The Senate Record P2613 - March 15, 1999
Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I want you to listen. I am going to tell you
a story of espionage,
conspiracy, deception, and coverup, 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 everyone that
everything was fine.
CHINA'S THEFT OF NUCLEAR SECRETS
If it was written in a book, Mr. President, 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.
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 am 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 got caught. So I am 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 of 40 or 50 other items so
the significance of it would not be noticed. But a paper trail would be
Anticipating that, I, over the weekend, talked to the chairman of the
House Intelligence Committee,
Congressman Porter Goss, and the chairman of the Senate Intelligence
Committee at the time of
the discovery of this secret, this information, Senator Arlen Specter.
Neither chairman was
notified of the W-88 nuclear warhead technology theft. And these would
have been the first to be
notified, Mr. President.
There can be no doubt that President Clinton engaged in a coverup
Let me read three paragraphs from last week's op-ed article by Michael
Kelly in the Washington
Post, entitled `Lies About China.' I am quoting now, Mr. President:
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
Christopher Cox. . .
But even using the President's fictitious paper trail, the earliest
either chairman could have known
about it would have been late in the spring of 1997, years after the
Clinton administration learned of
it and, of course, after the 1996 election.
I start, Mr. President, by listing a few things which we now know to be
incontrovertible, and nonclassified.
For years, the Clinton administration covered up China's interest of top
secret U.S. nuclear
weapons data. They never informed the Congress or the American people
about what had
happened or its significance to our national security.
Let me tell you what President Clinton did during this period of 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:--and I am quoting--
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
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
During this period of time, he shifted the prime satellite export
responsibility from the State
Department, where it had always been to maintain security, to the
Commerce Department so that it
would be easier to share sensitive information with the Chinese and
During this period of time, President Clinton hosted over 100 White
House fundraisers as a 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 Clinton campaign.
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 Department.
And during this period of time, President Clinton was successfully
stopping the deployment of a
national missile defense system--exposing every American life to a
missile attack, leaving us with no
defense whatsoever 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 the history of our
Nation, 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. It is not about
some ancient history of some long gone cold war.
This is about the real world here and now. It is about national security
in its most important aspects.
It is about protecting our freedom and our existence as a Nation.
This is ultimately a matter which concerns the life and death of every
The W-88 is the most advanced nuclear warhead in the U.S. arsenal and is
carried on top of a
Trident submarine-launched ballistic missile. This is the cornerstone
weapon of our Nation's nuclear
deterrent. As many as 8 can fit on top of a submarine-launched missile;
as many as 10 can fit on
top of a land-based missile--either ours or China's. We are talking
about a miniaturized warhead
much smaller in size than the Hiroshima atomic bomb but 10 times more
This chart appeared in the New York Times on March 6 of this year. The
first atomic bomb
dropped on Hiroshima weighed almost 9,000 pounds, yielded 15 kilotons
and was dropped from a
plane. By contrast, the modern W-88 is more powerful than this. It is
2.6 feet in length and weighs
about 300 pounds and yields up to 150 kilotons. Several fit into the
head of one missile. 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 national interest.
Some ask, why does America have such a 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 the freedom of our allies. It is part of our
policy of peace through
I think about my friend from Texas, the Senator who is always talking
about how we want to see
the day when the lion and the lamb lie down together. But when that
happens, we want to make
sure we are the lion and not the lamb. We don't intend to use any of
these nuclear weapons. It is a
fact of life, in the most dangerous world we live in, we have to be
prepared to deter any potential
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 10 warheads on a single long-range
missile. Each warhead is targeted
at a different city, each city subject to an explosion 10 times as great
as that which destroyed
Hiroshima at the end of World War II.
Mr. President, I am from Oklahoma. I can remember in 1995 when the bomb
went off. It was a
truck bomb. A 4,800-pound truck bomb destroyed the Murrah Office
Building, maiming and killing
168 Oklahomans. I remember standing out there and watching the police
and the firemen enter the
building where there was no security and pulling out parts of bodies and
bodies. It was the most
devastating thing I have ever experienced. It was the worst act of
terrorism ever recorded on
American soil. That bomb had a force of 1,000 pounds of TNT, half of 1
ton. By contrast, the
Hiroshima bomb had an explosive force of 15 tons, or 30,000 times as
large as the Oklahoma City
bomb. The W-88, while smaller in physical size, had a force of 150
kilotons, or 300,000 times the
explosion power of the Oklahoma City bomb. By carrying 10 of these, it
would be 3 million times
the force of the Oklahoma City bomb.
