Magazine article Insight on the News

Next, Let's Classify the Pledge of Allegiance

Magazine article Insight on the News

Next, Let's Classify the Pledge of Allegiance

Article excerpt

Charles Smith, a journalist with expertise in information-security issues, has been involved in a lengthy lawsuit to require the Commerce Department to release documents related to the "Hua Mei Project," a deal in which U.S. firms sold advanced telecommunications technology to an allegedly private Chinese company. The technology has deadly serious battlefield applications, and the deal has prompted calls for an investigation of ties between the Clinton administration and the Chinese government.

In the course of the lawsuit, Smith told this column, he recently was supplied with a list of documents being withheld by Commerce along with the reasons behind refusal to release them. The inventory runs 16 pages and covers more than 100 pages of documents.

Smith's attention was drawn to one document in particular, identified as "Item 13 on page 13." The original document is a reply to questions from Rep. Floyd Spence, the South Carolina Republican who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, about aspects of the technology transfer, written by the deputy secretary of defense in 1996. …

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