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University Professor Accused of Passing Military Secret Documents

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posted on May, 21 2008 @ 01:16 PM
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University Professor Accused of Passing Military Secret Documents


www.efluxmedia.com

J. Reece Roth, a retired professor at the University of Tennessee, was charged Monday of passing military secrets to one of his foreign research assistants.

The professor, who specialized in plasma related research, had gained a contract with the United States Air Force to develop plasma actuators for control of unmanned aircraft and had been working on the project from 2004 to 2006.
(visit the link for the full news article)


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posted on May, 21 2008 @ 01:16 PM
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Wow this guy hired a Chinese citizen as a research assistant and gave him full access to sensitive information without government permission! On top of that, he's accused of sending a document containing secret military technology to a person in China!

Is this guy a commie sympathizer? Why would a guy with such a distinguished career do this? What are his links to China?

According to the article he could get up to 35 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine. I think Roth is smart enough to know what he was doing. He should get a lengthy sentence... but the damage has already been done. The data is in the hands of the enemy.

www.efluxmedia.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on May, 21 2008 @ 01:30 PM
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reply to post by Scramjet76
 


Commie sympathizer? More likely he hired the guy because he's intelligent and reliable. Most of the 1.6 Billion people in China have no government ties BTW. He probably just didn't see the harm, and neither did the assistant.

I hope they go easy on him.



posted on May, 21 2008 @ 01:55 PM
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reply to post by Rasobasi420
 


You think this guy failed to see what could possibly happen. How could someone so smart be so stupid at the same time. I mean, he never read or heard anything about the Los Alamos scandals?






posted on May, 21 2008 @ 02:32 PM
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reply to post by Rasobasi420
 




Commie sympathizer? More likely he hired the guy because he's intelligent and reliable. Most of the 1.6 Billion people in China have no government ties BTW. He probably just didn't see the harm, and neither did the assistant.


How do we know that? Universities are well known for supporting liberal points of view... which in itself isn't "wrong," but hey those are the facts. He could very well be a commie sympathizer who was approached by Chinese authorities!

Let's be honest... I'm sure he hired the research asssistant based on his expertise. But he's also accused of

sending a document containing secret military technology information to a person in China, as well as taking with him several documents subject to export control during a lecture trip to the same country in 2006.


Why would such an intelligent man error on not just one, but three fronts?



posted on May, 21 2008 @ 03:50 PM
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Here is an additional source-


Roth had close ties to China, serving as an honorary professor at two Chinese universities and regularly lecturing there.



The information alleges Roth lied about the employ of Dai, claiming only U.S. citizens were involved in the project.



At a brief hearing Tuesday, Sherman indicated he was ignorant of the Arms Export Control Act's requirement that foreign nationals be permitted by the State Department before being allowed to work on any defense contracts involving sensitive weapons information.

However, his plea agreement states Roth told him about the act's requirement
source

Roth was 68 and Sherman was 37. Sounds like an older man using his experience and academic credentials, talking another into something he knew was highly illegal!



posted on May, 21 2008 @ 04:07 PM
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hmm still not enough info to make a judgement however, there is no mention of this man getting paid to do this. i think he didnt see the harm because usually when someone defects they leave the country. if he was so smart then he would have known he would have to leave the country to avoid prosecution.



posted on May, 21 2008 @ 04:14 PM
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Chances are he just wasn't being discriminating in his selection of assistants. The most likely case is that the assistant was the best man for the job and the professor was extremely trusting of the individual. And it has yet to be shown that the trust was misplaced. Aside from the assistant being Chinese, there's nothing to say that he wasn't worthy of that trust.



posted on May, 21 2008 @ 06:58 PM
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Originally posted by Rasobasi420
Aside from the assistant being Chinese, there's nothing to say that he wasn't worthy of that trust.



Sorry, but after the Los Alamos and other recent chinese spying scandals and chinese attempts to influence the last couple presidential elections, I think simply "being chinese" is enough to at least raise a yellow (sorry) flag from the very beginning in an area where sensitive national security items are involved.

Is anything and everything that could possibly be detrimental to the U.S> automatically OK with you? What is your honest answer?



posted on May, 21 2008 @ 08:24 PM
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So if I understand most of the commenters here, he "most likely" wasn't meaning to do anything wrong. Well--seems to me he understood what the POSSIBLE implications were, and if he felt everything was on the up and up, he should have just asked first.

