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Is We Ho Lee a Spy?

Why did the US government prosecute Wen Ho Lee for spying?

What are the strongest and weakest parts of the case?

What may account for China’s advances in nuclear technology?

Why did the US government prosecute Wen Ho Lee for spying?

Charges such as espionage warrant serious charges. Any evidence presented against persons accused requires strong evidence beyond reasonable doubt. This was the case in the Wen Ho Lees case China and US trade, diplomatic and nuclear weapons case of the 1990s (Pherson & Beebe, 2011). Sound reasoning represents an analysis of facts from different perspectives. The use of formal and informal methods includes the application of structured analytic techniques for intelligence gathering. Scientific reasoning in practice in the Wen Ho Lee case starts with asking critical questions. First, it is necessary to inquire why the US government prosecuted Wen Ho Lee as a spy. Another question to consider is what factors criminalised Wen Ho to warrant the prosecution. This then raises the question ‘What may account for China’s advances in nuclear technology?’ In this case, the Force Field Analysis technique unfolds the analysis by identifying the deep-rooted forces of how this happened and the intervention strategies used. It considers the driving force and restriction forces in a case. The Deception Detection technique dismisses any lies in order to allow truth to prevail. The case also highlights the practical application of the Post Mortem analysis as a strategic implementation of a process.

Chinese espionage against US

Pioneered by Kurt Lewin, the Force Field Analysis reveals details there was a connection between the development of the Chinese nuclear warheads and the Chinese ones (Cooke & Burnes, 2013). A closer look at the restraining forces and the strongest aspects of the push and pull factors gave a more favourable position to implicate the engineers involved. The interrogation of a weapons designer Robert Henson reveals the possibility of stolen ideas. The Force Field technique supports a balance of facts from opposing sides with change as the result showing impact of the stronger side against the weak. The top security within the National Laboratory and the small number of scientists operating in an open library at the time gave room for betrayal. The technique requires an action plan with the strategy.

This analysis clarifies the implementation strategy through viable actions. During this process, it is necessary to:

  • Identify the expected change or outcome
  • Brainstorm on restraining forces ( take notes of strengths verses weaknesses )
  • Analyse the impact of each opposing sides (forces)
  • Reach a consensus within the group

The CIA must have put into consideration the existence of similarities in the W-88 nuclear warheads and Chinese spying techniques. Among this was the recruitment of spies in key industries such as this. This approach uses problem-solving skills and involves teamwork hence the more reason to point fingers at Ho Lee (Heuer & Pherson, 2014). The search through sources of information, processes brought in the Kindred spirit Analytical Group (KSAG) which participated in the data review giving its positions on the developments. Below is a brief table about this implementation process.

How ( Strategic technique)

What action

Whose responsible

Where is the location

When is it appropriate ( timing)

Brainstorming of the underlying conflict

Analysis of Chinese warheads, spying techniques

KSAG

CIA

Pre-trial

Analysis of similarities in the warheads

Data identification of common techniques

FBI

Los Alamos lab

Trial

Consensus

Check whether China developed the bomb independently

Engineering/ CIA

USA

Trial

Analysing Individuals

What are the strongest and weakest parts of the case?

Deception Detection in national security separates truths from lies. In the case, the team had a difficult task of having to ascertain whether the data available on Chinese bomb development resembled that at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). In order to unearth truths, the investigating team discovered similarities in terms shape and size. The voluntary release of classified documents released to individuals confirmed speculations. However, from the findings it was clear what was leakage and flawed in the design. The Deception and Detection technique was a challenge because a lie may be useful when supporting truths making absolute truths elusive. In the CIA investigations, a definitive link between the two bombs revealed the use of US secrets and the involvement of a spy who leaked the data. A well-designed deception may succeed hence investigators need an in-depth analysis within the detection systems.

In this technique, the use of emotional and personality traits to uncover evidence includes changes in inter-personal and intrapersonal relationships. During the investigations, it was clear that China and US were not allies. Evidence tabled also revealed interactions between scientists and Chinese intelligence officials during travel moments for conferences in China. Some tools used in intelligence to detect this include the biometric indicators and facial cues. This applies to interrogations of individuals in the case. For example, an analysis of Wen Ho Lee’s background indicates his prowess in the creation of computer codes, his participation in the Beijing scientific conferences and his failure to report some of his contacts showed a deceptive attitude. This further unearthed unauthorised travel, private trips, unclassified computer codes and sharing of computer software with China.

