"Engagement" and "Openness"

What the Cox Committee bipartisan Report could have said, but did not, was that the imposition by the Clinton Administration of a policy of "Openness" on the US weapons Labs may well result in serious damage in the future to our National Security. The Openness policy meant that millions of pages of "classified" documents were "declassified" and made public. No need to "spy" since the Clinton Administration has thrown open the "gates." As William Broad, science writer of the New York Times. put it:

Now that congressional committee has released its three-volume, 872-page techno-thriller on the theft of atomic secrets by Chinese spies, much of Washington is agog. But the uproar overlooks an arresting fact. For more than a half decade, the Clinton administration was shoveling atomic secrets out the door as fast as it could, literally by the ton. Millions of previously classified ideas and documents relating to nuclear arms were released to all corners, including China's bomb makers."

Not only did the Administration throw open the "gates" to formerly classified information; it also established a website where the curious could go to search for "Secrets" that were no longer secrets:

As part of its Openness initiative, the Department of Energy is establishing a database on the Internet [www.doe gov/opennet] that will provide finding aids to locate information about documents reviewed for declassification. Making this information available promotes government accountability and trust in the government by the public. Many documents have been declassified since 1994 by the Office of Declassification at NARA and in the DOE History Division. It is of little value for the Department to Conduct declassification reviews without informing the public of the document that have been reviewed and providing information on where to find them. Until now, the public has had access to only a very small  percentage of that total. Placing the Department of Energy's database of declassified documents on the Internet informs the public of the records that have been reviewed and provides finding aid information to help identify their content and location.

The tons of "declassified" information that was made officially available by DOE was in addition to much other unofficial information placed on the Internet that may have still been technically classified. For example, at the Enviro Web wedsite6 there is considerable information about every type of US nuclear weapon ever built. Some of this information, which may be accurate, may also still be classified. One of the rules of the Security game is that those who are "cleared" for access to classified information may not comment upon the accuracy of such information. That is someone who is "cleared," and knows the weight and yield and dimensions of the W-88--which is probably still classified-- cannot publicly comment on the accuracy of the information about the W-88 presented at the EnviroWeb site.

Have the PRC nuclear weapons designers obtained--by book or crook--"design information on the US most advanced thermonuclear weapons" as the Redacted Report charges? According to the Experts, we don't know. Because of the time required for the PRC to incorporate into their nuclear weapons designs and stockpile any information they may have obtained from us as a consequence of the Clinton Administration policies, it is too early to assess the effect of Clinton Administration policies on the PRC nuclear weapons program.

In any case, the damage done to US National Security is not to be measured in terms of what the PRC may have gained. The principal damage done to US National Security by these Clinton Administration policies must be measured in terms of the loss in our ability of effectively counter the international proliferation of nuclear weapons, whether from Russia, the PRC or even the US. The promulgation of Openness-the devaluation of nuclear weapons and nuclear'secrets'-was coupled with the Clinton Administration encouragement that the US Weapons Labs establish with their PRC counterparts"scientific"exchanges and cooperative programs that were[superficially]similar to the Congressionally authorized Num-Lugar-Domenici[NLD] programs with Russian institutes.(  The programs were named after their Senate sponsors. Sen. Sam Nunn[D GA]. Sen. Kichard Lugar [R IN] and Sen Pete Domenicl [R NM]. The programs are described  at: www-cisa.lanl.gov/program-dbs/cisa/homeframe.nst)

The NLD lab-institute cooperative programs have as their Congressionally mandated"mission"the prevention of the proliferation of Russian nuclear weapon's materials, technologies and technologists. The stared objective of the superficially similar-but unauthorized-Clinton Administration PRC programs was to "open a window"into the closed PRC weapons community, to "engage"them, to establish a "dialogue". To Some Lab scientists-especially the "ethnic Chinese"-that probably sounded a lot like being asked to get what we could from them, and the Cox Committee now define as "espionage" then the Clinton Administration asked US Lab scientists to "Spy."

Perhaps the most charitable interpretation of the Clinton Administration's is that the previously apolitical weapons Lab Directors and scientists at Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore-none of them Federal Government employees ---were being asked by high ranking Clinton Administration officials to become important players on the Clinton Administration's economic and foreign policy "Teams" Perhaps the least charitable interpretation is that the Clinton Administration was twisting the "Mission" of the US Labs and nuclear weapons scientists.Making them instruments for attaining global nuclear disarmament, having already twisted the arms of the Lab Directors until they agreed to "certify" that the US nuclear stockpile could be maintained without benefit of full-scale nuclear testing.

The Times' William Broad recently described the rationale for the Clinton Administration's "Openness" policy.

Back in 1993, when the terrors of the Cold War were still fresh, the administration decided that the best way to keep the nuclear arms race from heating up again was to get the world's nations to sign a test-ban treaty. The idea was that even if a country knew how to make a bomb it couldn't perfect new ones and build up advanced forces without physically testing new designs. So development of new weapons would be frozen, ending the vicious spiral of nuclear move and countermove. Releasing many of America's nuclear secrets was seen as an essential part of this strategy.,since it would signal a new global order in which nuclear know-how was suddenly and irreparably devalued and real security would lie in the collective knowledge that nobody was able to push weaponry beyond the known boundaries.

Each of these Clinton policies were begun in 1993, but the totally predictable consequences did not become obvious for several years, and although many of the consequences were known to members of the Cox Committee, because of Members' desire to issue a " bipartisan" report, the "blame" for what the Cox Committee concluded were incidents of "spying" or of "penetration" was not placed where it belonged-squarely on the Clinton Administration's "Openness" policy at the Labs. But although the Cox Committee held its "fire" during the five months it took the Clinton Administration to "redact" their Report, the subsequent efforts of DOE Secretary Richardson and NSC Staff Director Berger to shift the blame for the PRC "spy scandal to the Reagan-Bush Administrations propelled some Members of the Cox Commission to go public with what they had known all along. One of them,Rep. Curt Weldon [R PA], chairman since 1995 of the R & D Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, after commenting at length about the deleterious effect of the "Openness" policy instituted at DOE by Secretary Hazel O'Leary on the Labs, said:

I want to call particular attention to my colleagues and to the American people this two-page spread that was in the July 31st. 1995 issue of US News and World Report entitled "Shockwave" documenting the annihilation and destruction that would be caused by a nuclear attack or a nuclear bomb going off. In this document is an illustration of the W-87 warhead. In 1995, this was classified. This administration, in 1995, leaked this document to US News and World Report giving the entire populace of the world, through US News and World Report, access to the design of the W-87 Nuclear warhead.( Information Relative to the Cox Report  (House of Representatives. June 8, 1999), Congressional Record,  [Page:113837]. remarks of Curt Weldon [R-PA])

Representative Weldon went on to say that he had evidence that Secretary hazel O'Leary, herself, had been discovered in an internal DOE investigation in 1995 to have "leaked" the W-87 warhead document to the media. This was astonishing. A member of the Cox Committee charged on the House Floor what he bad known all along, but had withheld his fire-that DOE secretary O'Leary, not a PRC "mole" at lot Alamos, as reported in Various media"leaks" of the Cox Report, had deliberately given the whole world, including the PRC, W-87 "design information." And what may be even more astonishing, is that a cut-away diagram of the W-87-which may well be the same one secretary O'Leary gave the world in 1995--appears on page 78 of the Redacted Report!