Week of June 25, 1999
Week of June 25, 1999
CIA Analyst Questioned Bomb Targeting
On June 23, U.S. Intelligence officials disclosed that the targeting of the
Yugoslav Federal Directorate of Supply and Procurement during the Kosovo campaign
was questioned by a mid-level intelligence officer prior to the accidental
bombing of the Chinese embassy which resulted in the loss of three lives.
The intelligence officer, familiar with the original target, raised the targeting
question among his colleagues at the CIA and the European Command, but did
not, according to Intelligence officials, raise it with his superiors. This
information was delivered to Chinese officials in Beijing by Undersecretary
of State Thomas Pickering and several representatives of American intelligence
and military agencies.
That same day Pickering also briefed members of Congress on his trip to Beijing
and the causes of the accident. Congressional sources have stated that the
chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees and other members
will request a further probe of this matter by the Defense Departmentís inspector
general to fill in gaps left by the CIA investigation on military questions.
The continuation of this investigation has prompted some CIA analysts to
secure legal counsel to protect themselves from being named as scapegoats
to appease Chinaís demand that those responsible be identified and punished.
To date no individuals have been named.
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Energy Department, Labs to be Revamped
Former senator Warren Rudman (R-N.H.), who sits on the Foreign Intelligence
Advisory Board, released a report titled Science at its Best, Security at
its Worst that describes with great detail the structural problems within
the Department of Energy that allowed for breaches in security at several
U.S. nuclear labs. Rudmanís report concluded that national security at U.S.
nuclear laboratories has been, at best, elementary in the past 10 years. Mr.
Rudman highly criticizes the Department of Energy bureaucracy for its lackadaisical
response to reports of security leaks in the past decade, and advocates the
creation of a semiautonomous agency that would report directly to the Energy
Secretary, currently Bill Richardson. Mr. Richardson, however, opposes an
overall downsizing of various areas within the Department of Energy, and contends
that changes made within the existing administration will solve the problem
more efficiently. Critics of Mr. Richardson believe he is Clintonís hand-picked
Mr. Rudman and Mr. Richardson testified before senate and house committees
this week. Committee on Energy Chairman Sen. Frank H. Murkowski (R-AK) believes
that the Senate will easily pass legislation to create a new agency within
the Energy Department that will be solely responsible for lab security. On
the House side, after testimony before the House Committee on Commerce, though,
it appears that the bill is unlikely to be readily agreed upon. Some members
of the House of Representatives prefer to create a totally independent nuclear
agency, and others believe the Pentagon should take on the responsibility.
Border Control Questioned
The Cox Committee report on American security interests in relation to China
has raised questions on Hong Kongís ability to prevent high technology U.S.
goods from illegally crossing the border into China. The report mentions a
few cases over the past several years in which technology exported to Hong
Kong found its way to the Chinese military. While the Hong Kong government
objected to these allegations in the press, it released information on June
23, 1999 that it was investigating reports that since the reversion to China
in 1997, not a single Peopleís Liberation Army vehicle crossing the border
had been searched. The outcome of this investigation is likely to have an
impact on American policy as lawmakers consider passing legislation that would
apply the same export limitations levied against China to Hong Kong to prevent
unintended technology transfers. Those who oppose such a measure argue that
it would erode international confidence in Hong Kong as a free enclave.
The U.S. and China This Week