Chinese Lose Top Secrets to US Through a Former High Official

 

ling Jihua

Ling Jihua stole very serious secrets from China while a government official there.

Before losing his job as the Chinese equivalent of the White House Chief of Staff, Ling Jihua stole close to 3,000 of his country’s top government and military secrets. He passed those secrets to his brother, Chinese defector Ling Wangchen, a California resident, who has passed them along to American intelligence officials, The Washington Free Beacon and Asia Times have reported.

The secrets cache includes details about Chinese nuclear weapons, including how they are armed and the codes that would be used to launch attacks with them. There’s also a good deal of information about China’s leaders and the places they work, including the Beijing compound known as Zhongnanhai. Those and other details are said to have considerable value to the U.S., which has been unable to obtain them independently. Particularly valuable are some secrets that can be used to target Chinese leaders through cyber intelligence operations, the web sites noted.

 

Ling Wangchen, an avid golfer, is an executive with a a golf management and financial firm called Asian Pacific Group, according to the Los Angeles Times. The company owns golf courses in California and Nevada, the paper said.

Ling has a $2.5 million home in Loomis, near Sacramento. He’s lived there since 2013, but dropped from public view last year, shortly after his brother was arrested on corruption charges. He’s reportedly being harshly interrogated in connection with charges of stealing state secrets, having illicit affairs, taking bribes, and using his position to benefit relatives, The Free Beacon reported in the lengthy article later published by Asia Times.

U.S. government officials have admitted that Ling is being held and closely protected in a secret place. Intelligence agents became aware some months ago that “covert Chinese agents” are looking for him with the possible intent of killing or kidnapping him.

It’s no wonder Beijing is upset with him: It appears that the documents he’s handed over represent the U.S.’s greatest intelligence coup against China in 30 years. During that time, said Michael Pillsbury, a China specialist with the Hudson Institute, defectors have been the main source of information about the business of both business and government in China, but none until Ling revealed such a range of top-grade secrets.

“This is an intelligence windfall,” a top U.S. government official has been quoted as saying.

While it generally remains pretty closed-mouth about Ling and other types of information he may be able to reveal, the government hopes he might have knowledge of agricultural, industrial and media purchases in the U.S. that could be part of China’s grand plan to “co-opt the U.S. economy,” according to John Tkacik, a former China specialist with the State Department.

“But the most important intel he could provide,” Tkacik said, “would be on the inner workings of China’s global financial strategies, the extent to which the Chinese have infiltrated … global financial markets both with human assets and network penetrations, and have used these tools to fuel their incredible accumulation of wealth.”

Meanwhile, because China was so successfully ‘infiltrated’ by Ling Jihua, a major purging of top officials is underway there, and 72 of 85 officials who worked in 19 offices under Ling have been replaced, and at least 55 people were under investigation by last fall, according to two Hong Kong-based dissident Chinese magazines. Qianshao and Chenming published some details on the Ling case last November.  London’s Sunday Times reported on their reports and got some details confirmed by U.S. officials.

Ling Jihua is believed to have been a main source for corruption investigations that resulted in the downfall of China’s top security official, Zhou Yongkang, as well as two senior military officials, The Beacon said.

That web site said as chief of the secretariat of the Party’s Political Bureau, Ling had access to “the most sensitive details available exclusively to senior Chinese leaders.” He is believed to have secreted out some 2,700 of those documents during a month-long period in mid-2012 when he was transitioning from one position to another in the government.

He and his brother had intended to use the documents as leverage to prevent prosecution of Ling Jihua, but they’d agreed the documents should be released to the U.S. if he was.

 

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What’s With The Increase In ‘Authorities’ Sexually Assaulting Their Charges?

 

KEYETV-screenshot

Haeli Noelle Wey, seen here in a KEYE-TV screenshot, is among the latest teachers charged with having sex with students — two in her case, in Austin, where she was arrested on October 30. She’s among 48 similarly-charged teachers seen  in this CBS News rogues gallery.

