President Clinton Espionage
DID PRESIDENT CLINTON ALLOW THE CHINESE
TO STEAL OUR TECHNOLOGY?
Senate Floor Statement March 15, 1999
U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe (R – Oklahoma)
President Clinton Espionage
Mr. President, I want you to listen.
I am going to tell you a story of
espionage, conspiracy, deception and cover-up?a story with life and death
implications for millions of Americans? a story about national security and
a President and an administration that deliberately chose to put national
security at risk, while telling the people everything was fine.
If it was written in a book, it wouldn’t sell, because no one would
believe it. If it was fictionalized in a novel, few could conceive it. But
it is true.
Now for the sake of my statement today, I am stating that the President
withheld information and covered up the Chinese theft of our technology.
But I’m realistic enough to know that a person with the history of
deception this president has will have provided himself with some cover in
case he gets caught. So I’m sure there is a paper trail that he can
allege. The way the President probably covered himself was to include
tidbits about this theft buried in briefings on 40 or 50 others items, so
the significance of it would not be noticed. But a paper trail would be
Anticipating that, I talked to the chairman of the House Intelligence
Committee, Rep. Porter Goss, and the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence
Committee at the time of the discovery of this information, Sen. Arlen
Specter. Neither chairman was notified of the W-88 nuclear warhead
technology theft. And these would have been the first to be notified.
There can be no doubt that President Clinton engaged in a cover up scheme.
Let me read three paragraphs from last week’s op-ed article by Michael
Kelly in the Washington Post, entitled “Lies About China.”
“In April 1996, Energy Department officials informed Samuel Berger, then
Clinton’s deputy national security advisor, that Notra Trulock, the
department’s chief of intelligence, had uncovered evidence that showed
China had learned how to miniaturize nuclear bombs, allowing for smaller,
more lethal warheads…” “The Times reports that the House Intelligence
Committee asked Trulock for a briefing in July 1998. Trulock asked for
permission from Elizabeth Moler, then acting energy secretary. According
to Trulock, Moler told him not to brief the committee because the
information might be used against Clinton’s China policy…” “The White
House’s secret would have remained secret had it not been for a select
investigative committee headed by Republican Christopher Cox…”
But even using the President’s fictitious paper trail, the earliest either
chairman could have known about it would have been late spring of 1997,
years after the Clinton administration learned of it and, of course, after
the 1996 elections. I start, Mr. President, by listing a few things which
we now know to be true, factual, incontrovertible…and not classified.
For years, the Clinton administration covered-up China’s theft of top
secret U.S. nuclear weapons data. They never informed the Congress or
American people about what had happened or its significance to our
Let me tell you what President Clinton did during this period time:
?During this period of time, the President misled the American people on
numerous occasions about the threat posed by strategic nuclear missiles in
the post cold war era.
?During this period of time, President Clinton made statements on over 130
separate occasions, such as the following: “For the first time since the
dawn of the nuclear age, there is not a single solitary nuclear missile
pointed at an American child tonight. Not one. Not a single one.”
?During this period of time, he knew that China was targeting up to 18
intercontinental ballistic missiles at American children.
?During this period of time, President Clinton signed export control
waivers which allowed his top campaign fundraisers’ aerospace company to
transfer sensitive U.S. missile guidance technology to China.
?During this period of time, he shifted the prime satellite export
responsibility from the State Department to the Commerce Department,
making it easier for China and others to get sensitive military-related
U.S. technology .
?During this period of time, President Clinton hosted over 100 White House
fundraisers as part of a larger aggressive scheme to raise campaign
contributions, many from illegal foreign sources, primarily including
sources in China. Among guests permitted to attend these White House
fundraisers were a convicted felon and a Chinese arms dealer.
