[lit-ideas] Re: Hitchens on Moore's flick

  • From: Scribe1865@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2004 00:21:19 EDT

Re: Clinton sneaking through MIRV technology to the Chinese, Andy wrote: If 
there was any substance to it, would the Rabid Right not be exploiting it?  
What's missing here?

It's not an accusation. Clinton did it as surely as he pardoned Mark Rich. 

Here's one version: http://www.nationalreview.com/01jun98/gertz060198.html

U.S. Corporations and the Clinton Administration are finally working
together on something -- perfecting Chinese missiles. 


Mr. Gertz is the defense and national security correspondent for the 
Washington Times. 
ON May 2, a Chinese Long March 2C rocket blasted off into space without a 
hitch. The booster lofted two U.S. Iridium satellites into space and carefully 
sent each on its way using state-of-the-art satellite- dispensing technology. 
The satellites, made by the Motorola Corp., are part of a global constellation 
that in a couple of years will become a worldwide cellular-telephone network. 
The technology for Iridium was developed under Ronald Reagan's Strategic 
Defense Initiative. 
So, it seems that the Clinton Administration has finally found a practical 
application for the Reagan Administration's anti-missile program: improving 
Communist China's rockets. China's once-unreliable Long March booster was 
improved with the help of U.S. satellite companies under the Clinton 
Administration's liberalized export controls. According to the Pentagon, the 
that improved the Long March has also made China's Dong Feng series of 
strategic nuclear missiles more lethal. 
Nothing better illustrates the Clinton Administration's attitude that the 
business of American foreign policy is first and foremost business than these 
technology exchanges with China. The story of the American role in improving 
Chinese rocketry -- which has begun to emerge in reports in the New York Times 
in my own dispatches in the Washington Times -- features high-flying 
corporate interests, dubious bureaucratic maneuvering, special treatment for 
contributors, and, above all else, strategic myopia. No other Clinton scandal 
will produce fallout as long-lasting or as potentially dangerous as the 
fallout from this one. 
Flash back to February 15, 1996. Another Chinese Long March rocket was not so 
successful. Less than 30 seconds after it was launched from a pad in southern 
China the booster exploded along with a $200-million American satellite. A 
team of scientists from Hughes Electronics Corp. and Loral Space & 
Communications Ltd. -- the owners of the satellite -- launched an accident 
Their analysis of the problems with the Chinese booster included numerous 
recommendations on how to avoid such costly mishaps in the future. 
The team produced a highly technical report identifying an electrical glitch 
in the flight-guidance system as the cause of the crash. The report also 
identified other weaknesses in the rocket. The American experts apparently 
bothered to check with the State Department to see if the technology they were 
sharing with the Chinese was embargoed, or whether exporting such dual-use 
knowhow required an export license. Several months later, they ``turned 
in'' to the State Department, according to a U.S. Government official 
familiar with the incident. 
The Pentagon launched an investigation of the matter, and its final report, 
labeled ``secret,'' came to this stark conclusion: ``United States national 
security has been harmed.'' How? According to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R., 
Chairman of the House Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee, U.S. expertise has 
``perfected'' China's Long March rockets, which are identical in design to 
Chinese strategic nuclear missiles. 
``Engineers from Loral, assisted by engineers from Hughes Electronics, and at 
the direction of their superiors, charged forward to correct the problems in 
the Long March,'' Rohrabacher said in a floor speech on April 30. ``It seems 
what happened was a sterile, coldly calculated decision to fix these problems 
with no consideration of the national-security implications to the United 
States.'' Rohrabacher saw the technology transfer as a betrayal. ``Chinese 
blowing up on launch is a good thing,'' he says. ``We should not be making 
their missiles better.'' 
How is it that U.S. corporations and a Communist government find themselves 
sharing a vital interest? Instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars 
per launch on U.S. boosters, satellite manufacturers such as Hughes, Loral, 
Motorola, and Martin - Marietta (the latter two now combined in Lockheed 
sought to use Chinese boosters costing just $25 million to $85 million a 
