The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 Forum
Isolated and Adrift, an American Woman Turned Toward Iran
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks
Monica E. Witt, a former United States Air Force intelligence officer, is accused of espionage on behalf of Iran.CreditCreditFBI/EPA, via Shutterstock
Monica E. Witt, a former United States Air Force intelligence officer, is accused of espionage on behalf of Iran.CreditCreditFBI/EPA, via Shutterstock

Monica E. Witt, a former United States Air Force intelligence specialist, made her way through the gleaming doors and majestic lobby of one of Tehran’s largest luxury hotels in 2013, on her way to a conference that was all about bashing American culture.

There, in a crowd filled with fringe academics, Holocaust deniers and the lover of the terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal, Ms. Witt at last found herself among people as critical of her country as she was.

“What she said was she had been involved in horrific war crimes with the Air Force,” said Kevin Barrett, a controversial scholar of Islam who had an extensive conversation with Ms. Witt in the gilded lobby of the Parsian Azadi hotel. “And she just felt really bad about it.”

Less than seven months after the Tehran conference, according to an indictment unsealed on Wednesday, Ms. Witt defected and became a spy for the Iranian security service. It was the climax of a radicalization that was rooted in Ms. Witt’s military service and that accelerated while she was in graduate school. The F.B.I., around the time Ms. Witt earned her graduate degree, alerted her that Iran’s intelligence service had its eye on her.

“There weren’t warning signs in terms of ‘go to authorities’ warning signs,” said Cory Ellis, who knew Ms. Witt when they were enrolled in the same master’s degree program at George Washington University. Still, he said, she did not hide her strong feelings against American foreign policy. “Everyone just kind of sat and watched it.”

American law enforcement and intelligence officials have been left to cope with the repercussions of what several of them have publicly described as a “betrayal” by Ms. Witt, now 39. Officials suspect she remains in Iran, out of reach of American law enforcement.

Former intelligence officials familiar with the case described the damage to national security as severe, in part because she is suspected of revealing the names of double agents run by the United States, and the American authorities have struggled to conclude exactly why she turned on her country.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy, Ideology • Tags: American Military, Iran, Islam 
Hide 34 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. Goy Boy says:

    With this paragraph,

    “There, in a crowd filled with fringe academics, Holocaust deniers and the lover of the terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal, Ms. Witt at last found herself among people as critical of her country as she was.”

    – we are informed of a certain unprofessional bias on the part of the New York Times reporters.

    So the authorities can’t figure out why she turned on her country? I suggest “human decency”, but I may not be able to explain that concept to the authorities.

    If extradited, and convicted, maybe she can get a deal similar to the room and board provided to Jonathan Pollard.

    • Agree: Bill Jones
    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    , @anon
  2. Given what has unfolded with the Comey, McCabe, Strozk et al of the FBI, why would anyone give any credence to what the FBI says?
    The NYT article’s error of omission is that the Tehran Conference was open to all. Holocaust promoters were present as well, as were members of the Jewish group Neturei Karta.

    • Replies: @Asagirian
    , @Bill Jones
  3. ‘…Former intelligence officials familiar with the case described the damage to national security as severe, in part because she is suspected of revealing the names of double agents run by the United States, and the American authorities have struggled to conclude exactly why she turned on her country.’

    Soviet Russia used to have similar problems back in the day. It tends to come up if one turns to the dark side.

  4. @Goy Boy

    ‘…If extradited, and convicted, maybe she can get a deal similar to the room and board provided to Jonathan Pollard.’

    ? She was hardly serving Master.

  5. Asagirian says: • Website

    Isolated and Adrift, an American Woman Turned Toward Iran

    Cucked and Neutered, all US politicians and Deep State goons turned to Israel and Jewish Supremacism.

    Btw, isn’t NYT supposed to be about open borders and free movement of peoples? Then, why should US military personnel the US government over any other… esp when most US politicians favor Israel over the US?

  6. Asagirian says: • Website
    @Curmudgeon

    I believe Israel still denies the Armenian Genocide. And is there a monument to Nakba in Israel? At least the white man built some monuments to the Indians.

