Two U.S. Navy Servicemembers Arrested for Transmitting Military Information to the People’s Republic of China

In two separate cases in the Southern and Central Districts of California, two U.S. Navy servicemembers were arrested for transmitting sensitive military information to the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

“These individuals stand accused of violating the commitments they made to protect the United States and betraying the public trust, to the benefit of the PRC government,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to use every tool in our arsenal to counter threats from China and to deter those who aid them in breaking our laws and threatening our national security.”

“These arrests are a reminder of the relentless, aggressive efforts of the People’s Republic of China to undermine our democracy and threaten those who defend it,” said Assistant Director Suzanne Turner of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. “The PRC compromised enlisted personnel to secure sensitive military information that could seriously jeopardize U.S. national security. The FBI and our partners remain vigilant in our determination to combat espionage, and encourage past and present government officials to report any suspicious interactions with suspected foreign intelligence officers.”

United States v. Jinchao Wei, Southern District of California

A U.S. Navy sailor, Jinchao Wei, aka Patrick Wei, was arrested yesterday on espionage charges as he arrived for work at Naval Base San Diego, the homeport of the Pacific Fleet. He was indicted for conspiracy to send national defense information to an intelligence officer working for the People’s Republic of China.

The indictment, unsealed this morning, alleges that Wei, was an active-duty sailor on the amphibious assault ship the U.S.S. Essex stationed at Naval Base San Diego. In his role as a machinist’s mate, Wei held a U.S. security clearance and had access to sensitive national defense information about the ship’s weapons, propulsion and desalination systems. Amphibious assault ships like the Essex resemble small aircraft carriers and allow the U.S. military to project power and maintain presence by serving as the cornerstone of the U.S. Navy’s amphibious readiness and expeditionary strike capabilities.

According to the indictment, in February 2022, Wei began communicating with an intelligence officer from the PRC who requested that Wei provide information about the U.S.S. Essex and other Navy ships. Specifically, the Chinese intelligence officer tasked Wei with passing him photos, videos and documents concerning U.S. Navy ships and their systems. The two agreed to hide their communications by deleting records of their conversations and using encrypted methods of communication.

At the request of the intelligence officer, between March 2022 and the present, Wei sent photographs and videos of the Essex, disclosed the locations of various Navy ships and described defensive weapons of the Essex. In exchange for this information, the intelligence officer paid Wei thousands of dollars over the course of the conspiracy.

The indictment further alleges that in June 2022, Wei sent the intelligence officer approximately 30 technical and mechanical manuals. These manuals contained export control warnings and detailed the operations of multiple systems aboard the Essex and similar ships, including power, steering, aircraft and deck elevators, as well as damage and casualty controls. The intelligence officer confirmed with Wei that at least 10 of those manuals were useful to him. For passage of those materials, the indictment alleges that Wei was paid $5,000.

In June 2022, the intelligence officer requested that Wei provide information about the number and training of U.S. Marines during an upcoming international maritime warfare exercise. In response to this request, Wei sent multiple photographs of military equipment to the intelligence officer.

In August 2022, Wei sent an additional 26 technical and mechanical manuals related to the power structure and operation of the Essex and similar ships. The manuals contained warnings that this was technical data subject to export controls and that it was deemed “critical technology” by the U.S. Navy.

The indictment further alleges that in October 2022, Wei sent a technical manual to the intelligence officer describing the layout and location of certain departments, including berthing quarters and weapons systems. Specifically, Wei sent a weapons control systems manual for the Essex and similar ships. This manual contained export-controlled data that could not be exported without a license from the U.S. government. The indictment alleges that Wei knowingly violated the International Traffic in Arms Regulations by transmitting this manual to the Chinese intelligence officer without obtaining a required license.

The intelligence officer continued to request information in 2023, including information about the overhaul and upgrades to the Essex. Specifically, he requested blueprints, especially those related to modifications to the flight deck. Wei provided information related to the repairs the Essex was undergoing, as well as other mechanical problems with similar vessels.

During the alleged conspiracy, the intelligence officer instructed Wei to gather U.S. military information that was not public and admonished him not to discuss their relationship and to destroy any evidence regarding the nature of their relationship and their activities.

