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Judge denies bail to suspect in espionage case

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 07:29 p.m. HST, Mar 25, 2013


A federal judge denied bail today to a civilian defense contractor accused of giving military secrets to a Chinese girlfriend half his age, saying he poses a danger to national security.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi ordered Benjamin Bishop, 59, to remain in custody while he awaits trial.

Puglisi cited a declaration made to the court by the U.S. Pacific Command's chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Anthony Crutchfield, in making his decision.

The judge said Crutchfield made the case that Bishop would almost certainly be able to recall substantial amounts of classified information from memory and could divulge classified information that could harm national security.

Bishop is charged with one count of communicating national defense information to a person not entitled to receive it and one count of unlawfully retaining national defense documents and plans.

Federal investigators say he gave his girlfriend, a 27-year-old Chinese national studying in the U.S., classified information about war plans, nuclear weapons, missile defenses and other topics through emails and telephone calls.

The Army Reserve lieutenant colonel was working at the U.S. Pacific Command as a contractor when he was arrested March 15.

Puglisi had asked prosecutors to explain how Bishop, if released on bail, might disclose military secrets when he's been fired from his contractor's position and no longer has access to classified information.

The prosecution responded with a declaration from Crutchfield that outlined Bishop's work in cyber defense, a position he held from May 2011 until his arrest, and his previous job helping develop Pacific Command strategy and policy.

Bishop, through the course of his work, was familiar with the Pacific Command's highest priority capability gaps, the declaration said.

Bishop is also familiar with the way Pacific Command conducts operations, including how it uses cyber security, Crutchfield said.

In a previous position that Bishop held from May 2010 to April 2012, Bishop had access to "top secret" information on the command's efforts to defend against a ballistic missile attack from North Korea, Crutchfield said.

"Unauthorized release of this highly sensitive, classified information could cause exceptionally grave damage to U.S. national security, undermining the value of this huge investment of national treasure," Crutchfield said.

Bishop's attorney, Birney Bervar, said he was frustrated by the ruling. He said his client is considering appealing.

"He's being detained without bail based upon what's in his mind, based upon his knowledge and what he knows," Bervar said. "There's no authority, case law, statutory or otherwise, to lock people up because of what they know, what's in their mind."







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2disgusted2 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on March 25,2013 | 05:39PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
5% infatuation, 95% spy
on March 25,2013 | 07:33PM
sloturle wrote:
that means if we have war... they will be better. =(
on March 25,2013 | 07:06PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
No
on March 25,2013 | 07:32PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
So where is the woman in the middle of this whole case?
on March 25,2013 | 07:11PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Witness for the prosecution.
on March 25,2013 | 07:31PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
uh oh no bail means a flight risk
on March 25,2013 | 07:33PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Make sure Bishop never has access to the Internet again, unless he is found not guilty.
on March 25,2013 | 07:36PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Comment has been sent for approval. Omg i must be a spy or something.
on March 25,2013 | 07:37PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Mary had a little lamb. jack and Jill went up the hill.
on March 25,2013 | 07:43PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on March 25,2013 | 07:44PM
IAmSane wrote:
You need to calm down...
on March 25,2013 | 10:28PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
No worry u calm down not me
on March 25,2013 | 11:12PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Look as your screen name it says I AM INSANE !!!!
on March 25,2013 | 11:13PM
IAmSane wrote:
You need to calm down...
on March 26,2013 | 08:18AM
AmbienDaze wrote:
sound of crickets...
on March 25,2013 | 09:10PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Sounds like my feet right now. I have a habit of nervous restlessness, u know the feet twitching around when u sit, lol?
on March 25,2013 | 11:04PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Wow! A good decision by a Hawaii judge. Wonders never cease!
on March 25,2013 | 09:19PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Not a Hawaii Judge, this is a federal judge.
on March 25,2013 | 11:01PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Tell me what happens during a Road Rage. That is what happens to me when i see COMMENT HAS BEEN SENT FOR APPROVAL.
on March 25,2013 | 10:59PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
They finally caugh on
on March 25,2013 | 11:02PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Caught lol
on March 25,2013 | 11:05PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
I catch most of my typos because as a profession i am a Structural Engineer, the same as Michael Mastumoto, Gary Chock and Dwight Okawa. We are very detail oriented people as a habit and we check and double check like crazy, as we don't want that bridge to fall down.
on March 25,2013 | 11:08PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on March 25,2013 | 11:08PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
I am talking about the staff at the Honolulu Star-Money Launderers
on March 25,2013 | 11:10PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
I see that u have cleaned up the riff raff. Ok fine. Please do not worry i will not file any frivolous Civil Lawsuits against my favorites at The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. That was just to let u guys know that i mean business and that although i enjoy these commentaries, i rather be driving a car or playing poker at the World Series of Poker in July 2013, about 4 month from now. I met Pius Heinz on Pokerist about a year ago and he has taken me under his wing and he believes that i am a superb Poker Player. I am a certified expert at Texas Hold 'em, the card game of The Main Event. Pius and i consult each other on Pokerist, kik and Skype. Pius thinks i have the moxi to win a big event such as The WSOP Main Event, the most prestigious Poker game in all of the industry. Cya Tc ty gl ttyl
on March 25,2013 | 11:22PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on March 25,2013 | 11:22PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Not to mention making money in The Stock Market, lol i forgot that.
on March 25,2013 | 11:26PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Really i am a sort of retired Structural Engineer, as i have given up active practice, despite having a Master's in Structures from UHM. i really did not like all the pressure an Engineer faces, due to the public liability. I still maintain my PE, Professional Engineer license i got in California in 1984. This information is disclosed so that u guys do not think i am off my rocker lol.
on March 25,2013 | 11:30PM
IAmSane wrote:
LOL why would anyone care about that? You just went on an online rampage by yourself for four hours. It was... impressive.
on March 26,2013 | 08:25AM
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