Fallout from latest Hawaii spy scandal

Fallout from latest spy scandal
Published: Jun. 14, 2013 at 12:07 AM HST|Updated: Jun. 14, 2013 at 7:59 PM HST
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Seivirak Inson
Seivirak Inson
Charles Goodwin
Charles Goodwin
Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As a high-ranking Army intelligence officer, accused spy Seivirak Inson had immense access to the military secrets of the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii.

Now, the 43-year-old Major is facing court-martial proceeding for attempting to hand over some of those secrets to the Cambodian government.

"Potentially, there's a lot of classified information involved because Pacom (the Pacific Command) is the tip of spear in the Pacific in terms of military operations," said Charles Goodwin, former FBI Special Agent in Charge for Hawaii.

The Inson case is just the latest in a string of high-profile spy cases in Hawaii.

They include the recent arrest of Army reservist and government contractor Benjamin Bishop, who gave military secrets to a Chinese girlfriend half his age and Noshir Gowadia was convicted in 2010 after he sold design secrets for the B-2 stealth bomber to China and other countries.

Goodwin says the Gowadia case was the most damaging to America because it helped China obtain the top secret stealth technology that the U.S. used so effectively in the wars in Iraq.

He said the recent disclosure of the federal government's massive electronic surveillance program by former Hawaii resident Edward Snowden represents another critical breach.

"It is from a counter intelligence standpoint, I think quite damaging," he said.

"It impacts the credibility of the U.S. and impacts our ability to collect intelligence particularly from terrorist elements."

Goodwin says the local FBI office places espionage cases as their top priority -- for good reason.

"Honolulu and Hawaii are as strategically important today as they were at the beginning of World War II," he said.

"It just stands to reason that every intelligence services is going to have an interest in what goes on here in Hawaii."

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