  7. Asagirian says: • Website

    on her way to a conference that was all about bashing American culture.

    Why would anyone bash a culture that is all about ‘twerking’, ‘gay marriage’, slut pride, vagina-mania, porn for kids, rap thuggery, and slavish celebration of Israel, Israel, Israel?

    And speaking of bashing America, which group was most triggered by ‘America First’?

    There is no more America. Even Trump has failed. US is under occupation of foreign power called Empire of Judea. Media is filth and poison, and doctors hand out opioids like candy to ‘white trash’.
    And elites don’t even defend the borders.

  8. @Curmudgeon

    ” error of omission”

    Error?

    All we know is “omission”

    You have more faith in them than I.

  9. Imagine if these charges were applied to neocons.

  10. Hail says: • Website

    Is Monica Witt of partial Hispanic or Asian ancestry? Who are her parents?

    Her look is not classically ‘White American,’ but suggestive of someone perhaps with (e.g.) a White father and an Asian mother. This could be one reason for her alienation.

  11. anon[245] • Disclaimer says:
    @Goy Boy

    “There, in a crowd filled with fringe academics, Holocaust deniers and the lover of the terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal, Ms. Witt at last found herself among people as critical of her country as she was.”

    The subliminal message is this — if you are fringe academic ( of what ? Or was it doubling down on the real deal – holocaust denier ?) and holocaust denier we will present you as Anti Anerucans , and Amerucans dint like anti- Americans .
    From dislike to bombing is though not a straight path , it is close to a straight line than a curve .

  12. anon[245] • Disclaimer says:

    After 1,379 Days, NYT Corrects Bogus Claim Iran ‘Sponsored’ 9/11

    The corrections, belated as they were, minimized the defamation of the original articles in a  lawyerly manner, conceding only that “it has not been established that Iran sponsored the attacks.” It has also not been established that Israel or Saudi Arabia or the Bush administration sponsored 9/11, but imagine the New York Times framing allegations against those actors this way.”

    07/27/2027 A Johnson .
    https://fair.org/home/after-1379-days-nyt-corrects-bogus-claim-iran-sponsored-911/

    • Replies: @JamesinNM
  13. I heard she converted to Islam. I’m not surprised. Look at how degenerate the West has become, people have no morals, nor any financial discipline. The entire Western World is a joke, that is crumbing to the ground.

    The foreign policy is also a joke. Constant wars for Israel, and interventions in foreign countries that have nothing to do with the US, just so that US politicians can claim the so called “Moral High Ground.” Good for her to escape this mess.

  14. @Asagirian

    Yep, America is kaput.

    • Replies: @Moi
  15. llloyd says: • Website

    The white race has been so demoralised by centuries of anti white propaganda. It really isn’t always the Jews, that it seems their heroes themselves have to be people “of colour”. They have the dispensation, fair or not, of not having to feel guilty nor easiy charged with racism. Witt is plainly of Asian descent. The nativist population of America is these days identified with opiate addiction which interestingly does not seem to have nearly so afflicted any other group. But is Witt anti white as a Moslem affiliated to Iran which considers itself an Aryan nation? On first reading, I would say no.

  16. Biff says:

    There, in a crowd filled with fringe academics, Holocaust deniers and the lover of the terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal

    My kind of party – where’s the beer?

    By Alan Blinder, Julie Turkewitz and Adam Goldman

    Must be former employees of the National Enquirer by looks of their writing style.

  17. “Ms. Witt defected and became a spy for the Iranian security service.”

    She would be seriously compromised as a “spy.” At best, she was a one-time source of information and might serve as an occasional technical consultant, much like those blathering talking-head retired colonels and generals the US networks line up … just not nearly as richly compensated.

    “Former intelligence officials familiar with the case described the damage to national security as severe, in part because she is suspected of revealing the names of double agents run by the United States, and the American authorities have struggled to conclude exactly why she turned on her country.”

    We have bigger issues with safeguarding SCI if an Air Force officer had access to that sort of information.

