Ignoring Science After Cuban Spy Ana Belen Montes Beat the Polygraph, DoD IG Recommended More Polygraphs 1

dod-ig-seal-officialby AntiPolygraph.org

On Friday, 21 September 2001, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s senior analyst for Cuban affairs, 16-year veteran Ana Belen Montes, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit espionage for Cuba. News that Montes had beaten the polygraph while spying for Cuba was first reported here on AntiPolygraph.org by one of our forum members. That Montes beat the polygraph is confirmed by retired DIA counterintelligence investigator Scott W. Carmichael, who writes “She had successfully completed DIA’s counterintelligence scope polygraph examination in March 1994, seemingly with flying colors.”

More recently, it has been revealed that Montes and a friend, Marta Rita Velázquez, received training in polygraph countermeasures in Cuba before Montes started working for the DIA in 1985. Montes is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence.

The Department of Defense’s Office of the Inspector General conducted a review of the Montes case and on 16 June 2005 produced a top secret report titled, “Review of the Actions Taken to Deter, Detect and Investigate the Espionage Activities of Ana Belen Montes.” An unclassified version of the report (15 MB PDF) with major redactions has been publicly released.

The DoD IG reviewed over 250,000 pages of documentation but evidently failed to review the National Academy of Science’s (NAS) 2003 landmark report, The Polygraph and Lie Detection, which concluded, among other things, that “[polygraph testing’s] accuracy in distinguishing actual or potential security violators from innocent test takers is insufficient to justify reliance on its use in employee security screening in federal agencies.” The NAS report is nowhere mentioned in the Montes review.

The 180-page report devotes just a single page — half of which is redacted — to Montes’ having beaten the polygraph.

The Montes review makes several recommendations with respect to polygraph policy. In short, it calls for more research into polygraph countermeasures, retention of polygraph charts for 35 years, and requiring polygraph screening for everyone at DIA.

Faced with a Cuban spy who beat the polygraph, DoD consulted not the scientific literature on polygraphy, but rather turned to those with the most to hide — the federal polygraph community — and decided that more polygraphs is the answer.

Retired DIA counterintelligence officer Scott W. Carmichael notes that Montes was hardly the first Cuban spy to beat the polygraph:

Feature continues here:  Counter-Poly Ploys

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Latell’s Latest Assessment Reveals Why Analysts Should Not Perform Counterintelligence 7

Ana Belen Montes

Ana Belen Montes

By Chris Simmons

Writing first in the Cuba Transition Project and then the Miami Herald, Dr Brian Latell recently energized readers with his feature, New revelations about Cuban spy Ana Montes

I, however, was greatly disappointed with the article. To start, he sensationalized several trivial issues and recycled old news stories (yes, she was a “true believer”  volunteer and yes, she was brought to the Cubans by talent-spotting agent Marta Rita Velazquez). None of this information is new.

However, he then misinterprets several key facts due to a lack of understanding regarding the field of counterintelligence, in layman’s terms – spy-catching.

For example, Latell claims that Montes met with her handlers “initially in New York, and later at her request in the Washington area…” Any Counterintelligence officer knows Havana would never consider running a penetration of the US government from 225 miles away. Having an agent or officer travel that distance once or twice a month for an extended period would be a huge risk to the security of the operation. Montes may have “asked” the Cubans for a DC-based spy handler, but the reality is she was going to be transferred to a local operative regardless of her wants and wishes.

More dangerous (and out of context) is his claim that during her interrogations, she was told that investigators “had information from a senior official in the Cuban intelligence service concerning a Cuban penetration agent that implicated Montes.” While that may be – in part – what the Pentagon document said, rare are the instances wherein an interrogator would truthfully tell a suspect they were betrayed by a colleague. That said, it is a common ploy to lie to a suspect and tell him/her their own people gave them up. This is what occurred with Montes.

Another major error is his wildly speculative and erroneous statement: “Did she work with other American spies? The report is ambiguous; it states that after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 pressure intensified to arrest Montes. The FBI preferred to wait, however, in order “to monitor Montes’s activities with the prospect that she may have eventually led the FBI to others in the Cuban spy network.”

