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Physicist Admits Sending Space-Related Military Secrets To China 278

Posted by timothy
from the he-was-young-he-needed-the-money dept.
piemcfly writes "Chinese-born physicist Shu Quan-Sheng Monday pleaded guilty before a US court to violating the Arms Export Control Act by illegally exporting American military space know-how to China. The 68-year-old naturalized US citizen, pictured here on his company profile, admitted handing over the design of fueling systems between 2003 and 2007. Also, in 2003 he illegally exported a document with the impossibly long name of 'Commercial Information, Technical Proposal and Budgetary Officer — Design, Supply, Engineering, Fabrication, Testing & Commissioning of 100m3 Liquid Hydrogen Tank and Various Special Cryogenic Pumps, Valves, Filters and Instruments.' This contained the design of liquid hydrogen tanks for space launch vehicles. He also admitted to a third charge of bribing Chinese officials to the tune of some 189,300 dollars for a French space technology firm." Here's the FBI press release regarding Shu's plea.
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Physicist Admits Sending Space-Related Military Secrets To China

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  • Eh, it's nothing new [wikipedia.org]. But given that certain cultures are more about "honor" and "loyalty" than others are, then why do they let this happen? I find it hard to believe that Chinamen [latimes.com] are the only men capable of performing certain engineering duties. I doubt that anybody of American descent would be allowed to see top-secret Chinese data, 20-year citizen or not!

    Unless the FBI is simply foaming at the mouth to create FUD and bungle this like they bungle everything else. It's more of a matter of indus
    • by internerdj (1319281) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:31AM (#25801887)
      This is the problem with not properly promoting scientific education within American schools. If you can't get good scientists internally then you are putting your secure projects at risk.
      • by Shakrai (717556) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:44AM (#25802049) Journal

        If you can't get good scientists internally then you are putting your secure projects at risk.

        Umm, wasn't he a naturalized American citizen? Or do you mean to suggest that it's a risk to employ anyone who wasn't a natural-born citizen on secure projects? This traitorous asshole notwithstanding, most immigrants to this country are fiercely patriotic. You tend to have an appreciation for the United States if you immigrate here from a poorer/more oppressive country -- whereas those of us who were born here tend to take what we have for granted.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Correction, those of us who were born here and didn't take the responsibility ourselves to educate... OURSELVES!

          I hardly take what I have for granted, but I read a lot about how we got to where we are today. You know, that thing called history that the people you are really referring to ignore completely and pretend it has no relevance to today.

          I wouldn't let this one bad apple ruin the bushel. People seem to forget some of our greatest scientists EVER were defectors from our old enemies like, you know, Naz

          • by Hognoxious (631665) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @11:00AM (#25802255) Homepage Journal

            People seem to forget some of our greatest scientists EVER were defectors from our old enemies like, you know, Nazi Germany.

            It's not exactly rocket science, as Werner Von Braun once said.

            • by smellsofbikes (890263) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @01:31PM (#25805315) Journal

              Not only him: more than one third of American Nobel Prize winners are immigrants [state.gov]. Many of our best and brightest, and, as people who have worked in agriculture and construction can tell you, many of the hardest-working and most dedicated, are immigrants.

              • by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @04:44PM (#25808751) Homepage Journal

                The entire country is founded on immigration obviously, aside from the natives who got mostly wiped out that is.

                Believing immigration is bad for America is just navel gazing stupidity. There are no 20th generation American Citizens, from long lines of American ancestry. There are however thousands of years of Chinese dynastic and other histories.

                To cut off immigration is to say "we have enough people now" since everyone else is recently immigrated too (from a global historical perspective). There is no otherwise functional difference between the immigrant and the naturally born citizen.

                Who bombed the FBI building in Oklahoma after all? A chinaman? Maybe a Russian spy? Yeah.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by smellsofbikes (890263)

                  I agree entirely with you, but would like to quibble on one minor point. The first guy to bear my last name on North American soil got here 15 generations ago, while two of my grandparents escaped from pre-WWII Germany, so I'm fairly typical. But I dated a lovely woman a few years back whose ancestors were all Cherokee or Paiute, as far as she knew, so while they obviously weren't American citizens back 8000 years ago, they have a lot, a whole, whole lot, to say about what happens to the neighborhood when

        • Or do you mean to suggest that it's a risk to employ anyone who wasn't a natural-born citizen on secure projects?

