Sat, May 06, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Navy officer admits to spilling secrets to woo women

AP, NORFOLK, Virginia

In this Dec. 3, 2008, photo released by the U.S. Navy, Lt. Edward Lin, a native of Taiwan, speaks in the U.S.

Photo: Sarah Murphy/U.S. Navy via AP

The US Navy abandoned efforts to convict a Taiwan-born US Navy officer of spying for Taiwan or China, on Thursday striking a plea deal that instead portrays him as arrogant and willing to reveal military secrets to impress women.

The agreement was a marked retreat from last year’s accusations that Lieutenant Commander Edward Lin (林介良) gave or attempted to give classified information to representatives of a foreign government.

However, it still appears to end the impressive military career of a man who immigrated to the US at 14.

Lin joined the staff of an assistant secretary of the navy in Washington and was later assigned to a unit in Hawaii that flies reconnaissance aircraft.

Lin, 40, now faces dismissal from the navy and up to 36 years in prison at his sentencing, scheduled for early next month.

At the day-long court martial in Norfolk, Lin admitted that he failed to disclose friendships with people in Taiwan’s military and connected to its government.

He also conceded that he shared defense information with women he said he was trying to impress. One of them is Janice Chen, an American registered in the US as a foreign agent of Taiwan’s government, specifically the Democratic Progressive Party.

Lin said he and Chen often discussed news articles she e-mailed him about military affairs.

He admitted that he shared classified information about the navy’s Pacific Fleet with her.

He also divulged secrets to a woman named “Katherine Wu,” whom he believed worked as a contractor for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was actually an undercover FBI agent.

“I was trying to let her know that the military profession in the United States is an honorable and noble one,” Lin told US Navy Commander Robert Monahan, the military judge.

He said the military is less prestigious in Taiwan.

Lin also had friends with other connections, including a woman living in China whom he met online, and a Chinese massage therapist who moved to Hawaii.

Lin said he gave the massage therapist a “large sum of money” at one point, although he did not say why.

He also admitted to lying to superiors about flying to Taiwan and planning to visit China.

However, Lin said he did it only to avoid the bureaucracy that a US military official must endure when traveling to a foreign nation.

“Sir, I was arrogant,” he told Monahan.

A navy news release about Lin’s attendance at his naturalization ceremony in Hawaii in December 2008 said he was 14 when he and his family left Taiwan.

“I always dreamed about coming to America, the ‘promised land,’” Lin was quoted as saying. “I grew up believing that all the roads in America lead to Disneyland.”

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