Rep. Omar to Commemorate Cuban Spy at Far-Left DC “Think Tank” 1

Congresswoman Omar

By Trevor Loudon, The Epoch Times

Controversial Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is about to associate herself with one of the most subversive organizations in this country.

On Oct. 3, Omar will present the annual Letelier-Moffitt Awards at the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). The IPS is a center of both far-left policy formation and support for the Palestinian socialist cause. The Letelier-Moffitt Award is named after the late Orlando Letelier, a paid Cuban intelligence agent.

With Omar’s strong ties to radical groups such as the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the Palestinian socialist cause, she is a perfect fit for the IPS—whose columnists have been defending her regular outrageous statements since her election to Congress.

Story continues here: Letelier award

 

The Dangers of Monday-Morning Quarterbacks: A Contractor’s Flawed “Ana Montes Case Study” Reply

Ana Montes and the Cuban Flag (Credit: FBI/CSO staff illustration)

By Chris Simmons

Earlier this week, the cyber-security firm Haystax published a misleading and self-serving article called “Finding Ana Montes: A Haystax Use Case.”

This is an extract from their “assessment:”

{QUOTE} Below is a list of events taken from the DoD report that could have been paired with conventional computer and network monitoring systems data:

  • Montes’ nickname at the office translated to “The Outsider,” and she had few social relationships.
  • She found reasons to travel to Cuba for work.
  • She requested the results of her clearance, to send back to her Cuban handlers.
  • She was compassionate, empathetic and sympathetic to Cuba, but very quiet about it.
  • Prior to her post-graduate education she was politically inactive, became politically active at Johns Hopkins and then went quiet after graduating.
  • She was involved with academic groups, including CDI, that supported Cuba.

With the Haystax for Insider Threat solution, we would have captured all the normal indicators that alert DIA analysts, but we additionally could have given top analysts and investigators (with the appropriate permissions) the ability to capture more qualitative events like those listed above and feed them back as structured data into the probabilistic model that underlies our analytics platform. {ENDQUOTE}

The DoD Inspector General Report they cite was written years AFTER the Montes investigation ended and benefitted from tens of thousands of hours of investigative work.

But let’s take a deeper look:

Bullet #1: Point of fact, most analysts are introverts and thus have fewer relationships than extroverts. Bullet is irrelevant.

Bullet #2: Montes’s DIA work trips to Cuba were few and more importantly, almost every DIA analyst travels to the country or countries in their portfolio. Bullet is irrelevant.

Bullet #3: For a government employee to request a copy of their clearance investigation is only marginally different than a person requesting their credit report. You do it to ensure no erroneous information is in it. Bullet is irrelevant.

Bullet #4: Some Americans sympathize with Cuba’s dictatorship. This point alone is inadequate to open an investigation.

Bullet #5: Montes was politically active during her undergraduate years, a fact well documented during her summer in Madrid. The Haystax comment is incorrect.

Bullet #6:  Montes had been active in the Cuba Study Group, as were other analysts, until ordered to stop attending by DIA Security. Furthermore, she only attended one meeting hosted by the Center for Defense Information (CDI). The Haystax comment is partially correct.

Most importantly, Haystax’s conclusion that the Haystax for Insider Threat solution “would have been the only way the DIA could have caught Montes sooner” is false.

For example, Montes’ cited behavior on the Brothers to the Rescue Task Force was investigated and the allegations refuted or otherwise explained. The inquiry was closed by DIA because there was no credible information to open a case. Montes’ behavior in this episode had no bearing whatsoever on the investigation. This myth lives on largely due to a “based on actual events” DIA training video scripted to protect key aspects of the investigation.

Databases fed incorrect information by inexperienced analysts result in the proverbial “garbage in, garbage out” solution. Investigative tools, like databases, do aid professional, experienced intelligence officers. That said, these personnel must be qualified, respected and sufficiently trusted that other agencies are willing to share those diverse bits of intelligence that ultimately lead to the creation of an Unidentified Subject (“UNSUB”) case. That is precisely what happened with the Montes investigation as the DoD Inspector General found, calling it a model of interagency cooperation. The right people in the right place at the right time with the right information always generate amazing results.

