Pacific News Minute: Navy Lt. Commander Charged with Espionage Arrested in Hawaii

Apr 11, 2016

Credit US Navy Photo

Over the weekend, you may have seen reports about the arrest of a US Naval officer on charges of espionage. Though he was based in Virginia, Lieutenant Commander Edward Lin was reportedly arrested in Hawaii. Earlier, he'd served aboard sophisticated spy planes based here on Oahu.  We have details from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Though first reports suggested that Commander Lin spied for China, it now appears that that he was charged with providing secrets to Taiwan, investigations continue into possible links with China.

Lin's family left his native Taiwan when he was 14 years old...in a speech at a naturalization ceremony in Hawaii eight years ago, he described the United States as the Promised Land - quote- "I grew up believing that all the roads in America lead to Disneyland."  Lin served at Kaneohe Bay with VPU-2, a squadron known as the Wizards.  Their EP-3 Aries II aircraft may appear to be innocuous patrol planes, but USNI News, which first broke this story, describes them as the Navy's most sensitive intelligence gathering aircraft. 

According to the charges, Lin allegedly transported secret information out of the country without permission, then lied about where he'd been.  He allegedly committed espionage twice, and attempted to on three other occasions.  The New York Times reported that Investigators believe he provided secrets to his girlfriend.  Lieutenant Commander Lin also faces charges of patronizing prostitutes and committing adultery…a crime under military law.  Following his arrest eight months ago, he's been held at the Navy brig in Chesapeake, Virginia.

If proven, the case would deeply embarrass Taiwan, a close US ally, and could aggravate already tense relations with China.