Skip to comments.Spies in Aberdeen? Story is just plain weird
Posted on 07/05/2009 11:52:06 AM PDT by ancientart
To think that Boris and Natasha lived right here in South Dakota, and we didn't even know it! Recently, Walter Kendall Myers and Gwendolyn Steingraber-Trebilcock-Myers - a couple who once lived in Aberdeen - were arrested for spying.
The news rocked the nation. Well, actually, the nation immediately forgot the story. Still, South Dakota hasn't forgotten. It's not every day suspected spies are found traipsing through your own neighborhood.
The espionage likely started after they left Aberdeen, but you still wonder if that abandoned shopping cart you saw in aisle 8 of Kessler's might have contained a coded message. The grocery list on the seat? An encrypted report on coercing legislation on the Cuban trade embargo.
Many unanswered questions remain.
Supposedly, Cuban agents first contacted Myers when he was in South Dakota. Why?
I don't mean why would foreign agents go for Myers. Anyone sympathetic with Nazi-appeaser Neville Chamberlain is ripe for manipulation. Myers' doctoral dissertation was a puff piece for Chamberlain's kowtow-to-the-Nazis philosophy. But why would Cuban agents come all the way to South Dakota to recruit Myers? I doubt they wanted to see Mount Rushmore.
It's also unclear what Myers was doing in Aberdeen. He had been an instructor much of his life. Did he teach here? No one is sure. Some think he was writing a biography of Neville Chamberlain.
Why did authorities pick him up now, after 200 top secret files left his hands? And what information did he pass that could harm the United States? It's all a mystery, Dahlingk.
The couple sometimes seems like bumbling Boris and Natasha types, since they really did use shopping cart exchanges and other seemingly silly spy techniques: clunky shortwave radios, nautical charts for Cuba, morse code, Cuban agents named GOD. Gwen was actually called Agent 123! You can't make this stuff up.
Some news articles, though, present Myers as too erudite to be a spy: a cultivated, refined scholar, from the best families. They quote his students who say he never spoke about Cuba. Well, yeah.
Kind of reminds me of Alger Hiss, the well-educated, state department official accused by former Communist spy Whittaker Chambers in 1950 of spying for the Communists.
The case divided the country. Whom do you believe? The rumpled, chubby, ex-Commie informer Chambers; or the dapper, successful, top official Hiss?
Hiss had appeared with President Roosevelt in Yalta! He was articulate. He was a Harvard man. He was too suave and sophisticated to be spying for the Soviets. Come on!
For decades, many refused to believe Hiss had passed information to the Soviets, even after he was sentenced and despite convincing evidence. The media savaged Chambers and dragged his name through the mud.
In the 1980s, a friend kept giving me books about the case because the Hiss-sympathetic media presentation of the situation seemed to her like a colossal injustice to Chambers. I read the books only reluctantly. Who cares what happened in the 1950s? But the case was never settled justly in the public mind, and my friend wanted me to be up to speed.
Only after 1996, when Soviet cables from the 1940s were decrypted, did the Hiss-supportive media concede that he was an agent of the Soviets and had betrayed his country.
When it comes to fiendish plots, though, you never can tell where they might start. You also can't tell who the victim is simply by the prestige of his pedigree, the quality of his education and the weight of his resume.
I see a Monty Python skit in this...
SD SENATOR ABOUREZK TIMELINE:
if it is still there...
WTF is this unintelligible rant about ?