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

MP3 One Seg­ment

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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