Skip to comments.Monica Witt: USAF officer defects to Iran with information 'seriously damaging' to natl security
Posted on 02/15/2019 1:08:09 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
A US Air Force officer has defected to Iran and shared information that could cause "serious damage" to America's national security, officials have revealed.
The former Air Force intelligence specialist was charged with espionage and was accused of working for Iran, according to an unsealed federal indictment.
The announcement arrived after Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers and other senior officials held a call with reporters to discuss what they called a national security related action involving Iran.
Mr Demers was joined by US Attorney for Washington, Jessie Liu, FBI Executive Assistant Director for National Security Jay Tabb, Treasury Department director of Foreign Assets Control Adrea Gacki and Air Force Office of Special Investigations Special Agent Terry Phillips.
The officials discussed the unsealed indictment against Monica Witt, a former counterintelligence officer for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Ms Witt defected to Iran nearly six years ago in 2013.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
She really looks Iranian. Would like to see her ancestry.
Bet she fell in love with an Iranian that turned her.
They left out the “muslim convert” part. Yes, she was.
NYT called Witt a US intelligence “agent” since when has the Air Force changed its naming conventions from officer to agent? Like a secret agent? Or is it New York Times just showing its stupid side once again...
Was she on the plane that delivered the Billions???? If she has family members here, deport them all & seize their assets.
I think you’ll find those names somewhat interchangeable once you look into the history of the spook folks.
I have not researched this person’s history well enough to know exactly what she did for the USAF, but let’s say she was enlisted. If she was actually counter intelligence and did wear civilian clothes, she may be referred to as an officer even though she was not commissioned. CI people often go under cover, and are often referred to as “agents”.
Regardless of what this person should actually be called, I’d just settle for traitor.
Beast of Khandahar drone also donated to Iran.
Six years ago and she’s still “at large”. What a major failure. Any official who defects to the enemy should immediately be exterminated.
No muslim is our friend.
Didn’t Sec. Kerry’s daughter marry an Iranian recently?
No moslem is our friend, people need to realize that is not racist, it’s fact. Our lives depend on it.
Here’s the 411 on Witt:
Joined USAF out of high school. Became a Farsi linguist; you have to score very high on the language qualification test to get into the program and graduating from DLI (Defense Language Institute) is even tougher. From there, she went to Offut AFB, NE where she flew as part of the mission crew on an RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft, our premiere airborne SIGINT platform. As a lingust, her job was to intercept and provide initial exploitation of intercept comms. As a Farsi speaker, she spent a lot of time deployed to the Middle East, and logged enough flight time to receive an Air Medal and three aerial achievement medals.
Her career took an interesting turn around 2003, about six years after she joined the USAF. Witt became a Special Agent for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the service’s equivalent of NCIS and Army CID. AFOSI performs a number of undercover and official investigations, probing criminal activity and counter-intelligence matters. In CI circles, AFOSI is typically treated as a junior partner by the “big boys” in the game, since its agents are viewed as less experienced/skilled than their counterparts from CIA (overseas) and FBI (domestically)
Witt’s move into AFOSI is interesting. As an airborne linguist, she had a skill set that remains critically short within the USAF and the rest of the military. If a career field is short-handed, it is very difficult to cross-train into another job. Her transfer to AFOSI—just two years after 9-11—suggests two things: first, she might have experienced a medical issue that permanently grounded her. Many linguists would rather fly on an RC-135 or Navy EP-3, instead of sitting for hours in a windowless room, in a ground-based assignment. If she couldn’t fly again, Witt may have asked to be cross-trained, but again, securing that move from an undermanned career field would be difficult.
A more likely scenario: in the years immediately following 9-11, as the US geared up for war in Iraq, AFOSI needed more language-qualified agents. Given her abilities as a Farsi speaker, Witt was probably invited to apply for AFOSI and readily accepted.
So far, the USAF isn’t saying much about her assignments as a special agent (normal title given to all working agents in the organization), but it’s obvious she spent a lot of time in the Middle East. Quite likely she came in contact with Iranian Quds and IRCG operatives captured in Iraq as part of bombing networks that killed countless American troops. In any event, her “conversion” may have started years before she actually fled to Tehran.
One more note that is receiving little attention: the FBI clearly had some knowledge of her activities, including her contacts with Iranian officials. They also tracked her travels in the Middle East (probably on a US passport) after she left her defense contracting job in 2010 (she separated from the USAF two years earlier). Agents visited her after her first highly-publicized trip to Iran, where she reportedly converted to Islam on national TV. FBI agents simply warned her that she was being “targeted for recruitment.” There is no indication (yet) that the bureau’s CI staff made any effort to increase surveillance on Witt, or detain her when she began making plans to return to the Middle East.
Common sense says you may want to prevent someone with Witt’s background from defecting. So, why was no effort made to stop her? Well, let’s see; what else was going on around this time? That’s right, negotiations that led to the Iran nuclear deal. Team Obama didn’t want anything to jeopardize the talks and if a former military CI NCO (and airborne linguist) wanted to defect, well, no big deal.
As a former spook, I’m less worried about Witt’s potential SIGINT disclosures. By the time of her defection, she had been out of the RJ world for almost a decade, and was not up to speed on new capabilities aboard the aircraft. On the other hand, we should all be very concerned about her role in developing target folders on US intel personnel and individuals inside Iran who were working for the USG. Witt’s work in creating scores of folders suggest someone who was “turned” well before her defection, and assigned to gather special material that could help Iran plug leaks within its own security apparatus.
Last thought: wonder what Peter Strozk knew about Monica Witt?
You get more “pizazz” if you use the word “agent” then “officer”!
Remember its not about reporting accurately, getting the “facts” or anything like that. Its getting that newspaper, article, TV news show watched or TV news story sold!
“Facts” my be invited along for the ride, but they’re not essential.
She served in the USAF's OSI which is kind of like a mini-FBI in that they handle both law enforcement and counter-intelligence functions. While their ranks do consist of commissioned officers, they use the title, "special agent," in lieu of their rank during the performance of their duties as they may have occasion to investigate persons senior to them in rank structure.
She was a Technical Sergeant (E-6). Not sure that she was an Office of Special Investigations (OSI) agent or assigned to another agency. In the Air Force, OSI have the counterintelligence mission, but the Air Force have other intelligence units as well.
A Muslim, I assume?
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