“We have entrusted members of our military with tremendous responsibility and great faith,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman for the Southern District of California. “Our nation’s safety and security are in their hands. When a soldier or sailor chooses cash over country, and hands over national defense information in an ultimate act of betrayal, the United States will aggressively investigate and prosecute.”

U.S. Attorney Grossman thanked the prosecution team and investigating agencies for their excellent work on this case.

The FBI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Parmley and Fred Sheppard for the Southern District of California and Trial Attorney Adam Barry of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case.

United States v. Wenheng Zhao, Central District of California

A U.S. Navy servicemember, Petty Officer Wenheng Zhao, aka Thomas Zhao, 26, of Monterey Park, California, was arrested following an indictment by a federal grand jury, charging him with receiving bribes in exchange for transmitting sensitive U.S. military information to an individual posing as a maritime economic researcher, but who was actually an intelligence officer from the PRC.

The indictment alleges that Zhao, who worked at Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme and held a U.S. security clearance, received bribes from a Chinese intelligence officer in exchange for violating his official duties as a U.S. sailor by, among other actions, disclosing non-public sensitive U.S. military information.

Beginning in August 2021 and continuing through at least May 2023, at the Chinese intelligence officer’s direction, Zhao allegedly violated his official duties to protect sensitive military information by surreptitiously recording, and then transmitting to the intelligence officer, U.S. military information, photographs and videos. According to the indictment, the Chinese intelligence officer told Zhao that the intelligence officer was a maritime economic researcher seeking the information for investment decisions.

In exchange for bribes, Zhao allegedly sent the Chinese military officer non-public and controlled operational plans for a large-scale U.S. military exercise in the Indo-Pacific Region, which detailed the specific location and timing of Naval force movements, amphibious landings, maritime operations and logistics support.

The indictment further alleges that in exchange for bribes, Zhao also photographed electrical diagrams and blueprints for a radar system stationed on a U.S. military base in Okinawa, Japan.

The intelligence officer allegedly directed Zhao to conceal their relationship and to destroy evidence of the unlawful and corrupt scheme.

In exchange for the sensitive information Zhao provided – information Zhao accessed as a result of his position within the U.S. Navy – the Chinese intelligence officer paid Zhao approximately $14,866, the indictment alleges.

“By sending this sensitive military information to an intelligence officer employed by a hostile foreign state, the defendant betrayed his sacred oath to protect our country and uphold the Constitution,” said U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada for the Central District of California. “Unlike the vast majority of U.S. Navy personnel who serve the nation with honor, distinction and courage, Mr. Zhao chose to corruptly sell out his colleagues and his country.”

If convicted, Zhao faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The FBI Los Angeles Field Office’s Counterintelligence and Cyber Division and NCIS investigated the case. IRS Criminal Investigation provided substantial assistance.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Annamartine Salick, Sarah Gerdes, Christine Ro and Kathrynne Seiden of the Terrorism and Export Crimes Section for the Central District of California are prosecuting this case. Trial Attorney Adam Barry of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section is providing substantial assistance.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated August 3, 2023

NegativeLookBehind,
NegativeLookBehind avatar

“The FBI and our partners remain vigilant in our determination to combat espionage, and encourage past and present government officials to report any suspicious interactions with suspected foreign intelligence officers.”

Unless you’re a president who’s committing treason, then we just don’t know how to handle it.

AnonymousBaba,

is this about trump or biden lol

Ertebolle,

Biden... committed treason by not getting involved in his son's business interests when he wasn't president?

AnonymousBaba,
Zorque,
Akasazh,
@Akasazh@feddit.nl avatar

I was not expecting to learn something about crickets in this thread, so thank you!

Furball,

Does everything have to be about trump? Half the comments in this thread are about trump even though this has absolutely nothing to do with him.

artifice,

It’s tiring to see, almost everywhere.

NegativeLookBehind,
NegativeLookBehind avatar

Sorry, I just really want to see him go to prison.

Mikey_donuts,

Hang em high.

krolden,
@krolden@lemmy.ml avatar

Are you saying you want to kill these people?

HouseOfJazz,
@HouseOfJazz@lemmy.world avatar

It’s also an expression

AphoticDev,

An expression for what?

