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-   -   Did Clinton REALLY sell/give nuclear/missle secrets to China/North Korea? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=233639)

El Mariachi 01-07-2004 08:49 AM

Did Clinton REALLY sell/give nuclear/missle secrets to China/North Korea?
 
I see conservatives complain about this all the time, yet I've never seen an article about it... its like they're getting this information from talk show hosts or something. I would assume if Clinton actually did such treachorous acts the conservatives would impeach him for that instead of who he slept with.

I tried searching a bit and really couldn't find much. So either I'm an idiot and don't know how to use a search function (very possible), or Clinton never did any such thing. Can you help me? If you have links to articles listing either way, it would be helpful. I want to either dispel this myth once and for all, or suck it up and move on.

edit: sell or give in title.

ralph124c 01-07-2004 09:03 AM

The only solid evidence I see about this: during Clinton's second term, LORAL Corporation (a major US satellite mfg., and its president, applied for an export license for China). LORAL's application was approved..and the technology transfer included critical guidance technology , which the Chinese used to make their ICBMs more accurate. Effectively, LORAL GAVE the Chinese information that saved them decades of R&D...and enabled them to target the USA with guided missles.So Clinton's boast (that US cities were safe from nuclear attack) is adamned lie-he knew what the Chinese were up to and deliberately ignored the Loral matter.
For this, Clinton deserves to be called the worst US president of modern history..of course,his apologists never mention this affair!

El Mariachi 01-07-2004 09:39 AM

Hmm, do you have a link?

I tried doing a google news search on 'clinton' and 'loral' but only came up with a financial times (uk) article that I need a subscription for and a Rush Limbaugh article.

Early Out 01-07-2004 09:55 AM

The full story is a bit more complicated than that. First, despite the title of the OP, "Clinton" didn't give or sell anything to anybody. His adminstration loosened restrictions on technology exports, and a few things got out that probably should not have.

Congress (a Republican Congress, I should point out) conducted a full investigation, and found that while some information was passed to the Chinese by Loral, it didn't amount to much. The CIA, in fact, said that Loral hadn't given the Chinese much useful information, and even the Air Force said that the material given to the Chinese by Loral had increased their capabilities only incrementally.

Additionally, Loral didn't apply for an "export license" to give the Chinese the data in question. They were working with the Chinese, who had a missile failure that destroyed the Loral satellite it was carrying. The Loral techies faxed them some data that pointed to some ways to improve the missile's reliability and performance. No one in the Clinton adminstration reviewed this data before it was faxed - they were never asked to do so. No "application" was approved.

Ultimately, it's worth noting that the Congress elected not to pursue the matter as part of the Clinton impeachment and, more to the point, didn't refer any of it to the Justice Department. If there were a prosecutable offense in there somewhere, I've got to think that a referral to DOJ would have been a no-brainer.

What the investigation did lead to, on the other hand, was the realization that Chinese intelligence had been targeting U.S. technology for quite a while, and that some measures needed to be taken to protect sensitive information. The Loral incident, itself, was little more than a tiny pimple on an otherwise acne-ridden face.

You can read all about it here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv...eystories.htm. The stories are listed in reverse chronological order, so the first story listed is a final summary of Congress' findings.

Fear Itself 01-07-2004 09:56 AM

Let's fight some ignorance right now.

http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/05/22/china.money/

Quote:

It's a fact Loral Space and Communications hired the Chinese to launch one of their satellites two years ago because Chinese rocket launches are relatively cheap. Technically, that is an export of a U.S. satellite to China.

But Loral says the Chinese never got their hands on the satellite itself. And Pentagon officials confirm sensitive technology was encased in a metal "black box" and watched over from factory to launch pad by Department of Defense employees.

There has been bipartisan support for such launches. President Ronald Reagan first initiated the policy 10 years ago. And President George Bush approved nine while Clinton has approved 11, according to the Congressional Research Service.

