I just finished Scott Carmichael’s book True Believer: Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes, Cuba’s Master Spy
Carmichael is the senior security and counterintelligence investigator for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the same intelligence agency that employed Montes until September 21, 2001.
As the title suggests, the story is less about her than it is about how she was caught. It’s a quick read and it sheds light on how moles are rooted out. There are of course big holes in the story, because of national security concerns, and I’m sure the entire book had to be vetted by the DIA before publishing.
The amazing thing is that Ana Montes admitted that, when questioned, she disagreed with American policy toward Cuba on several occasions:
Each time she provided the best answers: it was true. She did disagree with the U.S. Government’s policy and approach toward Cuba…
But -and this was a big “but”- she noted that it was her right as a U.S. Citizen to disagree with her government. A lot of people do. She disagreed with the the policy, and yet, she claimed, she remained a loyal American who had never done anything to harm the United States. It was the perfect answer, wrapped in the U.S. flag.
Of course she had a right to disagree, but she didn’t have a right to work with sensitive information at the highest levels of our intelligence community.
I also highlighted that passage because certainly there are many freedom-loving, anti-castro people who oppose the US policy toward Cuba. But -and this also a big “but”- there are also many castroites making the same arguments. And many of these are agents of infuence in academia, the media, etc.
It’ll probably be a long time, if ever, before the general public can learn the damage that Ana Belen Montes did to our country. Mr. Carmichael decided to channel the proceeds of the book to the family of a US serviceman that was killed in El Salvador in a camp that Ana Belen Montes had visited just weeks before. Although Montes can’t be held directly responsible for that man’s death Carmichael states eloquently:
At a time when Greg Fronius depended on her and others like her for support, Ana Montes was standing firm in the Cuban Camp. Through her chosen role as a Cuban agent, she stood opposed to everything that Greg was trying to accomplish. She stabbed him in the back.
The simple fact is this: The trusted DIA analyst who had just visited Greg’s compound, the quietly dressed, professional woman who listened so attentively to all the briefings, was working for the other side. For that reason alone, whatever use the Cubans made of the subsequent trip report, I believe that Ana Montes betrayed Greg Fronius when he needed her most.
For those of you that still think that Cuba is not dangerous consider this: Ana Montes was about to be briefed, along with her DIA colleagues, on US war plans for Afghanistan. Information which Cuba would have had no compunction about selling to the Taliban. Would it have changed the outcome of that military action? Certainly not on a macro level but who knows many other Greg Froniuses would have been killed by Ana Montes treason? If she had managed to give the castro regime such information in a time of war, Ms. Montes would likely have faced the death penalty instead of the 25 years she plea bargained for.
I hope she serves every last day of that 25 years and then drops dead as she crosses the prison gates.