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tv   Daniel Golden Spy Schools  CSPAN  November 11, 2017 3:58pm-4:48pm EST

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>> go outside. [inaudible conversations] >> next up from the wisconsin book festival, pulitzer prize-winning journalist daniel golden with his report on foreign and domestic national security agencies, established espionage rings at american universities. >> good afternoon, welcome. i am a friend of the book festival and it is my pleasure to welcome you today to daniel golden's presentation on his new book "spy schools," how the cia, fbi and foreign intelligence equally exploit america's universities. if they had any more room on the book jacket they would have added and do so relentlessly
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and ruthlessly. a few brief announcements, thanks to the madison public library and the madison public library foundation and all our sponsors, you can see them individually listed on various publications. a few announcements, you know enough to turn off your electronic devices but if you take photos and post to the social media please use the hashtag w ibookfest@wibookfest and we will be happy to sign them. if you ask there will be a question and answer after his talk and use the center microphone so c-span can record your question for posterity for the viewing audience. daniel golden has done serious work is an award-winning journalist and author for close to 40 years. he is one of six senior editor that the independent nonprofit newsroom which has as its official mission statement to expose abuses of power and
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betrayal of the public trust by government, business and other institutions using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlight of wrongdoing. i think we are safe in assuming that well of stories will not soon run dry. dan previously worked as managing editor for education enterprise@bloombergnews where he had a theory contact the versions that in 2015 earned bloomberg news its first pulitzer prize. he was born in toledo and went to college in boston as they are said to say graduating, dan began his career with springfield daily news during the carter administration and 17 years with the boston globe including a stint on the spotlight team. he joined the wall street journal boston bureau in 1999 as a senior writer covering education and in that capacity
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we see the pulitzer prize in 2004 for beat reporting for a series of legacy admissions at elite universities including his own, as the citation read for his compelling is meticulously documented stories on admission preferences given to the children of alumni and donors at american universities. he expanded that series into critically acclaimed 2006 bestseller the price of admission. one of the people he writes about with devastating directness is america's second most famous legacy, a member of harvard in 2003, a young man named jared kushner. i do hope the admissions team is proud. when you think about it, it is no surprise university labs and college classrooms would become the frontlines of international espionage. worldwide clientele, open borders, research, education is
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national but when you read the details in this book, it is shocking, i think we should all be shocked. the washington post called the book important and fascinating. foreign policy magazine calls it deeply reported with surprising facts and statistics. 's adult hometown, boston globe, notes its startling revelations although i don't think anything can startle us anymore. it even has the marietta times all a flutter over its revelation of the ties between marietta college and the university of international relations in beijing. this is a topic with obvious relevance and residence at the home of the university of wisconsin where in the late 1950s and early 1960s the dean of admissions was a former cia recruitment officer. at least he told us he was a former recruitment officer and
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in 1961 former president ed garvey, the beloved progressive icon became president of the national student association which we would find out in 1967 was being secretly funded by the cia. in 1969 jim rowen did a series of investigative reports on the army research center. by the way i am told i am allowed to mention if you want to learn more about madison in the 60s come back next year where if i don't screw up and you don't blow up there will be a book by that title by 2018 wisconsin book festival, that is from my best friends, wisconsin's historical society, one bit of bad news is the springfield daily news is no longer with us but daniel golden is, please give him a warm wisconsin book festival welcome. [applause]
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>> thanks for that nice introduction, thanks to the book festival for having me and thanks to everybody for coming out on this damp afternoon. i'm delighted to be here. i heard about madison for many years, and i see it is beautiful even in the rain. funny thing, higher education for many years i visited dozens, hundreds of colleges and universities in the us but for some reason i never visited the university of wisconsin, i can only assume that is because the university has always been perfectly run the so there is nothing at all for me to investigate. i'm glad to be here now. so by schools is a work of investigative reporting so you won't find the word i ended a lot but it is quite personal
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for me. it explores the intersection of two cultures that have long interested me, universities and espionage. i spent a lot of my life around active media, both my parents were professors at the university of massachusetts, flagship campus in amherst, going to basketball and football games, playing pinball, eating in the campus center cafeteria. my favorite meal was the red baron, but she's bangor -- a cheeseburger, why i have a stent today. there are no spies in the family tree, as a teenager i devoured a lot of spy novels, and eric ambler and others. i enjoyed mad magazine's spy
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versus spy cartoons. sometimes i think the career that i chose as an investigative journalist is a cross between being a professor and a spy, a scholar, investigative journalist that delves into court records and dusty historical documents, like a spy, he or she pursues secrets and develops informants. as a young reporter at the boston globe on a spotlight team that was back in the days when reporters were still allowed to gather information under false backgrounds so i sometimes worked undercover posing for various stories as money laundering or in the cayman islands, a security guard and homeless person. luckily that last one didn't require much of a change in my customary attire at the time. my book's theme is the