    • Agree: Tsigantes
  18. Carlos the Jackal

    Wikepedia:

    son of Marxist lawyer José Altagracia Ramírez Navas…José called him Ilyich, after Vladimir Ilyich Lenin…joined the youth movement of the Venezuelan Communist Party in 1959… Ilyich reportedly spent the summer at Camp Matanzas, a guerrilla warfare school run by the Cuban DGI near Havana

    So is the New York Times anti-communist now? Have they all burned their Che Guevara t-shirts? Do they no longer like the Sandinistas?

    Execution Still Haunts Village, 50 Years After Che Guevara’s Death [nytimes.com]

    New York Times Covers for Castro Henchman Che Guevara

    New York Times Slanted Sandinista Coverage: From McCain to de Blasio

  19. I’d like to know what one can do to support Iran or show support for it.

  20. I don’t really see the issue. If Iran wanted to know something, Israel would find it out and sell them the information.

    During the last embargo, who do you think was breaking it?

  21. @Hail

    ‘…This could be one reason for her alienation.’

    There are some other possible reasons as well.

  22. Hail says: • Website
    @Hippopotamusdrome

    Will await someone finding photos of her parents.

    From available photos, she appears to have substantial Nonwhite ancestry.

    Here is what I have learned on Ms. Witt (a.k.a. “Fatemah Zahra”):

    Monica Witt
    – “Former active duty U.S. Air Force Intelligence Specialist and Special Agent of the AFOSI”;
    April 1979 born in El Paso (at which time El Paso was around 34% White non-Hispanic, 62% Hispanic, <3% Black, <1% Asian);
    – Parents: Harry Witt and [Name of mother not public] (unstated if they are biological parents or adoptive)
    ca. early or mid 1980s: Family moves to Florida
    Spring 1997: Graduates high school in [Florida]? ;
    ca. mid 1997: Mother dies;
    Aug. 199: Enters U.S. Air Force (inducted into active duty, Dec. 1997);
    2000s: “Drifts from her relatives”;
    March 2008: Leaves U.S. Air Force, March 2008 (10 years, 7 months of continuous service; formal discharge, June 2008)
    mid 2008 to May 2011: Works at various private companies that have strong overlap with the defense-intelligence, first Booz Allen Hamilton; this sort of work trails off and by fall 2010 she is a full-time student in the international relations graduate student world of Washington, D.C.;
    Fall 2010 to Spring 2012: Earns Master’s degree at George Washington University’s school of international relations (Middle East Studies);
    Feb. 2012: Flies to Iran for “Hollywoodism” conference; it is said that at this time she formally converts to Islam (clearly it had been a few years in the making), and upon her return to the USA she is warned in person by U.S. intelligence agents that she is “being actively recruited” by Iranian intelligence, which she dismisses.
    2013: Is in Afghanistan & Tajikistan teaching English; from 2014, trail goes cold.

  23. The American military is the nations best option to take the country back. A swift sudden coup with all dual nationality/loyalty holders deported.
    Getting the nation back from the military will be a problem but better than being ruled by Zionists.

  24. @Hail

    Her father is named Witt that would make her a half Witt, wouldn’t it?

    • Replies: @Hail
  25. JamesinNM says:
    @anon

    Holocaust – the truth can withstand the most rigorous scrutiny, but a lie cannot.

  26. anonymous[191] • Disclaimer says:

    From those pictures of her is it my imagination that she has a certain, Asian or American Indian look to her face?

  27. Voltaire says:

    Monika Elfriede Witt….this is a very Germanic name.
    This is White Flight… you are going to see more of this in the near future.
    Whites are no longer safe in the Anglo American Empire unless you are 100% pro Israel.

  28. Hail says: • Website
    @Coleman Younger

    Her portrayal in the U.S. media suggests she was emotionally unstable and at her wit’s end when she defected to Islam/Iran in the early 2010s. Coincidentally, she also came to her “Witt’s end” at this time, in that she transitioned to the name Fatemah Zahra.

