Nuclear engineer and wife charged with trying to sell nuclear warship data to foreign government

Apparently, contrary to popular belief (at least mine), submarines spent the bulk of their time above water, where they travelled much faster, only submerging for strategic/attack purposes. Having “limitless” nuclear power enabled subs to leave port submerged and never surface during a mission not to mention having long range endurance and the ability to extract oxygen from sea water. I suppose parking them under the icecap also gave them protection from nuclear bombing.

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I was thinking, in terms of North Korea’s “need” for nuclear subs that it would be determined by the ego of their leader :slight_smile: That “Red October” clip makes me want to watch international Hockey … I was once told by a Russian friend that only Canadians sing the Russian national anthem, Russians never do. Montreal Canadiens singer from the last century, Roger Doucet as example:Roger Doucet - USSR Anthem (September 3, 1976) - YouTube

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Designed to be far faster submerged then on the surface. ( * Surfaced: 25 knots Submerged: 33 knots)

The Nautilus, the first nuclear sub, was limited to 23 knots underwater, and 22 knots on the surface.

I suppose, that the snorkel (a necessity on diesel submarines) added substantial drag when in use. Nuclear submarines don’t need snorkels,.

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And even in the small niche of (USA) Restricted Data - think of it as one-half a step upgraded from the same level of old-fashioned national security info, naval nuc info is super super tight.

In that world I’m more on the “rock” side of things than the “catapult” but you’re better off looking for warhead blueprints than those of a sub propulsion system.

They’re not the “silent service” for ‘nuthin and I’m not surprised that they sicced the dogs on them.

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My money is on Israel; no, they don’t build subs, but they would sell the info to a country that does… probably China. The Israeli government hasn’t been our friend for decades. The USS Liberty incident proved it.

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Back in high school just before final exams, I asked my math teacher if he was above bribery.

“Not many people are. Definitely not me.”

He went on:

“But I teach math; let’s talk numbers: If I was caught, I’d have to stop being a teacher forever, and find a new job. The cost of training, plus the lost income while training, plus the lost income from starting a new career lower on the pay scale would be somewhere around a half million dollars. That would cover my costs, just to break even. Any realistic offer has to be substantially higher than ‘breaking even’. Would you like to make an offer?”

SD card dude needed to talk to my math teacher.

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Sorry to be a pedant, but, as a mathematician, shouldn’t he be multiplying his costs if caught by the percentage probability of being caught when working out the optimal bribe price?

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If he wanted to haggle by starting with a lower price, then yes he should’ve. I suspect his business sense over-rode his mathematical purist instincts here. :slight_smile:

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Or perhaps he was trying to pull one over on his students before getting to the lesson on Game Theory. That’s what I would have done. :wink:

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Well, if he considers the kid is a blabbermouth the probability of being caught might have been nearly 100%…

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But you still have to factor in “X => Y,” where “X = Snitches” and “Y = Stitches.”

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Yeah, the prospect of a chatty teenager not mentioning this? You can round that probability down to zero.

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Reminds me of the 1985 Sean Penn movie (based on true events) The Falcon and the Snowman. Basically the main characters try to sell secrets to the Soviets and eventually succeed for a while but are so clumsy at it that the Soviets think at first that they were an obvious trap set up by the CIA/FBI. Turns out most real life spies aren’t geniuses.

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The writer next proposed that the country provide reassurance by sending a signal from its complex in Washington over Memorial Day weekend.

Writing from an encrypted Proton mail account, “Alice” said the signal had been received, and agreed to drop the material at the location chosen by the undercover operative — a mistake in tradecraft, some experts said.

“It was somewhat surprising that someone who has studied submarine warfare follows the F.B.I.’s direction to surface for these supposedly clandestine drop offs,” said Michael Atkinson, a former inspector general for the intelligence community.

Evidence in the court documents suggests the foreign country the Toebbes allegedly tried to sell the information to was an ally, or at least something of a partner, since it cooperated with the F.B.I. as the sting operation unfolded. While some experts speculated France could have been the target, French officials said they were not involved in the incident.

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That was my first thought as well. It clearly was an allied or at least friendly country that decided it was in its best interest to tip off the US and subsequently play a part in the deception by offering their embassy. France would have been the logical choice to go to with nuclear sub secrets considering how they were treated recently and it makes sense that they would have still cooperated with the FBI rather than take the risk. It might have been them, public denial doesn’t mean a lot in the intelligence game.

Who else could it have been? China or Russia probably wouldn’t have tipped off the FBI (although they could have their reasons to do so anyway, for example if they already have that information and want to ingratiate themselves).

Who else would be interested in nuclear subs? Oz gets nuclear subs on a silver plate, they don’t need these secrets. The UK would probably not be seen as trustworthy by a potential defector (i.e. they’re too close to the US to even contemplate going through with this). India is really the only other possibility. They have nuclear subs, they are led by a nationalist proto-fascist who would be likely to go through with a deal like this and yet they are allies to the US and would be equally likely to react like the country in the news did.

The only problem I see is that the news spoke of an “embassy complex” while the Indian Embassy in DC seems to be a large townhouse.

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