Saturday, July 15, 2006

Boltonite may lose plea-deal in espionage case (his best friend's a talking pie!)

As I wrote last December, John Bolton's Asia "hand" Donald Keyser was accused of spying for the Taiwanese government. Keyser worked in the State Dept. with Bolton on Asian "issues." Keep in mind, Bolton himself once lobbied on behalf of the govt. of Taiwan...without declaring his status as a foreign lobbyist (oopsie!). Jeez, I wonder whatever happened to that Bolton guy?

So here we go: it's no secret that Bolton & Boltonites (including Keyser) have a strong "pro-independence" streak viz. Taiwan. No surprises there. Here's where it gets weird...

Remember when former Chinese president Jiang Zemin came to visit Bush in 2002? Me neither, really, but it kinda rings a bell. Well, it turns out that Taiwan was paying much closer attention than me. And by "paying close attention" I mean they sent an honest-to-god spy over for the occasion. That spy? Donald Keyser. Keyser sent frequent email communiques about the Zemin visit to a spy in Taiwan, Isabelle Cheng. Now here's where it gets really weird! [Time.com]
At some point, prosecutors say, the spy became his lover, and Keyser was caught lying to hide the affair — and hoarding classified documents in his suburban Washington home. Facing jail and with his marriage threatened, Keyser cut a deal, promising to tell all he knew about Taiwan's intelligence operations. But then the tale of the diplomat, his spook paramour and his wife — also a spy — got even weirder.
In return for Keyser's cooperation, prosecutors had accepted his denial of spying for Taiwan and let him plead guilty to three lesser felonies, preserving his pension. But in their filing earlier this month to throw out his plea, they allege Keyser repeatedly lied about his contacts with Taiwanese intelligence. Prosecutors want to enter new evidence to support "espionage-related" charges.
Bonus track: Keyser's wife Margaret Lyons is a "senior CIA official" on-loan to John Negroponte's Directorate of National Intelligence:
The prosecutors' filing says Lyons had known for about a year that Keyser had improperly kept classified documents at home. Worse, current and former U.S. government officials tell TIME, an FBI search of the couple's home found cia documents that Lyons had there without authorization. In a Feb. 22 letter to the judge in Keyser's case, Lyons — who hasn't been charged — admitted she and Keyser had failed "to properly secure" her husband's secret material.
For more (ahem!) salacious details re: the Cheng/Keyser affair, you might want to check out the New York Sun. Then again, if a 62 y/o State dept official jumping a 30-something spy in a car "puts you off your tea" then you might wannu avoid reading any further. Blech...

Anyway, this is easily one of the most confusing stories I've read about in a while. I think it's worth paying attention to, even if it's bespoiled by cheesy headlines like this one at Time.com: "A Steamy Spy Scandal at the State Department: A tale of the diplomat, his spy paramour, and his wife — also a spy — keeps getting weirder"

Good grief. That reminds me of Homer Simpson's big screenplay pitch: "It's about a killer robot driving instructor who travels back in time for some reason."

His best friend's a talking pie! (H/t on Taiwangate to Rawstory.com)

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