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Will Boeing's bedbugs bite?

By Eric Ruder | January 25, 2002 | Page 2

CHINESE PRESIDENT Jiang Zemin is getting bugged by the U.S. In August, the aircraft maker Boeing delivered a jet specially outfitted for Jiang. But during test flights, the jet made a strange static whining noise.

It turns out that 27 satellite-operated bugs were spread throughout the plane, including in the upholstery, the bathroom--and the headboard of Jiang's bed.

The news came a month before George W. Bush was supposed to go to Beijing for a summit. U.S. officials had little to say, but no one doubted that the reports were true. "We all do it--even when we're friends," a retired U.S. intelligence agent said.

After bombing the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the 1999 war against Yugoslavia and refusing to apologize when a U.S. spy plane clipped a Chinese jet last year, you might think that the U.S. would try to play its spy games with China a little more carefully.

But Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) will have none of that. "We've got to do some kind of aggressive things," Thompson said, "and, frankly, our intelligence community I think has not suffered from being overly aggressive the last several years, just the contrary."

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