The militarist Frank Gaffney, head of the Boeing-funded Center for Security Policy, has been leading the charge to prevent shareholders of Unocal from selling their company to Chinese oil company CNOOC. In recent congressional testimony, he urged the federal government to intervene to prevent this merger on national security grounds. He wildly insinuated that the Chinese are plotting “electro-magnetic pulse attacks” on America from 40-400 miles in the sky.
His core national security argument comes from a convoluted 2002 article in Insight magazine, which claims that the Chinese are conspiring to take over a tiny mine owned by Unocal in California. The mine, known as Molycorp, was once the source of some “rare earth oxides” helpful in the making of American guided missiles and smart bombs. If the Chinese get control of Molycorp, Gaffney claims, America might find it difficult to make many more of its weapons of mass destruction. However, in the same testimony he admits that Molycorp was shut down 7 years ago. In a bizarre twist, the mine was rendered uneconomical after being hit with environmental fines for poisoning the habitat of the desert tortoise.
The paranoid Gaffney also admits that the Chinese already supply 88% of global demand for rare earth oxides. Evidently, the WMD makers who fund Gaffney’s outfit have been getting their bomb components from China for 7 years without worries. This line of reasoning for blocking a foreign investment may seem pathetic, but Gaffney is actually considered an influential national security expert.