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Top-Level State Department Analyst Indicted for Working as Agent for Cuban Government
Posted By On June 5, 2009 @ 5:56 pm In News | Comments Disabled
Former State Department analyst Walter Kendall Myers and his wife were arrested by the FBI for serving as illegal agents for the Cuban government for nearly 30 years, press release here . The charges include conspiracy to provide classified information to the Cuban government, serving as an illegal agent for the Cuban government, and wire fraud.
Myers, now 72 years old, started working for the State Department in 1977 as a contract instructor at the Department’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI). In 1988 he started “periodic work” with the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), which turned into a full-time job in July 2001. From then on, until he retired in October 2007, Myers “specialized in intelligence analysis on European matters and had daily access to classified information through computer databases and otherwise.” (His clearance was bumped up from “Top Secret” to “Top Secret/SCI” in 1999)
You can read details on the FBI’s undercover operation below:
According to the affidavit, in April 2009, the FBI launched an undercover operation to convince the couple that they had been contacted by a Cuban intelligence officer and to ascertain the scope of their activities for the CuIS. On April 15, 2009, an undercover FBI source posing as a Cuban intelligence officer approached Kendall Myers in Washington, D.C., stating that he had been sent to contact Myers by a named CuIS official in order to obtain information. The FBI source also congratulated Kendall Myers on his birthday and offered him a cigar. Myers agreed to meet the source later that day at a nearby hotel and volunteered to bring his wife along to the meeting.
During the meeting later that day, the couple agreed to meet the source again and to provide information on U.S. government personnel with responsibility for Latin America. According to the affidavit, the couple also made a series of statements about their past activities on behalf of the CuIS, including acknowledging having received coded messages from the CuIS via shortwave radio, meeting CuIS officials in Mexico, and being alert to surveillance. “We have been very cautious, careful with our moves and, uh, trying to be alert to any surveillance,” Kendall Myers allegedly told the FBI source.
In subsequent meetings with the FBI source, the Myers allegedly agreed to provide information on the April 17-19, 2009 Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as to use specified code words, signals and encryption programs to transmit information via email during future interactions with the source. They also asked the source to “send special greetings…and hugs” to certain CuIS officials.
In addition, the couple allegedly made further statements to the source about their past activities for the CuIS. According to the affidavit, the defendants discussed how they were first recruited by the CuIS and how codes had been used for each of them in messages, including “123” for Gwendolyn Myers and “202” for Kendall Myers. The Myers also stated that they had traveled to meet Cuban agents in Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Jamaica, New York City and other locations.
The Myers also discussed how they had passed information to CuIS agents, with both agreeing that the most secure way was “hand-to-hand.” According to the affidavit, Gwendolyn Myers said her favorite way of passing information to CuIS agents involved the changing of shopping carts in a grocery store because it was “easy enough to do.”
According to the affidavit, Kendall Myers told the source that he typically removed information from the State Department by memory or by taking notes, although he did occasionally take some documents home. “I was always pretty careful. I, I didn’t usually take documents out,” he said. According to the affidavit, he also acknowledged delivering information to the CuIS that was classified beyond the “Secret” level. He further stated that he had received “lots of medals” from the Cuban government and that he and his wife had met and spent an evening with Fidel Castro in 1995.
And here’s some information about how Myers was recruited by the Cubans:
According to the affidavit, Kendall Myers traveled to Cuba in December 1978 after receiving an invitation from an official who served at the Cuban Mission to the United States in New York City. His guide while in Cuba was an official with Cuba’s Foreign Service Institute. This trip provided the Cuban Intelligence Service (CuIS) with the opportunity to assess or develop Myers as a Cuban agent, according to the affidavit.
Approximately six months after the trip, the Myers were visited in South Dakota by the official from the Cuban Mission in New York and, according to the affidavit, Kendall and Gwendolyn Myers agreed to serve as clandestine agents of the Cuban government. Afterwards, the CuIS directed Kendall Myers to pursue a job at either the State Department or the CIA. Kendall Myers, accompanied by his wife, then returned to Washington, D.C., where he resumed contract work at the State Department and later obtained a State Department position that required a Top Secret security clearance.
According to the affidavit, during this time frame, the CuIS often communicated with its clandestine agents in the United States by broadcasting encrypted radio messages from Cuba on shortwave radio frequencies. Clandestine agents in the United States monitoring the frequency on shortwave radio could decode the messages using a decryption program provided by the CuIS. Such methods were employed by defendants previously convicted of espionage on behalf of Cuba. According to the affidavit, the Myers have an operable shortwave radio in their apartment and they told an FBI source that they have used it to receive messages from the CuIS.
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