DIA official warns about Cuban spies
- From: Free Cuba Now <freecubanow@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 11:33:55 -0700
DIA official warns about Cuban spies
By Bill Gertz
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
March 15, 2007
Cuban intelligence agents are working inside the U.S. government and
one mole uncovered in the Defense Intelligence Agency caused the death
of a U.S. special operations soldier in Central America, a senior DIA
counterintelligence official says in a new book.
DIA analyst Ana Belen Montes, convicted of espionage in 2002, told
Cuban intelligence officers about a secret U.S. Army Special Forces
camp in El Salvador that she visited in 1987. Weeks later, the camp
was attacked by pro-Cuban guerrillas of the Marxist group Farabundo
Marti National Liberation Front, DIA counterspy Scott W. Carmichael
says in his book, "True Believer."
Mr. Carmichael, who led the DIA's investigation of Montes, said in an
interview that other Cuban agents are operating inside the U.S.
"I believe that the Cuban Intelligence Service has penetrated the
United States government to the same extent that the old East German
intelligence service, the Stasi, once penetrated the West German
government during the Cold War," he said.
Havana's intelligence service shares its stolen secrets with U.S.
adversaries, including China, Russia, Iran and Venezuela, Mr.
"If Cuban agents among us today are indirectly passing our innermost
secrets, via their Cuban handlers, to countries who actively work to
undermine American interests throughout the world, then we will suffer
for it, in many ways," he said. "War fighters like Greg Fronius will
die as a result. This is not a game."
Mr. Carmichael said Montes is to blame for the death of Army Sgt.
Gregory A. Fronius, a Green Beret commando who was killed during the
well-planned, early-morning attack on the base camp at El Paraiso, El
Salvador, on March 31, 1987.
"Fronius received the Silver Star for his actions that morning in
defense of the camp," Mr. Carmichael said. "Montes had a moral and
legal obligation to support him -- not to stab him in the back by
standing on the other side of the fence with the Cubans during the
attack," he said.
Proceeds from sales of Mr. Carmichael's book will be given to Sgt.
Fronius' family by the publisher, the Naval Institute Press.
Mr. Carmichael said most details about the harm Montes caused are
classified, but he called the damage "exceptionally grave." One secret
she compromised was a "special access program" that was kept even from
the lead investigator on the case.
"We knew that Montes had briefed the Cubans" on the program, Mr.
Carmichael said, noting that the DIA director was upset when he
learned of the compromise.
Mr. Carmichael said many U.S. intelligence officials view the Montes
penetration of DIA as an unusual Cuban espionage success, but "I
believe, to the contrary, that Ana was the rule."
"Cuban agents are not just low-level hot-dog venders and lawn
caretakers who happen to live and work near American military bases,
reporting on the comings and goings of American ships and planes," he
said. "Cuban intelligence is better than that. I suspect that we have
among us, here in Washington, today, not just one more Ana Montes who
secretly spies for Cuba, but an entire cadre of them."
Mr. Carmichael said Cuba has "among the very best" spy networks and
"we are their priority target," a situation that he said "will not
change" after dictator Fidel Castro's death.
Montes was not identified until 2000, when an intelligence official
let slip that the FBI was searching for a Cuban spy in the U.S.
government. Mr. Carmichael then identified Montes as the lead suspect
based on a database search.
The FBI at first refused to investigate Montes because she was the
U.S. intelligence community's most important analyst on Cuba. But
Montes was arrested on Sept. 21, 2001, the day before she was to learn
secrets about DIA targeting for the October 2001 military operation in
Afghanistan. Officials feared she would pass the targeting data to
Cuba before the operation began.
Montes pleaded guilty to spying and is serving a 25-year prison term.
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