from china with love
homeparlor maidchina spyingcounterintelligence
Edward Appel
Appel was an FBI special agent from 1973 to 1997, where he specialized in counterintelligence. He also served as FBI liason to the National Security Council from 1996 to 1997. In this interview, Appel explains how an FBI counterintelligence agent develops an asset and talks in detail about China's methods of espionage. He describes Bill Cleveland, who worked for him, as "one of the nation's most expert counterintelligence officers with regard to China." Appel also discusses the reasons why prosecuting espionage may not always be the most attractive option for the U.S. government, but argues that the FBI prosecutes "an awful lot of messy cases," and that procedures are in place to protect classified information.
Jack Keller
Keller was an FBI special agent from 1969 to 1997. During the time he was based in Los Angeles, Keller got to know J.J. Smith personally, and in this interview, he describes Smith as a "maverick" who had little regard for the buttoned-up culture of the FBI. Keller speculates that Smith's relationship with Katrina Leung was "all about sex quite frankly. Free sex at the cost of the government." He also explains how the Parlor Maid case may have tainted the FBI's Chinese counterintelligence program over the years. Keller specialized in white collar crime while with the FBI, and he now runs his own private investigation company.
James Lilley
Lilley was the U.S. ambassador to China from 1989 to 1991. He also served the CIA in China from 1975 to 1978. More recently, from 1991 to 1993, he was assistant secretary of defense for international affairs. In this interview, Lilley is critical of the FBI's counterintelligence program and its failure to successfully prosecute espionage cases. He also questions whether the Katrina Leung case has any serious national security repercussions. "The idea that she was giving information that was critical to the Chinese government ... and that she was influencing U.S. government policy by what she reported, I don't think that's true," he tells FRONTLINE.
T. Van Magers
Magers was a special agent in the FBI from 1969 to 2002, during which time he specialized in Chinese counterintelligence and got to know both J.J. Smith and Bill Cleveland. In this interview, he describes the evolution of Chinese espionage over this period and recounts some of the FBI's major investigations into China's espionage program, including his own role in the Larry Wu-Tai Chin case. Magers tells FRONTLINE that among the lessons learned from the Parlor Maid scandal is that counterintelligence agents need to be careful in how they handle assets and authenticate the information they've provided. "You have to evaluate how much you're willing to compromise in order to get the information you need," he warns.
I.C. Smith
Smith was an FBI special agent from 1973 to 1998. In 1979, he was named supervisor of the Chinese intelligence squad and he worked closely on the Larry Wu-Tai Chin case. In 1990, while working diplomatic security in the State Department's Office of Counterintelligence Programs, Smith traveled with FBI agent Bill Cleveland to China, where the two were surprised to be extensively surveilled by Chinese security agents. Smith now believes that Katrina Leung tipped the Chinese off to this trip. In this interview, Smith recounts his trip to China with Cleveland and the allegations surrounding Cleveland, J.J. Smith, and Katrina Leung.
Dan Stober
Stober is a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News and the co-author of A Convenient Spy: Wen Ho Lee and the Politics of Nuclear Espionage. In this interview, he gives a historical overview of Chinese espionage against the United States and recounts in detail the cases of Larry Wu-Tai Chin, Gwo-Bao Min, Peter Lee, and Wen Ho Lee. Stober also discusses the roles Bill Cleveland and Katrina Leung played in these investigations.
Brian Sun
Sun is J.J. Smith's attorney. His argues that the case against J.J. does not warrant criminal charges and should have instead been handled administratively by the FBI, who Sun feels is trying to clean up its image by making an example of Smith and Katrina Leung. Sun served as attorney for Johnny Chung in the campaign finance scandal in the late 1990s and also represents Wen Ho Lee in his civil suit against the U.S government. He draws on his experience from these cases to evaluate how the FBI goes about prosecuting espionage.


home + introduction + the "parlor maid" case + how china spies + inside fbi counterintelligence
interviews + join the discussion + producer's chat
tapes & transcripts + press reaction + credits + privacy policy
FRONTLINE + wgbh + pbsi

posted january 15, 2004

web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation