Friday, July 10, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, September 19, 2014
Oahu defense contractor sentenced on espionage charges
By Malia Zimmerman @ 2:17 PM :: 3232 Views :: Military

Oahu defense contractor sentenced on espionage charges

Photo courtesy US Attorney

SENTENCED: Benjamin Pierce Bishop, 60, confessed to taking home top-secret government documents and sending an email to his girlfriend that included details about a classified meeting with officials about existing war plans. Photo courtesy US Attorney

by Malia Zimmerman, September 19,2014,

HONOLULU — A retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and civilian contractor will spend more than seven years in federal prison after he was convicted on espionage charges.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Sorenson said Benjamin Pierce Bishop, 60, confessed to taking home top-secret government documents and sending an email to his girlfriend that included details about a classified meeting with officials from the U.S. and South Korea about existing war plans.

Bishop pleaded guilty in March to two counts, including “willfully communicating classified national defense information to a person not authorized to receive it and unlawfully retaining classified national defense information at his home.”

Bishop became romantically involved with the Chinese student in June 2011 but hid the relationship from government officials, an FBI affidavit said.

Bishop was required to disclose contact with foreign nationals but failed to do so; on a travel form he changed his girlfriend’s first name to a masculine version to disguise her gender and identity, the affidavit said.

According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office, Bishop disclosed information related to joint training and planning sessions.

Bishop also admitted to keeping at his home multiple classified documents that related to the national defense, including a U.S. Armed Forces Defense Planning Guide and a classified photograph of a Chinese naval asset Bishop retrieved from classified sources based on a request from the Chinese woman.

The documents were taken from Bishop’s workplace at U.S. Pacific Command, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

If the information fell into the hands of a foreign power that country would have access to hundreds of facts about military strategies, resources, location of those resources, Sorenson said.

“It would be a treasure trove for a foreign government. And we know the foreign governments that we are involved with in the Pacific arena.”

Bishop said in court he never intended to hurt the United States and was only trying to help his girlfriend with her research.

Bishop’s attorney, Birney Bervar, blamed his client’s error in judgment on love, not espionage.

“There was no intent to harm the United States. He made an error, a serious error in judgment for the love of a woman. As one of his friends said in a letter, quoting Shakespeare, ‘He loved not wisely, but too well,’” Bervar said.

Before issuing the sentence, Judge Leslie Kobayashi said she believed Bishop had no intent to harm the United States, but he appeared to be under the woman’s spell.

“This person has compromised you completely,” Kobayashi told Bishop.

Sorenson said foreign governments are sending college and graduate students to the United States to get classified and non-classified information, and the students are expected to use sexual and romantic relationships to get it.

U.S. Attorney Flo Nakakuni said this is the second major espionage case prosecuted in the District of Hawaii, and it’s particularly troubling because it involves the communication of classified information to a citizen of the People’s Republic of China.

Hawaii resident Noshir Sheriarji Gowadia was sentenced to 32 years in prison in 2011 on espionage-related charges. Sorenson was the lead prosecutor on both cases.



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii