CyberAlert -- 05/24/1999 -- Connecting $ to Spying; Clinton's Great Week; Nightline Absence

Connecting $ to Spying; Clinton's Great Week; Nightline Absence

1) Fox's Carl Cameron related Sunday that documents "connect China's illegal campaign contributions to...Clinton with specific cases of Beijing's acquisition of U.S. military technology."

2) The Sunday interview shows focused on the Cox Report, but it only generated 58 seconds on the only broadcast show in the evening. Nothing on a Democrat calling for Reno's resignation.

3) Newsweek's Eleanor Clift complained about how the fuss over espionage reflected a plot to "distract from what was a terrific week" for Clinton and Gore on gun control.

4) NBC's Andrea Mitchell held Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton equally culpable. Tom Brokaw asked Cox about connections between donations and espionage, but the question never aired.

5) Charlie Trie pled guilty Friday to fundraising charges, but CBS ignored it. ABC gave it 11 seconds, NBC 18. FNC revealed a relative of We Ho Lee is suspected of giving China stealth info.

6) In the 55 weeknights since Chinese spying became known ABC's Nightline has dedicated just one show to the topic.

7) Another reporter called for a gun ban, CBS argued the Senate did not go far enough and on Today Matt Lauer tried to get students to advocate gun control, but they refused.

8) Monday night CBS will show The American President in which Michael Douglas as the President declares: "You cannot address crime prevention without getting rid of assault weapons and handguns. I consider them a threat to national security."

>>> Another Gore Gaffe. Hear about it from an eyewitness. Singer Courtney Love recounted on the May 20 Late Show with David Letterman how at a Democratic fundraiser in Hollywood Al Gore told her "I'm a really big fan of yours." When she asked him to name one of her songs, she relayed how "he couldn't do it, he couldn't do it!" To watch Love tell about meeting Gore go to this address, where MRC Webmaster Sean Henry has posted it, and scroll to Gaffe #5: <<<


cyberno1.gif (1096 bytes) FNC's Carl Cameron discovered documents which "directly connect China's illegal campaign contributions to President Clinton with specific cases of Beijing's acquisition of U.S. military technology." Usually, only those with the Fox News Channel on their cable system, which means only about half of those with cable, can see Cameron's pacesetting exclusives. This one, however, reached a far greater audience as Cameron appeared at the top of the May 23 Fox News Sunday shown by Fox broadcast affiliates.

Cameron disclosed: "Fox News has obtained documents for the first time that directly connect China's illegal campaign contributions to President Clinton with specific cases of Beijing's acquisition of U.S. military technology. China had an elaborate scheme to obstruct U.S. Justice Department investigations into both.
"Now, for the first time, we connect the dots with the documentation.
"Former Democratic Party fundraiser Johnny Chung recently told Congress that he felt pressured to keep silent about taking money from Chinese spies for President Clinton's campaign. Chung met Liu Chaoying, a lieutenant colonel in the People's Liberation Army who arranged a rendevous and $300,000 from the head of China's military intelligence.
"When Chung was eventually charged by the Justice Department, he was contacted by Robert Luu -- who according to documents obtained by Fox News was operating on behalf of Chinese intelligence.
"Chung's orders: Above all protect Loral Space and Hughes Electronics, U.S. satellite firms whose business deals with China were arranged by Liu Chaoying. Loral and Hughes launch their satellites on Chinese rockets. The U.S. firms are under federal investigation for and accused in a forthcoming congressional report of helping China improve its missile technology.
"Chung thought receiving money from Chinese intelligence would be the problem, but FBI surveillance tapes show Luu was more interested in concealing something else.
"Quote: 'All those things are not important,' Luu told Chung in a wiretap transcript obtained by Fox News. 'The important part is not to touch Hughes and Loral.... Matters about Hughes and Loral...they [Chinese superiors] don't want to see any information that is disadvantageous to them.'"