          The USA does more than 'suggest' that: there's a NOFORN caveat for classified documents that means 'no one who is not a natural-born citizen may have access.'

          • The USA does more than 'suggest' that: there's a NOFORN caveat for classified documents...

            Exactly right. And that even applies to access to sensitive areas. Foreign nationals get a different color badge, so everyone knows. Though I do notice that when it comes to top scientists, those rules seem to become a little more fluid.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by hairyfeet (841228)

          While it is true that most are fiercely patriotic,they are still a risk. For example: Does he stil have family/friends there? A favorite Aunt? A childhood sweetheart? If so,they are a risk. Let us be honest here,when most countries go out to steal another's secrets,playing nice usually doesn't enter the picture. Let us not forget this is the same country the sends a bill to a person's family for the bullets they used to shoot him. Not really known for playing nice over there. A simple message that your love

          • by novakyu (636495) <novakyu@member.fsf.org> on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @12:58PM (#25804687) Homepage

            So while someone who has been in this country for 20+ years may have the flag flying in their yard and be all "Go USA!" that doesn't change the fact that it would still be easier to get them to give up secrets than a US born.

            And that's because natural-born citizens never sell secrets to enemies [wikipedia.org], right?

            I agree that having families in oppressive countries is a liability—but, surely the U.S. government can help remove those liabilities (by shortening their immigration process) so that they can hire a qualified man for the job?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            This is beyond insulting.

            I need you to hear another perspective. I can't speak for all foreign-born citizens, obviously, but I would like to at least share my own. I hope you'll listen for a moment.

            Like this scientist guy, I wasn't born in the US -- I'm a person of Asian descent, born and raised in Taiwan (which may or may not be a part of China proper, depending on who you ask). My first thought when I saw the headline? "Fucking traitor!"

            According to TFA, this guy not only betrayed US secrets to the Chi

        • by novakyu (636495)

          This traitorous asshole notwithstanding, most immigrants to this country are fiercely patriotic.

          As a physics graduate student who was recently naturalized, I completely agree with you, and I hope this traitor gets what he deserves---a death sentence.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jollyreaper (513215)

        This is the problem with not properly promoting scientific education within American schools. If you can't get good scientists internally then you are putting your secure projects at risk.

        It's a mixed bag. For every foreign-born turncoat you can find, I can find you one who is loyal to the US because he has a huge beef with whoever is running the show back home. Likewise, for every loyal native-born son of liberty I can show you a homegrown turncoat. Look at all the moles in the CIA, corn-fed Americans.

        The moral of the story is that there's no rule of thumb to go by on who you can trust, you need to suspect everyone and not make theft any easier than it has to be. Most of these cases, nobody

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Koreantoast (527520)
        Sorry, being born on American soil is hardly a good indicator of loyalty. After all, the most damaging of American spies in recent history weren't foreign immigrants from Asia but Caucasian, American-born males from the heartland. People like Robert Hanssen of Chicago or Aldrich Ames of River Falls, Wisconsin.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by eldavojohn (898314) *

      I find it hard to believe that Chinamen ...

      Also, Ethanol-fueled, 'Chinamen' is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian Americans, please.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by elrous0 (869638) *
        This isn't a guy who built the railroads here. This is a guy who stole our secrets!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Dude, the chinaman is not the issue here!

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Toll_Free (1295136)

        Yeah, let's bow down to "Asian American" today.

        Tomorrow it will be "Person of Asian Decent, probably of Chinese".

        Chinamen only serves to convey a person of a certain area.

        This "politically correct" crap has to end. You can't have a different "cultural" name every oh, half decade or so.

        Should we call them "American's of Chinese Decent".

        PuhLeeze. People getting irate over being called a Chinaman, when they come from China is lame. I can see it if he called them a "Chink", "Slant Eye" or something else.

