Category Archives: Academia

China Using Military Spies to Pose as Students in USA || Feb 03 2020

Spy school: Chinese military officer busted for posing as Boston University student || Washington Times

 

 

 

 

“A female Chinese military officer was charged with spying while posing as a student at Boston University, but was able to flee the country after FBI agents interviewed her about her links to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

PLA Lt. Ye Yanqing was indicted in a separate criminal case involving Dr. Charles Lieber, chairman of Harvard’s chemistry department, who was arrested on Tuesday and charged with lying about receiving tens of thousands of dollars from the Wuhan University of Technology and lying to the Pentagon about the foreign money.

The involvement of Lt. Ye and two other senior PLA officers highlights the Chinese military’s involvement in Beijing’s large-scale program of recruiting foreign specialists.

A third Chinese national who was arrested last month, Zheng Zhaosong, was indicted for attempting to smuggle biological research samples while working as a researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Lt. Ye falsely stated in visa documents that she was a student and did not disclose her active-duty PLA position, according to court papers. She was charged with acting as a foreign government agent, visa fraud, making false statements to investigators and conspiracy.

Investigators say Lt. Ye was under control of “senior leaders of the PLA while conducting research at Boston University pursuant to a J-1 non-immigrant visa.” Those leaders include one colonel and a second lower-ranking officer who were professors at China’s National University of Defense Technology in Harbin, China.

Lt. Ye was tasked by the PLA to gather intelligence on U.S. military websites and send documents and information back to China. The indictment said Lt. Ye also lied on her visa application when she denied engaging in espionage, sabotage and export control violations in the United States.”

….read more at: Washington Times

Rep Matt Gaetz’ Brilliant Moment at the Impeachment Inquiry || Dec 05 2019

Rep. Gaetz Leaves Dem Witnesses Dumbfounded | Youtube

Rep. Matt Gaetz asks the Inquiry witnesses today if ANY of them had actual evidence Trump committed a crime. He’s met with complete silence.

 

Jonathan Turley Makes Dispassionate Case Against Impeachment || Mediate

“Professor Jonathan Turley, one of the legal experts testifying in today’s House Judiciary Committee, argued that right now there’s not a clear case for impeachment.

Recalling his prior testimony during the Clinton impeachment saga, Turley said, “I’m not a supporter of President Trump. I voted against him. My personal views of President Trump are as irrelevant to my impeachment testimony as they should be to your impeachment vote. President Trump will not be our last president, and what we leave in the wake of this scandal will shape our democracy for generations to come.”

“I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and abundance of anger,” he argued. “I believe this not only fails to satisfy the standard of past impeachments but would create a dangerous precedent for future impeachments.”

Turley said he does not see “compelling evidence of the commission of a crime,” and added, “Second is the abbreviated period of this investigation, which is problematic and puzzling. This is a facially incomplete and inadequate record in order to impeach a president.”

…See more at: Mediaite

California Governor Newsome Loses Power || Oct 11 2019

The Blame Game: Gov. Newsom slams PG&E over ‘unacceptable’ power outages and failure to fix systems  || LA Times

 

“At a news conference Wednesday evening, PG&E officials signaled that these types of massive shut-offs during fire season might be the new normal.

Sumeet Singh, vice president of PG&E’s community wildfire safety program, said customers should anticipate similar shutdowns in the future until the utility has finished its wildfire safety plan, “unless the weather changes significantly and the vegetation condition and the fuel-loading condition, and land and the forest management, changes significantly within the state.”

“We understand that this power shut-off is difficult for our customers and communities. Please check on your neighbors, friends and family and know that we will work safely, and quickly as possible, to restore power across the region,” Singh said.

The power shut-offs have prompted backlash, with some residents saying they create a whole new set of dangers as they try to keep up with news about fires. Critics worry that communications and evacuations will be hampered when the power is out, especially if traffic signals don’t work and cellphone service is affected.

There also was concern about how those with health issues who rely on electrically powered medical equipment to stay alive would cope without power.

.. ..

The outage prompted UC Berkeley to cancel classes for a second consecutive day. University officials say some buildings are running on generator power for “life safety, animal care and support of critical research infrastructure.” However, the generators cannot power the entire campus.

The Oakland Zoo also remained closed after the region lost power overnight. The zoo had closed ahead of the planned blackout, and staff rushed out to purchase additional generators to power exhibits for animal safety. The gas they have will power the generators for about four days, Darren Minier, assistant director of animal care, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

In Southern California, residents have anxiously watched how the power shutdowns have affected other parts of the state, wondering if it was a glimpse of what was to come for them.

