History of Electric Induction Heating

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By James Farol Metcalf

Newsday coverage of Consarc the day after ABC News aired their report

Royce did not have the exclusive to announce the results of the hearings for Newsday on December 10, 1987, but he did have inside information. He did not use headlines about the accuracy of Soviet missiles, but he took credit for causing the hearings. Royce did not mention the major coverage by Time and ABC News. In this article he did mention Consarc or Metcalf.



By Earl Lane and Knut Royce

Newsday Washington Bureau

December 10, 1987

Washington - Military, intelligence and export enforcement officials admitted to Congress yesterday that internal bickering and lack of coordination by their agencies contributed to the failure to stop the transfer to the Soviet Union of technology that can improve the accuracy of its nuclear arsenal.

Representatives of the Pentagon, Central Intelligence Agency, Customs Service and Commerce Department agreed that the sale of equipment to produce heat-resistant carbon-carbon was among the five most damaging transfers of western technology to the East bloc, congressman who attended the closed hearing said. They did not enumerate the other four.

In the hearing before the House Commerce oversight subcommittee, the officials acknowledge that both the United States and Britain had prior knowledge of the impending sale of the critical equipment by Consarc Engineering, the Scottish subsidiary of a New Jersey firm, Consarc Corp.

Panel members were told that the White House former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and Secretary of State George Schultz had been told of the transfer before July, 1984, when shipments of the most critical machinery began.

The hearing was prompted by a Newsday series last month that disclosed that Consarc shipped the Soviets a collection of vital equipment that can be used to produce carbon-carbon. The material has a variety of military applications, including use as the nosetips of long-range nuclear warheads. Newsday found that U.S. and British officials acted too late to stop the technology transfer, for which the Soviets wound up paying nothing.

Because of carbon-carbon's ability to withstand heat, descending warheads have less wobble as they re-enter the atmosphere, resulting in as much as three times the accuracy of previous nosetips.

"It's rare . . . that our committee gets into a situation where there's so much blame to go around," Rep. Norman Lent (R-East Rockaway), the ranking Republican on the full committee, said after the classified testimony yesterday. "Everyone and every agency that was involved in this story seems to have failed both individually and collectively."

He said the Central Intelligence Agency in particular "deserves a good deal of the blame" for not adequately informing the enforcement agencies ahead of time.

"The knowledge didn't move from the brain to the hand," said Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the committee.

Without discussing details, Dingell said "enforcement agencies were not permitted to utilize their information until the shipments had been largely completed." A staff aide said the CIA was concerned that its sources or methods would be disclosed if the agencies acted to stop the shipments.

CIA spokesman Sharon Foster declined to comment on Dingell and Lent's assertions. "We can't discuss intelligence-related matters, including what we tell policy makers," she said.

Coincidentally, the panel's hearing on the transfer of the technology, came as President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev were discussing possible reductions in the numbers of those warheads.

Dingell also said that Stephen Bryen, the Pentagon official charged with monitoring the sale of military technology to the Soviets, admitted he misled Congress in a 1986 report that claimed that the United States and Britain had blocked the transfer.

"They were compelled to admit that the report did not represent the truth," Dingell said. Bryen did not return a call placed to his office after his testimony.

In a joint statement issued after the hearing, Dingell and the subcommittee's ranking Republican, Thomas Bliley (R-Va.), said, "While U.S. agencies argued among themselves about how to investigate and respond to critical information, the technology was being sold to the USSR, and equipment was being shipped continuously."

"Only now," the statement said, "after the subcommittee's investigation, do the agencies involved seem able to acknowledge how this extraordinary episode highlights the weakness in our control regime and the inconsistency in the East-West trade policies of Western nations. It is time we put our domestic and international house in order."

The statement said the panel would continue to investigate how agencies involved in technology transfer "to determine what steps are being taken to balance the need for open and fair international commerce and trade against the absolute imperative of national and international security."