The FBI wasn’t the only organization that preferred to wait – those of us in the Defense Intelligence Agency wanted to continue building the case as well. The “others in the Cuban spy network” weren’t part of some mysterious massive spy ring, but rather the compañeros she’d served during her espionage career.

Dr Latell is an exceptional analyst in his field. That said, Counterintelligence is a discipline unto itself, rendering any analytic generalist a poor job fit for analyzing spy services. Counterintelligence analysis is – and will always be — best performed by badge-carrying Special Agents skilled in investigations, operations, and collections.

Cuban Spy Marta Rita Velázquez Revisited: Repost of a Great Summary by Tracey Eaton 1

Indictment Details Spy Accusations

By Tracey Eaton, Along the Malecon

Friday, April 26, 2013

The U.S. government’s case against Marta Rita Velázquez is a tale of intrigue and clandestine travel, false passports and secret meetings.

Prosecutors say Velázquez introduced Ana Belén Montes to Cuban agents in 1984 and later helped Montes land a job with the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. Montes went on to become one of the most damaging spies in U.S. history, authorities say. She was arrested in 2001, convicted in 2002 and sent to prison.

In 2003, a grand jury charged Velázquez with one count of conspiracy to commit espionage. The indictment was filed on Feb. 5, 2004, but remained under court seal until Thursday. It’s unclear why U.S. authorities unsealed it now, more than nine years after the indictment. Velázquez is thought to be living in Stockholm, Sweden. I called what I believe to be her mobile phone number. I heard a message in a language I do not understand, and left a message.

A Swedish reporter also called Velázquez‘s number and said that a woman answered, irritated, and said, “What? Who is it? Oh, OK,” and then hung up. The Swedish TT news agency reported that Velázquez is now a Swedish citizen.

The Washington Post reported that U.S. authorities in December 2011 told Velázquez “she was under suspicion.” The U.S. extradition treaty with Sweden does not include espionage in crimes requiring extradition.

The Local, an English-language newspaper in Sweden, reported Friday that Velázquez‘s husband was an official in Sweden’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The paper did not name the husband, but said: The acts of espionage were carried out while the two were married.

Sweden’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Charlotta Ozaki Macías confirmed that the ministry had been aware of the case for years. “The Foreign Ministry official with a connection to the case is not guilty of criminal activity,” she told the TT news agency. The Swedish man remains in service at the ministry. Sweden has not received any requests to extradite the woman to the US, according to Per Claréus, press secretary to Justice Minister Beatrice Ask. He told TT that if the US was to send an extradition request, it would be refused.

The indictment alleges that Velázquez carried out the following overt acts:

• September 1983: Traveled secretly to Mexico City, intending to meet Cuban agents, but they evidently did not show up.
• Spring of 1984: Took Montes to dinner and told her she “had friends who could help Montes in Montes‘ expressed wish to assist the people of Nicaragua.”
• July 31, 1984: Wrote Montes a letter stating, “It has been a great satisfaction for me to have had you as a friend and comrade (compañera) during this time we’ve spent as students. I hope our relationship continues outside the academic sphere.”
• Fall of 1984: Invited Montes to travel with her from Washington, D.C., to New York “ostensibly to meet a friend who could provide Montes with an opportunity to assist the Nicaraguan people.”
• Dec. 16, 1984: Went with Montes by train to New York and met with a Cuban intelligence official who worked at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations and was identified in the indictment only as “M.” Velázquez later told Montes that “M” told Velázquez that Montes “would be one of the best.”
• Early 1985: Gave Montes and (sic) typewriter and instructed her to write a detailed biography, including a description of the Justice Department job she had at the time. The two again traveled to New York to meet with “M.”

Story continues here: Indictment Details Spy Accusations

Deadly Serious, the Cuban Spy Game Lives on in the Americas 2

By Jerry Brewer

If rhetoric alone was the official doctrine of world political institutions, both of the Cuban brothers that have dominated Cuban misery with iron fisted rule for 54 years, with influence and persuasion, would be kings.

As well, besides the deception and the smoke and mirrors, their spy network is the more sinister and most powerful tool in their ill-conceived repertoire and bag of tricks.

