FAS | Government Secrecy | News ||| Index | Search | Join FAS


FAS Note: The eighth of Senator Lott's proposals below would require the page-by-page review of most of the 600 million pages of documents that have been declassified under Executive Order 12958 since 1995.


Congressional Record: May 26, 1999 (Senate)
Page S5982-S6011

 
        NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2000

[...]

  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I see no other Senator here at this moment. 
I believe there is another Senator who will be here at about 10:30 to 
offer another amendment, but I would like to submit an amendment for 
consideration at this point.


                           Amendment No. 394

(Purpose: To improve the monitoring of the export of advanced satellite 
 technology, to require annual reports with respect to Taiwan, and to 
     improve the provisions relating to safeguards, security, and 
        counterintelligence at Department of Energy facilities)

  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I send an amendment to the desk and ask for 
its immediate consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The legislative assistant read as follows:

       The Senator from Mississippi [Mr. Lott] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 394.

  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that reading of the 
amendment be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (The text of the amendment is printed in today's Record under 
"Amendments Submitted.")
  Mr. LOTT. Mr. President, I am pleased to offer this amendment on 
behalf of myself, and Senators Warner, Shelby, Murkowski, Domenici, 
Specter, Thomas, Kyl, and Hutchinson.
  This package is the product of the serious investigative and 
oversight work performed by the relevant committees and other Senators 
who have devoted considerable attention to the issues of satellite 
exports, Chinese espionage, lax security at DOE facilities, foreign 
counterintelligence wiretaps, and more. I commend my cosponsors and 
others for their helpful efforts in this regard.
  I have stated that the damage to U.S. national security as a result 
of China's nuclear espionage is probably the greatest I have seen in my 
entire career. And, unfortunately, the administration's inattention 
to--or even hostility towards--counterintelligence and security has 
magnified this breach.
  It is simply incredible that China has acquired sensitive, classified 
information about every nuclear warhead in the U.S. arsenal. But this 
apparently is precisely what happened.
  It is simply incredible that American companies illegally provided 
information to the Chinese that will allow them to improve their long-
range missiles aimed at American cities. But this apparently is exactly 
what happened.
  It is simply incredible that American exports were delivered to 
certain Chinese facilities that will assist their weapons of mass 
destruction program. But this apparently is exactly what happened.
  It is simply incredible that it took this administration 2 years from 
the date the National Security Adviser was

[[Page S5983]]