But concerns have heated up. To launch satellites, China used "Long March" boosters, the same ones they use for intercontinental nuclear missiles, some said to be aimed at U.S. cities.

They weren't very good. The one carrying Loral's satellite blew up 30 seconds after launch on Feb. 15, 1996, costing Loral's insurance companies about $200 million.

Afterward Loral admits it gave the Chinese a written report about the cause of the rocket failure, without official clearance. A Pentagon office concluded in a still-secret report that "United States national security has been harmed," according to government officials. And Loral confirms it is now under investigation by a federal grand jury as a result.

And one House International Relations Committee source, speaking to CNN on background, said the committee plans to focus its investigation on this cooperation.

Loral's chairman Bernard Schwartz denies Loral did anything illegal. In its own defense, Loral says Chinese engineers found the problem -- the rocket failure was caused by bad solder joints -- without Loral's help. And they say "no 'secret' or 'classified' information was ever discussed with the Chinese or included in any reports provided to the Chinese."

Privately, Pentagon officials minimize the affair. One told CNN that the alleged harm to national security was "not significant or substantial ... about a one or two on a scale of ten."
This is a favorite chestnut that gets dragged out by the Rabid Right, and it gets embellished with each telling. They are getting scared about the prospect of running against Howard Dean in the next election, and would prefer to run against Bill Clinton; having lost to him twice, they figure the third time is the charm.

Ravenman 01-07-2004 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by ralph124c
Effectively, LORAL GAVE the Chinese information that saved them decades of R&D...and enabled them to target the USA with guided missles.
China has had ICBMs since at least 1981. Cite. You can't blame Clinton for that. True, LORAL may have made those missiles better, but with a 5 megaton warhead, their missiles really don't need to be that accurate.

Keep in mind that Chinese nuclear doctrine places literally zero importance on maintaining a counter-force arsenal: that is, the PRC isn't going to target US ICBM silos. The Chinese target cities for their strategy of deterrence, which is pretty damn smart, since they probably have less than a couple dozen ICBMs.

Quote:

So Clinton's boast (that US cities were safe from nuclear attack) is adamned lie-he knew what the Chinese were up to and deliberately ignored the Loral matter.
You are misquoting. He often said that "there were no nuclear missiles targeted at American cities." That is, he claimed that China or Russia would have to first target their missiles before launching them, rather than just hitting the launch button.

Kind of a pointless statement, since these weapons can be re-targeted in a matter of minutes.

It seems more likely that LORAL employees acted incompetently in exceeding the scope of their export license. One can hardly blame Clinton for that.

If we are to hold Presidents accountable for the illegal -- or at least stupid -- acts of employees of private corporations, then we should also indict Reagan for approving export licenses that allowed samples of extremely dangerous biological agents to be sold to Iraq during the mid-to-late 1980s. Actaully, since he was selling arms to two terrorist supporting nations, that's probably a more severe blow to US national security, seeing as how we have gone on to fight two wars against one of those countries.

And as far as giving nuclear weapons technology to North Korea, that allegation is silly. Clinton made a deal that would have resulted in the end of North Korea's nuclear program in exchange for Japan and South Korea financing a light water nuclear reactor, which can be used for electricity, but has little to no use in a nuclear weapons program. That was in 1994. The light water reactors were never built, thus, quite obviously, have nothing to do with North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

toadspittle 01-07-2004 10:16 AM

web (not news ... it's quite old now) search for "loral china technology" and you should find stuff.

http://www.loral.com/china-investigation.html

Basically, here's what happened:

Intelsat, an international communications consortium, wanted to put a commercial communications satellite in orbit.

Intelsat hired Loral to make the satellite.

Intelsat hired the Chinese to launch the satellite. The Chinese used one of their Long March rockets, the same sort they would use to hit us with ICBMs. No shocker there, since the US and Russians have always used ICBM rockets for space launches.

The US govt. (under Clinton) approved a waiver allowing the US company, Loral, to launch on a Chinese rocket. Both Bush Sr. and Clinton had approved a number of such waivers over the years.

