Colonel Gave Nuke Secrets to Chinese Girlfriend: Feds

Defense contractor charged; hid relationship from military

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 20, 2013 4:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – A 59-year-old defense contractor's 27-year-old girlfriend from China may have had some ulterior motives, federal authorities say. Benjamin Bishop, a lieutenant colonel in the US Army Reserve who works in intelligence at Pacific Command, has been charged with passing "national defense information regarding existing war plans, information regarding nuclear weapons, and relations with international partners" to the Chinese citizen, ABC reports.

Bishop met the woman at a conference on military defense issues and began a relationship with her in 2011, a year before he divorced his wife, the AP reports. She is still in the US on a student visa and officials haven't charged her or said whether they believe she is working for the Chinese government. Bishop did not report the relationship to supervisors, despite being required to do so to maintain his top secret security clearance. A search of Bishop's home turned up at least a dozen classified documents he was not authorized to bring home. When Bishop's girlfriend asked him last month what the US knew about "the operation of a particular naval asset of People’s Republic of China," he obligingly researched the issue for her, court papers say.

Top secret documents were found inside the home of civilian defense contractor Benjamin Pierce Bishop in Kapolei, Hawaii.   (AP Photo/Oskar Garcia)
US Attorney Florence Nakakuni announces on Monday, March 18, 2013, that authorities have charged a US Pacific Command defense contractor with giving secrets to a Chinese woman.   (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy)
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