After recounting some comments from an FBI agent's interview with Luu demonstrating Luu was performing spy work, Cameron concluded:
"Throughout hundreds of pages of transcripts and wiretaps and various FBI interrogations it becomes clear China had an elaborate plot to thwart the Justice Department investigation and even Chinese intelligence had signed off on a cover story designed to explain the illegal donations. They were to blame them on so-called prince-lings, the sons of Chinese military leaders working and studying in the United States. The idea would be that the donations did not come from the Beijing government but from their offspring in irresponsible, reckless and unauthorized donations."


cyberno2.gif (1451 bytes) China gaining media traction? Well, not really. Every Sunday morning interview show but CNN's Late Edition devoted a segment to the upcoming Cox Report, but such network interest has yet to extend to the broadcast network morning and evening shows.

Not a word about Chinagate Friday morning on ABC, CBS and NBC or on CBS or ABC on Friday or Saturday night. Though Tom Brokaw interviewed Cox for Friday's NBC Nightly News, the set-up story by Andrea Mitchell avoided raising anything about Clinton administration mishandling, cover-up or dissembling related to the espionage. Under the heading of "Where did they get it?" a screen graphic shown by NBC displayed how China obtained the technology during the presidencies of Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton, as if all were equally culpable. NBC didn't bother reporting how the Justice Department rejected a FBI request for a wiretap warrant or how the Clinton team stopped performing background checks on lab visitors. (See item #4 for more on Friday's NBC Nightly News.)

Sunday morning Senators Torricelli and Shelby appeared on CBS's Face the Nation, ABC's This Week talked with Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, Congressman Porter Goss came aboard Fox News Sunday and Meet the Press landed Chris Cox as well as Energy intelligence official Notra Trulock. Clinton's March 19 dissembling at a press conference, about how no "espionage" took place in his years, was raised on all the shows.

On Face the Nation Democratic Senator Robert Torricelli made clear he believed Attorney General Janet Reno should resign, but neither that or any of the discussion about Clinton lying to the country about spying, made it onto Sunday's World News Tonight, the only one of the three broadcast network shows to air in the ET and CT zones. (Basketball bumped NBC and golf pushed aside CBS.) The ABC show provided only a 58-second compilation of three Sunday morning soundbites: Torricelli on Face the Nation calling the espionage serious, Senator Richard Shelby on the same show calling on Reno to resign and Richardson on ABC's This Week downplaying the importance of what was lost.

Below: Bi-partisan calls on CBS for Reno's resignation and NBC's Tim Russert nails down the sequence of reports and briefings to show how Clinton dissembled, and Brit Hume says it flat out: Clinton was "lying."

-- CBS's Face the Nation: Bi-partisan agreement, Reno should go for her department's rejection of a FBI request for a search warrant for Wen Ho Lee.
Republican Senator Richard Shelby asserted: "It's time for new leadership at the Justice Department. I believe that the Attorney General ought to resign and she ought to take her top lieutenants with her and she ought to do it now for the sake of the country."

Democratic Senator Robert Torricelli didn't defend Reno: "I think the failures of judgment by the Attorney General of the United States are inexplicable. I do not know how she could explain the failures to provide this wiretap despite overwhelming evidence that there was probable cause in that the national security was being compromised....."
When host Bob Schieffer asked "Should Reno resign?" Torricelli replied: "I think it's time for President Clinton to have a conversation with the Attorney General about her ability to perform her duties and whether or not it's in the national interest for her to continue."

-- Meet the Press. Tim Russert demonstrated how Clinton officials covered up knowledge of spying, a theme avoided by NBC Nightly News on Friday night.
Russert: "In July of 1998 you were requested to brief the House Intelligence Committee."
Trulock: "That's correct."
Russert: "Were you allowed to brief them?"
Trulock: "I was not."
Russert: "Who denied you approval?"
Trulock: "In this case, then-Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Moeller denied my request to brief chairman Porter Goss, House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee."
Russert: "What reason did she give?"
Trulock: "At that time, she told me that she was concerned that they -- and I've said in my open testimony I believe by they she was referring to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence -- only wanted to hurt the President on his China policy. Secretary Richardson, when he came in, reversed that policy immediately. The first time that I briefed him on this case was the day that I made some of my initial presentations to the Cox Commission, and his guidance to me was, You go up there and you tell those people what they need to know.'"