Problem: the launch failed (as rocket launches often do).

The Chinese, being secretive, conducted a private investigation of the failure. They announced that the failure was caused by a low-tech problem: a failed solder joint.

Insurers, among them US insurers, weren't too happy with all this, and said they would not insure future launches w/o more data/assurances. So they set up a committee, including people from Loral, to request information from the Chinese so that they could make a better assessment. The Chinese complied, and, judging by the information they were given, the committee said, yep, it was that darned solder.

Then the committee made a mistake: It sent a report back to the Chinese without first getting approval from the US Govt. (who has to sign off on all communications, apparently, in order to prevent unauth. tech. transfers).

In the course of this committee's work, they sent no techical data to the Chinese, made no suggestions about improving missile guidance systems, etc. It sounds like they just sent a report back on their findings, which were based on Chinese information and agreed with it. (I have not read the report, so yes, it's possible that they said, "Oh, and by the way, if you recalibrate your guidance gyroscopes you'll increase your accuracy by 45%...")

The main problem is that they failed to go through channels, and there was the risk that the Chinese could have gained technology secrets from us. But that does not seem to have happened.

The further complication (isn't there always one?) is that Loral/its founder was apparently a contributor to the Democrats (gasp! no govt. contractor has ever given money to the party in power...).

furt 01-07-2004 10:21 AM

Re: Did Clinton REALLY sell/give nuclear/missle secrets to China/North Korea?
 
Quote:

Originally posted by El Mariachi
I see conservatives complain about this all the time, yet I've never seen an article about it...
Then where do you see it?

I don't think even Rush Limbaugh or Pat Buchanan would say this, it's so insane. I have heard people say he was irresponsibly lax in security, etc., which may or many not be true, but that's nowhere near the same as saying he actively sold or gave secrets out. Do you have a cite where someone other than a crackpot conspiracy theorist actually alleges this?

El Mariachi 01-07-2004 10:24 AM

Thank you. I tried to edit my post to say that I searched yahoo and got a bunch of stuff.

Does anyone have anything else about this besides the launch? What about conservatives saying its clinton's fault about the chinese person working at the one nuclear lab?

Early Out 01-07-2004 10:25 AM

Re: Re: Did Clinton REALLY sell/give nuclear/missle secrets to China/North Korea?
 
Quote:

Originally posted by furt
Do you have a cite where someone other than a crackpot conspiracy theorist actually alleges this?
Now, you wouldn't be referring to our own ralph124c, now would you? That's not allowed in GD. ;)

El Mariachi 01-07-2004 10:29 AM

Re: Re: Did Clinton REALLY sell/give nuclear/missle secrets to China/North Korea?
 
Quote:

Originally posted by furt
Then where do you see it?


I see a bunch of peole on other internet forums complain about it ;) I figured I'd have a better chance at actually getting PROOF on whether it actually happened or not, or what actually happened in the first place if i asked for help here.


Oh, and Rush Limbaugh DID say something about it (it was one of the two responses I got on the news.google.com search). Unfortunately I didn't see what he said about it since I didn't want to register. From the context of the title, it seems as if he's regarding Clinton as a traitor.

Fear Itself 01-07-2004 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by El Mariachi
Does anyone have anything else about this besides the launch? What about conservatives saying its clinton's fault about the chinese person working at the one nuclear lab?
That would be the case of Wen Ho Lee, a nuclear scientist at the Los Alamos atomic research facility, accused of leaking nuclear bomb secrets to the Chinese in 1999:
Quote:

Lee was held in solitary confinement for nine months before the government's case collapsed and 58 of the 59 charges against him were dropped. The conservative Reagan-appointed judge in the case said in freeing Lee, "I sincerely apologize to you, Dr. Lee, for the unfair manner in which you were held in custody by the executive branch."