A cop was convicted earlier this week of raping thirteen Black women in Oklahoma City, and another one, a New Orleans cop sentenced this week to life in prison for raping a seven-year-old child – a SEVEN-year-old!!: The Daily Beast reported earlier this week that, “Former prison chaplain Kenneth Dewitt has reportedly been charged with 50 counts of third-degree sexual assault for sex with inmates at the McPherson Women’s Unit in Newport, Arkansas.”

These are far from isolated incidents: Prostitutes often are made to perform sex acts with men with badges – men too down-and-out-stupid – to realize that, duh!, many such women have sexually-transmissible diseases. These types of acts are ‘reported’ often in movies, and as or more often, by cops who get hauled up on charges for ‘getting a charge’ from an unwilling victim or several of them. Not just prostitutes, either: As in the case of Daniel Holtzclaw in Oklahoma City, his victims may or may not have been randomly selected – but the fact that all were of a minority race says something – but all of them were placed by him in situations where they felt their lives were at risk. One victim, the first of two who appear in this video, described how she really feared he was going to shoot – perhaps kill – her.

Holtzclaw was convicted on 18 of 36 charges, and the jury recommended he serve 263 years in prison. Cost aside, it would be nice if he could be made to do so!

It’s true, of course, that there are female prisoner watchers – guards – who have all-too-frequent desires, and find opportunities to, have ‘sexual encounters’ with male prisoners. Or female ones. Either way: When a person is being paid, and given both responsibility and authority to oversee other people who are not free, the ‘not free’ person’s rights remain intact, under the Constitution, as a matter of law in every individual state.

It’s also true that teachers – like guards and ministers, people in positions of trust – far too often violate that trust and their students. This week’s paper in  a town near mine had a page one story about a 36-year-old male teacher who is accused of a pornographic interaction on the phone, via text messages and  on Facebook, with a teenaged male student, who apparently texted a nude photo of himself to the teacher. The article says there was no physical contact between the two, but the teacher is subject to a charge of pornography simply by possessing a revealing photo of the boy.

And the stories just keep on coming:

  • A Florida teacher, 26, has been placed on unpaid suspension after being accused of having sex with a 16-year old student;
  • A 35-year-old teacher in Utah whose sexual exploits with students “were a running joke” in the her high school has plead guilty to two second-degree sexual assault charges in exchange for having eleven similar charges dropped;
  • A 32-year-old English teacher in Louisiana – now a former teacher – has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old (male) student – and with having a threesome with a teen and another teacher;
  • An upstate New York teacher died in a supposed ‘hiking accident’ after being charged with child pornography, including spreading a close-up photo of a child’s genitals.

An Associated Press investigation found more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were punished for actions from bizarre to sadistic, according to www.komonews.com in Seattle. That amounted to more than three assaults per school day, KOMO noted.

“Students in America’s schools are groped. They’re raped. They’re pursued, seduced and think they’re in love,” the TV report said, “in a system that is stacked against victims.”

The AP report, based on a seven-month investigation, found 2,570 educators “whose teaching credentials were revoked, denied, surrendered or sanctioned from 2001 through 2005 following allegations of sexual misconduct,” KOMO said. And sadly, that may represent only the tip of the iceberg where sexual assaults on students by teachers are concerned – because “most of the abuse never gets reported; those cases [that are] reported often end with no action; cases investigated sometimes can’t be proven, and many abusers have several victims.”

And many abusers have several victims.

There are 3 million public school teachers nationwide, most devoted to their work. Yet the number of abusive educators – nearly three for every school day – speaks to a much larger problem in a system that is stacked against victims.
And no one – not the schools, not the courts, not the state or federal governments – has found a surefire way to keep molesting teachers out of classrooms.
AP reporters sought disciplinary records in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The result is an unprecedented national look at the scope of sex offenses by educators – the very definition of breach of trust.
The study’s result are, no matter how you look at them, pretty scary. Just as the overall issue is scary, whether or not you have children in school.

New Orleans: Coming Back, Moving Forward

500-yr_storm“Straight roads do not make skillful drivers.”

