US Honors Sergeant For Role in Cuban Spy Case 8

Master Sergeant Tessa M. Fontaine

Master Sergeant Tessa M. Fontaine

By Chris Simmons

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) awarded its Bronze Medal to Master Sergeant Tessa M. Fontaine for helping lead a counterespionage investigation that resulted in a 13-year sentence for an unidentified Cuban spy. Then assigned as the chief of NRO’s Counterintelligence and Cyber-Counterintelligence Inquiries, her spy case protected a five-billion dollar intelligence system. As part of this investigation, Fontaine also orchestrated 148 hours of spy debriefings and documented 16 hours of Cuban espionage operations. The Air Force subsequently named her Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. She now serves at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

No further information is available at this time.

(Corrected) Editor’s Note:  The NRO designs, builds, launches, and maintains all US spy satellites. Cuba has no space program and its military infrastructure is grossly outdated, rendering it of little interest to NRO. As NRO poses no threat to the Castro regime, it would  seem that Havana would have NO interest in NRO. Very curious….



  1. So when are they going to give a medal to the private citizen patriot and writer of the self-funded and published full-page newspaper article that appeared on June 28, 2000, in the Washington Times? Thereupon, he single handedly pointed-out for everyone in Washington DC to read next morning that Cuba–indeed–was inflicting great harm and damage to U.S. national security. Meanwhile, the “all-knowing” intelligence apparatus at the Pentagon and the U.S. Department of Defense “gurus”–of which Ana Belén Montes was–right then at the same time–their lead analyst and their top policy formulator of the U.S. policy toward Cuba was publishing bogus and false reports, which informed the White House that Cuban was no longer a risk to the United States. Only a short time later to find out, actually, Ana Belén Montes, became the largest individual breach to U.S. intelligence in its history through her actions as a Cuban spy, while wroking undercover at the highest level of the U.S. intelligence platform. This resulted to be a true travesty of major proportions and an embarrassment to the President of the United States. Thereafter even a “spy catcher” (Scott W. Carmichael) was fabricated who alledgedly was responsible for uncovering Ana Belén Montes. In contrast, the writer of the full-page article wasn´t given a medal for being on-point to disclosing Cuba´s interference on U.S. national security. In contrast, the writer citizen patriot was indicted for telling the truth while pointing a direct finger at the White House, which thereafter set-off the “White House” chronies at various levels of influence to go after the writer of the newspapaer article through a criminal indictment, yet, under the veil of what was a fabricated scheme to avoid publicity. How is this known? Because, actually the writer of that newpaper article was indicted under the same–and somewhat modified–“last name” that he signed and published the newspaper article under, which was a somewhat different last name, as the last name showing on the contract under which he was indicted. That intelligence tracer–in the form of a modified last name–placed in advance by the writer was not taken into account, which enabled the writer to identify the true origin of such fabricated indictment. Details matter and such detail was overlooked, which helped to uncover the true origin of abuse of power in our government against someone–a citizen patriot–who simply told the truth and published it and turned out to become a factual reality to this very day. Ana Belén Montes now sitting in a prison cell, then the top analyst of U.S. intelligence toward Cuba, read the article in DC where she resided and worked and she knew instantly it was contrarían to her false and bogus recommendations, which falsely informed the White House that Cuba was no longer a risk to U.S. national security. Meanwhile, at around the same time, the private citizen patriot who wrote the privately funded full-page newspapaer article telling and exposing the great harm and damage inflicted by Cuba to U.S. national security, thereafter endured the raft of abuse of power from the persons in power at the U.S. government all the way up to the White House to save political face.

    • I´m sorry, Mr. Garrido, but the article you referred did not give the clue for catching Ana Belen Montes. Ask Scott W. Carmichael to know what unleashed the hunting operation by DIA.

