The Sad, Sorry Saga of Wen Ho Lee, Part IV

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Back to the continuing saga of Wen Ho Lee (and the men who pursued him). In last week’s episode, you may remember, former Los Alamos counterintelligence chief Robert S. Vrooman called the Washington Post and accused Department of Energy investigators of overzealousness and racism in their singling out of the Taiwan-born scientist for leaking secrets to the Chinese. Well, entering stage right is Notra Trulock, the investigator Vrooman was talking about. Trulock, the DOE whistleblower with the name out of LeCarré and the superspy complex to match, has became something of a hero to congressional Republicans after he loudly accused the Clinton administration of stonewalling his Chinese-spying investigation. On Tuesday, he called a DOE report to the contrary "whitewash," put on a wistful face, and walked out. "I've done all I could do here," Trulock told the Post (it’s where government employees go to snipe at each other). "I think the time has come for me to move on."

Although Trulock received an award for his zealousness from incoming Energy Secretary Bill Richardson for his efforts to root out spies, not all of his colleagues are sure he’s not just hunting Chinese. Three officials who participated in various stages of the investigation have said they believe Trulock focused on Lee largely because of his ethnicity. Three other DOEers have filed grievances against Trulock for alleged discrimination and retaliation on the job. Vrooman says Trulock’s case against Lee was "built on thin air" and racially motivated; Trulock shot back Monday that "to allege as Vrooman has that ethnic profiling was used in this case is outrageous and false. I categorically deny it." Trulock has compared Lee to the Rosenbergs and Klaus Fuchs –- at least he didn't mention Mata Hari –- but the Justice Department says it doesn’t have any evidence. Who’s telling the truth? Stay tuned for the next installment.