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globalization of american universities has transformed to a front line for espionage. a small but intriguing percentage of 1 million foreign students, hundreds of thousands of foreign faculty and researchers in the us come to help their countries gain scientific secrets and sources on american policy. the fbi and cia reciprocate cultivating international students and researchers they hope to send home as agents. this topic hasn't drawn a lot of journalistic attention because it falls between two different journalistic beats, national security and hire ed. i was able to pick up new and startling information. and renowned schools like harvard to lesser-known -- and
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marietta college, american universities i found ignore or even condone the domestic and foreign espionage on their campuses partly for financial reasons, opening branch of the bride which are often subsidized by host countries and ramping up enrollment of national students and receiving funding for research and ever proliferating a variety of programs for intelligence agencies, i don't want to offend foreign countries or foreign government, two key moments in the 1970s fostered the surge in campus, the failure of the last significant, blocking covert cia, after u.s. senate investigation reveals several hundred academics for, quote, providing leaves, for intelligence programs.
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the alma mater became concerned, students and faculty for intelligence operations, the cia rejected harvard's guideline and made clear it had no intention of following them, and hardly any other universities adopted them so the whole effort came to not. since then especially since 9/11 universities have become more accommodating to us intelligence. harvard regionally bowed to pressure from the cia and rescinded an invitation to chelsea manning, the visiting fellow. the second pivotal moment was china's opening to the west and its decision in 1978 to begin sending students to the us which was motivated in part by a desire to catch up in science and technology. shortly afterwards the fbi began noticing increase in spine like a spike in the use
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of copying paper from 1982-1984 right here in madison, harry skip brandon watched the influx of these students, sometimes the rocksing bills was very high, almost humorously so. we wondered how they shipped this back. china now accounts for one third of international students in the us and 15% of foreign-born researchers and scientists. the vast majority pose no threat and like other newcomers infuse american universities with energy and fresh perspectives but some may have other agendas like a chinese graduate student of duke university. as i recount in my book, pentagon funded research at duke creating an invisibility -- tight american weapons.
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exploiting an unwary professor and collaboration guidelines arranged for collaboration with chinese scientists visited the duke lab photographic equipment in a bill. he also deceived a professor into committing to share his research in china and secretly started a website in china-based on duke's research, and take the key, a doctorate, he returned to china using the work at duke for competing institute with chinese government support, financial support and became a billionaire. i was talking to a customer in a bookstore the other day. he said espionage is good because it helps countries understand each other. may be so there's a lot of
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collateral damage. vulnerable students sucked in unwittingly, young and impressionable and didn't know better and professors who were pressured and enticed to spy. one case i go into detail, university of south florida professor who was one target of this pressure, born and bred in china but as a us citizen and in south florida he was director of the usf confucius institute. china staff find hundreds of these institutes of language and culture on campuses worldwide. and western intelligence agencies regard them as havens for spies, the reason they were interested, suspected him of spying for china and wanted to turn them into a double agent. various transgressions from expense accounts to having a large cash of sexually related
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images with disturbing content on his university computer. and fbi agents went to him and gave him a choice, basically said he could use his tenured professorship and go to jail for his financial transgressions and keep his prestigious position not to fire him. and spy on china in the confucius institute for the fbi. the fbi at south florida developed the branch campus in china to use as a base of spying. it plays out to an interesting dénouement which i hope you will read the book and see what happens. the one highlight of the reporting process was my legal battle with the fbi i would like to tell you about. one tactic i use to gather
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information was sent public records at state university use, to the fbi and cia. i could send the request to the fbi and cia, it takes decades to respond if they responded at all. i'm no longer a young man and the prospect is bleak. i went to the universities and tried it to stand around and most universities respond quickly including wisconsin. and the new jersey institute of technology which i chose because it have a high proportion of graduate students in sciences who might be targets for recruitment and so i contacted in git and they got back to me and said at least 4000 pages of emails with the fbi that we will be glad to
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send to you. the package arrived and virtually all of the 4000 pages were blacked out. i hired a pro bono law firm which is the only law firm i could afford to hire, reporting the committee to freedom of the press in washington and sued the university and its defense was this wasn't our fault, eight agents to the campus and went to the document and rejected them and the university turned around and sued the fbi so we had this three ring circus in federal court, and the position which i consider bizarre, the emails, belong to the bureau even though it was a sender and not a recipient. and didn't understand the logic, didn't want to go too
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far, presumably being afraid of damaging a precedent, they settled the case, emails you will see sprinkled in different parts. looking back i find it ironic the fbi is so eager to tell the world about hillary clinton's emails but desperate to cover up its own. i want to think this book is quite timely. for example, russian spying dominates the nightly news, spy schools document russian espionage on american campuses. in that regard i was interested to note the other day the trump campaign foreign-policy advisor, the liaison, the london-based professor. and chinese theft is a prominent topic in the media.