HouseOfJazz,
@HouseOfJazz@lemmy.world avatar

I’ve always assumed people used it when they want someone punished to the fullest extent of the law. Not necessarily death penalty. Just my opinion and I could be wrong.

Llewellyn,

No, I’m just bad with English sometimes :(

Llewellyn, (edited )

Only if allegations are true, punishment is valid. And even then death penalty is too much.

Arotrios,
Arotrios avatar

They committed treason for less than $15k a pop. This indicates to me that either the CCP was threatening their family members in China, or that they're just dumb as rocks.

Aquagrunt,

We’re historically cheap when it comes to espionage

nuachtan,

I have two go with option B.

spankinspinach,

I’m always stunned by the numbers that ppl sell out for. I always think it’s hundreds of thousands or millions, but its often like 60k… It’s nuts.

But then, the CCP is very happy to bully their citizens. Until recenlty in Canada, they were having the Chinese police service muscle ppl under the guise of “diplomatic offices” for “drivers license renewals and other domestic Chinese matters.”

blivet, (edited )

I’m always stunned by the numbers that ppl sell out for. I always think it’s hundreds of thousands or millions, but its often like 60k… It’s nuts.

Even the recent scandals about the Supreme Court are surprisingly penny-ante. Thomas sold himself for perks like a ride on a yacht.

jscummy,

Hey now, give him his fair shake. He sold out for perks like multiple rides on a yacht

Puzzle_Sluts_4Ever,

The media portrayal of espionage is not in the slightest bit accurate (although, The Americans is still one of the greatest shows ever made).

In the case of this? Odds are they are just real stupid. But the intent was likely to feed documents over a long period of time. So 15k now, 20k in a few months, 10k a few months after that, etc. Because if someone is offering you a million dollars for one document? They are probably gonna hang you out to dry. If not kill you themselves.

tryptaminev,

i dont know. We had members of parliament in Germany sell themselves out as political prostitutes to the regime in Azerbaidschan for as little as 8000 € (also around 8000 $ at the time). That was about a month and a half salary for them.

Some people in general are just easy sellouts.

demvoter,
demvoter avatar

Guess who is going to be held in jail pending trial for illegally sharing classified documents? Not trump.

nuachtan,

This is the part that pisses me off. It should be same crime same time.

tryptaminev,

i am most certain that it was not the same crime for Trump. Dude stole classified docs from the white house. That is magnitudes more severe.

evatronic,

I really hope the trial is televised. I want to see the evidence, in real-time, about how and who he sold these documents to.

Donnywholovedbowling,

Federal trials don’t have cameras by law iirc

evatronic,

Right, I’d read an article shortly before commenting that a handful of Dems were trying to change that for one of these trials.

jscummy,

And they sure as hell won’t be publicly broadcasting the details of a classified document case

WtfEvenIsExistence,

Trump is white and rich so he gets a free treason pass… Unfortunately 🤦‍♂️

lemonh3ad,
lemonh3ad avatar

You’re the only user I ever followed over on reddit, glad to come across you once again.

TurboDiesel,
@TurboDiesel@lemmy.world avatar

Wait. Is this PoppinKream‽‽‽

thisbenzingring,

I’m wondering the same thing now

Cabrio,

They claimed to be the same person in another thread.

zettajon,

Nope, this is: @PoppinKREAM

lemonh3ad,
lemonh3ad avatar

Yeah im probably wrong, i might have confused poppinkream with the guy who posted on publicfreakout all the time since I spent a lot of time on that sub too.

Future203,

Ooh nice quesclamation marks.

Cabrio,

Interrobang*

Future203,

Ah I knew there must be an official name. Nice

Cabrio,

Fastest way to find the right answer is to be wrong on the Internet.

TurboDiesel,
@TurboDiesel@lemmy.world avatar

FWIW, I like “quesclamation mark” better than interrobang

jacktherippah,

Now kiss.

Pratai,

America’s worst enemy is America. Hands down.

stevedidWHAT,
@stevedidWHAT@lemmy.world avatar

You are always your own worst enemy

BetaBlake,

Well in America’s defense, these guys were straight up Chinese.

