Taiwan-born Navy officer admits lying, mishandling secrets

06-May-2017 Intellasia | Washington Post | 8:16 AM Print This Post

The US Navy abandoned efforts to convict a Taiwan-born Navy officer of spying forChinaorTaiwan, striking a plea deal on Thursday that instead that portrays him as arrogant and willing to reveal military secrets to impress women.

The agreement was a marked retreat from last year’s accusations that Lt. Cmdr. Edward C. Lin gave or attempted to give classified information to representatives of a foreign government.

But it still appears to end the impressive military career of a man who came toAmericaat 14. Lin joined the staff of an assistant secretary of the Navy inWashington, and later was assigned to a unit inHawaiithat flies spy planes.

Lin, 40, now faces dismissal from the Navy and up to 36 years in prison at his sentencing, scheduled for early June.

During the day-long court-martial inNorfolk, Lin admitted that he failed to disclose friendships with people inTaiwan’s military and connected to its government. He also conceded that he shared defense information with women he said he was trying to impress.

One of them is Janice Chen, an American registered in theUSas a foreign agent ofTaiwan’s government, specifically the country’s Democratic Progressive Party.

Lin said he and Chen often discussed news articles she emailed him about military affairs. He admitted that he shared classified information about the Navy’s Pacific Fleet.

He also divulged secrets to a woman named “Katherine Wu,” whom he believed worked as a contractor forTaiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She actually was an undercover FBI agent.

“I was trying to let her know that the military profession in theUnited Statesis an honorable and noble one,” Lin told Cmdr. Robert Monahan, the military judge. Lin said the military is less prestigious inTaiwan.

Lin also had friends with other connections, including a woman living inChinawhom he met online, and a Chinese massage therapist who moved toHawaii.

Lin said he gave the massage therapist a “large sum of money” at one point, although he didn’t say why.

Lin also admitted to lying to superiors about flying toTaiwanand planning to visitChina. But he said he did it only to avoid the bureaucracy that aUSmilitary official must endure when travelling to a foreign country.

“Sir, I was arrogant,” he told the judge.

A Navy press release about Lin’s attendance at his naturalisation ceremony inHawaiiin December 2008 said he was 14 when he and his family leftTaiwan.

“I always dreamt about coming toAmerica, the ‘promised land,’” Lin was quoted as saying. “I grew up believing that all the roads inAmericalead toDisneyland.”



Category: Taiwan

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