I’ve been here in DC since Sunday and whenever I’m here, I still think about 9-11 and the threat of Islamic jihadism in our nation’s capital. I recall that Capitol Hill was a place where Anwar al-Awlaki was invited to offer prayers. I remember Nidal Hasan was stationed here at Walter Reed Army Medical Center before being reassigned to Ft. Hood, Texas, and we know what happened there. We often focus on the infiltration of militant Islamists in our midst, but we forget there’s another very clear and present danger.
As reported by Reuters, “A U.S. Navy flight officer with knowledge of sensitive American intelligence collection methods faces espionage charges over suspicions he passed secret information to Taiwan and possibly to China, U.S. officials said.
U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, identified the suspect as Lieutenant Commander Edward Lin, who was born in Taiwan and later became a naturalized U.S. citizen, according to a Navy article profiling him in 2008.
Lin was a flight officer assigned to the Special Projects Patrol Squadron, with experience managing the collection of electronic signals from the EP3-E Aries II signals intelligence aircraft, officials said.
Information about how the U.S. Navy carries out such signals collection operations could be highly valuable to a foreign government. A heavily redacted Navy charge sheet twice accused the suspect of communicating secret information and three times of attempting to do so “with intent or reason to believe it would be used to the advantage of a foreign nation.”
The suspect was also accused of engaging in prostitution and adultery. The document was redacted to blot out Lin’s name and did not identify what foreign country or countries were involved. The U.S. officials said both Taiwan and China were possibly those countries but stressed the investigation was still ongoing.”
LCDR Lin reminds us there’s a threat to America from across the Pacific Ocean. Here again we have someone in our uniform whose allegiance to our nation, in the end, meant nothing.
Let’s be honest, this goes back to one Benedict Arnold, so there’s nothing new under the sun. However, we need to come to grips with the threat emanating from the Pacific: China. Recently, here at the NCPA we had the pleasure of former Defense Intelligence Agency Commander, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn participating in one of our lecture series. He firmly stated that China has a cyber unit consisting of some 800,000 members. The United States recently established the US CYBERCOMMAND (CYBERCOM) and we have somewhere between 10,000 to 15,000. We have a serious issue with the theft of our intellectual property, much from China. We even have an issue with counterfeit parts that end up being parts for our weapons systems, courtesy of China. The most recent Chinese fighter jet has some very marked resemblances to our F35 fighter jet.
LCDR Lin reminds us of that famous quote attributed to Roman statesman Marcus Tulius Cicero: “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”
I am thankful LCDR Lin was captured before he could possibly have escaped the country — after all he was picked up in Hawaii. Edward Snowden placed this country at risk, no different than LCDR Lin. We don’t need any overreaction but what we do need is to continue to tighten our security measures and protocols.
When I was Commander of the 2d Battalion, 20th Field Artillery, “Deep Strike,” we had five Standing Orders and one of them was “One man does, another man checks.” We must safeguard our classified security information and intelligence systems.
LCDR Lin could face the death penalty because we truly are not a nation at peace, but in a state of war and confrontation. It is my hope his trial won’t take as long as that of another traitor, the Army’s Bowe Bergdahl. And I just have to ask, where is Bergdahl? Do I expect Lin or Bergdahl to face the death penalty? Nope, but they should certainly NEVER again see the light of day. They should die in shame just as they lived in shame, after committing an act of treachery and betrayal of our nation.
Just to remind you — Clint Lorance, William Hunsaker, and others sit imprisoned in Ft. Leavenworth because they deployed and faced the enemy. I would certainly have Lorance and Hunsaker over to my house for a BBQ any day. They should be pardoned and released. Just conduct a transfer and put Lin and Bergdahl in the cells they used to occupy.