WASHINGTON – A linguist for the Navy in Bahrain is charged under the Espionage Act with possessing classified documents — some of which ended up in public archives of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University.
Fluent in Arabic, James Hitselberger's job as a federal contractor was to translate documents for the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Gulf Cooperation Council. The council contains a unit conducting unconventional warfare, counterterrorism and special reconnaissance.
An FBI affidavit unsealed Monday says Hitselberger copied documents last spring that discussed military troop activities in the region and gaps in U.S. intelligence in Bahrain. His superiors later found the material stashed in his backpack, and investigators said they subsequently discovered additional classified material at Stanford in the "James F. Hitselberger Collection."
Hitselberger pleaded not guilty on Oct. 26.