launch. However, as the tradeoff for being comparatively cheap, the Long March 
boosters were completely unreliable; three or four of them would fail for every 
successful launch, resulting in huge insurance costs for American satellite 
So the interest of American companies was to get as much technology to their 
Chinese partners as possible, and they have made a sustained push to do so. 
Great Wall Industries, which handles all deals for China's space launch 
services, was sanctioned twice by the U.S. Government in 1991 and 1993 for 
M-11 missiles to Pakistan. The penalties were imposed under U.S. law requiring 
the imposition of sanctions for violations of the 29-nation Missile Technology 
Control Regime, which restricts sales of missiles with ranges greater than 186 
miles and warheads heavier than 1,100 pounds. 
Sensitive technology transfers were banned under some 40 different economic 
sanctions imposed on China after the 1989 Tiananmen massacre. Beginning in the 
early 1990s, satellite makers began receiving waivers of the sanctions. 
Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education 
Center in Washington, D.C., explains that in 1994 the Pakistan-related 
sanctions were lifted ``in no small part because of U.S. satellite 
desire to have unfettered access to China launch services.'' 
``Starting in 1993,'' says Sokolski, ``Hughes and other satellite makers who 
wanted China to launch their payloads made every effort to limit the 
possibilities of error.'' This meant sharing ``some of America's most sensitive 
technology.'' Included in the U.S. efforts were discussions with the Chinese 
Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology on the sufficiency of the 
altitude-control system on the Long March launcher, examinations of rocket-fuel 
and test firings of a kick motor for the booster's last stage. U.S. companies 
were also involved in giving China the same technology used to launch MIRVs 
(multiple, independently targeted re-entry vehicles), hydra-warheads that 
vastly increase the firepower of nuclear missiles. 
There have been many instances of this business-driven foreign-policy 
-- Rep. Rohrabacher says an aerospace executive from Motorola told him that 
the company was involved in ``upgrading'' Chinese space boosters/missiles under 
a ``national-security waiver signed by the President.'' According to 
Rohrabacher, Motorola supplied rocket-stage separation technology. And Motorola 
the Chinese learn how to ``dispense'' satellites into orbit -- the MIRV 
-- According to Sokolski, Martin - Marietta also asked the U.S. Government 
for permission to exchange information with China on upper-stage control 
systems, used to separate and ignite the sections. ``These same control 
functions are 
also critical to China's perfection of an accurate multiple independently 
targeted re-entry vehicle for its new solid-fuel rocket system,'' he says. It 
not clear whether the technology was approved for export. 
-- In 1993, according to Sokolski, several U.S. satellite makers asked the 
Commerce Department if they could share coupling and load-analysis technology. 
That technology is crucial for assuring that a missile ignites, that its stages 
separate, and that its engines cut off in ways that will not shatter 
sensitive satellite payloads. Again, Sokolski says, ``This would not only help 
the safe, efficient launching of the most sensitive civilian payloads, but 
also of complex MIRVed military systems.'' 
And so the Long March has been perfected, or at least its failure rate has 
plummeted. At what price? According to a report of the Senate subcommittee on 
proliferation, the kind of space technology China has acquired from the United 
States is just what is needed to make an intercontinental ballistic missile: 
stage coupling for extended range, accurate guidance, and system integration. 
And, as I first reported in the Washington Times, the CIA has concluded that 13 
of China's 18 long-range strategic missiles have nuclear warheads aimed at 
American cities. Loral's gain could one day be L.A.'s pain. 
Rather than putting the brakes on this transfer of technology, the Clinton 
Administration has been speeding it along. High-tech executives in Silicon 
Valley are a key Clinton constituency -- and source of funds -- and so he has 
careful to foster their overseas business. Silicon Valley's defense-related 
firms don't have the same attitude as old-line defense contractors, who were 
part of the defense establishment and did business in an atmosphere of Cold War 
patriotism. The culture of Silicon Valley firms is post - Cold War, and its 
firms are ready to deal. 
They found their match in the Clinton Administration. In 1993, the 
Administration undertook a major reform of U.S. export controls; by 1995, it 
had nearly 
