Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the Dakota Access pipeline protests or news about this unprecedented US presidential election—and our coverage is never paid for by the oil and gas companies or the campaigns and superPACs. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on your support. Today, less than 1% of our visitors support Democracy Now! with a donation each year. If even 3% of our website visitors donated just $8 per month, we could cover our basic operating expenses for a year. Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Loral Corporation's Political Contributions

May 27, 1998

The nation is a buzz over whether big-money donations influenced President Clinton’s decisions to let China loft American-made satellites into space. Members of Congress, some U.S. officials, and nonproliferation experts are concerned that China can upgrade its nuclear missiles using knowledge it acquired in launching 20 American-made commercial satellites since 1989.

Such concerns are at the heart of legislation the House approved last week that would bar U.S. firms from exporting satellites or missile technology to China. Chinese launch services are among the world’s cheapest, and they attract many Western firms engaged in the fiercely competitive multi-billion-dollar global telecommunications business.

Investigations are currently focused on whether U.S. national security was breached in the wake of the 1996 explosion of a Chinese Long March rocket. The blast destroyed a $200 million communications satellite built by two U.S. aerospace firms — Loral Space and Communications and Hughes Electronics.

A special congressional panel is investigating the case, as well as whether Mr. Clinton’s approval of the launch of a Loral/Hughes satellite in February was swayed by campaign contributions from Loral’s chairperson, Bernard Schwartz.


  • Henry Sokolski, is a former Pentagon official who heads the Non-Proliferation Policy Education Center in Washington D.C. During the Bush administration, he was the deputy for non- Proliferation policy, the senior-most position at the Pentagon.
  • William Hartunt, is the executive director of the World Policy Institute.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.