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Defense worker in Hawaii gave nuke secrets to Chinese, FBI says

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 09:28 p.m. HST, Mar 18, 2013

The federal government has charged a civilian defense employee with leaking classified information about nuclear weapons, early warning radar systems and other programs to a Chinese national with whom he had a romantic relationship.

Benjamin Pierce Bishop, 59, a former U.S. Army officer who works as a civilian employee of a defense contractor at U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii, was arrested Friday and made his initial court appearance today, 

Bishop is charged with one count of willfully communicating national defense information to a person not entitled to receive such information and one count of unlawfully retaining documents related to the national defense. If convicted, he faces a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison.

"Col. Bishop has served this country for 29 years. He would never do anything to harm the United States," Bishop's court-appointed attorney Birney Bervar told reporters after his client was formally presented with the charges.

Bishop has held a Top Secret security clearance since July 2002 and held access to Secure Compartmented Information from November 2002 to April 2012, said an affidavit filed in support of the charges. 

The affidavit said Bishop has had a romantic relationship since June 2011 with a 27-year-old woman who is a citizen of the People’s Republic of China who is residing in the United States on a visa. They met in Hawaii during a conference regarding international military defense issues. The affidavit describes the woman only as “Person 1.”

From May through December 2012, Bishop willfully communicated classified national defense information on multiple occasions to Person 1, the affidavit said.

Information given to Person 1 included that relating to nuclear weapons, the planned deployment of U.S. strategic nuclear systems, the ability of the United States to detect low- and medium-range ballistic missiles of foreign governments, and the deployment of U.S. early warning radar systems in the Pacific Rim, the affidavit said.

A court-authorized search of Bishop’s home in November turned up about 12 documents with classification markings at the Secret level. Bishop was not authorized to remove and retain those documents, the affidavit said.

Bishop hid his relationship with Person 1, despite a federal rule that people with security clearances disclose their contacts with foreign nationals, the affidavit said.

Bishop, a Kapolei resident, is scheduled to appear in court Friday for a hearing on whether he will remain in detention during the case.   


The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Criminal complaint against Benjamin Bishop