        Or s

        • Well, it's NOT about the composition of the words, it's about the connotation. The Chinaman slur has the same connotation as if you went to China and everyone called you White-boy... It might technically be correct, but in most connotations it's derogatory. Just because it's less offensive than Chink, doesn't mean it's not offensive.

          There's nothing wrong with saying someone is Chinese, or Chinese-American. Asian-American is less correct than that, Because Indians are South-Asian, thus still Asian, th
      • I assumed he was trying to be intentionally rude rather than ignorant of the politically correct terms.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        This reminds me of a pretty egregious faux-pas in the character customization menus in the recent Fallout game. Basically, amid the extensive options available for tweaking your character, there was initially (right after gender) a "race" option. The options were something like:

        1) Caucasian
        2) Asian
        3) African American

        Coming from outside the US, this ranks as one of my top ten "WTF?" moments in video gaming. I knew that Americans were fairly insular, but to define an entire racial group as "XXXican American"

      • I believe that currently the politically correct phrase is 'Person of Slanty-eyedness' not to be confused with 'slanty-eyed person' which is of course highly offensive.
    • Unless the FBI is simply foaming at the mouth to create FUD and bungle this like they bungle everything else. It's more of a matter of industrial espionage rather than national security.

      If the Chinese got ahold of that new laser weapon system from Northrop Grumman, I doubt you would make such a neat little dichotomy there between industrial espionage and national security.

      The Chinese government is actually quite hostile to the United States and many other countries. Just look at what they're doing to Africa [codemonkeyramblings.com]

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MikeRT (947531)
        I can already predict that some snarky asshole is going to come along and say "long, protracted wars like Iraq." The answer is no. Try the sort of wars where both parties are actually on a generally equal footing, where hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of soldiers end up dead. One of the reasons that governments like the Chinese government don't risk war with us is that they know that with our currently superior equipped and trained military, we can inflict devastating and likely very disproportionate
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jollyreaper (513215)

          I can already predict that some snarky asshole is going to come along and say "long, protracted wars like Iraq." The answer is no. Try the sort of wars where both parties are actually on a generally equal footing, where hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of soldiers end up dead. One of the reasons that governments like the Chinese government don't risk war with us is that they know that with our currently superior equipped and trained military, we can inflict devastating and likely very disproportionate casualties on them. If they are successful at industrial espionage, they close the gap there between our respective militaries and can come much closer to going toe-to-toe with our troops any day of the week.

          1. Our military is over-extended already. It's unlikely we even have enough spare troops to invade Guam again at this point.
          2. There's no possible scenario I can think of that would see us facing down China in a ground battle.
          3. Economic warfare seems to be a far smarter arena to be engaged in than direct military conflict. And they have us over the barrel in that regard.
          4. There's a difference between a bombing campaign and a ground invasion of given territory. All the high tech in the world doesn't count

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Shakrai (717556)

            Our military is over-extended already. It's unlikely we even have enough spare troops to invade Guam again at this point.

            And? People tend to forget that in 1941 we had a smaller army than Portugal and a nearly non-existent Air Force. The only branch of the armed forces that was remotely ready for war was the US Navy. My concern with our military being over-extended is not that we'd lose a large-scale industrial war -- it's that we'd lose the the opportunity to nip a problem in the bud before it became a large-scale industrial war.

            There's no possible scenario I can think of that would see us facing down China in a ground battle.

            What possible scenario could you think of in 1920 that would see us facing down Germany and It

          • 2. There's no possible scenario I can think of that would see us facing down China in a ground battle.

            You'd be surprised how quickly politicians can turn a bad economy into an international incident and then into something worse. We're a lot closer to a seriously complicated problem with China than we have every been before.

      • The link you posted above is an interesting story, and I understand the need for a strong defense, but these days our defense is really more of an cash-cow of an industry than it is an actual defense.

        What has been happening to Chinese military industrial spies caught in the US? A few years in jail and deportation. The era of Julius and Ethel Rosenburg [wikipedia.org] is long gone.

        If China was such a terrible enemy and should be kept in check as much as possible, why is this [wikipedia.org] being allowed to happen?
        • by Shakrai (717556)

          but these days our defense is really more of an cash-cow of an industry than it is an actual defense.

