Condoleezza Rice, national security adviser to President Bush, has recently granted an interview to virtually every reporter but me. Perhaps it is because I keep asking her questions about the Chinese spy in her past.
Rice has impeccable credentials. She worked for the elder George Bush in the White House, handling Russian issues. She is a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution and former provost of Stanford University. Rice is very close to former Clinton Secretary of Defense William Perry. Rice worked with Perry and the Clinton administration during her term at Stanford. The Clinton White House once mentioned her as being on the short list for secretary of state.
Yet it is her years at Stanford working with Perry that have rendered Rice silent. While working at Stanford, she became involved in the most successful Chinese army penetration of the Clinton Defense Department. She will not answer questions about her relationship with Chinese spy Hua Di.
Hua Di was born into a family of prominent Communist officials. He studied missiles in Russia and worked for the Chinese army missile program for 24 years. In 1984, he went to work for the China International Trust and Investment Co. (CITIC), a firm then part-owned by the Chinese army.
Hua defected to the United States in 1989 after the Tiananmen Square crackdown on student democracy demonstrators. He went to work as a researcher at Stanford's Center for International Security and Arms Control. There he met Rice and the Stanford Center co-directors, former Secretary of Defense William Perry and political science professor John Lewis.
There are two things that I find exceptionally interesting about this particular scandal. One is the role of this Professor Lewis.
In 1994, Hua used his contacts at Stanford, in Beijing and inside the Clinton Defense Department with then-Secretary Perry to obtain a secure fiber-optic communication system for the Chinese army. In 1994, Hua contacted an old friend in the Chinese army then working for Gen. Ding Henggao, a close friend of Perry.
In fact, Perry and Ding's relationship spans three administrations. Perry reportedly met Gen. Ding in the late 1970s during the Carter administration. By 1994, Perry ran the U.S. Defense Department, and Ding had risen to command the Chinese army military research bureau COSTIND, or the Commission on Science Technology and Industry for National Defense. COSTIND, according to the General Accounting Office, "oversees development of China's weapon systems and is responsible for identifying and acquiring telecommunications technology applicable for military use."
Hua Di teamed in 1994 with Stanford Dr. John Lewis, Secretary of Defense Perry, and Gen. Ding of the Chinese Army to buy an advanced AT&T fiber-optic communications system for "civilian" use inside China. The communications system slipped past U.S. exports laws as a joint U.S.-Chinese commercial venture called Hua Mei. The Chinese part of the venture was run by a newly formed firm named Galaxy New Technology.
There is a government report on this scandal that makes interesting reading regarding what the Communist Chinese got through this operation: GAO report GAO/NSIAD-97-5.
Of course, this was one of many related scandals which happened during the Clinton Administration. Clinton was systematically loosening controls on the export to China of sensitive technology with military applications, and China was systematically feeding money into Democratic campaign coffers -- but, that's another story.
Hua Di described himself as the "matchmaker" between the Chinese Army and Lewis during an interview for the Far Eastern Economic Review. Hua arranged for Gen. Ding's wife, Madam Nie Li, to head the joint project as the Chinese co-chairman.
Stanford's Lewis, himself a board member of the project, located Adlai Stevenson III, the former Democrat senator from Illinois, to lead the American side. According to the Far Eastern Economic Review, Lewis had Defense Secretary Perry write a personal letter on his behalf to U.S. government officials, favoring the export to China.
In Information Dominance, Part 11, I quoted the following background on Professor Lewis:
John Lewis is the William Haas Professor of Chinese Politics, emeritus, and an FSI senior fellow by courtesy. He is an expert on Chinese politics, U.S.-China relations, China's nuclear weapons program, and U.S. policy toward Korea. He founded and directed the Center for East Asian Studies, in 1969-1970; the Center for International Security and Arms Control (now the Center for International Security and Cooperation, or CISAC) from 1983 to 1991; and the Northeast Asia-United States Forum on International Policy (now APARC), from 1983 to 1990. He currently directs CISAC's Project on Peace and Cooperation in the Asian-Pacific Region.
