Likewise, the Chinese are most probably now selling us counterfeit computer routers for our military equipment and covertly routing our most secret information directly to their government. There are so many ways computers can be jimmied by the Chinese: programmed to fail prematurely, tracking or surveillance for spying, or providing hackers with hidden "back doors."
Last year, the U.S. bought 59,000 counterfeit microchips from China for use in our warships, planes, missile and antimissile systems, but fortunately discovered they were fake in time. How many didn't we catch?
The Government Accountability Office reported that "counterfeit parts have the potential to cause a serious disruption to DOD supply chains, delay ongoing missions, and even affect the integrity of weapons systems." Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., added that counterfeit parts have "infiltrated" the defense supply chain including microprocessors for F-15 operational flight-control computers and the hardware of our missile defense system.
Can't we assure U.S. safety by sending our inspectors to China for on-site inspections? The Chinese have already rejected that request.
When are Republican presidential and senatorial candidates going to address any of the many problems caused by China? Their silence is deafening, and the media are complicit in the silence by failing to ask serious questions about China in five presidential debates. Will you instruct the Defense Department to buy only computer chips and routers manufactured in the U.S. under strict security guidelines? Since everyone agrees on the need to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, isn't it just as important to reduce our dependence on foreign computer parts for our military planes and weapons? Will you bar from Defense Department business any companies that give away their patents, manufacturing processes and intellectual property as part of the deal to open a plant in a foreign country? Will you announce that the next time an American dies because of contamination of a prescription drug imported from China, prescription drugs will no longer be allowed to be imported from China? Do you realize that China is not our "trading partner" but is our no-holds-barred economic competitor, highly protectionist, anti-free-trade and spending the money it gets from U.S. trade to build up its military to become the world's number-one superpower?
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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