Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, just added a new Byzantine art book to his library but is minus a pair of U.S. Senate cuff links.
Hatch, a member of the Senate Intelligence committee, took his first tour of the Soviet inspection site at Hercules Aerospace Thursday. Outside a chain link fence in front of a security booth, Hatch told reporters he thinks it's possible the Soviet inspectors might be spying, but he doesn't have any proof.But first he showed off his new book, autographed by the head of the Soviet delegation, Colonel Vyacheslav Lebedev. In return, he gave the Soviets the congressional cuff links he was wearing.
"We just cannot be naive about it (spying)," he said. "I always will have those concerns. This is, as you can see, a wide-open valley."
Despite intelligence briefings, Hatch admitted that sophisticated spying techniques would be difficult to detect. "We know that we have many installations here that need to be hardened," he said. And officials are working with Defense Department to secure phone lines.
Soviet inspectors are stationed in West Jordan to make sure banned Pershing 2 missiles aren't manufactured at the plant, under provisions of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. A delegation of American inspectors are stationed at Votkinsk, Soviet Union.
Hatch has previously expressed concern that the presence of the Soviets would be a detriment to getting additional defense contracts in Utah. In addition, he thinks the Soviets would be interested in the technology produced in the Salt Lake Valley.
Hatch said he applauds the theory of on-site inspections, terming it a major breakthrough in super power relations. While he admits present inspectors in both countries don't really have much to monitor but are mainly "posturing," he said it sets a wonderful precedent for future arms negotiations.