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State Department Official Spied For Cuba

From a forgiving Washington Post:

State Dept. Retiree Accused of Spying

Official, Wife Passed Secrets to Cuba For Decades, Federal Prosecutors Say

By Del Quentin Wilber and Mary Beth Sheridan
Saturday, June 6, 2009

A former State Department official with top-secret security clearance and his wife have been charged with spying for Cuba over the past three decades, passing information by shortwave radio and correspondence exchanged in local grocery stores, federal prosecutors said.

State Department officials said last night they were still assessing the potential damage to the government’s security and intelligence operations and declined to comment further.

Within hours of the couple’s appearance yesterday at U.S. District Court in the District, a novel-worthy tale began to emerge from court documents and law enforcement sources, depicting an elderly couple of famed lineage, living in a Northwest Washington neighborhood and traveling abroad under code names, motivated by ideology to pass information to Cuban agents.

The couple, Walter Kendall Myers, 72, and his wife, Gwendolyn Steingraber Myers, 71, were charged with conspiring to act as illegal agents and to communicate classified information to the Cuban government. They pleaded not guilty and were ordered held in jail pending further court proceedings.

Myers is the scion of one of Washington’s most storied families. His mother, Elsie Alexandra Carol Grosvenor Myers, was the granddaughter of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone

A senior administration official said counterintelligence experts discovered three years ago that there was a Cuban spy at the State Department. The department’s diplomatic security bureau looked at "a fairly large population" and began winnowing it down. By the time of Myers’s retirement, authorities were reasonably confident he was the suspect, the official said.

"We have since built what we consider to be a strong case," the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

In court papers, FBI agents said they recently sent an undercover agent, posing as a Cuban intelligence officer, to meet with the couple. The court papers describe several conversations in which Myers and his wife express their strong emotional ties to the communist country.

"So how is everybody at home?" Myers allegedly told the agent during their first encounter, asking the agent to pass on "our love" to a Cuban intelligence official.

Myers began working for the State Department as a contract instructor at its Foreign Service Institute in 1977, authorities said.

In late 1978, he traveled to Cuba after receiving an invitation from an official at the Cuban mission in New York. His guide in the communist country was an unidentified Cuban intelligence official, the FBI said in court papers.

In a diary obtained by the bureau, Myers wrote that he toured a museum and got a "lump in my throat" after learning about the "systematic and regular murdering of revolutionary leaders" by the United States, the FBI said.

"Cuba is so exciting!" he wrote in the diary.

About six months later, while Myers and his wife were living in South Dakota and he was no longer a State Department employee, the Cuban mission official visited them, and they agreed to become spies, the court papers allege. They were given code names for their correspondence and radio traffic with Cuba: Myers became "202" and his wife became "123."

They returned to Washington, and Myers resumed working at the State Department. He and his wife felt that joining the CIA would be too dangerous, the FBI said.

He later obtained a top-secret clearance and a high-level job at the department’s sensitive bureau of intelligence and research before retiring in 2007. Two months ago, an undercover FBI agent approached Myers outside Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, where he has been a part-time faculty member for 20 years. He told Myers he had been sent by an unnamed Cuban intelligence officer to get some information.

It was Myers’s birthday, and the agent gave him a cigar, the court papers say. Later, Myers and his wife met the agent at a downtown hotel.

During the lengthy meeting and two others that month, Myers and his wife told the agent that they had been working for Cuba for years and that they had communicated using a shortwave radio given to them by the Cuban government, the court papers allege. The couple also changed shopping carts in a grocery store as a way to pass information. More recently, they sent encrypted e-mails to their handlers from cybercafes, according to the documents.

They had met regularly over the years with Cuban officials in third countries and made a secret trip, using fake names, to the Caribbean nation in 1995. They even spent an evening that year with Cuba’s then-president, Fidel Castro, they told the agent. They received "lots of medals" from the Cuban government, apparently for passing along secret information, the court papers allege.

"Fidel is wonderful, just wonderful," Myers told the agent, according to the affidavit.

Myers said he removed information from the State Department by memory or by taking notes. "I was always pretty careful," he told the agent, according to the court papers. "I didn’t usually take documents out."

FBI officials said they reviewed Myers’s computer hard drive and found more than 200 sensitive or classified intelligence reports concerning Cuba. They said they also intercepted e-mails between the couple and a Cuban agent, "Peter Herrera," urging them to come to Mexico to pick up some "art pieces."

Some websites are claiming that this same Walter Myers contributed to Mr. Obama’s campaign.

(Click to enlarge)

Which of course, given their politics, would not be surprising.

But the Myers in question live in Washington, DC, rather than Virginia, at least according to most reports and this Reuters photograph and caption:

The apartment building of accused spies Walter and Gwendolyn Myers is seen in a residential area of Washington, June 5, 2009.

3900 Cathedral Ave NW is in the 20016 zip code in Washington, DC. (In fact, it is not far from the Hotel where CPAC was held this year.)

Of course the Myers may have used a post office box. Or maybe they have recently moved.