?During this period of time, John Huang, Charlie Trie, Johnny Chung, James
Riady and others with strong ties to China were deeply involved, with the
President’s knowledge, in raising Chinese-tainted campaign cash for the
?During this period of time, John Huang, who had been given a security
clearance without a background check, was permitted to receive numerous
classified CIA briefings, both during and after his stay at the Commerce
–And during this period of time, President Clinton was successfully
stopping the deployment of a national missile defense system, exposing
very American life to a missile attack, leaving us with no defense
against an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Mr. President, China’s theft of secret data on the so-called “W-88”
nuclear warhead may be one of the most serious breaches of national
security in our lifetimes…..More serious than Aldrich Ames. Perhaps more
serious than the Rosenbergs.
The public needs to understand that this story is true. This is not about
partisanship. This is not about some ancient history of some long gone
This is about the real world here and now. This is about national security
in its most important aspects. This is about protecting our freedom and
our existence as a nation. This is ultimately a matter which concerns the
life and death of every citizen.
The W-88 is the most advanced nuclear warhead in the U.S. arsenal and is
carried on top of Trident SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles).
This is the cornerstone weapon of our nation’s nuclear deterrent. As many
as eight of them can fit atop our submarine-launched missiles. As many as
ten can be put atop our largest land-based missiles…or on China’s land
We are talking about a miniaturized warhead–Much smaller in size than the
Hiroshima atom bomb but ten times more powerful.
As you can see from the chart, which appeared in the NY Times, Mar. 6,
1999, the Hiroshima bomb was huge and unwieldy. It was 10 and a half feet
long and weighed over 4 tons?8,900 pounds.
By contrast, the modern W-88 warhead is compact. It is only 2 and a half
feet long and weighs only 300 pounds, but is at least 10 times more
The technology on which it is built is super top secret and represents
billions of dollars and years, if not decades, of investment on the part
of dedicated scientists and engineers working in the supreme American
Some might ask why does America have this weapon? Because it is part of
our responsibility as a world superpower to have the most advanced,
efficient and credible nuclear deterrent, not only to protect our own
freedom, but that of our allies as well.
It is part of our policy of “peace through strength”. While we do not
intend to ever use nuclear weapons, it is a fact of life in a dangerous
world that we must be prepared to deter any potential adversary and any
potential weapon any adversary may have.
The W-88 allows for multiple warheads to be placed on one missile. With
this technology, China will now be able to put up to ten warheads on a
single long range missile. Each warhead targeted at a different city. Each
city subject to an explosion 10 times as great as that which destroyed
Hiroshima at the end of WWII.
You know, Mr. President, I’m from Oklahoma. In 1995, a 4,800 pound truck
bomb exploded outside the Murrah Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City.
The building was destroyed, 168 people were killed, and 674 were wounded.
This was a horrible event, the worst act of terrorism ever on American
soil. That bomb had a force of 1,000 pounds (one-half of one ton) of TNT.
By way of contrast, the Hiroshima atom bomb had an explosive force of 15
kilotons (or 30,000 times as large as the Oklahoma City bomb. The W-88,
while smaller in physical size, has a force of 150 kilotons (or 300,000
times as large as the Oklahoma City bomb) And by carrying 10 of these on
one missile, 3 million times the force for the Oklahoma City bomb.
The more compact W-88 warhead makes possible what is called MIRV (multiple
independent reentry vehicle) technology, something China was thought to be
many, many years away from developing on its own. And they stole this
technology and President Clinton covered it up.
We also used to think North Korea was many years away from building long
range multiple-stage rockets.
Listen, Mr. President: On Aug. 24 last year, the Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Henry Shelton, wrote me a letter saying he was
confident we would have 3 years warning of any new long range missile
threat. Seven days later, on Aug. 31, North Korea launched a three-stage
Taepo Dong I missile, that scattered a small payload off the coast of
All of this only confirms what the Rumsfeld Report explained to us last
year. We remember the Rumsfeld Commission which was chaired by former
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. This bipartisan commission,
appointed jointly by Republicans and Democrats, included nine of the
nation’s most distinguished, qualified and informed experts in the field
of assessing foreign missile threats. They concluded unanimously that when
it comes to advanced missiles and weapons, with countries willing to buy,
sell and steal technology, “we live in an environment of little or no
warning.” Which means we must immediately be prepared.
