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Event explores security issues raised by Wen Ho Lee case

Institute Professor Sheila E. Widnall, who served as Secretary of the Air Force from 1993-97, will moderate a panel discussion on the issues raised by the Wen Ho Lee case on Wednesday, April 25 at 4pm in Rm 10-250.

Dr. Lee, a Taiwanese-American scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, spent nine months in jail before he was freed by US District Court Judge James Parker last September after Dr. Lee pleaded guilty to one count of mishandling nuclear secrets. The judge chided the government for pursuing the case against Dr. Lee and offered an apology. As part of the plea bargain, 58 other charges were dropped.

Institute Professor Emeritus Philip Morrison, who spent four years working on the top-secret World War II Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb, will also participate in the panel discussion entitled "National Security, Civil Rights and Politics: Lessons Learned from the Wen Ho Lee Case."

Other panelists are senior research analyst Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy; Vernon Loeb, national security correspondent for the Washington Post; Professor Paul Watanabe of the PhD Program in Public Policy and co-director of the Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts in Boston; and executive director Juliette Kayyem of the Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a former assistant attorney general and legal counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno during the Clinton administration.

"This is an opportunity for the MIT community to discuss the important issues raised by the Wen Ho Lee case," said Dean for Undergraduate Education Robert P. Redwine, whose office is sponsoring the colloquium. "Our focus will be on what can be learned from this case so in future situations both national security and civil rights can be protected." Graduate student Roger Hu, who helped organize an MIT forum on Dr. Lee's case last fall, worked with the Dean's Office on this event.

Attendance is limited to the MIT community; admission is free. A reception in the Bush Room (10-105) will follow the discussion.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 11, 2001.

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