americans employed in sensitive national security-related jobs. Most importantly, it figured in the criticism that the Republicans directed toward the Democrats during the 2000 campaign.

2. Much of this program sets forth the details of a very important article by veteran investigative journalist Robert Parry. (ConsortiumNews.com; 9/18/2000.)

3. In this story, Parry details one of the arms deals that Oliver North’s Iran-Contra operatives arranged – a missile sale from the People’s Republic of China to the Contras. The American-supplied Contra guerillas were looking for weapons with which to effectively combat the Sandinistas’ Soviet-supplied attack helicopters. North arranged for a shipment of SA-7 surface-to-air missiles to be sent to the Contras. (Idem.)

4. Parry suggests that the documented sharing of nuclear weapons information with the PRC during the Reagan administration was characteristic of the type of quid pro quo arrangement that Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh found to be commonplace during the course of the Iran-Contra operations. (Idem.)

5. Like other nations that supplied weapons to the Contras for the Reagan Administration, the Chinese expected favors in return for their efforts. Since the alleged theft of nuclear secrets took place during the Reagan and Bush years, they cannot be blamed on Clinton. The “theft” may well have been an outgrowth of the SA-7 deal. (Idem.)

6. Nonetheless, the Republicans have attempted to pin the blame on the Clinton administration, campaigning on the falsehood that the Democrats compromised American nuclear security in exchange for campaign contributions. (ConsortiumNews.com; (Idem.)

7. Among the most vocal of those pinning the blame for the Lee affair on the Clinton administration was Judge James Parker, a Reagan appointee. (The New York Times; 9/14/2000; p. A1.)

8. The program highlights the fact that Lee and his wife had cooperated with the CIA in connection with his Chinese contacts. (San Jose Mercury News; 8/11/2000; p. 10A.)

9. The program also notes that Energy Secretary Bill Richardson was savaged by Judge Parker and the Republicans and speculates about the possible use of the Lee/PRC contacts as a campaign dirty trick. (The New York Times; 9/14/2000; p. A1.) Richardson at one time was considered a possible Vice Presidential running mate for Al Gore.)

10. The broadcast concludes with an examination of the Lee case and its effect on helping to realize a Republican-sponsored bill to create a separate agency to oversee security of nuclear weapons technology. (The San Jose Mercury News; 6/15/2000; p.11A.)

11. A former Deputy Director of the CIA became head of the newly created agency. (Idem.)

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