CNN Declassified: Cryptic code in purse exposes Cuban spy 1

Convicted spy Ana Belen Montes

Convicted spy Ana Belen Montes

“Declassified” goes inside the FBI covert operation that led to the arrest of a Cuban spy with access to U.S intelligence. Watch Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Source: CNN

One comment

  1. Following is what I believe about the Ana Belen Montes case. “The all-knowing, almighty, U.S. Intelligence apparatus”, with the CIA as part of its central nerve center, was rubber stamping—by inadvertently allowing it to happen before their own watch, through the year 2000—everything an inconspicuous woman named Ana Belen Montes recommended from her position as a U.S. intelligence officer, in charge with the Cuba intelligence desk, and which ultimately produced the White House´s official position of the United States policy toward Cuba, during President Bill Clinton´s administration. That official White House position was: “Cuba no longer represented to be a risk factor for the United States and its national security”. Meanwhile, this same inconspicuous woman, Ana Belen Montes, actually, had already infiltrated and manipulated the key most-highest and sensitive intelligence prongs to generate the production of such a false, pre-meditated, untrue recommendation becoming, thus, a huge U.S. intelligence SNAFU to U.S. national security. This is now a part of U.S. History. Meanwhile, she, Ana Belen Montes, spied for Cuba undiscovered for years and years, on-end, without being investigated or captured as a Cuban spy. Surely, no one can deny this. It´s like something right out of a spy fiction novel.

    But all I know, for sure, and have evidence of, is to the fact; a full-page newspaper article was privately written and funded ($15,000) and published on June 28, 2000 by a private individual, as it appeared in the Washington Times, and such publication in the newspaper became cornerstone to Ana Belen Montes´ discovery to be a Cuba spy and her subsequent apprehension. The newspaper article, precisely questioned, what—in effect, indisputably—was a direct opposition to the White House official stance then toward Cuba, which stated; Cuba was no longer a risk factor to the United States and its national security, and under the watch, in that year 2000, of the “almighty, all knowing, U.S. Intelligence apparatus”.

    The privately funded and written newspaper article of June 28, 2000, declared directly what a menace and interference Cuba represented to U.S. national security. It was the whole crux of the privately funded newspaper article. It then was on August 01, 2000, which by counting represents less than 30 working days—including with the July 4th long weekend days in-between—after the privately funded newspaper article had been written and published, that the “higher-ups” at U.S. Intelligence, with decision-making power and who had obviously perused and read that full-page, privately funded ($15,000) newspaper article, most prominently featured in “small” Washington DC, thereafter, gave directions to proceed to investigate Ana Belen Montes.

    They became guided by the contents of the theme of this newspaper article, which proved publicly and unequivocally that Cuba was a risk factor to the United States national security then. And it was obvious, if Ana Belen Montes had promoted the opposite gruesome, false, intelligence policy that Cuba no longer represented a risk for the United States national security, as she spied for Cuba, while on the other side of the spectrum; that privately funded newspaper article—unknowingly—of the fact she even existed as a Cuban spy, but, nevertheless conscious that Cuba material factors existed to reasonably consider Cuba to be a risk factor for U.S. national security, as published, and discussed at length in such newspaper article, concluding about Cuba´s direct interference with U.S. national security.

    That was sufficient for even a moron at the U.S. intelligence apparatus to target whoever promoted the false notion; Cuba was no longer a risk to United States national security, in light of evidence presented in the newspaper article on how Cuba was—in fact—a direct interference to U.S. national security. The newspaper article went as far as to state the Clinton administration had placed its own personal interests, above the interest of the U.S. nation even when such represented a risk factor to U.S. national security. However, the writer of the privately funded ($15,000) newspaper article gave credit (now unduly) to the U.S. intelligence apparatus of knowing Cuba was a direct interference and risk factor to U.S. national security, when actually the writer didn´t know; not even the U.S. intelligence apparatus knew Cuba was a risk factor to U.S. national security, by allowing the going forward of the false recommendation, falsely promoted, by Ana Belen Montes—and unbeknownst to anyone she was a Cuban spy—working at the Cuba desk of U.S. Intelligence. This was a formidable, incredible breach of national security. An amazing irony!

    That newspaper article, in itself, became a sure starting point and lead for U.S. intelligence to want to probe Ana Belén Montes who formulated the false intelligence policy; Cuba was no longer a risk for United States national security and everyone—except the writer of the privately funded, written and published full-page newspaper article—swallowed Ana Belen Montes´ falsehood by allowing to become that erroneous U.S. policy toward Cuba.

