(UnitedVoice.com) – A recently released report shows that the chief of the US intelligence community briefed legislators on foreign threats to our government last month – and it seems the problem is a lot worse than everyone had assumed. Foreign governments are systematically targeting members of Congress with influence operations, and the worst culprit is China.
Warning to Lawmakers – China Is Targeting You
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, the head of all 17 US intelligence agencies, spoke to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees to bring them up to date on the foreign influence threat to the US government. According to Ratcliffe this threat is much larger than previously thought, with “dozens” of lawmakers being targeted by hostile governments.
Ratcliffe warned the committees that the main culprits for influence operations are China, Russia and Iran – not a revelation that should have surprised anyone. He said that a large number of legislators, possibly as many as 50, have been the targets of influence attempts.
While Russia used to be the most active at trying to influence US politicians Ratcliffe says that title now goes to China, which is running around six times as many operations as Russia and twelve times as many as Iran. The US has only had diplomatic relations with Beijing’s communist regime since 1979, and in that time the repressive dictatorship has rapidly expanded its propaganda and subversion activities on Capitol Hill.
Threat or Theater?
Last month the House’s China Task Force, led by Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX) warned that the Chinese Communist Party is the largest threat facing the US. Ratcliffe’s briefing drove that point home to the Intelligence Committees. While Ratcliffe didn’t give details on which party was being targeted most heavily it’s well known that Beijing wants Joe Biden to win next month’s election, as the regime fears the hard line being taken by President Trump.
Some sources dispute Ratcliffe’s warning, saying that the DNI is confusing influence operations with “foreign government lobbying.” Others say Ratcliffe is right, and that lobbying is a covert influence operation. Members of Congress are elected to act in the interests of the American people, not foreign governments. Whichever is the case, lawmakers are looking for specifics, and as of now, they aren’t getting them.
Some Democrats – including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) – have played down the threat of Chinese subversion of legislators, claiming the administration is focusing on China to divert attention from Russian influence. It seems that, despite Beijing’s increasingly aggressive behavior, the Dems just can’t let go of their failed Russia collusion scandal.
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