U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein is in the hot seat, now that the public knows she employed a Chinese spy for over 20 years. Early reports indicated the spy was only a driver for the senator, but new reports have revealed that Russel Lowe, named as the spy in question, was actually employed as her office manager.
To make matters worse, it turns out that Feinstein first learned that Lowe was a Chinese operative in 2013, while she was the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Lowe is a Chinese-American and worked alongside Feinstein as her aide for 20 years, though he is now Secretary General of the Education for Social Justice Foundation. As this shocking story unravels, it only continues to get darker: A report from Business Insider shows that dozens of CIA operatives were imprisoned or killed by China, and many operations were thwarted by the Chinese government during the time Lowe was employed.
CIA operations in China take a hit
In 2017, Business Insider reported that up to 20 CIA sources were imprisoned or killed by the Chinese between the years 2010 and 2012. At the time of that report, the source of the massive intelligence breach had not been identified, but now, some are wondering if Russel Lowe could somehow be connected to the plot. CIA officials were divided on whether or not the breach had been carried out by an unidentified spy or by way of hacking into the CIA’s communication system. As reported:
The Chinese killed at least a dozen people providing information to the CIA from 2010 through 2012, dismantling a network that was years in the making, the newspaper reported.
One was shot and killed in front of a government building in China, three officials told the Times, saying that was designed as a message to others about working with Washington.
The breach was considered particularly damaging, with the number of assets lost rivaling those in the Soviet Union and Russia who perished after information passed to Moscow by spies Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen, the report said. Ames was active as a spy in the 1980s and Hanssen from 1979 to 2001
Is it all connected?
The FBI and the CIA joined forces to investigate the matter as more sources were killed or arrested. U.S. Intelligence officials stated that China’s scheme for identifying American agents had been brought to a halt sometime in 2013.
Sen. Feinstein has stated that Lowe was fired in 2013, after the FBI informed her of their concerns.
“The FBI told me 5 years ago it had concerns that China was seeking to recruit an administrative member of my Calif staff (despite no access to sensitive information). I took those concerns seriously, learned the facts and made sure the employee left my office immediately,” the senator tweeted.
Whether or not the issue of Lowe being a Chinese spy is connected to the deaths of 20 CIA operatives has not been confirmed. First, Lowe was depicted as just a driver, now even Feinstein admits he was an “administrative member” of her staff while she was the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The senator also claims in her tweet that Lowe and other staffers didn’t have access to “sensitive information,” but as a member of Senate Intelligence Committee, Feinstein does have access to quite a bit — as would an employee tasked with spying for a foreign government. As the mission statement for the committee states:
The Committee was created by the Senate in 1976 to “oversee and make continuing studies of the intelligence activities and programs of the United States Government,” to “submit to the Senate appropriate proposals for legislation and report to the Senate concerning such intelligence activities and programs,” and to “provide vigilant legislative oversight over the intelligence activities of the United States to assure that such activities are in conformity with the Constitution and laws of the United States.
You’d need access to a fair amount of sensitive info to accomplish those goals, or so one would think. But Feinstein’s tweet has nonetheless revealed another major issue: Hypocrisy in the FBI’s handling of the allegations against the Trump campaign.
Double standards for liberals and conservatives abound
As Fox News reports, the news about Feinstein’s former office manager have shown, yet again, that liberals and conservatives are treated differently, even at a federal level. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif, an ardent defender of Trump throughout the Russian collusion allegations, has been leading the charge on this front, stating that despite their similarities, both cases were handled immensely differently.
In a statement to Fox News, Nunes explained, “Providing a defensive briefing, like the one given to Senator Feinstein, is a typical response to these kinds of situations. The refusal to give the Trump campaign a defensive briefing, and instead opening a sprawling counter-intelligence investigation of American citizens, is one of many alarming ways that intelligence leaders drastically diverged from normal procedures in their Trump campaign investigation.”
As many Trump supporters have argued, the President was not treated with the customary respect as Senator Feinstein was, and he was not briefed about the situation before launching their investigation.