Fallout from the China Spy Case

September - December 1999

Materials presented in chronological order.

Pincus, Walter, and Vernon Loeb. "Veto Urged For Energy Revamp: State Attorneys General, Democrats Oppose Plan." Washington Post, 9 Sep. 1999, A19. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]

"Leading congressional Democrats and 46 state attorneys general are urging President Clinton to veto a Republican plan to reorganize the Department of Energy. The reorganization ... would create a semiautonomous agency to oversee the DOE's enormous complex of laboratories and plants that research, assemble and maintain America's nuclear arsenal."

Loeb, Vernon. "3 Los Alamos Officials Penalized Over Probe." Washington Post, 11 Sep. 1999, A10. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Although not named in the 10 September 1999 announcement, Sig Hecker, Los Alamos National Laboratory's former director, Robert S. Vrooman, the Laboratory's former counterintelligence chief, and Terry Craig, a counterintelligence team leader, have "received relatively mild administrative sanctions ... for failing to properly handle an investigation into suspected Chinese espionage at the nuclear weapons facility."

Kamen, Al. "The Lie Detector that Didn't." Washington Post, 17 Sep. 1999, A23. [http:// www.washingtonpost.com]

On 14 September 1999, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson took a polygraph test to set an example for department scientists unhappy about the prospect of being polygraphed themselves "on espionage matters."

Risen, James. "Security at Los Alamos Has Improved, Review Finds." New York Times, 21 Sep. 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]

The Energy Department said 20 September 1999 "that a new review had found that security at Los Alamos National Laboratory had improved in recent months, but that security procedures at the nation's two other weapons laboratories [Lawrence Livermore and Sandia] still lagged."

Loeb, Vernon. "Nuclear Overhaul Passes: Senate Approves a New Agency." Washington Post, 23 Sep. 1999, A3. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 22 September 1999, "the Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation ... creating an agency to manage the nation's nuclear weapons plants in the most far-reaching reorganization of the Department of Energy since its creation 22 years ago."

Risen, James, and David Johnston. "U.S. Will Broaden Investigation of China Nuclear Secrets Case." New York Times, 23 Sep. 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]

Government officials said on 22 September 1999 that "Attorney General Janet Reno and [FBI] Director Louis J. Freeh ... have ordered Federal agents to broaden their investigation into evidence of Chinese nuclear espionage, moving far beyond the Government's earlier scrutiny of a scientist fired from Los Alamos National Laboratory."

Schmitt, Eric. "In Shift, Secretary Supports Bill that Overhauls Energy Dept." New York Times, 28 Sep. 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"Energy Secretary Bill Richardson says he will recommend that President Clinton sign a $289 billion Pentagon budget bill that overhauls the Energy Department, creating an agency within the department to oversee nuclear weapons programs."

Pincus, Walter, and Vernon Loeb. "DOE Loses $35 Million for Cyber Security." Washington Post, 29 Sep. 1999, A18. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 28 September 1999, the U.S. Senate "passed an energy appropriations bill that omits $35 million requested by Energy Secretary Bill Richardson for increased computer security.... Richardson ... issued a statement charging that Congress was withholding 'important tools needed to implement security reform' that Congress itself had demanded.... A member of the conference committee ... said the $35 million was eliminated because lawmakers 'want to see management reform' before they approve a huge funding increase."

Pincus, Walter. "Experts Cite U.S. Intelligence Gains From China Programs." Washington Post, 11 Oct. 1999, A2. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"While a furor has arisen over Chinese spying on the United States, the federal government has been silent about the other side of the coin -- what U.S. intelligence agencies have learned during visits by Chinese scientists to U.S. weapons laboratories and trips by U.S. scientists to China's nuclear research facilities. 'We got more out of those Chinese visits than they got,' said Richard Kerr, a former deputy director of the CIA who served this year on an intelligence community panel that reviewed allegations of Chinese espionage at America's nuclear labs."

Pincus, Walter. "Richardson Cuts Lab Lie Tests Sharply: Plan Focuses on People in Sensitive Jobs." Washington Post, 16 Oct. 1999, A8. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Energy Secretary Bill Richardson ... has sharply reduced the number of federal employees who will be required to take polygraph examinations about their handling of nuclear secrets. Instead of imposing the 'lie detector' tests on more than 5,000 scientists and other employees at the nation's three nuclear weapons laboratories, the Department of Energy will limit the testing to several hundred people per lab, or a total of about 1,000 employees, DOE officials said."

Loeb, Vernon, and Walter Pincus. "FBI Widens Chinese Espionage Probe." Washington Post, 19 Nov. 1999, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"The FBI has found new evidence suggesting that China may have stolen information about the most advanced U.S. nuclear warhead from one of the weapon's assemblers, widening an investigation once focused almost exclusively on Los Alamos National Laboratory and one of its staff scientists, Wen Ho Lee."

Gilley, Bruce. "China's Spy Guide: A Chinese Espionage Manual Details the Means by Which Beijing Gathers Technology and Weapons Secrets from the United States." Far Eastern Economic Review, 23 Dec. 1999, 14. [http://www.feer.com]

A 361-page book, published in China in 1991 and written by "two of China's top military intelligence specialists," is "believed to be the first comprehensive manual on China's overseas military espionage to have been seen outside the country." The book, entitled Sources and Methods of Obtaining National Defence Science and Technology Intelligence, "outlines strategies for gathering both open and secret military technologies from abroad, and provides information on how to gather such intelligence in the United States."


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