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and nationalism is globalization. that is the conflict that surfaced in brexit and the presidential campaign and the french campaign. it is at the heart of the campus by wars. intelligence services officially pursuing national goals. and national culture of universities, academic conferences which are the ultimates of global jet set events are crawling with spies both foreign and american. i want to read two brief experts to give you a sense of what it is like. one is about foreign spies and another americans buying and the first one is about the experience of an american professor not so long ago, a few years ago russia tried to
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recruit. here goes, this is the first one. a professor at one top-tier east coast university and joyce wearing an $800 with army watch to dinner parties. it is the ultimate conversation piece, a bribe from a russian spy. as a student he considered a cia career but the agency wasn't hiring. he got into academia, making his name as a foreign policy expert and occasionally wondering if he had a talent for espionage. than in 2010, he got an unexpected chance. he was moderating a campus discussion on arms control. afterward a russian diplomat approached him and one of the panelists, gave him his card and invited them to lunch. because they had security clearance the professor and his colleague were obliged to run this overture past the fbi. counterintelligence called the professor and said the diplomat
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was believed to be a foreign intelligence officer. i guess i won't meet him for lunch the professor said. that is what option the fbi agent said. he would prefer you to meet him. over the next two years the russian and fbi each treated the professor to ten lunches. he was dying with a residence by at mexican restaurants, french bistros and steakhouses. never the same place twice because his host was worried about countersurveillance. the russian always paid cash, $100 bills straight from an operational fund. the professor would call the fbi agents, taken to lunch a few days later and debriefing. the spy was in his late 30s, muscular and swarthy with high for and deep set eyes reminiscent of former kgb officer vladimir putin. he applied the professor with gift of increasing value, first a fine bottle of vodka which
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was especially appropriate from us by under diplomatic cover because it means ambassador in russian and the swiss watch. you want to watch? the professor asked the fbi agents. don't you want to check for bugs? no need, it was unlikely to be bugged, he could keep it. at last the russian proposed a trade, cash for information. the amount of payment dependent on the quality of information. to prevent exposure, he said, the professor should buy a laptop he would never connect to the internet. right on it, supply it on a flash drive, the spy would insert the drive into a secure computer in the nearest russian diplomatic facility and send a cable to moscow. the fbi instructed the professor to play along without providing classified secrets. he wrote an authoritative discussion of the afghanistan
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war and gave the flash drive to the russian. at their next lunch the spy handed over $2000 in $100 bills and made clear to his recruit publicly available information no matter how well analyzed would not suffice. we appreciated it but didn't think it was that sensitive, he told the professor. we can pay you more if you give us more. that is the first. the second, for my chapter on academic conferences. the idea is about a decade ago the cia devised a strategy to prevent iran from developing a nuclear bomb. it would identify nuclear scientists who were critical to iran's program and set up fake
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academic conferences outside iran in the sciences field of research or interest, then invite the scientists through intermediaries so the role would be hidden, have the scientists come to the conference, separate him from his handlers that would come with him and get him to defect to the us. some successes and failures i go into the chapter, and here is a little passage about what that was like. the cia agent tapped softly on the hotel room door. after the keynote speech, panel discussions and dinner, conference attendees retired for the night. audio and visual surveillance from the room, from the islamic revolutionary guard corps were sleeping that he was still awake. sure enough he opened the door
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alone. the agency had been preparing this encounter for months. through business front it is funded and staged the conference at an unsuspecting institution of scientific research, invited speakers and guests, to the staff. separate him from his guards and pitch him one on one. last-minute snag derailed the plans. the targets which totals because the conference's hotel cut $75 more than superiors were willing to spend. to show his sincerity and goodwill the agents put his hand over his heart, i am from the cia and want you to board a plane with me to the united states. the agent could read the iranian's reactions on his face. a mix of shock, fear and
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curiosity. the thousand questions letting scientists minds, what about my family? how will you protect me? where will i live? how will i support myself, how do i get a visa? do i have time to pack? what happens if i say no? the scientists started to ask one but the agent interrupted. first, get the ice bucket, he said. why? if any of your guards wake up, you can tell them you're going to get something. as i hope you can tell from these excerpts i tried to make this about revelatory and fun to read, like a thriller only true. whether i succeed, questions a,