[snip]

In the end, in a plea bargain forced by prosecutors threatening Lee with life in prison, the scientist admitted to one count of mishandling government data. The data had not even been classified as secret when Lee mishandled it. But no matter, his reputation and career had been destroyed, leaving U.S. District Judge James Parker to conclude that the government's treatment of Lee "embarrassed our entire nation and each of us who is a citizen of it."

This is yet another case of hysterical conservatives telling part of a story in order to smear the uninvolved.

El Mariachi 01-07-2004 11:30 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Fear Itself
That would be the case of Wen Ho Lee, a nuclear scientist at the Los Alamos atomic research facility, accused of leaking nuclear bomb secrets to the Chinese in 1999:

This is yet another case of hysterical conservatives telling part of a story in order to smear the uninvolved.

omg thats it. Thanks! I love you. (not gay)

Fear Itself 01-07-2004 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by El Mariachi
omg thats it. Thanks! I love you. (not gay)
Not that there's anything wrong with that... ;)

DMC 01-07-2004 11:53 AM

Re: Re: Did Clinton REALLY sell/give nuclear/missle secrets to China/North Korea?
 
Quote:

Originally posted by furt
I don't think even Rush Limbaugh or Pat Buchanan would say this, it's so insane. I have heard people say he was irresponsibly lax in security, etc., which may or many not be true, but that's nowhere near the same as saying he actively sold or gave secrets out. Do you have a cite where someone other than a crackpot conspiracy theorist actually alleges this?
Quote:

Rush Limbaugh (including a caricature just for this purpose)
We've seen Clinton/Gore sell and transfer
vital American nuclear and missile secrets to communist China.
Now they can hit the USA with their nukes.

Liberal 01-07-2004 12:17 PM

Quote:

Let's fight some ignorance right now.
Yeah. If a liberal news reporter said it, it must be true.

Fear Itself 01-07-2004 12:43 PM

Great debate tactic there Lib. If you can't fault the facts, go after the reporter. Everybody knows all Liberals™ are notorious liars.

Ad Hominem, much?

toadspittle 01-07-2004 01:10 PM

That was pretty sad, Lib. Thanks for the great contribution to the thread.

Anal Scurvy 01-07-2004 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Fear Itself
Not that there's anything wrong with that... ;)
I don't like wearing rubber pants.

Liberal 01-07-2004 02:32 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Fear Itself
Great debate tactic there Lib. If you can't fault the facts, go after the reporter. Everybody knows all Liberals™ are notorious liars.

Ad Hominem, much?

Ad Verecundiam, much?

Fear Itself 01-07-2004 03:22 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Libertarian
Ad Verecundiam, much?
You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

To avoid further embarrassment, you should probably read up on what Appeal to Authority really means.

In the meantime, I will assume since you do not challenge my facts, you accept my conclusion. Please come back when you have something meaningful to contribute.

squeegee 01-07-2004 04:55 PM

Re: Re: Did Clinton REALLY sell/give nuclear/missle secrets to China/North Korea?
 
Quote:

Originally posted by furt
I don't think even Rush Limbaugh or Pat Buchanan would say this, it's so insane.
Here's an article from Pat Buchanan doing exactly that. link.

squeegee 01-07-2004 05:05 PM

[b]El Mariachi[b], Here is a pretty good tin-foil-hat summary/screed of the "Clinton is a treasonous cocksucker for the Chinese" argument from the right.

squeegee 01-07-2004 05:10 PM

And here is a summary of the aforementioned Cox Report that claims the PRC stole plans for the W-88 warhead from us. Pretty much no evidence is given that this happened, but what the heck.
Quote:

The PRC thefts from our National Laboratories began at least as early as the late 1970s, and significant secrets are known to have been stolen as recently as the mid-1990s. Such thefts almost certainly continue to the present.
This is all, of course, obviously Bill Clinton's fault. :rolleyes:

squeegee 01-07-2004 05:22 PM

Ah, here we go -- an actual substantive refutation of this pile of allegations. Take it for what it's worth. Thanks Google!

