News you may have missed #0171

  • Court date for US couple accused of spying for Cuba. Walter and Gwendolyn Myers, who were arrested by the FBI last summer on charges of spying for Cuba for over 30 years, have a court appearance scheduled for Thursday. Meanwhile, the judge overseeing their case is trying to decide how to make evidence available for their trial while protect US intelligence sources and methods.
  • CIA responds to declassification request…20 years later. The CIA has finally released a small number of documents relating to Manucher Ghorbanifar, a shady weapons trader who mediated between Washington and Tehran during the Iran-Contra scandal. The declassification comes two decades after the Agency was asked to release the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request.
  • Kalmanovic was Shin Bet informant, says Ha’aretz. It is well known that Shabtai von Kalmanovic, who was gunned down in downtown Moscow on Monday, had worked for the Soviet KGB. He confessed as much and was jailed in Israel in the 1980s for spying. But Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported that Kalmanovic was also “a Shin Bet [Israel’s internal security service] informant”. In a new article, the paper says Kalmanovic “was a low-level informer for the Shin Bet” before his arrest for spying for the KGB.

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Larry Franklin, implicated in Israeli spy affair, breaks silence



Lawrence Anthony Franklin, the former US Defense Department analyst whose 12-year prison sentence was suspended last month, has finally broken his silence. Franklin, who was accused by the US government of handing classified US military information to two American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) lobbyists, has told Jeff Stein of SpyTalk that he handed out the secret information “in hopes that it would be passed on to the White House”. He said he was “worried” the Bush administration pursued a schizophrenic policy on Iran and had not calculated the Iranian reaction to a possible US invasion of Iraq. He therefore decided to pass on the classified information, which included “the names and locations of Iran’s secret agents and safe houses in Iraq”, to AIPAC lobbyists Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, who claimed they had senior contacts in the Bush administration. Read more of this post

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