A Joint Project With a Mysterious Chinese Company
“He really wanted an adventure. My husband, his dad said, “Don’t do it! I think it of course is not a good place.” He was very naive, as we were, and wanted an adventure. He took the job. He then started telling me, “Mom, I’m not sure, but I feel like my life is being threatened.” I didn’t believe him.”
In June, 2012 a young American, an electrical engineer, was found dead in his Singapore apartment. Singapore port police said he committed suicide. His family said he was murdered.
Dr Shane Todd had been working at a government research institute. He worked on a joint project with a mysterious Chinese company. The technology he worked on has both civilian and military applications. In the months before his death, Shane told his family he was being pressured to compromise US national security. He said he was concerned for his life. In today’s podcast, we’ll go over all the suspicious circumstances surrounding Shane’s death and why the USA government under the Obama Administration didn’t help at the time. We’ll also look into why increased scrutiny over Huawei is giving the Todd family renewed hope for justice.
“Shane, we would call him a ‘renaissance man’. We knew he was very, very smart. He was so smart as a little kid, but he’s also loved sports, very well rounded. He was a big strapping, handsome, brilliant, fun that loved us. Just a great human being,” Shane’s mother, Mary Todd.
The Brilliant Scientist With Access To a Technology China’s Regime Has a Craving For
Todd had earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Florida in 2003 and 2005, respectively. He then pursued doctoral studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he researched silicon-based transmission lines. Upon completion of his PhD in 2010, he took a job offer to work for IME.
“Shane thought he was working on a switch for cell phone and he got trained in GaN [ gallium nitride] technology in Singapore, they had sent him to the United States to get trained in GaN. He’s, he was quite a brilliant scientist and when he came to the United States, he was given the recipes and all that you could not transfer to China. When he got back from Singapore, he realized this is not for what he thought was a little switch. This is for Chinese military use. He’s the only one that could do it. It’s not like he could just give them the technology. They needed him to actually perform the technology. And that’s why he was so different, and special, and set apart. I believe he was set up from the very beginning at IME,” explains Shane’s mom.
Shane worked with gallium nitride. It was new and difficult technology supplied in part by a US company. Gallium nitride is used in LED technology for lights, TV’s, and smartphone screens. But gallium nitride also has a military application, enhanced radar.
“Something’s Not Right. They Are Having Me Meet With This Chinese company”
“He said, “Mom, something’s not right. They are having me meet with this Chinese company. I don’t feel comfortable. I feel that I’m being asked to compromise security.” And our son was just a very honorable man. As the months went on, he kept saying it’s getting worse. And he ended up quitting. He said, “Mom, I’m not going to do this. This is illegal. I’m not going to do what they’re asking me to do.” And so he quit his job. It was after he quit his job that he, he was still working, he gave them a 60-day notice, that he started telling me, “Mom, I’m not sure, but I feel like my life is being threatened.” And he goes, “It’s kind of like covered a little bit and they don’t come right out. And I feel like I’m really afraid for my life,” and they kept wanting him to stay because he was the only one that had the access to the technology because he was an American and it was American technology.
He said they kept giving him more money, offering to stay, and he said, “I feel my life has been threatened.” This is going to sound weird, but I didn’t believe him. I was like, “Shane, you’ve quit your job. You’re coming home. They’re not gonna kill you. I was just so naive! I just didn’t believe it.”
Shane Todd Had a Ticket to Come Home
It was Sunday morning, June 24th it depends on where you are but 23rd here, it was 24th in Singapore. I got a message from my son’s girlfriend in Singapore saying, “Please call me!” And I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know how wrong. And I, I sent her my phone number and she called me and she was screaming and said that Shane had hung himself. And this was completely out of the blue for us. My husband and I talk with them every single week via Skype. We’re very familiar with our children, we homeschooled our kids, very close family.
Shane had been telling us, previous to this, that he quit his job, he was being asked to compromise U.S. security, and that he was meeting with a Chinese company that made him feel very uncomfortable. The technology he was involved in is called GaN technology, gallium nitrate, and he said it was illegal to transfer that to China. So he quit his job and he had a ticket to come home, he had a job waiting for him at home and it was on his last day of work that he was discovered murdered. We were told he committed suicide, but a pathologists in the United States said that the defensive wound, and the marks on his neck showed that he was garroted, which is choked, and then hung on a door and we were told he committed suicide.”
