The Road Back...
Nov. 10, 2000
Where to begin dismantling the Clinton legacy? How about national security?
Military readiness became a hot button issue during the campaign and rightfully so. Downsizing the military did indeed begin late in the first Bush Administration; the Cold War was over and there was simply no good reason to maintain large number of U.S. forces on the front lines of the decades-long confrontation with the former Soviet Union.
President Bush's reduction of U.S. nuclear forces was more troublesome; true, we probably didn't need large numbers of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, but why remove them from South Korea, where we still were facing communists who wanted to fight? Bill Clinton and his advisors increased the angle of decline, but also embraced the role of world policeman with gusto.
"Deployments" increased dramatically at the very time that manpower and procurement went into a nosedive. From Mogadishu to Aden, U.S. military personnel were put into harm's way for suspect foreign policy objectives and goals. Assuming a George W. Bush win and with such as Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and Paul Wolfowitz at the helm, the military will likely be put back on its feet.
But there is another element of American power that has suffered grievously over the Clinton years. America's "intelligence readiness" has garnered far less attention, but has declined dramatically in recent years.
In many respects, political interference and increasing ineptitude has made the U.S. Intelligence Community something of a joke. For example, the bombing of the Chinese embassy during the Kosovo operation was attributed to faulty CIA maps. This gave rise to jokes such as the following: "Know why Moses wandered in the desert for 40 years? He was using CIA maps."
The Washington Post recently revealed that a defector provided to the CIA nearly 13,000 pages of secret Chinese documents detailing Chinese acquisition of U.S. missile and nuclear weapons secrets in the mid-1990s. Yet the documents languished for at least four years before efforts were made to translate them. Why? Not enough resources...or a predisposition not to look too closely at Chinese espionage?
But nothing compares to the state of America's counterintelligence (CI) capability after eight years of Clinton-Gore. It's easy to dismiss this as nothing more than spy vs. spy, but the public should know that CI is a, maybe the, most important ingredient of "force protection." The "force protection" mission is what is supposed to prevent tragedies like the terrorist attack on the USS Cole, the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, the embassy bombings in Africa, and the list goes on.
Counterintelligence agents are supposed to ferret out these threats and prevent such terrorist attacks. Intelligence Community spokesmen claim successes in the on-going war with terrorists, but the failures speak for themselves. And what about the threat to America's technological prowess from foreign intelligence services? By any measure, the past eight years have been a disaster.
Counterintelligence is a tough sell in the US under the best of circumstances. As Paul Redmond, former head of CI at the Central Intelligence Agency notes, there was any number of key spy cases at the height of the Cold War. Ideology, money, disaffection all played a role in motivating Americans to betray their own country's secrets; these betrayals cost dozens of lives and, had the Cold War ever turned hot, could have resulted in the deaths of thousands of U.S. servicemen.
The most common refrain at the start of the Clinton Administration was "the Cold War is over." True, it ended in 1989 - certainly not later than the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991. One quick result was the dismantling of some of our counterintelligence resources. For example, Director Louis Freeh "downsized" the FBI foreign counterintelligence capability dramatically.
Agents were reassigned to street crime and the war on drugs; many CI experts retired. Recently, the FBI has engaged in a public relations campaign to illustrate its "renewed" commitment to counterintelligence, but at a critical time the FBI just didn't have the assets to devote to CI.
Likewise, after a long drought, the Pentagon is now reported to be hiring some 350 new CI specialists. Impressive, but insiders know that these are "billets" or personnel slots and not live, breathing CI experts. But did the threat from foreign intelligence services end with the end of the Cold War? Certainly not; in fact, it increased and the job of foreign intelligence collectors became much easier.
First, U.S. technologies and expertise have been and remain the envy of the world. The innovations of Silicon Valley and other high technology centers became key targets for our economic competitors, such as France, South Korea, and Japan. Access to this class of corporate secrets could save foreign competitors millions of dollars in research and development. U.S. industries also sought to take advantage of the reservoir of scientific talent in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere. The Russians, for example, had developed a number of innovative approaches to solving problems of applied sciences or computer modeling, most of which were applied to military or spy technologies. And, oh yes, the Russian labor came very cheap.
Common sense would dictate, however, that there are risks involved in such cooperation, but surely corporate security officers would be clued into the potential downsides of such relationships. Or maybe not. Wen recently learned that one such arrangement between Lockheed Martin and the Russians may have compromised our top secret Stealth technology.
