The Atlantic

The Specter of a Chinese Mole in America

The case of a suspected turncoat couldn’t come at a worse time for the intelligence community.
Source: Damir Sagolj / Reuters

The arrest of former CIA case officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee sheds light on a shadowy counterintelligence drama that has been playing out for nearly eight years. Starting around 2010, the Central Intelligence Agency saw some of its most valuable spies inside China go down. And I don’t mean “going down” in a perp-walk-to-the-courthouse sort of way. This is China: They were executed. One was , 18 to 20 CIA sources , making it one of the most damaging counterintelligence losses in agency history.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic13 min readPolitics
The 2020 Congressional-Retirement Tracker
For the second consecutive election, more Republicans than Democrats are forgoing reelection, a potentially ominous sign for the GOP in 2020.
The Atlantic7 min readPolitics
The Date Hong Kong Protesters Can’t Escape
The year 2047 is a deadline that has come to symbolize the end of the territory’s way of life.
The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
The Ukraine Transcripts Are a Road Map for Impeachment
The experience of following the impeachment inquiry over the past week has been a bit like that old Buster Keaton skit of a man being taken down by an ever-expanding newspaper. The 1921 clip from the silent movie The High Sign shows Keaton settling d