Walter Kendall Myers, wife Gwendolyn Steingraber, arrested for spying for Cuba for 30 years
Updated Friday, June 5th 2009, 8:23 PM
The arrest of Walter Kendall Myers and his wife, Gwendolyn Steingraber, is considered by some has the worst spy arrest since FBI agent-turned-Russian spy Robert Hanssen.
They allegedly admitted their treachery spanned decades,U.S.officials said.
Kendall Myers, now 72, was recruited by spies in Cuba'sUNmission onManhattan's Lexington Ave. while he worked at the State Department'sArlington, Va., language school in 1978. The Ph.D. expert onEuropealso taught at Johns Hopkins,GeorgetownandGeorge WashingtonUniversities.
He worked his way up the career ladder - though his Cuban handlers urged him to join theCIA- and eventually became a Europe analyst in theState Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research. There, he had one of the highest security clearances: Top Secret-Sensitive Compartmented Information.
Prosecutors said in the year prior to his 2007 retirement, Myers downloaded the crown jewels on Cuba - 200 "sensitive or classified intelligence reports."
"He had access to everything on the computers," the flabbergasted U.S. official told the Daily News, adding that the scope of what he passed to Cuba's spy service is unknown.
Secretary of State Clinton has ordered a "comprehensive damage assessment."
The couple, who own a luxury apartment here, received instructions from a shortwave radio receiving coded "numbers station" broadcasts fromHavana. Later, they used encrypted e-mail.
Gwen Myers, now 71, would sometimes pass secrets to Cuban agents - one code-named "GOD" - by exchanging shopping carts in a grocery, court papers alleged.
"They weren't doing it for money - they were true believers with an affinity for Castro," the U.S. official said.
Kendall Myers boasted to an FBI operative posing as a new Cuban handler that he had gotten "lots of medals" from the Communist regime, and the couple - who met with handlers inNew Yorkand secretly visited Havana many times - spent an evening with Castro in 1995.