The Spy that Never Was

June 20, 2011

A friend sent me a link to the story of Glenn Shriver, an American sent to jail for four years after he pleaded guilty for being paid $70,000 by China to attempt to get a job with the CIA or another intelligence agency in the US.

The Huffington Post said, “Court documents said Shriver was approached by Chinese officers while living in Shanghai in 2004 after earlier study trips to China.”

Shriver didn’t get the job since the CIA caught him before he was hired by the agency.

In fact, the Daily Herald reported that Shriver isn’t alone and “was one of at least 57 defendants in federal cases prosecuted since 2008 involving espionage conspiracies with China or efforts to pass secret information, sensitive defense technology or trade secrets to various players within the nation — be them intelligence operatives, state-sponsored research institutes or private-sector businessmen, according to an Associated Press review of U.S. Justice Department cases.”

It’s a fact that China spies on the US. That cannot be denied. Heck, there are cases where England and Israel have spied on the US too.

However, before you start ranting about China being sneaky and underhanded, you may be interested that spying is a two way street between nations and the US plays the same serious game.

In February 2003, the BBC News World Edition reported, “The US Central Intelligence Agency has launched a campaign to attract Chinese-American recruits with an advert welcoming the Year of the Goat.” The CIA advertised in newspapers and magazine in American cities with big Chinese communities.

What’s ironic, is Glenn Shriver never became a spy. He only appeared to have had the intent to spy. Since Shriver was paid $70,000 over a period of several years and still failed to get a job, who are the fools here?

How much does the CIA spend for its operations?

The overall US intelligence budget has been considered classified until recently when Mary Margaret Graham, a former CIA official and deputy director of national intelligence for collection in 2005, said the annual intelligence budget was $44 billion. Source:

However, that may not be all the money the CIA spends on spying.

According to Source, “The CIA black budget is annually in the vicinity of 1.1 trillion dollars and the covert world of ‘black programs’ acts with virtual impunity, overseen and regulated by itself, funding itself through secret slush funds, and is free of the limitations that come from Congressional oversight, proper auditing procedures and public scrutiny.”

Don’t have any secrets to sell. Don’t worry. Glenn Shriver was paid $70,000 by China and had nothing to sell and if Source Watch is correct, the CIA has a lot of money to throw around but watch out. You may find yourself in prison for just wanting to be a spy for the other side.

Discover more about Serious Spy Games


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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