Another Biden Scandal Might Be Brewing

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In a new letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, a bipartisan group of lawmakers from both chambers of Congress is demanding answers regarding U.S. companies that were apparently allowed by the Biden administration to export technology to entities in adversarial foreign countries — entities with products currently being used in attacks against America’s international partners.

It’s not news that the world has become an increasingly dangerous place since President Biden took office. Russia invaded Ukraine as Biden insisted his sanctions would deter Putin’s ambitions. Israel was attacked in a bloody slaughter carried out by Iran-backed Hamas terrorists. Other patrons of Tehran’s bloodthirsty regime have managed to block some 60 percent of the world’s shipping traffic from transiting the Red Sea. China continues to harass Taiwan and threatens the planes and vessels of the U.S. military and its allies in the region.

Amid all this chaos, surely the Biden administration is doing everything it can to protect and enhance any advantages the United States has over its foes around the world including Russia, China, and Iran, right? Not so much, apparently. Now, Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Todd Young (R-IN), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) along with Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Rob Wittman (R-VA), Rudy Yakym (R-IN), Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Michael Guest (R-MS), and Darrel Issa (R-CA) want some answers.

According to the lawmakers’ letter, the company raising concerns is Da Jiang Innovations — DJI — a Chinese state-owned drone company that has been on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) Entity List since 2020 when it was found to have “facilitated widespread human rights abuses in the PRC to surveil and monitor Chinese Communist Party (CCP) detention camps in Xinjiang.” 

“This listing recognizes that DJI actively works against America’s national security interests, and the issuance of export control licenses to DJI should be prohibited to ensure it cannot benefit from American innovation and ingenuity,” the lawmakers emphasized. That seems like a no-brainer, yet DJI has apparently continued to benefit from U.S. technology via such licenses. 

More from the letter led by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA):

Given DJI’s placement on the Entity List…American companies cannot export their technology to DJI unless they receive an export license from the U.S. government. Credible industry reports provide evidence of several cases where U.S. components are found inside DJI drones, suggesting that the U.S. government is granting these licenses. For example, in a 2022 LinkedIn post, U.S.-based company CEVA touted that its components are part of a DJI drone.

Making the Biden administration’s approval of tech export licenses for DJI more concerning is how the CCP drones have been used outside of the genocidal regime’s persecution of Uyghurs and other citizens. In addition to its use at detention camps in China, “DJI drones have been exported to America’s adversaries for military purposes, in violation of U.S. export laws and sanctions,” lawmakers explained. “Most recently, open-source reporting has shown that on October 7, 2023, Hamas used DJI drones to disable Israeli surveillance systems and drop munitions on Israeli forces on the Gaza border.”

In another theater of chaos, “DJI is also illegally equipping the Russian Federation with drones that Russia’s military is deploying on the front lines of their war in Ukraine,” lawmakers added. “In a report to Congress on Chinese Military Power, the DoD stated that between March 2022 and 2023, PRC companies exported more than ‘$12 million worth of drones and drone components to Russia,’ which they are using ‘for targeting surveillance, and strike missions in Ukraine.'”

That is, the CCP-owned company arming our foes and those attacking our allies has apparently benefitted from exported U.S. technologies with licenses approved by the U.S. government. “America’s adversaries are using DJI drones that contain American cutting-edge technology to harm U.S. national security interests and the security of U.S. partners,” lawmakers’ warned. 

“When an American company applies to export to a company on the Entity List, such as DJI, the DoD has the specific responsibility to examine the potential national security risks of that proposed export,” the lawmakers’ letter emphasized. “We are requesting clarification on whether the DoD supported the export of U.S. technologies that have enabled DJI to assist the CCP in brutally repressing the Uyghur population and equipping Iranian-backed Hamas and Russian military forces with drones.”

Lawmakers’ concerns and the apparent approval of export licenses for U.S. tech to DJI come after Biden’s Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said earlier in December that “the threat from China is large and growing” and said she wants to make her agency’s BIS “more muscular” as Commerce supposedly improves America’s footing to compete with China. 

Stephen Coonen, a former U.S. Army artillery officer and foreign affairs officer who transitioned from active duty to help spearhead the Pentagon’s efforts to keep U.S. tech from getting into the hands of America’s foes resigned in November 2021 and subsequently exposed how “the U.S. government’s export control regime is marked by ineffectiveness and a willful blindness to how China is legally capturing controlled American technologies.”

In a post about the letter from lawmakers to Secretary Austin, Coonen called the situation with DJI “a damming illustration of the failure of US export control policies for China. Either DoD is recommending approval for the transfer of militarily useful tech to the PRC – a position that is diametrically opposed to its mission of protecting the edge of the American Warfighter; or DoD’s calls for denying such export licenses are being overruled by a BIS-dominated process.”

“If it is the former, the chain-of-command responsible for making such poor decision[s] should be replaced – they are endangering America’s men and women in uniform and abdicating their responsibilities to protect the United States’ national security interests,” Coonen continued. “Congress needs to hold them accountable. If it is the latter, Congress has a responsibility to revamp the adjudication process os that national security concerns have the overriding voice in the export of dual use technologies to the PRC.”

1 COMMENT

  1. The entire biden family is corrupt. Why are we as a country putting up with this crap. Everyday biden is in office another scandal pops up. He’s more interested in making illegal income than he is making this country safe for the citizens. He puts more money to illegals who have broken the law than to our veterans and homeless. Raising taxes on the middle class while wages don’t keep up with inflation. Face it biden is anti American.

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