Ghost of Convicted Spy Still Haunts Pentagon 4

Fourteen years ago today, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) published an unclassified assessment titled “The Cuban Threat to U.S. National Security.”  In it, Ana Belen Montes, the primary author of the assessment, minimized Havana’s strategic abilities.  Less than three and a half years later, Montes was arrested for espionage – the highest ranking Cuban spy ever imprisoned by the US government.

The unclassified DIA document concluded “Cuba has a limited ability to engage in some military and intelligence activities which could pose a danger…”   In reality, Montes added the passing reference to Castro’s intelligence service only at the insistence of this author, with whom she coordinated her assessment.  Her original draft omitted Cuba’s intelligence services.  Montes’ very soft-line position attracted a lot of negative attention within DIA and at the Pentagon.  In fact, before forwarding the assessment to Congress, Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen took the extraordinary step of adding a transmittal letter highlighting his concerns regarding Cuban intelligence, Havana’s dismal human rights record, and nuclear and biological issues.

Amazingly, almost a decade after the conviction of this spy, the Pentagon press release regarding her infamous claim remains on-line ( 1667).  Thankfully, someone in the Public Affairs office took down two documents attached to the press release.  So why didn’t the Pentagon finish the job and remove the press announcement as well?  Researchers can find all three documents elsewhere on the Internet, as well as at the National Archives.  The fact that this material remains on line at the Pentagon – without context – is offensive and embarrassing.   


  1. The Miami Herald’s “Golden Boy of Cuban Intelligence” Brian Latell, stated in his book, “After Fidel,” pages 190-91, that when he was National Intelligence Officer for Latin America from 1990 to 1994, he worked with Ana Montes “in the coordination of a number of assessments, including at least one national intelligence estimate.” Latell admitted that “it never occurred to me during the entire time I knew her that she was diligently working for Fidel.”

  2. Pingback: The ghost of Castro super-spy Ana Belen Montes continues to haunt the Pentagon | Babalú Blog

  3. Pingback: The ghost of Castro super-spy Ana Belen Montes continues to haunt the Pentagon | FavStocks

  4. Pingback: Capitol Hill Cubans: Pentagon Recycles Data by Cuban Spy | Americas Forum

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