      • You mention I should get in contact with Mr. Carmichael to find out what unleashed the hunting operation by DIA. I did try to get in contact with Mr. Carmichael regarding such matter at around the same time the book was published. He never returned my call. Notwithstanding, long before Mr. Carmichael became involved in his assignment given to him–not being a direct initiave borne from his own suspicion or his intuition–such assignment was given to him under the basis to investigate into a “rumor” circulating at that time of an alleged existing intelligence breach, yet, without him knowing where such breach was coming from. The newspaper article, in contrast, connected the dots to expose Cuba´s direct interference with United States national security. This is a fact of history by sheer chronology. Obviously, the newspaper article was in the public domain as a chronological factor before Mr. Carmichael had anything in his hand regarding Ana Belén Montes. The next day after the newspaper article was published in Washington DC, the easiest thing, to do, for any intelligent and diligent member of the intelligence community who may have seen the article would have been–reasonably–to read the newspaper article and to therafter begin to question immediately: who is the “go-to person” on policy toward Cuba from the U.S. and the “go-to” person on U.S. intelligence side to Cuba, ergo; Ana Belén Montes. If I were Ana Belén Montes at the time the newspaper article appeared published. right in the heart of Washington DC, and I saw and read that newspaper article (which she certainly did as it related directly to her area of responsibility both as a U.S. intelligence officer and a Cuban spy) it would have made her extremely nervous–and also her Cuban handlers–to know someone in the public domain and outside of the “all knowing” U.S. intelligence apparatus had published an opinion, which included factual pointed facts that disproved a then faulty U.S. intelligence policy regarding Cuba at that time. Such policy of the United States toward Cuba which circulated then, which stated OFFICIALLY(!), that Cuba was not a risk for the United States. The fact is, the U.S. Intelligence apparatus was wrongfully informed about Cuba and it therefore wrongfully informed the President of the United States by OFFICIALLY stating that Cuba was not a risk for this nation´s national security, while the newspaper article published totally the opposite, which was that Cuba was in fact a huge risk for U.S. national security. Additionally, the newspaper article also tied-it to the fact the President of the United States. for over one year had precluded the armed forces to conduct military training–at about the same time–in the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico. The crown jewel then of military training air, land and sea maneuvers. The intelligence community of the United States was tipped of an alleged breach in their intelligence apparatus and the newspaper article “bird-dogged” Cuba as a huge risk to the U.S. national security. Such is a huge difference and an immense departure from wrongful intelligence information at the deepest vowels of the Pentagin and the Department of Defense of the United States. The U.S. intelligence community was totally wrong to believe Cuba did not represent a risk to this nation´s national security. That is a fact. The newspaper article was NOT mistaken–during such same time–to publish what a huge risk Cuba represented to the national security of this nation. There is a whole section regarding how Ana Belen Montes was caught, which has been blacked-out in the reports recently released from the National Archives, which indicate and is filled with expressions such as: “We got lucky”, “Serendipity”. The newspaper article would have served this nation far better then, than the U.S. intelligence apparatus–guided at that time by Ana Belén Montes who wrongfully contributed to formulate a highly premeditated and wrongful policy of the U.S. toward Cuba–which had taken the wrongful policy stance that Cuba was not a risk to U.S. national security, while Ana Belen Montes was a Cuban spy. What a fiasco! Carmichael had no clue beforehand regarding what a risk Cuba represented to the United States´ national security. On the other hand in contrast, the newspaper article privately published by a private citizen patriot, was printed in black and white, for anyone interested to read the fact Cuba represented a huge risk to U.S. national security. There is a phrase I learned early-on in elementary school before I learned and mastered the English language, my second language, a time in elementary school when we recited the pledge of allegiance to the flag–every morning before the start of class. The phrase was very clever, indeed and I encountered it throughout my life all the way up to the most sophisticated board rooms of corporate America. The phrase goes: .”can´t see the forest from the trees”. As you may well know, sometimes, we can’t see a whole situation clearly because we’re looking too closely at small details, or because we’re too closely involved. Also, many times, ironically, it takes outsiders to help put the best pieces of intelligence together and many times the best intelligence officers climb out of their “ivory towers” to blend-in and get a better picture of the landscape. Be well, semper fi.

