Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk - A weekly Column

May 31, 1999

China is only winner in scandals
Lack of constitutional governance causes security breaches

After months of delay, the American people have finally been treated to the 900-page Cox Report, which outlines some twenty years of breaches of security, bureaucratic foul-ups and, most recently, cover-ups. No one should be proud.
What has come out is not necessarily new -- so much has been dribbled out in leaks to the press that no one could claim to really be surprised -- but the report is nothing if not shocking in what it reveals about the state of our national security.
Our national defense is not even for sale, it is simply available for the taking -- all comers welcome.
One of the more troubling revelations is that the Justice Department refused wiretaps on the phone of a suspected Chinese spy. It is ironic because the Clinton Administration has long supported policies that would allow government agents to pry into all our financial records, computer usage and, yes, even tap our phones, without so much as a court order. So while the President and his appointees want an unlimited ability to spy on law-abiding citizens, they refuse to do much to protect our secrets from the communist Chinese.
Perhaps the single largest non-surprise surrounding the report has been revelations that the President lied about his knowledge of the Chinese espionage. What is troubling, of course, is that even if one can justify publicly lying about possible espionage, it is impossible to excuse his not taking action to remedy the situation.
The Cox Report makes it clear the Chinese have been stealing our most sensitive weapons secrets for two decades -- spanning four Administrations representing both major parties. But the first president to be made aware of the problems is the current occupant of the Oval Office. And his response? To do nothing, of course
But if it were merely a case of doing nothing, that would be one thing. But this Administration and its allies in the military industrial complex have -- it is alleged -- actively aided the Chinese. First there was the Commerce Department allowing China to buy high-tech computers, contrary to established policy. Then, private companies -- very friendly to Clinton -- have transferred further technology.
This is hardly surprising, of course, for at the same time this was occurring, Chinese money was filling the Democratic Party's 1996 campaign war chest.
That the Administration considers as the highest of priorities to kill innocent civilians and spend billions fighting in Yugoslavia's civil war, which does not involve us or even a region of strategic significance, while ignoring what is arguably the greatest breach of national security in our history, probably should not surprise any of us. This is just one more example of our 40-year-old schizophrenic foreign policy.
Almost two years ago, long before Monica Lewinsky and the national soap opera begun, several Members and I introduced an Inquiry into Impeachment because of the then-materializing allegations involving these serious breaches of national security, among other similar charges. Of course, this Congress -- and indeed much of the nation -- was disinterested in pursuing such an investigation, apparently because it is far less ribald than the obsession with sex, though arguably more dangerous.
Congress has an obligation to safeguard our nation from foreign powers. The Constitution clearly defines protection of national security as one of the very few actual powers of the federal government.
But as congress' and presidents have rushed to pursue the unconstitutional, we have neglected the constitutional.
This president has again proven himself to be many things, though certainly not a man of his word. And many Members of Congress have been asleep at the wheel.

The Cox Report should stand as an accusatory testament not only to the inexcusable behavior of this Administration, but of elected officials over the last forty years who have pursued political expediency over constitutional governance.