    No one, who was anybody of substance in government, in Washington DC, would have missed that privately funded, full-page newspaper article published in the Washington Times, which challenged the President of the United States publicly by encouraging President Clinton and the White House to review the policy toward Cuba, which without the writer knowing, had stated; Cuba to be a non-risk factor to the United States national security. Moreover, no one of any substance in government would have missed that newspaper article, because it appeared published, by the decision of the Washington Times, precisely, opposite to the published Presidential agenda for that day, which detailed by time schedule, for ease of reference.

    That is how the U.S. intelligence apparatus got-on to an intelligence investigation track leading to Ana Belén Montes. Meanwhile, right after the newspaper article was privately written, funded ($15,000) and published, the Clinton administration had the writer of the privately funded newspaper article indicted on a fabricated case, while others took credit for uncovering Ana Belén Montes, but who were merely bird dogs on a hunt from the idea started from the newspaper article, which the higher-ups initiated and not the bird dog intelligence officers. The truth will come out one day, for sure, it´s matter of timing. The indictment even came under the pseudo-last name in the signature of the writer who had planted it there in the event (as the writer had suspected it could have personal backlash repercussions from the Clinton White House) he would become a target. It was amazing patriotism by the writer.

    The writer intended to help his government in the U.S., by publishing information to review its erroneous policy toward Cuba, for the U.S.´s own protection. But the White House, then, had other interests, such as getting back—even—after being two consecutive four year terms, into the White House, through a Senatorial candidacy, later, in New York by the first Lady who would be largely dependent on the Puerto Rican vote, crucial for a win in New York State Senatorial race. And just like the writer of the privately funded newspaper article pointed out, it occurred. This all happened during the island of Vieques fiasco, in Puerto Rico when for a whole year our Armed Forces, also at the direction of the White House, were not allowed to practice military maneuvers in Vieques which had been conducted there for over 60 years. An undisclosed source informed the writer of the newspaper article, the target investigation against him and the subsequent indictment came directly from Washington DC. In time, this will be known one day.

    In the meantime, it must be very difficult for the writer of that privately funded newspaper article to have to wait in silence in light of the thankless circumstances surrounding these events and how they evolved leading to present circumstances, leading to present year 2016 a time when the Director of the FBI himslef has declared about the “extreme carelessness” exhibited by the unprofessional comportment of Secretary of State Clinton, when the writer know all-to-well the U.S. national security in the past has been compromised by the Clinton last name at the expense of personal political interests involved, when the writer is on the record to this fact relevant today. Then imagine if the writer had the information on how he came to be a target of a fabricated investigation promoted by those in power who´s interest pointed to a grossly erroneous and false policy toward Cuba that stated Cuba was no longer a risk factor to U.S. national security and pointed to the discovery of a Cuban spy who served as the U.S. intelligence officer of the Cuba desk pretending to work–betraying–United States intelligence.

    Ana Belen Montes is—only—one in a long list of other “snafus” of U.S. Intelligence. It happens. Notwithstanding, I offer you here other fourteen (14) other, equally huge, intelligence errors, which tend to purport that what people inside, referred to as “the insiders”, within the intelligence apparatuses are in reliance upon, precisely, is derived many times from people outside, referred to as “the outsiders”. Many times, history has proven and not on simple matters, but on very delicate and complex matters, even the CIA is not infallible. There is no grandstanding about the infallibility of the intelligence so called “inside information”. That would be a sure sign of failure to come.

    HOWEVER, THE FACTS ARE: The history of U.S. intelligence is littered with spectacular intelligence mistakes. Sometimes, the correction of one error can lead to a new error, as analysts atone for past mistakes by moving too far in the opposite direction. I have compiled a list of such huge catastrophic mistakes with the assistance of researchers at the indispensable National Security Archive, a non-profit group that has published more than half a million government documents.So, this is part of the public domain, make no mistake. As a disclaimer: the CIA has had some successes too, but let their public relations operation draw up that particular list. Just remember one thing the U.S. Intelligence community owes itself to the American public as I and you´re not a breed apart and with infallible powers. Many Fortune 50 companies and Japanese corporations have better industrial espionage dispositions and better management decision making powers than the U.S. intelligence community. I am, personally, unimpressed by all of the B.S. that goes-on.

    1.) 1956 Soviet control over Eastern Europe.

    In an NIE released in January, the CIA said that Moscow would remain in full control of Eastern Europe through 1960 at least. Five months later, there were riots in Poland, followed by a revolution in Hungary in October/November that had to be put down by a Soviet invasion.