U.S. Expels Two of Cuba’s U.N. Diplomats, Citing ‘Influence Operations’ 3

The Cuban Mission to the United Nation (MINREX photo)

Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration on Thursday ordered the expulsion from the United States of two members of Cuba’s delegation to the United Nations and restricted travel of the remaining mission members to Manhattan, drawing strong condemnation from Havana.

In an announcement just days before world leaders gather for the annual U.N. General Assembly, the U.S. State Department accused the two Cuban diplomats of trying to “conduct influence operations” harmful to U.S. national security but did not elaborate on the accusations or release their names.

It was the latest sign of deteriorating U.S. relations with communist-ruled Cuba, focusing especially on Havana’s support for Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro, since U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January 2017.

“The Department of State today notified the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the United States requires the imminent departure of two members of Cuba’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations for abusing their privileges of residence,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in statement.

“This is due to their attempts to conduct influence operations against the United States,” she said.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez rejected the U.S. actions as “unjustified,” saying on Twitter: “The imputation that they might have carried out actions incompatible with their diplomatic status is a vulgar slander.”

“The expulsion … has the aim of provoking a diplomatic spiral that would lead to the closure of bilateral embassies, further tightening of the (U.S.) blockade and creation of tensions between both countries,” he said.

Ortagus said the movements of other members of the Cuban delegation would “essentially” be limited to the island of Manhattan.

“We take any and all attempts against the national security of the United States seriously, and will continue to investigate any additional personnel who may be manipulating their privileges of residence.”

Feature continues here: Cuban Spy-Diplomats Expelled 

Editor’s Note: An “influence operation” is a tailored espionage mission subtly and skillfully using agents, collaborators, and the media to promote a nation’s objectives in ways either unattributable or marginally attributable to that power.

Cuban Spy Ring the Focus in Political Thriller ‘Wasp Network’ 1

A scene from director Olivier Assayas’ thriller, ‘Wasp Network,’ which stars Penélope Cruz.

Marie-Louise Gumuchian

VENICE, Italy (Reuters) – A ring of Cuban operatives seeking to infiltrate anti-government groups exiled in Miami in the early 1990s is the focus of French director Olivier Assayas’ “Wasp Network”, a star-studded political thriller based on a true story.

Starring Penelope Cruz, Edgar Ramirez, Gael Garcia Bernal and Wagner Moura, the film premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday, where it is competing with 20 others for the top Golden Lion prize.

The action begins in Havana with Cuban pilot Rene Gonzalez, played by Ramirez, flying off to the United States to defect, leaving his wife, Cruz’ Olga, and their daughter behind in the Communist state led by Fidel Castro.

While it appears at first that he wants to start a new life in Florida, he joins other exiled Cubans there as part of a ring known as the Wasp Network, a pro-Castro group.
Led by Garcia Bernal’s undercover operative Manuel Viramontez, they infiltrate Cuban-American groups that want to topple the Castro regime.

“I liked the idea of leading the audience in one direction and then twist it and then we see the other side of the game,” Assayas told a news conference.

Garcia Bernal described the key characters as “spies that are trying to stop violence”.

“There’s something very unique about this story that highlights the act of love that actually made them do this, and the people they left behind support them,” he said.

The film is based on the true story of The Cuban Five intelligence officers who were arrested in Florida in 1998, convicted of espionage and other activities and jailed, before eventually being released after lengthy jail terms as part of a prisoner swap between the two countries.

Assayas, known for “Clouds of Sils Maria” and “Personal Shopper”, said shooting in Cuba was “what allowed this film to happen.”

“I thought there would be conditions, strings attached, the reality there was not. We were completely free to make the film as wanted. We were monitored to put it mildly, but there were no consequences on the film,” he said.

Article continues here: Hollywood Fiction

Editor’s Note: Any similarities between this movie and the real Wasp Network are purely coincidental. After all, the real Wasp Network played a central role in the premeditated murder of four Americans, influenced the U.S. political system at the local, state and Federal levels; spied on numerous military targets including SOUTHCOM, CENTCOM, SOCOM, NAS Key West and Barksdale Air Force Base; indimidated American media outlets, manipulated the Cuban American community, etc.