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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The revolving door spins out a new John Warner

Former Sen. John Warner is lobbying on behalf of foreign and U.S. companies to loosen national-security export controls he once backed. My column tells the story:

"When hard decisions must be made, national security must always be the paramount consideration," Sen. Warner said in 2001. He assailed the companies that were lobbying for looser export controls at the time: "I am afraid there are those, including people in the corporate boardrooms across this country, who sometimes are not mindful about what serves as the foundation of our economic strength and their ability to project beyond our shores."

But now Warner's priorities have shifted. "I remember the Strom Thurmond Act -- that's fine," he told me. "I stand by whatever I said. I don't remember what I said, but I'll be delighted to read it in your column tomorrow. But I know this is an industry that needs help, and I'm privileged to be in a position to try and help them."

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