Prepared Remarks of Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, at a Press Conference Announcing Esp

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following prepared remarks were released today by the U.S. Department of Justice: Good afternoon. I'm Ken Wainstein, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security. Thank you all for...


WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following prepared remarks were released today by the U.S. Department of Justice:

Good afternoon. I'm Ken Wainstein, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security. Thank you all for joining us today.

With me today are Chuck Rosenberg , the U.S. Attorney from the Eastern District of Virginia; Tom O'Brien, the U.S. Attorney from the Central District of California, and Art Cummings , the Executive Assistant Director for the National Security Branch at the FBI.

We're here today to announce two espionage prosecutions that were initiated with two sets of arrests that took place earlier today -- one on either side of the country.

At about 7 o'clock this morning in Alexandria, Virginia and New Orleans , Louisiana, FBI agents arrested three individuals -- including a weapons policy analyst at the Defense Department -- and charged them with conspiring to communicate national defense information, the ultimate recipient of which was the Peoples Republic of China .

At about 7 o'clock this morning -- California time -- FBI agents in Orange County arrested one individual, an aerospace engineer who had worked for Rockwell International and the Boeing Company, and charged him stealing trade secrets from those companies -- once again on behalf of the Peoples Republic of China .

The two U.S. Attorneys overseeing these prosecutions are going to step up in a moment and explain what these two cases are.

But, before they tell you what the cases are, I'd like to take a moment to explain what they represent -- what they represent about the threat of foreign espionage, and what they represent about our response to that threat.

The threat here is very simple. It's a threat to our national security and to our economic position in the world -- the threat that is posed by the relentless efforts of foreign intelligence services to penetrate our security systems and steal our most sensitive military technology and information.

This threat is not new. Espionage has been a fact of life since the founding of the first nation-state, and it was particularly prominent during the Cold War of the last century. While the collapse of the Soviet Union ended the Cold War, it did not end the threat from foreign intelligence services.

If anything, that threat has only increased with the rise of non-aligned nations that are all seeking advantage in the process of military development. In fact, one Defense Department report from 2006 noted a 43% increase in the number of suspicious foreign contacts reported by American defense firms -- many of which were presumably foreign operatives probing for protected military information.

It is no surprise that we're seeing this espionage activity.

-- We have interests and alliances around the globe.

-- We have a vibrant and diffused economy, with high-tech development taking place in companies ranging from garage operations to Fortune 500 corporations.

-- And, we have an open society and open economy.

While these factors are the ingredients of our economic and military success, they are also what make us vulnerable to foreign intelligence services that want to steal our secrets and piggy-back on our technological innovation.

While there are entities from over a hundred different countries trying to get access to our secrets or our controlled technology, there are a number of countries that have proven themselves particularly determined and methodical in their espionage efforts. The Peoples Republic of China is one of those countries.

As the Director of National Intelligence testified last September, China's foreign intelligence service is "among the most aggressive in collecting against sensitive and protected U.S. systems, facilities, and development projects, and their efforts are approaching Cold War levels" ( September 18, 2007 Testimony before the House Judiciary Committee at page 8).

This content continues onto the next page...