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Chinese Nuclear Espionage- Who is really to blame?

6/5/99- Chinese Nuclear Espionage- Who is really to blame?

The recent allegations and reports from Washington regarding Chinese espionage and theft of U.S. nuclear secrets raises some very interesting questions.   It is a common idea that all nations spy on each other.  Even the U.S. uses the vast tools of its intelligence apparatus to spy on its closest allies.  Common sense dictates that during these activities by U.S. intelligence officers, top secret and valuable information will be gathered which the United States government will use to its advantage to some degree.  So, the question that should be asked is who really is to blame for the loss of U.S. secrets through Chinese espionage that has occured for a decade?

Should the Chinese be punished for actions that all major governments conduct on a daily basis?  Should the U.S. discontinue trade talks or remove trading status with the Chinese over this unfortunate issue?  Or should the U.S. intelligence community, its security standards and the U.S. government be blamed for the loss of nuclear secrets?

The blame should rest on the shoulders of the U.S. government, solely and exclusively.  The Chinese got caught in the Great Game with their hand in the cookie jar, but the issue should be why the cookie jar wasn't protected from prying hands.   The security apparatus of nuclear installations should always be on full-alert and guard against all types of infiltration.  Standards must be raised to the highest levels to protect American secrets from the prying hands of terrorists, hostile nations, and even our allies.  The lowering of those standards or the penetration of those installations- and the aftermath of such incidents, should be dealt with responsibly by the U.S. government.  Pointing fingers at opposite political parties or at nation or entity caught spying is only a temporary distraction from the real issue.

Both political parties and their leaders are to blame for the crack in nuclear security.  China should not be blamed for our own government's lack of responsibility in protecting the lives of its citizens.  Common sense dictates that the U.S. will lose some of its secrets over time; however, this loss of nuclear weapons design has far reaching and dangerous implications for the security of the United States.   The government should step away from blaming others or even itself and begin the difficult process of plugging up the holes and preventing future espionage of this magnitude from occuring.


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