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ask whatever comes to mind. [applause] thanks. >> sure. [ >> recruitment of us students, did you encounter that from the cia? >> improvement of us folks is very common in cases, the cia comes to campus and the laws save for their staffs they have to hire us citizens. they hold career fairs, events, crisis simulation this and they
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hire them and it is fine, identifying themselves saying recruiters so all those examples, i to tell the story about these recruiting sessions, very appropriate. a different movement such as the case with in south florida. they exerted pressure on him, high-level connections in china, quite interested in him and there might also be covert recruiting of americans not through the opening recruiting session to do other things, professors or students, american professor has particular expertise in weaponry or the middle east or something and they recruit that person and identify themselves,
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with a us citizen without identifying themselves as i'm focusing on the ones where a foreigner is unwitting and under pressure. and and they may pray to foreign intelligence agencies using the same tactics we use here for foreign students, i told the story of glenn duffy shriver, he was a student at grand valley state in michigan, over to china on a study abroad program, fell in love with the country, learned chinese, went back a number of times and when he went back after graduation, he was hard up for money, and through a ruse pretending to be
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from shanghai man usable government offering him work, the chinese intelligence ultimately recruited him, paying $70,000 to penetrate the us government, he was caught trying to get into the cia, he was imprisoned. it is a cautionary tale, pretty much an ordinary american kid, no science genius or anything like that, laid out a lot of money for an intelligent service to recruit him. my understanding from people i talked to is china has a whole intelligence unit devoted to western students, the attractive young woman is a used to lure him, other people reported approaches from her as well. it is worrisome for us citizens
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overseas in the wrong country at the wrong time. ..
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a partnership with the university in china that appears like a normal university but it actually partly funned funded and super individuals bid china's industry. it is known as a spy school
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graduates work for american businesses go to grad school at american universities and that is one reason why upon was of interest to the fbi because he had gone to that university. the vast majority of probably not spy us. not everybody who goes to university is, but that is something where at least universities ought to in the when the look at the resume, this person went to universe of international relations, kind of a warning sign, maybe we should check with u.s. intelligence as to what we should do, or ask this person about it in the admissions process. so, in terms of the research, i thing it's time for just basic written agreements. i'm a believer in globalization, don't want to stop research between the u.s. and other countries. a great virtue of universities
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they attract bright minds but there's a kind of naivete. it was basic research and wasn't classified, wasn't secret, but other countries are also interested in getting in the inside of basic research because it can take a long time to publish the results. they can fine out about it quicker if they're actually involved in and it can fine out what mistakes to avoid so they can replicate it faster. they're very interested in this kind of basic research, open source information. they aren't just interested in classified stuff. so, behooves universities to keep a closer eye and to make sure that they have written stipulations before they kind of get into this kind of mess. >> you were dealing with individuals and institutions who lied as part of their normal daily life. could you -- beyond just getting e-mailed can you talk about he
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verification and any great stories you couldn't nail down to your satisfaction for confirmation and had to leave out? >> well don't want to mention the wins couldn't verify because i could get into trouble there. there's reason why i left them out. but it's obviously -- this is not easy reporting. i think that because i've covered higher education, i approached it more from that side. so i got a lot of stories from professors about their dealings with the intelligence agencies, as well as maybe from former intelligence people talking about their dealings. i'll talk about one reporting method i'm proud of, which is the chapter about the kennedy school at harvard, which is one of the premier public policy programs in the country. and what i report in that chapter is basically that for decades, the cia intelligence
