Jude Wanniski
October 12, 1999


Memo To: Washington Times editors
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: An Overheated Gertz

Your Pentagon reporter, Bill Gertz, has been a national asset over the years, balancing the left-wing reports fed to The Washington Post by the Pentagon's left with reports fed to him by the Pentagon's right. Every now and then, in the interests of pure journalism, you really ought to rein him in a bit, when he writes really silly stuff. In Monday's paper, for example, he had a front-page story about how the Chinese government has put out a call for overseas Chinese scientists to come home to work on matters technological. As the overheated Gertz put it:

China is recruiting scientists around the world in its efforts to acquire weapons technology from other countries, according to a new U.S. counterintelligence report. The Chinese are pushing to gain foreign technology, according to the quarterly report of the National Counterintelligence Center (NCIC), even as the Communist government claims its nuclear weapons and other arms technologies were developed domestically. Despite these efforts to portray Chinese [science and technology] programs as 'self-reliant,' other PRC press articles suggest China is planning to continue its long-standing policy of relying on overseas scientists for state-of-the-art technology," the NCIC report said. The PRC is the People's Republic of China.

Gertz goes on to tell us that this red-hot news is based on articles our red-hot snoops read in the Chinese press last summer, with "the report meant as a warning to U.S. government agencies and private companies about the SPYING danger from China." The report cites "the president of the Chinese Academy of Science, Lu Yongxiang, as stating in one article published last summer that the academy has set up a fund to hire scientists in Germany to work at a Chinese high-technology center." The academy's vice president, Bai Chunli, is quoted in the report as saying that all the recruited foreign scientists "must be of Chinese nationality, be willing to abandon their foreign citizenship when they come to China or become permanent residents."

What we have here is the People's Republic of China actually going out into the world labor market and offering big money and perks to overseas Chinese scientists. What in the world is wrong with that? Our government, folks, with the help of The Washington Times is trying to get the word out to the American business community as well as all relevant agencies of government NOT TO HIRE CHINESE SCIENTISTS TO WORK ON ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY, BECAUSE THEY MIGHT LEAVE WITH THEIR SECRETS AND WORK FOR BEIJING!!!

Gertz goes on: "According to the COUNTERSPY report, China uses ‘other indirect strategies to obtain key technologies from foreign countries, including technology that firms refuse to transfer for commercial reasons and technologies whose export is proscribed by law.' A recent Chinese government newspaper stated that acquiring protected intellectual property is China's main reason for engaging in international buyouts and said the efforts are needed to ‘offset the technology blockade of China by Western nations in certain areas.' Such scarce [technological] resources are quite likely to be ones that Chinese enterprises cannot acquire on the domestic market, being industrial property rights such as patents, technical secrets,' the report said. ‘[M]erger acquisition investments in the United States directly exploit the intellectual property rights of the buyout targets, and more importantly, bring their advanced technology and management expertise to China.'"

We then hear from Kenneth deGraffenreid: "A former White House National Security Council intelligence director in the Reagan administration, said the NCIC report highlights the continuing PROBLEM of Chinese spying. ‘This report gives the lie to the domestic disinformation campaign, which has sought not only to deflect political embarrassment from the Clinton administration, but worse, to hide the reality of continuing PRC espionage,' said Mr. deGraffenreid, editor of a privately published edition of the Cox Committee report."

Aha!!! Now we get to the real stuff. The Cox Committee, headed by Rep. Christopher Cox, California Republican, earlier this year announced that it had discovered the Chinese Commie ratfinks had stolen all our nuclear secrets, right out of our weapons laboratories in Los Alamos New Mexico. The chief snoop in the Department of Energy, Notra Trulock, blew the whistle on one scientist, suspected of having given away all our secrets, because he had been born in Taiwan and was once seen talking to a PRC scientist about scientific stuff. HE IS AN OVERSEAS CHINESE!!! As it now turns out, there were no secrets stolen by the PRC and Notra Trulock has had to resign in disgrace, taking with him the $10,000 reward given him for expert whistle-blowing by Energy Secretary Bill Richardson (the administration's designated liar on these sensitive matters). Richardson had huffed and puffed about putting the OVERSEAS CHINESE SCIENTIST in the federal slammer anyway, just to make an example of him. We wonder what happened to that idea.

What we suppose will happen now is that all overseas Chinese, including American-born Chinese in the Chinese diaspora, will be asked to take loyalty oaths to the United States, or else their employers in Silicon Valley, Motown or at Los Alamos, will not allow them to work on the cutting edge. They are potential spies!!! Maybe we should simply round up all Chinese-Americans who know how to spell "hypotenuse" and tell them they will henceforth be denied passports. The national security threat of having them potentially leap over the Pacific Wall is just too great. One wonders what Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz -- the inside advisors to the Cox Commission, and now to George W. Bush -- think about a "Pacific Wall." Well, maybe I'm getting overheated myself, editors.

I will say one more thing about your estimable Mr. Gertz, who I do believe is simply slipping from your normally lofty journalistic standards. He had a piece the other day in your paper wherein he accused Russia in the lead graph of "violating" the Conventional Forces Europe Treaty. Yet in the second graph it was noted that Russia had merely notified CFE signatories that Russia was exercising one of the "internal security" provisions of the CFE Treaty to move large formations of armor to combat an armed insurgency within Russia. Far from "violating" the CFE Treaty, they were scrupulously adhering to it. Just a quibble, folks.