Arrest of Walter Kendall Myers

Press Statement
Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
June 5, 2009

On June 4, 2009 the FBI arrested former Department of State employee Walter Kendall Myers on charges of serving as an illegal agent of the Cuban government for nearly 30 years and conspiring to provide classified U.S. information to the Cuban government. Mr. Myers’ arrest is the culmination of a three-year joint FBI/Department of State Diplomatic Security investigation. Based on general information provided by the FBI, Diplomatic Security (DS) conducted a comprehensive internal investigation that resulted in the identification of Mr. Myers by Diplomatic Security as the probable Cuban agent, and ultimately led to his arrest yesterday.

Mr. Myers is a retired State Department employee who first worked as a lecturer at the Foreign Service Institute and later as a European analyst in the Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) from 2000 until his retirement in October 2007. Mr. Myers’ State Department service was primarily in domestic positions. Mr. Myers’ spouse, Gwendolyn Myers, also was arrested on the same charges; she was never employed by the U.S. Department of State.

The Secretary of State takes this matter, like any allegation of criminal wrong-doing, seriously. The Secretary has directed Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security and former Director of Security for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Eric J. Boswell, to conduct a comprehensive review of this case. She also has directed him to undertake a thorough assessment of past and current Department of State security procedures and practices and provide recommendations for any appropriate or necessary improvements to ensure effective measures are in place to protect sensitive and classified information. In addition, the Secretary directed the Department to conduct a comprehensive damage assessment in coordination with the intelligence community in accordance with established damages protocols and regulations.

Finally, the Secretary has directed that the Department share its findings with OMB’s Suitability and Security Clearance Performance Accountability Council –which is responsible for establishing uniform and consistent security clearance standards across the government – to inform, and as appropriate, strengthen the national standards by which all agencies operate.

As this is an ongoing joint FBI and Department of State Diplomatic Security investigation, we will not be commenting further at this time on the status of the investigation.

PRN: 2009/550