JUNE 08, 2009
A high-ranking State Department official with top secret security clearance has been arrested and charged with spying for a country that for decades has appeared on the U.S. government’s list of terrorist sponsoring nations.
For nearly thirty years the official (Walter Kendall Myers), a senior intelligence analyst for European matters, and his wife have provided the communist government of Cuba with classified U.S. information. The Justice Department says the couple was active as recently as the April 2009 Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.
Myers even met with Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro and communicated with clandestine Cuban Intelligence Service agents in the U.S. by broadcasting encrypted radio messages from Havana on shortwave frequencies. The U.S. intelligence official told an undercover FBI source that he typically removed information from the State Department by memory, taking notes or taking documents home and that he was always “pretty careful.”
Myers first traveled to the Caribbean island on an academic trip after an invite from the Cuban Mission in New York. A year later he and his wife agreed to serve as clandestine agents of the Cuban government, according to federal authorities.
The Justice Department alleges that the Cuban Intelligence Service then directed Myers to resume his employment with the State Department or the Central Intelligence Agency.
The couple has been charged with conspiracy to act as illegal agents of the Cuban government and conspiracy to communicate classified information as well as wire fraud. They each face up to 35 years in prison.
A few years ago a longtime Florida public college professor and his wife, a psychology counselor at the university, were also charged with being Cuban spies. The couple also used shortwave radios, numerical-code language and computer encrypted files to send information to Castro’s intelligence commanders.
In 2002 a senior U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency analyst (Ana Belen Montes) was sentenced to 25 years in prison for spying for Cuba. Montes, who helped draft a 1998 official U.S. government finding that Cuba no longer presents a military threat, also communicated with the Cuban Intelligence Service through encrypted messages and received her instructions through shortwave encrypted transmissions.
At her sentencing hearing, Montes told the judge that she spied for Cuba because she obeyed her conscience rather than the law and believes the U.S. policy towards Cuba is cruel, unfair and profoundly unneighborly. She added that her goal is to see a U.S. policy toward the island that is based on neighborly love.
Cuba has appeared on the State Department’s terrorism list since the early 1980s for supporting designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations—from South America and Europe—and for harboring fugitives from U.S. justice, including domestic terrorists. Cuba’s government also maintains close relationships with other state sponsors of terrorism such as Iran and Syria.
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