“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, February 11, 2008

Chinese Espionage Continues with No US Response.

The industrial and military spying outrage by the Chinese, against the US continues without consequences to the Chinese. The problem worsens yearly. I have a little suggestion:

Value the intellectual and military cost of Chinese espionage and slap a tariff on all Chinese imported goods to recover the cost in one year. It is estimated the cost to the US is in excess of $60 billion per year. That would cost them $165 million a day. That ought to get their attention.

A Defense Department weapons system analyst and three natives of China have been arrested and charged in two espionage-related cases, prompting a top Justice Department official Monday to declare Chinese espionage is approaching "Cold War levels."

In a case brought by federal prosecutors in Virginia, a civilian analyst for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency stands accused of selling to two Chinese associates classified information detailing U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan.

In a separate case, California prosecutors arrested and charged a long-time employee and contractor for Boeing and Rockwell with providing Beijing secrets dealing with the space shuttle and several other sensitive military aircraft and rocket programs.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein, in a news conference announcing the arrests and charges, twice cited congressional testimony that concluded "aggressive" Chinese government espionage programs have reached levels not seen since the Cold War with the former Soviet Union.

"It's a threat to our national security and to our economic position in the world, a threat that is posed by the relentless efforts of foreign intelligence services to penetrate our security systems and steal our most sensitive military technology and information," Wainstein said. Watch authorities describe the case »

Wainstein said the Chinese government is among the most aggressive of foreign powers seeking access to U.S. military and economic secrets.

In the Virginia case officials charge that Gregg Bergersen, 51, of Alexandria, Virginia, sold highly classified information to Tai Shen Kuo, 58, a naturalized citizen who resides in New Orleans, Louisiana. Kuo then allegedly handed the information to Yu Xin Kang, 33, a lawful resident alien also living in New Orleans. Kang in turn allegedly gave the information to a spy for the Chinese government.

Kang, a permanent U.S. resident, will make her initial appearance Monday in a federal court in New Orleans before she is transferred to Virginia to stand trial.

Bergersen and Kuo made initial court appearances in Alexandria, but because they had no lawyers were ordered detained pending a detention hearing Thursday. Bergersen, who was arrested Monday morning, was still wearing a T-shirt and shorts as he appeared before a magistrate judge.

A woman identifying herself as Bergersen's wife told reporters her husband is innocent and the charges had "come out of the blue."

At the Washington news conference, officials declined to comment on how much Bergersen was paid, or whether he knew the destination of the secrets he sold.

Justice Department officials said Kuo cultivated friendships with Bergersen and others at the direction of an unidentified official of the Beijing government. Kuo allegedly "gathered national defense information on behalf of the government" of China from January 2006 to this month.

Meanwhile, in Santa Ana, California, a long-time defense industry employee and contractor was scheduled to appear in court for allegedly providing military secrets to Beijing. Watch where the U.S. says Chinese spies are working »

"A document says he did it out of loyalty to the Motherland," said U.S. Attorney Thomas O'Brien.

O'Brien said Dongfan "Greg" Chung, 72, of Orange, California, a naturalized U.S. citizen, had worked for Rockwell, Boeing and a Boeing contractor for more than 30 years.

"Chung made multiple trips to the PRC [People's Republic of China] to deliver lectures on technology involving the space shuttle and other programs, and during those trips he met with officials and agents of the PRC government," O'Brien said. Chung also allegedly provided information on the C-17 military transport and the Delta IV rocket.

He is scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate in Santa Ana, California, late Monday, officials said.

Prosecutors say the case is linked to that of another engineer, Chi Mak, who was convicted last year along with several family members of providing information to the Beijing government.


  1. Over an 18-year span, Chung traveled to China many times to deliver lectures on the Space Shuttle and other programs, and he allegedly met with Chinese government officials there to discuss how to transfer U.S. data.

    Chung, who has a security clearance, worked for contractor Rockwell International from 1973 until 1996, when Boeing acquired Rockwell's defense and space firm.