Later, Russert ran through all the times the Clinton team was told about spying and contrasted it with Clinton's denial:
Russert to Chris Cox: "So Mr. Berger on this program acknowledged he was briefed by Mr. Trulock in April of '96 and then briefed the President. He was briefed by Mr. Trulock in July of '97 and briefed the President. And in January of this year, you sent a report to the White House outlining your findings. Let me put on the screen what the president of the United States said in March of this year. 'Can you assure the American people that under your watch, no valuable nuclear secrets were lost?' President Clinton: 'Can I tell you there has been no espionage at the labs since I've been president? I can tell you that no one has reported to me that they suspect such a thing has occurred.' Later in the press conference, 'To the best of my knowledge, no one has said anything to me about any espionage which occurred by the Chinese against the labs during my presidency.' Mr. Cox, that would suggest that Mr. Berger did not speak to the President ever in '96, '97 or '98, or the President never saw the report you sent him in January."
Cox: "Well, I would be very concerned if the latter were the case. On February the 4th, I and the ranking Democrat on the select committee, Representative Norm Dicks of Washington, wrote to the president and asked for a private meeting to brief the president on our findings and our recommendations. That meeting was put off until the 22nd of April, but at that time when we met with the president for, if I recall correctly, about 90 minutes, we had a very thorough discussion of not only historical but ongoing problems at the national laboratories and with PRC espionage, so at least from that point, there is no question that the administration and our select committee were all on the same page."

And Russert raised political retribution with Trulock: "In August of 1998, you were demoted."
Trulock: "I was the director of intelligence until May of 1998, at which point I was removed from that position."
Russert: "Why?"
Trulock: "There are bureaucratic reasons which seem perfectly valid. My sense is that I was simply too aggressive and too unwilling to back off this issue and let it die."

It's doubtful NBC Nightly News or Today viewers will ever hear of any of this. Two weeks ago when Russert got Richardson to concede spying took place during Clinton's years neither show picked up on it.

-- Brit Hume in the roundtable on Fox News Sunday: "It's also pretty clear, I mean Porter Goss is very diplomatic about it, but it's pretty clear based on the sequence that we showed, that was President Clinton answering a question, as it happens from our Wendell Goler at that news conference, that with even the lawyerly wording of it, and it was very lawyerly, he was lying."


cyberno3.gif (1438 bytes) With Clinton's March 19 denial fresh in your mind, as recited in the transcribed portions of Meet the Press above, try to follow Eleanor Clift's "spin" about how Clinton was accurate. On the McLaughlin Group this past weekend she maintained:
"All of this first of all goes back two Presidents. Second of all nobody has been charged with espionage and there is no evidence that Wen Ho Lee is a spy as you as you have indicated and I'd be real careful."
John McLaughlin: "No evidence?"
Clift: "No evidence, right. And when the President says that nobody talked to him about espionage he was correct about no espionage."

A bit later the Newsweek writer complained about how all the fuss about espionage suggests a plot by McLaughlin to "distract from what was a terrific week" for Clinton and Gore on gun control and the election in Israel:
"If security was compromised, both parties are guilty of inattention. Bureaucratic inertia is the enemy here and the attempt to make this partisan and distract from what was a terrific week for this administration -- gun control, Al Gore casting the deciding vote, an election in Israel that is very positive for Israel and this country. Why didn't we talk about that?"


cyberno4.gif (1375 bytes) Friday night, a day after FNC aired its interview with Cox, NBC's Tom Brokaw aired his. But while NBC broached the accuracy of Clinton's denial of spying during his tenure, Brokaw and the set-up piece by Andrea Mitchell failed to inform viewers about any of the charges of misdeeds against the Clinton administration -- from preventing Trulock from testifying, to turning down a FBI warrant request to how the campaign accepted huge donations from the head of a company granted technology transfer waivers. Actually, Brokaw did ask Cox about any influence of Chinese donations, but that question and answer never made it onto the air.