This page summarizes the charges and is highly critical of the Cox committee report and the circumstances surrounding it.
Quote:

In brief, the Cox Committee report, like the Rumsfeld Commission before it, has taken a real problem and hyper-inflated it for political purposes.

The Committee had spent most of its time in 1998 investigating charges that critical technology was transferred to the PRC by major US corporations while using Chinese rockets to launch American satellites. Many in the Republican leadership had hoped this investigation would lead to impeachment charges against the President. A number of Republican leaders went to the floor of the House and Senate and accused the President of treason for allegedly facilitating this transfer of information. These charges could not be substantiated. The Cox Committee then hurriedly took testimony from only three witnesses on the nuclear weapons security issue: DOE intelligence official Notra Trulock, a CIA analyst, and a Los Alamos employee. The Cox report basically presents the Notra Trulock view of China, unchallenged and unbalanced.
So, apparently, this whole issue seems to have the same high standing as any number of made-up anti-Clinton tripe from the right. That is, none.

ralph124c 01-08-2004 09:15 AM

Nobody seems to have absorbed the fact that the whole "Wen-Ho Lee" affair was a witch hunt, orchestrated by then Energy Secretary Bill Richardson. Mr. Lee was imprisoned, and held on the flimsiest of charges. The judge on the case apologized to Mr. Lee-but Bill Richardson refused to talk about it..even Bill Clinton was appalled by the shoddy treatment of Mr. Lee-though (in typical Clinton fashion), he never did anything about it! (I think that after the whole thing was over, Bill actually said that he was "disturbed" by the affair-smal comfort to Mr. Lee and his family!)

Beagle 01-08-2004 09:31 AM

It's not about Clinton. But just as he takes credit for the economy contemporaneous with his administration, he gets the "credit" for Chinese nuclear modernization.

As for the usual "right-wing" accusations and bluster, ho-hum. Wait a decade and we might find out part of the real story.

Alger Hiss comes to mind. Left: "He's Innocent!" "He's Innocent!" "He's Innocent!" "He's Innocent!"

[conclusive evidence proves he spied for the Soviets]

Left: "Spying for the Soviets wasn't that bad!" "Spying for the Soviets wasn't that bad!" "Spying for the Soviets wasn't that bad!" "Spying for the Soviets wasn't that bad!"

"Look, over there, a picture of Joe McCarthy!"

WhoBeen 01-07-2013 10:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by El Mariachi (Post 4439567)
I see conservatives complain about this all the time, yet I've never seen an article about it... its like they're getting this information from talk show hosts or something. I would assume if Clinton actually did such treachorous acts the conservatives would impeach him for that instead of who he slept with.

I tried searching a bit and really couldn't find much. So either I'm an idiot and don't know how to use a search function (very possible), or Clinton never did any such thing. Can you help me? If you have links to articles listing either way, it would be helpful. I want to either dispel this myth once and for all, or suck it up and move on.

edit: sell or give in title.

Clinton never sold...he gave it away;
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/...29/25139.shtml
Quote:

Newly declassified documents show that President Bill Clinton personally approved the transfer to China of advanced space technology that can be used for nuclear combat.
The documents show that in 1996 Clinton approved the export of radiation hardened chip sets to China. The specialized chips are necessary for fighting a nuclear war.

"Waivers may be granted upon a national interest determination," states a Commerce Department document titled "U.S. Sanctions on China."

"The President has approved a series of satellite related waivers in recent months, most recently in November, 1996 for export of radiation hardened chip sets for a Chinese meteorological satellite," noted the Commerce Department documents.

These special computer chips are designed to function while being bombarded by intense radiation. Radiation hardened chips are considered critical for atomic warfare and are required by advanced nuclear tipped missiles.

Marley23 01-07-2013 10:28 PM

Moderating
 
Please note that this thread was opened in January 2004.

Marley23 01-07-2013 10:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WhoBeen (Post 15874226)
"In all likelihood we will be glowing in the dark before we discover the true extent of the Clinton decade of betrayal," stated Rick Fisher, Asian Security Fellow at the Center for Security Policy.

