A few days ago, my colleague Alex Parker posted on the indictment, on espionage charges, of Monica Elfriede Witt, a former Air Force counterintelligence agent who defected to Iran in 2013. This is from the DOJ press release, the full indictment is embedded below.
Monica Witt, a U.S. citizen, was an active duty U.S. Air Force Intelligence Specialist and Special Agent of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, who entered on duty in 1997 and left the U.S. government in 2008. Monica Witt separated from the Air Force in 2008 and ended work with DOD as a contractor in 2010. During her tenure with the U.S. government, Witt was granted high-level security clearances and was deployed overseas to conduct classified counterintelligence missions.
In Feb. 2012, Witt traveled to Iran to attend the Iranian New Horizon Organization’s “Hollywoodism” conference, an IRGC-sponsored event aimed at, among other things, condemning American moral standards and promoting anti-U.S. propaganda. Through subsequent interactions and communications with a dual United States-Iranian citizen referred to in the indictment as Individual A, Witt successfully arranged to re-enter Iran in Aug. 2013. Thereafter, Iranian government officials provided Witt with a housing and computer equipment. She went on to disclose U.S. classified information to the Iranian government official. As part of her work on behalf of the Iranian government, she conducted research about USIC personnel that she had known and worked with, and used that information to draft “target packages” against these U.S. agents.
Monica Elfriede Witt Indict… by on Scribd
Witt was not a superspy. Her intelligence experience was operating on an RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft. She served in an undefined capacity while serving in counterintelligence. After leaving the Air Force she went to work for Booz Allen Hamilton, former employer of Edward Snowden, on Army counterintelligence projects and for Chenega Federal Systems on Middle East matters. During this time she “read on” to a special access program (SAP) targeting Iran. Her major offense seems to be trying to betray former colleagues by identifying them to Iranian intelligence though I’m not downplaying divulging the existence of the SAP.
A bit more background here on Monica Elfriede Witt's military career.
She left the service as a technical sergeant. Her last duty station was Andrews AFB outside D.C. pic.twitter.com/KUs5icLUnH
— Andrew deGrandpre (@adegrandpre) February 13, 2019
She did a public conversion to Islam in 2012:
The former U.S. Air Force intelligence analyst, her brown hair now hidden underneath a mandatory hijab, stood before an Iranian ayatollah as a television camera filmed behind her.
It was 2012 and Monica Elfriede Witt offered Ayatollah Hadi Barikbin the pledge of faith all Islam converts must recite: “There is no god but God and Muhammad is His messenger.”
Yet amid congratulations for her conversion, Witt — who once held a top secret security clearance — allegedly had a dark secret: She was being recruited by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to betray her country, according to federal prosecutors.
Dear Lord, what was their first clue that she was being recruited?
She went missing in 2014 and until this week no one seemed to care about her.
The question becomes why was she indicted now. The FBI says this is the culmination of “result of years of investigative work” and that implies that the FBI has known about her activities since the Obama administration…if not from the time she disappeared.
Did it actually take this long to discover what she was up to and build a case? Has this indictment been prepped for some time and the FBI was hoping she could be lured out of Iran and extradited? Or did the Obama administration conceal her treason in order to not cause problems for the Iran nuclear deal. A public announcement of an indictment of people who will never be within the grasp of US authorities is something we’ve come to expect of Robert Mueller.
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