June 14, 1999
Cox Report Details Damage to U.S. National Security
By Congressman Curt Weldon
Last month, the Select Committee on Technology Transfers to China released our bipartisan, unclassified report detailing the tremendous damage done to United States national security by Chinese espionage. As the report details, the damage was compounded by a conscious and unprecedented effort by the Clinton-Gore Administration to allow the export and sale of our nation's most sensitive technologies -- benefitting major Democratic campaign contributors -- to foreign nations, including China.
I was privileged to serve on the Select Committee, also referred to as the Cox Committee. Like my eight colleagues, I was staggered by the damage to our national security. Without question, the Chinese espionage and policy failures of our government resulted in the worst breach to our national security in the history of the United States.
How bad is it? A glance at some of the major findings of our report clearly illustrate that the damage done to our national security is even worse that the Rosenberg spy scandal.
China was able to steal classified information on seven U.S. thermonuclear warheads, including every currently deployed thermonuclear warhead in the U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile arsenal. The information will save China years of effort and resources in developing and deploying new, modern warheads. Stolen U.S. technology will be used in new mobile ballistic missile systems and miniaturized warheads being developed by the Chinese.
- A network of relatives of China's top leaders exploited commercial and political connections to obtain new military technology for China and used campaign donations to curry influence.
- Wang Jun, son of the late Chinese President Wang Zhen, who is chairman of the China International Trade and Investment Company and president of Polytechnologies Corp., attended a White House coffee with Clinton in February 1996 and was granted a meeting with Commerce Secretary Ronald Brown the next day. He also was connected to more than $600,000 in illegal campaign contributions to the Democrats. Polytechnologies is an arms-trading company indicted for trying to smuggle 2,000 Chinese AK-47 assault rifles into the United States and the largest of the corporate structures owned by the People's Liberation Army.
- Despite repeated PRC thefts of the most sophisticated U.S. nuclear weapons technology, security at our national nuclear weapons laboratories does not meet even minimal standards. The successful penetration by the PRC of our nuclear weapons laboratories almost certainly continues to the present.
- The Select Committee has uncovered instances of the PRC's use of this specific stolen U.S. technology that: enhance the PRC's military capabilities; jeopardize U.S. national security interests; and pose a direct threat to the United States, our friends and allies, or our forces. The Clinton administration has determined that particular uses by the PRC of this stolen U.S. technology cannot be disclosed publicly without affecting national security.
If China's past record is any indication, we can assume that much of this technology will find its way into the hands of rogue countries such as Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and Libya. This does not bode well for the safety and security of our children and grand-children.
- In the late 1990s, the PRC stole or illegally obtained U.S. developmental and research technology that, if taken to successful conclusion, could be used to attack U.S. satellites and submarines.
Given the serious ramifications of the findings and recommendations of the bipartisan Cox Report, you 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 bears no responsibility for what has happened.
But he does. 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 gave a classified diagram of the W-87 showing in fine detail how one of the United States's most sophisticated nuclear warheads operates to the press. On July 31, 1995, that diagram was available on every newsstand around the world -- printed in color -- in U.S. News & World Report. Although an investigation into the source of the leak was launched, I have been told it was quietly ended when it was determined the individual who leaked it was none other than Clinton-Gore Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary.
I've heard enough spin from the White House. Now I want to start to see some changes. More importantly, I want those who allowed this harm to our national security to be held accountable.
Congressman Weldon represents portions of Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties. The Cox Report and additional information on technology transfers to China are available on Congressman Weldon's web page at www.house.gov/curtweldon.
NEWSLETTER Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list