That's some hilarious scaremongering. Other top stories on the Center for Security Policy include:

"No Christmas future for the Middle East?"
"Al Gore Profits from the Stealth Jihad"
"Center Report Reveals Radical Islamist Views and Agenda of Senior State Department Official Huma Abedin's Mother"

Der Trihs 01-07-2013 10:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marley23 (Post 15874246)
"Al Gore Profits from the Stealth Jihad"

Ah, so that's what those burkas are really all about. It's not about the oppression of women; they're all actually ninjas!

dropzone 01-07-2013 11:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marley23 (Post 15874246)
"Center Report Reveals Radical Islamist Views and Agenda of Senior State Department Official Huma Abedin's Mother"

Her mom? They couldn't pin more on her than her poor choice in husbands and now I'm supposed to be scared of her mom?

TonySinclair 01-07-2013 11:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by furt (Post 4439924)
Do you have a cite where someone other than a crackpot conspiracy theorist actually alleges this?

I'm not sure if this qualifies, but here's one from Sen. James Inhofe:

http://inhofe.senate.gov/pressreleases/chinaupdate.html

Obviously, you've ruled out anyone on Fox News.

The Second Stone 01-07-2013 11:45 PM

No, it's not true. But Ronnie Reagan's brain, Lt. Col. Oliver North did give missiles to the Ayatollah.

Marley23 01-07-2013 11:59 PM

The NewsMax article WhoBeen quoted from is from 2003, by the way. Somehow that part of the scandal failed to take root.

fumster 01-08-2013 12:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Second Stone (Post 15874441)
No, it's not true. But Ronnie Reagan's brain, Lt. Col. Oliver North did give missiles to the Ayatollah.

Col North was Reagan's dick, not his brain. Donald Regan was his brain.

JKellyMap 01-08-2013 04:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beagle (Post 4443909)
It's not about Clinton. But just as he takes credit for the economy contemporaneous with his administration, he gets the "credit" for Chinese nuclear modernization.

As for the usual "right-wing" accusations and bluster, ho-hum. Wait a decade and we might find out part of the real story.

Only twelve more months to go!

BTW, neat to see how the Right was once "scared of Howard Dean."

powhatan_bolling 01-12-2013 05:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Second Stone (Post 15874441)
No, it's not true. But Ronnie Reagan's brain, Lt. Col. Oliver North did give missiles to the Ayatollah.

clinton did,of course. did north give ICBM missiles to the Ayatollah?

waitswp 10-11-2013 10:29 AM

1998 Washington Post article regarding Loral transfer
 
This Washington Post article is the most credible and historical explanation I have found regarding Loral's involvement with providing missle guidance technology to assist with Chinese launching commercial communication satellites. We as Americans should have been launching ALL of our satellites to prevent this technology transfer, instead of trying to save a few bucks.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv...oral053198.htm

I hope this helps.

LawMonkey 10-11-2013 02:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JKellyMap (Post 15874783)
BTW, neat to see how the Right was once "scared of Howard Dean."

That Dean reference made reading this whole zombie thread worthwhile. :)

handsomeharry 10-12-2013 01:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by El Mariachi (Post 4439567)
I would assume if Clinton actually did such treachorous acts the conservatives would impeach him for that instead of who he slept with.

Nobody even tried to impeach him for whom he slept with, or, for that matter, sleeping with anybody.

AK84 10-12-2013 01:32 AM

The rocket launch failure in question.

Robot Arm 10-12-2013 03:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AK84 (Post 16750813)
The rocket launch failure in question.

Might want to double check that link.

AK84 10-12-2013 05:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robot Arm (Post 16750910)
Might want to double check that link.

Mea Culpa:eek:

Here it is.

I am pretty sure.

Plus, Start me up is strangely appropriate for such a thread!

Jonathan Chance 10-12-2013 07:14 AM

The Moderator Speaks
 
Is there a debate here? Because if there's not I'm gonna close this as old news.


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