It reads like a Cold War thriller. It even has almost the same characters, U.S. Intelligence versus the Intelligence apparatus of a large communist nation. But it’s the Chinese this time, not the Soviets, and their counterintel boys have been up late at night.
With thousands of Chinese college students studying in America the opportunities for U.S. Intelligence to recruit some of these students is great. But when they get back to China their chances for exposure and brutal punishment have been great as well.
It is just coming to light that during the Obama administration, what a surprise, up to a dozen carefully nurtured U.S. Intelligence assets were arrested by Chinese counterintelligence agents. Some were publicly murdered.
The disgraced 44th president hated U.S. Intelligence, as he saw U.S. power in any field as a threat to his authoritarian socialist and radical Islamist friends. He thus misused American Intelligence services. The Chinese took advantage of that presidential loathing of his own nation to destroy U.S. Intel assets working in their country.
Fox News reports, “It was devastating. The setback probably delayed the U.S. national security community from fully comprehending Beijing’s move toward a more oppressive and assertive policy,” said Patrick Cronin of the Hudson Institute.
“We didn’t lose just a single spy. We lost entire networks,” said Dean Cheng, senior China hand at the Heritage Foundation. “That means that many of the various people who worked for us were all rolled up, which, in turn, would have devastated the credibility of our own agency and affected our ability to recruit new people.”
“This was a well-planned, multifaceted strategic operation. First, blind your adversary. In this case, collect intelligence by hacking or other means to identify operatives. Then, remove those human assets or sources by imprisonment or execution. This is far more subtle than blinding our satellites, which would be an overt act of war,” explained one former career U.S. Army Intelligence officer. “The best intelligence is Human Intelligence, HUMINT, which comes from recruited assets or ‘agents.’ ”
Isaac Stone Fish, a senior fellow at the Asia Society, said, “Our intelligence gaps in China are large enough to drive a truck through, especially when it involves the biggest challenge in intel collection: elite politics.” That lack of HUMINT also damaged our ability to get legitimate data on the virus. Another shining national security victory of the Obama administration.
This piece was written by PoliZette Staff on April 17, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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