Andrea Mitchell opened her overview piece over video of Clinton and Zhu Rongji at the White House: "Bill Clinton entertains China's leader, the full red carpet treatment. Only four months earlier the President is warned of a national security nightmare: China suspected of stealing America's nuclear secrets for decades."
Mitchell played a soundbite of Richardson saying here is "no doubt" espionage occurred and of Trent Lott calling the Cox Report "scary" before she relayed how it found China obtained designs for seven nuclear warheads. She then asked: "Where did they get it?" Over a graphic with photos of the four Presidents she cited she declared: "Incredibly, investigators say, from America's own nuclear weapons labs under Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton. Two years after learning about the spying Clinton offered this carefully worded denial."
Clinton: "To the best of my knowledge no one has said anything to me about any espionage which occurred by the Chinese against the labs during my presidency."
Mitchell: "Was it a coverup? An Energy Department official says his warnings about lax security, completely ignored."
Notra Trulock: "In short, as we now know, nothing was done."

While Mitchell implied there should be doubt about Clinton's denial, she failed to make the connection to how the administration was informed in November, 1998 about the loss of the valuable legacy codes in Clinton's first term.

She then went on to explain how Cox determined that seven companies also passed along sensitive information: "Singled out for criticism, Loral Corporation and Hughes Electronics, both under investigation for allegedly helping China improve its rockets. Both companies say they broke no laws."

But she failed to point out how the Chairman of Loral was the biggest single donor to the DNC in 1995-96.

She concluded by noting that the "CIA says China accelerated its weapons program by spying but has not yet built weapons based on the stolen designs."

Next, NBC showed excepts from Brokaw's interview with Cox. Viewers heard these questions:
-- "How did this happen Congressman?"

-- "The Chinese now have access to our most sophisticated nuclear warhead, the W88, the Trident warhead. How long do you think it will be before they can deploy that warhead?"

-- "A Taiwanese-American scientist, Wen Ho Lee, has lost his job at Los Alamos because he's suspected of giving intelligence to the Chinese. His lawyers are thinking of suing the Department of Energy because they say he lost his job unfairly. Do you think he's lost his job unfairly?"
Cox: "No."
Brokaw: "Do you think he's a spy?"
Cox: "There is no way that this man should be working in our national security structure."

-- "The President has said that there were no violations of these laboratories during his administration. Is he lying?"
Cox: "Both I and the ranking Democrat on the select committee, Norm Dicks, met with the President on April 22, and gave him a full brief on the major acts of espionage that had been committed recently. And we didn't have any factual disagreement with the President."

-- "Is the Hughes Corporation and Loral going be embarrassed when this report comes out?"
Cox: "Beyond the fact that a great deal of technical information was illegally shared that will in fact improve the reliability of military space lift rockets in the PRC, that the way that this activity was conducted by both Hughes and Loral was illegal."
Brokaw: "Absolutely illegal. Criminally illegal?"
Cox: "There is no question that it was deliberate and that it was an intentional avoidance of our export control regime."

-- "Congressman, do you sleep a little more uneasily at night as a result of all that you know now?"

Brokaw did twice raise questions about Clinton misdeeds, the Web-posted transcript shows, but both ended up on the cutting room floor:
-- "What did President Clinton know and when did he know it?"
-- "This comes at a time when Charlie Trie, one of the President's friends, a fundraiser, is on trial in Little Rock. Is there a connection between this espionage and political donations that the administration got from Chinese officials?"

