Caring About Notra, II

By Linda A. Prussen-Razzano

Featured Rightgrrl April 1999
August 26, 1999

Several months ago, I cautioned the public to pay close attention to Mr. Notra Trulock, the former Chief of Intelligence for the Department of Energy. My gut instinct told me that Trulock, who was instrumental in alerting Congress to potential espionage at the nuclear labs, would not survive long in the Clinton Administration. I expected heads to roll after the release of the Cox Report, and Trulock's name would be counted amongst the fallen.

It happened.

The fallout officially began on Friday, August 20, 1999, with the quiet resignation of Victor Reis, Acting Secretary for Defense Programs. This was the same Victor Reis who, in March of 1997, refused to allow Notra Trulock to brief incoming Department of Energy Secretary Pena about the potential espionage at the Labs. When House members entertained the idea of transferring various security assignments to Victor Reis in June of 1999, Representative Dingell harshly criticized this action: "This is not putting the fox in charge of the chicken house, this is putting an imbecile in charge of an important national function and major national concerns" (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000, House of Representatives, June 9, 1999).

His resignation received scant media attention.

On Monday, August 23, 1999, Notra Trulock officially tendered his resignation from the Department of Energy, after many years of devoted, distinguished service. Almost immediately, the White House spin machine went into full, destructive gear, forwarding the following threads:

Spin #1 - Notra Trulock pushed the espionage threat because "one good espionage case to make [his] program grow" (Washington Post, "Espionage Whistleblower Resigns," by Vernon Loeb and Walter Pincus, August 24, 1999).

That is a lie.

The person who initially uncovered evidence of potential spying at the labs was Mr. Robert Henson, "a former hydrogen bomb designer and one of the nation's top analysts of China's nuclear program" (Wall Street Journal, "Whistle-Blower in Nuclear Spy Case Gets His Job Back After Two Firings," by John J. Fialka, June 18, 1999.

When Mr. Henson brought his findings to his superiors, they "at first rejected his findings, concluding that China's bomb program must have come up with U.S. design features independently. The panel pressured Mr. Henson to agree. He resisted" (Wall Street Journal, John J. Fialka, June 18, 1999). Mr. Henson was subsequently fired.

Notra Trulock did not pursue this evidence to increase his budget; he pursued this evidence because one of his top analysts was convinced espionage had occurred. As it turns out, evidence did come into Trulock's hands that substantiated Henson's original contention and Henson was eventually rehired.

Spin #2 - The Energy Department's inspector general issued a report concerning the Department of Energy's handling of the spy case. "The report found no conclusive evidence to support Trulock's assertions that [Trulock] had been temporarily blocked from briefing Congress on the case in 1998" (The New York Times, "Official Who Led Inquiry Into China's Reputed Theft of Nuclear Secrets Quits," by James Risen, August 24, 1999).

That is a lie.

Notra Trulock wrote a memorandum requesting permission to brief the House Intelligence Committee; Elizabeth Moler of the Energy Department denied his request. She later stated that she "could not recall" his request for a meeting; however, the memorandum "was found in her safe in her office after she left her job at the Energy Department" (H2122-2127, "Chinese Espionage," Representative Burton, House of Representatives, April 15, 1999).

On October 6, 1998, Notra Trulock and Elizabeth Moler appeared before the Procurement Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee to answer questions regarding the security surrounding the Foreign Visitor Program (San Diego Union Tribune, Copley News Service, "Officials Withheld Spy Case Data From Congress, Hunter Says," Stephen Green, March 17, 1999). "Upon questioning, Moler admitted that she ordered Trulock to strike all information in his testimony that dealt with espionage activities at the labs because it 'was not relevant' to the subject of the hearing, the Foreign Visitor Program" (H2122-2127, Representative Burton, April 15, 1999).

The evidence has been on the Congressional record since April 15, 1999. Obviously, the Inspector General did not read it.

Spin #3 - They singled Wen Ho Lee out because of his ethnicity; this is a racially motivated case.

That is a lie.

Of the 12 suspects, approximately half were Caucasian. We can presume that because confessed spy Peter Lee was Asian, that investigation was racially motivated, too?

Yarn #4 - Trulock has a history of racially motivated investigations. Three other people within the labs have accused him of behaving in a racially biased manner.

That is a lie.

All three charges were investigated and found to be without merit. All allegations against Trulock were dismissed prior to his departure from Energy (Fox News, Hannity & Colmes, August 25, 1999).

Notra Trulock has moved out of public service and into the private sector. Ironically, he is taking a job with TRW, Inc., the same company Peter Lee worked at while he was handing over valuable nuclear tracking secrets to the Communist Chinese. Hopefully, they will listen to his recommendations, because the Department of Energy, via their shoddy Inspector General's report, has decided not to implement some of the changes or continue pursuing Trulock's and the FBI's leads.

More heads are expected to roll. The next person on the Clinton White House Hit List is Edward J. McCallum, Director of DOE's Office of Safeguards and Security. His damaging testimony in front of the House of Representatives on June 8, 1999 will surely secure his dismissal.

You mark my words.

This article copyright © 1999 by Linda A. Prussen-Razzano and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of its author. All rights reserved.