Who Is Edward Lin? The Lieutenant Commander Is Facing Some Serious Charges
On Friday, the United States Navy held a preliminary hearing for the case of a high-ranking Navy Lieutenant. According to The Washington Post, Lt. Commander Edward Lin of the United States Navy was arrested on charges of espionage and prostitution. Lin allegedly shared classified information with Taiwan and China, information he possibly had access to, The Daily Beast reported, because of his high-ranking role as a lieutenant commander working on maritime aircrafts used for signals intelligence. Lin, whose name was only just released, has not commented publicly on the case, and Navy officials declined comment to The Washington Post, citing privacy concerns.
Lin, 39, enlisted in the Navy in 1999 and became an officer in 2002. According to The Washington Post, he became a U.S. citizen in 2008 after immigrating to the U.S. from Taiwan when he was 14. The naturalization ceremony — held in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 2008 — in which Lin's citizenship was granted, was a highly publicized event for the Navy. Lin spoke at the ceremony, and was honored as an example of what one can achieve after immigrating to the U.S.
In his speech at the naturalization ceremony, Lin said that growing up in Taiwan he "always dreamt about coming to America, the 'promised land.'" Eight years after his arrival in the U.S., Lin joined the Navy, quickly rising in the ranks, and representing that "promised land."
Little is known about the series of events that led to the arrest of this previously celebrated Navy lieutenant commander. Although Lin was arrested in September, the Navy did not disclose his name or information until April 10. Lin had a preliminary hearing on Friday, according to Navy Times. Much of the information in the transcript from Lin's hearing was redacted, The New York Times reported, but it reportedly indicated that Lin shared classified information with his Chinese girlfriend. It is still unclear how this information reached Taiwan's government.
Lin is also charged with patronizing a prostitute, and The Daily Beast reports that it is possible Lin was paid for the classified information he allegedly shared with sexual favors. Due to the prostitution allegations, Lin is also charged with adultery, the U.S. Naval Institute's news site reported, which is considered a crime when one serves in the U.S. military.
According to The Daily Beast, Lin has been in a military prison in Chesapeake, Virginia, for the last eight months after his secret arrest. He is waiting for the U.S. military to decide if he will be tried by a military court. Espionage is a serious crime in the military, and The Washington Post reported that it an offense legally punishable with the death penalty. The military has 10 days to decide whether or not to try Lin.