WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A former U.S. State Department official and his wife have been arrested for spying for the Cuban government for nearly 30 years, the Justice Department said on Friday.
Walter Myers, 72, and his wife Gwendolyn Myers, 71, were charged with conspiracy to act as illegal agents of the Cuban government and with communicating classified information to the Cuban government, the Justice Department said.
They were also charged with wire fraud and acting as an illegal agent.
UPDATE: Cigar Mike – More Details Here
The indictment unsealed Friday in Washington says Walter Kendall Myers and his wife, Gwendolyn Steingraber Myers, have been clandestine agents for Cuba since 1979. The pair were arrested Thursday.
The indictment says the couple met with Cuban President Fidel Castro in Cuba in 1995, traveling through Mexico under false names. They allegedly made several other trips to Latin America and the Caribbean to meet with Cuban agents.
David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security, described the couple’s alleged spying for the communist government as “incredibly serious.”
Authorities said the Myerses shared their views of Obama administration officials that had recently taken over responsibility for Latin American policy. They also accepted a device to encrypt future e-mail.
Kendall Myers, 72, worked at the State Department. Early in his career, he specialized in European issues at the agency’s Foreign Service Institute. In 2007, he retired from department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
The indictment says in his last year of employment, Kendall Myers viewed more than 200 intelligence reports related to Cuba.
The government said that Gwendolyn Myers revealed to investigators that her favorite places to pass information were Washington-area grocery stores.
Kendall Myers was known by the Cubans as Agent 202 and his wife went by both Agent 123 and Agent E-634, according to the indictment.
The two were charged with conspiracy to act as illegal agents of the Cuban government 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.
The indictment says the couple own a shortwave radio, which they used to broadcast encrypted messages to the Cuban Intelligence Service using Morse code. In recent years, the documents say, they communicated through e-mail using a false name.
An undercover FBI agent approached them in April, pretending to be a Cuban spy. Court documents say the couple fell for the ruse and began meeting with the undercover agent at Washington hotels.
The indictment says the two agreed to be spies in 1979 after meeting with a Cuban government official while they were living in South Dakota. At Cuba’s direction, authorities say, Kendall Myers attempted to get jobs that would give him access to classified information.
He applied for a position at the CIA in 1981. He didn’t get the job but later was able to get work at the State Department, where his security clearance rose over the next two decades.
CIGAR MIKE EXCLUSIVE: I’ve been trying to search for a copy of the indictment, which was not yet listed on the DC Federal Court docket, but I did find that this same guy was involved in two prior lawsuits against the federal government in 1992 and 1999 for Racial Discrimination in Employment. Interesting……
UPDATE: Alberto de la Cruz
In their news article reporting the arrest of the Castro spies, Reuters laments the timing of the whole affair.
The arrests come as the United States and Cuba have offered glimmers of hope that they might be ready to end years of hostility. In mid-April, President Barack Obama pledged a “new beginning” with Cuba after modestly easing the 47-year-old U.S. trade embargo against Havana.
The Cuban government had no immediate reaction.
Similar to the attitude of convicts serving time in prison, Reuters doesn’t think these traitors are guilty of spying, they are just guilty of getting caught.
According to the UK Telegraph, it turns out that this Kendall Myers scumbag is the same State Department official who embarrassed both the US and the UK by stating to the press that Britain and the US were really not all that friendly to each other and that Britain should distance itself from the Bush administration.
Wow. This story has just taken my breath away. Do you remember the State Department analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (relatively obscure but one of the US government’s intelligence agencies) who caused a storm in late 2006 with his disdainful remarks about the US-UK “special relationship?
His name was Kendall Myers and I was one of two British journalists who reported his decidedly undiplomatic comments. He retired quietly in 2007. Well, he’s just been arrested as a spy for Cuba for nearly 30 years. The Cubans apparently knew him better as their Agent 202.
The most telling part of this Telegraph article is the reporter’s impression of Myers when he met with him in D.C. for a drink back in 2001.
I found him to be an erudite and well-read fellow who was an interesting conversationalist and was much more indiscreet that most State Department officials. He was clearly no fan of President George W. Bush and seemed to be fit the caricature of the pro-European, soft-Left type that is often levelled at the State Department by conservatives.
I guess Myers is one of those patriotic Bush haters the left keeps telling us about.