“Soldier of Fortune” Magazine Hits New Low – Publishes Grossly Inaccurate Article Calling American Traitor Ana Montes a Heroine 5

True Believer: Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes, Cuba’s Master Spy True Believer: Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes, Cuba’s Master Spy Paperback – October 1, 2009 by Scott W. Carmichael

True Believer: Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes, Cuba’s Master Spy True Believer: Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes, Cuba’s Master Spy Paperback – October 1, 2009 by Scott W. Carmichael

Ana Montes: Cuban Spy: Traitor or Heroine?

Just 10 days after the attacks of 9/11, the FBI arrested a 44-year-old woman named Ana Belen Montes.

She had nothing to do with the terrorist strikes, but her arrest had everything to do with protecting the country at a time when national security was of paramount importance.

Montes, it turned out, was spying for the Cubans from inside the U.S. intelligence community itself—as a senior analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency, or DIA. And she was soon to have access to classified information about America’s planned invasion of Afghanistan the following month. She had slipped under the radar for 16 years.

Montes was actually the DIA’s top Cuban analyst and was known throughout the U.S. intelligence community for her expertise. Little did anyone know how much of an expert she had become and how much she was leaking classified U.S. military information and deliberately distorting the government’s views on Cuba.

It began as a classic tale of recruitment. In 1984, Montes held a clerical job at the Department of Justice in Washington. She often spoke openly against the U.S. government’s policies towards Central America. Soon, her opinions caught the attention of Cuban “officials” who thought she’d be sympathetic to their cause. She met with them. Soon after, Montes agreed to help Cuba.

She knew she needed a job inside the intelligence community to do that, so she applied at DIA, a key producer of intelligence for the Pentagon. By the time she started work there in 1985, she was a fully recruited spy.

To escape detection, Montes never removed any documents from work, electronically or in hard copy. Instead, she kept the details in her head and went home and typed them up on her laptop. Then, she transferred the information onto encrypted disks. After receiving instructions from the Cubans in code via short-wave radio, she’d meet with her handler and turn over the disks.

During her years at DIA, security officials learned about her foreign policy views and were concerned about her access to sensitive information, but they had no reason to believe she was sharing secrets. And she had passed a polygraph.

Her downfall began in 1996, when an astute DIA colleague—acting on a gut feeling—reported to a security official that he felt Montes might be under the influence of Cuban intelligence. The official interviewed her, but she admitted nothing.

The security officer filed the interview away until four years later, when he learned that the FBI was working to uncover an unidentified Cuban agent operating in Washington. He contacted the Bureau with his suspicions. After a careful review of the facts, the FBI opened an investigation.

Through physical and electronic surveillance and covert searches, the FBI was able to build a case against Montes. Agents also wanted to identify her Cuban handler and were waiting for a face-to-face meeting between the two of them, which is why they held off arresting her for some time. However, outside events overtook the investigation—as a result of the 9/11 attacks, Montes was about to be assigned work related to U.S. war plans. The Bureau and DIA didn’t want that to happen, so she was arrested.

SOF story continues here:  Murderous Cuban Spy Ana Montes a Heroine?

 

 

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5 comments

  1. I do not believe one single word, told here, about the story line explaining how; “the astute colleague, in 1996, acting on a—gut feeling”—believed Ana Belen Montes was a spy for Cuba. This is like Monday morning quarterbacking, but in the worst way.

    Now I know why, what is actually sort of “sidewinder” headline that reads here; “Soldier of Fortune Magazine hits new low…” was placed here in this article. Yet, without not even an attempt to reference the follow-up story in the body of the article on the so called principal subject of the headline; the so called “soldier of fortune” etc. It is, because this article is actually an excuse—with the intent—to message by Cuba Confidential, its dispute and to further state its own position regarding a prior opinion expressed, right here in this website, by another writer (yours truly) as commented and published in the article published before this one this same month, yet, expressing another—different—point of view, on how I believe Ana Belen Montes was actually caught.

