By Dan Stober

ISBN-10: 0743223780

ISBN-13: 9780743223782

No espionage case in contemporary a long time has been whatever just like the Wen Ho Lee affair. As Dan Stober and Ian Hoffman describe in "A handy Spy," an astonishingly inept research of against the law which could by no means have happened resulted in a countrywide shame. A weapons-code scientist at Los Alamos nationwide Laboratory, Lee used to be hunted as a undercover agent for China, indicted on fifty-nine counts, and held in detention for 9 months as a danger to the full country. yet after pleading accountable to simply one count number, he went domestic -- with an strange and emotional apology from a federal pass judgement on. Prosecutors' claims that Lee had stolen America's "crown jewels" of nuclear defense easily evaporated. but Lee's reasons have by no means been satisfactorily defined, and his often-repeated excuse that he used to be simply backing up his paintings records doesn't face up to scrutiny. As Stober and Hoffman document, Lee's lies and his unexplained connections to overseas scientists spanned eighteen years. He used to be a safety nightmare. Tapping at his keyboard, he assembled a personal number of the pc courses used to layout America's nuclear guns, then left them at risk of hackers and overseas intelligence prone for years. The FBI's belated discovery that he had additionally placed the codes on moveable cassette tapes introduced a frenzied around the globe seek that at last carried brokers to the Los Alamos landfill. And but this present day, the tapes have by no means been came upon. In 1995, Lee used to be simply one other American, a Taiwanese immigrant striving to help a relatives he adored and to make a reputation for himself in medical circles. Unknown to him, despite the fact that, scientists operating within the mystery international of nuclear-weapons intelligence tested purloinedChinese files, studied secret agent studies, and questioned: Had China stolen the secrets and techniques of the W88, America's so much complex nuclear weapon? clinical hunches swiftly advanced right into a felony research geared toward Lee. He have been overheard by way of the FBI whereas telephoning a undercover agent suspect, and he used to be warmly embraced by means of a high-ranking chinese language nuclear-weapons respectable whom he wasn't imagined to be aware of. The FBI famous that he used to be "ethnic Chinese." And during this doubtful interval after the chilly conflict, many politicians performed up China as a threatening new enemy. strength Secretary and vice presidential hopeful invoice Richardson used to be desirous to fireplace Lee and seem decisive in holding nationwide defense. during this stormy confluence of intelligence and politics, Lee turned a handy undercover agent. yet was once he to blame? Dan Stober and Ian Hoffman inform the tale of the Wen Ho Lee fiasco dramatically and authoritatively, offering an aim account that no partisan model of the tale can fit.

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A Convenient Spy: Wen Ho Lee and the politics of nuclear espionage by Dan Stober

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