In brief: Contractor charged with espionage
HONOLULU – A civilian defense contractor who works in intelligence at the U.S. Pacific Command has been charged with giving national security secrets to a 27-year-old Chinese woman he was dating, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Monday.
Benjamin Pierce Bishop, 59, is accused of sending the woman an email last May with information on existing war plans, nuclear weapons and U.S. relations with international partners, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Honolulu.
The complaint alleged Bishop told the woman over the telephone in September about the deployment of U.S. strategic nuclear systems and about the ability of the U.S. to detect other nations’ low- and medium-range ballistic missiles.
Bishop met the woman at a conference in Hawaii on international military defense issues, the complaint said. It did not specify when the conference was held, but it alleged the two began an intimate, romantic relationship in June 2011.
The complaint said the woman was living in the U.S. as a student on a J-1 visa, for people in work- and study-based exchange programs. It was not clear what institution she attended, or where she is now.
It’s also not known which defense contractor employs Bishop.
Clinton joins same-sex marriage backers
WASHINGTON – Hillary Rodham Clinton, free to dip her toe in the water of domestic politics after four years as the nation’s chief diplomat, joined other leading Democrats in endorsing same-sex marriage.
Clinton’s announcement – her first public statement since leaving her post as secretary of state in President Barack Obama’s Cabinet on Feb. 1 – came Monday in a video released by the Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rights group.
“LGBT Americans are our colleagues, our teachers, our soldiers, our friends, our loved ones. And they are full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage,” Clinton says in the video, adding that she supports marriage rights for same-sex couples “personally and as a matter of policy and law.”
Like many party leaders at the time, Clinton stopped short of support for same-sex marriage as a presidential hopeful in 2008, though she supported civil unions “with full equality of benefits, rights and privileges,” as she said in a 2007 debate. In another candidate forum, she said Democrats should stand “against hatred and divisiveness.”