A new book by Peter Schweizer details how Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) husband Richard Blum owned part of a Chinese firm that allegedly sold spyware chips in U.S. military contract computers. Even today, the military has no means of calculating how much sensitive data was handed over to the Chinese government thanks to these infected computers.
The book is Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win and devotes a long chapter to the misdeeds of Feinstein and her longstanding relationship with Communist China. Feinstein has used her position of power for decades for the benefit of Beijing, and even attempted to justify the infamous Tiananmen Square massacre, in which PLA soldiers murdered thousands of demonstrators, as necessary.
In what some would try and pass off as mere coincidence, Feinstein’s husband’s close ties to the tyrants of Beijing won him a great deal of money, through lucrative business deals with Chinese companies that were deeply connected to the Communist government and People’s Liberation Army.
One of those deals involved Blum as a major investor at a computer company founded by Chinese Academy of Sciences researchers. The CAS is an institution with its foundations in the Communist Party and PLA. That company was originally named Legend but is better known by its current brand name, Lenovo.
Lenovo came to be a major name in the global computer marketplace after it purchased IBM’s line of personal computers in 2005. Lenovo’s deal included $350 million in investments from three American private equity firms, one of which was Richard Blum’s Newbridge Capital.
Lawmakers were concerned at the time that Lenovo’s takeover of IBM’s products might jeopardize national security, potentially sending enormous swathes of advanced computer tech to China. Feinstein, however, even being on the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time, wasn’t concerned.
Shortly after the buyout, security agencies across the West, from the U.S. to the U.K., from Canada to New Zealand and Australia, all discovered that security vulnerabilities had been baked into Lenovo products, and they were promptly banned from sensitive operations. The U.S. State Department announced that Lenovo computers would not be allowed to connect to their classified networks in 2006, less than a year after the IBM acquisition.
An investigation into the computers’ spyware capabilities determined that the motherboards of the computers “would record all the data that was being inputted into that laptop and send it back to China.” Richard Blum sold his stake in Lenovo a year after the whole spyware operation had ended.
Red-Handed was published by Harper-Collins. Schweizer is currently the president of the nonpartisan Government Accountability Institute.
Author: Kenneth Nelson