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Former Pearl Harbor officer charged with spying for China

  • COURTESY U.S. NAVY / 2008

    The-Lt. Edward Lin, a native of Taiwan, in 2008 shared his personal stories about his journey to American citizenship to 80 newly nationalized citizens at a naturalization ceremony in Honolulu. At the time he was on the U.S. Pacific Fleet staff.

A Navy flight officer who spoke in Honolulu in 2008 about his journey to become an American citizen has been charged with espionage for allegedly passing secrets to China and patronizing a prostitute, according to a U.S. Naval Institute news story.

Lt. Cmdr. Edward C. Lin, who is originally from Taiwan and speaks fluent Mandarin, was most recently assigned to the Patrol and Reconnaissance Group in Norfolk, Va., the news outlet said.

A 2008 Navy story said Lin, then a lieutenant, spoke at a naturalization ceremony at U.S. District Court in Honolulu about how he was 14 when his family left Taiwan.

“I always dreamt about coming to America, the ‘promised land,’ ” the officer, who had become a naturalized citizen nine years earlier, was quoted as saying at the ceremony. “I grew up believing that all roads in America lead to Disneyland.”

Lin shared his personal story with 80 individuals becoming American citizens. At the time, Lin was on the U.S. Pacific Fleet staff at Pearl Harbor.

A U.S. official confirmed that the accused officer is the same one highlighted by the Navy in 2008, the Washington Post reported.

The U.S. Naval Institute said Lin also had been a department head with the Special Projects Patrol Squadron 2 “Wizards” at Kaneohe Bay, a highly secretive group that flies specially-modified spy planes and has been known to change aircraft paint schemes and identifying numbers to blend in with other Navy planes.

A heavily redacted charge sheet from the Navy accuses the unnamed officer of two specifications of espionage for communicating secret information relating to national defense to a representative of a foreign government. The U.S. Naval Institute said that country is China.

Also filed were three specifications of attempted espionage for trying to pass secret information.

The officer additionally was charged with patronizing a prostitute and adultery, five specifications of communicating defense information that could be use to injure the United States, and three specifications of making a false official statement relating to foreign travel.

A preliminary “Article 32” hearing was held on Friday for Lin, who is being held in a brig in Chesapeake, Va., and the charge sheet was released afterward, but did not disclose his name, the Washington Post said.

Lin noted in the 2008 Navy news story diverse motivations for wanting to become an American citizen.

“Whether it is economical, political, social or religious reasons,” Lin said, “I do know that by becoming a citizen of the United States of America, you did it to better your life and the life of your family.”

A translator had to help him register for school, including filling out the required paperwork, the Navy story said. Lin’s Chinese name had 20 letters in it, and the woman at the school’s front desk was unable to pronounce it. She asked him for his American name.

“I was barely able to spell ‘ABC.’ The only name that I knew back then as an American name was Eddy,” Lin said. “Eddy was the name of my mother’s dog … I was very fortunate that my mother did not name her dog ‘Fluffy.’”

He also thanked the nine U.S. military members being naturalized for safeguarding their new nation, “her people and the Constitution, which guarantees our way of life.”

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    • Execute him? Trial by newspaper? We don’t even know the details of this case. I think he deserves his day in court. The paper mentioned nothing about the details of this case.

        • It would have been better for him to have been a “trader.” He could have traded dry goods for trinkets and jewelry. Or, better yet— he could have gotten a job at Trader Joe’s. Anything would be better than being accused of spying and being a “traitor.”

      • JustBobF, Good head on your shoulder and all others with the same sentiments! He could be a scapegoat to cover up some higher echelons degree of errors and/or guilt.

    • BEFORE executing him, they should strip his citizenship and deport his family or the people who sponsored him. I am sure they will find a place in China to live. Besides illegal immigrants from Mexico, they should also reduce the number of Asians from Asia receiving citizenship in the US. This is the kind of example that validates Trump and his indirect assertion that during WW2, the US was right to intern all Japanese Americans because they could not be trusted. China and Russia will NEVER wage a direct military war against the US but they will not hesitate to destroy the US in the economic world and never hesitate to use spies or turn Americans to steal sensitive military or other secrets possessed by the US. China and Russia are way behind in military submarine technology and for decades China has been making tremendous efforts to steal submarine technology. Fighter planes are no longer so critical whereas advanced missile and laser technology for offensive and defense weapons is what will keep the US safe in the future but losing that edge due to spies like Lin greatly endanger the US. If the evidence is truly overwhelming and non-controvertible, the execution of Lin should be quiet and NO cameras. Don’t matter whether it is lethal injection or firing squad, just do it quietly and without ACLU involvement. PS: Wonder if he was Chinese plant from day one? This is NOT a racial thing as a few years ago in Hawaii some older Caucasian ex military guy who became a consultant for the military “fell in love” with a Chinese graduate student “studying” in Hawaii and he gave her incredibly sensitive classified military secrets. He got convicted and she split back to China or where ever. In that case this other guy should be executed as well.

