Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sunday, August 03, 2014

New revelations about Cuban spy Ana Montes

Details about Cuban spy Ana Montes from the Department of Defense Inspector General’s 2005 report — only now declassified — shed new light on the case.

Ana Montes spent almost 20 years spying for Cuba while working as a U.S. intelligence analyst. Here, her FBI booking photo on the day of her arrest, Sept. 21, 2001. The "Queen of Cuba" is one of America's most harmful spies, but few have heard of her.
Ana Montes spent almost 20 years spying for Cuba while working as a U.S. intelligence analyst. Here, her FBI booking photo on the day of her arrest, Sept. 21, 2001. The "Queen of Cuba" is one of America's most harmful spies, but few have heard of her.

Special to the Miami Herald

For 16 years, Ana Belen Montes spied for Cuba from increasingly responsible positions at the Defense Intelligence Agency. If Havana has ever run a higher level or more valuable mole inside the American defense establishment, that has never been revealed.
When she was arrested in late September 2001, Montes was about the equivalent in rank of a colonel. She had access to sensitive compartmented intelligence. Strangely, for one so openly enamored of Fidel Castro, her superiors considered her one of the best Cuba analysts anywhere in government.
Despite the importance of her case, some of the most tantalizing questions about her spying have never been publicly answered. Could the calamity of her treason have been avoided? What was learned about Cuban intelligence tradecraft? How was she discovered? And, of enduring concern, did she work with other American spies thus far undetected or not prosecuted?
Thanks to researcher Jeffrey Richelson and the National Security Archive, new light has finally been shed on the Montes case. Because of their efforts, a 180 page study completed by the Department of Defense Inspector General in 2005 has recently been declassified. It is heavily redacted; many pages, including the CIA’s extensive comments, blacked out. Yet, a quantity of surprising new details are now on the public record.
Montes’s decision to spy for Cuba was “coolly deliberate.” Enticed by a Cuban access agent in Washington, they traveled together to New York in December 1984. Montes met with intelligence officers posted under cover at the Cuban mission to the United Nations.
She “unhesitatingly agreed” to work with them and travel clandestinely to Cuba as soon as possible. The following March, she went there via Spain and Czechoslovakia. The Pentagon report does not state the obvious: while there, she must have received specialized training in intelligence tradecraft.
Then, with Cuban encouragement, she applied for a job at DIA. A standard background investigation was conducted, but we now know that serious concerns about her suitability were raised. Without elaboration, the Pentagon report indicates that they included “falsification of her Master of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins (University) and her trustworthiness.”
DIA did not require applicants to submit to a pre-employment polygraph exam. So, Montes, a trained Cuban espionage agent with a problematic past was cleared and hired. She began her double duties in September 1985.
After her arrest, Montes insisted that she had the “moral right” to provide information to Cuba. In her view, she did not work for Cuba, but with Cuban officials. They felt “mutual respect and understanding” she thought, as “comrades in the struggle.”
The Cubans were skilled in manipulating and controlling her. She told interrogators after her apprehension that she considered herself the equal of her “Cuban comrades, not a menial espionage tool.” They let her believe she “maintained significant control,” although she consistently left “security matters, including meeting site security, countersurveillance, and transmission security” to her handlers.
Montes said they were “thoughtful, sensitive to her needs, very good to me.” They went to “special lengths to assure her they had complete confidence in her.” They allowed her a long, loose leash, easier because they were not paying for her extraordinary services.
Initially in New York, and later at her request in the Washington area, she met with her handlers as often as once every two or three weeks, usually on weekends. Everything about her second covert trip to Cuba is redacted in the Pentagon report.
In 1991, Montes underwent a seemingly routine security reinvestigation. She was asked about foreign travel, and lied. Questioned about inaccuracies in her original application for employment, she confessed that she had misrepresented an incident in her past. Feigning innocence, Montes claimed that she “did not understand the seriousness of being truthful and honest at the time.”
Her questionable case was then reviewed at a higher level. The adjudicator reported that “while Montes seemed to have a tendency ‘to twist the truth’ to her own needs and her honesty was still a cause of concern, adverse security action was unlikely.” Again, she had slipped through. Her high level clearances were recertified.
Soon after, she brazenly submitted a freedom of information request for her own government records. She must have been concerned that something adverse had been discovered. Investigative material was released. She gave the surprised Cubans copies.
She apparently visited Cuba a third time after being selected to participate in the prestigious Director of Central Intelligence “Exceptional Analyst Program” in 1992. This time her travel to the island, purportedly to conduct research, was legal.
In 1996, she was questioned by a DIA special agent after another DIA employee reported concerns about her. Serious doubts were raised about her veracity, but the allegations could not be substantiated.
None of this seems to have contributed to her eventual unmasking. So, how was she discovered? Surprisingly, revealing information seeps through the Pentagon’s report. “We got lucky,” a counterintelligence official observed. An entirely blacked-out section entitled “Serendipity” suggests the same.
By April 1998, a coordinated search for a Cuban spy was underway, according to the report. At first it was thought most likely the quarry was a CIA employee. Investigators were following a crucial clue: the unknown spy had apparently traveled to the Guantanamo naval base as Montes had apparently done on official DIA business.
The breakthrough had seemingly come earlier, however. According to the Pentagon report, Montes was informed shortly after her arrest that investigators “had information from a senior official in the Cuban intelligence service concerning a Cuban penetration agent that implicated Montes.” It appears that this information propelled the investigation that resulted in her arrest.
Who was this mysterious, previously unacknowledged source? From the language of the Pentagon report, it was probably not a defector, but more likely a renegade or compromised Cuban intelligence officer. If so, Montes was done in by one of her own so-called “comrades.”
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.”
Did government censors inadvertently confirm the existence of a larger spy ring? If in fact there was evidence of one, it may be a long time before more is known.
It is now clear, however, that Montes’s apprehension was not just the result of excellent intelligence work. She told investigators after her arrest that a week earlier she had learned that she was under surveillance. She could have decided then to flee to Cuba, and probably would have made it there safely.
But she said that “she couldn’t give up on the people (she) was helping.” Montes is serving a 25 year prison sentence.

