Vice Adm. Ted Branch Is A Top Spy, Who Is Not Allowed To See Military Secrets
Vice Adm. Ted Branch and Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless, one of Branch’s deputies, are in a strange situation where they are in charge of Navy’s intelligence operations, yet are not allowed to access classified information. Branch, who is under a corruption investigation, has not read, seen, or heard any top secret information for the past two years.
Vice Adm. Ted Branch allegedly took part in a $20 million corruption scandal – but the investigation is currently active, so he has not been arrested/charged, but he has not been cleared either. The ongoing investigation has put Mr. Branch in a very bizarre situation where he is still the head of the Navy’s intelligence operations, but has been banned from seeing military secrets for the past two years.
Branch, who is also the Navy’s chief information officer, is not alone in this strange predicament, one his top deputies, Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless, has also been barred from accessing secret information. Both Branch and Loveless had their access to classified information suspended in November 2013. According to sources, senior Navy officers have to make sure that rooms are clear of any sensitive documents or files before Branch and Loveless enter.
The Vice Admiral is not permitted to be briefed on secret missions and some national security issues. A senior official, who wished to remain anonymous, explained:
“We have no actionable information on Admiral Branch, good, bad or otherwise. All we know is that he’s wrapped up in this somehow,’ the source said. ‘Is it optimum? No, it’s not optimum. But it’s where we are.”
Branch, a three-star admiral, became the director of naval intelligence in July 2013, and four months later, the Navy suspended his security clearance after it was discovered that he may have been one of the many Navy officials, who was bribed by Leonard Glenn Francis. Francis, the chief executive of Singapore-based Navy supplier Glenn Defense Marine Asia, was being investigated by the Justice Department for taking part in a $20 million corruption scandal.
Mr. Francis bribed senior Navy officers with prostitutes, fancy dinners such as Spanish suckling pigs, Cuban cigars, luxury hotel stays, and lump sums of money in exchange of classified information or for “directing U.S. ships to Francis’ ports so the Navy could be overcharged for supplies.”
Francis has since pleaded guilty to the scam and is facing up to 20 years behind bars. Numerous Navy officials have been arrested. Another source added that while they can not share information on how Branch and Loveless are linked to the case, they can reveal that Branch and Francis have been friends for over 16 years. Navy spokeswoman Rear Admiral Dawn Cutler said:
“Branch and Loveless’ suspension has not impacted the Navy’s ability to manage operations and that their deputies cover any work that requires access to classified information. Furthermore in September 2015, the Navy formally nominated Rear Admiral Elizabeth Train to succeed Branch as Director of Naval Intelligence.”
Before becoming the Vice Admiral of the United States Navy, Branch was a career naval aviator specializing in A-7 Corsairs and F/A-18 Hornets. He took part in combat missions over Grenada, Lebanon, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, and has been highly decorated for his service and sacrifice to this great country. He is the recipient of the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and Information Dominance Warfare Officer Badge.
What are your thoughts on Vice Adm. Ted Branch’s situation?