Foreign-Born Naval Officer Accused of Espionage

Foreign-born Naval officer accused of espionage.

In a separate case, that follows on the heals of the continually unfolding "Fat Leonard" debacle, the U.S. Navy has charged one of its officers with disclosing classified information.

Lt. Cmdr. Edward C. Lin, a Taiwan-born Navy officer who only became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2008, faces charges of espionage, attempted espionage and prostitution. The case against Lin is highly secretive, with a U.S. official disclosing his identity Sunday only under the condition of anonymity.

A Navy panel reviewed the charges against Lt. Cmdr. Lin in a closed preliminary "Article 32" hearing on Friday. The case is a sensitive one for the Navy, and Lin's charge sheet is heavily redacted.

Although, Lin's identity has not been officially released, the Navy has said the officer is assigned to the headquarters for the Patrol Reconnaissance Group, which oversees maritime patrol aircraft, including top secret surveillance drones.

The redacted charge sheet released by the Navy accuses Lin of two specifications of espionage and three specifications of attempted espionage for passing classified information to Chinese and Taiwanese officials. Lin is accused of communicating secrets "with intent or reason to believe it would be used to the advantage of a foreign nation," soliciting a prostitute for sex, committing adultery, not disclosing foreign travel to the U.S. government as required for service members, and then lying about the truth of these accusations after the fact.

The officer presiding over Lin's case as convening authority is Adm. Philip S. Davidson, the commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk. Lt. Cmdr. Lin, who was arrested eight months ago, is being held at the Naval Consolidated Brig in Chesapeake, Va.

Categories: Navy
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