Scientist Arrested Under Arms Export Control Act

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I have a number of thoughts after reading about this man’s arrest.

I knew it was illegal to bribe an American official (although there are numerous legal ways around that). I never considered that it was illegal to bribe a foreign official – I’ve never been in such a position, but I thought bribing foreign officials was standard practice.

Also, it seems that this guy was just doing his regular business and didn’t have any nefarious motives. I don’t find it convincing that he was a spy, for example. But then I found this key point in another news article: he didn’t have a license to sell defense services to China! So, you can be a spy, just please file all of the appropriate paperwork and send in your licensing fee (not a bribe!).
My final point is that I read a lot of posts by pro-NASA scientists who somehow fail to make the connection that NASA is intertwined with the military. They’ll always talk about the amazing science, but as soon as another country starts getting into the space market, our federal officials call up legislation dealing with defense and weapons.

The Chinese are certainly looking at space not just for technology and science, but also for defense. And that’s what NASA has been doing since its inception as well.

5:18 pm on September 25, 2008