Theresa Squillacote

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Theresa Marie Squillacote a former senior staff lawyer in the office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, her husband Kurt Stand and friend James Clark, a private investigator, were arrested 4 Oct 1997 on charges of spying for East Germany and Russia[1].

Theresa Squillacote traveled regularly through the Soviet Bloc and even named her children Rosa and Karl (after the German Communist "martyrs" Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht). Despite this she was hired after her graduation from Washington, D.C.'s, Catholic University Law School by the National Labor Relations Board. Subsequently, she secured a post as a House Armed Services Committee staff attorney.

Reportedly Squillacote's father -- a Milwaukee-based NLRB official -- was friendly with the late Les Aspin, the committee's chairman.

During the Clinton administration, fter receiving yet another, higher clearance, Squillacote went to work at the Pentagon itself. In 1995, Theresa Squillacote received a "Reinventing Government" award from Vice President Al Gore[2].

Recruitment

Kurt Stand began his spying activities in 1972 after being recruited by East Germany to cultivate other spies in the Washington, DC, area. He was introduced to East German intelligence officers (the Stasi) through his father, Maximillian Stand, a chemical engineer who fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Clark, Squillacote, and Stand attended the University of Wisconsin in the 1970s where they were affiliated with the Progressive Student Forum and the Young Workers Liberation League, the youth arm of the Communist Party USA. Stand recruited Clark in 1976 and Squillacote about the time the couple was married in 1980.

Before obtaining a position at the Pentagon, Theresa Squillacote was employed by the National Labor Relations Board and, later, the House Armed Services Committee. She sent numerous photographs to her German handlers. Squillacote told an undercover FBI agent that she turned to spying to support the progressive anti-imperialist movement[3].

Espionage

The FBI affidavit said East Germany's relationship with the Stand family goes back to Stand's father, who recruited his son as a communist agent. In a secretly recorded conversation, Squillacote said the family relationship was even deeper.

``Between my husband and myself we go back in this work to 1918,'' she told an undercover FBI agent, according to the affidavit.

After East Germany East Germany ceased to exist in 1990, the FBI affadavit said, the three tried without much luck to work for the Soviet Union, which ultimately controlled the East German spy service. When the Soviet Union fell apart in 1992, they were left ideologically stranded, though Squillacote tried to keep up her contacts across the rubble of the Berlin Wall.

In June 1995, Squillacote tried once more to get back into the game of espionage, the affidavit said. It depicts that effort as desperate and doomed.

It said that while working at the Pentagon, she sent a letter to a South African official and Communist Party Communist Party, leader bemoaning the horrors of bourgeois parliamentary democracy and obliquely suggesting a working relationship.

The affidavit said Squillacote wept with joy when she received a reply. But the South African official had turned her letter over to his government, which passed it on to the United States United States, which set the FBI off on an undercover sting operation against Squillacote, her husband and Clark.

In 1996, an FBI agent wearing a hidden tape recorder tape recorder and posing as a politically sympathetic South African official met with Squillacote. The affidavit said the Pentagon lawyer discussed how she hated her job - ``the weight of the whole five-sided building is on me.

Squillacote also implied that she wanted something useful to come of their work. ``I kind of want them to know that their life wasn't worthless,'' she said, referring to her ideological ancestors, according to the affidavit.

She later gave the undercover agent four sensitive CIA and Pentagon documents, the affidavit said. And, it said, she made damning remarks, saying she had ``violated Federal 18, lots and lots'' in her past work with the East German service. Title 18 is the federal criminal code[4].

Stand and Squillacote frequently traveled to Mexico, Germany, and Canada during which time Stand would meet with their East German handlers. When the two Germanys united in 1990, Stand’s controllers tried to recruit him to spy for the Soviet Union and then for the Russian Federation. Although he never gained access to classified material, his role in the operation was to recruit agents and to provide information about the non-governmental groups with which he worked. Stand allegedly received $24,650 for his recruiting and coordinating efforts. On 23 Oct 1998, he and Squillacote were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage, attempted espionage, and illegally obtaining national defense documents. On 22 Jan 1999, a U.S. District Judge sentenced Squillacote to 21 years and 10 months in prison and Stand to a sentence of 17 years and six months[5].

Socialist connections

All three co-conspirators in the Stand case were former members of the Young Workers Liberation League. Kurt,s stand's father Maximillian Stand was a long standing member of the Communist Party USA. Kurt Stand was a leader of Democratic Socialists of America at the time of his arrest. Kurt Stand, Theresa Squillacote and Maximillian Stand were all members of the Communist Party USA splinter group, Committees of Correspondence.[6]

References