Given who she really was, military officials had little choice in how they described Shannon Kent. They said only that she was a “cryptologic technician,” which anyone might assume meant that her most breakneck work was behind a desk.https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/08/us/shannon-kent-military-spy.html – 2/8/2019
In reality, she spent much of her professional life wearing body armor and toting an M4 rifle, a Sig Sauer pistol strapped to her thigh, on operations with Navy SEALs and other elite forces — until a suicide bombing took her life last month in northeastern Syria.
A former Air Force intelligence specialist who defected to Iran has been charged with espionage after authorities allege she gave that country’s government information about a highly classified military program and helped Iranian hackers target her former colleagues.https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-charges-former-air-force-intelligence-specialist-with-conspiring-to-share-classified-information-with-iran/2019/02/13/5e02d518-2f9c-11e9-813a-0ab2f17e305b_story.html
According to Matt Zapotosky’s report in The Washington Post, Monica Witt had appeared in videos critical of the U.S. government, and the FBI had warned her of the potential for an Iranian recruitment effort. Had she been already on her way to defection at that point? Had steps been taken to change her itinerary — her assignments, her reach — in response to her signalling out potential infidelity?
Five years after having taken flight to the other side as a Muslim revert, the Monica Witt defection has become a part of this day’s really big news.
No less storied but somehow handled more quietly has come the story of the highly performing, highly patriotic Naval intelligence officer Shannon Kent who was killed in the suicide bombing that took place in Manbij, Syria on January 16, 2019.
One may wonder about these two woman and their respective motivations, one to marry, raise a family, and fight for her country so very far away from home; and the other to change her religion, her appearance, and to choose — with sensitive data — to fight against it and on behalf of a state that hangs children, thieves from its population, and supports the murder of innocents via Islamic Terrorism worldwide
Oppel Jr., Richard A. “Her Title: Cryptologic Technician. Her Occupation: Warrior.” The New York Times, February 8, 2019.
Oppenheim, James S. “Syria – Assad – ISIL – Background.” BackChannels, December 9, 2016. In the medieval totalitarian mode promoted by Moscow through Damascus with the support of Tehran, the dictatorships manipulate ISIS as a useful foil for their own aggrandizement and functional enlargement through the basing of military assets and now cheap-as-rubble real estate acquisitions.
Zapotosky, Matt. “U.S. charges former Air Force intelligence specialist with conspiring to provide Iran with classified information.” The Washington Post, February 13, 2019.