          Says who? Would you want to go up against American weapons systems and the American military? Our procurement processes may be completely fucked up but the final product is nonetheless pretty impressive. Is there anything on Earth that can take on the F-22 for example?

          • I served time in the Air Force as an enlisted avionics technician and left just as the first F-22 squadron was being assembled at Langley.

            Yes, the F-22 is an impressive piece of machinery, but like all military technology, it's 20 years behind the times. It's an angular relic of the "Top Gun" era where pilots engaged in those flashy, showy dogfights - keep in mind that the majority of Air Force Brass are command pilots and underneath those ribbons, they will always be boys playing with their toys! There
            • by Shakrai (717556)

              A squadron of smaller, cheaper, unmanned Predators would make a much larger difference in asymmetrical warfare

              Asymmetrical warfare may be what we are currently engaged in but nobody is ever going to conquer the free world using asymmetrical warfare. I've never agreed with this notion that we should build our military around fighting asymmetrical warfare -- it would be nice if that was also a focus but we need to retain the ability and technology to fight and win a conventional war.

              The competing F-23 was the superior aircraft but it performed more poorly in "knife fights", i.e. head-on dogfights, than the F-22 did. Which is redundant, because the stealth features of both aircraft are designed so that the aircraft can avoid dogfights in the first place!

              And it was redundant in Vietnam because the Sparrow missile ensured that dogfighting would never happen. Hell, why even equip the F-4

      • by Shakrai (717556) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:48AM (#25802119) Journal

        what he did would be considered treason in spirit, if not exactly the letter of the law.

        Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

        Maybe even under the letter of the law. 'Aid and Comfort'

        One of the most effective ways for us to prevent a war is to make betraying military applicable technologies to their government an offense that most of these guys would never commit because the punishment is so severe.

        They'll still do it. People commit espionage for a variety of reasons. And the punishments are already pretty severe -- personally I'd rather be executed than spend the rest of my natural life in 23 hour a day solitary confinement at Florence ADX. The reason that most spies don't get the death penalty is because they agree to a life sentence in exchange for revealing how much information they gave away.

        • a life sentence in exchange for revealing how much information they gave away

          And you can trust that information 100%. I mean these are spies we're talking about, not lawyers or real-estate salesmen.

          • by khallow (566160)

            And you can trust that information 100%. I mean these are spies we're talking about, not lawyers or real-estate salesmen.

            Golly, I bet the CIA never thought of that. Better write them a letter pronto.

            More seriously, these guys are caught, looking at serious prison time, and their captors hold all the cards. My understanding is that they'll get questioned multiple times in multiple ways over many months. While not all of their statements can be immediately verified, a lot of it can and the spy will never know how much. Sure, I suppose someone could keep a secret over that length of time while feigning cooperation, but it'd be d

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Shakrai (717556)

            And you can trust that information 100%

            Eh, it depends on the underlying motivation they had for committing espionage. The FBI had something called 'MICE' during the Cold War -- Money, Ideology, Coercion, and Ego -- it was meant to explain the reasonings behind why someone would commit espionage.

            Someone who committed espionage because they were blackmailed (coercion) by the foreign power would be less likely to lie about their activities when caught than someone who committed it for idealogical reasons (i.e: they actually believe in the politica

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Red Flayer (890720)

          Maybe even under the letter of the law. 'Aid and Comfort'

          Only if China is our Enemy.

          I'm sure that move would be great for foreign relations... let's legally define China as our enemy in order to convict someone of treason instead of espionage!!1! ;)

          It seems you don't think along those lines, but I thought I'd point out the ramifications for the GP... of course there are plenty of Americans (and people of other nationalities, of course) who believe the Other is always an enemy... but those people are irrat

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Eunuchswear (210685)

          If you want to consider China an enemy, and think "Aid and Comfort" is enough to convict for treason then you'd better start by locking up the board of Wal-Mart. Then have a look at the contents of your house and wardrobe and decide whether to turn yourself in.

      • by Thanshin (1188877)

        You know, mentally replacing each instance of "the chinese" in your text with "the chinese government" makes it non xenophobe.