To read the transcript of the entire interview, go to:
Beware that NBC did not play the interview excerpts in sequence. If you read through the transcript you'll come across the Nightly News questions listed above in this order: #1, then #5, then #3, then #4, then #6, and finally #2.


cyberno5.gif (1443 bytes) Friday night, May 21, every network but CBS noted the guilty pleas entered by Charlie Trie, though briefly. World News Tonight viewers heard this 11-second item read by anchor Peter Jennings: "In Little Rock today the President's friend Charlie Trie pleaded guilty to two charges stemming from illegal fundraising and he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors investigating fundraising in the 1996 elections."

NBC Nightly News gave the development a mere 18 seconds.
Not even CNN's Inside Politics produced a full story as IP allocated 34 seconds to Trie. CNN's The World Today gave him 19 seconds. Only FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume considered Trie worth some time, leading with a piece from Carl Cameron who added on another front:
"Sources also say one of Wen Ho Lee's relatives in now under investigation and surveillance. Sources say that relative worked at a California weapons lab known to be working on the stealth bomber and on a recent trip to mainland China allegedly gave stealth secrets to Beijing."


cyberno6.gif (1129 bytes) The Chinagate scandal involves national security, possible administration malfeasance and a dishonest answer about it from the President. A natural topic for Nightline's format with its time for lengthy set-up piece followed by Ted Koppel zooming in on a key figure. But it is not.

In the 55 weeknights since the March 6 New York Times revealed the Chinese espionage how many nights has Nightline focused on the subject? Hint: it's the same number of times the three morning shows combined have run an interview segment about the espionage: Once.

That's right, from Monday March 8 through Friday May 21 only the March 12 show looked at the espionage scandal. MRC analyst Jessica Anderson provided the following night-by-night topic list:

March 8: Joe DiMaggio
March 9: drugs
March 10: drugs
March 11: drugs
March 12: Chinese espionage
March 15: possible connection b/w autism and pollution
March 16: Megan's Law and privacy rights
March 17: story of a child molester
March 18: Cambodia
March 19: Oscar for Elia Kazan
March 22: Kosovo
March 23: Kosovo
March 24: Kosovo
March 25: Kosovo
March 26: Kosovo
March 29: Kosovo
March 30: Kosovo
March 31: Kosovo
April 1: Kosovo
April 2: Kosovo
April 5: Kosovo
April 6: Kosovo
April 7: Kosovo
April 8: Kosovo
April 9: Kosovo
April 12: Kosovo
April 13: Kosovo
April 14: Kosovo
April 15: Kosovo
April 16: Kosovo
April 19: Kosovo
April 20: Littleton
April 21: Littleton
April 22: Littleton
April 23: Littleton
April 26: Kosovo
April 27: Kosovo
April 28: Kosovo
April 29: Kosovo
April 30: Kosovo
May 3: Kosovo
May 4: Kosovo
May 5: Kosovo
May 6: Kosovo
May 7: Legacy Project. Not the nuclear codes but the project to gather letters soldiers wrote home during wars
May 10: Campaign against youth violence at the White House
May 11: Gun makers and the NRA
May 12: Kosovo
May 13: Genetic testing in Iceland
May 14: Grandparents raising grandchildren
May 17: Israel
May 18: Farming crisis
May 19: AIDS
May 20: Conyers school shooting
May 21: the oldest guitar-making firm in America

I'm sure the Cox Report will prod Nightline to give the espionage some attention, finally.


cyberno7.gif (1643 bytes) Anti-gun push: A reporter calls for all guns to be banned, CBS came at safety locks from the left, arguing the Senate did not go far enough, and NBC's Matt Lauer tried to get some school violence victims to advocate gun control, but they refused to follow the liberal media line:

-- The Washington Post's Juan Williams on the May 23 Fox News Sunday: "I don't understand why we're piddling around. We should talk about getting rid of guns in this country."