    He retired from Boeing in 2002 but returned the next year as a contractor. He ultimately left Boeing in 2006.

    Spying Cases

  2. Chinese espionage is approaching "Cold War levels." What do you expect? Even friends like Israel had to send spies to get certain information from the U.S., what do we expect from China. 007, does it ring a bell? It's not like spying is only for the movies. I am sure we are sending spies to China, if there is anything worth stealing in China. Look at it on the bright side, China is about a light year away in technology, and even as China learns, we do not say idle. We learn faster than they do, because we are a democracy and we are smarter. How do we know we are smarter? After 5000 years, Chinese still live in the mud, but only after 200 years, we have gone and returned from the moon.

  3. One more thing, what does the CIA do anyway? Playing golf? With a budget of over $200 billion and over 20,000 employees, we should not be the one to cry thief.

  4. It is not known whether Osama bin Laden even possesses a rowboat in his naval arsenal, but that won't stop Sen. Joe Lieberman, as is his habit, from pushing for an increase in the defense budget to double the funding for the $3.4 billion submarines built in his home state of Connecticut. Nor does the collapse of the old Soviet Union - and with it the need for enormously expensive stealth fighters to evade radar systems the Soviets never built - dissuade congressional supporters of those planes from pushing for more, not less, than Bush is requesting.

    Nor does wasting another $8.9billion on ICBM missile defense have anything to do with stopping terrorists from smuggling a suitcase nuke into this country.

    The centerpiece of the Bush legacy is a "war on terror" based on a vast disconnect between military expenditures and actual national security requirements that the likely presidential candidates all fully understand. The question is whether the voters and media will force them to face that contradiction or whether we're in for more of the same - no matter how much the candidates go on about change.

    Military Budget

  5. I'm sure we'd like to send spies to China, but it's a hard thing to do. We may be a democracy, if that's an advantage in geopolitics, but we aren't smarter than the Chinese. Some of the Chinese coastal cities are better than ours, I was told by a returning friend. It's a tough job getting doublewides for 1.3 billion people, much less suburban homes. Technology spreads fast, and much of our manufacturing has been sent elsewhere. The Chinese right now could destroy a good part of America, and if we killed a million Chinamen a day for a year, we'd have reduced their population down to around a billion.

  6. Reality, Reality.

    When Reality Bites


    There’s a big difference between the Republican and Democratic campaigns: The Republicans have split on policy grounds; the Democrats haven’t. There’s been a Republican divide between center and right, yet no Democratic divide between center and left.

    But when you think about it, the Democratic policy unity is a mirage. If the Democrats actually win the White House, the tensions would resurface with a vengeance.

    The first big rift would involve Iraq. Both Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have seductively hinted that they would withdraw almost all U.S. troops within 12 to 16 months. But if either of them actually did that, he or she would instantly make Iraq the consuming partisan fight of their presidency.

    There would be private but powerful opposition from Arab leaders, who would fear a return to 2006 chaos. There would be irate opposition from important sections of the military, who would feel that the U.S. was squandering the gains of the previous year. A Democratic president with few military credentials would confront outraged and highly photogenic colonels screaming betrayal.

    There would be important criticism from nonpartisan military experts. In his latest report, the much-cited Anthony Cordesman describes an improving Iraqi security situation that still requires “strategic patience” and another five years to become self-sustaining.

    There would be furious opposition from Republicans and many independents. They would argue that you can’t evacuate troops just as Iraqis are about to hold national elections and tensions are at their highest. They would point out that it’s insanity to end local reconstruction and Iraqi training efforts just when they are producing results. They would accuse the new administration of reverse-Rumsfeldism, of ignoring postsurge realities and of imposing an ideological solution on a complex situation.

    All dreams of changing the tone in Washington would be gone. All of Obama’s unity hopes would evaporate. And if the situation did deteriorate after a quick withdrawal, as the National Intelligence Estimate warns, the bloodshed would be on the new president’s head.

