This Watchdog Isn't Asleep, It's Comatose

The year was 1990. Senator Albert Gore Jr. (D-Tenn.) was in a lather over the Treasury Dept.'s refusal to block the purchase of a key U.S. semiconductor-equipment maker by a Japanese competitor, Nippon Sanso Co. "Encouraging foreign investment is one thing. Allowing unrestricted purchases of key technologies is quite another," fumed Gore. To the Bush Administration, he charged, protecting America's technological jewels "is just a big joke."

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