Thursday, 04 March 2010

Communist China Caught Spying On United States, Again

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A Federal Bureau of Investigation video was released over the weekend that exposed an American defense official with one of the nation’s top security clearances passing classified secrets to a spy for the communist Chinese regime. And according to U.S. officials, the case is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

The explosive FBI surveillance tape, obtained using hidden cameras, was made public on Sunday for the first time by CBS’ 60 Minutes. It showed Pentagon analyst Gregg Bergersen with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency traveling in a rental car with a spy for the People's Republic of China, Tai Shen Kuo.

"Are you sure that's OK?" asks Bergersen as Kuo stuffs a wad of bills into his shirt pocket, presumably a payment for information. Kuo was trying to find out details of a Taiwanese communications system and about planned U.S. weapons sales to the independent island nation, which communist China hopes to conquer some day.

"I'm very, very, very, very reticent to let you have it, because it's all classified, but I will let you see it," Bergersen said on the tape, referring to the information he had obtained through his position in the Pentagon. "You can take all the notes you want … but if it ever fell into the wrong hands … then I would be fired for sure. I'd go to jail because I violated all the rules." Bergersen was under the false impression that he was passing information to Taiwan, known as “false-flagging” in intelligence circles. But no matter, leaking classified information is a serious crime.   

Both men were eventually tried and convicted. Bergersen was sentenced to five years, while Kuo will serve 15. According to the FBI, Kuo, a Taiwanese-born U.S. citizen, was hoping to expand his business operations into China. In exchange for that opportunity, the communist regime asked him to spy on the United States — so he did. The federal investigation later revealed another source inside the Pentagon, in addition to various contacts who were supplying space and naval secrets.

CBS also spoke with a former Chinese intelligence official who is seeking asylum in the United States after recruiting spies for China in Russia. He said that most of the communist regime’s spying efforts are focused on America, and that finding out what President Obama is thinking would be an example of the sort of information it is seeking. 

But how far has the hostile communist state penetrated the U.S. government? “We certainly have seen such an extensive range of activities by the Chinese that it should make you very uncomfortable," former U.S. counter-intelligence chief Michelle Van Cleave told CBS, explaining that it was impossible to know the true magnitude. "The Chinese are the biggest problem we have with respect to the level of effort that they're devoting against us versus the level of attention we are giving to them." The Russians, however, are a problem too, she explained.

She also noted, citing a congressional investigation, that the Communist Chinese already posses vast amounts of the U.S. government’s most sensitive secrets: information on space shuttles, submarines, and even nuclear weapons. And according to various news reports and other sources, the Clinton administration may have played some role in allowing the secrets to get out.

In addition to military and government intelligence gathering, the Chinese regime has also engaged in economic espionage to gain access to sensitive American business secrets. Just last month, former Boeing and Rockwell International engineer Dongfan “Greg” Chung was sentenced to 15 years for transferring sensitive trade secrets about space shuttles, military aircraft, and the Delta IV rocket to the government of China.

While the full extent of foreign espionage in the United States may never be known, it is essential that law enforcement prioritize the issue. The dangers of these secrets falling into the hands of hostile communist and tyrannical regimes cannot be overstated.

Treason must be punished severely to discourage future leaks. And governments caught spying on America should face at least some sort of official sanction. This sort of behavior from supposed “allies” must not be tolerated. And while the FBI should be commended for its work so far, much more still needs to be done. America’s national security literally depends on it.