Tags: Clinton's | Exports | Abet | Chinese | Suppression

Clinton's Exports Abet Chinese Suppression

Wednesday, 16 May 2001 12:00 AM

Documents obtained from the Ron Brown Commerce Department show that in June 1995, then-President Bill Clinton personally OK'd the export of Motorola secure radios and cell phones directly to the Chinese government. Clinton approved the sale of $100 million in Motorola secure radios for the communist Chinese Peoples Armed Police (PAP) with the stroke of his pen on a waiver.

Motorola's role in obtaining the sale started nearly two years before Clinton's waiver with then White House national security adviser Dr. Richard Barth. Barth, a holdover from the Bush Sr. administration, left the White House in the fall of 1993 to join Motorola as a lobbyist.

"Why are you leaving me?" George Tenet asked Barth in a 1993 White House e-mail. Tenet, the current CIA director, was then national security adviser to Clinton.

"Do you want my job? My wife? My 1974 Camaro? This place will suck eggs without you to keep me sane," asked Tenet.

Despite the generous offers, Barth left the White House for Motorola. Still, he kept his close contacts in the government.

In November 1994, Barth began to press for exports of advanced Motorola equipment to China. Interestingly, his contacts included the super-secret National Security Agency and its British counterpart, the equally secretive GCHQ.

"European firms, including Nokia, Ericsson, Alcatel and Siemans, have for a number of months been able to market and sell GSM cellular systems with A5-2 encryption in China as a result of a decision taken by the UK intelligence agency, GCHQ," wrote Barth in a letter addressed to the State Department.

"I understand that our National Security Agency is aware of this change in GCHQ's position and would support our request for a change in US requirements for export licenses for China. The NSA has agreed that there should be a 'level playing field' in regard to China ... We request waiver authority for 'all commercial cellular, PCS (personal communications systems) and other telecommunications system hardware and software."

In December 1994, the State Department replied to Barth, noting the diplomatic and human rights issues that State reviewed along with Motorola's November request.

"As you know, there are important issues that must be considered carefully, in light of the post-Tiananmen sanctions. The President recently renewed the Administration's commitment to these sanctions when he de-linked MFN and human rights issues," noted Assistant Secretary of State Thomas McNamara.

Finding no resolution at the State Department, in February 1995, Motorola Vice Chairman and CEO Gary Tooker addressed a letter to Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. Tooker sought Brown to help to overrule the State Department delay in shipping the encrypted radios. Tooker noted that "critical to Motorola" was the "system of controlling exports of products containing encryption."

"I do not wish to get involved in the debate regarding which U.S. agency controls these exports, but the simple fact remains that the controls are administered in a manner that causes us serious competitive harm," noted Tooker.

"Delegate to the export officer appropriate authority for reviewing certain classes of controls, e.g., encryption export controls administered by the State Department at the behest of the National Security Agency (NSA) should not be referred for endless delays to the human rights bureau and myriad others in State," suggested the Motorola CEO to Secretary Brown.

On March 22, 1995, Barth at Motorola again sent a memo, this time to key Clinton appointees at the Commerce Department, State Department and to George Tenet inside the White House at the National Security Council (NSC).

"We currently have about $100 million worth of two way radio business tied up by the lack of a waiver for China and face losing a market of about $500 million in GSM infrastructure sales alone over the next five years if we cannot sell systems that GCHQ in the UK has already approved last summer for export from Europe," noted Barth.

"I urge you to get in writing to the State Department asap language that seeks a waiver for 'cellular, PCS and two way radio systems,' as recently agreed," wrote Barth.

Motorola CEO Tooker wrote a letter on May 10, 1995 to Secretary of State Warren Christopher. Barth saw to it that copies of the letter were sent to Brown at Commerce, Adm. McConnell, director of the National Security Agency; Ted McNamara at the State Department; and Sue Eckert at the Commerce Department.

"In November, we asked for relief for these kind of exports in a letter to Assistant Secretary McNamara," noted Tooker. "To date the requested waiver has not been granted, despite the fact that we had already ascertained in October last year that NSA is supportive of this change."

"Encryption export controls are increasingly causing lost and seriously delayed sales as the marketplace demands security and privacy in these systems. In this case, we estimate that Motorola's China market for these products will exceed $750 million through the end of this decade ... Resolving the overall problem must be addressed, this waiver for China is a particularly acute issue for Motorola and I hope you can help resolve it. I ask that you promptly provide the White House with proposed telecommunications encryption waiver language so that this situation can be rectified."

On July 5, 1995, Motorola CEO

"Dear Secretary Brown," wrote Tooker. "I am writing to thank you and some key members of the Commerce Department for your assistance in obtaining the Presidential waiver for encryption export sales to China."

Consider this fact: The secure Motorola radios sold to the Chinese police are not top of the line. The radios sold to China are secure against interception by lesser powers such as Taiwan, South Korea, Chinese dissidents and low-level criminals.

The Motorola radios are not powerful enough to lock out supercomputer-armed code crackers such as the National Security Agency, Britain's GCHQ or the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

Clearly, the Chinese security police might have some conversations to hide on its Motorola secure radios. The Chinese People's Armed Police (PAP) is the uniformed strong arm of the communist party. It is the PAP job to enforce the laws of the party, including the execution of dissidents, oppressing the Falung Gong and the forced abortion of pregnant women without a license.

In 1998, Harry Wu confirmed that PAP officers are equipped with Motorola radios when he was arrested and eventually deported from China. Wu reported that he was quickly identified by Chinese security police officers after they checked his records on an American-made computer.

According to Wu, the Chinese police officials were in real-time contact with the main office's computers in Beijing, using an American-made satellite uplink. After his arrest, the officers escorted him to prison, taking their orders over American-made Motorola encrypted radios.

The Chinese police are well known for violating human rights and frequently beat suspects to obtain confessions. One recent example was published in the 2001 the China Rights Forum. The People's Armed Police beat Li Kuisheng, a defense lawyer in Henan province, for simply defending an imprisoned client.

"Several policemen force me to strip naked, cuffed and shackled me and made me run through the snow with one pulling from in front and two pushing from behind," stated Li.

Li then reported that he was then beaten with the butt of a gun until he collapsed and passed out. The PAP released Li Kuisheng this March after 26 months of detention and dropped all charges. Li's client, Xue Wuchen, died in PAP custody.

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Documents obtained from the Ron Brown Commerce Department show that in June 1995, then-President Bill Clinton personally OK'd the export of Motorola secure radios and cell phones directly to the Chinese government.Clinton approved the sale of $100 million in Motorola...
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Wednesday, 16 May 2001 12:00 AM
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