Katrina Leung: who she is, why she has made the news, what she is accused of, and what threat she posed/poses to the United States. The paper also discusses the Leung case within a more general framework, in terms of the post-9/11 world, and North America's place in that world, in terms of the need for the U.S. To safeguard its security, and the security of its citizens, and also to secure its position in the world economy.
Katrina Leung, or Man Ying Chan, Wen Ying Chen or Luo Zhongstan, as she has also been known, was a Chinese spy, who was arrested for spying on the United States government, for China.
Pre-arrest, Katrina Leung was a political activist in Southern California, a supporter of the republican party. She was also a Director of the World Affairs Council, based in Los Angeles. She lived in California, in San Marino, with her one son. She is highly educated, with degrees from Cornell and the University of Chicago. Prior to her arrest, she was seen as a very important and highly influential member of the Chinese-American community of Los Angeles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katrina_Leung).
In the early 1980's, Leung was recruited to work for the FBI by James J. Smith, and during her contract with the FBI, she was paid nearly $1.7 million for expenses, and services rendered. It is also known that Leung and Smith, who were both married at the time, began an affair, and that Smith, the man who had recruited her, gave Leung access to private documents when they met.
Thus, when this all came to light, following allegations from another man (another FBI agent) with whom she was also having an affair, she was, as we have seen, arrested for allegedly spying on the U.S. government, on Wednesday 9th April, of this year (Smith was also arrested and charged with gross negligence). It is alleged that she was also working for the Chinese Intelligence Service, MSS, under the alias 'Luo Zhongshan'. The basis of her arrest was that she had "....illegally obtained secret documents to the advantage of a foreign power." If found guilty, she could face up to 50 years in prison, if convicted on all counts (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3005274.stm).
Following her arrest, her hearing was held on 29th April, in the District Court in Los Angeles. She was at first refused bail at this hearing, as her ability to access large sums of money, and her access to powerful contacts in China, meant that she could flee the country at a moment's notice (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3005274.stm),but following a re-hearing, she was given bail, following the payment of $2 million (the level set by the U.S. government for her bail), as reported in news bulletins around the world on 20th June 2003. It is reported that she was given bail, as her defendants argues strongly that there was no way she could return to China, as she faced extensive risks there, including imprisonment, solitary confinement, even death (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3005274.stm).
Her prosecutors have insisted that she is a spy, indeed, a double agent (working for both the FBI and the Chinese government) and that she used a range of tactics to spy on secret government documents. Her legal defendants insist that Leung denies the charges, and say that her character, and her contributions to the U.S. show that she has made an heroic effort for the U.S., and that, as such, she could not have done what she is accused of having done. They have said that Leung is being hung up by the FBI as a 'sacrificial lamb' in order to cover their own failings, in post-9/11 America (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3005274.stm).
Her prosecutors also say that she was an extremely prominent informant, and that she was very close to seats of power in both countries (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A58327-2003Apr19¬Found=true).This has led federal investigators to suggest that every single intelligence case involving China in recent years may need to be re-thought, including several that involve secrecy surrounding nuclear weapons, as well as a purported attempt by the Chinese government to contribute many hundreds of thousands of dollars to American political campaigns in the 1996 presidential election (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A58327-2003Apr19¬Found=true).
But what does all of this mean for the U.S. In these post-September 11th years, when everyone in the U.S. is trying to get used to this new world? The threat of spying, and of espionage, has always been present, and the threat of terrorism…