.. ..

About two hours northwest of Sacramento in Clearlake, residents entered their second full day without power. At the local Safeway, which had a generator to provide electricity, customers searched for ice and charcoal hoping to save or cook the groceries in their refrigerators.

At a nearby senior center, PG&E set up a charging station in a back room for cellphones and medical equipment. At least 150 people had visited Wednesday, said representative Conrad Asper. By lunchtime Thursday, there had been more than 250.

Paul Spillane, 79, expressed what was a common sentiment at the center: frustration with PG&E.

“I think it’s an outrage,“ he said of the blackouts. “I say it’s the three most miserable days I’ve had since I’ve been up here. I haven’t been eating properly or anything.“

Amee Peterson, 66, said she feels so dirty from a lack of hot showers that she’s considering boiling water on the barbecue to wash her hair. On Wednesday night, she ate cake for dinner because she couldn’t cook. Peterson, who has post-traumatic stress disorder, fibromialgia and other conditions, said she received automated calls warning her of the blackout, but they were not specific. When the power cut out at 1 a.m. while she was reading a book, she was surprised. Even more frustrating, she said, has been the lack of clarity on when power might return.”

….read more at: LA Times

UCLA Professor Caught Stealing Secrets for China | Jul 11 2019

UCLA prof guilty of conspiring to steal missile secrets for China, could face more than 200 years in prison

|| Campus Reform

“A jury found an electrical engineer and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) professor guilty of exporting stolen U.S. military technology to China.

UCLA adjunct professor Yi-Chi Shih was convicted June 26 on 18 federal charges, Newsweek reported, and could now lose hundreds of thousands of dollars, while also facing up to 219 years behind bars for numerous violations of the law. These include conspiracy to break  the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), committing mail and wire fraud, lying to a government agency, subscribing to a false tax return, and conspiring to gain unauthorized access to information on a protected computer, according to a Department of Justice news release.

“Schemed to export to China semiconductors with military and civilian uses, then he lied about it    

Shih and co-defendant Kiet Ahn Mai tried to access illegally a protected computer owned by a U.S. company that manufactured semiconductor chips called monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs). MMICs are used by the Air Force and Navy in fighter jets, missiles and missile guidance technology, and electronic military defense systems.

The chips were exported to Chengdu GaStone Technology Company (CGTC), a Chinese company, without a required Department of Commerce license. Shih previously served as the president of CGTC, which made the Commerce Department’s Entity List in 2014 “due to its involvement in activities contrary to the national security and foreign policy interest of the United States – specifically, that it had been involved in the illicit procurement of commodities and items for unauthorized military end use in China,” according to court documents cited by the DOJ.

Shih “schemed to export to China semiconductors with military and civilian uses, then he lied about it to federal authorities and failed to report income generated by the scheme on his tax returns,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said, according to the DOJ release. “My office will enforce laws that protect our nation’s intellectual property from being used to benefit foreign adversaries who may compromise our national security.”

See more at: Campus Reform

 

Ex-State Department Worker Gets 40 Months In Prison For Secret Dealings With China

|| DelawarePublic.org

 

 

“A former State Department employee was sentenced to 40 months in prison for concealing her interactions with two Chinese intelligence agents, along with the extravagant gifts they gave her in exchange for government information.

Candace Claiborne began to work as an office management specialist at the State Department in 1999, according to court documents. She had a top secret security clearance and served overseas in such cities as Baghdad, Beijing and Shanghai.

But she ignored her responsibility to report foreign contacts, prosecutors said as they announced her sentence on Tuesday.

“Claiborne was entrusted with privileged information as a U.S. government employee, and she abused that trust at the expense of our nation’s security,” Acting Assistant Director John Selleck of the FBI’s Washington Field Office said in a statement. “The targeting of U.S. security clearance holders by Chinese intelligence services is a constant threat we face,” he added.

Over the course of five years, Chinese agents allegedly gave Claiborne and her family “tens of thousands of dollars” in gifts and perks – including wired cash, a monthly stipend, overseas trips, tuition at a Chinese fashion school and an apartment that was fully furnished. In exchange for the gifts, Claiborne gave them a window into the State Department’s inner workings through copies of internal documents about dignitary visits and other topics.

Prosecutors said she told a co-conspirator that the agents were “spies” and wrote in her journal that she could “Generate 20k in 1 year” by working with one of the agents.