As we return to our article, it is important to keep in mind that Dr. Lewis had impeccable credentials regarding not just China, but Chinese politics and the Chinese nuclear weapons program -- so much so that he was an advisor on the Clinton Administration's payroll when it came to China.
With Perry's blessing, Hua Di and Lewis contracted AT&T to ship the secure communication systems directly to a Chinese Army unit using Galaxy New Technology as a front. AT&T officials who sold most of the equipment and software were adamant that there was no need to check the Chinese firm since the "civilian" Madam Nie Lie led it.
Yet, the so-called "civilian" firm was actually packed with Chinese army officers and experts. Madam Nie Lie was not only the wife of Gen. Ding Henggao; she was actually Lt. Gen. Nie Lie of the Chinese Army.
Another member of New Galaxy Technology, according to a Defense Department document, was Director and President "Mr. Deng Changru." Deng is also known as Lt. Col. Deng Changru of the People's Liberation Army, head of the PLA communications corps. Still another Chinese army officer on the Galaxy New Technology staff was Co-General Manager "Mr. Xie Zhichao," better known in military circles as Lt. Col. Xie Zhichao, director of the Chinese Army Electronics Design Bureau.
In fact, the evidence shows that Lewis worked not only for Stanford and the Chinese army during this time period. Documents obtained from the Department of Defense using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show that he also worked for the U.S. Defense Department.
In August 1994, Lewis and Secretary of Defense Perry traveled to Beijing to meet with Gen. Ding Henggao. According to the official list of attendees, Lewis accompanied Perry as his "personal" consultant. Lewis, then a paid consultant of the U.S. Defense Department, met in Beijing with Ding, who was also then Lewis's partner inside a joint U.S. Chinese "commercial venture" for military communications systems.
It is unimaginable that Professor Lewis, this professor emeritus of Chinese politics and advisor to the Clinton Administration's Defense Department on China, did not now how the People's Liberation Army was using this operation to steal secrets for military use.
Therefore, he must have been collaborating as a willing co-conspirator.
Professor Lewis made significant money in this business deal.
In 1997, Stanford professor Lewis was charged with using university funding and equipment to set up the deal with Galaxy New Technology. Stanford Provost Condoleeza Rice announced that Lewis faced an investigation because he had used iniversity stationery and his office to run the joint U.S-Chinese business. In the 1997 investigation, Rice issued a statement to the university press.
"We'll follow what is a normal process under these circumstances," said Rice in the 1997 interview. "Similar issues arise quite frequently. It's not all that unusual that issues arise concerning conflict of interest."
The other thing I find exceptionally interesting about this scandal is the role of Condoleezza Rice.
According to Forbes, Rice has an interesting nickname:
With her steely nerve and delicate manners (she has been called the "Warrior Princess"), Rice lately has reinvigorated her position with diplomatic activism, whether it's promoting Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip to ease the Palestinian conflict...
Let's see how the Warrior Princess's investigation went:
Yet, no formal charges were filed, and Rice quietly dropped the investigation against Lewis and Hua Di. To this day, Ms. Rice will not answer why she stopped the investigation.
It was quietly dropped.
The steely-nerved Provost of Stanford University must have decided that this was an occasion for delicate manners.
The General Accounting Office also documented the New Galaxy Technology scandal (GAO report GAO/NSIAD-97-5). According to the GAO, the scandal involved the "transfer of broadband telecommunications equipment to Hua Mei, a joint venture between SCM Brooks Telecommunications, a U.S. limited partnership, and Galaxy New Technology, a Chinese company primarily owned by an agency of the Chinese military."
In 1997, Rep. Henry Hyde pressed Attorney General Janet Reno to investigate the Galaxy New Technology scandal in a letter outlining his concerns. According to Hyde, "in 1994, sophisticated telecommunications technology was transferred to a U.S.-Chinese joint venture called HUA MEI, in which the Chinese partner is an entity controlled by the Chinese military. This particular transfer included fiber-optic communications equipment, which is used for high-speed, secure communications over long distances. Also included in the package was advanced encryption software."