first briefed by DOE officials on the problem of Chinese espionage at 
the nuclear weapons laboratories, to sign a new Presidential directive 
to strengthen counterintelligence at the labs and elsewhere. But this 
apparently is exactly what happened.
  And, after all this, it is simply incredible that the President would 
claim that all this damage was a result of actions of previous 
administrations and that he had not been told of any espionage that had 
occurred on his watch. But this is exactly what the President said in a 
mid-March press conference.
  As I have stated previously, the Congress must take several steps to 
better understand what happened and how it happened, and to lessen the 
likelihood of a recurrence of such events in the future.
  First, we must aggressively probe the administration to determine the 
facts. We know much of what happened. But we don't have all the facts, 
and we certainly don't know why certain events unfolded the way they 
did. We need to get to the bottom of that.
  Several committees are exploring aspects of this scandal, and it is 
multi-faceted: DOE security; whistleblower protections; 
counterintelligence at the FBI; CIA operations; export controls; 
illegal campaign contributions; the Justice Department; the Foreign 
Intelligence Surveillance Act, FISA; DOD monitoring of satellite 
launches in China; waivers of laws for companies under investigation 
for illegal activities; and much, much more.
  Second, we must take all reasonable steps now to remedy problems we 
have identified to date. Does this mean that the actions recommended in 
this bill, or in this amendment, will solve the problem of lab security 
for all time? Of course not. But they do represent important first 
steps in addressing the myriad problems that have emerged during the 
various on-going investigations.
  For example, we know that security and counter-intelligence at the 
labs was--and is--woefully inadequate. We can take steps to begin to 
fix that problem.
  We know that the Clinton Commerce Department failed miserably to 
adequately control and protect national security information as it 
relates to commercial communications satellites and rocket launchers. 
We took steps last year in the Defense authorization bill to help 
protect national security by transferring from Commerce to State the 
responsibility for reviewing license applications for such satellites.
  Third, we must hold appropriate executive branch officials 
accountable for their actions. This means we need to understand why 
certain Clinton administration officials acted the way they did. Why, 
for example, were DOE intelligence officials told they could not brief 
the Congress on aspects of this espionage investigation and its 
implications? Why did the Reno Justice Department refuse to approve a 
wiretap request? Why was a certain suspect's computer not searched 
much, much earlier when, in fact, the suspect had agreed several years 
earlier to such a search? And why was a waiver granted for the export 
of a satellite built by an American company that was under 
investigation by the Department of Justice and whose head was the 
single largest individual contributor to the Democratic National 
Committee?
  In posing these and other questions, does this mean the Senate is on 
some partisan witch-hunt? Absolutely not. I recognize that a full 
understanding of this issue requires going back decades.
  For example, the reports recently issued by the Senate Intelligence 
Committee and the Cox Committee in the House reviewed documents from 
prior administrations.
  But simply saying that errors were made in previous administrations 
cannot and does not absolve this President and this administration from 
responsibility. In fact, this administration's record in the area of 
security and counter-intelligence, in its relations with China, and in 
several other areas, leaves much to be desired.
  As I said before, there are some steps we can and should take now. 
For example, the Defense authorization bill before us now proposes 
several important measures regarding Department of Energy security and 
counterintelligence. Likewise, the intelligence authorization bill 
includes several legislative proposals on this topic as well.
  My amendment is entirely consistent with, and indeed builds upon, 
those two vital legislative measures. Allow me to describe what this 
amendment proposes to do.
  First, it seeks to address the Loral episode, wherein the President 
approved a waiver for the export of a Loral satellite for launch on a 
Chinese rocket at the same time Loral was under investigation by the 
Justice Department for possible criminal wrong-doing.
  This amendment requires the President to notify the Congress whenever 
an investigation is undertaken of an alleged violation of U.S. export 
control laws in connection with the export of a commercial satellite of 
U.S. origin.
  It also requires the President to notify the Congress whenever an 
export license or waiver is granted on behalf of any U.S. person or 
firm that is the subject of a criminal investigation.
  I am absolutely convinced that had these "sunshine" provisions been 
in effect at the time of the Loral waiver decision, I doubt very 
seriously that the President would have issued his decision in favor of 
Loral.
  Second, the amendment requires the Secretary of Defense to undertake 
certain actions that would significantly enhance the performance and 
effectiveness of the DOD program for monitoring so-called "satellite 
launch campaigns" in China and elsewhere.
  For instance, under this amendment, the DOD monitoring officials will 
be given authority to halt a launch campaign if they felt U.S. national 
security was being compromised. In addition, the Secretary will be 
obligated to establish appropriate professional and technical 
qualifications, as well as training programs, for such personnel, and 
increase the number of such monitors.
  Furthermore, to remove any ambiguity as to what technical information 
may be shared by U.S. contractors during a launch campaign, the 
amendment requires the Secretary of Defense to review and improve 
guidelines for such discussions. Finally, it requires the Secretary to 
establish a counter intelligence program within the organization 
responsible for performing such monitoring functions.
  Third, my amendment enhances the intelligence community's role in the 
export license review process. This responds to a clear need for 
greater insight by the State Department and other license-reviewing 
agencies into the Chinese and other entities involved in space launch 
and ballistic missile programs. In this regard, it is worth noting that 
the intelligence community played a very modest role in reviewing the 
license applications for exports that subsequently were deemed to have 
harmed national security.
  This section also requires a report by the Director of Central 
Intelligence on the efforts of foreign governments to acquire sensitive 
U.S. technology and technical information.
  Fourth, based on concerns that China continues to proliferate missile 
and missile technology to Pakistan and Iran, this amendment expresses 
the sense of Congress that the People's Republic of China should not be 
permitted to join the Missile Technology Control Regime, MTCR, as a 
member until Beijing has demonstrated a sustained commitment to missile 
nonproliferation and adopted an effective export control system. Any 
honest appraisal would lead one to the conclusion, I believe, that 
China has not demonstrated such a commitment and does not have in place 
effective export controls.
  Now we know, from documents released by the White House as part of 
the Senate's investigation, that the Clinton administration wanted to 
bring the PRC into the MTCR as a means of shielding Beijing from 
missile proliferation sanctions laws now on the books. This section 
sends a strong signal that such an approach should not be undertaken.
  Fifth, the amendment expresses strong support for stimulating the 
expansion of the commercial space launch industry here in America. As 
we have seen recently with a number of failed U.S. rocket launches, 
there is a crying need to improve the performance of U.S.-built and 
launched rockets. This amendment strongly encourages efforts to promote 
the domestic commercial space launch industry, including through the 
elimination of legal or regulatory barriers to long-term 
competitiveness.

