Local Connection: Espionage on our Shores

By: Rick Blangiardi

Should it surprise us that in our own tiny state of Hawaii, we would be in the middle of some serious counter-intelligence and espionage drama?

Benjamin Bishop worked at Camp Smith and gave his Chinese girlfriend classfied information about nuclear weapons.

Maui resident Noshir Gowadia, a former B-2 stealth bomber engineer, is serving a 32-year prison sentence for selling defense secrets to China.

Most recently, Edward Snowden, a civilian contractor for the national security administration and who lived here for a brief time, leaked NSA documents that detailed extensive government surveillance, including phone information and internet usage.

Hawaii News Now reported last week that a Schofield barracks major allegedly handed over military secrets to the Cambodian government.

FBI special agent Tom Simon said Hawaii is a consistent target of foreign intelligence agencies because the Department of Defense has such a massive presence here. He said his agents are actively engaged in national security investigations.

We should not be so naïve as to think we are an isolated hamlet. Hawaii is on the map as far as espionage is concerned and we should be ever vigilant to those around us.

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