President Trump has faced a lot of criticism for standing up to China on trade — much of it coming from lobbyists in paid by the Chinese government. The problem is, Trump is just recognizing and acting on a fact that should be obvious to anyone — China is an important trading partner, but also a threat. What sort of threat? Well, how about bribing former US intelligence officers to hand over secrets?
On Friday, May 17th, Kevin Mallory was sentenced to 20 years in prison for espionage against the US. That’s serious enough — but it’s made a lot worse by the fact Mallory is a highly experienced veteran of the US’s own intelligence services. So what made him turn traitor? Simple — Chinese money.
- Mallory, a 62-year-old retiree, spent more than 20 years as an active intelligence officer. He began his career as a case officer for the CIA, before moving to the Defense Intelligence Agency. Through that time he would have passed multiple security investigations and had access to a huge amount of classified material.
- On May 17th, a court found that he’d passed classified information to the Chinese communists, including details of a US intelligence-gathering operation and an analysis of another country’s intel agencies. This is immensely valuable information to a hostile intelligence service — it tells the Chinese how American and allied agencies work, and makes it easier to penetrate or counter their operations.
- Intelligence agencies use one of four “hooks” to recruit agents, known by the acronym MICE — Money, Ideology, Compromise (meaning collecting information that can be used to blackmail the potential agent) and Ego. Mallory was caught by the simplest of these hooks — money.
- In 2017, Mallory was running his own consulting business and struggling financially. A Chinese handler identified him through LinkedIn and paid him $25,000. That’s all it took to turn him into an agent of a communist dictatorship.
- Former CIA case officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee was a bigger investment — he got $100,000 and a promise to “take care of him for life.” In return, the CIA believes he gave the communists details of US assets inside China, several of whom were later killed by the regime.
- Ron Hansen, a retired DIA officer, cost the Chinese upwards of $800,000; he attended classified intelligence conferences and passed everything he learned straight to Beijing. State Department manager Candace Claiborne was showered with cash and gifts in exchange for classified documents and inside information on US trade strategy.
- China is pushing hard for information that can help them rig trade negotiations against the US. The communists are willing to spend money, blackmail, flatter and steal to get what they want. Is it any wonder President Trump says Chinese espionage against our country is now a national emergency?