Three Americans Charged With Spying for E. GermanyBy Richard A. Serrano
Los Angeles Times
Three Washington-area residents, including a former high-ranking lawyer at the Pentagon, are being held on charges of spying for East Germany in the years before the end of the Cold War, federal law enforcement officials announced Monday.
The three, arrested last weekend in an FBI sting operation, were recruited by East Germany during their student days at the University of Wisconsin and were motivated by leftist leanings, the government officials alleged. Undercover agents posed as South Africans and reportedly again won their cooperation in stealing secrets from the United States.
The trio - Theresa Marie Squillacote, 39, her husband, Kurt Alan Stand, 42, and James Michael Clark, 49 - appeared briefly in court here Monday afternoon. A federal judge ordered them to remain in custody until a second hearing later this week, basing his decision on the strength of a 199-page FBI affidavit in which the suspects allegedly openly and repeatedly voiced their eagerness to spy against the United States.
Authorities alleged that while the East Germans paid the three more than $40,000, it was ideology - specifically their interest in overthrowing the U.S. government - that propelled their espionage activities.
If the charges hold true, that would distinguish the case from other espionage scandals in recent years, in which such convicted spies as Aldrich Ames of the CIA and Earl Pitts of the FBI were prompted mainly by money.
No so these three, said U.S. Attorney Helen Fahey. "This affidavit presents a portrait of three Americans who betrayed the people's trust and the obligations of American citizenship," she said.
Officials, however, said the damage to U.S. national security appears less serious than in these other well-publicized cases.
From October 1991 until last January, Squillacote served in various positions at the Defense Department; most recently, she was a senior staff attorney in the office of a department undersecretary, a position she left last January. Stand is a regional representative for the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations. The couple lives in Washington, D.C.
Clark, a resident of Falls Church, Va., and an expert on Slavic languages, works as a private investigator.
The affidavit charged that the trio "collectively made over 30 trips outside the United States between July 1974 and July 1990, all or most of which are believed to be in furtherance of their espionage activities.
The three were charged with attempted espionage and conspiracy to commit espionage. None of the defendants addressed the charges at the brief hearing, except to advise federal Magistrate Barry R. Poretz that they have been unable to obtain defense attorneys since their arrests on Saturday.
Squillacote and Stand were arrested after driving in their van to a pre-arranged meeting with the undercover FBI agents at an Arlington hotel. Clark was taken into custody at his office in Fairfax.
According to the government, Stand became an agent for East Germany's foreign intelligence service, known as the HVA, in the mid-1970s. A native of New York, he volunteered, according to HVA documents now available to this country, for "ideological" reasons. He allegedly recruited Clark in 1976 and Squillacote in 1980, about the time they were married.
Squillacote, a Chicago native who the government says also was devoted to Marxism, and Clark, born in Lowell, Mass., were the primary intelligence-gatherers, according to the allegations.
The FBI says that over the years, the group obtained State Department, Pentagon and CIA documents on Soviet military plans and personnel. The documents were allegedly funneled to East Germany and presumably passed to the Soviet Union's KGB intelligence operation. Soviet agents then could better assess how the United States obtained such information.
The charges also state that Clark provided the HVA with secret documents he obtained while working both as a paralegal for the U.S. Army and for a defense contractor at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Boulder, Colo. In Colorado, he had access to secrets on chemical warfare, including the formula for the deadly nerve gas Sarin, and the affidavit stated that notes found at his home indicated he had passed this information to the East Germans.