Vital Signs

Commies in D.C.—Again

Did Asian operatives, some of them connected with the People's Republic of China, influence the White House, the Department of Commerce, and other offices of the executive branch? This is one of the questions of the day concerning the Clinton administration.

The Senate Committee on Government Affairs has said that it "believes that high-level Chinese government officials crafted a plan to increase China's influence over the U.S. political process. . . . Our investigation suggests the plan continues today. . . . Importantly, the FBI told the White House about the Chinese plan in June 1996, when two FBI agents briefed two representatives of the National Security Council . . . the FBI placed no limitation on sharing the information, much of which the White House had independent access to through other means." The Democratic minority of the committee agrees with at least the first part of this statement.

As grave as these developments are for the nation's security, it is both interesting and instructive to recall that communist penetration of the White House and other government entities has an earlier counterpart—a half-century ago. The outline of earlier penetration operations has been apparent to interested observers for many years, but fuller details are now emerging. It was clear enough at the time, but now it is even more conclusive and specific: Soviet intelligence penetrated the Washington...

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