SPY CASES - UNITED STATES

Ana Belen Montes

 

Materials arranged chronologically.

Miller, Bill, and Walter Pincus. "Defense Analyst Accused of Spying for Cuba." Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2001, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Ana Belen Montes, the DIA's senior analyst for Cuba, was arrested at her office at Bolling Air Force Base on 21 September 2001. She is "accused of providing classified information about military exercises and other sensitive operations to the Cuban government."

Moreno, Sylvia. "An Improbable Spy? Friends Old and New Stunned by Arrest of Reserved, Frugal Defense Analyst." Washington Post, 4 Oct. 2001, A1. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]

"In Washington's world of top-level intelligence briefings, Ana Belen Montes was the go-to person on Cuba. She told people how the communist nation worked. But all the while, federal authorities say, the 44-year-old Defense Intelligence Agency analyst was telling Cuba just how the United States operated, from the identity of undercover agents sent to infiltrate the island to details on military exercises."

Golden, Tim. "Pentagon's Top Cuba Expert Pleads Guilty to Espionage." New York Times, 20 Mar. 2002. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 19 March 2002, Ana B. Montes pleaded guilty in Federal District Court in Washington, DC, to a single count of conspiracy to commit espionage. Montes admitted "that she spied for the Cuban government for 16 years" and acknowledged "that she had revealed the identities of four American undercover intelligence officers and provided the Cuban authorities with reams of other secret and top-secret military and intelligence information.... Under her plea bargain, Ms. Montes will be sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment and 5 years' probation." See also, Neely Tucker, "Defense Analyst Pleads Guilty to Spying for Cuba," Washington Post, 20 Mar. 2002, A1.

Tucker, Neely. "Spy for Cuba Sentenced to 25 Years." Washington Post, 17 Oct. 2002, B1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 16 October 2002, Ana Belen Montes was sentenced to 25 years in prison for spying for Cuba. U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina "was unmoved" by a five-minute speech from the "unapologetic ["I obeyed my conscience rather than the law," Montes said in court] spy who used shortwave radios and encrypted transmissions to relay sensitive U.S. secrets to the Cuban government."

Carmichael, Scott W. True Believer: Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes, Cuba's Master Spy. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2007.

From publisher: The author "served as the lead case agent for the DIA on the Ana Montes espionage investigation." Montes is "the only member of the intelligence community ever convicted of espionage on behalf of the Cuban government."

Peake, Studies 51.2 (2007), comments that "many of the details one would like to know -- just when and how she was recruited, precisely what was it that made DIA security and the FBI think she was an agent -- have been omitted, probably for security reasons.... There is more to be said about the Montes case, but True Believer is a worthwhile start." For Gambone, I&NS 26.2&3 (Apr.-Jun. 2011), Carmichael offers "a fascinating story," but one handicapped by his inability "to present evidence in support of his many assertions."

To Chesser, American Spectator, 3 Jul. 2007, this work "shows that catching spies within our own intelligence structure is a painstaking process." The author, "as much as he is able..., walks readers through each step of evidence gathering and case development, while illustrating the challenges in convincing his higher-ups that Montes was a problem." Goldman, IJI&C 21.2 (Summer 2008), declares this to be "a bad book for many reasons." The author manages to tell us more about himself than he does about Montes, replacing the presentation of facts with "what if scenarios" for which "he provides no evidence or information."

Harter, Intelligencer 15.3 (Summer-Fall 2007), finds "three glaring deficiencies" in this work: "the author fails to fully portray the role of the FBI...; define the damage done by Montes' espionage; and provide a meaningful explanation of her recruitment" by the Cubans. Although the book "is a good overview," it "remains an incomplete treatment." For Prout, DIJ 16.2 (2007), "aside from a glimpse at the bureaucratic organization of DIA, this book provides very little 'inside information'" on the Montes case. The author's "commentary on the modus operandi of well trained professional espionage agents could have come from spy novels and Grade B movies."

Popkin, Jim. "Ana Montes Did Much Harm Spying for Cuba. Chances Are, You Haven't Heard of Her." Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2013. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Former DIA analyst Ana Montes lives today "in a two-bunk cell in the highest-security women's prison in the nation," the Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth. She "spied [for Cuba] for 17 years, patiently, methodically," but years after she was caught spying, "Montes remains defiant."

Schoenberg, Tom. "Ex-State Department Lawyer Allegedly Recruited Cuban Spy." Bloomberg, 26 Apr. 2013. [http://www.bloomberg.com]

According to the Justice Department, "a nine-year-old indictment unsealed" on 25 April 2013 in federal court in Washington,DC, charges former U.S. State Department lawyer Marta Rita Velazquez "with one count of conspiracy to commit espionage." The indictment states that Velazquez "introduced Ana Belen Montes to the Cuban Intelligence Service in 1984 and later helped Montes get a position as a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst." According to a Justice Department statement, Velazquez "fled the U.S. 11 years ago and is living in Stockholm."

Return to Spy Cases/U.S. Table of Contents