It may be awhile before we learn where Edward Snowden of NSA whistle-blower fame will end up finding sanctuary, but we do know he started out in Hawaii. Hawaii is the most liberal/leftist state in the Union, and it is the purported American wellspring of our current Fearless Leader, Obama. Also, there is a sizable ethnic Chinese community resident in our 50th state. That may sound racist to some. However, it’s no secret that the Chinese Communists will, if necessary, use threats against an ex-pat’s family members still living in China to extract “cooperation” from those beyond their direct reach. With America’s penchant for diversity and political correctness when hiring being what it is, well, the family connections of a prospective employee may not be thoroughly considered during the security clearance process.
Gordon Chang is a columnist for Forbes magazine and the author of The Coming Collapse of China. His recent article for Gatestone Institute, “Tinker, Tailor, Snowden, Spy”, offers some interesting details regarding the damage that Mr. Snowden has managed to inflict upon the United States:
- China may have helped Snowden gather information from the National Security Agency. Sources in the American intelligence community suspect the famous “leaker” was really a “drop box,” receiving information from others in NSA who were working for China. His job was to act as the courier.
- This would explain how Snowden could possess information to which he did not have access. It is possible he figured out how to bypass barriers in NSA’s systems, but it is more likely he had help.
- Eli Lake of the Daily Beast reports that the FBI is investigating whether Snowden obtained documents “from a leak inside the secret FISA court.”
- Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, has suggested Snowden probably had an accomplice in the NSA who gave him information.
- Beijing may also have encouraged Mr. Snowden to leave Hawaii. One of Mr. Chang’s sources indicates that Chinese intelligence, either directly or through FBI personnel working for China, tipped Snowden off that NSA investigators were closing in on him.
- In his interview with the South China Morning Post, Snowden turned over documents that contained detailed technical information about NSA activities, including specific Internet Protocol addresses surveilled.
- The Chinese did their best to make sure that American officials did not get the opportunity to interrogate Snowden. The last thing they wanted was for the U.S. to have the opportunity to learn the extent of China’s penetration of the NSA and the FBI in Hawaii. Therefore, they ensured he left Hong Kong before the city could “surrender” him.
- Chinese Ministry of State Security agents had been in contact with Snowden while he was in Hong Kong and probably obtained all they wanted from his four laptops and one thumb drive.
- Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon reports that U.S. officials say Russian and Chinese intelligence operatives obtained access to, in the words of Gertz, “highly classified U.S. intelligence and military information contained on electronic media” held by Snowden.
Edward Snowden is obviously not Chinese. But it would be very interesting to know how many ethnic Chinese, whether or not residents of Hawaii, were involved in what appears to be a spy ring that includes persons working for the NSA, FISA court and FBI. Snowden is a nicely suitable front man, if that is what he was, precisely because there’s not an obvious ethnicity link in the way there is with Maj. Nidal Hasan when it comes to the Fort Hood executions. But then, that’s work place violence and not espionage. If you think I’m reading too much ethnicity into this L’affaire Snowden business, be advised that this is not the first time such a suspicion has occurred to me regarding using out-of-the-way Hawaii for espionage purposes.
As production of the F-22 Raptor wound down, the decision was made to send many of the aircraft to the Air National Guard rather than active Air Force squadrons. As far as I know, this was the first time an aircraft new to the inventory went directly to ANG units. The first such F-22 assignment was to the 199th Fighter Squadron in Hawaii. I was puzzled. Not just by the fact that the latest aircraft in the USAF inventory were being essentially retired to ANG units, but also, why Hawaii? Then it struck me. What better place was there for the Chinese to study the aircraft? I wondered if they would end up having one disassembled in an isolated hanger stuck somewhere on Hickam Field of Pearl Harbor fame.
I know this is all wild-eyed speculation. But if the Chinese have NSA/FBI guys-‘n’-gals in Hawaii working for them, why not Air Guard personnel? Probably nobody would pay much attention to the goings-on in our Pacific Paradise. At least not until Edward Snowden showed up.