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Michele Bachmann's Chinese Chips Comment Ignored

Photo courtesy of Zephyris

While Rick Perry’s “Oops” moment is one of the most reported from Wednesday night’s debate, Rep. Bachmann dropped a bomb on the stage that seems to have largely been ignored by the media – Chinese counterfeit computer components are showing up in U.S. defense weapon systems.

As long ago as 2005, Bloomberg reported that fake computer components were causing failures in multiple military systems. Some reports say that as much as 15% of the spare and replacement components the military buys are counterfeit.

While reliability and safety are prime concerns, national security must also be considered. If it is such an easy matter to get a non-conforming component into a U.S. Department of Defense weapon system, it would be even easier to hide code in those components that might cause failure on command or under a certain circumstance.

Senator Carl Levin spoke at a hearing on Tuesday relaying that his committee had investigated 100 cases of suspected counterfeiting. More than 70% of the couterfeit components came from China.

One weapon system reported to have been impacted by Chinese knock-off chips is the P8-A Poseidon military patrol aircraft.  A chip in the de-icing system failed and upon inspection it was discovered that the system had a counterfeit chip.

Counterfeit transistors have also been found in the Navy’s SH60-B helicopter by Levin’s committe. Raytheon, the defense contractor responsible for the components, did not know about the fake circuits until the investigation by the committee revealed them.

The GAO has also reported that the Navy had purchased counterfeit routers that have a high rate of failure, the Air Force had bought counterfeit chips for use in F-15 flight control systems and unreliable oscillators had been bought from a “prohibited supplier” for use in Air Force and Navy navigation systems seemingly for use in unmanned vehicles.

Sen. Levin testified that the use of counterfeit Chinese components in an Air Force missile cost American taxpayers $2.7 million to repair. Sens. Levin and John McCain are working on legislation preventing Pentagon reimbursement when counterfeit components cause problems. “There’s no reason on earth that the replacement of a counterfeit part should be paid for by American taxpayers instead of by the contractor who put it on the system.”

Defense contractors Raytheon, BAE and Northrop all purchased counterfeit components through brokers such as VisionTech who, despite not employing a single engineer or quality control expert, was able to sell components to defense contractors.

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Rich Mitchell

Rich Mitchell is the editor-in-chief of Conservative Daily News and the president of Bald Eagle Media, LLC. His posts may contain opinions that are his own and are not necessarily shared by Bald Eagle Media, CDN, staff or .. much of anyone else. Find him on twitter, facebook and

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One Comment

  1. For decades China’s biggest income maker was in the production of counterfeit auto parts. I can remember many years ago FBI and Customs agents busted several huge warehouses in Hong Kong full of every kind of car part like water pumps, etc. which included electrical components which could catch fire, that were parts houses for AutoZone. They found boxes marked “Ford” parts that looked so close to the actual part that only somebody who knew what to look for could tell the difference between a real “Ford” part and these counterfeits. You can walk down the streets over there right now and buy purses marked real Channel and they are as fake as they can be. There is still a huge counterfeit market over there.

    Some years ago before I read about the counterfeit busts, I had bought a water pump for my wifes Buick car. It lasted two days and started leaking. I had to change that one with a replacement one from another parts place, after I got my money back. Oh yeah, the first time I changed the water pump it was 15 degrees. The next time I had to change that same pump it was 12 degrees. It really made me mad.

    But I’m not surprised the government buys these parts without inspections because of Socialist Democrats have passed rules and procurement laws that our military has to follow now. It is meant to cost the DoD tons of money so the Democrats can say, “See how they waste money?”, and “See, the military is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the public who entrusts the military with their protection and this is how they are repaid.” Of course the Socialist Democrats who passed the laws that forces the military to buy this trash are the very one’s who sit on the procurement committee and our generals are afraid to accuse them while sitting there before them in some bogus investigation committee. They know if they make these bloated politician’s mad the military won’t get any money next year for buying the parts they need to replace the garbage bought for them by the “favored nation” China lovers who sit on the committee who decides who gets what. I hate it!! While our men and women are fighting for our existance they are being stabbed in the back by these corrupt politician’s who care for no one but themselves.

    The military has been put in a position where they can’t complain about it or they won’t get a dime from the likes of Reid who has held the purse strings for what the military gets, if anything. If we can get a real conservative who loves our military I hope he hears about things like this and puts a stop to it forever. We need to cut the Chinese off to all our military….period! We shouldn’t be giving secrets to our enemies, we shouldn’t be buying our parts from them, just based on the fact that from what I know, you can’t trust them to be honest because they are Communists, for crying out loud!!!

  2. When I was in the military I was SHOCKED that so many things relied on “regular” computers. I always thought that the Chinese could have slipped a little something “extra” in them when assembling them. This is all the more reason to not let them build the new Marine One.

  3. I think, really, what I would want to do is be able to go back and take a look at Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Great Society … The Great Society has not worked and it’s put us into the modern welfare state.

    If you look at China, they don’t have food stamps. If you look at China, they’re in a very different situation. They don’t have AFDC [Aid to Families with Dependent Children]. They save for their own retirement security. They don’t have the modern welfare state. And China’s growing. And so what I would do is look at the programs that LBJ gave us with the Great Society and they’d be gone.

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