Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

"Next Week... On NCIS"

More information continues to come out on the spying submariner case; today's Virginian-Pilot has a summary of what they learned about the capture and NCIS interrogation of Ariel Weinmann from listening to the tapes of the Article 32 hearing:
Before the plane's arrival, customs had run passengers' names through a database listing outstanding arrest warrants. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Allen Brock knew only that the Navy wanted to arrest the 21-year-old petty officer third class on a charge of deserting the submarine Albuquerque last July.
What he found in Weinmann's backpack and pockets led to three charges of espionage against the sailor. The Navy disclosed some of those details for the first time Friday. Weinmann was carrying $4,000 cash, three CD-ROMs, an external computer storage device and a number of memory cards for storing digital images, according to testimony from his preliminary hearing.
Brock testified that he also found Weinmann carrying a piece of paper with the names, Social Security numbers and birth dates of two individuals, as well as a notebook whose handwritten contents aroused his suspicion.
Brock alerted a supervisor, who popped one of the CDs from Weinmann's backpack into a computer. What the customs agents saw is now classified by the government - as is much of the other evidence against the fire control technician.
The rest of the article talks about how the NCIS spent nine days questioning Weinmann. You can expect the hit TV show NCIS to borrow heavily on the concept for an episode this upcoming season. The Richmond Times-Dispatch story on the same subject has more on the information:
On the first day of questioning, he said, Weinmann delivered what appeared to be a rehearsed account meant to justify his actions and possession of secret material.
"He was telling a story about thinking about writing a book," Burke said. "I wasn't believing it."
Burke had Weinmann compose a written statement swearing to that account, he said, but by the end of that first day the story began to change. And as Weinmann continued to change his story, the interrogation stretched out.
I really liked the money quote at the end of that article:
"He seemed to be very confident in himself and feel that he was a very intelligent person," Burke said.
I'm wondering how intelligent he thinks he was to fly back into the U.S. under his own name when he was a deserter. I'm sure he'll have lots of time in Leavenworth to think about how intelligent he is (assuming, of course, he's guilty).


Blogger Chap said...

That tidbit about narcissistic ego is common to the stories of caught spies I know of.

Not to prejudge an ongoing criminal process, but that data point could prove telling.

8/12/2006 4:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kinda sounds like Bill Keller and the rest of the gang @ the NYT. I wonder if Iraqi Vets against the War and the ACLU are going to weigh in on his side?

8/13/2006 3:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I concur with Chap's comment. John Walker had the same sort of superiority complex. I really want to see how this one turns out..

8/14/2006 4:00 AM

Blogger Vigilis said...

Are you that certain Weinmann arrived back in the U.S. without a passport in another name?

I find it hard to difficult to believe that a deserter would have been granted a U.S. passport for foreign travel (to Vienna, Austria). According to his dad, he had not been a foreign traveller before joining the Navy "to see the world."

8/14/2006 3:01 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

The story says they knew to look for him on the flight based on the Homeland Security check of the plane's passenger list; I suppose it's possible that they'd been on to him earlier, and knew that he was travelling under another name, but I'm not getting that from the stories that are out so far.

8/14/2006 6:48 PM


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