China And Spying Is $39 million too much to spend, on rattraps, in the future? Not according to Senate and House negotiators. In a recent article in the L.A. Times, the Senate and House reportedly are increasing spending on operations against spying by $20 million. The last rat trapped was caught almost 15 years after a significant amount of top-secret information was leaked from the U S to China. The U S must crack down on spying in order to for our safety as a country.
The government must be more enforcing against espionage in the U S. China has blatantly showed us that we have flaws in our system and need to crack down on spying opportunities in the U S. Sources from China claim that by 1992 they had figured out how to make miniature H-bombs similar to our W-88 warhead. This comes after years of no scientific advances substantial enough to gain this kind of advancements from China. Chinas version of the miniature bomb is nearly identical to our W-88 that it is obvious that information was stolen on how to build it. A few of the outer measurements and the width of the trigger casing are within four-hundredths of an inch of our original version of the miniature warheads.
China has tested a few of these types of bombs and they seem to be as operative and accurate as ours. If fired from China, they could reach Alaska or Hawaii with more explosive power than what was dropped on Hiroshima in the end of WWII. An investigation was started on the leakage of information to China back in 1995. Wen Ho Lee was the lead suspect, if not the only major suspect for nearly four years reported Vernon Loeb and Walter Pincus in a Washington Post article. After not enough evidence could be gathered to put Lee away, a broader investigation was started.
In the end, the clues kept coming back to Lee. In a follow up article by Loeb from the Washington Post, Lee was said to have admitted to passing nuclear secrets to China in 1985, while he was working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. For his part in China gaining top-secret bomb making information, Lee was sentenced to 12 months in a halfway house, a $20,000 fine, and 3000 hours of community service. This type of espionage normally provokes a life sentence if found guilty. Why was Lee not prosecuted more severely? Obviously China has gained important information from us about how to build a bomb.
It is also a fact that Lee was involved in leaking some of that information. What are we going to do about? The government has showed how they can have a low level of security and pay for it later. The judicial system has showed how they can let off a major player in putting at risk the lives of all Americans. Something must change in the future so that the next Hitler does not get our secrets and use them against us. In an anonymous editorial in the Los Angeles Times a writer claims that as many as 1000 people could have the clearance to obtain vital information pertaining to the bombs that China nearly duplicated from the U S. We must reduce the number of people who have access to top-secret nuclear information.
Is there a valuable reason that 1000 people have access to information like this? The more people involved the bigger risk we run. Who is willing to take risks like this? I think that there should be, as few of people knowledgeable about stuff like this as possible. We need to increase clearance levels to restrict people from leaking information into the wrong hands. Another step that must be made to keep the U S on top is to separate the nuclear department from the Department of Energy. The D.O.E. governs over everything from warheads to windmills.
This Department is too broad and should not carry the ability to govern over such important matters. In the latest article by Loeb he claims that nuclear matters are still going to be inside the D.O.E. and ultimately answerable to the secretary. He says that there will be more guards at the door but not much changes to be seen. Right now the nuclear arsenal is in civilian, not military, hands. This does not seem right, in order to limit other countries from gaining important intelligence.
The last key change that must take place is for more money to be spent on upgrading security levels. In the L. A. Times article Sen. Pete V. Domenici said that a bill recently passed that would set aside an increase of $102.2 million for the D.
O. E. That raises their budget to over $4.4 billion to operate the three major laboratories where top-secret information is kept. With the money finally there for changes to now take place, we can only wait and see. In a report by CNN on October 27th, 1999, government officials led by Rep. Fred Upton, (R-Michigan) plan on visiting the sites where the money has gone for security changes.
Upton thinks that by him and others visiting these sites, that it will put pressure on them to better protect the nations secrets. If real significant changes were made then they will not get to see very much. Hopefully they will be told that they do not have the proper clearance to see what changes were implemented and their access will be denied. The real reason we are at risk and should be scared by this is because China now holds the power to bomb, as well as other countries as far away as Russia. From a report released by C-SPAN the government says “Chinese strategic nuclear efforts have focused on developing and deploying a survivable long-range missile force that can hold a significant portion of the U S and Russian populations at risk in a retaliatory strike.
We must prevent this from happening in the future again. We might have lucked out that China was the one that ended up with all of this information and not Iraq. Our government can not allow glitches in our home security systems. By spending more money for a more sophisticated security system, lowering the number of people with access, and separating the nuclear department from the D.O.E. we can prevent this from happening again.
These changes must be made immediately. On May 25,1999 the President spoke on this matter saying, “The objective is to ensure that U S national secrets are protected and that our civilian technology is not diverted for military purposes.” While he is saying what we all want to hear, it is not necessarily what is going to happen. We need to follow up on this matter and stay educated on our national security. If it comes around to the people as voters, we must choose to protect our security at almost any cost. Our security is our freedom, and if it falls into the wrong hands we risk losing that. Nobody is willing to risk that.