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Download A Convenient Spy: Wen Ho Lee and the politics of nuclear by Dan Stober PDF

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By Dan Stober

No espionage case in contemporary a long time has been whatever just like the Wen Ho Lee affair. As Dan Stober and Ian Hoffman describe in "A handy Spy," an astonishingly inept research of against the law which can by no means have happened resulted in a countrywide shame. A weapons-code scientist at Los Alamos nationwide Laboratory, Lee was once hunted as a secret agent for China, indicted on fifty-nine counts, and held in detention for 9 months as a possibility to the full state. yet after pleading responsible to only one count number, he went domestic -- with an strange and emotional apology from a federal pass judgement on. Prosecutors' claims that Lee had stolen America's "crown jewels" of nuclear protection easily evaporated. but Lee's causes have by no means been satisfactorily defined, and his often-repeated excuse that he was once simply backing up his paintings records doesn't withstand scrutiny. As Stober and Hoffman document, Lee's lies and his unexplained connections to overseas scientists spanned eighteen years. He was once a safety nightmare. Tapping at his keyboard, he assembled a personal number of the pc courses used to layout America's nuclear guns, then left them susceptible to hackers and overseas intelligence prone for years. The FBI's belated discovery that he had additionally placed the codes on moveable cassette tapes introduced a frenzied all over the world seek that at last carried brokers to the Los Alamos landfill. And but this day, the tapes have by no means been stumbled on. In 1995, Lee was once simply one other American, a Taiwanese immigrant striving to help a kin he loved and to make a reputation for himself in clinical circles. Unknown to him, even though, scientists operating within the mystery international of nuclear-weapons intelligence tested purloinedChinese records, studied secret agent reviews, and questioned: Had China stolen the secrets and techniques of the W88, America's so much complex nuclear weapon? medical hunches speedily advanced right into a legal research geared toward Lee. He have been overheard through the FBI whereas telephoning a undercover agent suspect, and he used to be warmly embraced through a high-ranking chinese language nuclear-weapons authentic whom he wasn't alleged to be aware of. The FBI famous that he was once "ethnic Chinese." And during this doubtful interval after the chilly warfare, many politicians performed up China as a threatening new enemy. power Secretary and vice presidential hopeful invoice Richardson was once desirous to hearth Lee and seem decisive in conserving nationwide safety. during this stormy confluence of intelligence and politics, Lee grew to become a handy secret agent. yet was once he accountable? Dan Stober and Ian Hoffman inform the tale of the Wen Ho Lee fiasco dramatically and authoritatively, delivering an target account that no partisan model of the tale can fit.

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Because all citizens can consume the public good, representatives will seek to establish the policy accountability such that citizens will perceive the good as necessary, ef‹ciently produced, and as a program from which all citizens should bene‹t. With political accountability, representatives’ focus shifts to ‹nding palatable taxes to ‹nance public goods that enjoy policy accountability. Political accountability—citizen support for government writ large— becomes a concern when governments undertake major reforms or face a crisis with a speci‹c program.

We changed that and now have this program which helps a farmer buy a hundred thousand dollar combine or cotton picker tax free so he can sell his cotton cheaper to L. L. Bean or somebody, for Christ’s sake. It’s insane, but the farmers love it and remember us for protecting it every time they buy a hand rake, and nobody really misses the money. So I don’t see us changing it. A second reason why legislators may support particular bene‹ts is that they are politically popular—certain groups may be viewed by the public and legislators as deserving government bene‹ts not accruing to other citizens.

In terms of political accountability, many legislators complained that the American federal system has become “government by blob,” with little distinction among levels of government and a concomitant distaste for government in general. Because citizens do not distinguish which level of government provides which services, legislators ‹nd it dif‹cult to convince citizens to accept speci‹c taxes even when revenues are earmarked for speci‹c purposes. Legislators relayed stories of constituents suggesting that any new, even necessary, services could be providing by trimming waste from state spending.

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