There’s currently extensive news reporting about former Defense Intelligence Agency officer Ron Hansen, who spied on the United States for the Chinese intelligence service. He was caught by U.S. authorities and made a plea arrangement, likely facing 15 years in prison when he’s sentenced in September.
In return, Hansen will tell U.S. intelligence everything he did and everything the Chinese asked of him. This sort of plea deal in cases of this kind are common. It’s of real value to find out what the enemy—the Chinese in this case—learned from their spy and the techniques they used to communicate with him, how they passed him money, what information and people they targeted, and so on. This teaches us what to look for in the cases of other Americans who might be spying for the Chinese.
Also, knowing what the Chinese learned lets us accurately assess the damage done and what Chinese priorities are. Their priorities are more interesting then one might think. The Chinese would ask a trusted spy of this nature exactly what they wanted to know, and from this, we can thereby learn where the gaps existed in their information and, perhaps more importantly, where no gaps existed. No gaps means they know the information from some other source. You can see where that takes us, and why it would be useful.
To someone with my background, one of the aspects of this case that really floats to the top is the motives of Hansen to spy for the Chinese to begin with. In his case, it appears that money was high on his list, and he was apparently well-paid, which isn’t common for the Chinese. This is certainly a measure of the harm he did to the United States.
For any students of such things, the intelligence agencies of the rest of the world always consider greed to be the weakness of Americans. Hansen also spent time in Taiwan as a young man, where he learned to appreciate the country and culture. Finally, just uncovered by Bill Gertz at The Washington Free Beacon, buried in the transcripts of phone conversations, we learn that Hansen hated President Donald Trump passionately and viewed working against Trump as his duty.
This isn’t the first time an individual believed that resisting Trump justified leaking classified information. In 2018, Reality Winner was sentenced to five years and three months in federal prison for leaking classified information to the press that she thought would damage Trump.
These are just two examples of the poisonous atmosphere the resistance movement within the liberal Democratic Party has created. Most of the leadership at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and National Security Agency (NSA) are overwhelmingly liberal and take it unto themselves to betray their oath of office to support the Constitution of the United States, for political motives.
In the bowels of bureaucracy, it’s “mainstream” to talk openly about how best to resist the lawfully elected president of the United States, and it shows up everywhere. There was a time when most in government were professionals first, but those days are gone, and now it’s overwhelmingly personal politics first.
We don’t have to look very far back to remember that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) had a Chinese spy on her staff for about 20 years, who was her office director and her driver when she was in San Francisco. She claimed that since the Chinese spy was in California and didn’t have direct access to classified information kept only in Washington, it was all a big nothingburger.
What is almost beyond belief is that this was accepted by everyone, including Congress and the cast of characters at the DOJ, FBI, CIA, and NSA, who all know better.
Being an expert on exactly this sort of case, please let me authoritatively point out this was a fantastic opportunity for the Chinese and a stunning success from their perspective. Any CIA officer who successfully recruited a similar person to spy on the Chinese leadership for 20 years would be a rock star. This was a truly big deal and very damaging to U.S. interests. Anyone who says differently is ignorant or a liar, and yet absolutely nothing has been done.
Wouldn’t it be worth knowing if over a 20-year period, the chief of staff who was a spy for the Chinese recommended or hired people to work on Feinstein’s Washington staff? Are they still there now or did they move to work in another senator’s office?
One other point worth noting, Feinstein’s estimated net worth is $94 million. Most of that comes from the private equity firm of her husband, Richard Blum, who does much of his business with none other than the Chinese.
Did any of the tens of millions of dollars made by the Feinstein family have anything to do with the Chinese spy or Chinese intelligence? Can you imagine if Donald Trump’s wife made tens of millions of dollars doing business with Russia and it was discovered that Trump’s chief of staff was a Russian spy on his staff for 20 years?
China is probably the greatest long-term strategic threat the United States faces, and the socialist liberal movement within the Democratic Party has given birth to the resist movement to fight behind the scenes against the duly elected U.S. president. This negative force in American politics is so poisonous that it justifies in the mind of liberals almost any action, no matter how wrong.
It’s clear, the leadership, particularly at the FBI and DOJ, are staunch Democratic supporters and appear to buy into the resist movement to the point they are willing to overlook glaring, significant damage to U.S. national security, only because looking into the matter would hurt a senior Democratic senator.
It seems they will also invent an investigation against political opponents. That this plays into the hands of our enemies like the Chinese isn’t even a consideration for them.
Brad Johnson is a retired CIA senior operations officer and a former chief of station. He is president of Americans for Intelligence Reform.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.