HomeAttacks on U.S.Ex-CIA Officer Alexander Yuk Ching Ma Pleads Guilty to Spying for China

Ex-CIA Officer Alexander Yuk Ching Ma Pleads Guilty to Spying for China

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In a dramatic courtroom scene in Honolulu, Alexander Yuk Ching Ma, a former CIA officer and FBI contract linguist, pleaded guilty to spying for China for over a decade. This case has revealed a significant breach in U.S. national security and provides a detailed look into Ma’s espionage activities.

Ma’s journey began in Hong Kong, where he was born before moving to Honolulu in 1968. He became a U.S. citizen in 1975 and joined the CIA in 1982. Ma served overseas before resigning in 1989. However, in 2001, his loyalty shifted dramatically. Ma and an older relative, who was also a former CIA officer, were caught on video handing over classified information to Chinese intelligence officers from the Ministry of State Security. The video shows Ma counting $50,000 he received from Chinese agents, sealing his fate as a spy.

The U.S. Justice Department described the evidence against Ma as a “war chest of damning evidence.” This includes the hour-long video from 2001 and other records of his activities. Prosecutors revealed that Ma accepted thousands of dollars in cash during a sting operation and expressed his desire to see the “motherland” succeed.

Ma’s role as a contract linguist for the FBI in Honolulu from 2004 was a crucial part of his espionage. This job allowed him to access and steal classified documents, which he then smuggled to China. The stolen information included details about CIA sources, secure communication practices, and operational tradecraft. These activities posed a severe risk to U.S. national security, as the information Ma provided could have been used to harm the United States or benefit China.

The FBI was aware of Ma’s ties to Chinese intelligence and hired him as part of an elaborate ruse to monitor his contacts with Chinese officials. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Sorenson explained that Ma’s hiring as a part-time contract linguist was a “ruse” to keep tabs on his espionage activities. In 2006, Ma received photos from Chinese intelligence officers of people they were interested in, and Ma convinced his co-conspirator relative to reveal the identities of at least two individuals in the photos.

Ma’s espionage career took a critical turn in 2019 when he was caught in a sting operation. He accepted cash from an undercover FBI agent posing as a Chinese intelligence officer and reiterated his wish for China’s success. Ma confessed that the information he provided in 2001 and his ongoing activities could be used to injure the United States or benefit Chinese authorities.

In court, Ma admitted to everything described by the prosecution. He acknowledged that he signed non-disclosure agreements that were in effect even after he left the CIA and that he knew the information he was providing could harm the United States. As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Ma pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy to gather or deliver national defense information to a foreign government. This agreement includes a 10-year prison sentence, but the final decision rests with the judge at Ma’s sentencing on September 11. Without this deal, Ma faced life in prison.

Senior officials, including Assistant Attorney General John Demers, have labeled Ma a traitor. Demers stated, “The trail of Chinese espionage is long and, sadly, strewn with former American intelligence officers who betrayed their colleagues, their country, and its liberal democratic values to support an authoritarian communist regime.”

The FBI has been vigilant in monitoring and uncovering espionage activities. In the past three years, the Justice Department has brought several counterintelligence cases against former U.S. intelligence officials accused of selling secrets to China. FBI Director Christopher Wray has emphasized the threat, stating, “The greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality, is the counterintelligence and economic espionage threat from China.”

Ma’s guilty plea includes an obligation to provide more detailed facts about his espionage activities during debriefings with government representatives and to submit to polygraph examinations. This agreement represents a lifetime commitment by Ma to cooperate with U.S. authorities.

ACZ Editor: This is the worst and most disgusting type of spy, one who gives information on “sources.” This means that the CIA’s agents in China have been betrayed and will be killed. This person should spend the rest of his life under the jail.

And could it be that Ma was the one who compromised communications methods and caused many more to be killed?

But China has similar power to what the drug cartels have wielded in the past. They offer a lot of money, but also have the wherewithal to punish relatives in China for noncooperation. The “Plata O Plomo” (silver or lead) method. This will get worse before it gets better, and the U.S. is riddled with Chinese spies – even more engaged in stealing tech secrets.

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