A Suicide Note Written By a Person of…Asian Descent?
Within 48 hours we flew to Singapore and we… nothing lined up. The police officers gave us suicide notes that they got of his computer that two linguistic experts said that were not written by our son, and they were not written by an American, they came from an Asian descent. And I knew the minute I read it, but it wasn’t my son. And then we were given a description of how he hung bolts, and ropes, and all this intricate stuff to kill himself and none of that was true in his apartment. We didn’t know anything about Huawei other than what our son told us about a Chinese company. So after being in Singapore for a week, we had his body sent home and when the doctors looked at his body at home, they pointed out the defensive wounds all over his body, his hands were completely bruised.
Then the mortuary took pictures of a big lump on his head, scratch marks where he tried to get under the garreting wires that they choked him with all over his neck. We didn’t know why he was murdered. We didn’t know anything. But one thing we got in Singapore was what I thought was a Mac speaker and it ended up being his external hard drive from his computer. And we were told if we got his computer, which, the police took his computer, and his cell phone, his diary, everything personal and so we didn’t have it, but this little Mac speaker was a backup hard drive. We sent it to California to have it analyzed by a forensic, computer forensics specialist. And within a short amount of time, I think probably three weeks to a month, he had recovered all the data back showing the relationship between Miami and Singapore, and Huawei and this GaN technology and that it had been accessed three days after Shane’s death.
Then we found out that as his dead body was lying on the ground, the police officers were playing video games and, looking at rotten tomatoes on his computer. We saw all the activity on his computer. We also know it was Friday night that all his communication stopped and his body was found on Sunday. They tried to tell us, you know, that he killed himself that Sunday, but we had all that proof.”
Five Huawei Lawyers Are Here to “Help” The Judge
We went to Singapore for further inquiry into our, our son’s death. There were 10 top Singapore lawyers: Five from Huawei and five the top lawyers in Singapore, one of the lawyers was the boss of the judge. We walked out of the inquiry after, I think it was two and a half weeks, when we knew that our testimony was going to be held until after our airplane ticket was to come home. The whole thing was a complete 100% sham. A man who was an honorary ambassador to Singapore wrote about what a sham it was.
I wrote Hard Drive: A Family’s Fight Against Three Countries just to tell the truth, and I have implicated names, the people that did the lying under oath. There was a secret recording that Shane’s boss did with the employees that one of Shane’s friends is at, basically telling them to lie under oath. All of this came out and I name names in the book and I have not been sued, which is amazing because I can back it all up with truth.”
“You are Doing the Right Thing But You’re Not Going to Get Anything Where Huawei Owns a Law Firm on Every Corner in Washington, D.C.”
“We started meeting with the FBI and we met with the ambassador, we beg anybody to help us and we got nowhere. A journalist named Raymond Bonner, a friend of ours introduced us to him, and he started following us everywhere. He went and interviewed with us and sold the story to the Financial Times. When that broke loose, everything… we thought, oh thank God our government is going to take over now, they’ve seen the proof and we don’t have to, you know, fight to find out what happened to our son. But we flew to Washington three times. We met with up to the highest level and there was a congressman that told us, “You are doing the right thing, but you’re not going to get anything where Huawei owns a law firm on every corner in Washington, D.C. They have bought your governments.” We just didn’t believe him, we were so naive.”
Hillary Clinton Was the Secretary of State. Barack Obama Was the President: “Government Was Complicit In the Cover-up”
“We were like, well, they’re not going to kill my son, hang him on a door and say he committed suicide. So we just kept fighting. We took it to our government all the way up to Joe Biden, at the time he was vice president, and nothing ever happened. In fact, our government was complicit in the cover-up. When the inquiry happened and we saw that it was a sham, and we walked out, our government said that it was “fair and transparent”. As soon as they did that, we knew that this was a cover-up from the highest level.
We met with the FBI several times in Singapore and in the United States. They were complicit in the cover of, because of our government, Hillary Clinton was the secretary of state, Barack Obama was the President, and according to Congressman Wilson (Virginia), he said that we weren’t going to get anywhere, because Huawei infiltrated Washington DC, and so that’s when I thought, I’m going to write a book. I never would give up. I’m never going to give up.