Last year, you may remember how it was revealed that the Clinton
Administration had changed the approval process for high technology
satellite transfers?and how waivers were granted for American companies so
they could launch satellites in China. This ultimately resulted in China
acquiring advanced US missile guidance technology, making their missiles
more accurate and more reliable. President Clinton personally signed the
waiver allowing China to acquire this missile technology. Let me repeat,
President Clinton personally signed the waiver allowing China to acquire
this missile technology.
Executives of these two corporations that benefitted?Loral and Hughes?were
among the largest financial contributors to President Clinton’s campaign
effort. But this is not important, Mr. President, because the motive for
aiding and abetting our adversaries could be money, or it could be some
kind of perverted allegiance to these countries, or it could be a total
indifference to the security of the lives of Americans. The motive is not
important. The fact is President Clinton did it and he knew exactly what
he was doing.
Now coupling the transferred missile guidance technology with the stolen
nuclear weapon technology, China can threaten US cities with accurate,
reliable and horribly destructive multiple warhead nuclear missiles.
This is not science fiction fantasy, Mr. President. Two years ago, a high
ranking Chinese official actually said that China was prepared to hit Los
Angeles if the US would take steps to defend Taiwan. No American should
assume these are idle or impossible threats.
Now by helping China develop their long range missile program, President
Clinton was also helping North Korea and other rogue nations with theirs.
Let me read three paragraphs from last week’s Washington Times article
entitled, “China Assists North Korea Space Launches.”
“China is sharing space technology with North Korea, a move that could
boost Pyongyang’s long range missile program, White House and Pentagon
officials told The Washington Times…” “Another Pentagon report on a 1996
Chinese booster that failed to launch a U.S. satellite concluded that
‘U.S. national security was harmed’ by the improper sharing of technology
with China by Hughes and another satellite maker, Loral Space &
Keep in mind, President Clinton signed the waiver to give the Chinese this
technology. The article concludes: “In 1994, the Pentagon’s Defense
Intelligence Agency reported that it believed China had helped design the
Taepodong 2 missile (this is the North Korean missile) because its first
stage diameter is very close in size to China’s CSS-2 intermediate range
missiles.” So it is factual to say that President Clinton knew he was
giving our missile technology to North Korea as well as China. I take this
moment to remind my colleagues once again that America today has no
defense whatsoever against such a threat. The Clinton administration
today?despite its rhetoric–opposes to the deployment of any national
missile defense system.
It was 16 years ago this month, on March 23, 1983, that President Reagan
announced his intention to develop a national missile defense system to
protect America. We have come a long way since then. Our technology has
improved, we know what to do to meet this challenge.
Had we kept steadily on the course the President Reagan set, we would have
a missile defense system deployed right now. Instead, we have an
Administration which killed the Reagan-Bush Strategic Defense Initiative
program, which vetoed missile defense bills passed by Congress and which
is wedded to the outdated ABM Treaty, which Henry Kissinger, the architect
of the treaty says has outlived its usefulness.
Clinton today is obsessed with maintaining the philosophy of the old ABM
Treaty at all costs. He is locked into the mentality of a world with two
lone superpowers?the United States and the Soviet Union.
The theory is that if both sides keep their populations defenseless, then
neither side would dare attack out of fear of a devastating retaliation.
This is what they call mutual assured destruction (MAD). It is a theory
that Dr. Kissinger believes makes no sense in the modern world where many
countries are getting their hands on long range missiles and weapons of
President Clinton is solely responsible for the fact that we are totally
defenseless against an incoming ICBM from China or anywhere else.
