March 22, 1999

The scandal coming to be known as Chinagate is still in the news, and I suspect it will continue to be in the news for sometime. Apparently lax security at the Los Alamos nuclear weapons laboratory may have let China steal America's nuclear secrets.

It also appears that this may just be the tip of the iceberg. Congressman Chris Cox said on ABC's This Week With Sam and Cokie that "this problem is an ongoing problem." He added that, "Our committee believes that not only now, but for the indefinite future, we have serious counterintelligence problems at our national laboratories and elsewhere throughout the government."

As I mentioned in this commentary a few weeks ago, Cox's committee released a 700-page report on Chinese espionage. That report is classified, but portions of the report will be released in about two weeks to the general public. There is every reason to believe that the current news story is but a piece of a larger picture.

Meanwhile many have been critical of the Clinton administration's tardiness in dealing with the problem. Presidential hopeful Pat Buchanan said, "It took just an afternoon to fire an entire travel office of the White House over a false charge. But it took three years to remove someone who allegedly transferred the most vital secrets since the Rosenbergs." By the way, the Rosenbergs were put to death in the electric chair. Suspected spy Wen Ho Lee has merely been fired.

The Cox report along with these recent allegations should concern both political parties. Even the top Democrat on the Cox committee, Representative Norm Dicks agreed that Chinese spying is "very serious, very significant." The Chinagate scandal should serve to remind us that Chinese nuclear espionage is alive and well in the United States.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.