    Therefore, I do not believe and disagree this chronology about Ana Belen Montes as put here now. But one thing I do know “the astute colleague” has sold books about his participation after his so called “gut feeling” in getting Ana Belen Montes, yet, while admittedly acting ONLY after being given direct orders by his higher-ups to track her down—but not from his self initiative of opening a prior closed investigation—and that is the interest here now; to clamp down on his published version of the story.

    If such were true and knowing this so called “astute colleague” was a U.S. intelligence officer, one thing is for sure; anyone, allegedly as “astute” as him, who had access to sensitive U.S. intelligence information, and who was on the payroll of U.S. Intelligence, as he was, and who also knew that Ana Belen Montes had actually recommended a U.S. intelligence policy regarding Cuba, to the White House, which stated; Cuba was NO longer a risk to U.S.national security and did not act on this or do anything about it, NOT even objecting to this weird and erroneous U.S. intelligence policy, or was not able to track her down, or set-up the right procedures to get her, for 16 years, is really stupid or incapable. Anyone in Calle 8, Little Havana, would have told the President of the United States that woman recommending that Cuba is NO longer a risk to U.S. national security, is a Cuban spy, to check her out. What planet do these so called intelligence gurus live in?

    And that´s exactly what the almighty U.S. intelligence apparatus did for 16 years; NOTHING! Meanwhile, everyone in that U.S. intelligence apparatus knew she was recommending an official U.S. intelligence policy that stated: Cuba was NO longer a risk to U.S. national security. You know, Cuban Americans always say; AMERICANS are always the last to find out. And the message here is; there is a tremendous language, and socio-cultural disconnect between Americans and how Anglo Americans behave and conduct themselves versus the very cultured and educated segment of Latin Americans. The proof to this, is so evident, that the proliferation of Hispanic language culture and news media networks throughout the United States is now almost foremost in the media industry, in comparison to Anglo News, in Spanish language preponderance. Every night the media ratings for Spanish language television is higher than English language television right inside the United States. This speaks volumes about the real world versus the textbook U.S. intelligence and textbook procedures. This is also unprecedented in American history regarding any other cultural immigration and with each day that passes it will continue to burgeon further. Enough of the fake news that sells books. Enough of protectionism about the positions published in books. The fact is, the U.S. intelligence apparatus did not find out for a period of 16 years that Ana Belen Montes who was a U.S. intelligence officer in charge of the country of Cuba at the Pentagon, was actually operating covertly as a Cuban spy. Unbelievable! So much for “astuteness”. Call it something else please.

    And now the Ana Belen Montes story, all of a sudden, is an oversimplified story about an “astute colleague” with a “gut feeling”.

    This whole Ana Belen Montes story, is one of the biggest blunders and one of the biggest breaches—if not the largest—into U.S. intelligence, when U.S. intelligence should have known Cuba was—and still is—a risk to U.S. national security because Cuba has never stopped engaging closely the most rogue and terrorist countries in this planet. For instance, Saddam Hussein´s Physiatrist was a Cuban that Fidel Castro—when Castro learned through his intelligence operatives Hussein had a huge back problem—-he sent the physiatrist to Iraq and the physiatrist became one of Hussein´s closest members of his inner circle.

    So, if anyone—as Ana Belen Montes—who was writing such a FALSE recommendation to the White House, of all places, that Cuba was no longer a risk to U.S. national security, U.S. intelligence or the so called “astute colleague” should have know better. Ana Belen Montes, would have been MY FIRST SUSPECT. Or not? But 16 years to catch-up to her after knowing she wanted the White House to believe as it did that Cuba was no longer a risk to U.S. national security would have been a clear sign that woman was NOT WORKING FOR THE UNITED STATES. Were where the so called “astute intelligence officers” all that time? Give me a break.