Pratai,

They were Americans.

somedude,

I wonder how they were caught when they were “using encrypted methods of communication.” Also $14k seems like a small amount to risk ruining your life.

ManosTheHandsOfFate,
@ManosTheHandsOfFate@lemmy.world avatar

Robert Hanssen made $1.4 million over the course of his spy career. Which sounds like a lot but it was over 20 years and he did a ton of damage to the US intelligence community during the cold war. Was the $1.4 million worth spending another 20 years in solitary at ADX Florence?

bdonvr,

Honestly I bet it was the money

cybersandwich,

People sell out for so little.*

*Often these amounts are the super easily/slam dunk provable amounts. It doesn’t mean they didn’t get more. It means they have the receipts for these.

KnightontheSun,

There is also a tactic used where the enemy offers a substantial sum ($100k+) to lure them in, but then shows up with just $10k. Not something you can really lodge a complaint form for so they just take it. When they get caught, we say why so little?

Zebov,

Ruin your life and possibly lots of others if any country goes to war against those specific machines.

Spying is one crime that absolutely deserves the death penalty.

jcit878,

there’s “encrypted” and there’s “encrypted”.

And I would wager that both kinds are trivial to the intelligence committee particularly when it comes to treason

AphoticDev,

They didn’t need to break the encryption. Once they knew the people were talking with China, they could just sieze the phones and read everything. As for how they knew they were talking to China, that was probably their bank that tipped off the feds to unusual payments coming from China. They might also have noticed they were viewing classified materials on government systems they didn’t need to view.

MichaelHawkinSnider,

Shame they don’t make traitors face the wall anymore.

TransplantedSconie,

Since he’s a Navy man, once he’s convicted, can we do the ol’ strand him on a deserted isle with nothing but a bottle of rum and a single shot flintlock? I’d be ok with bringing back some traditional things.

wanderingmagus,

Tie him to the captain’s mast and give him 300 lashes with the cat o’ nine tails and douse his back in seawater.

EnderWi99in,

Traitors

thessnake03,

Only a few grand per document. US needs to pay our people better, so that’s not a tempting offer

AnonymousBaba, (edited )

ccp persuade most them or threatened them if they have any relatives back in china . US use money and similar tactics to plant assest in china (by hacking CIA device captured from one mole of cia in china. they exucuted lot of moles for years). doing same thing but method is different

Jaysyn,
Jaysyn avatar

I wonder if they will be in prison before Trump even goes to trial?

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

They’re both Chinese-American, so I hope this doesn’t turn into a racist purge.

WtfEvenIsExistence,

As an American with Chinese Ancestry, I would never even think about giving information to China. As long as I hold US Citizenship, this is home to me.

(Meaning, if the US for whatever reason turn their back on me and revokes my citizenship, there’s no guarantee I won’t be giving secrets to whoever offers me a new home. Afterall, I don’t have any duty to a country if they no longer recognizes me as a citizen. But hopefully, that doesn’t happen. Such as how twice in history they’ve done so. Eg: Chinese Exclusion Act and Japanese Internment Camps)

GameGod,

Maybe don’t tell your employer this lol

WtfEvenIsExistence,

Lol I don’t work for the government. And as I said, I’m not going to betray the US for as long as I’m a citizen. Of course, I’m not bringing up this in a job interview. But remember, corporations arent countries. If you, say, defect from a country, your new country can protect you from the former one. With corporations, you are still bound by law to not violate any non-disclosure agreements. I mean if it were legal to betray Coca-Cola and sell the Coca-Cola formula, I might actually consider it. There’s nothing morally wrong about betraying corporations. But countries are different. Betraying a country endangers everyone’s lives. Betraying Coca-Cola isn’t gonna affect anyone except maybe a few shareholders.

I like the Constitution just fine, maybe need some amendments, but overall, the core principles are fine. Corporations? Fuck them, I couldn’t care for a corporate trade secret. Who wouldn’t sell a coca-cola formula if it were legal?

TwinTusks,

American with Chinese Ancestry

Well, are you ABC or someone who received citizenship after arriving in the US at certain age.

Nioxic,

In their mind, probably not american at all… lol

EnderWi99in,

Based on their actions, I'd say just Chinese. Not very American.

