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Webb Hubbell and the NSA
Posted By Charles Smith On 06/09/1998 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
Congressional investigators looking into the White House/China
campaign scandal have discovered that convicted Whitewater figure, and
former assistant attorney general, Webster Hubbell had access to
national security secrets. The documents involve top secret U.S.
encryption chip technology and materials of high value to China and to
banking interests such as the Lippo Group owned by Mochtar Riady.
Investigators report that Hubbell played a major role in a secret
computer chip project run by the National Security Agency. CLIPPER was
an effort by the Clinton administration to mandate US government
computer security and ban all other computer security products.
Congressional investigators have discovered that assistant Webster
Hubbell was given access to TOP SECRET documents and plans on the
CLIPPER chip, including the math algorithm and even the flaws of the
Hubbell attended at least one meeting at the NSA on May 2, 1993 along
with White House lawyers Vince Foster and Bernard Nussbaum.
Investigators have also acquired documents from Hubbell’s personal
schedule of 1993.
The schedules show that Hubbell met multiple times at the White House
with the then National Security Council adviser George Tenet. Tenet, who
is currently the director of the CIA, worked in 1993 with Hubbell on the
encryption chip policy.
Hubbell resigned from the Justice Department in April of 1994. In
late June 1994, Lippo Chief James Riady met with John Huang and Bill
Clinton during five days of White House visits. Early the next week, a
Lippo unit paid Hubbell about $100,000. In December 1994, Hubbell pled
guilty to several felony charges relating to illegal billing in the
Whitewater affair. Webb Hubbell also cited his Fifth Amendment rights to
not testify before the Senate Congressional hearings.
The role of Web Hubbell in the secret CLIPPER project has also raised
questions outside of Capitol Hill. “This is a potential economic
espionage threat,” stated Steve Bryen, computer expert and president of
“U.S. companies doing business in China are most vulnerable,” said
Bryen who recently testified before Congress on the Clinton exports of
super-computers to China. “China can use this to conduct commercial
espionage against major U.S. corporations. It is very worrisome that
China may have the opportunity to break-in and conduct electronic
operations using reverse engineering. China can combine the encryption
technology and the 50-plus super-computers the Clinton administration
sold them to break into major U.S. corporations.”
“The public imposes a great deal of trust in U.S. officials and
deserves to have persons of the highest integrity to serve in positions
such as Assistant Attorney General,” stated Michelle Van Cleave, adviser
to the House Committee on Terrorism.
“I am stunned to learn Whitewater figure Hubbell had access to
Clipper,” stated Ken DeGraffenreid member of the National Security
Congressional sources are also concerned that Janet Reno is now
facing a serious conflict of interest because of Hubbell. It is known
that Ms. Reno was heavily involved in making encryption policy at the
same time her own investigators were following possibly illegal exports
President Clinton’s source of legal advice for domestic and export
policy on encryption technology was the Reno Justice Department. Janet
Reno was directed by President Clinton to work on encryption export
policy in a SECRET 1993 memo from National Security Adviser Anthony
Lake. Reno was tasked to form an Inter-Agency Working Group (IWG) to set
all encryption policy. Reno’s Department of Justice wrote a majority the
reports and ran the IWG meetings.
Documents obtained by SOFTWAR under the Freedom of Information act
show that Reno met with FBI Director Louis Freeh, and Director of the
Central Intelligence Agency, Robert Deutch, as recently as 1996 on U.S.
encryption policy. At the meeting, held in Reno’s office, Reno and CIA
chief Deutch were to discuss domestic and export controls, which the
report called a “political embarrassment” for the administration.
In fact, Attorney General Janet Reno was charged by President Clinton
in 1993 to make the US government designed encryption chip — CLIPPER –
mandatory for U.S. citizens. A declassified Presidential Directive of
April 1993 obtained by SOFTWAR states: “Should (U.S.) industry fail to
fully assist the government in meeting its requirements within a
reasonable period of time, the attorney general will recommend
legislation which would compel manufacturers to meet government
Additionally, the CLIPPER documents sent to George Tenet in 1993 by
then FBI Director Sessions state “Technical solutions, such as they are,
will only work if they are incorporated into all encryption products. To
ensure that this occurs, legislation mandating the use of government
approved encryption products or adherence to government encryption
criteria is required.”
Hubbell’s CLIPPER work at the Justice Department raises serious
questions about Attorney General Reno. Congressional investigators are
aware that the Chinese Army penetrated the White House using front
companies to make large donations. One of the items now under
investigation is the export to China of “encryption” control systems for
satellites, and secure satellite encrypted radio phones which use
advanced microchip technology similar to CLIPPER.
Reno’s Justice Department was reportedly investigating LORAL
Aerospace for the illegal transfer of advanced technology to communist
China. The Justice Department team objected to an additional export of
satellite technology to China planned by Loral, claiming it would
interfere with their investigation. President Clinton overrode Justice
Department objections and allowed the export. Attorney General Reno,
however, did not voice any objection to President Clinton’s decision to
override her investigators.
President Clinton also overrode the objections of Secretary of State
Warren Christopher who opposed exporting advanced encryption technology
Others outside of Congress are sure that Reno has a big conflict of
interest investigating her own policy and actions. This conflict places
Reno in a serious position, according to Larry Klayman of Judicial
Watch. Klayman noted Reno was Hubbell’s direct superior during his 1993
and 1994 CLIPPER work.
“Any investigation into Hubbell will involve questioning members of
the Department of Justice, including Attorney General Janet Reno,”
stated Klayman. “The time for a special counsel is long overdue.”
In addition, according to Klayman, himself a former Justice
Department prosecutor, Whitewater Special Counsel Ken Starr could
investigate Ms. Reno because of the White House campaign scandals.
Hubbell is currently being investigated by Starr for possibly taking
money from Lippo in 1994 to not testify in the Whitewater scandals,
involving the president and the first lady. Hubbell has also been
charged with avoiding taxes and faces trial later this year.
The Justice Department has so far refused to release documents on
Hubbell to Judicial Watch, SOFTWAR and to several other privacy activist
groups who have sued in Court for their release.
JPEG of Reno May 1996 encryption meeting memo “political
text of Reno May 1996 meeting memo “political embarrassment”
text of Top Secret Tony Lake 1993 memo tasking Reno to encryption
text of Presidential order to “compel manufacturers to meet
government requirements” of CLIPPER 1993
general information on CLIPPER
SECRET report sent to George Tenet 2/9/93 – “legislation
mandating the use of Government approved encryption products or
adherence to Government encryption criteria is required”
SECRET report sent to George Tenet 2/19/93 on CLIPPER
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