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News & Current Events Discuss Retired State dept officer & wife Spy for at the General Forum; 30 years and the husband had security clearance... I can only hope our government is better secured today. Ex-State official, ...

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Old 06-05-2009, 06:40 PM
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Default Retired State dept officer & wife Spy for

30 years and the husband had security clearance... I can only hope our government is better secured today.

Ex-State official, wife accused of spying for Cuba

By Terry Frieden
CNN Justice Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A 72-year-old former State Department employee and his 71-year-old wife have been arrested and charged with illegally aiding the government of Cuba for nearly 30 years, the Department of Justice announced Friday.


Walter Kendall Myers retired from the State Department in October 2007.

1 of 2 Walter Kendall Myers and his wife, Gwendolyn Myers, were charged with conspiracy to act as illegal agents of the Cuban government, providing classified information to that government, and wire fraud, according to court documents unsealed in Washington.

The couple appeared briefly Friday before a federal magistrate in Washington, who ordered them held without bail pending a detention hearing Wednesday. Judge John Facciolo agreed with prosecutors that the couple might try to flee the country if not held.

They were arrested late Thursday, the Justice Department said.

The State Department isn't clear at this stage on what information the Myerses may have passed to their Cuban handlers, according to a senior State Department official, who said that such information would come out of a full damage assessment.

"We were confident" at the time of Kendall Myers' retirement, the official said, that he had been passing information to Cuban intelligence. Diplomatic security officials "let it go for a while" to see what information might emerge.

The official said Myers was an "upper-level civil service employee." He was a European analyst at the Bureau of Intelligence and Research and "had come up in the ranks," the official said.

The official also said it was unclear whether Myers acted for financial reasons, but a law enforcement official said the couple's primary motive was not money. The couple were "true believers" in the Cuban system, the official said.

"The abuses of our system, the lack of decent medical system, the oil companies and their undisguised indifference to public needs, the complacency about the poor, the utter inability of those who are oppressed to recognize their own condition," Myers wrote in a diary quoted in the federal affidavit.

"Have the Cubans given up their personal freedom to get material security? Nothing I have seen yet suggests that," he wrote. "I can see nothing of value that has been lost by the revolution. The revolution has released enormous potential and liberated the Cuban spirit."

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Although they were paid for "expenses" by the Cuban government, most of their funds, including a half-million dollar brokerage account, may be largely from Myers' government salary, the official said.

However, the government intends to move to seize money derived from his employment on the basis that it was obtained as a fraud, because he was really working against the U.S. government.
Ex-State official, wife accused of spying for Cuba - CNN.com
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:24 AM
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Default Re: Retired State dept officer & wife Spy for

Myers has been suggested as a possible Sec. of State if Hillary should ever step down.
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:07 AM
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Default Re: Retired State dept officer & wife Spy for

At 72 years of age? I have doubts about that. or do you mean at some point earlier. Or is that a joke that went over my head again....

UPDATE:

Officials: Husband-wife spies lured by stranger

By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer Nedra Pickler, Associated Press Writer 2 hrs 49 mins ago
WASHINGTON For three decades, accused spies Walter Kendall Myers and his wife shuffled secrets to their Cuban contacts in such fear of being caught, authorities say, that he memorized top-secret documents rather than bring them into their home.

Their downfall came simply and swiftly, lured by a stranger who offered Myers a cigar.

Obama administration officials say Kendall Myers had access to highly sensitive material while working for the State Department's intelligence arm, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has ordered a damage assessment of what the couple may have revealed. Their methods of communicating with the Cubans included Morse code on shortwave radio, changing shopping carts at the grocery store and a face-to-face meeting with President Fidel Castro himself, court documents say.

David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security, described the couple's alleged spying for the communist government as "incredibly serious."

State Department officials say Kendall Myers had been under investigation for three years, since before he retired in 2007. The FBI made its move on him on April 15, on the street outside the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, where he had gotten a doctorate and taught classes.

An undercover agent approached Kendall Myers, claiming to be an associate of his Cuban handler, according to a law enforcement official speaking on a condition of anonymity about the ongoing investigation. The agent offered Kendall Myers a cigar and birthday wishes since he turned 72 that day and proposed they meet at a Washington hotel later that night. The ruse worked, and Kendall Myers said he'd bring along his wife, Gwendolyn Steingraber Myers.

The Myerses had been out of touch with their Cuban handlers for a while, according to court documents. The couple reportedly told the agent they lived "in fear and anxiety for a long time" and feared Kendall Myers' boss had put him on a watch list in 1995. They said they were not interested in regular spying again but would help where they could, court documents say.

Authorities said over the course of three meetings with the agent in April, they shared their views of Obama administration officials who had recently taken over responsibility for Latin American policy and changing conditions in Cuba. They also accepted a device to encrypt future e-mail. The undercover agent proposed a fourth meeting for Thursday at a Washington hotel, where the couple was arrested.

The couple pleaded not guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to act as illegal agents and to communicate classified information to the Cuban government. Each is also charged with acting as an illegal agent of the Cuban government and with wire fraud. They are being held in jail until a detention hearing scheduled for Wednesday. Their attorney, Thomas Green, declined to comment.
.......................................MUCH MORE HERE.................................
Officials: Husband-wife spies lured by stranger - Yahoo! News
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