Chinese spies in the United States are receiving wrist slaps instead of accountability

It is no secret that United States military and intelligence officials have been caught acting as spies for Communist China, putting sensitive information into the hands of the enemy.

The question is, what is happening to these people that are caught betraying our country? According to Front Page Magazine, just mere “slaps on the wrist.” And they are not wrong.

In January 2024, the Department of Justice (DOJ) put out a press release regarding a Navy service member that had been caught giving information to China. The release read in part, “A U.S. Navy service member was sentenced today to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay a $5,500 fine for transmitting sensitive U.S. military information to an intelligence officer from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in exchange for bribery payments.”

Petty Officer Wenheng Zhao reportedly received at least 14 bribe payments totaling around $14,866 in exchange for information surrounding critical infrastructure, military trainings and exercises, and U.S. Navy operational security.

And he only received a small fine that is considerably less than the money received from the enemy and just over two years in prison.

Zhao is not the only one on the receiving end of a simple wrist slap for treason. Just this month, Politico reported that Alexander Yuk Ching Ma plead guilty to charges of providing information to China about CIA sources and assets, secure communication practices and operational tradecraft, and international operations.

Ma is a former FBI contract linguist and CIA officer and is accused of spending at least ten years spying for China. In an hour-long video, Ma can be seen counting $50,000 that he received for the classified information that he provided to intelligence officers with China’s Ministry of State Security in 2001. The video, presented as evidence against him, also shows an older relative of Ma’s who is also a former CIA agent.

The plea deal asks for a 10-year sentence in exchange for Ma pleading guilty to just one count of conspiracy to gather or deliver national defense information to a foreign government. Ma was facing life in prison without the deal. He will be sentenced in September 2024.

Questions abound in this case. What is the public not being told? It is concerning that with all the evidence against him, a significant plea deal was made.

More concerning is the idea that people like Zao and Ma are not being held totally accountable for the national security risk that they have created. Instead of life in prison, these spies are receiving sweetheart deals from the very government that they have betrayed.
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