>From news reports, this is some of what we know about China’s theft of
our nuclear secrets:
Apparently a spy at the Energy Dept’s Los Alamos weapons lab succeeded in
transferring data on this highly classified W-88 warhead technology to
China in the mid-1980s.
But our government did not find out about it until April 1995. (This is a
critical date. We did not know about the theft until April 1995.)
Detection came when experts analyzed data from then-recent Chinese
underground nuclear tests and saw remarkable similarities to the W-88 U.S.
warhead. Later in 1995, secret Chinese government documents confirmed that
there had been a security breach at Los Alamos. 1995.
Deputy National Security Advisor Sandy Berger was first briefed about it
in 1996. President Clinton did not respond then because he was obviously a
little preoccupied with what he considered more important matters at that
After all, there were White House fundraisers to host, foreign campaign
contributions, satellite transfers to approve, high technology trade with
China to promote, and?of course– an election to be won…at all costs.
Mr. Berger was well aware of all this. We know he sat in on all the key
campaign strategy meetings in 1996.
This was also the time when President Clinton was running around the
country telling audiences that “for the first time since the dawn of the
nuclear age, there is not a single, solitary nuclear missile pointed at an
American child tonight. Not one. Not a single one.”
Of course, everyone cheered, believing it to be true.
Of all the lies this president has told, this is the most egregious of
He repeated this misleading, deceptive lie over 130 times between 1995 and
1997, right at the very time he and his national security advisors knew
that this horrible breach of nuclear security had occurred and was under
investigation. It was also at that very time that he knew that up to 18
American cities were being targeted by Chinese long range
missiles?missiles that had and have the potential of killing millions of
And during this time he said it 130 times: “For the first time since the
dawn of the nuclear age, there is not a single, solitary nuclear missile
pointed at an American child tonight. Not one. Not a single one.”
So while the American people consumed his misleading and dishonest public
statements–helping to secure his reelection?nothing was done for over a
year about the security breach at Los Alamos.
The likely suspect spy was identified in early 1997, and the FBI urged
that he at least be transferred to a less sensitive position.
But inexplicably, he was allowed to keep his sensitive job at Los Alamos
for another year and a half. This was the spy responsible for the theft
and President Clinton kept him in that sensitive job for another year and
half. Finally, he was fired by Energy Secretary Richardson last Monday
(March 8, 1999), but only after he was publicly identified in news reports
as having failed two previous lie detector tests.
In all of this, was Congress ever informed? No. As a member of the Armed
Services and Intelligence Committees, I certainly was not. And as I said
earlier, I talked to the chairman of both the House Intelligence Committee
and the Senate Intelligence Committee and they were not informed.
Did the President ever take the appropriately aggressive and timely steps
which should have been taken to protect the national security interest, in
the wake of this matter? He did not.
Why? Why the delays? Why the lack of consultation and communication? Why
the seeming indifference to this very, very serious breach of national
We will be asking some tough questions about this in the days ahead, and I
note that the Armed Services Committee will be holding hearings on this
issue soon. The Senate Intelligence Committee will hold a closed hearing
on Wed. Mar. 17.
The American people need to know what is going on here.
The President’s National Security Advisor, Mr. Berger, has a lot to answer
for here. He had better be prepared to answer questions from members of
Congress honestly, forthrightly and without intention to deceive, mislead,
or change the meaning of words. Otherwise, he should resign now and take
the rap for President Clinton.
I am convinced we have not yet scratched the surface of this national
security scandal exposed by these most recent revelations.
This administration obviously wanted nothing to interfere with developing
good relations with China. While it was soliciting and accepting campaign
contributions from China, it was dragging its feet on investigating the
most egregious espionage operation China had ever succeeded in pulling off
in the U.S., a breach of security which could potentially put the lives of
millions of Americans at great risk.
This is without doubt the worst example yet of how this administration has
put its own selfish motives above the national security interest of the
country and above the protection of American lives.
The American people and the Congress must demand the President be held
accountable for this gross dereliction of duty.
