Hard Drive: A Family's Fight Against Three Countries by Mary Todd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A young American working in Singapore for a local high tech company, one doing business with China, was found hanging from the bathroom door by his girlfriend in June of 2012. Shane Todd was a PhD, specializing in cutting edge semi-conductors, specifically gallium nitride overlay on silicon, which is the future of communications and weapons guidance. Wuawei is a Chinese company associated with the Chinese government and military, and is doing business with IME, who employed Shane Todd. Veeco is an American company that manufactures state of the art machinery for overlaying gallium nitride. This sensitive piece of equipment can only be exported under a strict licensing agreement whereby the buyer promises not to use it for military purposes. IME sent Shane to receive training on the MOCVD machine because he was an American citizen, and Veeco, with a wink and a nod, can and did reveal formulas to him that IME could not obtain. The transaction was so shady that Shane had to copy the ‘recipes’ by hand. It dawned on him that what he was doing likely compromised American security, and he decided to leave IME. When he gave notice his boss urged him to stay with the company longer, to which he reluctantly agreed. During that time he secured a job in the United States, but he told his family that he feared his life was in danger. After the discovery of his body, the police ruled the death a suicide and closed the case. When his parents arrived in Singapore to claim the body, the investigating officer read to them a description of the crime scene that defied belief. Upon investigating, they realized that the official account was total nonsense; however, during their examination of Shane’s apartment, they discovered an external hard drive that subsequently shined a sinister light on a multinational conspiracy. No one who became familiar with this case disbelieved it was anything but murder, that is except the Singapore police, the coroner, the American Embassy, the FBI, the Department of Justice under Eric Holder and the State Department under Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.
Did I mention this is a true story? Mary Todd is the mother of Shane Todd, Christina Villegas is his cousin, together they have compiled a superbly written chronicle of the blatant cover-up of a heinous crime likely committed at the behest of one or more governments, and not only obfuscated by the authorities in Singapore, but with the complicity of the Obama administration. During her quest for justice, Mary Todd was told bluntly by a U.S. Congressman that, yes, there should be a Congressional investigation, but there would never be one, because “Wuawei has a lobbyist on every corner in Washington.” During the ordeal her computer was hacked, then Shane’s hard drive and transcripts of the coroner’s inquiry were stolen from her home. The Financial Times and 48 Hours, among other news outlets, have covered this story. Hard Drive reads like the very best spy thriller. What a pity it isn’t fiction. Every American needs to read this book, and to do so before they vote.
Post Script to this review: I just replied to a discussion on LinkedIn and was appalled to see an ad for Wuawei on the sidebar. Why must we insist on handing our country to belligerent foreigners?
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