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Media Mr. Magoos blind to Clinton pattern

Posted By Paul Sperry On 06/15/2000 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

WASHINGTON — “The incident at Los Alamos is just the latest in a
series of security problems that have plagued the government recently,”
the New York Times reported.

The government? Please, Americans aren’t blind. Unlike the Mr.
Magoos in the mainstream media, they can see a pattern has developed
over the past seven-and-a-half years of the Clinton
administration
.

Security breaches have spread to every federal agency dealing with
national security secrets, from Commerce to Energy’s nuclear weapons
labs to the Pentagon to State and to even the CIA.

Yet they are all brushed off by Clinton officials as isolated
incidents. And the trumpeting strumpets in the prestige press go right
along with the melody, suspending their trademark skepticism.

But make no mistake: These aren’t accidents. Career officials in the
U.S. intelligence community say privately that the Clinton
administration came in and ordered a wholesale stand-down of national
security safeguards in every agency that counts.

The Clinton administration, not “the government,” has turned our
national security complex into a sieve. And the holes just keep getting
bigger — and the espionage apparently bolder.

Witness the latest “embarrassment” at Los Alamos.

Somehow, two shirt-pocket-sized hard-drives loaded with
top-secret nuclear bomb data just magically and innocently vanished from
locked compartments inside a locked bag in a vault with motion and
infrared sensors in the supposedly super-secret X Division where
physicists with the highest security clearance design nuclear weapons.

But it wasn’t an inside job, administration officials say; no spies
here! Must have been “misplaced” or “destroyed.”

Yeah, an absent-minded scientist left them on his dashboard along
with his Blockbuster rentals and wants to avoid the lab fine of
returning melted drives. Give me a break.

Such mind-numbing excuses are typical of an administration that
thinks we’re all a bunch of Hottentots ready to be colonized. What’s
shocking is that the establishment East Coast media keep chugging the
swill.

How much more vital U.S. military intelligence must the media see
take wing? How many more laptops, hard tapes, CIA briefing books,
nuclear-bomb legacy codes and other classified information must they see
lost?

How many more “accidents” before the dialogue and tone of reporting
changes?

Some more-curious media types are starting to wonder, finally, who’s
minding the store. But they’re still pulling up short. They should be
asking if the store isn’t being minded on purpose.

Then, they might find that explanations quickly shift from
“bureaucratic snafus” to “willful disregard.” Blame shifts from the
generic — “government” — to the specific — “White House.” And
adjectives shift from “embarrassing” to even “treasonous.”

If the old media gatekeepers ever regained the jaundiced eye they had
under Republican administrations, they might ask why the lab took so
long to report the heist, er, disappearance of the nuke data. Was it to
put distance in the public’s mind between the fed-set fire and the
theft, er, loss?

And then they might pin the Energy secretary and the Los Alamos lab
director down on exactly how they’ve “tightened security.”

“To have this happen after all that we have done to improve
security,” lamented Los Alamos director John Browne.

Boy, I feel safe. All that you’ve done? Like what? Los Alamos
contractors tell me that Energy still hasn’t replaced controls on
foreign visitors.

In 1998 alone, the labs hosted more than 1,100 foreign visitors from
Russia and 918 from China, the only country with long-range
nuclear-tipped missiles pointed at U.S. cities (13 under target, to be
exact).

Who rolled out the Red carpet? Browne.

That’s right, as I first reported in a June 28, 1999, Investor’s
Business Daily editorial, Browne refuses to turn away such visitors,
even though he acknowledges they “represent a challenge in protecting
classified and sensitive information.”

“At first glance, the exclusion of foreign nationals may look like an
attractively simple solution,” he reasoned in a May 18, 1999, internal
lab paper. “But it would not solve the broader security problems that
the world faces.”

The world? Huh? Time to start worrying about the security problems in
your own country, Mr. Director.

But don’t bet on the media asking such questions. They can’t even
report why security had to be tightened in the first place.

Few, if any, mainstream stories on the latest Los Alamos leak so far
have mentioned the findings of the bipartisan Cox Commission report.
Just a year ago, it documented how China’s People’s Liberation Army
stole from Los Alamos and other labs secrets to every warhead deployed
in the U.S. arsenal.

And the massive Chinese espionage has bunched up hard on Clinton’s
watch. Eight of the 11 cases cited in the Cox report took place during
the Clinton years, as I first reported in a June 9, 1999, IBD story
(which was later excerpted by L. Brent Bozell III in the Wall Street
Journal). And 10 of the 11 leaks were first discovered then. (I gleaned
this from just the 872-page declassified version of the Cox report. An
additional 375 or so pages were censored by the White House. No telling
what horrors lurk in there.)

Nor has the media bothered to add that “Taiwanese American scientist
Wen Ho Lee” — who’s in jail now for downloading Los Alamos nuke codes
on 10 portable tapes (seven of which are missing) — has traveled
extensively in China in recent years, giving lectures (and who knows
what else) to PLA nuclear physicists.

By reporting all this parade of security lapses in fits and starts
and not putting them into any broader context, the media is doing a
disservice to the American people.

Reporting each new leak without any linkage has the effect (perhaps
desired) of desensitizing, rather than shocking, us. You can just hear
the breakfast banter, as families open up their newspapers: “Oh, more
nuclear warhead data are missing from Los Alamos … ho-hum. … Hey,
honey, did you hear about that cute, two-faced kitten?”

But we should be shocked. And angry.

Ronald Reagan once said something that’s stuck with me. When he was
staring down the Soviet bear, he said, “Don’t be afraid to see what you
see.” He was referring to communists trying to gain footholds in our
hemisphere, in Nicaragua and Grenada, and elsewhere.

In other words, don’t bury your head in the sand. If you see enough
evidence of a threat, you mustn’t wish it away. But you must do
something about it. It was good advice, and it worked for Reagan.

American patriots must unite and take back their country, their
security and their sovereignty on
Nov. 7.

See previous story:


Most favored spying nations?


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