Deception in this case could be whole or part truths and investigations cover psychological lies, malice and rationalised or thought out lies. Nonverbal cues of a lie include nonverbal cues like body language, facial expressions, gestures and eye contact. Investigators detect verbal lies through speech, tone of the voice, accent used and lexical meaning in words. Hos attempt to avoid certain questions may have come out as cover-up to avoid displaying verbal cues.

In the case, it was possible that Ho Lee would lie:

  • Because of tension and to avoid displaying feelings of betrayal or hurt
  • To protect his image
  • As a result of the existing conflict between US and China
  • Because of an ill intention

This technique of investigation is challenging because there is no standard description of how people lie. Some people lie through blinking while others do so with verbal cues. Studying body language may work in some cases but not others. Decision makers using this method also need to be careful because in order to observe accuracy when making these decisions. The polygraph weighs this to try to achieve accuracy through checks on the blood pressure, respiration and the pulse rate. The information may also conflict with a person’s background data raising questions of validity (Biography, 2014).

What may account for China’s advances in nuclear technology?

FBI Investigations

This technique shows ways of navigating through truths comprehensively. It identifies loopholes or discrepancies in a case. The FBI had to ascertain all claims by analysing Lees Contacts for truths. Although the Department of justice accorded lee probable cause, FBI wanted further monitoring and analysis in order to prove the link between the suspects. Intelligence autopsy requires an artistic technique and the FBI questioned unauthorised access to nuclear secrets, conflicts in the diplomatic ties and scientific exchanges. Among the evidence was the polygraph results on missing files from computer activities. Within the analysis was the response Lee gave during interviews. New discoveries about his unauthorized access to the lab on a Christmas Eve during odd hours and downloads from restricted files gave the case a new twist.

The FBI capitalize on this technique to check for any failure in intelligence, and to analyse the effectiveness of certain techniques. Intelligence post-mortem analyses the after effect of an intelligence process for failures (Witz, 2013). A post analysis of an incident response ensures that unearthing the truth does not compromise on quality. The technique supports future improvement strategies by:

  • Tabling a report of the incidence
  • Monitoring the aftermath of an incidence
  • Weighing on any threats to intelligence
  • Identifying preventive measures
  • Coordinating a cross functional initiative

The FBI also stressed on critical cases such as the early 1999 when Lee lost his job and what transpired then. Checking the configuration and scorecard of the intelligence process through results. From the findings, it was clear that Lee made dozens of trips, failed a number of polygraph tests and was guilty of mishandling classified documents. This means the evidence tabled against him as a spy was concrete and dependable for prosecution. This autopsy of the evidence was good enough to warrant the sentence given to him.

Conclusion

Criminal investigations apply different structured analytic techniques to discern the truth behind cases. In the We Ho Lee case, questions about whether he was a Chinese spy in the US nuclear development process arise. The involvement of top investigating teams from the CIA and FBI meant that no table would remain unturned. Analysis of classified data, individuals involves, suspects and diplomatic interaction required competent tools. In order to discover why the government prosecuted Wen, it is necessary to understand the procedures followed. Analytic techniques provide a guide of what transpired between the investigating organizations, how they shared information and strong points that led to prosecution. Hidden in the information is why this would arise. The Force Field Analysis, Deception Detection and Post-mortem analysis provide an answer of how this came about. Top intelligence units implement strategic analysis of key issues in the case to conclude the case accurately

References

Biography. (2014). Wen Ho Lee. Retrieved from Biography: https://www.biography.com/people/wen-ho-lee-9542366

Cooke, B., & Burnes, B. (2013, October 15 4). Kurt Lewin's Field Theory: A review and re-evaluation. International Journal of Management Reviews, 408-425.

Heuer, J. R., & Pherson, R. H. (2014). Analytic Techniques: For Intelligence Analysis. CQ Press.

Pherson, R. H., & Beebe, M. S. (2011). Cases in intelligence analysis: Structured analytic techniques in action. Miller Edition.

Witz, J. J. (2013, March 27). The art of intelligence autopsy. Intelligence and national security, 1-18.

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