[[Page S5984]]

  The amendment also urges a review of the current policy of permitting 
the export of commercial satellites of U.S. origin to the PRC for 
launch and suggests that, if a decision is made to phase-out the 
policy, then launches of such satellites in the PRC should occur only 
if they are licensed as of the commencement of the phase-out of the 
policy and additional actions are taken to minimize the transfer of 
technology to the PRC during the course of such launches.
  Sixth, the amendment requires the Secretary of State to provide 
information to U.S. satellite manufacturers when a license application 
is denied. This addresses a legitimate concern expressed by U.S. 
industry about the current export control process.
  I not that each of these recommendations was included in the Senate 
Intelligence Committee's "Report on Impacts to U.S. National Security 
of Advanced Satellite Technology Exports to the PRC and the PRC's 
Efforts Influence U.S. Policy." That report was approved by an 
overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, so there is nothing partisan whatsoever 
in these recommendations.
  My amendment also requires the Secretary of Defense to submit an 
annual report on the military balance in the Taiwan Straits, similar to 
the report delivered to the Congress earlier this year. That report, my 
colleagues may recall, was both informative and deeply troubling in its 
assessment that the PRC has underway a massive buildup of missile 
forces opposite our friend, Taiwan.
  Annual submission of this report will assist the Congress in working 
with the administration in assessing future lists of defense articles 
and services requested by Taiwan as part of the annual arms sales talks 
between the U.S. and Taiwan.
  Eighth, the amendment proposes a mechanism for determining the extent 
to which then-Secretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary's "Openness 
Initiative" resulted in the release of highly-classified nuclear 
secrets. We already know, for example, that some material has been 
publicly-released that contained highly-sensitive "restricted Data" 
or "Formerly Restricted Data."
  While we are rightly concerned about what nuclear weapons design or 
other sensitive information has been stolen through espionage, at the 
same time we must be vigilant in ensuring that Mrs. O'Leary's 
initiative was not used, and any future declassification measures will 
not be used, to provide nuclear know-how to would-be proliferators in 
Iran, North Korea, and elsewhere.
  Ninth, the amendment proposes putting the FBI in charge of conducting 
security background investigations of DOE laboratory employees, versus 
the Office of Personnel Management as is currently the case. I applaud 
the Armed Services Committee for including additional funds in their 
bill for addressing the current backlog of security investigations.
  Tenth, and lastly, the amendment proposes increased 
counterintelligence training and other measures to ensure classified 
information is protected during DOE laboratory-to-laboratory exchanges, 
should such exchanges occur in the future. For example, having trained 
counter-intelligence experts go along on any and all visits of lab 
employees to sensitive countries, is a small but useful step in the 
direction of enhanced security.
  Mr. President, I readily concede that this package of amendments will 
not solve all security problems at the Nation's nuclear weapons 
laboratories. Nor will it solve the myriad problems identified to date 
in the Senate's on-going investigation of the damage to U.S. national 
security from the export of satellites to the PRC or from Chinese 
nuclear espionage.
  These are, as I mentioned before, small but useful steps to address 
known deficiencies. Most of these recommendations stem from the 
bipartisan report issued by the Intelligence Committee.
  I strongly urge my colleagues to support this important amendment.
  In summary, good work has been done by the Cox committee in the House 
of Representatives. They should be commended for the work they have 
done in this critical area. They should be commended for the fact that 
it has been bipartisan. It would have been easy for them to veer into 
areas or procedures that would have made it very partisan. They did not 
do that.
  The same thing is true in the Senate. The Senate has chosen so far 
not to have a select committee or a joint committee. The Senate has 
continued to try to do this in the normal way.
  We have had hearings by the Intelligence Committee. They have done 
very good work. Chairman Shelby has been thoughtful and relentless, and 
he continues in that way. The Armed Services Committee, under Senator 
Warner, the Energy Committee, under Senator Murkowski, Foreign 
Relations, Governmental Affairs--all the committees with jurisdiction 
in this area have been having hearings, they have had witnesses, and 
they have been coming up with recommendations.
  As a matter of fact, some of the recommendations that have been 
developed are included in this Department of Defense authorization 
bill. I understand other proposed changes to deal with these security 
lapses and with counterintelligence will be included in the 
intelligence authorization bill that will come up in early June.
  I do not believe we should rush to judgment. We should make sure we 
understand the full ramifications of what has happened. We should not 
say it has been just this administration or that administration or the 
other administration. This is about the security of our country. I 
agree with Congressman Dicks when he quoted former Senator Henry 
Jackson about how, when it comes to national security, we should all 
just pursue it as Americans.
  This amendment I have just sent to the desk is a further outgrowth of 
some of the information we have found through some of the hearings that 
have occurred. There were some provisions in it that I am sure would 
have evoked some criticism, and we have taken those out, so that we can 
take our time and deal more thoughtfully with it over a period of time.
  We are going to have to deal with the Export Administration and the 
fact that law was allowed to lapse back in 1995. But there are some 
things we can do now. To reiterate, this is what this amendment will 
do:
  First, it requires the President to notify the Congress whenever an 
investigation is undertaken of an alleged violation of U.S. export 
control laws in connection with the export of a commercial satellite of 
U.S. origin.
  It will also require the President to notify the Congress whenever an 
export license or waiver is granted on behalf of any U.S. person or 
firm that is the subject of a criminal investigation.
  Second, the amendment requires the Secretary of Defense to undertake 
certain actions that would significantly enhance the performance and 
effectiveness of the DOD program for monitoring so-called satellite 
launch campaigns in China and elsewhere.
  Third, the amendment will enhance the intelligence community's role 
in the export license review process and requires a report by the DCI 
on the efforts of foreign governments to acquire sensitive U.S. 
technology and technical information.
  Fourth, the amendment expresses the sense of Congress that the 
People's Republic of China should not be permitted to join the Missile 
Technology Control Regime as a member until Beijing has demonstrated a 
sustained commitment to missile nonproliferation and adopted an 
effective export control system.

