Navy commander charged with espionage

A U.S. Navy lieutenant commander has been charged with passing on secrets to a foreign power – "possibly China or Taiwan."

Lt. Commander Edward Lin, who was assigned to the Navy's Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, which oversees intelligence collection activities, was born in Taiwan and became a naturalized citizen in 2008.  He is also charged with prostitution and adultry and has been held for the last eight months in confinement.

Reuters:

The charge sheet redacted out the name of the suspect and the Navy declined to provide details on his identity.

It accused him twice of communicating secret information and three times of attempting to do so to a representative of a foreign government "with intent or reason to believe it would be used to the advantage of a foreign nation."

The document did not identify what foreign country or countries were involved.

The U.S. official said both China and Taiwan were possible but stressed the investigation was still going on.

The suspect was also accused of engaging in prostitution and adultery. He has been held in pre-trial confinement for the past eight months or so, the official added.

USNI News, which first reported Lin's identity, said he spoke fluent Mandarin and managed the collection of electronic signals from the EP3-E Aries II signals intelligence aircraft.

The U.S. Navy profiled Lin in a 2008 article that focused on his naturalization to the United States, saying his family left Taiwan when he was 14 and stayed in different countries before coming to America.

"I always dreamt about coming to America, the 'promised land'," he said. "I grew up believing that all the roads in America lead to Disneyland."

The Navy's article can be seen here: 1.usa.gov/1SIEJDe

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said he was not aware of the details of the case. He did not elaborate. China's Defence Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It's hard to judge how serious a breach is involved, given the compartmentalization of intelligence work.  But intel from that group is hot right now in light of what's going on in the South China Sea. 

The prostitution charges suggest that his handlers used that in some fashion to get him to cooperate.  It won't save Lin from a long prison sentence, but if he tells authorities what he knows, some sort of leniency is possible.

No doubt the Navy will now be scarmbling to contain the damage done to its intelligence-gathering capabilities, including signals intelligence, which would be the Holy Grail for any spy.  We'll probably get some hints of the damage done if Lin goes to trial.

A U.S. Navy lieutenant commander has been charged with passing on secrets to a foreign power – "possibly China or Taiwan."

Lt. Commander Edward Lin, who was assigned to the Navy's Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, which oversees intelligence collection activities, was born in Taiwan and became a naturalized citizen in 2008.  He is also charged with prostitution and adultry and has been held for the last eight months in confinement.

Reuters:

The charge sheet redacted out the name of the suspect and the Navy declined to provide details on his identity.

It accused him twice of communicating secret information and three times of attempting to do so to a representative of a foreign government "with intent or reason to believe it would be used to the advantage of a foreign nation."

The document did not identify what foreign country or countries were involved.

The U.S. official said both China and Taiwan were possible but stressed the investigation was still going on.

The suspect was also accused of engaging in prostitution and adultery. He has been held in pre-trial confinement for the past eight months or so, the official added.

USNI News, which first reported Lin's identity, said he spoke fluent Mandarin and managed the collection of electronic signals from the EP3-E Aries II signals intelligence aircraft.

The U.S. Navy profiled Lin in a 2008 article that focused on his naturalization to the United States, saying his family left Taiwan when he was 14 and stayed in different countries before coming to America.

"I always dreamt about coming to America, the 'promised land'," he said. "I grew up believing that all the roads in America lead to Disneyland."

The Navy's article can be seen here: 1.usa.gov/1SIEJDe

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said he was not aware of the details of the case. He did not elaborate. China's Defence Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It's hard to judge how serious a breach is involved, given the compartmentalization of intelligence work.  But intel from that group is hot right now in light of what's going on in the South China Sea. 

The prostitution charges suggest that his handlers used that in some fashion to get him to cooperate.  It won't save Lin from a long prison sentence, but if he tells authorities what he knows, some sort of leniency is possible.

No doubt the Navy will now be scarmbling to contain the damage done to its intelligence-gathering capabilities, including signals intelligence, which would be the Holy Grail for any spy.  We'll probably get some hints of the damage done if Lin goes to trial.