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Sea Launch's dirty little secret

Posted By Joseph Farah On 08/24/1998 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

“It’s closer than you think,” boast the promotional materials for Sea
Launch, a limited partnership of Boeing Commercial Space Company and
three foreign entities. “And better than you had imagined.”

Well, maybe not quite. In fact, thanks to a new Justice Department
probe of Sea Launch, it looks like the high security-risk international
plan to blast satellites into space from ocean platforms will have to
wait.

The first launch had been scheduled for this month. A year ago, when
I first began reporting on the project, I wouldn’t have bet a plug
nickel that it could be stopped. But now, thanks to awareness of the way
foreign powers have attempted to buy influence in the corridors of U.S.
power, and the all-too-cozy relationships between multinational
corporations such as Boeing and potential enemy spies, it looks like New
World Order’s high frontier will, at the very least, not begin on
schedule.

Neither will the basing of COSCO, the Chinese Overseas Shipping
Company in Long Beach, right next door to the Sea Launch headquarters.
Suits are still pending against turning the former Long Beach Naval Base
into a playground for the People’s Liberation Army.

In fact, back then, Al Haig, the paid, unregistered agent of the
Chinese military, said I should be thrown in jail for criticizing his
pet COSCO project and Sea Launch. But, now that the Chinese have gained
technology permitting them to more accurately target their nuclear
weapons on American cities due to similar partnerships with the Loral
Corp., some people are beginning to wake up.

Some national security experts have always been concerned. They
pointed out that the Sea Launch partnership included a company called
RSC Energia (25 percent). It turns out RSC Energia is controlled by the
GRU, the Russian military-intelligence service previously called the
KGB.

In fact, the entire Russian space program has been controlled by
military intelligence since the early days of Sputnik. Even the FBI
raised questions about the joint project for that reason. But Boeing,
with its eye on the dollar sign, assured the curious that Sea Launch
would always remain a “secure site.”

Secure? With COSCO a few hundred yards away? All COSCO seamen are
ordered by the Beijing government to perform double duty — to make big
profits in shipping and to spy on behalf of the PLA. The very reason the
Chinese are so determined to base COSCO in Long Beach is because of its
strategic location. Remember, the Russians and Chinese have a formal
agreement to share all military intelligence, particularly when it could
prove destabilizing to their “common enemy” — the United States.

But it’s way too early to celebrate the demise of Sea Launch. This
project has lots of friends in high places — including the White House,
which personally set the wheels in motion on the COSCO Long Beach port.

The World Bank is guaranteeing two separate $100 million commercial
bank loans to Energia and a Ukrainian partner in Sea Launch.

“Sea Launch exemplifies a new, groundbreaking era in industrial
cooperation in which former Cold War enemies are now working together in
a non-military context to put commercial satellites into orbit,” gushed
World Bank official Johannes Linn last year.

Yet, from the beginning, France opposed the loans because of concerns
that some rocket technology involved might be used for military purposes
– just as it has been with the Loral partnership.

The more you know about the COSCO base and the Sea Launch project,
the more you realize how dangerous such plans are for the security of
our nation. Ideas like this would never have been considered a decade
ago — and for good reason.

We still live in a dangerous world. There are still foreign powers
out there that would like nothing better than to do America in. We must
always be on guard against the temptations of multinational corporations
to form partnerships with hostile foreign entities merely because such
deals are lucrative.

The real bottom line should be America’s vital national security
interests — not the quarterly earnings of Boeing, Hughes Corp. and
Loral.


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