-- Wyatt Andrews took on gun locks Friday night on the CBS Evening News, contending the Senate did not go far enough because the law does not mandate their use by owners:
"Which is another loophole. Legally the buyers can throw the locks away. If the Senate proposal becomes law thousands of handguns every year will then be sold with these trigger or safety devices but with no requirement that the gun buyer actually use them. The Safe Lock Amendment, in other words, won't make guns safe and doesn't mean the guns will be locked."

-- Friday morning, MRC analyst Mark Drake noticed, Today co-host Matt Lauer tried to get two Springfield, Oregon school shooting survivors to back gun control. Check out this exchange:
Lauer: "Has this experience, Tony, changed your opinion of guns and gun control issues?"
Survivor Tony Case: "No. Definitely not. I really don't see the problem as being a gun problem as much as a people problem, society problem but I don't think [blaming] guns is really the answer, to regulate guns. I'm a hunter and everything so I'm, I'll all for freedom to have guns and that sort of thing so."
Lauer: "So this was Kip Kinkel's problem, not a gun problem in your opinion?"
Case: "Yeah."
Lauer: "You feel the same way Teresa?"
Survivor Teresa Miltonberger: "Yeah. Ahuh."

How disappointing for Today.


mdouglas0524.JPG (13160 bytes)cyberno8.gif (1522 bytes) Monday night at 8:30p ET/PT, 7:30pm CT/MT, CBS will broadcast the 1995 movie The American President. It couldn't be more timely for liberals with its advocacy of gun control.

Read no further if you plan to watch the movie and don't want to know the plot ahead of time.

As reported in the May 14 CyberAlert last year, Rob Reiner directed and produced the film starring Michael Douglas as Democratic President "Andrew Shepard," a widow with a teenage daughter. Just like Clinton sans Hillary. He falls in love with environmental lobbyist "Sydney Ellen Wade," played by Annette Bening. At one point in the Oval Office "Wade" lectures "Shepard": "Global warming is a calamity, the effects of which will be second only to nuclear war..."

The unmarried President carrying on an affair provides an angle for the Republican candidate for President to attack. The Republican: Senator "Bob Rumson" from Kansas. Sound familiar? Richard Dreyfuss plays "Rumson," an odious man bent on twisting the facts to make character an issue.

Naturally, by the end of the movie the wavering "Shepard" comes to his senses and becomes a forceful liberal. Motivated by losing "Wade" who is disappointed by his compromises, "Shepard" goes to the press room and delivers a lecture fulfilling a liberal's dream, denouncing "Rumson's" character attack on "Wade" for once having been at a South Africa protest where a U.S. flag was burned, praising the ACLU, advocating huge cuts in emissions to solve the global warming problem and demanding the end of gun ownership. Here are some excerpts:

-- "Yes, I am a card carrying member of the ACLU, but the more important question is why aren't you Bob? Now this is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the bill of rights, so it naturally begs the question why would a Senator, his party's most powerful spokesman and a candidate for President, choose to reject upholding the Constitution?"

-- He announces, "White House resolution 455, an energy bill requiring a 20 percent reduction in the emission of fossil fuels over the next ten years. It is by far the most aggressive stride ever taken in the fight to reverse the effects of global warming.
"The other piece of legislation is the crime bill. As of today it no longer exists. I'm throwing it. I'm throwing it out and writing a law that makes sense. You cannot address crime prevention without getting rid of assault weapons and handguns. I consider them a threat to national security and I will go door-to-door if I have to but I'm going convince Americans that I'm right and I'm going to get the guns."

+++ Watch this Hollywood fantasy scene of the kind of President they can only dream of. Go to the MRC home page Monday morning where MRC Webmaster Sean Henry will post a RealPLayer clip from the movie as shown last summer on TBS. Go to:

A little long today, but I felt it was important to get all the fundraising and China coverage in before the Cox Report is released on Tuesday, and the CBS movie schedule won't wait. -- Brent Baker


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