There are those who continue to insist and argue that Cuba is old news, a benign cold war relic that poses no threat to anyone. Yet the oppressed people that continue to suffer ever increasing human rights violations, by beatings, incarceration and other atrocities, valiantly try to get the word out daily to those that will pay attention.

Cuba’s authoritarian regime, and its vicious state security services, severely and perpetually restrict fundamental freedoms, repress political opponents, and aggressively violate human rights in this tired and archaic one-party communist system.

So today, one must ask, why not free the citizens of Cuba in this modern era and allow a quality of life, liberty and happiness to which they have a fundamental right?

Pressure by the world media, and never ending questions posed to Cuba’s government calling for immediate attention to human rights issues, always seem to get their attention – and the unleashing of the usual diatribes.

Marino Murillo, vice president of the Cuban Council of Ministers, an economist and former military officer, is a Politburo member and known as a reform czar. He recently stepped up to the world microphone and spewed, that during “the rest of this year and through the next the state would enact and carry through the next phase of its privatization and austerity measures, creating the most profound transformations.”

As the well informed and astute focus their eyes and ears on and through the nebulous screen of polluted political dialogue of this totalitarian dictatorship, the physical power behind the throne must be exposed once again.

Cuba’s intelligence and spy apparatus has been described as a “contingency of very well-trained, organized and financed agents.” Even the late President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, adopted the previous Soviet-styled Cuban intelligence service (DGI) as his model for Venezuela’s security service, known as SEBIN and G2.

Through Fidel Castro, his much admired mentor, Chavez closely relied on Cuban intelligence counterparts and advisors of the Cuban security service. The decaying and failing Cuban Revolution became Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution, and he imported the misery, violence, and human rights violations to Venezuela while holding on for dear life until death overcame him — in Cuba, as many believe.

Cuba has consistently maintained a well-organized and callous intelligence presence in Mexico, as have the Russians. Much of their activities have involved U.S. interests, including the recruiting of disloyal U.S. military, government, and private sector “specialists.” They continue this enthusiastically, on U.S. soil as well, evidenced in the Ana Belen Montes case — along with her recruiter, Marta Rita Velazquez, a graduate of Princeton University and Georgetown in Washington, D.C.

Montes would go on to lead a distinguished career at the Defense Intelligence Agency as a top Cuban analyst, winning awards, briefing the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and helping to soften U.S. policy toward Cuba until her capture.

Up until the end of 2012 there were an estimated 210,000 Cubans in Venezuela “as part of an alliance established by Hugo Chavez.” A number of agreements enabled Cubans to take part in a wide range of government plans that included national intelligence and security.

Retired Venezuelan army Major General Antonio Rivero, who was once a close advisor to Hugo Chavez, disclosed the in-depth meddling of Cuban advisors in security and defense matters in Venezuela.

In an interview with the daily newspaper El Universal, shortly before his detention, Rivero explained that he retrieved the entirety of information about Cuban meddling in Venezuela from garrisons throughout the country until 2010, when he was discharged.

And what does Cuban meddling continue to mean within this hemisphere, in itself besides the anti-democratic values?

Vociferous critics of the U.S., such as presidents Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Evo Morales of Bolivia, and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, are a concern as they offer little to no support to their neighbors or the United States in drug and terrorism interdiction efforts.

This author has frequently spoken with Pedro Riera Escalante, who served the Castro regime in Mexico City (under the guise of a diplomat from 1986-1991), when then at least it was a major hub for espionage against the U.S. Riera was the Group Chief of Section Q-1, in charge of operations against the CIA.*

However, he eventually denounced the Fidel Castro dictatorship and was imprisoned. He called for a shift towards respect for human rights and democracy, before, during and after his sentence to prison in Cuba. His revelations of his orders from Cuba, and his actions in the secret war that has pitted Cuba versus the U.S. for decades in intelligence and espionage tradecraft, reveal a continuing process of Cuban subversion in this hemisphere.

* MexiData.info note: Pedro Riera Escalante, who had fallen under suspicion by Cuban officials, returned to Mexico using false papers. Forcibly deported by Mexican authorities in 2000, he was subsequently tried and convicted in Cuba on the false papers charges. Released after serving a three-year prison sentence, yet confined to the island, Riera was finally able to leave Cuba for Spain in December 2011.

Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International Associates, a global threat mitigation firm headquartered in northern Virginia. His website is located at http://www.cjiausa.org/.

U.S. Seeks Extradition of Alleged Cuban Spy Living in Sweden 1

WASHINGTON, April 26 (UPI) — U.S. officials say they are stepping up efforts to extradite an alleged Cuban spy they charge convinced a federal clerk to give up national secrets for decades. Justice Department officials want to arrest Marta Rita Velasquez, 55, an American born in Puerto Rico who they say recruited Ana Belen Montes to give U.S. secrets to Cuba, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.
Velasquez, who was indicted in 2004 for conspiracy to commit espionage, has been living in Sweden since 2002. Her indictment was sealed until recently after U.S. officials learned Velasquez knew of the charges.

Under a treaty with Sweden, espionage is considered a “political offense,” so the U.S. cannot ask Stockholm to extradite her. By publicizing the indictment, Washington hopes the Swedes will feel pressure to return her to the United States. Montes is serving a 25-year sentence for espionage. At the time of her arrest, she worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency. The women met in the early 1980s, officials say, while Montes was a clerk at the Justice Department. Velasquez allegedly used her political connections to get Montes a position at DIA in 1985.

Unsealed Indictment Charges Former U.S. Federal Employee with Conspiracy to Commit Espionage for Cuba 1

Defendant Allegedly Helped Cuban Intelligence Service Recuit and Insert Spy into U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency

U.S. Department of Justice April 25, 2013 • Office of Public Affairs (202) 514-2007/ (202) 514-1888

WASHINGTON—A one-count indictment was unsealed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia charging Marta Rita Velazquez, 55, with conspiracy to commit espionage, announced John Carlin, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Ronald C. Machen, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; and Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

The charges against Velazquez stem from, among other things, her alleged role in introducing Ana Belen Montes, now 55, to the Cuban Intelligence Service (CuIS) in 1984; in facilitating Montes’s recruitment by the CuIS; and in helping Montes later gain employment at the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Montes served as an intelligence analyst at DIA from September 1985 until she was arrested for espionage by FBI agents on September 21, 2001. On March 19, 2002, Montes pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to conspiracy to commit espionage on behalf of Cuba. Montes is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence.

The indictment against Velazquez, who is also known as “Marta Rita Kviele” and as “Barbara,” was originally returned by a grand jury in the District of Columbia on February 5, 2004. It has remained under court seal until today. Velazquez has continuously remained outside the United States since 2002. She is currently living in Stockholm, Sweden. If convicted of the charges against her, Velazquez faces a potential sentence of up to life in prison.

According to the indictment, Velazquez was born in Puerto Rico in 1957. She graduated from Princeton University in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and Latin American studies. Velazquez later obtained a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1982 and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., in 1984.

Velazquez later served as an attorney advisor at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and, in 1989, she joined the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as a legal officer with responsibilities encompassing Central America. During her tenure at USAID, Velazquez held a top secret security clearance and was posted to the U.S. Embassies in Nicaragua and Guatemala. In June 2002, Velazquez resigned from USAID following press reports that Montes had pleaded guilty to espionage and was cooperating with the U.S. government. Velazquez has remained outside the United States since 2002.

The indictment alleges that, beginning in or about 1983, Velazquez conspired with others to transmit to the Cuban government and its agents documents and information relating to the U.S. national defense, with the intent that they would be used to the injury of the United States and to the advantage of the Cuban government.

As part of the conspiracy, Velazquez allegedly helped the CuIS spot, assess, and recruit U.S. citizens who occupied sensitive national security positions or had the potential of occupying such positions in the future to serve as Cuban agents. For example, the indictment alleges that, while Velazquez was a student with Montes at SAIS in Washington, D.C., in the early 1980s, Velazquez fostered a strong, personal friendship with Montes, with both sharing similar views of U.S. policies in Nicaragua at the time.