I wrote Hard Drive: A Family’s Fight Against Three Countries and I just documented every single thing, all the proof, everything. I flew to New York to be on TV on a lot of TV shows after the book came out. And our government still did absolutely nothing after it came out, you know, the Financial Times, and I just kept going on and telling people the truth. They did a lot of threatening things to us: They have cyber harassed me, they have infiltrated my computers, our house’s been broken into, I’ve come home with doors wide open, and the FBI has been there to try to babysit us. It’s slowed down now. That was when I used to be on radio, TV a lot. And I think they were trying to threaten me and it just…, I’m not afraid.
I was in so much pain over my son. I thought if they kill me, good. And I don’t mean that at all now, but at the time I just was so mad at that they’d have the nerve to strangle my son, and hang him on a door, and tell me he committed suicide, and the fact that they were getting away with it… I just thought there’s nothing that’s gonna stop me from telling the truth. Nothing they could do to me, you know, and I kind of, felt like they’re not going to murder me cause our stories too well known. So if they did, it would make them look pretty bad.”
We also spoke with retired US Army Major General Paul E. Vallely. He served over 32 years in the army, including in the Far East. After retiring, he was a senior military analyst for Fox News and chairman of the Center for Security Policy. General Vallely is helping the Todd family seek justice for Shane, “Todd family, have been friends of ours for many, many years now. And we actually met them at a function in Montana. And that’s how I got introduced to Mary and Rick Todd, the mother and father. And then what happened to Shane at that time. And then it started to hit the grass because when I first met Mary, they were going through this process of going to Singapore to find out the facts behind the case and to find out the facts behind the case, and if Shane really committed suicide by hanging himself in the bathroom in his apartment in Singapore. And so we have stuck by and being good friends for several years now, and I’ve tried to help them. Explain to others how the Todd family saw and how they came to conclusions that Todd did not commit suicide. There’s always been that question of the involvement of Huawei and the Chinese government, and the technology contract that Todd was working on in Singapore.”
“President Obama Never Wanted to Challenge Anything And Especially the Chinese”
We asked Major General Vallely when did the US government help Shane’s family during the Obama administration?
“Well, I think under President Obama, he never wanted to challenge anything, and especially the Chinese. The Obama administration never came to the forefront in supporting the Todd family in this. I think there again was politics in Washington, D.C. that they did not want to get involved with this, because it would create friction between America and China at that time, and the Huawei at that time was very lightly referenced. Nobody really knew that much about Huawei back then.
We had Obama releasing four radical Islamic terrorists from Guantanamo, and moving them back to fight the war again rather than supporting Todd family. Even had a gentleman who was lost, never recovered there in Iran. He was gone over there for 10 or 12 years and we did nothing to try to find him. So there’s lots of examples of our government not supporting families because they placed politics, international politics, over supporting the families.”
Recent Developments Give Todd’s Family Real Hope
Huawei is one of China’s largest companies. It’s founder Ren Zhengfei was an engineer for the People’s Liberation Army. The U.S. intelligence community has been raising concerns about Huawei’s link to the Chinese Communist Party for nearly a decade.
Last December, Canada arrested Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou. More recently the U.S. filed criminal charges against the company. Huawei also faces being shut out of the 5G infrastructure projects around the world. The U.S. government’s recent crackdown on Huawei has given the Todd family and their supporters renewed hope, “Now with all this re-emergence of Huawei and all the trouble, we feel like this is the perfect time. And our new government, with our new President, that we need to have our story known and told and something needs to be done because Shane might not be the last one to be murdered by the Chinese if we don’t stop them. Everything we had, we’d send to the FBI. We send to our government and even today, Congressman Daines, we can’t even get the four year report from our government. The CBS News can’t get the four year report. It’s all shrouded in secrecy and quiet. And now that Huawei is really coming out in the news, we feel this is the time to really pounce and get our new government to do something,” believes Mary Todd.
“Now, with all of the publicity of Huawei and now we know they’ve committed fraud and they’ve committed the stealing of technology, not only in the United States but in other parts of the world, but now, since we have a very strong President, he’s meeting with the Chinese, and we have another opportunity to have president Trump, even the FBI getting behind a new investigation of how Huawei may have been involved with the death of Shane Todd. And so this is a perfect time to highlight the case again after so many years, to see if there can be some resolution, some closure to the Todd family. We have a very strong president now, that I think he’ll take the initiative once he learns about the Todd situation and hopefully we’ll get some action now, and look into Huawei operations across the globe,” shares Major General Vallely.