The Russian end of this equation had military and KGB contacts; the potential damage could either accelerate Russia's development of Stealth aircraft or render U.S. Stealth aircraft more vulnerable. Likewise, the Energy Department's National Laboratories were in the forefront of applied science in any number of areas: computational sciences, the human genome and biotechnology, new manufacturing techniques, and materials sciences. Washington policy makers and their congressional allies strongly encouraged the labs to expand their reach beyond government markets to develop industrial clients.
This led to the ill-fated CRADA experiment, in which the labs tried to "convert" closely guarded technologies and expertise to commercial uses. Worse yet, the labs were encouraged to "engage" their counterparts in Russia, China, India and elsewhere. Engagement generally took the form of bringing scientists from these countries to our labs, assigning them work in unclassified areas, giving them access to unclassified computer networks, and turning them loose.
All of these countries are on the "sensitive country list", that is, countries that have or are developing nuclear weapons. The unclassified computer networks are the same ones that Wen Ho Lee stored our most precious nuclear weapons design secrets for at least six years. These foreign scientists are allowed unfettered access to our own scientists can attend unclassified symposia and roam the lab campuses at will. All this assumes that the labs take the appropriate security measures to prevent compromises of classified material, right? By now, of course, we know that is a bad joke. For a time, the situation got so bad that the Congress prohibited any further visitors from sensitive countries. The labs and their congressional supporter cried like babies over this "unfair" limitation on the conduct of science. The truth is that lab managers use these foreign scientists because the associated labor costs are much cheaper than using U.S. post-doctoral students who could easily find employment elsewhere.
For all the high-minded talk about international scientific cooperation, what it really comes down to is saving a few bucks on research. If the price is jeopardizing our own nuclear secrets, well so be it. And who can forget the "declassification project". Before the Congress finally woke up to the nuclear secrets going out the front door, Energy bureaucrats dumped thousands of declassified nuclear secrets onto its web site and out into the public domain.
It took years to persuade these bureaucrats and their political masters that just because a "secret" is old and considered obsolete by U.S. scientists, such a "secret" could be the missing ingredient for a foreign nuclear program in an early stage of development, like Iraq or Iran. In other words, the DOE labs could have become a prime source for the proliferation of nuclear secrets at the very time that the Administration is declaring non-proliferation to be one of the gravest threats confronting U.S. national security. Ironic...or just plain stupid?
It was profitable for the bureaucrats involved, however; cash awards, including at least one $20,000 Presidential award, were distributed to those most zealous in putting classified materials into the public domain.
But the Energy Department is not alone. Nearly every other federal agency with a national security mission has been the victim of espionage that resulted from laxness and a bias against routine security procedures and policies. In the name of "openness" these agencies threw open their doors to an assortment of suspect individuals. The State Department allowed Russian "journalists" to roam its hallways unescorted. "Journalism" has been a standard "cover" for Russian intelligence agents for decades.
The Pentagon, at the insistence of the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, allowed Russian military intelligence officers to wander around the premises unescorted. It's harder for U.S. citizens to get into the Pentagon than for Russian military intelligence officers. At the Energy Department, Chinese or Russian intelligence agents under surveillance by the FBI could shake off their surveillance by entering the Department Headquarters in Washington and announcing their intention to visit the Freedom of Information library.
The guards were instructed to allow them to pass, but would stop the FBI agents, demand identification, and then await the approval for their entry into the building. In the meantime, the Chinese or Russian agents could roam the Energy hallways and slip out another entrance unchallenged. Unbelievable...you bet, but true.
And what about the Commerce Department? Former Commerce official John Huang took the Fifth Amendment when asked if he had spied during his tenure at Commerce. Other Clinton appointees carried thousands of pages of classified materials out of the Department on a routine basis. "Security there is a joke," reports a recent article in the World Net Daily. But that seems to be the most common assessment of security under the Clinton Administration. "Security at (fill in the agency) is a joke." But the only people laughing are employed by the intelligence services of our most intense rivals and perhaps our bitterest enemies.
Of all the outrageous statements made by the media since Tuesday, Margaret Carlson of Time Magazine wins hands down. On the Don Imus radio show Wednesday morning, Ms. Carlson was joking about the election outcome in Florida being determined by military absentee ballots. Ms. Carlson deplored the fact that the 2000 Presidential election could turn on the votes of "tax dodgers."
No kidding, her exact words.
