Madam Speaker, U.S. technology in the Nation's defense industry is unsurpassed anywhere in the world. Because of this, our enemies want to steal it, use it against us, or copy it. They want to do it for their own military operations.
Private American corporations are to be commended for their expertise in national defense technology development. However, fifth column individuals and businesses that sell this sensitive military equipment to our enemies are nothing more than modern-day Benedict Arnolds and should be treated as such.
Our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, use night-vision goggles and night-vision rifle scopes to search out and destroy our enemies, but this equipment is being stolen in record numbers by businesses and individuals that are selling out America for that filthy lucre, or money. I think these people need to be treated as the treasonous traitors that they are.
According to USA Today, more than 40 businesses or individuals have been charged with stealing or exporting night-vision technology to people who are our enemies. Some charged are alleged to have sent the equipment to Iran, to China and to al Qaeda affiliates. Nations such as China can use reverse technology and copy the highly sensitive equipment and use it for their own benefit.
This equipment is also very costly. Each pair of new, high-tech, night-vision goggles cost around $4,500. These goggles help our troops in the desert of the sun and the valley of the gun in Iraq and Afghanistan.
USA Today further reports that ITT sent restricted product data to China and other countries with intent to outsource production of this sensitive equipment. It paid a $100 million fine, and I commend the judge for not only ordering the fine but he ordered half of that fine to be spent in developing a new generation of night-vision technology.
However, just paying a fine for supplying our enemies with advanced defense technology is just the cost of doing business. Corporate executives should not be allowed to hide behind the corporate veil when it comes to supplying aid and comfort to our enemies.
Crooked execs should not be allowed to buy their way out of jail by paying a fine that they don't even pay for. Their corporation pays that fine.
If business executives that dealt with our enemies went to jail, maybe in Guantanamo Bay prison where we keep other enemies of the United States, they might be careful about selling out America for 30 pieces of silver.
And Congress, rather than investigate steroids in baseball, might need to investigate these businesses and individuals who keep buying and stealing American equipment and selling it to our enemies. We owe our troops this investigation.
And that's just the way it is.
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