The task of the people now working for Cedric Grant, Executive Director, since July, 2014, of the Sewage and Water Board of New Orleans, has been anything but a straight road over the past ten years as they initiated and moved along the recovery of their city’s water, sewage, drainage and power systems devastated by Katrina.

Grant, a former deputy of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, used the ‘straight roads’ analogy on August 29 in releasing a book-length report entitled ‘Katrina 10’ — subtitled ‘Progress . . . Devastation to Recovery to Restoration to Rebuilding’. The book outlines, in 149 pages, what’s been, is being and will be done with the close to $20 billion being dedicated to not simply restoring but significantly improving the city and its ability to withstand — heaven help us — storms even greater than Katrina.

The storm-initiated damage resulted primarily as a result of failed levies intended (but poorly designed) to protect the partly-below-sea-level city from just the kind of massive overflows it suffered on August 29, 2005.

New Orleans lost close to two thousand people, something like a million homes and businesses dwellings, and massive damage to many of those that remained standing. Roughly a quarter of the pre-Katrina population never returned from places to which they were evacuated or fled. On August 28, 2005, nearly 480,000 people lived in the city. Today, there are fewer than 370,000 residents — and many of them remain unable to return to storm-damaged and still unrepaired homes.

The vast majority of the mountain of 10-year-anniversary coverage on the internet and in print has focused, to a certain degree logically, on the human aspects of the tragedies — the initial one and the ongoing smaller ones affecting areas of the city and their residents. How communities have, to one degree or another, moved on — some better off, some not. How individuals have, too. Or not: Many remain homeless; many others who’d like to still be in the city they consider ‘home’ remain elsewhere, more than likely never to return.

Depending on your perspective, it’s either as, or more, important to explore how the city’s infrastructure — the publicly-funded physical elements — as well as it’s ‘corporate culture’ — the far-less-obviously-corrupt way its government operates — and its ‘future awareness’ have changed and will continue to.

To put all that in perspective, there’s this: Two years ago, The Times-Picayune (often abbreviated, like it’s website to NOLA, a common ‘nickname’ for its city) cited a fascinating statistic from a collection recently released by the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, which has steadily tracked recovery indicators since shortly after the storm. Its ‘New Orleans Index at 8’ report, detailing progress, and lack of it, in that eight-year interval, noting that, as the Times-Picayune put it, “The New Orleans metro has weathered the Great Recession impressively; As of 2012, it had recovered all its recession-era losses and reached 1 percent above its 2008 employment level while the nation remained 2 percent below its 2008 job level.”

The Times-Picayune also noted at that time, “The New Orleans area is showing encouraging signs that it might be pulling off a rare reversal of a once-entrenched economic decline.”

That, in a nutshell, points to how steadily New Orleans’ labor- and construction-intensive efforts carried on even as both those indicators faltered in the nation as a whole.

‘Katrina 10’ (see paragraph 3, above) includes details on “a new plan to coordinate infrastructure management, commitment to reform,the ongoing rehabilitation of the sewage collection system, the major rebuilding of the massive drainage system and improvements to the water system and the Board’s own power plant.”

That plan was announced in a press release in June of this year. It then was said that, the Sewerage & Water Board had joined with The Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority of Louisiana, the City of New Orleans, agencies across the metropolitan area and the US Corps of Engineers — which is responsible for levy construction and support — in “a coordinated, region-wide preparation effort . . to ensure that coordination of operations and communications between [local agencies and the Corps of Engineers] were in place and tested.”

Specific storm-anticipation preparation efforts have included

• Emergency contracts for prestaged generators at key facilities;

• Emergency response boats and communication equipment staged at various Drainage Pumping Stations;

• Arrangements for an Emergency Operation Center at the Main Water Plant to coordinate the S&WB’s response to emergency events;

• Providing employees with placards for response and reentry;

• Giving employees a 1-800 call-in number to report their location in the event they have evacuated;

• Building emergency protective Tiger Dams to protect against flooding at the Main Water Plant Power House; and

• Establishment of a Mobile Command Post to be staged in Baton Rouge as an alternate Emergency Operations Center.