AnonymousBaba, (edited )

most of time ccp uses or plant its own citizen abroad as mole . if some is skeptical of chinese-american its not their fault but real racist will use this as excuse to be more racist

CantSt0pPoppin,
@CantSt0pPoppin@lemmy.world avatar

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been accused of operating secret police stations in countries around the world. These stations are reportedly used to monitor and intimidate Chinese citizens who live abroad, as well as to track and silence critics of the CCP.

In 2019, the United States Department of Justice indicted two Chinese citizens for operating an illegal Chinese police station in New York City. The station was reportedly used to collect information on Chinese dissidents living in the United States.

In 2020, a report by Safeguard Defenders, a human rights group, found evidence of more than 100 secret CCP police stations operating in countries around the world. The report also found that the CCP was using these stations to track and harass Chinese citizens who were critical of the government.

The CCP has denied the existence of these secret police stations, but the evidence suggests otherwise. The stations are a clear violation of the sovereignty of the countries in which they operate, and they pose a serious threat to the freedom of Chinese citizens living abroad.

In addition to the secret police stations, the CCP has also been accused of using other methods to monitor and intimidate Chinese citizens abroad. For example, the CCP has been known to hack into the phones and computers of Chinese citizens, and it has also been known to use social media to track and harass critics of the government.

The CCP’s efforts to monitor and intimidate Chinese citizens abroad are a serious threat to freedom of speech and expression. These efforts also send a clear message to Chinese citizens that they are not free to speak out against the government, even when they are living outside of China.

Ertebolle,

This shit absolutely makes life worse for Chinese-Americans and the PRC absolutely doesn't give a fuck about that.

InverseParallax,

PRC: “Chinese-American? No such thing.”

I feel bad for people whose country considers them a possession.

My hyphenated-american country doesn’t give a shit about me in any way, and I like it that way.

tryptaminev,

The US kinda considered the chinese workers that built your railways as posession, more so than as humans most definetely.

InverseParallax,

That’s fair.

Are we doing that now?

Is it remotely possible that we’re treating your own people more like humans than “their people” are?!?!

Fuck the CCP.

krolden,
@krolden@lemmy.ml avatar

The CCP didn’t exist when the USA used Chinese slave labor to build the railroads.

wanderingmagus,

You didn’t answer his question, shipmate. Is it happening now? I’d be surprised, given that, as an SSBN submariner and Chinese-American, I have not experienced any of the things you mentioned, nor did my parents or grandparents.

krolden,
@krolden@lemmy.ml avatar

What

PsychedSy,

I doubt people will directly lose clearance, but some contractors will choose to be a bit more stingy with clearance for naturalized citizens.

Madison420,

Won’t be a little just increased scrutiny, knowing you have a mole is advantageous so long as you know who your mole is.

soviettaters,

They are distinctly not Chinese-American, at least one of them isn’t. One of them received their citizenship while selling secrets to China. He became a citizen to destroy us easier. These men were purely Chinese.

krolden,
@krolden@lemmy.ml avatar

Oh yeah I feel soon destroyed. They’re destroying our freeedoms! Oh no!

wanderingmagus,

Found the Chinese spy.

krolden,
@krolden@lemmy.ml avatar
Szymon,

China sets up shop in western countries to keep tabs on/utilize/threaten Chinese living and working abroad into pushing forward things beneficial to China. A few “police stations” were just identified and shut down in Canada.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

What does that have to do with what I said?

Jaysyn,
Jaysyn avatar

Not op, but they can lean on US military in the same way.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

Ok, but that doesn’t mean there needs to be a purge of Chinese-Americans in the U.S. military.

Jaysyn,
Jaysyn avatar

Not at all, but there absolutely should be a review of any soldiers with living relatives in the PRC.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

I’m sorry you can’t see how racist that is.