    But you know what, I bet Wikileaks, soon, will publish the real story facts. How´s that. Then we´ll really know won´t we? And those published books about Ana Belen Montes will be nothing. The spy kiosk is now a business for the so called spy catchers. But I believe, spying is a sensitive and should be an UNPUBLISHED business.

    Otherwise, it is another great Ian Fleming novel.

  2. To prove further, the prior position published by this writer, the history of U.S. Intelligence is littered with spectacular intelligence blunders.

    Sometimes, the correction of one error can lead to a new error, as intelligence 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: U.S. Intelligence has had some successes too, but let their public relations operations draw-up that particular list.

    Just remember one thing, the U.S. Intelligence community owes itself to the American public, citizens as you and I, and U.S. intelligence members are not a breed apart to other citizens with special infallible powers. They are men and women as we.

    Many Fortune 50 companies, Japanese, Chinese, Israeli corporations have better industrial espionage dispositions and better management decision-making powers than the U.S. intelligence community. I´m personally unimpressed by all the BS that goes on here sprinkled with personal attacks because I have an opinion. I don´t believe in Directors appointed, I believe in growing through the rank and file the best personnel to lead.

    So read-on the following unbelievable blunders about the so called “astute intelligence” gurus:

    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 Drumheller 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 happen 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 Counter terrorism 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.).

    • NOT EVEN a week has gone from the above opinion, as posted, when—now—all the news media across this great nation are debating the fact of how egregiously WRONG–sometimes the U.S. intelligence´s “long story lines” are, turning into actual BIG, HUGE, BLUNDERS. The CIA´s latest is one which has the potential to jeopardize the present electoral process with the CIA´s BULLSHIT “long story line” stating the RUSSIANS hacked the U.S. elections delivering a TRUMP victory (thank G-d). This is something I never thought our nation was capable of entertaining. But then there are a lot of “non astute” people working on U.S. intelligence who think they´re so astute, specially when others have different intelligence.

      The lunatics are taking over the insane asylum.

  3. Dr. Lievano, a Psychiatrist, knew Ana Belen Montes´ father very well, as a colleague and a friend. He was a straight military man with a high caliber of discipline, many times contrary to a rebellious Ana Belen Montes as a daughter. Her mother, though, was a Puerto Rican activist. I met her mother, in Washington DC, many years ago. Her mother always had a gripe with Cuban Americans. Many of Ana Belen Montes´ own actions and inner conflicts were transpired by her mother´s own believes and her mother´s radical activism of hate and a sense of psychologically dislocated feeling of Puerto Rican “independentismo” in contrast with the United States as a nation and thus her evident hatred of Cuban Americans.

    As with many Puerto Ricans in Congress, their self identification as citizens is that of being a BORICUA and not of being an AMERICAN. This stems from the love/hate relationship conflict of Puerto Rico, a geographical possession and territory of the United States of America, and being its people highly divided into a huge self-introspection and self-identification as a people colonized–in many intangible ways (so they believe……….) by the powerful nation of The United States of America.

    I met Dr. Lievano when he had his child psychiatry practice around 1986 at 1300 in Coral Way Miami, Florida on the first floor of that building on the corner location. The whole “West Side Story” theatrical saga, in many respects, is a behind the scenes symbolic reality among Puerto Ricans and how they feel about the U.S. intervention of Puerto Rico by the United States. This latent feeling has carried over into generations and generations of Puerto Ricans who believe they are not whole, because the U.S. has turned that tiny island nation and territorial possession of the United States, into sort of a welfare state microcosm. This is exactly the underlying dynamic with Ana Belen Montes who did all that spying for Cuba for free and without the expectation of receiving anything in return.

    I could go-on, but I prefer not to, hence, it´s all done. For except now the Cuban government wants to make a big deal about it–now–by exploiting Ana Belen Montes as a heroine–but please lets be clear–yes, a heroine of the Cuban failed revolution and never a heroine of the United States of America where she is in prison for treason.

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