“Just recently I sent congressmen Greg Gianforte and Senator Ted Gaines, like one page synopsis, which they’ve, I’ve met with them, several times, they know us personally, they’ve been in our home, of Shane and his involvement with Huawei and the Financial Times article and they sent it to the NASA. The NASA does have it now. That happened two weeks ago. So that’s as much as we’ve gotten done. Now I have not heard back from the NASA,” explains Mary Todd.
We asked what Todd’s mother is hoping to achieve?
“What I’d like to achieve is to get a congressional investigation into the death of my son, so that that our government will know the lengths that Huawei will go to steal our technology, not just ours, but any country. Most Americans don’t even know who Huawei is now. I mean they use their cell phones, but they really don’t even know how to say it. They don’t know anything. I know a lot about Huawei now, but at the time, until we saw it on Shane hard drive. That’s why this is an important story. My son, he’s in heaven. I know he’s fine. I want to do this for our country and the world to help protect other people. I don’t think we’re, I mean I hate to say it, but I don’t think we’re very well educated country and I think people just, you know, they just want to live their lives and don’t realize… I didn’t know anything about it.”
Shane Todd Tragedy Is Not An Isolated Case
Mary Todd, “But I’ll tell you, I’ve had several families call me, that the same thing has happened to their children including someone who was killed in the Singapore and they told the parents that she committed a suicide. That was a horrible thing. There are so many people, another brilliant scientist whose mother called me when he was murdered in China. He was there on a business trip working on a water project and he called her that morning and he was dead that night.
Another guy who started fighting against the Chinese, he was an American teaching English in China, and he started fighting because they were made work so hard. They were making these people work 14-15 hours a day and not giving them breaks. So he started fighting and ended up calling his mother and his father, he was begging for help and saying that he needed to get out, he needed to get out. He was hit by, supposedly, hit by a truck that day. When they got his body home, it was completely bludgeoned.
Now, I will not stop until this government is exposed. And people are afraid. You know, a lot of these people won’t stand up because they’re so afraid that something will happen to them. That’s the problem. It’s that people are afraid that nobody’s going to do anything. We grieve our son all the time, but we live a wonderful life. I’m not pushing anymore other than, you know, sending things to the NASA. And I really believed that the truth is going to come out and that our story will be an important one to tell and I hope that it will help other people.”
Wednesday, March 20th Headlines
This week the Trump administration released its priorities for higher education reform out of about a dozen points. One proposal is to allow the students to set their student loan repayments at a percentage of their income. This would enable undergraduates to have their loans forgiven sooner. The proposals were released by the National Council for the American worker, which is headed by Ivanka Trump. The new plan would take 12.5% of the discretionary income and would forgive anything left after 15 years for undergraduate students. Other parts of the proposal, we’ll make higher education more aligned with career opportunities. The Trump administration for the first time in a long while is focusing on the benefits of the blue collar jobs that don’t require degree bearing secondary schooling. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on March 18th, “Unfortunately many colleges and universities have not been providing Americans the education they need to succeed in a cost effective manner.”
In a recent poll conducted by USA Today at Suffolk University revealed that half of the pollsters agreed that the Mueller investigation is a witch hunt. Only 47% disagreed and 3% did not have an opinion. 50% of Americans agree that Robert Mueller’s investigation is a witch hunt and very few thinking it’s legit.
On December 18th last year, there was a meteorite explosion that is now being reported. It happened over the Bering sea and now scientists have revealed that the explosion unleashed 10 times as much energy as the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, the fireball, that tour across the sky, releases energy equivalent to 173 kilotons of TNT. Since the event has now been publicly reported, media and researchers are asking airlines for any sightings of the fireball, which came very close to routes used by commercial carriers flying between Asia and North America. NASA received information about the blast after military satellites, detected visible and infrared light from the fireball. The space agencies analysis shows that it was probably few meters wide, entered the earth’s atmosphere at 72,000 miles per hour and exploded at an altitude of 16 miles.
The Bering Sea event is another reminder that even though efforts to identify and track space rocks that could pose a threat to earth, are tracked they can still arrive without warning. NASA is working to identify these events, but say the task could take another 30 years to complete.
“We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity; more than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost,” Charlie Chaplin.