[Marxism] For providing info to Cuba they get life in prison

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Jul 17 06:31:23 MDT 2010

Walter Myers, State Dept. analyst who spied for Cuba, gets life; wife 6 

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 17, 2010; B01

A retired State Department intelligence analyst was sentenced to life in 
prison and his wife got more than six years Friday for spying for Cuba 
for nearly 30 years in a screenplay-ready tale of romance and espionage.

Walter Kendall Myers, 73, and Gwendolyn Steingraber Myers, 72, also 
agreed to forfeit $1.7 million in cash and property, including all his 
federal salary over the years. They did not have to give up a 38-foot 
sailboat Walter Myers once said they might use in retirement to sail to 
the communist country.

"If someone despises the American government to the extent that appears 
to be the case, you can pack your bags and leave," U.S. District Judge 
Reggie B. Walton said, "and it doesn't seem to me you continue to bear 
the benefits this country manages to provide and seek to undermine it."

It was a grim ending to the Myerses' idealistic embrace of the Cuban 
revolution, with one slight comfort. Walton endorsed the couple's 
request to be incarcerated near each other with easier access to their 
siblings, children and grandchildren.

The judge's 81-month sentence for Gwendolyn Myers, for gathering and 
transmitting national defense information, fell halfway between the 72 
to 90 months she had agreed to in her deal with prosecutors. Her 
attorneys cited her age, failing health -- including a heart attack 
since her June 2009 arrest -- and secondary role in the scheme. The 
couple, wearing blue jumpsuits over long-sleeve white shirts, held hands 
while the sentence was read.

"We did not act out of anger toward the United States or from any 
thought of anti-Americanism," Walter Myers said in at 10-minute 
statement in seeking leniency for his wife. "We did not intend to hurt 
any individual American. Our only objective was to help the Cuban people 
defend their revolution. We only hoped to forestall conflict" between 
the countries.

The sentencing continues Washington's summer of serial spy intrigues. 
Barely a week after the United States and Russia completed the exchange 
of 14 agents allegedly planted in each other's country in a diplomatic 
maneuver reminiscent of the Cold War, the Washington couple's sentencing 
cast a reminder of unresolved tensions across the 90-mile-wide Straits 
of Florida.

Myers, an Ivy League-educated Europe specialist who made his home in 
Northwest Washington's diplomat-friendly precincts, began working for 
the State Department as a contract instructor in 1977. He joined full 
time in 1985 and become a senior analyst with a top-secret clearance in 
the department's sensitive bureau of intelligence and research.

Starting in 1978, however, the recently divorced Myers visited Cuba for 
two weeks and was soon recruited by a Cuban intelligence agent. When 
Myers spent a two-year sabbatical in South Dakota, where he was living 
with then-Gwendolyn Trebilcock, the agent met Myers again, and he agreed 
to become a spy.

During the next three decades, the couple would communicate with their 
Cuban handlers via shortwave radio, exchanging shopping carts in a 
grocery store and sending encrypted e-mails from Internet cafes. 
Traveling overseas, they met clandestine Cuban operatives in Brazil, 
Ecuador, Jamaica, Italy and Cuba via Mexico.

Myers, code name "202," and his wife, "123," never accepted money but 
would pass along secret information that he later said earned him 
several medals and a trip to meet Fidel Castro in 1995.

Tipped off to the presence of a Cuban spy in 2006, U.S. investigators by 
April 2009 tracked down Myers outside Johns Hopkins University's School 
of Advanced International Studies in Washington, where he was a 
part-time faculty member. It was Myers's 72nd birthday, and an 
undercover FBI agent posing as a Cuban intelligence emissary gave him a 
cigar. The gift led to a string of recorded meetings, revelations and 
the couple's ultimate confession and sentencing Friday.

Myers pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to commit espionage and 
two counts of wire fraud, and his wife admitted to conspiring to gather 
and transmit defense information.

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