dismantled our national-security safeguards. The first to go was COCOM, the 
Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls, a group of Western 
nations that had successfully limited flows of weapons technology to the West's 
enemies, especially the Soviet bloc and China. The Clintonites worried that 
process gave too much control to the Pentagon, which is always wary of arming 
our adversaries. 
Although the Administration promised to replace COCOM with a new arms-control 
regime, nothing comparable has been established. The 1996 Wassenaar 
Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and 
Technologies allows each member nation to determine whether an export may 
proceed. COCOM 
required a consensus among the member nations before an export could take 
place; Wassenaar requires only a report after the fact -- essentially a 
green light for any and all technology exports. 
Meanwhile, in a telling move, the Clinton Administration in March 1996 
shifted authority over licensing satellites from the State Department to the 
Commerce Department. Without State involvement, ``we're not even informed,'' 
complains one staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The go-go 
Commerce Department has been blindly moving ahead with the decontrol of all 
of technologies, from supercomputers to satellites. William Reinsch, the 
undersecretary of commerce for export administration, bragged in a recent 
that satellite-technology transfers were an example of helping U.S. business 
while protecting national security. 
The missile revelations are only part of the indictment of the Clinton 
Administration's handling of China. The Administration's announced policy of 
``engagement'' seems to have become a perpetual excuse factory, as every 
action taken by the Chinese -- selling missiles to Pakistan, missile technology 
to Iran, and nuclear equipment to both states -- is explained away as 
``inconclusive'' or considered solved with the latest hollow Chinese promise 
not to 
repeat the offense. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently spoke of a 
``strategic partnership'' with China. But she won few concessions on either 
weapons transfers or human-rights abuses during her recent visit to China. 
Now the White House is scrambling to come up with something for President 
Clinton and Chinese President Jiang Zemin to do at their June summit meeting in 
Peking. According to a memorandum written by White House National Security 
Council staffer Gary Samore, Washington has proposed a ``missile deal'' to be 
concluded at the summit. If Peking will agree to join the 29-nation Missile 
Technology Control Regime, which bars exports of missiles and related 
technology to 
non-members, the Administration will issue a ``blanket waiver'' of 
Tiananmen-inspired restrictions on space-launch cooperation with China. The 
Administration also will ``speed up consideration of MTCR-controlled exports'' 
to China. 
,p. After this memorandum was published in the Washington Times, State 
Department officials denied they have any plan to share missile technology, 
that only knowhow related to peaceful uses of space will be exchanged. And the 
Administration always maintains that there are strict safeguards against 
technology's ``leaking'' into Chinese military applications. But the Pentagon's 
assessment of the Hughes/ Loral cooperation on the Long March makes clear that 
valuable missile knowhow has already been shared. 
In any case, according to U.S. officials, Peking's response to the U.S. 
proposal that China join the Missile Technology Control Regime and stop selling 
dangerous knowhow to Iran and Pakistan was curt: No thanks. So will the summit 
offer agreements on any real issues? Not likely. Unless, as some critics 
Washington offers yet more concessions in exchange for yet more hollow 
promises -- a continuation of the pattern of achieving arms-control 
``progress'' by 
ignoring Chinese misconduct. 
Meanwhile, Rep. Rohrabacher met late last month with top House leaders, 
including Speaker Newt Gingrich and National Security Committee Chairman Floyd 
Spence, and an investigation has been launched. Hearings could be held in 
``Nations [that] threaten the security interests of the United States should 
not be armed by America, nor should America help them arm themselves,'' 
according to a recent report by the Senate subcommittee on proliferation. 
``America's government should be reducing the likelihood that the world's 
proliferators are engaging in this activity with the assistance of the United 
States. The fight against proliferation must include self-discipline at our own 
borders.'' That would have seemed merely a matter of common sense -- until the 
age of Clinton. 

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