‘Katrina 8,’ says, “Management and staff [are] confident that their team of experts [is] well prepared and able to work internally with our own forces and externally with the City’s overall Office of Emergency Preparedness Command Center, Corps of Engineers, levee districts and [with] adjacent parishes.” It also notes that employees who experienced Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike and Isaac “were invaluable resources” as the new preparedness plan was put together.

Even as that press release was distributed, Corps’ contractors were hard at work on what undoubtedly will be the most important infrastructure effort ever undertaken anywhere, to date, to guard against hurricane damage.

The “current projects” tab on S&WB’s web site offers details of, among other things, the post-Katrina-created Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) for southeast Louisiana, a sizable chunk of which is known as the Permanent Canal Closures & Pumps (PCCP). It “will provide a permanent and more sustainable measure for reducing the risk of a 100-year level storm surge entering [three] outfall canals,” the web site says. That project is due to be completed, at a cost of something like $615 million, in 2017, when the PCCP replaces temporary barriers erected in 2006.

(This photo shows another similarly-massive part of the new flood control system — so-called Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier. At lower right, U.S. Senator David Vitter, is poking his head through one of the many openings that line the entire length of the that structure. [Photo: Chris Granger, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune].)

An NPR story on Aug. 28 looked at some of the details of the largest single piece of this flood control project::

First, it quoted Susan Maclay, president of Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority — West — one of two state-created agencies that, since Katrina, have been charged with consolidating and improving flood control. “The West Bank is astronomically safer; There is no comparison since before Katrina and today,” she said.

Next, the story talked about “A giant concrete and steel structure called the West Closure Complex [that is] one of the engineering marvels of the new [flood control] system. During a flood event, a water gate nearly as long as a football field slowly shuts and 11 behemoth diesel engines kick on to pump water out of Jefferson Parish.

“This structure cost approximately $1.1 billion,” Maclay was said to have boasted. “It consists of the largest pump station in the world. It can fill an Olympic-size swimming pool in three seconds.” (The photos on this page shows renderings of three new pump stations in New Orleans.)

It and the rest of the new flood protection system are expected to render New Orleans virtually impervious from storms with winds up to more than 200 miles per hour as well as the storm surges they generate.

Meanwhile, at considerably less cost, the populace of the city has so strongly said ‘enough is enough’ where rampart public corruption is concerned. Te people’s outrage at (corrupt) ‘business as usual’ in the years leading up to Katrina has, since then, resulted in the conviction of no fewer that 17 politicians being convicted on charges of one or another kind of corruption in office. The 17th was former NOLA Mayor Ray Nagin, who was sentenced in 2014 to ten years in federal prison after being convicted on  “20 counts including bribery, conspiracy and money laundering stemming from his two terms as mayor, including the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005,” as Fox News reported.

A lot of the people-focused media coverage of Katrina+plus+ten has mentioned — sometimes almost in passing, because the fact has long been part of the city’s reputation — how ‘politics’, particularly the less than savory kind, contributed to the climate causing minority citizens of the city to be denied opportunities for better jobs, reasonable housing and, by the way, fair treatment by the police and other officials with whom they come in contact; How residents of primarily-Black areas were, after being hardest-hit by Katrina, made to wait longest before being rescued, and then given the kind of help and support they deserved.

Now, much as some of those neighborhoods have changed (The New York Times has provided a detailed look at that), the city’s ‘corporate culture’ has, too, with public officials have come to be, if not as honest and straight-forward as they should be, at least superficially for the people, as they are serving by — at the will of — the people.

While a lot was lot, a lot has been gained in NOLA since August 29, 2005. Perspective is high on the list of ‘gains’: Both ‘city fathers; and citizens have come to accept — many of the citizens, anyway — that their city will never see, in its good and less good aspects, July 2005 again.

New Orleans is in some ways worse off, and in many ways gaining, from Katrina — continuing to gain: New blood, new spirit has come to town; Business start-ups, and people aiming to make them happen and succeed, have invested themselves, and their money, into a ‘new world’.

The past is; The future’s brighter.