        At least until you reach: "One of the most effective ways for us to prevent a war is to make betraying military applicable technologies to their government an offense that most of these guys would never commit because the punishment is so severe." where you obviously refer to chinese people living in the United States.

        If I were you, I'd review my thoughts on the differences between g

        • "If I were you, I'd review my thoughts on the differences between governments and human beings."

          That's pretty hard when foreign governments USE Human Beings.

          --Toll_Free

          • by Thanshin (1188877)

            > That's pretty hard when foreign governments USE Human Beings.

            Yes, well, criminal organizations also use human beings and it's pretty easy to understand that not every citizen of a country that has a criminal organization is a criminal.

            Brazil may have a great soccer team and that still doesn't make brazilians any better at playing soccer than french people.

            And, surprisingly enough, being chinese doesn't raise the chances of being corrupt.

      • If the Chinese got ahold of that new laser weapon system from Northrop Grumman, I doubt you would make such a neat little dichotomy there between industrial espionage and national security.

        right, but this guy didn't get a hold of a new laser weapon, or any other type of weapon. that's the whole point. what he stole had nothing to do with weapons research and everything to do with manned space flight and other space launch technology:

        Shu, 68, pleaded guilty to violating the Arms Export Control Act by helping

      • From IronMan...

        "Is it better to be respected, or feared?"

        I saw, WHY NOT BOTH?

        Truer words where NEVER spoken in a military theater.

        --Toll_Free

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      During WWII the US had issue with people of German decent sabotaging aircraft at Brewster aircraft. It didn't do much harm since Brewster made such bad aircraft to start with.
      It think this like most things has to do with individuals and not race.
      The real issue is that to many foreign born and raised people are coming to the US and then becoming engineers.

    • Yup, native born white Americans are much less likely to sell out their country's interest for financial gain.

      That's why only native-born (and until recently, white Americans) are eligible for the presidency so that this doesn't happen at the highest leve and that system has worked very well.
    • It's more of a matter of industrial espionage rather than national security.

      The same fuel tanks, that China has put on the spaceships, that they are so proud of, thanks to the stolen technology, can be (and, in all likelyhood, are being) put on the ballistic missiles.

      It is national security...

      • You don't use liquid hydrogen in ICBM's.

        • by mi (197448)

          You don't use liquid hydrogen in ICBM's.

          I certainly don't... The Chinese very well might.

          But why speculate? Already their government is trumpeting the success of their space-program as that of their science and engineering [breitbart.com] — when, in fact, it is due, at least partially, to espionage. That the theft propped up a fairly evil regime is, in itself, (slightly) hurting the national security of the United States.

    • by viridari (1138635)

      Unless the FBI is simply foaming at the mouth to create FUD and bungle this like they bungle everything else. It's more of a matter of industrial espionage rather than national security.

      Right, because none of this has any military use. You couldn't use it to make a better ICBM. Or to shoot satellites out of orbit. Who would be so silly to think that China would want to build such weapons?

    • That's because natural born Americans have a healthy respect for our federal prison system. Any American who betrays the US government must think prison rape is a great way to spend the next 20 years.

      Of course we're bad at math too. So we're not qualified to work on our own secret engineering projects. And lack the internationally connections to sell secrets or pass along bribes. So we're only of limited use in these sorts of positions.

    • > I doubt that anybody of American descent would be allowed to see top-secret Chinese data, 20-year citizen or not!

      I found the opposite sometimes. Because much internal Chinese data is secretive- overly at times- I've been "spilled the beans" mainly out of accomplishment pride rather than espionage. For example on one 1980s visit to a Chinese Oil Company research center I was shown an exact clone of the original style cylindrical Cray supercomputer. Officially China hid they had copied Cray and had
  • Outsourcing (Score:4, Funny)

    by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:26AM (#25801831)
    Maybe outsourcing the US military to China wouldn't be a bad thing after all.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:27AM (#25801843)

    Only a few years ago, this would be called 'TREASON' and possible punishment could be death, but more likely life imprisonment.

    What say he goes free...

