From STRATFOR Global Intelligence:
In addition to the Cuban preference for ideologically motivated agents, perhaps one of the greatest lessons that can be taken from the Myers' case is simply a reminder that espionage did not end with the conclusion of the Cold War. According to the FBI complaint, a Cuban intelligence officer attempted to contact the Myers as recently as March 2009.
This case also shows that the Cuban intelligence service is very patient and is willing to wait for the agents it recruits to move into sensitive positions within the U.S. government. It took several years for Myers to get situated in a job with access to highly classified information.
The Myers investigation also shows that the Cuban agents are not always obviously people working on Cuban issues -- Myers was a European affairs specialist. There is also a possibility that the Cubans sold or traded intelligence they gained from Myers pertaining to Europe to their Soviet (and later Russian) friends.
While at INR, it is significant that Myers not only had access to information collected by State Department employees in the field, but also was privy to all-source intelligence reporting from the rest of the intelligence community (CIA, FBI, NSA, DIA, etc.)
According to the complaint, an analysis of Myers' work computer revealed that from August 2006 to October 2007, Myers looked at more than 200 intelligence reports pertaining to Cuba; 75 of those reports made no mention of countries within Myers' area of interest (Europe), and most of the documents were classified either Secret or Top Secret.
The government will have to conduct a damage assessment that will attempt to trace everything Myers had access to during his entire career, which will no doubt encompass thousands of documents. As the State Department's representative to the intelligence community, INR is also involved in crafting policy papers and national intelligence estimates. Myers began working at the State Department before there was electronic access to records, so it will be very difficult to identify every document he had access to. But in addition to the actual documents he viewed, Myers also had the opportunity to chat with many colleagues about what they were working on and to ask their opinions of policies and events, so the damage goes much further than just documents, which complicates the damage assessment. He was also in charge of training new INR analysts, which could have allowed him an opportunity to assess which analysts were the best possible targets for Cuban recruitment efforts.
The information Myers could have provided while at the FSI is more subtle, but no less valuable from an intelligence operational
perspective. Myers could have acted as a spotter, letting his handlers know which officers were moving through the institute, where they were going to be assigned, and perhaps even indicating which ones he thought were the best candidates for recruitment based on observed vulnerabilities. He could have served a similar function while at SAIS, pointing out promising students for the Cubans to focus on -- especially students who agreed with his view of American policy, and who might be targeted for recruitment using an ideological approach. While Montes did graduate with a master's degree from SAIS in 1988, she was already working at the DIA (and for the Cubans) by the time she began her graduate work there, so it is unlikely that Myers was involved in her recruitment. In the end, it will likely take months, if not years, for the government to do a full damage assessment on this case.
One of the other interesting factors regarding this case is that in spite of Myers' strong anti-American political beliefs -- which were
reportedly expressed in his classes -- none of the background investigations conducted on him by the State Department provided any indication of concern. Furthermore, he was cleared for access to Top Secret material in 1985 and Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (SCI) in 1999 -- 20 years after he was recruited by the Cubans. Apparently the agents and investigators who conducted his background investigations did not dig deeply enough uncover the warning signs of his radical beliefs, or the people they interviewed knowingly withheld such information.
With [Cuban spy, Ana Belen] Montes arrested [in 2001] at DIA, and now Myers from INR, it certainly makes one wonder where the next ideologically driven Cuban agent will be found inside the U.S. intelligence community.
- ► 2013 (461)
- ► 2012 (1158)
- ► 2011 (1032)
- ► 2010 (1043)
06/07 - 06/14
- A Selection, Not An Election
- Cambodia, Laos Off Ex-Im Bank Blacklist; Cuba Rema...
- Iran's (and Cuba's) Genie in the Bottle
- The Privileged Children of Dictators
- Regime "Cries Wolf" on Rations
- The Sinn Fein Spy Twist
- Lessons From Cuban Spy Case
- Political Prisoner Hospitalized
- Are These Reasonable Negotiating Partners?
- Britain's Classic Marxist
- In the Animal Farm
- The Implications of "Abourezk v. Reagan"
- An Email to Orbitz
- Demand Release of Ill Political Prisoner
- How to Subvert the U.N. Human Rights Council
- Cuban Spies Can't "Sail Home"
- Cuba's Jews Support Travel Ban
- Gwendolyn Myers and Riggs Bank
- Anyone Want to Buy Some Cuban Debt?
- Memo to South Dakota Delegation
- Attention Delahunt, 30 Pastors Arrested
- Pittsburgh's Right On Point (On Cuba)
- Have Chavez-Ortega Outflanked the U.S.?
- Hillary on Security Clearances
- The Curious Mention of the Arms Embargo
- Is Insulza the Ultimate Masochist?
- Attack on Democratic Principles
- Rogues Use Journalists As Pawns
- Can Senator Dorgan Bailout Castro's Oil Projects?
- The Dysfunctional OAS Family
- In My Humble Opinion, Pt. 8
- With Unity of Purpose
- ▼ 06/07 - 06/14 (32)