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officers haven't been enrolling upcover in the kennedy school's mid-contrary program which is deprominently foreign, two-thirds to three-quarters. future foreign leaders, foreign business leaders, foreign government officials on the way up in their countries and they're admit it. they're very desirable recruiting targets for the cia, and the cia officers enroll in the program, say they might have been overseas for a few years and then they're between assignments so the cia sends them to the kennedy school, and the kind of party line there is, they don't recruit there, just there to study, but anybody who knows bit mid-career programs, a lot of it is networking. and so they go out for beers afterward, get to know each other, and may not be officially recruiting a forer but they're not saying they're any cia, posing-ilyly as state department
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foreign officers or political officers from this or that embassy, and the unwitting foreigner becomes friends with them, and then after the program and the foreigner goes home and the cia guess back overseas, he can continue tapping his old classmate for information, and the guy might never know he was in the -- that his buddy was in the cia. one way i got that was i got a -- i got a tip that this was going on, and i said, well, how aim going to verify this? prove this? so, i -- as a harvard alum i had access to libraries and turn out the kennedy school library had about 30 years of photo rosters from the mid-career program. until i all went internet in 2012 or something from maybe 1980 to 2012. they had this book in which you could -- there was a roster. so i went through and it i basically pick out everybody who said they were from the state
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department, the political officer, and particularly itself looked a little suspicious, like their language was spoken was farsi or something like that. i developed a file of maybe 30, 35, oh 40 names and then started contacting them, looking them up in the clips and so on. and i identified a number of them who maybe -- at least a dozen i could show where are in the -- had been in the cia at the time they were saying they were in the state department. one guy had died in a mountain climbing accident, and the obituary in the "washington post" praise him as one of the great cia agents if. well, in the -- as far as they ken school was concern, he was an officer in the state department and then the madrid
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embassy. another guy in a scandal in later life and reveal he was in the cia. another guy left the cia and went into politics and then it became a positive for him to say he had cia experience. -afied all these people who had actually been in the cia at the time they went to the kennedy school, and said they were in the state department. i managed to get interviews with several of them on the record and they talk about their experience, how the kennedy school administration knew they were in the cia but kept their cover for them. it's all pretty revealing. that aspect of using a roster to document it was -- i thought that was a good ploy on my part. >> did you do any research on usaid or are you familiar with
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the organization? >> i know about usaid but i didn't do any special research on it. somebody comes in my become who work for usaid. another chapter in there is about cuba, and cuban spying at universities, and -- which is an interesting subject because it's different from china or russia, because there are not a huge number of cuban students in the u.s. hardly any because of the political sort of tensions between the two countries and other reasons. and cuba uses other means. there's american students who are very -- still very romantic.castro regime, and they sympathize with the ideologically, and particularly from puerto rico because puerto rico, the independence movement there looks up to cuba as an example of a lie lean that has stayed independent and has stood
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up to the out. so i tell the story of two young women, both of puerto rican background, and one 0 them, whose name was marta velázquez, recruited the other, annabelle to work for cuban intelligence when the were grad students at johns hopkins university any school for advanced international studies. montez rose to the buy up in defense intelligence agency as a cuba analyst and had a big say in our cuba policy before she was caught and speed guilty to espionage and sentenced to 25 years in prison and is in prison today. the other, marta, nobody has written much about her if anything, and she work for usaid for many years, primarifully latin america, which was also a very good perch for a cuban spy,
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and it's interesting because dana was working for usaid and then montez was arrested, and there were -- the reports came that montez was cooperating, and so velázquez knew she was in trouble because she had recruited montez, and the fled to sweden with her husband, swedish diplomat, and there's know treaty for eppsage between sweden and the u.s. so she is under indictment here but i've tracked her down, teaching public high school in sweden, and a very popular teach ever, teach are spanish and english at a good high school? stock home, but the funny thing is, this is another reporting thing which is -- so, she wouldn't talk to me, but i reached the principal of the school, and i started asking him