  29. @Hail

    She has a mask-like face like Faye Dunaway, but I see what you mean. The following is based on phone/address info I found on the internet, so not 100% accurate:

    Monica Witt was born in El Paso, TX. I am from El Paso but a generation older than Monica. The majority of whites, blacks, and Asians in El Paso are there because of the military. I am surprised that her place of birth is not listed as Fort Bliss, TX.

    Her father is Harry Witt (born 1951), mother Kilcha Witt (b.1944-d.1996). The El Paso address for the family, dated early 90s, is down the street from my former junior high school/middle school. There are a couple addresses in New Mexico, Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, which is confusing to me since El Paso is Army and New Mexico tends to be Air Force. Although the father’s military/government service may be why the father’s name is not being publicized. It seems that she attended high school in Florida, where her mother died and her father apparently is retired and still living there. I don’t think she has any siblings.

    It is bewildering that the FBI told her that Iran was interested in her. She was in her 30s, unmarried, childless, no mother, and estranged from her family. She was the perfect candidate to defect. Women need connections and to belong. She probably thought the military would provide the emotional support that her family couldn’t and when she became disillusioned with the military and was drifting across the world teaching English, word comes from Iran that she is valued, wanted, and has a purpose.

    • Replies: @Hail
  30. @Asagirian

    ‘…There is no more America. Even Trump has failed…’

    I voted for him, but Trump was more a symptom than a solution.

  31. Hail says: • Website
    @Triumph104

    Thanks —

    Kilcha Witt

    Kilcha” (or Gil-Ja) is a Korean female name, strongly suggesting the mother (b.1940s?) of “Monica Witt” (b.1979) was a Korean, which would explain her Central-Asian-esque, mixed-race looks. The highest likelihood, then, is that Monica Witt is half-Korean, half-White.

    If the father (presumably White-Christian) was U.S. military, as you suggest, and met the Korean mother while stationed with the U.S. military in some capacity in South Korea (a plausible-if-speculative scenario), then Monica Witt is, by personal background, (sorry if this offends anyone) U.S. military-imperial backwash.

    Rootless, part of no plausible organic community except that of a free-floating U.S. military caste, Monica “washed in” (at birth), and “washed back out,” on her own volition in her 30s. (Note that Monica went right into the USAF in 1997 upon graduating H.S. despite clear academic orientations; she eventually got an MA at a good school.)

    Even her name itself, all three of her names (see comment-29 above, “Monika Elfriede Witt….this is a very Germanic name”) must have felt to her like a small-scale, legalized fraud — given her racial origins.

    _____________

    Thank you, Triumph104, for this nugget of info strongly suggeting Monica Witt’s mother was Korean. In conclusion to this comment, I’ll restate my proposal from another recent thread:

    Is Monica Witt a “Tragic Hapa”?

    I would propose, given information so far available, that the answer to this question is looking to be a Strong Yes, Monica Witt is a Tragic Hapa.

    The story here may be less one about Iran or Islam than one about the Tragic Hapa. This is a phenomenon we need to start getting used to, given how many more of such people have been born in recent decades. The Tragic Hapa phenomenon is real, and it seems for close newswatchers every few months we see a prominent case. Monica Witt looks to be the latest.

  32. Chalk up another human rights defender for Booz, Allen! They now have Snowden, Hal Martin, John Weed, and now Fatemah Zahra. You know what their problem is – they hire people who are too smart for government work. You need military-grade minds, you know, sub-102, so they’ll fall for the brainwashing that rationalizes government crime.

    This is the intractable problem of CIA and its contractors. As they become more criminal, they need stupider people. So they ditched the Ivy Leaguers for jarheads, but jarheads can’t find their ass with both hands – especially since we’ve been blowing their nuts off in Afghanistan for 18 years now. Only a moron would sign up. This was the terminal stage of the Warsaw Pact satellites – you’d have to be a dickhead to work for such a parasitic police state. Just pull the plug on this bullshit regime and put the SIS’ heads on sticks.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Alan Blinder, Julie Turkewitz and Adam Goldman Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
Hundreds of POWs may have been left to die in Vietnam, abandoned by their government—and our media.