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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The KMT–CIA Heroin, Cocaine Pipeline to the US

March 20, 2011

The CIA, in an alliance with the Nationalist Chinese (KMT), addicted millions of Americans on drugs such as heroin and cocaine to finance a covert war against the spread of Communism.

The KMT’s leader was the brutal, authoritarian dictator Chiang Kai-shek of Taiwan, which the US still supports. Chiang Kai-shek ruled Taiwan with an iron fist until his death.

However, it wouldn’t be until the 2000 presidential election in Taiwan that the KMT’s hold on power came to an end there.

I first learned of the KMT-CIA drug pipeline into the US in the early 1980s when I read of Congressional hearings leading to the closing of Air America, a covert airline owned by the CIA that was one of the methods used to move illegal drugs out of Southeast Asia and into the hands of US citizens.

While writing of all things Chinese, I forgot about the Nationalist (KMT) Chinese generals that worked with the CIA during the Vietnam war to supply American troops in Vietnam and addicts in the US with heroin and cocaine in trade for weapons.

After the Chinese Communists under Mao won the Civil War in 1949, a large force of KMT troops in southern China fled to the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia, which is located in Laos, Thailand and Burma. That’s when the KMT became involved in the drug trade with the CIA.

For reminding me of this dark chapter of America’s history (which evidence says is still an open book), I thank a ’21st Century Marco Polo, who is a committed and experienced human rights and legal education professional with a history of working internationally throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Kevin Ryan writing for 911 reviewed American War Machine written by Peter Dale Scott.

Ryan writes, “This book examines a wide-ranging number of covert US operations since World War II, and, among other things, demonstrates that many of these operations were intimately connected with, and dependent on, illicit drug trafficking….”

The Senophobic, American capitalist obsession with everything Communist led the US down this dark path that introduced an expressway of  heroin and cocaine into the US in what may contribute to the eventual failure of the most successful and powerful democracy in the history of humanity.

I have embedded a four part series of an audio transcript of a 60 Minutes broadcast of the CIA controlled drug trade.

60 Minutes on CIA Drug Smuggling – Part 1


60 Minutes on CIA Drug Smuggling – Part 2


60 Minutes on CIA Drug Smuggling – Part 3


60 Minutes on CIA Drug Smuggling – Part 4

To understand the impact on US society, Drug says, “The trafficking of illicit drugs burdens various components of domestic financial sectors as individuals and organizations frequently engage in illegal activates to generate income in order to purchase drugs or finance drug trafficking operations. Mortgage fraud (think 2008 financial crises which originated in New York), counterfeiting, shoplifting, insurance fraud, ransom kidnapping, identity theft, home invasion, personal property theft, and many other criminal activates often are undertaken by drug users and distributers to support drug addictions…”

Did you know that Mao, after winning the Chinese Civil War (1926 to 1949) between the Communists and Nationalists, ended drug trafficking and drug use in China in about 24 hours?

Illegal drugs wouldn’t return to China until after Mao’s death when China joined the WTO and opened its doors to world trade.


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.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

Tiananmen Square Revisited

July 23, 2010

When I was writing and posting Part 8 for China’s Capitalist Revolution, there was a scene in that segment of the documentary of a student dressed in pajamas sitting in a chair.  This so-called student leader for the Tiananmen Square incident was rude, arrogant and demanding.

There was no sign of the piety I see everyday—that I have lived with and witnessed since I married into a Chinese family. My wife and her family lived in China during Mao’s time. They suffered through the same changes everyone else did but their respect for piety never changed.

I read the “What is the truth about Tiananmen Square?” post again.

Why did President H. W. Bush change ambassadors in the middle of the incident with a man who had once been an operative for the CIA working in Asia inserting agents into China? James Lilly wouldn’t have to meet with the students himself. He knew who the double agents in China were. He had to know.

“The protesters were not demanding Western style politics or an end to Communist Party rule as many in the West believe.  They wanted the government to listen to their opinions about   reforms and corruption.  The banners the protesters carried said, “We Support the Great Glorious Communist Party of China.” Source: China’s Capitalist Revolution, Part 7

It was the Western media and the rude, arrogant students, who turned the event into a democracy movement but only after Lilly was in the country or on his way. Did President Bush seize an opportunity?

In fact, it wasn’t until after that student treated his elders with disrespect, that Deng Xiaoping sent the troops in—a reaction to be expected in a country with a collective culture like China’s where practicing piety is the same as breathing.

What choice did he have?  After all, the students had demanded the negotiations be broadcast live on TV to the nation. Embarrassed in front of the country he ruled, Deng had no choice. It was a great loss of face for him and the government.  Loss of face is probably the leading cause of suicide in Asian countries like Japan and the two Koreas.

That student acted as if he was untouchable–that he had insurance. Maybe he did. He had taken a huge risk to gain face, and it turned into a tragedy.

Moreover, why has America’s media made such a big deal out of the Tiananmen Square incident where hundreds died and almost nothing about the slaughter conducted by (an American ally) Chiang Kai-shek’s troops in Taiwan where almost thirty thousand were murdered? See 2/28 Massacre in Taiwan


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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A Matter of Distance and Perspective

July 7, 2010

President Obama demonstrates that he does not understand the Chinese thought process in his response to President Hu Jintao of China over how to handle North Korea’s recent sinking of the Cheonan, a South Korean naval ship.

The New York Times Asia Pacific section reports that President Obama has accused Beijing of “willful blindness” toward what North Korea has done.  Some American officials say this was an act of war. Obama indicated the way China is handling this would not solve the problem.

There are two voices to pay attention to. Leon E. Panetta and China’s spokesman, Qin Gang. Mr. Qin said, “China is a neighbor of the Korean Peninsula, and on this issue our feelings differ from a country that lies 8.000 kilometers distant. We feel even more direct and serious concerns.”

Leon E. Panetta, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said he believed that the sinking of the Cheonan was part of a succession struggle in North Korea.”

America tends to handle crises of this kind like a bull in a China shop, and what gets broken doesn’t hurt the US homeland. China, on the other hand, will handle this issue like delicate surgery.  One wrong move could end in disaster.  After all, who is closer to that nuclear bullring and how can Obama understand when China’s shoes won’t fit his feet?

See China and North Korea


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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Mao’s War Against Illegal Drugs

June 25, 2010

From The Opium Monopoly by Ellen N. La Motte, we learn how opium addiction became an epidemic in China. Although The Chinese knew about opium for more than a thousand years, it wasn’t until the Portuguese arrived in the 18th century that  the Chinese used it as a drug by smoking it. Merchants from Britain, France, Portugal, America and other nations became the drug cartels that plagued China into the 20th century.

In 1729, the emperor issued the first anti-opium edict, but the supply of opium flooding China went from 220 chests in 1729 to 70,000 in 1858.

It is estimated that before 1950, as many as 20 million Chinese were addicts. Then Mao had the Red Army execut the drug dealers and forced millions of addicts into compulsory treatment.

Opium growers, who did not want to comply, fled into the Golden Triangle Region of Southeast Asia where many of Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalist troops had gone to escape defeat. Those generals also did business with the CIA, and American soldiers in Vietnam became the new customers. It is estimated that at least 20% of the almost nine million American troops that served in Vietnam became addicted.

China remained free of drugs until Deng Xiaoping declared, “Getting Rich is Glorious” and opened China to world trade. In 2003, it was estimated that China had four million regular drug users even with China’s strict laws concerning illegal drug use.

Sources: Opium and Illegal Drugs in China and How Maoist Revolution Wiped Out Drugs in China

To learn more about Mao’s China, see China’s Great Leap Forward


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.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.