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iwanaknow wrote:
If this is true, Mr Bishop is in deep kim-chee!
on March 18,2013 | 03:46PM
Pocho wrote:
Just having an affair or just having correspondence with a Chinese National is prolly a NO NO for him.
on March 18,2013 | 04:28PM
hornswoggler wrote:
Not probably, it IS a federal requirement that anyone with security clearance disclose any contact with foreign nationals, especially one from Red China. These guys are trying to steal anything they can from the west, military secrets are at the top of their 'to steal' list.
on March 18,2013 | 06:18PM
Pocho wrote:
yeah, I understand. Just saying he'd be in Deep Kim Chee without giving any Government secrets to her. LIke you say they get rules. That Chinese 27 year old student must be a real Pretty Fortune Cookie!
on March 18,2013 | 06:45PM
HD36 wrote:
He should have stuck to the Korean Bars.
on March 18,2013 | 11:32PM
Pocho wrote:
His Chinese 27 year old female friend must be one HOT Chinese Fortune Cookie!
on March 18,2013 | 06:50PM
HD36 wrote:
Especially when you're going through a mid life crises of low T.
on March 18,2013 | 11:30PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Kim chee is Korean; bok choy is Chinese.
on March 18,2013 | 04:48PM
Pocho wrote:
they both are of the Cabbage family. Kim Chee is HOT though so more sting than just Cabbage/bok choy
on March 18,2013 | 05:57PM
nippy68 wrote:
not deep kim-chee its more like deep hot chinese mustard!!!!!!
on March 18,2013 | 05:53PM
engineersoldier wrote:
We need to throw him into a jail and throw the keys away. They should also consider taking his retirement pay away. No slack for traitors, period.
on March 18,2013 | 03:48PM
eoe wrote:
Defense contractors don't have retirement pay.
on March 18,2013 | 04:05PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
I think he was referring to Military retirement, and yes he should forfeit that too. Then again, you don't need retirement pay when you are in the slammer, the gov't provides everything you need.
on March 18,2013 | 04:11PM
pcman wrote:
As a retired officer he can face an adminitrative courts-matial which could sentence him to hard labor and reduction of rank to E-1 and deny him of all retirement pay. If he is not denied retirement pay he could conceivable accumulate over half a million dollars when he is released.
on March 18,2013 | 06:27PM
Randz808 wrote:
Death by stoning!
on March 18,2013 | 06:39PM
false wrote:
If true he will be up sheet creek without a paddle.
on March 18,2013 | 04:05PM
iwanaknow wrote:
So this is how American goes down?
on March 18,2013 | 04:08PM
iwanaknow wrote:
America is in trouble
on March 18,2013 | 04:09PM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
If these allegations prove true, he should be charged with treason. Letting his other head think for him instead!
on March 18,2013 | 04:12PM
Anonymous wrote:
oops, those documents must've fallen into my bag before i left the office... how could a civilian (even a retired military personnel) be allowed access to such top secret level documents in the first place? security getting pretty laxed at the defense department even after 9/11... this dude is just 1 who got caught, are there any other civilians with clearance in that office that could potentially leak such sensitive information? hope they put everyone on notice.
on March 18,2013 | 04:14PM
IAmSane wrote:
Access was probably required for his job I'm guessing.
on March 18,2013 | 04:48PM
fairgame947 wrote:
How could he be such a traitor! Alleged yes, but the Fed's always have plenty information before they file.
on March 18,2013 | 04:15PM
Pocho wrote:
He prolly was a lonely man
on March 18,2013 | 04:29PM
pcman wrote:
Such people become traitors for money, millions of dollars for officers with nuclear information, sex until he goes to jail, revenge for what he might believe was a disservice to himself by the Army, the US, etc, and for drugs forever.
on March 18,2013 | 06:32PM
Ewaduffer wrote:
Firing Squad TenHut.
on March 18,2013 | 04:42PM
Ronin006 wrote:
What about the Chinese National to whom Bishop gave the information? She apparently was the conduit for the classified information making its way to the Chinese. She, too, should be arrested and charged as a co-conspirator or some such thing and then be deported after serving life in a US prison.
on March 18,2013 | 04:54PM
Pocho wrote:
she should be removed from the US and Visa demolished. Never ever to come back to the States.
on March 18,2013 | 05:58PM
Randz808 wrote:
Cannot let her leave if she holds a lot of info physically or by memory.
on March 18,2013 | 06:41PM
The_Dude_Abides wrote:
Another bru-haha because of our favorite friend... That stuff must me magic, I tell you...
on March 18,2013 | 04:57PM
st1d wrote:
was she selling amway?
on March 18,2013 | 05:08PM
pcman wrote:
Probably sex, drugs, and/or money.
on March 18,2013 | 06:33PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Just finding the secret documents at his home is enough evidence of wrong-doing. Give him the maximum sentence - this is treason and is too serious to be lenient.
on March 18,2013 | 05:35PM
Randz808 wrote:
Totally agree!
on March 18,2013 | 06:42PM
pandadaddy wrote:
It used to be automatic death penalty for treason. Too bad things have changed.
on March 18,2013 | 05:47PM
pcman wrote:
Death penalty may still be valid during wartime. In peacetime, hard labor at Leavenworth miht be given.
on March 18,2013 | 06:36PM
localguy wrote:
So sad to see a former Army Col who obviously attended all the required security and espionage awareness training during his active duty time then just do a complete brain dump for a Chinese skirt, I mean agent. Former COL Benjamin Pierce Bishop never looked so incompetent. He should be tried as a traitor and face the ultimate penalty. But he now has a new retirement plan with 3 hots and a cot, and will meet all kinds of new friends who just love traitors. Wait till lights out Ben. Be afraid of prison Ben, be very afraid. You traitor.
on March 18,2013 | 05:58PM
hornswoggler wrote:
If he had a counterpart in China who did the same thing he did, that person would be in front of a firing squad by Friday!
on March 18,2013 | 06:11PM
false wrote:
hornswoggler: remember the Rosenbergs? Life in prison would be an appropriate punishment for this guy if guilty.
on March 18,2013 | 08:25PM
HanamauluBoy wrote:
China gives the death penalty for crimes such as treason, murder and for major financial crimes. Save our country some money and fry this traitor.
on March 18,2013 | 08:31PM
64hoo wrote:
20 years I would execute him by firing squad.
on March 18,2013 | 06:15PM
Randz808 wrote:
Too easy...he needs to suffer! Death is actually the easy way out!
on March 18,2013 | 06:44PM
64hoo wrote:
how about a slow death shoot him in the foot, then the knee, then the shoulder, and then the chest, than the head and do it slowly as possible
on March 18,2013 | 07:44PM
summer43 wrote:
U R Crazy but I like the idea... What's about the other "head" ?
on March 20,2013 | 08:17PM
MizuInOz wrote:
Everyone here wants to deport the woman who was involved... Back to China. Do you think they will arrest her? Don't you think it would be nice that since she probably said to Benji, "Love you long time, forever" that she gets to stand next to him in front of the firing squad and catches any stray bullets for him? Now that's true love. As far as Benji is concerned, he needs to enjoy the fruits of his labor: a 21 gun salute - live rounds - aimed at him. Nuf said. The damage this has done is beyond scope. To this day, I do not understand why the US has allowed itself to be drawn into the business quagmire of letting China (a sworn enemy) manufacture almost all of our goods. With this kind of "activity", the State Department should "advise" all US based businesses to withdraw all activity from China and not allow any Chinese to purchase property, businesses or anything else from and in the USA. Harsh, you may say - most especially all of the Real Estate agents here in HI sprucing up there properties to appeal to the Chinese market - but how can we consider a country who is dedicated to the overthrow of the USA a friend? I just don't get it. China doesn't need to attack the US, they are buying it.
on March 18,2013 | 06:22PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Wow, he may be wondering how he scored a 27 year old.
on March 18,2013 | 08:06PM
steveshawaii27 wrote:
If this is all true...what a piece of S*%T!!!
on March 18,2013 | 08:23PM
HawaiiMongoose wrote:
Sounds like what the spy novels call a honey trap. First the seduction, then the blackmail. Someone with his training should have seen it coming a mile away.
on March 18,2013 | 09:00PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on March 18,2013 | 09:56PM
HD36 wrote:
You're a genius. No wonder there are no Chinese hostess bars. Their women are out flirting with governdment officials.
on March 18,2013 | 11:27PM
ehowzit wrote:
on March 18,2013 | 11:27PM
ready2go wrote:
The damage they've done is unbelievable. Where's are our internal security?
on March 19,2013 | 06:58AM
Allenk wrote:
According to the story China regularly uses young females to prey on potential targets. Here in the West, we use money for secrets, in the East, they use...you can fill in the blanks.
on March 19,2013 | 08:49AM
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