    2.) 1958 The “Missile Gap.”

    NIE 11-5-58 predicted that the Soviet Union would have 500 intercontinental missiles “sometime in 1961, or at the latest in 1962.” After the U.S. launched a spy satellite called Corona in 1960, the estimate was downgraded to 10-25 ICBMs. The Soviets actually had four ICBMS in 1961. To be fair to the CIA, this is an example of where they get it wrong, but they also thought up the technological solution, in the form of Corona.

    3.) 1961 Bay of Pigs

    President Kennedy used 1,500 Cuban exiles to try to overthrow Fidel Castro. The plan was for a CIA-trained force of exiles to seize an isolated area along Cuba’s southern coast. The invasion was a disaster. In a postmortem conducted by the CIA, inspectors “concluded that the operation’s unorthodox command structure ensured that vital information would not be properly disseminated,” and thus “the Agency’s principals had been derelict in their duty to advise the White House of the growing possibility of disaster” (CIA). Basically, the CIA knew the invasion would most likely not succeed, and didn’t inform the president. Conspiracy theorists would later posit that this is why the CIA wanted to assassinate Kennedy: He was angry and thought, “How could I have been so stupid?” to trust the people who were advising him, and he wanted to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.” (Marquette University)

    4.) 1962 The Cuban Missile Crisis.

    On September 19, the CIA told Kennedy that the establishment of a Soviet missile force on Cuban soil was “incompatible with Soviet policy as we presently estimate it.” A month later, an Air Force U-2 took photographs of Soviet missile sites. This is another case where the CIA got it wrong, and then partially rectified the mistake. (The U-2 was a CIA program.) They still missed a hundred or so battlefield nuclear weapons on Cuba, and underestimated the number of Soviet troops on the island by a factor of three.

    5.) 1965 The Soviet ICBM buildup.

    The CIA missed the Soviet missile buildup, partly in response to the humiliation of the Cuban missile crisis. A subsequent CIA director, Robert Gates, later wrote that the Agency “did not foresee this massive Soviet effort to match and then surpass the United States in strategic missile numbers and capabilities — and did not understand Soviet intentions.” This seems to be a case where the Agency swung from one extreme to another. Having overestimated the Soviet missile buildup in the Fifties, they underestimated it in the Sixties.

    6.) 1972 Nixon and Watergate

    In June 1972, five people broke into the Democratic National Headquarters in order to bug their telephones. The event led all the way to the top of the food chain: Republican President Richard Nixon. Nixon resigned in disgrace, but he tried to save himself first. In what became known as the “Smoking Gun,” tapes revealed Nixon and his Chief of Staff, H.R. Haldeman, trying to block investigations by having the CIA falsely claim to the FBI that national security was involved. Nixon approved the plan. Click here to listen to it. The FBI initially agreed to this due to a long-standing agreement between the FBI and CIA not to uncover each other’s sources of information. Though within a couple of weeks, the FBI demanded this request in writing, and when no such formal request came, the FBI resumed its investigation into the money trail. While not a true blunder per se, the case isn’t helped by the fact that one of the burglars was an ex-CIA agent, E. Howard Hunt.

    7.) 1978 The Iranian revolution.

    In August 1978, CIA issued an NIE that said Iran “is not in a revolutionary or even a prerevolutionary situation.” The Shah fled Iran six months later.

    8.) 1990 Two blunders on Iraq.

    On July 31, The CIA dismissed the likelihood of an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Saddam Hussein invaded two days later. The CIA also significantly underestimated the scale of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program. As described in the book “Legacy of Ashes” by Tim Weiner, the CIA was caught completely off-guard when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Then-CIA Director Robert Gates was at a family picnic when a friend of his wife asked him, “What are you doing here?” He replied, “What are you talking about?” She said, “The invasion.” Mr. Gates asked, “What invasion?” (The Telegraph). Unfortunately, this back-and-forth lacked a lot of central intelligence.

    9.) 1991 The Collapse of the Soviet Union

    People agree the fall of the Iron Curtain was a good thing. However, the surprise of it all was a bad thing, which resulted in a costly and unnecessary U.S. defense buildup. Critics would argue that it was the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mentality that forced the Soviet Union to go broke and collapse. As Gregory Treverton from the RAND Corporation wrote, “In retrospect, there were signs aplenty of a sick society. Emigres arrived with tales of Soviet toasters that were as likely to catch fire as to brown bread.” Author Thomas Powers contended that most observers, including the CIA, thought, “psychologically we had a very deep investment in believing that nothing was going to happen — forever.” (CIA) Either way, for many years there was hype regarding the Soviet military threat from the intelligence community, and only after the fall of the Berlin Wall did the world get a chance to see decaying military systems up close.