    • by MightyYar (622222) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:38AM (#25801969)

      Meh, it's not like rockets can be weaponized or anything.

      On a more serious not, this stuff is all for liquid hydrogen rockets - that wouldn't make a very effective weapon... it does a fine job in the Space Shuttle main engine, but keeping rockets that run on liquid hydrogen flight-ready is pretty expensive. AFAIK, most of the US military rockets are solid fuel.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by lysergic.acid (845423)

        well, even if they are stealing rocket technology from the West, they're just getting us back [wikipedia.org].

        the Chinese were the first to invent rockets, which were later stolen by the Mongols, who then spread it to the Arabs, who eventually spread it to the West. i guess that makes us even now.

        most scientific & technological advancements are built on top of the work done by previous scientists/inventors/engineers. and the history of human technological/scientific progress is essentially the story of the spread of kn

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Agreed wholeheartedly. Treason is a very appropriate designation here, IMHO.

      He is a US citizen who used that privilege to gain access to secure information and willfully sold us out! His actions profoundly harmed our national interests, diminished our technological advantages over our adversaries, caused immeasurable economic harm, and may very well cost the lives of countless numbers of our fellow countrymen in future conflicts!!! Furthermore, in this case there is EVERY reason to believe that he knew E

  • Only 10 years? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    What happened to treason?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I wonder how many corporations , universities and other organizations routinely share and profit from the global movement of information? When was the last time you saw a multinational corporation become the target for these types of investigations?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending the guy, personally, I just think all this secrecy is stupid, useless and evil.

    • Individuals certainly can, but they have to go through the export controls of the US state Department and when it comes to 'weapons', the DHS.

      But lets not kid ourselves here, this isn't even close to the grey area. This guy sold missile/rocket technology to a foreign government, China no less.

      I work for one of these large multinational corporations, and quite often deal with technology transfers between foreign entities and governments. Let me tell you the reason you don't hear about much in the way of in

  • this isn't a whole lot different from being a lobbyist for a foreign government and advisor to a presidential campaign at the same time. Except, that's apparently legal.
    • by Shakrai (717556)

      this isn't a whole lot different from being a lobbyist for a foreign government

      A lobbyist for a foreign Government lobbies on behalf of that Government. A spy gives that Government classified information. No difference at all......

  • In Capitalist China, Rocket Fires You!

  • hmmm. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by apodyopsis (1048476) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:30AM (#25801869)
    I would say that china has many good research engineers to get new technology - but from my time working there I would say that industrial espionage and reverse engineering are perfectly acceptable methods to get new technology over there. I have seen new chips turn up that once decapped and FIB'd were seen to be *exact* copies of designs from the firm I worked for, complete with the same faults - but that's what you get for using a Chinese fab.

    As always I am interested in this from a general viewpoint - I mean how many hours R&D is worth the hassle of paying for? obviously if something has been developed for many years and represents significant innovation it would be worthwhile, but they seem to be after anything.

    It reminds me of the Tupelov 144 and Bakinor shuttle - both of which were uncannily close to planes developed elsewhere...
    • Re:hmmm. (Score:5, Informative)

      by frieko (855745) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:44AM (#25802043)
      Karma whoring here.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu-144 [wikipedia.org]
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buran_(spacecraft) [wikipedia.org]
      Interesting reads both. As I understand it the aerodynamic shapes were copied from photos, but the guts were completely different.
    • We Chinese have an old saying that dates back to the Opium War. Back then we were called the "Sick Man of the Far East", because of the number of people addicted to opium which the British had imported. Later on it became "Copycat of the Far East" because of the many, many ways that China tries to imitate the West through technology, culture, fashion, music, and so on. (Think of just how much software and music are copied and distributed without any regard to proper royalties and licensing and you can be

      • Don't worry about it. When I was a kid Japan was known for making shoddy knock-offs of "Western" goods.

        Before my time the US was known for making shoddy knock-offs of European goods.

  • Information wants to be free, man. He was just freeing it from its cruel imprisonment by the US government.

    Especially impressive is that he's apparently willing to take its place in order to do so.

  • So they finally managed to get someone with the wonderful airport security system!