Turkey_Titty_city,

it's racist. it's also true.

luthis,

Not racist.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

It’s literally saying anyone with Chinese relatives is possibly complicit. How is that not racist? If I said we should investigate any soldier with Japanese relatives, wouldn’t that be racist?

luthis,

Anyone with ties to the PRC was the comment I was referring to.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

Any Jew could have ties with Israel. If Israel and the U.S. were hostile to each other, should all Jews in the military be investigated?

luthis,

If they had family or friends in the government, then of course yes. But China is not Israel. China (as in the CCP) is severely corrupt. So any citizens of China in the military should be investigated. Not because they are necessarily malicious themselves, but because the CCP uses every method available.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

They’re citizens of America in the military.

chaogomu,

Every Jew with direct ties to Israel is investigated. Just like anyone with any ties to another country has to declare those ties to even apply to get a security clearance.

Do note that it takes direct ties. First, possibly second, generation immigrants will be the most suspect, but only if they go for any sort of top secret clearance. There are hundreds of jobs that even a first generation immigrant can do in the military that would receive no additional scrutiny, because those jobs don't touch any classified material.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

Suddenly people are saying ‘direct ties.’ It was ‘relatives’ before. Relatives could mean anything. Virtually every Chinese-American has relatives in China if you go wide enough with ‘relatives.’

chaogomu,

Living relatives are direct ties, but so are more nebulous things, like friends and business connections.

It's a more encompassing term, while also acknowledging that you probably don't care about a third cousin twice removed.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

Again, the thing I initially responded to and objected to just said ‘relatives.’ Not direct ties. Not living relatives. Just relatives. You are moving the goalposts.

chaogomu,

I use the term direct ties, because that's the term I remember from my security clearance paperwork. It has been a hot minute since I filled that out, and the clearance I had might have expired more than a decade ago, but the gist of it was that they only cared about people you were directly related to, or had dealings with. As a note, if your best friend had ties to another country, your clearance could suffer for it, even if you personally did not have those same ties.

That's how serious the upper levels of security clearance can get.

As to "moving the goalposts" your first comment was "I hope that All Chinese-Americans aren't purged from the military". To which everyone has pointed out that you need actual ties to China to be under suspicion. Not just being of Chinese descent.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

No one pointed that out. What was said to me, and what I responded to, was that anyone with Chinese relatives in the U.S. military needs to be investigated. Do I need to go back and copy/paste the post to you?

chaogomu,

I'll do the copy/paste for you.

FlyingSquid, 3 hours ago

They’re both Chinese-American, so I hope this doesn’t turn into a racist purge.

Every comment after that was pointing out how it would take some sort of tie to the Chinese government or ties to mainland China (and thus the Chinese government by extension) to raise suspicions, and then you refusing to acknowledge that, or pretending that you didn't set it all off in the first place.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

Yes, and the ‘some sort of tie’ I called racist was the one which suggested having any living relatives in China made you suspicious. Which is not what you are saying.

chaogomu,

I've pointed out, that yes, having living relatives in any country besides the US makes you suspicious on a security clearance application.

I then clarified that it likely doesn't apply to your second or third cousins, unless you're actually close to them.

But no, you just want to scream racism all over the place.

You also must admit that certain countries are very interested in spying on the US, so much so that it's almost a meme. China is constantly trying shit, and if you have direct ties to anyone on Chinese soil, you're potentially compromised by default. The Chinese government is not above holding your friends and family hostage to force you to spy on your own country.

They also offer bribes, or maybe say that so in so is in trouble and the only way the government would help is if you spy. Which is just holding someone hostage but without the black sites and beatings.

Anyway, that situation right there is why people with security clearances are watched for financial problems, and not just them, their family and close friends have their credit scores monitored. Because it's a known attack vector. Watching known attack vectors is kind of the point, and not racist at all.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

No, not all over the place, just to the person I originally responded to, i.e. not you.

theory,

You know this is how security clearances work today right? That when doing a risk assessment you look for ways in which the person in question may be pressured. How would you propose ensuring classified information stays safe? Do you have a solution?

Note that I am not taking sides in the purge-from-the-military people above. Just that your comment is out of touch with real world concerns.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

Do I have to have a solution to say that the one being given- that every Chinese-American soldier is suspect if they have a single relative in China, is a racist policy? How is that not racist?

theory,

Well it’s not racist because the standard isn’t every Chinese American, it’s every person who has relatives in a foreign country. You are incorrectly staying what the policy would be to make your point (because even though this story is about Chinese Americans don’t you assume the military also cares if your have relatives in Russia? Or even india? Or any country, especially ine that that isn’t five eyes?).

