Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Unfinished Business

Rowan Scarborough and Bill Gertz of the Washington Times remind us that a sentence was recently handed in the latest espionage case involving the PRC. Former DIA analyst Ronald Montaperto was sentenced to three months in prison for illegally retaining classified documents, and passing sensitive intelligence information to a Chinese intelligence officer. In comparison to other spy cases, Montaperto's stunningly light sentence received virtually no media attention.

We first wrote about Mr. Montaperto back on June 26th, and posted additional comments on his case last week. As we observed at the time, Montaperto was no ordinary intelligence analyst. At the time he was dismissed from government service, he was running a U.S. Pacific Command think tank, charged with assessing the threat from the PRC. Before that, he was a China analyst for DIA; former colleagues recall taht Mr. Montaperto consistently downplayed the military and economic challenges posed by Beijing.

At one point (in the early 1990s), Montaperto apparently applied for an analyst position at the CIA. His pre-employment polygraph reportedly raised serious questions about his conduct, and suggested that he may have posed an esiponage threat. The CIA decided not to hire Montaperto and passed their concerns to DIA, which failed to follow up. Montaperto remained on the government payroll for another 13 years; there's no telling what he might have passed to Beijing in the years that followed. According to Scarborough and Gertz, prosecutors are convinced that he passed sensitive reports on Saudi and Iranian missile deals to Beijing. His information may have also allowed the Chinese to plug leaks that prevent us from tracking key Chinese arms deals.

And for all this, Montaperto will spend three months in jail. Moreover, according to the Times, a number of current/former government employees wrote letters of support for Montaperto. There is something very distressing about the sentence Montaperto received, and his continued support in certain federal circles.

9 comments:

MickKraut said...

Well when Sandy Berger can get away with a simple revocation of his tickets for a couple of years for stuffing codeword documents in his socks, I dont think there should be any surprise about this guy getting 3 months.

George W. Bush said...

HEY! YOU WERE MENTIONED ON RUSH TODAY, SO I DECIDED TO CHECK YOU OUT. COOL STUFF.
JORDAN RICHARDSON
WWW.RIGHTISRIGHT.TK

DagneyT said...

One of my favorite blog themes is "bureaucratic efficiency is an oxymoron".

What is being done about the leakers to NYT? If this is what is being done with leaks to China, no wonder we aren't going after leakers to NYT!

S.N. said...

Just a quick question for you:

Didn't you sign a non-disclosure agreement stating that you can't publish (including blogs) information in areas you worked on while in the IC?

Eagle1 said...

Unbelieveable

Eagle1 said...

Or even unbelievable.

Dorothy Carter said...

Why did the DOJ give Sandy Burgler a pass for destroying classified Info ? Why is the CIA not starting immediately a inquiry as to which democrats on the Senate Intel Committee who are leaking classified into to the NY 'Rag' Times? I would think that would be the best way to handle this 42 days from elections....... My guess Rockefeller and Feingold are the culpruts.

Dorothy Carter said...

Why did the DOJ give Sandy Burgler a pass for destroying classified Info ? Why is the CIA not starting immediately a inquiry as to which democrats on the Senate Intel Committee who are leaking classified into to the NY 'Rag' Times? I would think that would be the best way to handle this 42 days from elections....... My guess Rockefeller and Feingold are the culpruts.

turn said...

One can only hope that this PRC operative is being vigorously questioned. Rocky Mountain snow season is imminent--perhaps now that water-boarding is verboten we can get creative with a new form of non-lethal recreational interrogation--SNOW-BOARDING.