  The amendment expresses strong support for stimulating the expansion 
of the commercial space launch industry in America. This amendment 
strongly encourages efforts to promote the domestic commercial space 
launch industry. That is why we have seen more of this activity occur 
in other countries, particularly China and even Russia, because we do 
not have that domestic commercial space launch capability here. We 
should eliminate legal or regulatory barriers to long-term 
competitiveness.
  The amendment also urges a review of the current policy of permitting 
the export of commercial satellites of U.S. origin to the PRC for 
launch.
  The amendment requires the Secretary of State to provide information 
to U.S. satellite manufacturers when a license application is denied.
  The amendment also requires the Secretary of Defense to submit an 
annual report on the military balance in the Taiwan Straits, similar to 
the report developed earlier this year and was delivered to the 
Congress.
  The amendment proposes a mechanism for determining the extent to

[[Page S5985]]

which classified nuclear weapons information has been released by the 
Department of Energy. It proposes putting the FBI in charge of 
conducting security background investigations of DOE Laboratory 
employees versus OPM. It seems to me that really is beyond the 
capabilities of the Office of Personnel Management. Surely, the FBI 
would be better conducting the security background investigations. This 
does not call for putting the FBI totally in charge of security at our 
Labs, for instance. That is something we need to think about more. I 
had thought the FBI should be in charge, and there are some limitations 
in that area. That is an area we should think about a lot more. We 
should work through the committee process. We should think together in 
a bipartisan way about how to do it.
  Clearly, the security at our Laboratories has to be revised. We have 
to have a much better counterintelligence process, and our committees 
are working on that.
  Last, the committee proposes increased counterintelligence training 
and other measures to ensure classified information is protected during 
DOE Laboratory-to-Laboratory exchanges.
  These are pieces that I think Senators can agree on across the board. 
They are targeted at dealing with the problem, not trying to fix blame, 
not claiming that this is going to solve all the problems. But these 
are some things we can do now that will help secure these Laboratories 
in the future and get information we need and give enhanced 
capabilities to the intelligence communities.
  I urge my colleagues to review it. It has been, of course, considered 
by the committees that have jurisdiction. We have provided copies of it 
to the minority, and we invite their participation. I believe this is 
something that can be bipartisan and can be accepted, after reasonable 
debate, overwhelmingly. I certainly hope so. I appreciate the 
opportunity to offer this amendment. I yield the floor.




FAS | Government Secrecy | News ||| Index | Search | Join FAS