'Confession' of Accused CIA Spy Reveals Link to US Videogame Maker
By Gar Smith
Amir Mirzai Hekmati, a US citizen of Iranian descent and a former Marine, has been sentenced to death by a court in Tehran for spying. According to Iranian press reports, Hekmati was found guilty of "co-operating with a hostile nation, membership of [sic] the CIA and trying to implicate Iran in terrorism."
Although the story broke big in the mainstream press this week, Hekmati's alleged videotaped "confession" was actually broadcast -- in its entirety, with Hekmati speaking Farsi -- on Iranian television on December 18, 2011. While staged confessions are always suspect, in the videos, Hekmati looks relaxed and healthy and he speaks quietly, in calm, measured tones.
Although Hekmati's videotaped "confession" was broadcast nearly a month ago, it is virtually impossible to penetrate the Western media's info-barrier to discover what he actually "confessed to." A Google name search only produces links to stories from the BBC and US news agencies -- none of which contain the details of Hekmati's supposed confession. Even a Google search for Hekmati's name linked with the Fars News Agency (which broadcast the taped "confession") also leads to the same dead-end. Curiously, the Google search yields no matches for Fars -- only the same links to the BBC and Western media.
It is only by going directly to the websites of Fars and the Tehran Times that one can track down the actual content of Hekmati's videotaped testimony. That is what this reporter did.
One of the most surprising revelations in Hekmati's online tell-all was his admission that, in addition to training at the Pentagon's Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, he also spent time working for Kuma/War, a US-based videogame company that specializes in combat simulations. Kuma/War has reportedly worked under contract for the US Army but, in the transcript of his taped statement, Hekmati also claims that, in addition to its Pentagon contracts, Kuma/War received funding from the CIA.
Confessions of an Arrested American --
On December 12, 2011, the <a href=" http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9007277922 "> Fars News Agency</a> --reported that the Iranian Intelligence Ministry has "arrested an agent of the CIA in Iran immediately after he started his spying activities inside the country." FNA went on to report: "The arrested spy has been born in Arizona of US and has a track record of ten years of training as a professional spy. Amir Mirza Hekmati was employed by the US Army's intelligence section in August 2001. In his confession that was broadcasted [sic] by Iranian TV on Sunday night, Hekmati explained his secret mission in Iran."
The following is excerpted from Hekmati's broadcast interview:
"I was graduated from high school in 2001 and decided to enter the US Army. It was in August 2001 that I wore the US Army uniform and underwent different military trainings of the army". --
"When they realized that I know a little Persian and a little Arabic, they told me: 'We want to send you to a university to learn Arabic language.' I studied the opinions of Iraqi officials regarding the US and the presence of US military in Iraq. Our goal was to pinpoint those Iraqi officials who were inclined toward the US and do something that, in case of outbreak of any incident, they support US military. After sending our reports to US Army's intelligence department, security and intelligence officials held secret meetings with Iraqi officials and tried to establish closer ties with those officials."
Hekmati then describes how, after several months in Iraq, he joined the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) he worked with the Cyber Security program.
"After DARPA, I was recruited by Kuma Games Company, a computer games company which received money from CIA to design and make special films and computer games to change the public opinion's mindset in the Middle East and distribute them among Middle East residents free of charge. The goal of Kuma Games was to convince the people of the world and Iraq that what the US does in Iraq and other countries is good and acceptable." -- --
In July 2006, Hekmati claimed, he was approached by a woman who told him that she was a "government official." She actually worked for the CIA.