But we should not be too hasty.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, June 6th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “State Department Official Spied For Cuba”

  1. Weasel says:

    The real news here is that they have ONLY found one spy at the State Department! I thought the whole place was working against the USA and have been for years…

    To paraphrase Obi Wan, “The US State Department: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”

    • proreason says:

      You are correct Weasel. The State Department is a fifth column in its own right.

      Why, you might ask, would the State Department consistently work against the best interests of its own country for decades.

      Well, one reason is power (the answer to many many questions in Washington). If we either a) got along with other countries or b) resolved irreconcilable difference like we did with Sadaam; then the State Deparment wouldn’t have all that much to do, would it?

      And the State Department is filled with people, like the spies in Steve’s find, who were educated at “the best” schools. Which means that they are fully indoctrinated facist-loving America haters.

  2. catie says:

    Well I live here locally Weasel and on the Channel 7, ABC affiliate news last night they were talking to one of their neighbors and that woman was as wacky as these two are. Saying “she could understand their disgust at their government”. What?
    It’s a pretty toney area they were living in. Wonder how the like the huskal (sp?)?

  3. jobeth says:

    Setting aside for a moment, the obvious amount of secret information they had access to, which makes it so dangerous for the American military, American people etc., these people sound like something right out of “Get Smart”!
    with their nice little “Get Smart” agent numbers….

    These people sound like idiots….thank God. Except we are the bigger idiots if they were this sloppy, for this long and we couldn’t seem to notice them.

    Shopping cart switches to exchange info? Hey, dufus…most supermarkets have cameras trained on every inch of a store!

    (There were Russian spies who made info switches, some years ago in coke cans left in the weeds on side of Baltimore/Washington Pkwy. At least made more sense.)

    A blow by blow diary with all the details of their escapades kept in their house? Now that takes the cake!

    Encrypted emails from….cyber cafes? Brilliant. More cameras and witnesses. Encryptions are always being cracked.

    Shortwave radio transmissions? Now that’s what I would use while trying to pass secret spy info…riiiiiiight!

    Fox news just showed a photo of their boat….a very nice one… that they were going to use to go back to Cuba “when it was all over”. Ummm, I wonder how often they would use that thing once there.

    No gas…no replacement parts, no where to place to moor it. Let alone, no house on the coast, and I expect their car would be a 1956 rust bucket…if they can find one. Ahhhhh, the good life.

    If they only met Castro once in all those years, I rather doubt they made all that much of an impression on him so I highly doubt they would get many perks once they went back. Bet the good ol’ USA would be looking a tad better to them then.!

  4. canary says:

    United States President Barack Obama stated on April 17, 2009 in Trinidad & Tobago that “the United States seeks a new beginning with Cuba”[89], and reversed the Bush Administration’s prohibition on travel and remittances by Cuban-Americans from the United States to Cuba.[90]

    Obama sent Rep Barbara Lee and U.S. Congressional Committe to visit and say how wonderful it was there. Obama doesn’t see anything wrong with real torture.

    The Cuban government has been accused of numerous human rights abuses, including torture, arbitrary imprisonment, unfair trials, and extrajudicial executions (a.k.a. “El Paredón”).[91] The Human Rights Watch alleges that the government “represses nearly all forms of political dissent” and that “Cubans are systematically denied basic rights to free expression, association, assembly, privacy, movement, and due process of law”.[92]

  5. verner1 says:

    I have always thought that the anti-war movement was propagated by communist insurgents, and now we know in Kendall Myers case it was absolutely true. Some are reporting his connection to the Downing Street memos, and we all remember that wretched speech that made headlines when he accused Blair of being Bush’s poodle.

    But I think there’s someone else who deserves our attention, now that we know that Cuban Intelligence was highly active in State Department/CIA circles.

    Remember Fulton Armstrong, arch-foe of John Bolton? Positively loved Fidel. And from Alan Foley’s (WINPAC Chief) testimony in the Bolton hearings before the Foreign Affairs committee, we find that Armstrong, even though he was the NIC for Latin America and didn’t have Africa in the ole portfolio, saw fit to insert himself in the intel surrounding Niger Yellow Cake.

    So, if we have one Cuban operative in on the Downing Street memo, is it too much to question whether or not we had another involved in the infamous Niger Yellow cake intel–that, let’s remember, to this day the Brits claim was a valid claim based on hard evidence.

    Inquiring Minds Want To Know.

    By the way, did I mention that Fulton Armstrong now works for Chris Dodd?

    Armstrong’s love affair with all things Cuban is well worth another look in light of recent developments.

    • proreason says:

      Why verner, if I believed the stuff you said, I would almost have to conclude that the agenda of the current administration and democrat party is taken hook-line-and-sinker from the communists.

      Oh wait……

  6. jobeth says:

    “By the way, did I mention that Fulton Armstrong now works for Chris Dodd?”

    Seems it always connects to the communists. Dig under the surface of almost all the dems/libs and it all leads to the same place.

    That he is Bolton’s arch foe, just futhers my admiration and trust of Bolton.

  7. TwilightZoned says:

    Communist infiltration and spying has gone on for years (Venona). It takes a generation to take hold into a society. But thank God there are still those of us who refused to be brainwashed. Hopefully, there are more of us than them so we can one day restore the damage being done to this country.

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