And yes you do have to have a solution. I am not in favor of people not being able to criticize societal injustices without a solution, but this isn’t really an injustice. No one has a right to state secrets or jobs that let you access them. Id you cannot show you have thought of the competing interests here and have some idea of what a real world solution to a hard problem might look like or take into account, then your criticism probably isn’t worth listening to (IMO).

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

“Relatives” could mean anything. “Relatives” could mean a third cousin they’ve never met. So we’re going to be investigating people under suspicion of being traitors to their country because of people they have no actual relationship with, just a shared ancestry? Again, sure sounds racist.

DarkGamer,
DarkGamer avatar

“Relatives” could mean a third cousin they’ve never met.

That's clearly not what they're talking about, and I doubt would that would be considered a significant risk factor by the FBI. It seems like you're going out of your way to take offense at and misinterpret standard common sense security measures as racist.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

Clearly, you need a reminder of the post I responded to before you came in-

https://lemmy.world/pictrs/image/3f0893b0-cbaa-40b3-b271-420cc32df1db.png

“Any soldiers with living relatives” sure sounds like it could include third cousins to me.

DarkGamer,
DarkGamer avatar

Yes, I read the thread; you are taking this all very literally. When someone asks you about your relatives/family, it's very unlikely they are asking about people related to you whom you've never met.

Given the context, those responding to you are clearly referring to family members who live under hostile regimes and are capable of exerting influence on American servicepeople who have access to sensitive information, not strangers who share some DNA, as a risk factor. Extra scrutiny for merely sharing DNA with people under hostile regimes would arguably be racism, and that's not what anyone is suggesting here.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

That sure looks like what is being suggested to me:

https://lemmy.world/pictrs/image/50b3470e-3bcf-483e-b67f-1d13d73d7483.png

DarkGamer,
DarkGamer avatar

When someone asks you about your relatives/family, it's very unlikely they are asking about people related to you whom you've never met.

I'm not that person but I interpreted that comment as not including 3rd cousins who one has never met. I mean if you want to be really technical/literal, we're all related to some degree but that's similarly irrelevant to national security.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

This isn’t someone asking how your family is. This is someone who is suggesting virtually every Chinese-American in the military is suspicious and I have no idea why you’re defending them by pretending they didn’t say exactly what they said.

chaogomu,

That there should be a review of people who have direct relatives living in a country known for co-opting those relationships to spy on other countries?

Not really racist, just prudent.

Do note that having direct relatives in any foreign country subjects you to increased scrutiny if you're trying to get a security clearance from the US military.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

No one said “direct relatives” until now. It was just relatives before.

chaogomu,

Do you care about your extended family? Would you betray your country for your second cousin twice removed on your mother's side? No? Neither would most people.

That vector of attack isn't much of a concern.

wanderingmagus,

As a member of the strategic nuclear navy and Chinese-American, I would like to inform you that, to the contrary, having relatives who are foreign nationals, or any connection to foreign nationals, especially adversary nations like the PRC or RF, is a national security risk that is normally and routinely investigated thoroughly before granting any sort of clearance or access to sensitive information. It has nothing to do with race and everything to do with potential for blackmail.

Jaysyn, (edited )
Jaysyn avatar

Do you have any idea how silly & pathetically desperate to be correct this makes you seem?

I'm speaking of China as a hostile foreign country. You made it into a race issue. You did that.

Fun fact, that is the bare fucking minimum for a national security issue. The same review should happen with people with Russian family as well, since they use the same tactics. Is that ok with you or is "Russian" a race now too?

Talaraine,
Talaraine avatar

That these police stations are there to put pressure on Chinese-Americans, and there's no job description or security clearance that will stop this influence.

FlyingSquid,
@FlyingSquid@lemmy.world avatar

deleted_by_moderator

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  • photonic_sorcerer,

    No, shut down the illegal police stations and mercilessly go after any foreign agents. Why should another country be doling out their justice and serving their interests in a country they don’t have authority in?

    Talaraine,
    Talaraine avatar

    Where in the world did you get this from what I said? xD

    TheDeadGuy,
    TheDeadGuy avatar

    The guy is obtuse or concerned trolling

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