      • Only morons who like to knee jerk reaction would think so, especially when the guy hasn’t even been convicted of anything yet. Wen Ho Lee, the Chinese American scientist was charged with espionage a few year back and later was founded innocent. They had to untangle the case and found out that his employer was lying and made up a bunch of BS charges against him. The judge in that case had to apologized profusely for being misled by his employer. You and the racist Trump if that was what he really said about the WW II internment can validate anything you want but it doesn’t make you guys any less of a racist. And you and Trump can take a hike because despite your claim that Japanese Americans can’t be trusted in WW II, there was never a single case of a Japanese American being brought up for a charge of espionage/treason let alone a conviction.

        • “a perfectly good public education system”??

          What country you talkin’ about, Sportin’ Blood?

          Sure as [redacted] not the USA whose public education started tanking half a century ago thanks to the federal intrusion into/corruption of a once competent system of LOCALLY CONTROLLED public schools.

      • inverse, it may interest you to know that after the December 7th attack, neither President Franklin Roosevelt nor then FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover personally gave credence to the suspicion that Americans of Japanese ancestry had performed espionage on behalf of the Japanese military. It’s true FDR did surrender to public and political racist sentiment (mostly coming from newspapers and political bodies in California) when he signed Executive Order 9066, but there is scant surviving evidence that he did so actually believing local Hawaii Japanese contributed to the success of the attack. The war was on and the truth, as it so often is during war, was a casualty “for the duration.” As late as 1943 the then acclaimed Hollywood movie “Air Force” continued to reinforce the belief that “local Japs” had materially assisted the Imperial Japanese Navy just before and during the attack. Viewed today, the black and white movie is quite obviously a propaganda film, albeit well made for the time. Why was it allowed to be released by the War Department containing blatant lies? Well, the best answer I can think of was that the American public needed to feel that in no way could their armed forces be beaten by the Japanese in a fair fight. There just HAD to be treachery involved to explain the casualties at Pearl Harbor. For fun inverse, go check the flick out. Even when it appears today, it does so without disclaimers.

        • Actually FDR issues a memo in 1935 staying that the US should begin plans to put Japanese Americans in “concentration camps” (his words). He ignored the advice of Hoover who said that there was no evidence that the Japanese would be a threat in the event of war. They began arrests before the bombs stopped falling on Pearl. The plans were in effect before EA 9066. FDR and Secretary Stimpson called it the “Japanese Probkem.”

        • Speaking philosophically, I think you need to be exposed to what wrong is, in order to appreciate what’s right.

    • They should do the same thing they did to Petraeus for giving away top secret info. Oh, that’s right, they didn’t do anything to him except let him resign.

    • Betraying the USA is no longer a capital crime as it was before the Obama regime. Our congress changed the law after 200+ years to accommodate the global new world order and erase the sovereignty of this country.

  • Being a combat retired officer, I have noticed an extraordinary number of Pearl demotions, military articles, conduct unbecoming, etc. It all starts at the top. The AF went through this a few years ago–need more stringent discipline and screening. Would be interesting for the SA to research how he became an officer.

  • Hillary was operating a server in her basement while sending emails that were classified in nature and somehow that’s all swept under the rug during her presidential campaign.

    I wonder what Lin was doing that was labeled espionage ?

    • Well, not exactly being swept under the rug.

      Washington Post on 27 March published a lengthy investigative report that covered the reckless handling of very sensitive material by Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton in comprehensive detail. WashPo notes specifically that her cavalier attitude toward her duty to safeguard classified information was evident in her first few days in office when she insisted on using her unprotected (and highly vulnerable) blackberry for ALL her comms.

  • Way too little information to make any kind of educated judgments here. Doesn’t make a whole lotta sense. If he is found to be guilty, the full weight of military law should be exercised – if not, then he should be exonerated. The American Way – – – – – I believe.

    • This is what makes his crime even worse. It gives people like you and Donald Trump excuses to put more blame on immigrants. FYI, we have had traitors from all walks of life. I wish they could execute him if he is proven guilty.

  • Why is there always a prostitute or sex temptress involved in these spy cases? Is this their secret for getting a hold of these nerdy boys?

    • This isn’t a comment on Lin’s guilt or innocence, but few spies and turncoats in the modern era betray their countries for ideological reasons. Rarely do they care all that much what people like Karl Marx or Chairman Mao wrote or thought. Odious figures such as John Walker Jr., Aldritch Ames and Robert Hanssen sold out to the Soviets for cold hard cash. Others like Marine Clayton Lonetree and Benjamin Bishop of Kapolei fell prey to the sexual favors offered by pretty young women (in Bishop’s case, he was seduced by a woman young enough to be his daughter). Lust for money and sex are hard, very hard urges for certain types of men to restrain. Don’t expect that to change in America anytime soon.

  • America offered him a better life for him and his family, he chose to betray us. He should go to jail permanently, his family should be deported back to Taiwan or China.

  • SHOPOHOLIC says:
    April 10, 2016 at 6:20 pm
    If he’s a trader, let him make money

    sailfish1 says:
    April 10, 2016 at 6:21 pm
    The can’t execute him for being a “trader”.

    He is a trader in flesh, lust, secrets and money. But I think he meant the guy is a”traitor.”

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