Although it criticizes the DOJ for failing to approve an FBI request to place Lee under electronic surveillance, the internal report faults the FBI for not initially searching the computer at Lee's office for which no warrant was required onto which he had downloaded reams of classified computer code. Lee has been unable to account for a number of tapes of downloaded code, and the DOJ report suggests that the slowness of the initial investigation may have given him time to dispose of these if, indeed, that had been his intention. Charging Lee late last year was interpreted, in part, as a means of pressuring him to account for the missing data.
The DOJ report, however, deals with investigating and prosecuting espionage violations after the fact. The House Committee on Intelligence, meanwhile, has slammed the Clinton administration for allegedly weakening the nation's intelligence services through lack of funding. In a report that cites such failures as Washington's inability to foresee India's nuclear tests and the inadvertent bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the Kosovo war, the committee maintains that lack of funding and leadership from the White House has left the nation's human and electronic intelligence-gathering systems in a poor state of preparedness and put the nation at risk. Stripped of its partisan tilt it takes two, after all, to underfund a government agency the report may be pointing to a deeper reality: Optimal security is attained not by the efficient investigation and prosecution of spies, but by prevention and counterintelligence.