  • I'm sure on this site he's considered a hero.

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @10:55AM (#25802197)

    I can't claim any personal experience with counter-intelligence but everything I've read on the matter makes the feebs out to be completely incompetent jackasses. Potential intelligence assets will walk in the front door and the FBI and CIA couldn't manage to recognize them for what they were. It seems like the operative rules are along the lines of:

    1. First, don't fuck up.
    2. Doing things increases the chances of fucking up; the less you do, the less likely you fuck up, unless your fuck up was not doing anything.
    3. Your primary enemy is other intelligence services competing for your budget and turf. Cut those bastards off at the knees.
    4. In your spare time, see if any foreign agents might be up to something.

    For a case in point, Operation Pastorius.

    http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=949 [damninteresting.com]

    German defectors walk right up to the FBI and the G-men had to be beaten over the head before they realized something was up. And Hoover, ugh, don't even get me started on that bastard. The Brits couldn't stand working with that transvestite media whore in WWII. No sooner would a German agent be sniffed out and the FBI would roll him up and bring in the pressmen so German intel could find out their operation was blown and there would be enough details blabbed to the press so the Germans would know how they were sniffed out. The Brit approach was to figure out who the agents were, then keep a close eye on who they associated with so they could discover the larger spy network. They would also use these agents to unwittingly feed bogus intel back into German hands. That that was all too subtle for the swinging dick approach favored by American intel.

    • That that was all too subtle for the swinging dick approach favored by American intel.

      Again, is anybody here surprised that this was the favored approach of J. Edgar?

    • by homer_ca (144738)

      Sounds about right. Try googling Katrina Leung. She was a supposed FBI informant, but she was sleeping with her FBI handler and playing him for info to send back to the Chinese. What a jackass!

  • lets do the right thing and shoot him for treason... No wait, give him a medal! we owe china a bundle, lets take that off our debt to china instead, that outta be worth say two trillion for that information...so now china is no longer our creditor, glad that debt is settled. Now on to the other 8 trillion in national debt (not to mention the other 50 trillion owed internally).
    • by FooGoo (98336)
      Hmmm, we could send him to the moon and send China the bill. It's like billing the family for the bullet.
  • To paraphrase Nobel economist Paul Krugman, China supplies the US poisonous toys and in return the US supplies China with fraudulent securities.
  • is there a corelation between the current status of a first-generation US citizen's native country (whether it is rising and inducing certain kinds of pride related emotions) and the loyalty of some of those citizens. It might be interesting to look at German-Americans in 1930s as they watched Germany rise from its ashes (on the back of some horrible policies) and Chinese-Americans now.
    I do not mean to impugn the patriotism of any fellow American, but I think this kind of study would be interesting.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dwye (1127395)

      > It might be interesting to look at German-Americans in 1930s

      Bundists were a problem, until war was actually declared. Then, the majority became as patriotic as anyone else. Of course, the worst ones went home "when the Fuehrer called all good Germans back to the Fatherland." to quote Band Of Brothers (at least the movie - haven't read most of the book, yet). Mostly providing public information, suitably correlated, rather than "secret plans" or classified military info.

      Also, as many 1st and 2nd gene

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday November 18, 2008 @02:09PM (#25806107) Homepage

    What "military space know-how"? No US weapons system uses liquid hydrogen tanks.

    The Saturn V used liquid hydrogen, and the Shuttle does, but those are NASA programs. Unmanned boosters are usually solids, or the old standard, liquid oxygen and kerosene, like the V2 from WWII. ICBMs have been all solid-fuel since the 1970s. And according to the Outer Space Treaty [state.gov], the US isn't supposed to have weapons in space.

    There's no military threat. The only reason to limit the export of liquid hydrogen tank technology is to slow down the Chinese manned space program.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dwye (1127395)

      What "military space know-how"? No current US weapons system uses liquid hydrogen tanks, that I know about.

      Fixed it for you.

      The only reason to limit the export of liquid hydrogen tank technology is to slow down the Chinese manned space program.

      Because the Chinese would never use what they have, rather than exactly copying an American design that they will not have all of until years from now.

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