The ol' saw "better to ask for forgiveness than permission" only works when forgiveness doesn't include 35 yrs in prison, and 1.5 million in fines (and the potential compromise of national security.)



posted on May, 21 2008 @ 08:31 PM
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well chances are that he worked with this guy for a while and was having that "i can trust this guy" syndrome and what verification do we have that this even made it to the chinese government



posted on May, 21 2008 @ 11:38 PM
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reply to post by centurion1211
 




Sorry, but after the Los Alamos and other recent chinese spying scandals and chinese attempts to influence the last couple presidential elections, I think simply "being chinese" is enough to at least raise a yellow (sorry) flag from the very beginning in an area where sensitive national security items are involved.


I have to agree. Considering past incidents (like los ALamos), the evidence against this guy, and the sophisticated nature of his research company...


reply to post by justanothergangster
 




what verification do we have that this even made it to the chinese government


No concrete evidence it did. His lawyer claims he's completely innocent.


But his resume is available online...

Dr. J. Reece Roth obtained an S. B. in Physics from MIT in 1959, and a Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1963 with a major in Engineering Physics. He joined the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio in 1963, where he was Principal Investigator of the Lewis Electric Field Bumpy Torus Project until 1978. He is presently Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; an Honorary Professor at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, P.R.C; and an Interim Honorary Professor of the Shenzhen Campus of Tsinghua University, China.

...is an Honorary Professor, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, 1992;

...and Interim HonoraryProfessor of the Shenzhen Campus of Tsinghua University, China, 2006-2008.
Roth's Resume

Seems he has quite the history with the Chinese....

It's not as if he went there once for a couple weeks to give a few lectures...

Still.. innocent till proven guilty.



posted on May, 21 2008 @ 11:47 PM
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Last I checked, the US wasn't at war with China...

Last I checked, the pursuit of science wasn't restricted by borders.

Or are we planning on attacking China in the near future?

The guy was his research assistant. I have people who work with me on random concepts at times all over the globe. Granted, none of them are politically related contracts... they are our own individual pursuits.

If it was in his contract not to perform research beyond the border, then yes, you can fire him based on that. But the pursuit of scientific concepts must never be bound by a political border, and working along side an ally cannot be punished. (Otherwise, it's time to update the public to whom your allies actually are.)

If it wasn't stated in his contract to only perform the research in the US, then he's done nothing wrong. We write rules for a reason... so we know what they are. If it's not written, it's not binding.



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 09:40 AM
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Originally posted by centurion1211
Is anything and everything that could possibly be detrimental to the U.S> automatically OK with you? What is your honest answer?


Where are you coming from with this one? I'm just saying that motives are extremely important when someone is facing massive fines and jail time. And just because an absent minded professor didn't see his assistant as an enemy of the state (which he hasn't been shown to be) doesn't mean he deserves 35 years in prison.

And BTW, I know plenty of Chinese people who probably (with 99.9% certainty) won't go telling their government every little thing that passes their desk. It's not worth their time.



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by johnsky
 





Granted, none of them are politically related contracts


Exactly. It's not like he's making flower pots. He helped found a company doing work on plasma actuators for the USAF and therefore is bound by the Arms Export Control Act.




The guy was his research assistant.


Yes but hiring the assistant was only one strike. There's also the wire fraud and taking sensitive documents by hand to China charges.




But the pursuit of scientific concepts must never be bound by a political border


I totally agree with that! Unfortunately we don't in a perfect world.

While we cooperate with China on some projects, they aren't exactly forthcoming with all their military/scientific data either.



posted on May, 22 2008 @ 10:53 AM
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reply to post by Rasobasi420
 





just because an absent minded professor didn't see his assistant as an enemy of the state


Don't forget there's more to this than the hiring of a chinese research assistant.


Prosecutors also say Roth traveled to China in May 2006 with multiple documents related to the contract to build the drones, and he is accused of electronic transmission of a military document containing restricted data to a person in China.
source




I know plenty of Chinese people who probably (with 99.9% certainty) won't go telling their government every little thing that passes their desk. It's not worth their time.


Ok I will agree with you. And Roth is innocent till proven guilty... he's only been charged at this point.

But I would add just because you know someone doesn't mean you know them. You'd be surprised what people would do when the price is right.



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