The more compact W-88 warhead makes possible what is called MIRV
technology, or multiple
independent reentry vehicle, which allows the missile to reenter and
then go to various targets. This
is technology that we thought China was 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 a
long-range multiple stage
rocket. I got a phone call and a letter from Henry Shelton, Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on
August 24. In this letter he said he was confident we would have 3 years
warning of any new
long-range missile threat--that is, any new country that we already
didn't know about. Seven days
later, on August 31, a multiple-stage rocket was launched in North
Korea. Part of it reached the
coast of Alaska.
Because of the disparity over what our nuclear threat is, in the wisdom
of the House and the
Senate, the Democrats and the Republicans commissioned the Rumsfeld
Committee. We were
charged with the responsibility of finding the nine most informed
scientists and authorities on missile
technology, who formed a committee for assessing the threat that we have
in this country. This was
a bipartisan committee, appointed jointly by Democrats and Republicans.
Of the nine, five were
Republican appointments and four were Democrat appointments. 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.' That
means we must immediately be
Last year, you may remember it was revealed that the Clinton
administration had changed the
approval process for high-technology satellite transfers, how waivers
were granted for American
companies so they could launch satellites in China. This ultimately
resulted in China acquiring
advanced United States missile guidance technology, making their
missiles more accurate and more
reliable. President Clinton personally signed the waiver allowing China
to acquire this missile
Let me repeat, President Clinton personally signed the waiver allowing
China to achieve this missile
Executives of these two corporations which benefited, Loral and Hughes,
were among the largest
financial creditors to President Clinton's campaign ever but this is not
important. The motive for
aiding and abetting our adversaries could be money, or it could be some
kind of perverted
allegiance to some of these countries, or it could be just a callous
disregard for the lives of
American citizens. The motive is not important. The fact is, President
Clinton did it and he knew
exactly what he was doing.
Accompanying the transferred missile guidance technology with the stolen
technology, China can threaten United States cities with accurate,
reliable, and horribly destructive
multiple-warhead nuclear missiles. This is not science fiction. Two
years ago, a high-ranking
Chinese official made a statement. Two years ago, when the Chinese were
trying to intimidate the
elections of the Taiwanese and they were launching missiles at the
Taiwan Straits, it was suggested
to this high-ranking military official in China that it could be that
America would come to Taiwan's
defense and would intervene. His response was, `No, they are not going
to do that because
America would rather defend Los Angeles than defend Taipei.' At the very
least, that is an indirect
threat to use missiles on the United States of America.
By helping China develop their long-range missiles, President Clinton
also helped North Korea and
other rogue nations with theirs--nations like Iran. Let me read three
paragraphs from last week's
Washington Times article entitled `China Assists North Korea Space
China is sharing space technology with North Korea, a move that could
long-range missile program, White House and Pentagon officials told the
Washington Times. . . .
Another Pentagon report on the 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 other satellite maker Loral Space & Communications
Ltd. . . .
Keep in mind, it was President Clinton who signed the waiver to give the
Chinese this technology.
In 1994, the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency reported that it
believed China had helped
design the Taepo Dong 2 missile (this is the North Korea missile)
because its first stage diameter is
very close in size to the Chinese CSS-2 immediate range missile.
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
whatever against such a threat. The Clinton administration today,
despite its rhetoric, opposes the
deployment of any national missile defense system. Someone who is pretty
smart, back in 1983
when they determined that we would have to have a defense against an
incoming missile by fiscal
year 1998--that is, last year--so during the Reagan administration, then
the Bush Administration,
they embarked on this thing called SDI, Strategic Defense Initiative, to
make sure that by 1998 we
would have something to defend ourselves in the event an ICBM came over
from China, from
Russia, from Iran, from North Korea, from anywhere. So we were on
schedule to have this
deployed by fiscal year 1998.
Well, in 1993, that came to a screeching halt when President Clinton
vetoed the defense
authorization bill and vetoed all further efforts, including the bills
that were introduced to put us on
line with the national missile defense system. As an excuse for this, he
said he had to protect the
integrity of the 1972 ABM Treaty. Let me remind you that treaty was not
treaty. That was Republican-inspired; it was President Nixon and Henry
Kissinger. The idea was
that we had two superpowers, the U.S.S.R. and the United States of
America. So we made a deal
with them. Under the ABM Treaty, we said we won't defend ourselves, and
you don't defend
yourselves, and that way, if they launch a missile that goes to us, we
launch one that goes back to
them and everybody dies. I didn't like that theory back then, but it
made sense when there were
two superpowers. That is not true today.
Today, virtually every country has a weapon of mass destruction. We have
missiles that we are
finding that now even North Korea has. China is exchanging technology
and systems with Iran and
other countries like that. So there is a proliferation of missiles as
well as weapons of mass
destruction. I have to say that the mutual assured destruction concept
which was adopted at that
time has no relevance today. Even Henry Kissinger, who was the architect
of the ABM Treaty of
1972 said, `It's nuts to make a virtue out of our vulnerability.' He
said we should not be looking at
that. Besides, somebody should remind the President that was a treaty
that was made in 1972, and
it was made between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviet
Union no longer exists.
