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Alleged Chinese Mole In CIA Is Chinese Immigrant (Of Course) And Thus Won't Be Called Chinese Mole
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January 16, 2018, 02:21 PM
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When I saw this message pop up on my phone, my first response was to say "I bet he's Chinese." You more or less have to be Chinese to be a CIA agent in China, but of course, that involves risks for American security. The New York Times story(paywalled) says his name is Jerry Chun Shing Lee. (Here's the Times link to the Federal Government's case against him.) Newsweek has the story un-paywalled, and yes, he's Chinese, which is why the press wants to call him a "naturalized U.S. citizen."

Former CIA Agent Charged For Keeping Classified Info

By Zachary Fryer-Biggs, Newsweek, January 16, 2018

A former CIA agent who may be connected to the mysterious killings of American operatives in China has been arrested after being caught with notebooks containing the classified names and phone numbers of CIA agents, and the locations of secret facilities.

The Justice Department announced on Tuesday that Jerry Chun Shing Lee had been collared Monday night—almost six years after FBI agents said they “found two small books containing handwritten notes that contained classified information" when they searched hotel rooms of the former officer.

Court documents show that Lee has long been of intense interest to the FBI. A naturalized U.S. citizen who had been living in Hong Kong, Lee moved to Virginia in 2012—and agents got a warrant to search his hotel room. That's where they allegedly found the notebooks, one a 49-page datebook, and the other a 21-page address book.[ More]

The natural thing for a reporter unconstrained by the rules that (a) no immigrant ever does anything wrong and (b) race is unmentionable in crime stories would be to write that Lee is a "Chinese immigrant".

In a related note,  I suspect that people who would have no problem with referring to a Robert Hanssen  (or President Trump!) as a "Russian mole" will not call Mr. Lee a "Chinese mole"—because he's actually Chinese.

For more about the risk of Chinese espionage, see John Derbyshire's Yes, Virginia (Dare), Chinese Immigration DOES Pose A Security Risk. (And China Would Know What To Do)