Now this is an interesting defense, damned if they do, damned if they don't : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

What will the government do against this line of defense, protect the secrets, or allow them to be disseminated to an ever watchful world view?

Do they prosecute "full steam" ahead or what?!?

How would "you" proceed if you were the prosecution?

Interesting question, isn't it?

Here's the story:

Wednesday February 23 3:06 PM ET

Fired U.S. Nuke Scientist to Argue Data Was Public SANTA FE, N.M. (Reuters) - A fired U.S. government physicist charged with copying nuclear weapons data plans to argue in his trial that the information was public rather than top secret, according to court documents made public on Wednesday.

Wen Ho Lee expects to show that computer tapes and files he made were copies of scientific work already published with the government's permission, defense attorneys Mark Holscher and John Cline said in a court filing.

The memo was filed in U.S. district court in Albuquerque, where Lee's case is being handled, on Tuesday and made available to Reuters by the defense on Wednesday.

Lee is due to go on trial in November on 59 federal counts of making illegal copies from computer files on nuclear weapons development programs at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico.

Lee, who has pleaded not guilty, has been jailed since he was arrested last December amid a wider controversy over allegations China had spied on U.S. nuclear weapons developers.

Lee was not charged with espionage.

According to the defense memo, Lee plans to attack the government's claims that the data he copied off Los Alamos computers were national security secrets.

``Dr Lee expects to establish at trial (possibly through his own testimony) that the computer codes and other information in the files and on the tapes, far from being carefully protected 'crown jewels', as the government contends, were readily available in open literature, much of it published with the knowledge and approval of the national laboratories and the federal government,'' the memo said.

It added that Lee himself may ``present a detailed, side-by-side comparison of the contents of the files and tapes on the one hand and the open literature on the other''.

The U.S. Attorney's office, which is prosecuting the case, declined to comment on the memo, saying it had not yet reviewed the documents.

The advance glimpse of the defense's courtroom strategy was part of the defense team's effort to get the judge to relax strict federal rules on classified information that could limit Lee's testimony.

The comments came in a memo rejecting the government's argument that the Classified Information Protection Act (CIPA) required Lee to disclose ahead of trial exactly what confidential data he expected to refer to in his defense.

Lee's lawyers asked the judge to declare that CIPA rules do not apply in this trial, because they would compromise Lee's Fifth Amendment constitutional protection against self- incrimination.

No date has been set for the judge's ruling on the CIPA matter. Lee's attorneys are also asking a federal appeals court in Denver to overturn a judge's decision in January to deny bond and keep Lee in jail in Santa Fe pending his trial.



-- Michael (, February 23, 2000


Sorry, this is OT, should have mentioned that.

-- Michael (, February 23, 2000.

I'd probably just let himn out on bail, then let him be shot while fleeing the country...

But then, I'm cynical.

-- Mad Monk (, February 23, 2000.

Indeed, you are Mad Monk, I appreciate that in folks, guess I am too.

-- Michael (, February 23, 2000.

Will the Government admit into evidence the TWO polygraph tests that Mr. Lee had previously passed showing that he was telling the truth? Talk about a political prosecution. They need a villian, he is of Chinese background so he did it and pay no attention to the evidence. What is this government coming too? Why don't they prosecute the real crimes such as the 900 missing FBI files? One of the Nixon people (Colson?) went to jail for possession of ONE FBI file. At least the people in New York are starting to wake up and figure out that Hillary would not be the world's best senator.

-- BillNotDumb (, February 23, 2000.

Since he needs a jury of peers, and he had a security clearance, why not simply call a panel of jurors who have security clearances? (Other than the fact that they might be more than willing to skin him alive if they find him guilty?)

-- Mad Monk (, February 24, 2000.

And the press has been saying so darn little about John Deutsch, let alone about the sorts of stuff that we can only guess was on those systems that his 'consulting contract' allowed him to use.

Let's see, Deutsch is bigtime, he'll slip outta sight. Guilty or not (and lie detectors can be beat, and people trained to beat them), a scapegoat is needed well before November, and Lee is the obvious fall guy.

Now, while the fed.s are still sniffing very cold trail behind Lee, how many others are still operating and still very deeply buried? Grrrr....

-- redeye in ohio (, February 24, 2000.

Wen Ho Lee may have a point. Much of what our government would like classified is already public information. I recall a college student in Reno, NV putting together an atom bomb (all but the fuel!) based on library research, then the gummint seizing the bomb citing security reasons. There was a big flap because officials thought he had access to classified information. This happened in the 1970s and since then I have read similar stories from other parts of the country. It's rather easy to put together bits and pieces of public information and arrive at something that scares our State Department to death. I think they fail to connect the dots and then get shocked when somebody without clearance does just that.

-- Margaret J (, February 24, 2000.

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