Military personnel based in Florida or using Florida as their "home of record" are nothing more than "tax dodgers" to Ms. Carlson. Her logic: since Florida has no state income tax, military personnel are somehow venal for choosing to live in that state. That was too much even for Imus, but when challenged she claimed that with all their allowances, etc., the military does just fine, thank you. Wonder if she would be willing to trade places with some army corporal or marine gunny? Tax dodgers, indeed.
Notra Trulock is Director of Media Relations at the Free Congress Foundation
Wednesday November 8, 2000; 3:54 PM ET
How Bush Lead in Michigan Disappeared Overnight
Those keeping an eye on the key battleground states in Tuesday's election might have been puzzled by the vote tally in Michigan, which has 18 electoral votes.
While the state was called for Al Gore early in the evening, George Bush retained an 8-point lead well into the wee hours of the morning.
Even by Wednesday afternoon, an updated tally available on the Web site of the Michigan Bureau of Elections had Bush ahead by more than 87,000 votes.
Yet hours earlier, networks like CNN showed that Bush's 8-point Michigan lead had dissolved. Their final tally had Gore ahead by more than 200,000 votes.
Why the discrepancy?
A Michigan Election Bureau spokesperson told NewsMax.com that the state's Wayne County is allowed to calculate its votes independently and still isn't finished. With 98 percent of the vote counted, Wayne, which includes Detroit, went 68 percent for Gore.
A whopping 93.9 percent of Detroit city voters backed Gore to Bush's puny 5.1 percent. But those numbers aren't reflected in the Michigan Election Bureau's tally because Wayne County refuses to submit their results till they're done counting.
An Election Bureau spokesman declined to say why it was taking so long to finalize the urban county's vote count.
Voter Fraud a Risk This Election
Monday, Nov. 6, 2000
The risk of electronic vote fraud in this year's presidential election is real. It is more than a risk: it is a certainty. It has occurred here in Florida, repeatedly. And Florida's electoral votes may tip this election to Gore or Bush.
The one federal law enforcement official entrusted with the duty to investigate and prosecute vote fraud is someone who has not just failed to do so in the past but who has in fact covered up such vote fraud. Her name is Janet Reno.
Still available in print is a book by Jim and Ken Collier entitled "Votescam: The Stealing of America." Recounted therein, among other true tales, are the efforts of the Collier brothers to alert then Dade County (Florida) State Attorney Janet Reno to computer vote fraud here.
They found bogus ballots in boxes and took the ballots to Reno. She had them arrested for (get this) stealing government property. Every first-semester law student knows there is no crime if there is no criminal intent. Taking evidence proving a crime directly to a prosecutor is not a crime; it is grounds for receiving the key to the city. Reno thought and acted otherwise.
Reno dragged out the prosecution of the Colliers for two years to bankrupt and discredit them, and on the eve of the trial in which the complicity of her and her office would be proven, she dropped the charges.
In another instance, Reno's female assistant at the Justice Department journeyed back to Hialeah, Florida, to work in the campaign for Raul Martinez for Mayor. Reno's assistant was caught falsifying absentee ballots! Florida's electoral votes may be the key to who wins the White House. There is a history of electronic vote fraud here. The last election for Mayor of Miami was thrown out because of vote fraud. Reno's apparatus is still fully in place here. It works.
Democrat Vote Fraud Charged in Florida
Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2000
NewsMax.com's "Man in Miami," Jack Thompson, predicted Monday on NewsMax.com that Democrat vote fraud would occur in South Florida. The GOP in Broward County, the largest city of which is Fort Lauderdale, is alleging that voting irregularities are now occurring there.
What follows is a press release in its entirety, received by Thompson from Republican Party of Broward County:
"The Republican Party of Broward County has received a number of complaints from its poll watchers and voters regarding irregularities at the polling places:
"Such irregularities reported include duplicate ballots
"Voters sent away for no apparent reason
"Poll watchers sent away for no apparent reason and a complete lack of cooperation by the poll workers
"Irregular voting practices
"Poll watcher being harassed by the poll workers
"Campaigning being allowed inside the polling area
"Of particular concern are the poll watcher problems. The Republican Party and Republican Candidates, approved by the Supervisor of Elections, nominated these volunteers to deter irregularities and fraud, to safeguard the elector process, and to monitor the behavior of the poll workers.
"The Republican Party of Broward County demands that the election code be adhered to and the law be followed. The Republican Party will take the appropriate action, both civil and criminal, to guarantee a fair and free election. Phone 954-782-0881."
The Gore campaign knows that if it steals the vote in Democrat-laden South Florida, it can steal the electoral votes of Florida, and with them the White House.