Lanterns: State Department Official Provides Intel To The Chinese For Cash, IPhone, And Vacations

Blog

State Department Official Provides Intel To The Chinese For Cash, IPhone, And Vacations

This is treason… this right here… no doubt about it. And I’ll bet you didn’t even hear it on the news. Candace Marie Claiborne, 60, has been with the State Department since 1999. She has been charged with two felonies: “Obstructing an official proceeding and making false statements to the FBI.” Both will land her in jail for a very long time… but why was she not charged with treason? She sold information and data to the communist Chinese. The last time I looked, they were our enemies. She kept it secret all these years, while receiving tens of thousands in cash, an iPhone, and vacations. She has a Top Secret security clearance and had full knowledge that what she was doing was betraying her country and national security.

Claiborne was an office management specialist. She was posted at the headquarters in Washington, as well as U.S. diplomatic posts in Beijing and Shanghai, along with posts in Baghdad and Khartoum, Sudan. Let that sink in for a moment on just how bad this is. A criminal complaint in the case said she conspired with two Chinese intelligence agents working for the Shanghai State Security Bureau. She also worked with a fourth person who is a male U.S. citizen and a relative of Claiborne’s, who was not identified by name but labeled “Co-conspirator A” in court papers. And stunningly, this case is one of the very first Chinese espionage-related operations involving a U.S. citizen to come to light in nearly ten years. Believe me, our agencies are simply lousy with Chinese spies and operatives like this.

From Truth Revolt:

The FBI’s Washington Field Office announced Wednesday that sixty-year-old Candace Marie Claiborne, a U.S. Department of State employee, was charged with two felonies: “obstructing an official proceeding and making false statements to the FBI.” Allegedly she had numerous contacts with foreign agents that she kept secret. According to the Department of Justice:

“Candace Marie Claiborne is a U.S. State Department employee who possesses a Top Secret security clearance and allegedly failed to report her contacts with Chinese foreign intelligence agents who provided her with thousands of dollars of gifts and benefits,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General McCord. “Claiborne used her position and her access to sensitive diplomatic data for personal profit. Pursuing those who imperil our national security for personal gain will remain a key priority of the National Security Division.”

But wait, there’s more!

“Candace Claiborne is charged with obstructing an official proceeding and making false statements in connection with her alleged concealment and failure to report her improper connections to foreign contacts along with the tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits they provided,” said U.S. Attorney Phillips. “As a State Department employee with a Top Secret clearance, she received training and briefing about the need for caution and transparency. This case demonstrates that U.S. government employees will be held accountable for failing to honor the trust placed in them when they take on such sensitive assignments”

“Candace Claiborne is accused of violating her oath of office as a State Department employee, who was entrusted with Top Secret information when she purposefully mislead federal investigators about her significant and repeated interactions with foreign contacts,” said Assistant Director in Charge Vale. “The FBI will continue to investigate individuals who, though required by law, fail to report foreign contacts, which is a key indicator of potential insider threats posed by those in positions of public trust.”

Other recent illegal intelligence activity by the Chinese government has primarily involved the illicit acquisition of U.S. technology. This reminds me of the Bill Clinton years. The charges against Claiborne were filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. She pleaded not guilty on Wednesday during a hearing before Magistrate Judge Robin M. Meriweather. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for April 18th. If convicted, Claiborne faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for obstruction of justice and five years in prison for making false statements to the FBI. Silly me, I thought treason was a death sentence. Not anymore evidently.

Here are some of the ‘gifts’ Claiborne received: Tens of thousands of dollars, jewelry, slippers, an iPhone, an Apple laptop computer, Chinese New Year’s gifts, meals, international travel and vacations, tuition at a Chinese fashion school, a fully furnished apartment, and a monthly stipend. She also bragged that she could earn $20k a year by working for one particular agent. This is a Clinton-era person, and she’s learned treason from the very best. There is no doubt about her dealings here.

The FBI counterintelligence investigation revealed that Claiborne was co-opted into working with Chinese intelligence in 2010 in exchange for cash and gifts. That’s smack dab in the middle of the Obama administration where things were more than loosey-goosey with national security. Claiborne was first posted to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in 1999. She remained there until June 2003 when she moved to Shanghai. The person identified as “Co-conspirator A” lived with Claiborne when she was posted to Shanghai. After a stint in Baghdad, Claiborne returned to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in November of 2009 and remained there until 2012.

From the Washington Free Beacon:

The complaint states that Claiborne received a task from one of the Chinese intelligence agents in May 2011 and failed to report it as required under security rules.

The task came a month after the Chinese spy wired $2,500 to Claiborne’s bank account in the United States.

The agent sought information from Claiborne on “internal United States government positions on matters of U.S.-Sino relations,” specifically the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, high-level U.S.-China talks launched by the Obama administration, the complaint said.

Chinese intelligence also sought information from Claiborne on what pressure the U.S. government planned to put on China and the “internal attitudes” of senior U.S. officials, according to the complaint.

Claiborne held meetings with the Chinese agents and used a Chinese social media application to communicate covertly with the agents.

In 2014, an FBI undercover agent posing as a Chinese intelligence officer contacted Claiborne and told her that the Ministry of State Security, China’s civilian spy service, considered her one of the agency’s “highest regarded” friends. A search of Claiborne’s journal in 2015 revealed the contacts with Chinese intelligence and the payments. The FBI questioned Claiborne in August 2016 when she denied having any foreign government contacts while in China and also made other statements that led to the false statement charges. In January, an ethnically Chinese FBI undercover agent talked to Claiborne while posing as a Chinese spy.

On Tuesday, she returned to the FBI office in Washington and acknowledged the relationship with the two Chinese intelligence officers, the complaint says. “Claiborne admitted to passing information to [the two Chinese agents], both orally and in writing but insisted she always provided unclassified information.” This is classic espionage. The woman was cultivated as a source for Chinese intelligence and flipped. So, while we are digging on the Russians, we might want to dig a bit on the Chinese. Just sayin’.

Written by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

0 Responses

leave a reply


login to reply to thread

Sign Up
Forgot Password