    10.) 1998 The Indian bomb.

    The CIA failed to predict the testing of an Indian nuclear bomb in May 1998. The chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Richard Shelby, bemoaned “a colossal failure of our nation’s intelligence gathering.” The CIA was better prepared for the first Pakistan nuclear test a few days later. India conducted nuclear tests and the American intelligence apparatus was caught off guard. The failure could’ve led to a nuclear arms race in Southeast Asia. Richard Shelby, then-member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called it a “colossal failure.” Nuclear experts credit India with “knowing when to hide from U.S. spy satellites rather than American spies being asleep at the wheel.” Said Indian nuclear researcher G. Balachandran, “It’s not a failure of the CIA; it’s a matter of their intelligence being good, our deception better.” (Federation of American Scientists).

    11.) 1999 Iranian missiles.

    A September 1999 intelligence forecast said that Iran could test an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting U.S. territory “in the next few years.” Eight years later, Iran has made little progress toward acquiring an ICBM. In a January 2002 article for the Post, I argued that the upgrading of the Iranian and North Korean ballistic missile threat came at least partly in response to political pressure from the missile defense lobby.

    12.) 2002-2003 Iraqi weapons of Mass Destruction.

    The CIA, in NIE 2002-16HC, said that Iraq had “continued its weapons of mass destruction program,” and could build a nuclear bomb “within several months to a year” if it obtained the necessary fissile material. Evidence for such a program was never found and it subsequently turned out that a key CIA source, a defector codenamed Curveball, had lied extensively. As with the October 1962 NIE issued just prior to the Cuban missile crisis, the 2002 NIE illustrates the corrosive power of conventional wisdom. Since Iraq previously had a WMD program, the operating assumption was that it still had one. The CIA relied on a single source–an Iraqi citizen codenamed “Curve Ball” who defected in 1999 –who claimed Iraq was manufacturing mobile weapons laboratories. Even journalists are supposed to have at least two corroborating sources before going to print. The United States attacked a nation based on the veracity of one. To be fair, when CIA veteran Tyler Drum Heller appeared on “60 Minutes” in 2009, he said, “It just sticks in my craw every time I hear them say it’s an intelligence failure. It’s an intelligence failure. This was a policy failure … the idea of going after Iraq was U.S. policy. It was going to occur one way or the other.”

    13.) The Wrong Man (2003)

    In 2003, Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen in Macedonia, was grabbed off a bus and taken to a secret prison in Afghanistan as part of the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program. He was held there for five months. El-Masri was suspected of having ties to al-Qaeda, but he was the wrong guy. The mix-up was due to a misunderstanding concerning his name with the real suspected terrorist, as the names are spelled the same when using Arabic script. He was released on an order from then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice when she learned of his detention. Since 2001, the CIA has captured an estimated 3,000 people and transported them around the world. The program is still in existence, although scaled back. New rules state that suspects will be treated humanely and taken only to countries that have jurisdiction over the individual.

    14.) Pizza Hut (Iran, 2011)

    This recent, shocking blunder involves more than a dozen CIA informants in the Middle East facing execution after being caught by Hezbollah. Basically, their CIA handlers were using traceable mobile phones and used the code word “pizza” when agreeing to meet at a Beirut Pizza Hut. According to the Associated Press, Hezbollah counter-intelligence detected mobile phones that “were rarely used or always from specific locations and only for a short period of time.” A former intelligence officer told ABC News that, “CIA officers ignored warnings that the operation could be compromised by using the same location for meetings with multiple assets … We were lazy and the CIA is now flying blind against Hezbollah.” (Not to mention getting these guys, in all likelihood, killed).

    15.) 9/11

    The most notable CIA blunder on the list is the catastrophe of 9/11. The seminal event of this century, it created a National Intelligence Director, a National Counterterrorism Center, gave birth to rendition, two wars (Afghanistan and Iraq), the rise of the TSA and the ubiquitous concrete barriers around skyscrapers. All because, as the 9/11 Commission noted, the intelligence community had “an overwhelming number of priorities, flat budgets, an outdated structure, and bureaucratic rivalries.” (Foreign Policy) Various autobiographies written later had their authors, of course, say they tried to sound the alarm but were ignored, (Richard Clarke, etc.).

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