Federal public defender David Walker Bos, Claiborne’s attorney, did not immediately respond to NPR’s request for comment.

Her arrest came in March 2017 after a sting operation in January of that year. An FBI agent, posing as a Chinese agent, approached Claiborne on a street in Washington, D.C. She welcomed him to her home and their lengthy discussion ended with the undercover agent thanking her for helping the “Ministry,” NPR previously reported.

After the arrest, she pleaded not guilty to charges of obstruction and making false statements to the FBI. In April 2019, she pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States. In the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop the other charges.

A judge ordered Claiborne detained pending sentencing, but she requested to self-surrender on June 5, the document stated.

In addition to a 40-month prison sentence, Claiborne received three years of supervised release and a fine of $40,000.

Her sentence comes after former CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee pleaded guilty this spring to spying for China – and as U.S. officials have warned that Chinese espionage is the country’s most serious security threat.”

See more at: DelawarePublic.Org

President Signs Executive Order Protecting Free Speech on College Campuses | Mar 21 2019

Trump Signs Executive Order to Protect Free Speech on College Campuses

|| PJ Media

“On Thursday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to protect free speech on college campuses.

“In America, the very heart of the university’s mission is preparing students for life as citizens in a free society, but even as universities have received billions and billions of dollars from taxpayers, many have become increasingly hostile to free speech and to the First Amendment,” the president said.

He mentioned the case of Hayden Williams, a field representative for the Leadership Institute who got punched in the face in Berkeley, Calif.

“You see people being punched hard in the face, but he didn’t go down,” Trump said of Williams. “I said you have a better chin than Muhammad Ali.”

Trump took Williams on stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) earlier this month.

Turning to the broader problem, Trump said, “Under the guise of speech codes and safe spaces and trigger warnings, these universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity, and shut down the voices of young Americans like those here today.”

More:

Mario Savio and the Free Speech Movement of 1964 at UC Berkeley –

From Wikepedia:

“With the participation of thousands of students, the Free Speech Movement was the first mass act of civil disobedience on an American college campus in the 1960s.[4] Students insisted that the university administration lift the ban of on-campus political activities and acknowledge the students’ right to free speech and academic freedom. The Free Speech Movement was influenced by the New Left,[5] and was also related to the Civil Rights Movementand the Anti-Vietnam War Movement.”

Mercury News Calls for Firing of UC President Napolitano Over Recent Financial Scandals | Nov 26

Editorial: After audit debacle, fire UC President Napolitano

|| San Jose Mercury News

“For the good of the University of California system, it’s time for President Janet Napolitano to go.

When a state audit revealed in April that her office was sitting on $175 million of undisclosed reserves, we sharply criticized her, but stopped short of calling for her firing.

But now an independent report released last week shows how Napolitano and top assistants interfered with that audit to try to ensure her office was cast in a positive light.

Despite her public mea culpa, Napolitano doesn’t fully own responsibility for her serious transgressions. The buck stops at the top. Not at her two senior assistants, who recently resigned.

The Office of the President should be run to better the UC system, not to protect Napolitano’s reputation.

UC regents last week chastised her for “poor judgment” that set in motion an “unacceptable” course of conduct. Nevertheless, the board declared it “fully supports her continuing leadership.”

She should have been shown the door.

Napolitano heads the 10-campus university system and her office serves as the administrative center. Last year, the state auditor sent surveys to each campus trying to ascertain how well the office was performing. The answers were to be kept confidential.

But Napolitano directed campus chancellors to first submit the responses to her office for review. A independent investigation, commissioned by the regents and headed by former state Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, reveals the extent of the meddling.

In a conversation with us Monday, Napolitano continued to insist that she was trying to help the campus chancellors. But, the Moreno investigation found, the chancellors never wanted help.

She claimed her lawyers had approved her office reviewing the answers. In fact, UC attorneys advised that, while pre-screening the survey responses was legal, it was a bad idea.

The Office of the President, the attorneys presciently warned, “should think carefully about creating an appearance that (it) is biasing the results of the survey, which likely would be a subject of criticism in the final audit report.”

When UC Santa Cruz sent its answers directly to the auditor, Napolitano called the chancellor of that campus. She was “furious,” the chancellor recalled, and proposed that he withdraw the survey answers, which he did.

The Moreno investigation found that officials at campuses self-censored answers, knowing that Napolitano’s office would review them. Even still, Napolitano’s staff sent back five campuses’ survey responses for changes.”

….Continue reading more @ Mercury News