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about marta velázquez as a teacher. he said she was great teacher. said i noticed online that the school often has field trips to u.s. because it uses a cringe almost developed basis by ski coast systems on the west controversy said you send a lot of field trips the u.s. does she ever go on those? i knew she was under indictment in the u.s. so it was unlikely. he said, yeah, exact quote in the book but it's a very funny thing, she -- everybody else loves to go on these field trips but for some reason, whenever we ask her, she makes an excuse. of course, i knew the reason, that she is under indictment. she would be arrested if she sets foot here. it's a poignant story because she was very bright, a lot of promise, her father was a very fascinating guy remarks judge in
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puerto rico, and he developed an lsat prep course that everybody took when they're trying be a lawyer but very well-respected about had not been named to the puerto rican supreme court and should have been, felt so was a big advocate for independence and he kind of -- his daughter was very close to him, very bright, went to princeton and then johns hopkins, and ended up working for cuba maybe when she was too young to realize what the -- what effect it might have on her police officer if she got caught. -- on her life if she was caught. was about the same age. was impressed bier in a way. one thief sadder things was her daughter fewer died when she was in sweden and she couldn't go to funeral in puerto rico, and i talked to a bunch of the people who were there and they were saying, everybody was saying, where is marta? sews so close to their father.
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at that time the indictment was still sealed, so nobody in puerto rico and nobody in sweden knew she was under indictment and she couldn't come so her father was buried with her across the ocean. >> you didn't blow her cover with the school in sweden. can you explain your thought process and not pursuing that with the school? >> i did. i said to principal eventually -- i mean, he had heard rumors. knew nothing definite. i explained that's why i was calling him eventually. i didn't hide it from the school. it ended up being the swedish school district was actually quite helpful in the sense they provided the resume that she had filed at the time she applied nor teaching job, and apparently -- again, response to public information request under
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sweden's laws and they provided that, and i already knew it what's same person who had gone to princeton and johns hopkins and been indicted for spying, but this cinch. ed because it livedder her career, he college years and everything, and it was clearly the same person so they were help inflame that way. >> anybody else? >> did you have a question? no. i think we still have few minutes. if you'd like i could read you the passage that starts the chapter about marta val las questions and annabelle montez. would you like to hear that? tell the stir just told you but hopefully tells it better since it went through a few drafts. we'll see. the chapter is called "spy
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without a country" which kind of expresses kind of the thatos in malaria artas story. beside a busy highway leading out of stockholm is a three-store yellow bring building divided in five adjoining blocks. modest in size by u.s. standards, with an enrollment of 1300, it's one of the biggest public high schools in sweden's capitol. found in the 40s it's main lay technical school, specializing in field 's such as can be designs, electric tell engineering, arctic tour and computer -- and attracts a vie verse student body. the coprincipal told me in april 2016 that the school was gearing up for an influx of refugees from syria and other war-torn countries 'we are he school for everybody, he said. that it is our motto. while they compete in basketball
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and other sports, he added, it's teams generally lose. in our school, it's good to be a nerd. like thousands of other high schools in colleges worldwide, this high school uses an information technology curriculum developed basis score skims in san jose, california. it periodically sends students and staff on field drips to cisco's headquarters and attractions such as stan understood university and golden gait pack in san francisco. many teached at the school leap at this perk but not mart riot a velázquez. her spanish and english shows no interest in visiting the out, even though she is an american, born and raised in puerto rico, with goings from princeton university, georgetown university law center, and johns hopkins university. she has been asked to come to california with the class, she said. she has rejected it. we never asked why. velasquez can't go home gem. in
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april 2013, an indictment was unsealed against her in federal district court in washington, dc, accusing the former lawyer for the u.s. agency for international development for spying for cuba for 15 years. most significantly, as a graduate student at johns hopkins school of advanced international studies, velasquezs ally recruited annabelle montez for cuban intelligence. they overlapped with a professor who worked for the state department and was also a cuban spy. though they don't appear to have formed a classic espionage cell, the presence of three cuban agents inside one thief top feeder programs to u.s. diplomatic and intelligence services shows just how deeply the castro regime penetrated american academia. montez would rice to become the premier analyst on cuba at the pentagon's military intelligence arm, the u.s. defense intelligence agency and most effective cuban mole toea

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