Archive for the ‘Justice Department’ Category

Justice Dept. ‘Cannot’ Probe Waterboarding, Mukasey Says

February 8, 2008

By Dan Eggan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 8, 2008; Page A04

The attorney general yesterday rejected growing congressional calls for a criminal investigation of the CIA‘s use of simulated drownings to extract information from its detainees, as Vice President Cheney called it a “good thing” that the CIA was able to learn what it did from those subjected to the practice.

The remarks reflected a renewed effort by the Bush administration to defend its past approval of the interrogation tactic known as waterboarding, which some lawmakers, human rights experts and international lawyers have described as illegal torture.

Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey said Justice Department lawyers concluded that the CIA’s use of waterboarding in 2002 and 2003 was legal, and therefore the department cannot investigate whether a crime had occurred.

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Chinese National Pleads Guilty to Economic Espionage

August 6, 2007

Xiaodong Sheldon Meng pleaded guilty to violating several U.S. export laws with the goal of aiding the People’s Republic of China, the U.S. Justice Department announced Aug. 2.

The 42-year-old Meng, formerly a resident of Beijing and also Cupertino, Calif., entered a guilty plea on Aug. 3, admitting to violating the Foreign Economic Espionage Act, the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), said Kenneth Wainstein, assistant attorney general for national security, and Scott Schools, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, in a statement.

Specifically, the Justice Department said Meng pleaded guilty to two charges (counts five and seven) of an indictment that was filed last December. One count charged that he violated U.S. law by possessing a trade secret with the aim of benefiting a foreign government.

That trade secret, called “Mantis,” is a Quantum3D-owned product that is designed to simulate realistic motion for training military personnel. Meng is charged with installing a demonstration version of Mantis on a Chinese navy Web site, according to the Justice Department.

He also altered the application to make it appear that ORAD, his employer and a China-based competitor of Quantum3D, had developed the product.

The second count alleged that Meng knowingly violated AECA and ITAR by exporting Quantum3D’s “viXsen” source code, a simulation program used to train fighter pilots and designated as a defense article on the U.S. Munitions List.

Meng failed to garner a State Department export license for viXsen.

Meng, who has been released on $500,000 bond, will be sentenced by a U.S. District Court judge in San Jose on Jan. 13.