By the end of 1997 the scandal was drawing too much heat for Hua Di to remain in the United States. In an article curiously released in October 1998, the New York Times announced that Hua Di had returned to China in December 1997.
According to the New York Times, Hua met with Chinese security officials in late 1997 and was assured that he would not be prosecuted. On Dec. 31, 1997, he returned to China. On Jan. 6, 1998, he was arrested and charged with passing state secrets to U.S. officials. In 1999, according to the official Chinese news service, Chinese defector and missile scientist Hua Di was sentenced in a people's court to 15 years for passing state secrets to the United States.
The end of this story is not very pretty. Stanford officials, including Rice and Lewis, have openly appealed to the Chinese government for Hua's release. Rice also continues to defend Hua.
Rice stated in a New York Times interview that Lewis "provided evidence to the fact that the source materials for publications written by him and Mr. Hua were provided by approved Chinese authorities or already were available through the Stanford University library."
Yet, Rice will not talk about Hua Di and the Galaxy New Technology deal. There was more than profit for Hua and the Chinese Army company packed with electronics experts. The secure fiber optic communication system delivered by Hua to his People's Liberation Army general buddies was modified in 1998 and now serves as a secure air-defense system exported to Iraq.
The current Iraqi air defense network, NATO code-named "Tiger Song," is made of U.S. and French fiber optic parts modified and re-exported by the People's Liberation Army. Tiger Song is based on the original secure AT&T system obtained by Hua Di in 1994. Iraqi missiles guided by Tiger Song have repeatedly attacked U.S. fighter jets.
Chinese proliferation in general goes far beyond some radar.
As I document in Enter the Dragon and The Islamic Bomb, Part 4: "The PRC has stolen classified information on every currently deployed thermonuclear warhead in the U.S. ICBM arsenal."
China has passed a tremendous amount of information on to Pakistan, helping Pakistan develop its own nuclear arsenal. Pakistan's A. Q. Khan network has, in turn, helped provide nuclear expertise and components to anyone with money and an interest -- including to Al Qaeda.
As we first found out in Information Dominance, Part 4, and again saw in Part 9, when an Army computer was datamining open-source information about Al Qaeda, it came up with the name of Condoleezza Rice -- connected to Chinese proliferation!
It was a surprise then -- but is it a surprise now?
We conclude with the article:
According to an August 2000 Washington Times interview, Rice asserted, "China is not a threat."
Tiger Song is considered a lethal threat to American and allied armed forces. Such sweet irony that we now face our own weapons and they are not a threat.
Still, all seems to be well between Beijing and Bush. Condoleeza Rice is national security adviser to the president, and the Chinese Army again has a "matchmaker" inside the White House. Just don't ask her about Chinese army spy Hua Di.
The Army program that connected Rice to Chinese proliferations was called Able Danger, and it was run from the Army's Information Dominance Center. It was shut down at the end of the Clinton Administration, even though it was digging up mountains of useful data (2.5 terabytes!) about Al Qaeda. It even made connections that would have allowed us to prevent 9/11.
As asked during Congressional hearings (see Information Dominance, Part 4):
Senator Biden. Is there anything to the sort of, when you get into this, the sort of buzz that it was shut down because Able Danger exceeded its authority and was dealing with targeting Americans that the Defense Department and others were concerned would cause a real brouhaha? There were even some press accounts that the now-Secretary of State came up on a list as being a suspect somehow, or something ridiculous. What part did that play in it?
It wasn't so ridiculous, was it? In fact, the apolitical computer, without prejudices or hang-ups, was right on the money!
John Lewis, Stanford University's William Haas Professor of Chinese Politics, emeritus, and the Honorable Condoleezza Rice, United States Secretary of State, need to be investigated for their roles in this scandal, and for their connections to Communist China's People's Liberation Army.
A conscientious investigation will result in indictments of John Lewis and Condoleezza Rice; the charges will include, but will not be limited to, espionage and treason.
Then, of course, the role of our 42nd President in Chinese proliferation has never been adequately, legally addressed, has it?