Accuracy in Media

On the heels of the Senate vote not to convict President Clinton and remove him from office, a new Clinton scandal, one far more serious than the sex-related perjury and obstruction of justice charges, was revealed by The New York Times. It concerns national security and new evidence that President Clinton was willing to risk increasing U.S. vulnerability to a nuclear attack from China because individuals and corporations that were closely linked to China were cash cows for the Democratic National Committee.

On March 6, the New York Times ran a major front-page story detailing China?s theft of important nuclear weapons technology from the Los Alamos National Laboratory beginning in the mid-1980’s. This serious breach of security has made the U.S. and its allies much more vulnerable to the threat of a nuclear attack by China. It is said that it enabled the Chinese to leap-frog an entire generation in the development of nuclear warheads.

The monitoring of Chinese nuclear tests by our Department of Energy revealed that in the mid-1990’s China had tested the small nuclear warheads identical to a U.S. warhead known as W-88. This is an advanced small warhead that makes it possible to launch multiple warheads from a single missile. These missiles can be launched from submarines, which greatly increases the vulnerability of every city in the United States to nuclear attack. A team headed by Notra Trulock, a Department of Energy intelligence official, concluded that a spy had given the Chinese the design for this warhead.

Trulock informed both the FBI and CIA of his team?s findings and suspicions in early 1996. In April, 1996, Trulock showed it to Sandy Berger, who was then Clinton?s deputy National Security Adviser. He is now the National Security Adviser. What Berger did with the information has not been reported. Obviously, his boss, Anthony Lake, and the President should have been informed and probably were. But no one in Congress was informed.

The reaction of the FBI and the Energy Department was appallingly slow. A year passed before the FBI issued a report that recommended that background security checks be reinstated at Los Alamos and other weapons laboratories. After discovering new evidence in early 1997 that the spy operation was ongoing, Trulock attempted to directly warn Energy secretary Federico Pena, but he had to wait four months for an appointment. The White House did not get a briefing about the ongoing Chinese espionage efforts until the summer of 1997.

Dr. Wen Ho Lee, the Los Alamos scientist suspected of being the spy because he failed a lie-detector test and has been uncooperative, was not fired until after the New York Times story was published. The espionage dates back to the Reagan administration, but what is most frightening about the revelations is the failure of the Clinton administration to take prompt action when Trulock disclosed what he had discovered. The year 1996 was a big year for Chinese-related contributions to the DNC. Some members of Congress suspect that Clinton did not inform Congress because he feared that Congressional pressure would interrupt the flow of Chinese money.

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