    Therefore, when a new Democratic administration considered all these possibilities, its members would part ways. A certain number of centrists would conclude that rapid withdrawal is a mistake. They would say that the situation had changed and would call for a strategic review. They’d recommend a long, slow conditions-based withdrawal — constant, small troop reductions, and a lot of regional diplomacy, while maintaining tens of thousands of troops in Iraq for the remainder of the term.

    The left wing of the party would go into immediate uproar. They’d scream: This was a central issue of the campaign! All the troops must get out now!

    The president would have to make a terrible decision.

    Which brings us to second looming Democratic divide: domestic spending. Both campaigns now promise fiscal discipline, as well as ambitious new programs. These kinds of have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too vows were merely laughable last year when the federal deficit was running at a manageable $163 billion a year. But the economic slowdown, the hangover from the Bush years and the growing bite of entitlements mean that the federal deficit will almost certainly top $400 billion by 2009. The accumulated national debt will be in shouting distance of the $10 trillion mark. With that much red ink, the primary-season spending plans are simply ridiculous.

    It’d be 1993 all over again. The new Democratic president would be faced with Bill Clinton’s Robert Rubin vs. Robert Reich choice: either scale back priorities for the sake of fiscal discipline or blow through all known deficit records for the sake of bigger programs. Choose the former, and the new president would further outrage the left. Choose the latter and lose the financial establishment and the political center.

    This is the debate that Democrats have been quietly rearguing during the entire Bush presidency. The left wing of the party is absolutely committed to winning it this time. It will likely demand the clean energy subsidies and the education spending, the expensive health care coverage and subsides to address middle-class anxiety. But no Democratic president can afford to offend independent voters with runaway spending. No president can easily ignore the think tank establishment, which is rightfully exercised about the nation’s long-term fiscal health.

    It would be another brutal choice.

    As William J. Stuntz of Harvard Law School wrote in The Weekly Standard, the Democrats have conducted their race amid unconstrained “Yes We Can!” unreality. Because the Democratic candidates appear to agree on so much, they’ve never tested each other’s policy proposals or exposed each other’s assumptions. But governing means choosing, and reality will be unkind. The artificial unity between the Democratic center and the Democratic left would be smashed by the harsh choices of 2009. My guess? The centrists would win.

  7. Mr. Islam A Senator McCarthy type might not be a bad thing to have around, these days. McCarthy of the 50's, not 60's.

  8. It shows we are better at catching spies than they are. You don't hear about CIA being caught by foreign countries, even after George W and his crew intentionally exposed Valerie Plame.

  9. Lust, the economic consequences are being ignored. They should not be. I do not buy the moral equivalency argument. The Chinese spy and steal. It has consequences to the US. They get caught. They should pay.

  10. I'm unsure about the number of American spies in other countries, but I'd quess the number of American spies in China is vanishingly small. First they were closed to the west for so long, second most of us would stand out like a sore thumb, third they're ruthless, fourth we'd probaly be getting stuff second hand from Japanese, Koreans, etc. who have more access, and fifth we have other means not using people.

  11. NATO HAS BECOME nato
    The National Association of Theater Owners has more clout, according to this article.

  12. I believe that many of us know where China stands. This is not the first time that China has been at fault for spying or being dishonest about dealing with America.

    I am confused though. With all of the news and information available why do we still spend so much of our resources and energies working with them. Our biggest companies manufature there and our small companies are manufacturing there. if we pulled out and broutght it all back home what would that do for our country and for theirs.

    I know this won't happen but if the Fed issued a no tax contract for companies leaving China and returning to the US for 5-10 years we would see job growth and companies could once again be proud of what they do for the country and at the same time make a lot of money.

    Outsourcing overseas is cost effective. But is it responsible? The global ecconomy is getting in the way of national security. I was taught that you take care of your family and protect thme at all costs. Maybe this doesn't apply to the corporate decision makers, spies and heads of government.

  13. Hello there, i am starting a website with everything related to espionage, feel free to take a look.