In December 1984, the indictment alleges, Velazquez introduced Montes in New York City to a Cuban intelligence officer who identified himself as an official of the Cuban Mission to the United States. The intelligence officer then recruited Montes. In 1985, after Montes’ recruitment, Velazquez personally accompanied Montes on a clandestine trip to Cuba for Montes to receive spy craft training from CuIS.

Later in 1985, Velazquez allegedly helped Montes obtain employment as an intelligence analyst at the DIA, where Montes had access to classified national defense information and served as an agent of the CuIS until her arrest in 2001. During her tenure at the DIA, Montes disclosed the identities of U.S. intelligence officers and provided other classified national defense information to the CuIS.
During this timeframe, Velazquez allegedly continued to serve the CuIS, receiving instructions from the CuIS through encrypted, high-frequency broadcasts from her handlers and through meetings with handlers outside the United States.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the DIA. It is being prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney Clifford Rones of the Counterespionage Section in the Justice Department’s National Security Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney G. Michael Harvey of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

The charges contained in an indictment are merely allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Woman Indicted in Cuba Spy Case is in Sweden and Out of U.S. Reach Reply

By Jim Popkin, Thursday, April 25, 8:30 PM

The Justice Department on Thursday announced the indictment of a former State Department employee for allegedly spying on behalf of Cuba, but it is unable to arrest her because she lives in Sweden, a country that does not extradite citizens accused of espionage. Marta Rita Velazquez, 55, a graduate of Princeton University and Georgetown University Law School, was indicted nearly a decade ago for conspiracy to commit espionage. Velazquez lives in Stockholm and is aware of the charges against her, the Justice Department said. But the extradition treaty between the United States and Sweden does not allow extradition for spying. “Espionage is considered a ‘political offense’ that, therefore, falls outside the scope of Sweden’s extradition treaty,” said Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd. Swedish officials declined to comment on the announcement of the indictment.

A grand jury in Washington originally indicted Velazquez in 2004, but the charges remained sealed until Thursday. “Velazquez has continually remained outside the United States since 2002,” the Justice Department said, frustrating U.S. attempts to arrest her. The United States notified Velazquez that she was under suspicion in December 2011. Attempts to reach Velazquez on Thursday evening for her response to the indictment were unsuccessful.

Law enforcement sources said that the FBI first learned about Velazquez in late 2002, after the debriefings of Ana Belen Montes, a former Defense Department analyst who pleaded guilty to spying for Cuba for 17 years. Montes told investigators that she met Velazquez while they were graduate students at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington and that Velazquez helped recruit her as a spy. “Velazquez would and did foster and maintain a close personal friendship with Ana Belen Montes in order to facilitate the recruitment of Montes to serve as an agent of the Cuban Intelligence Service,” the indictment states. Velazquez once mailed Montes a letter saying, “It has been a great satisfaction for me to have had you as a friend and comrade. . . . I hope our relationship continues outside the academic sphere.”

According to the indictment, Velazquez, who was born in Puerto Rico, introduced Montes to a Cuban intelligence officer in New York, escorted her on a clandestine trip to Cuba for “operational training” and helped her obtain employment with the Defense Intelligence Agency. Montes would go on to lead a distinguished career at DIA as a top Cuban analyst, winning awards, briefing the Joint Chiefs of Staff and helping to soften U.S. policy toward Cuba, all while reporting reams of classified information back to Havana. Montes, the subject of a cover story in Sunday’s Washington Post Magazine, was described by her lead debriefer as “one of the most damaging spies in U.S. history.”

Velazquez went on to work for the U.S. government, too, first at the Transportation Department and then for 13 years as a legal officer with the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development. During her tenure with USAID, Velazquez held a top secret security clearance and was posted to U.S. embassies in Nicaragua and Guatemala. She exchanged encrypted messages with Cuban operatives while at USAID, the indictment states, and traveled to Panama for an operational meeting. She resigned from USAID in June 2002, after Montes’s arrest but months before Montes pleaded guilty to espionage and began cooperating with law enforcement officials. Like Montes, Velazquez received training in Cuba on how to receive coded instructions from Havana on shortwave radio, how to fake her way through gov­ernment-administered polygraph examinations, and how to travel incognito to Cuba using fake passports and disguises, the indictment states.

Popkin is a writer living in Washington.