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Spies In Suits With Advanced Degrees

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Two espionage cases make headlines this morning From the (subscription required):

The Los Angeles case involves a 72-year-old Chinese-born U.S. citizen, Dongfan “Greg” Chung, who had a 30-year career as an engineer for Rockwell International and then Boeing after it acquired Rockwell.

Prosecutors say Mr. Chung passed trade secrets to contacts in the Chinese a viation industry related to the Delta IV rockets, the Space Shuttle and the C-17 military transport plane. He faces charges of committing economic espionage and acting as an unregistered foreign agent.

Government officials have been investigating Mr. Chung since at least 2006. Boeing spokesman Dan Beck said that Boeing isn’t a focus of the government’s investigation and that the company “cooperated with the government all through” the probe.

In the other case announced yesterday, in Virginia, Gregg Bergersen, a 51-year-old weapons-systems policy analyst at the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, is charged with selling to Chinese agents information on U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan. Two others, a Taiwan resident and a Chinese national, are charged in the case.

Note that Mr. Chung has been at work for three decades in the defense industry.

This is the second case involving a Chinese emigree to California in the past nine months. The first involved the conviction of Chi Mak, an electrical engineer who worked for a California-based defense contractor for more than two decades.

Chung was identified during the investigation into Mak.

The PRC quite obviously invested a lot in penetrating our defense industries decades ago. The government will have to assume that there are more such spies, perhaps many more, and carefully go about not only its investigations but also commit to strengthening its front-line checking of immigrants seeking work in sensitive industries so that in 2038 the U.S. isn’t reading about immigrants from today who spent their careers stealing secrets for hostile governments.

A.Q. Khan, the subject of today’s broadcast, penetrated the European nuclear industry in the ’70s and stole everything he needed to plan and eventually oversee the construction of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal before moving on to sell the same designs and knowledge to North Korea, Libya and Iran. He ought never to have been given the clearances he received, as Nuclear Jihadist authors Douglas Franz and Catherine Collins discuss with me on today’s program. But sloppy security seemed more the rule than the exception in many parts of the defense industry during the sixties and seventies.

The Nuclear Jihadist: The True Story of the Man Who Sold the World's Most Dangerous Secrets...And How We Could Have Stopped Him


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