Sunday, June 7, 2009

Accused agents adored Fidel Castro, but wanted to quit spying

Photo credit: CI Centre

Below are excerpts from FBI Special Agent Brett Kramarsie's sworn statement in the Myers spy case.
I find it intriguing that during the Myers' last meeting with the undercover agent, they said they were reluctant to make contact and evidently wanted to end their spying career.
They asked to be used as a "reserve team" in times of trouble. But they also expressed mixed feelings, saying that spying was a key part of their lives and they missed it.

From April 15, 2009 meeting with undercover FBI agent at a Washington, D.C., hotel lounge

The agent and Kendall Myers chatted, evidently warming up to each other. Myers said it "would be nice" to travel to Cuba "in the near future." He said:
Our idea is to sail home.
On lifting the ban on travel to the U.S., Kendall said:
You don't want all those Americans...believe me, those North Americans, you don't want them.
The trouble with this country, there's just too many North Americans.
Myers also said he had clashed with his former boss, an assistant secretary at the State Department. He said he worried about getting caught. And he expressed concern about drawing law enforcement attention to his Cuban contacts.
I've been very cautious about reestablishing contact because I didn't want to, uh, implicate you...we have been very cautious, careful with our moves and, uh, trying to be alert to any surveillance if there was any.
Before the meeting ended, the undercover agent asked Myers to give him his opinion on Executive Branch personnel with responsibility for Latin American policy. Myers agreed to provide the information at a meeting the next day.

From April 16 meeting at a Washington, D.C., hotel room

The undercover agent used water-soluble paper to take notes. Myers "indicated he knew what that was."
Myers declined a drink of Scotch while he was answering questions, say he didn't drink while working - he considered the meeting to be work.
He acknowledged his code name was 202, and his wife Gwendolyn acknowledged that hers was 123.
Before the meeting ended, he asked the undercover agent to "send special greetings...and everybody...and to all our friends."

From April 30 meeting at a different Washington, D.C., hotel room

The undercover agent trained the Myers on use of an encryption device used to encrypt e-mails.

Myers said he and his wife were "delighted to have contact again." He said:
We really have missed you. And you, speaking collectively, have been a really important part of our lives and we have felt incomplete. I mean, we really love your country...and the people and the team are just important in our lives. So we don't want to fall out of contact again.
Myers said he and his wife "really like retirement."
It gives us a chance to be with each other more. It gives us a chance for me to concentrate on teaching. And it gives us a chance to sail.
He said he and wife didn't want to be spies anymore. He said didn't think they "are able to do the work again..."
We're a little burned out...we lived with the fear and the anxiety for a long time...and still do.
Myers said he'd rather than the Cubans consider them to be "like a reserve army...ready when we're needed."

He said he would start to get in touch with "my old on new be able to react if the situation gets dangerous or we hear something that makes us worried, that we think you should know..."
But I think, honestly, we don't want to go back into...the regular stuff...
Myers said Cuban agents had asked him to work at either the State Department or the CIA. Gwendolyn said they preferred the State Department because her husband is "not a very good liar." Kendall Myers explained, "You had to be a good liar" to pass regular CIA polygraph tests.

The Myers referred to one former Cuban intelligence contact as "God."

Gwendolyn said her favor way of passing information was changing shopping carts in a grocery store because it's "easy enough to do."

But she said she "wouldn't do it now. Now they have cameras, but they didn't then."

Kendall Myers said his preferred method for removing classified information from the State Department was to memorize it or take notes.
I was always pretty careful. I, I didn't usually take documents out.
His wife reminded him that he sometimes did remove documents, then later "slipped them...back in."

He said he usually returned any documents to his office the next day.

He said he hid written instructions from Cuban intelligence agents in a special set of bookends he had at home.

Asked if he ever delivered information to Cuban intelligence that was classified more than SECRET, Myers said, "Oh, yeah...oh, yeah."

Myers said he admired Ana Belen Montes, the former Defense Intelligence Agency convicted of spying for the Cuban government.
She's a hero...But she took too many my opinion...She wasn't paranoid enough.
He said he supplied some of the same information that Montes supplied, "which is terrific because what they got was verified...from two different places."

Asked if there was another Ana Belen Montes in the U.S. government, Kendall Myers said, "Well, I hope so."

Gwendolyn agreed and said of Montes:
I envy her being able to love what she was doing, and say what she was doing and why she was doing it...'cause I can't do that.
Kendall acknowledged received "lots of medals" from the Cuban government.

The "best one was meeting Fidel...Oh, that was wonderful. Fidel is wonderful, just wonderful."

Gwendolyn said they met with the Cuban president for about four hours. She called Fidel Castro "the most...incredible statesman in ...a hundred years for goodness sakes."

He said they met around New Year's Day in 1995.

Kendall Myers said the two hoped to sail to Cuba and live on their boat.
Nobody has to put us up. We have our own place to live there...I mean, we wouldn't be a burden.
The undercover asked to meet the Myers again, but it appears they didn't want that. Gwendolyn Myers said, "Well, maybe, maybe six months from now, we can do it again."

Spying "was our life," Kendall Myers said. His wife added:
It is our life, it still is. But we, we can't do it that much...We don't want to make a mistake. We don't wanna screw up.
Her husband said, "...we want to have contact...but we're burned's a full-time job."

"...we haven't let it go," Gwendolyn said. "'s always on our minds, always." Added her husband:
It's forever...You know, it's like Fidel...It's forever.
Note: Court documents in the Myers case don't appear to be on Pacer yet, but I did find the FBI criminal complaint at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies' Web site. This is also the only site where I've seen photos of the Myers.

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