Friday, January 07, 2005

News of the Day (January 7, 2005) and the last Week’s Links

First up, we have today’s Week’s Links, the final weekly newsletter of the China e-Lobby. I’d be more sentimental about it, except that I'm just breaking up the weekly newsletters and turning them into daily blog posts. Speaking of . . .

Katrina Leung case dismissed: A federal judge blew up the latest attempt to find out just how deep Communist Chinese espionage reached into the American political system by dismissing the Feds’ case against Katrina Leung: FBI asset, longtime California Republican fundraiser, and suspected Communist spy. Judge Florence-Marie Cooper, appointed to the bench by Bill Clinton in 1999 after an appointment to a state-level court by California Republican Governor Pete Wilson (said fact caused yours truly to arch an eyebrow), insisted the prosecution’s deal with Leung’s FBI handler – and lover – James J. Smith had barred him from talking to defense attorneys, and as such hindered Leung’s defense.

The U.S. Attorney’s office appears certain to appeal, especially since a different federal judge had signed off on the Smith deal – which would be odd if it was as unethical as Cooper alleged. However, at present, the only option for folks who would like to know what havoc Leung wreaked on counterintelligence – the FBI “said in court documents that the case casts doubt on every major Chinese counterintelligence investigation in the past 20 years” (Washington Post, same source for today’s link above) – may be the Senate Judiciary Committee. Last year, three Senators wrote then-Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch asking for a Leung probe. Among them were the committee’s senior Democrat and ex-chairman Pat Leahy and – more importantly – its current chairman, Arlen Specter.

CNOOC to buy Unocal? China National Oil Offshore Corporation is preparing “to offer some $13bn (£7bn) for US firm Unocal” (BBC). The Communist-owned firm claimed to be “interested in Unocal’s Asian assets and had asked bankers to study a takeover of the whole company followed by a subsequent sale of the US assets” (Financial Times, UK). Still, at the very least this would be a major expansion for the CNOOC in Asia, and if they’re lying about the “subsequent sale of the US assets” (who out there still trusts the Communists on anything?) they would have a sizeable chunk of the U.S. oil and natural gas market. To date, the Bush Administration has said nothing about this possible Communist acquisition.

Zoellick is to be Rice’s Deputy, Bolton reportedly out: It appears Secretary of State-designate Condoleeza Rice is going with a safe, establishment pick for her Deputy – Robert Zoellick (Washington Post profile, Washington Times less-than-deserved praise). Many of us in the liberate-northern-Korea crowd hoped the post would go to John Bolton, currently Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and one of the few hard-liners at State. According to the Epoch Times, Bolton may soon leave State altogether. That would be a terrible blow.

Cadre Corruption usually backed by relatives: Of the over 20,000 cadres caught in acts of corruption in the first half of last year (and that’s just the cases the Communists will acknowledge), most brought members of their own family in on the graft. A Communist prosecutor told the Party-run China Youths (cited by the Epoch Times) “that 80 percent of the corrupted officials conduct crimes with the aid of family members.” This should surprise no one, although it gives the old Mafia term “Family” a whole new meaning.

Useless piece on Stalinist-controlled northern Korea: Courtesy of Jong-Heon Lee, United Press International/Washington Times

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