Federal government can't seem to get out of bed with China

When it comes to the theft of intellectual property, some argue that the U.S. is its own worst enemy.  Rather than being an unwitting casualty, the U.S. either squanders or surrenders its technical advantages.

In a recent example, as reported by NPR, ten years ago, American scientists in Washington State made tremendous advancements in the field of vanadium batteries:

The batteries were about the size of a refrigerator, held enough energy to power a house, and could be used for decades. The engineers pictured people plunking them down next to their air conditioners, attaching solar panels to them, and everyone living happily ever after off the grid.

(One scientist described the technology as "beyond promise.")

But then the U.S. Department of Energy gave the taxpayer-funded technology to the Chinese government.

That wasn't an anomaly, as this seems to be the modus operandi of the federal government.  In 1998, the giveaway of rocket launch/development technology to China sparked an investigation, one that was undermined by President Clinton's subsequent actions — the move dwarfed any "aid and comfort" provided to foreign enemies since Benedict Arnold.

Under the guise of helping to improve worldwide satellite communications, Bill Clinton provided China with technological secrets with a program known as the Iridium Satellite Constellation Project.  It solved problems that prevented their rockets from reaching orbit, strengthening their ballistics capabilities.

In 1999, when there were still some investigative journalists at The New York Times, Jeff Gerth and his staff won a Pulitzer Prize for his series of articles describing the technology "giveaway" that saved China more than twenty years of wasted time and money and guaranteed that the Chinese would (probably) be America's best friend forever.

The political alchemists of the Clinton era thought they could enlighten lagging Chinese rocket scientists, and turn them from humanitarian lead into gold.  Similarly, today's generation of elected conjurers believe that magically spending billions on inflation (and climate change) will, despite the warnings from 230 economists, miraculously reduce inflation and, except for those pesky volcanoes, prevent the next Ice Age or global warming.

Take some time and read the "sources" quoted by Mr. Gerth to see if you recognize any of the politicians, companies, and "thought leaders" who gave their bobble-head approval to this "shared" technology: 

April 4, 1998

Companies Are Investigated For Aid to China on Rockets

May 15, 1998

Democrat Fund-Raiser Said to Name China Tie

May 17, 1998

How China Won Rights to Launch Satellites for U.S.

June 13, 1998

U.S. Knew China Military Used Civilian Satellites, Reports Show

June 18, 1998

Administration Rethinking $650 Million China Satellite Deal

October 19, 1998

Chinese Said to Reap Gains in U.S. Export Policy Shift

December 15, 1998

Evidence of China Plan to Buy Entree to U.S. Technology

December 24, 1998

C.I.A. Ignored Report of Payments To Chinese for Satellite Contracts

December 31, 1998

House Panel Says Chinese Obtained U.S. Arms Secrets

As the world teeters on the edge of a nuclear winter (or summer), let's ask all the bureaucrats from the 1998 "Iridium Constellation" project if they've had any second thoughts.

Benedict Arnold would be so proud.

Image: Pexels from Pixabay, Pixabay License, free for commercial use, no attribution required

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