I guess the question is, what can we do? I’m not sure there is anything we
can do except inform the American people and let public outrage solve the
problem. And why are we in Congress so limited in what we can do?
The Founding Fathers never envisioned we would have a president who would
do these kinds of things and act in these ways. This is why the
Constitution gives the president great latitude of action in carrying out
his duties and why he is protected from the other branches of government
by the separation of powers.
John Adams, on his first night in the newly constructed White House, wrote
to his wife, and spoke of the expectations of all the founders during that
time: “May none but honest and wise men rule under this roof,” he wrote.
There was an assumption the American people would always elect presidents
with a basic level of morality, honesty and integrity, who out of
patriotism would always put the welfare of the country above any personal
ambitions for power or glory.
This president knew he was covering up information vital to the safety and
well-being of every American?that China had stolen from us the advanced
technology which would give them the capability to kill millions of
Americans in multiple cities with just one missile. He knew it.
In 1945, World War II was ended when atomic bombs were dropped on
Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Each explosion destroyed an entire city, killing
tens of thousands. The death toll at Hiroshima was about 75,000 from that
15 kiloton nuclear bomb.
Just think…that with the technology that the President has transferred
to China and what China has stolen and the President has covered up, China
is now capable of producing a 150 kiloton bomb small enough to fit ten of
them on top of one missile, each bomb targeted at a different American
city with accuracy and reliability. Just extrapolating the numbers,
that–in theory–is enough destructive power to kill as many as 7,500,000
Americans?with just one missile.
And, due to this president who stopped our national missile defense
effort, we have no defense. We have a president who acts as if he doesn’t
So finally, Mr. President, let me repeat the six proven incontrovertible
1. President Clinton hosted over 100 campaign fundraisers in the White
House, many with Chinese connections.
2. President Clinton used John Huang, Charlie Trie, Johnny Chung, James
Riady, and others with strong Chinese ties to raise campaign money.
3. President Clinton signed waivers to allow his top campaign fundraiser’s
aerospace company to transfer U.S. missile guidance technology to China.
4. President Clinton covered up the theft of our most valuable nuclear
5. President Clinton lied to the American people over 130 times about our
nation’s security while he knew Chinese missiles were aimed at American
6. President Clinton single-handedly stopped the deployment of a national
missile defense system, exposing every American life to a missile attack,
leaving America with no defense whatsoever against an intercontinental
Again, it doesn’t matter whether President Clinton did these things for
Chinese campaign contributions because the motive for aiding and abetting
our adversaries is not important. The fact is President Clinton did it and
he knew exactly what he was doing.
I’m not a lawyer, Mr. President, but I have to ask, could President
Clinton have been tried for impeachment for the wrong crime?
Why am I here telling the truth about the President? Because no one else
will. They know this president will lie with such conviction that the
American people will continue to believe him and they don’t want to take
Yesterday at the McLean Bible Church, the sermon was about risk. They all
came back from Canaan with reports of certain defeat…except for Kaleb
who said we could win. God left the Israelites to languish in the desert
and sent Kaleb to the promised land. But with all these lessons we just
Henry Ward Beecher said it a different way. He siad, “I don’t like those
cold precise people who in order not to say wrong, say nothing…and in
order not to do wrong, do nothing.” So somebody has to tell the truth
about this President….We can’t all be appeasers. An appeaser is a guy
who throws his friends to the alligator in hopes that the alligator will
eat him last.
Hiram Mann said, “No man survives when freedom fails, the best men rot in
filthy jails, and those who cry appease, appease are hanged by those they
tried to please.”
Truth will ultimately prevail…it’s just stubborn. Winston Churchill
said, “Truth is incontrovertible, ignorance can deride it, panic may
resent it, malice may destroy it, but there it is.”
Mr. President, everything I have said during the course of the last 30
minutes is absolutely true. I hope America is listening. We’ve got a
nation to save.