      • The Montes inquiry began and stalled in November 1996, was renewed in September 2000 after the CIA encountered persistent difficulty in managing Cuban agents and running technical intelligence operations. The FBI had obtained
        information, probably from a defector, of an unknown U.S. government employee spying for Cuba, whom Carmichael quickly
        identified as Montes. Three months later, the FBI began a full-field investigation that led to her arrest on September 21, 2001.

      • The FBI ran what was to become the Montes investigation for three years as an “Unidentified Subject” (UNSUB) case. In August 2000, the Defense Intelligence Agency became involved. DIA investigators Scott Carmichael and Karl James partnered with Counterintelligence analysts John Kavanagh and myself for our internal query. Working as a team, we conclusively identified Montes as the UNSUB in three weeks. Over the next several months, Scott Carmichael convinced the Bureau we were right and they opened the “Montes” investigation.

    • I agree with the date August 2000, as the actual date, when the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) got involved not 1996. Prior to that time–Mr. Angleton–there was no so called “Montes inquiry”. The fact is, the inquiry prior to that time, which you wrongfully allege was the “Montes inquiry”, and commenced in 1996 was dropped and forgotten soon thereafter. It was an inquiry started on information provided by someone about an “Unidentified Subject” (UNSUB), and it was an investigation which was based on outside intelligence provided–not inside information sought-out or obtained by anyone person proactively in the intelligence apparatus of the United States, which no one truly believed to be so, except was ministirially followed-up because of a tipster, without great or due reliability. The U.S. Intelligence apparatus didn´t even know who the “Unidentified Subject´s” provenance, whether it was from China, Russia, N. Korea, they had no idea who it was and from where and who the “Unidentified Subject” was working for and such was the status until an investigation was reopened again as of August 2000. The private citizen who wrote–on a self funded basis–and published the newspaper article in the Washington Times, right in Washington DC–in June 2000, two months before August 2000 acussed Cuba to be inflicting great harm and damage to U.S. national security and therefore pointed the assigned intelligence officers in the right direction to seek: to Cuba. It wasn´t even those intelligence officers´ initiative to seek out the “Unidetified Subject” it was an initiave started through an assignment given to them by their superiors. The writer and private citizen patriot of the self funded newspaper article published months well in advance of uncovering what was still until then an “Unidentified Subject” was on to something and it became a tremedous lead to get Ana Belén Montes the officer on Cuba at the DIA. Why don´t you get Plato Cacharis, Ana Belén Montes attorney, to go visit where she is now and ask her to truthfully explain how extermely nervous that self funded nespaper article, written by a private citizen patriot, made her and it also made her Cuban handlers, to the point the full-page newspaper article was prominently displayed in a Washington DC, a major newspaper. It was published appearing next–none other–than the President´s agenda section published on that same day the newspaper article appeared, to which event and action by the private citizen patriot had the potential to blow her cover. It put a spotlight on Cuba on that day in Washington DC right at the intelligence level (DIA), it was even worded as such right in the newspaper article which talked about the U.S. intelligence community on Cuba matters and of course Ana Belén Montes was the obvious go to person on Cuba who was issuing false reports that Cuba was no longer a risk to the United States, something which the newspaper article explained in detail, in a full page, to the contrary, which made her wrong. After that newspaper article written by a private citizen patriot and self funded uncovering the “UNSUB” (“Unidentified Subject”) became easier than an Easter egg hunt for kids during Easter on a mother´s tip. I´m sure the U.S. intelligence officers read the article too and they had their lead for Free and love of country. Someone thereafter came after this private citizen and patriot with a vengance using the citizen´s mofidied last name as he purposely put in his signature of the newspaper article, thinking that if someone addressed or came after him using that modified last name he could quickly identify the source of potential undue agression for writing the newspaper article. Exactly what happened they came after him using the modified last name appearing in the signature of the article only used by him in that instance.

  2. Pingback: Sergeant honored for her role in capturing Cuban espionage agent spying in U.S. | Babalú Blog

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