Head of Navy intelligence has been banned from seeing military secrets for years

Rear Adm. Ted Branch, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, eats lunch with sailors in the first class mess aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) in 2012. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Carlos M. Vazquez II/Released)

A three-star admiral — who is director of naval intelligence and chief information officer for the Navy– is banned  from seeing military secrets.

Vice Admiral Ted Branch had his access to classified information revoked in November 2013, after he was linked to a $20 million corruption scandal, according to the Washington Post.

Seems kind of strange that the Navy’s intelligence chief is unable to read top secret documents and cannot be briefed on secret missions, however, the Navy is “frozen” from making any other move until the investigation by NCIS and DOJ is complete.

Branch, a former fighter pilot, has not been charged with anything yet, but has not been cleared yet either — which puts the Navy in this odd predicament.

A Navy spokeswoman said that Branch’s suspension “has not impacted the Navy’s ability to manage operations” and that his deputies cover any work that requires access to classified information.  Unfortunately, that will not include his deputy, Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless, who has also been linked to the scandal and has also had his access to classified information suspended.

In 2013, the head of a Singapore-based Navy supplier was arrested on bribery charges and could face 20 years in prison. Leonard Glenn Francis, the CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) pleaded guilty to bribing senior Navy officials with hookers, lavish dinners, expensive hotel stays and cash.

Investigators say some military officials accepted the bribes and in turn sent US ships to Glenn’s ports, “so the Navy could be overcharged for supplies to the tune of $20 million.”

Investigators have not said exactly how Admiral Branch is linked to the case.

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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