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Cozying Up to China Led to Attack on Plane

  • You can blame former President Bill Clinton for the loss of a Navy plane and the ordeal of the crew that was held hostage for 10 days.
By Mike Blair

Former President Bill Clinton is largely responsible for 24 U.S. naval airmen who were held in Red China until the United States "apologized."

The SPOTLIGHT has learned that Clinton and his closest national security advisers ignored repeated warnings from the Pentagon that such an incident was going to occur when two Red Chinese jets harassed a U.S. Navy reconnaissance plane in the South China Sea on April 1.

Both the Air Force and the Navy sent formal complaints to the White House six months ago, warning Clinton that increasing harassment by Chinese aircraft of U.S. reconnaissance planes had become critical, seriously endangering the lives of servicemen.

According to statements by former Clinton Defense Secretary William Cohen, the Red Chinese were contacted by the U.S. government last January about the harassing incidents, which by that time had become almost routine.

The Clinton administration had decided months earlier to ignore China's aggressive behavior so it would not interfere with congressional approval of "permanent normal trade relations," which last year created an $83 billion trade deficit between the United States and China and has cost hundreds of thousands of Americans their jobs.

A retired National Security Agency official, who stays in contact with his former associates in America's spy agency, told The SPOTLIGHT that concern among commanders sending both Air Force and Navy reconnaissance aircraft to eavesdrop off the coasts and along the borders of Red China had reached the near panic level by the time President Bush took office.

The SPOTLIGHT has also learned that the harassment of U.S. aircraft is not the only belligerent behavior of Peking that Clinton ignored.

Since 1998 the Clinton administration had been aware that due to the loss of technology to Red China the Chinese had been able to better target their relatively small arsenal of long-range nuclear missiles and are now able to strike 13 major cities throughout the United States.

Although the Pentagon is aware of the cities that are under the threat of Red Chinese missile attacks they have not been publicly identified. However, they are believed to include Washington, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia and Settle.

The Pentagon is trying to downplay the significance of the capture by the Chinese of the super-sophisticated Lockheed EP-3E Aries -- a four-engine propeller-driven aircraft of which only 12 are in use.

The Aries was specially designed to eavesdrop on enemy radar and communications far inland.

One source told The SPOTLIGHT that the Aries, forced to land on Red China's Hainan Island after being "bumped" by a Chinese F-8 jet interceptor, was gathering intelligence data on two Russian-built Sovremanny-class destroyers recently purchased from Moscow by Peking.

The Pentagon is particularly interested in the destroyer because it carries two quad-launchers of Russian SS-N 22 sea-skimming anti-ship missiles, which can be armed with nuclear warheads.

The Russians designed the missiles, designated by NATO as the "Sunburn," to be able to penetrate the protective screens around U.S. aircraft carriers.

Military analysts have warned that the missile makes carrier battle groups, the offensive backbone of the U.S. Navy, highly vulnerable.

The Red Chinese are particularly interested in the electronics aboard the Aries which they hauled away by the truckload, according to photographic imagery picked up by U.S. spy satellites.