WASHINGTON DESK - If president Clinton approved the launching of American-made satellites aboard Chinese rockets against the advice of top White House advisors and contrary to a Pentagon report that the transfer was violative of U.S national security, he must have had a powerful motivation for doing so and he must have been ready to face the consequences of his actions.
Some critical facts have come to light in the past few days making it clear that the president's actions were reckless and may have jeopardized the military defense of this nation.
In a follow-up to Friday's New York Times story, Times' writers Jeff Gerth and David Sanger reveal additional information pinpointing Warren Christopher, Clinton's secretary of state, admonishing Clinton for planning to hand over to the Communist Chinese, American missile guidance programming source codes embedded in commercial U.S. satellites that were part of a deal Ron Brown had worked up with Communist China. Christopher, is said to have told Clinton, the Brown deal could jeopardize "...significant military and intelligence interests..." of the United States missile guidance system.
The Communist Chinese were becoming impatient in the days that Clinton was arranging to release the technology to them. To make their point, there was Chinese Red Army Beijing sabre-rattling and the Communist Chinese fired off a few Red ICBMs which landed in coastal waters off Taiwan, a long-time US friend and ally.
Gerth's latest information bonanza paints president Bill Clinton into a corner with information obtained from 'reliable' inside sources. The source depicts Clinton as so eager to place the missile guidance source codes technology in Communist Chinese hands that he suddenly reorganized the U.S. government chain of command and responsibility so as to remove the jurisdiction over that technology from Warren Christopher at the State Department, by reassigning that authority to Ron Brown at Commerce.
Then, with Ron Brown having control of U.S. missile technology, Clinton signed several waivers allowing U.S. satellite launches in China. That action took place on the very same day that Wang Jun, the man who was often referred to during the campaign finance investigations as a "Chinese arms dealer," arrived in Washington to meet with Brown at the Commerce Department. It was no surprise to the White House that during the evening, Wang attended a White House Coffee hosted by Clinton and the first lady.
It is ironic that, given the level of knowledge that Clinton had concerning the interest of the Communist Chinese in obtaining U.S. missile targeting programming source codes, and the opposition of high level advisors, that he would have ignored prevailing opinion and approved the export to China of that technology by one of the companies under investigation by a Federal grand jury.
At issue in the grand jury was whether two American companies illegally gave "China space expertise that significantly advanced Beijing's ballistic missile program." Christopher was over-ruled and the State Department backed-down.
And, before the grand jury could take action on facts they had, the criminal inquiry 'short-circuited' when president Clinton quietly issued a back-dated Executive Order approving the export to China of the missile source code technology by LORAL SPACE AND COMMUNICATIONS the company being investigated. LORAL's chairman and CEO is Bernard Schwartz, the largest personal contributor to the 1992-1996 Clinton-Gore Campaign Committee.