MAY 24, 2006
The government agency in charge of protecting the United States against terrorists and foreign intelligence threats unknowingly paid a Communist Chinese spy nearly $2 million of American taxpayer money to divulge classified information.
The outrageous negligence was committed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which claims that the very heart of its operations lies in its investigations. For nearly two decades, a Chinese-American informant on the agency’s payroll was instead passing along classified information to China and the FBI had no clue.
Details are outlined in a new and damaging report from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. The 24-page document blasts the FBI for missing numerous opportunities to identify Chinese spy Katrina Leung, also a well-connected Republican fundraiser who had a romantic affair with a veteran FBI agent in the bureau’s Los Angeles office.
Despite credible tips about the affair and spying over nearly two decades, the FBI waited until 2001 to even begin investigating. In the meantime, the Chinese spy and her FBI agent lover, James Smith, continued to collect their hefty government salaries while also threatening national security. Both were finally arrested in 2003 and indicted on charges related to misuse of classified information.
If investigations are supposed to be the FBI’s specialty, Americans need to be very concerned at the way this particular case was handled. A statement made in 2003 by Special Agent Smith’s attorney implies that his client was the fall guy because agency officials knew well about the problems and risks associated with Leung.
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