So I have to say that President Clinton is solely responsible for the
fact that we are totally
defenseless against an incoming ICBM from China or any other place in
Now, Mr. President, from news reports, this is some of what we know
about China's theft of our
nuclear secrets. Apparently, a spy at the Los Alamos weapons lab
succeeded in transferring data
on this highly classified W-88 warhead technology to China in the
mid-1980s. That was not during
the current administration; nobody refutes that. But our Government did
not find out about it until
April of 1995. That is 3 years into the Clinton administration.
This is a critical date, Mr. President. We did not know about the theft
until April of 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 to what they
were experimenting with.
Later in 1995, secret Chinese Government documents confirmed that there
had been a security
breach at Los Alamos. That was in 1995.
Deputy National Security Advisor Sandy Berger was first briefed about
it. President Clinton did
not respond then because he was obviously a little preoccupied with what
he considered to be
more important matters at that time. 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
that he sat in on strategy sessions for the campaign for 1996.
So 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 everybody cheered,
wanting to believe he was telling the truth.
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 Americans. During this time, he said
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 consume his misleading and dishonest public
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 a another year and a half. This was the spy who was
responsible for the theft, and
President Clinton kept him in that sensitive job for another year and a
half. Finally, he was fired by
Energy Secretary Richardson last Monday--a week ago today, 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? As a Member of
the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence
Committee, I certainly was not.
As I said earlier, I talked to the chairmen of both the House
Intelligence Committee and the Senate
Intelligence Committee and they weren't informed either.
Did the President ever take the appropriate aggressive and timely steps
that should have been
taken in order to protect the national security interest in the wake of
this matter? No, he did not.
Why? Why the delays? Why the lack of consultation and communication? Why
indifference to this very, very serious breach of national security? We
will be asking some tough
questions about this in the days to come. I note that the Armed Services
Committee will have a
hearing on this, and the Intelligence Committee will have a hearing the
day after tomorrow,
Wednesday. We will have a lot of questions. The American people need to
know what is going on
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 that we have not yet scratched the surface of the
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
This is, without doubt, the worst example yet of how this administration
has put its own selfish
motives above the national security interests of this country and above
the protection of American
The American people and the Congress must demand that the President be
held accountable for
this gross dereliction of duty. I guess the question is, What can we do?
We are Members of
Congress and what can we do? I am 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?
Our 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 under the
separation of powers.
When John Adams wrote to his wife after the first night he spent in the
White House in 1799, he
spoke of the expectations of all the founders during that time: `May
only honest and wise men rule
under this roof.' The White House.
There was an assumption that 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, and he knew it.
In 1945, World War II was ended when the atomic bombs were dropped in
Hiroshima. Each explosion destroyed an entire city, killing tens of
thousands. The death toll in
Hiroshima was about 75,000 lives from that 15-ton nuclear bomb.
Just think, that with the technology that this 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 care about us.
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
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 United States 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 children.
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 ballistic missile.
Again, it doesn't matter whether President Clinton did these things for
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?
I think it is because I haven't heard anyone else do it. 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 the
I happened to go yesterday to the McLean Bible Church, and the sermon
was about taking
risks--being willing to take a risk. They talked about the Israelites
who were in the desert, and they
sent a team up to Canaan to look to see what the risk was up there. They
came back, and they
said: There are giants up there. We don't have a chance. We are like
mosquitoes next to them,
except for Caleb.' Caleb came back, and he said, `We should take the
risks. We can win. We can
fight and win.'
What happened? The rest of the story you know. You know what that is.
God left the Israelites out
in the desert, and he sent Caleb to the Promised Land. With all these
blessings, we just do not
seem to learn. I think Henry Ward Beecher said it in a different way. He
said, `I don't like those
cold, precise, perfect people who, in order not to say wrong, say
nothing . . . and in order not to
do wrong, do nothing.'
We have a lot of people around here who are more concerned about their
jobs that they would go
ahead and 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 alligators
hoping they will eat him
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.'
I believe that truth will ultimately prevail. It is just stubborn.
Winston Churchill said, `Truth is
incontrovertible. Ignorance may 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 proven
and true. I hope America is listening. We have a nation to save from
Mr. HATCH addressed the Chair.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The distinguished Senator from Utah is
Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I be permitted to
speak for 15 minutes
and that immediately following my remarks Senator Hollings be
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The Senator is recognized.
Mr. HATCH. I thank the Chair.
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