Taiwan-born US Navy Lieutenant Commander Edward Lin (林介良), who was charged with espionage earlier this month, might be tried behind closed doors to protect military secrets.
Even if he is convicted, the public might never learn exactly what he is alleged to have done.
While details of the case remain closely held, leaks indicate that the alleged espionage was so serious that the White House and congressional committees were informed when Lin was first arrested about eight months ago, although the case only became public on April 8, when he appeared at a pretrial hearing in Norfolk, Virginia, on multiple charges of spying.
It is believed that Lin, 39, is alleged to have been passing highly classified information to Taiwan and China, but there has been no formal confirmation.
US Fleet Forces commander Admiral Phil Davidson could decide later this week whether Lin will be tried by a partially closed military court martial or in an open civilian court by the US Department of Justice.
Chief of US Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson has told the Military Times that “much of the disposition of this case will be done in classified venues.”
Capitol Hill sources have told the Taipei Times that the evidence against Lin is likely to contain secret information that is far too sensitive to reveal in an open court.
Sources said the Pentagon is worried that Lin has told China exactly what US intelligence gathering aircraft can do, how far their sensors can reach and how they hunt for submarines.