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