Read more here:

Preludio para un adiós, editorial 335

Preludio para un adiós, editorial 335

Cuba actualidad, La Habana, (PD) Los donantes, que financian al Centro Internacional Demócrata Cristiano sueco (CIDC), para que Primavera Digital salga cada jueves no están contentos con Primavera Digital y nosotros por acá estamos aún más descontentos con ellos. La presión de tales donantes ha crecido y con ella imponen su voluntad de implementar cambios, si es que CIDC quiere continuar recibiendo dinero para Primavera. De lo que se trata, es de si los cambios son para bien.
No les bastan trescientas y tantas entregas ininterrumpidas desde noviembre de 2007. Cosa que nadie ha logrado hasta hoy en Cuba desde 1959. De hecho, han convertido el problema nacional de vivir bajo una dictadura militar totalitaria privados de todos los derechos, en un problema euro-postmoderno de representatividad a partir de cuotas de sexo, raza, edad, etc.
Hasta han llegado a cuestionar que brindemos nuestro espacio a cubanos residentes fuera de Cuba, porque entre otras cosas se trata de “promover jóvenes con potencial” y los cubanos exiliados que hemos publicado…están viejos. No queremos referirnos a las damas, porque nuestra antigua y deficiente formación, no nos permite llamar vieja a ninguna dama.

Se trata de que más temprano que tarde, no estemos con vosotros como cada jueves. Ya anuncian el fin de este medio. Ellos, nuestros antiguos patrocinadores de CIDC han sido nuestro elemento conectivo con la democracia, las técnicas digitales modernas, del periodismo moderno y otras fruslerías del mundo real y su vida cotidiana. Esa vida de la que fuimos privados durante más de cincuenta y cinco años de totalitarismo castrista. Desde aquel instante, nos topamos con la poca diferencia entre nuestra vida y las relaciones afirmadas en su momento entre los esclavos y los antiguos esclavistas.
Alegan que debido a nuestra falta de voluntad para junto a ellos (CIDC) “desarrollar y elevar Primavera a ser una revista digital aún mejor, ahora ya dicen nuestros donantes no”. Ya teníamos noticia de que “tal cosa como la igualdad no existe en ninguna parte del mundo”, fuera de la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos y la Constitución de los Estados Unidos. Esto quizás lo explique todo. Cualquier grupo colegiado de idiotas o de albaceas primados de chequera ajena, a partir de la convocación de los Judas de ocasión de aquí y de allá, puede hacer posible cualquier cosa, y bueno lo hicieron.
Hemos dado lo mejor de nosotros durante los últimos siete años, pero para ellos no es suficiente. Han tomado y elevado a categorías estelares incidentes fortuitos que nunca se produjeron hasta este momento y pensamos que no se produjeron, porque no estaban presentes los actores necesarios para tales ocurrencias.
Nos dicen que les parece muy bien que asumamos la responsabilidad y la gestión de la publicación. Pero argumentan que la misma, está registrada en Suecia, entonces, Primavera Digital y CIDC trabajarían bajo las leyes de publicación suecas. Así y de acuerdo con esto último, el CIDC se responsabilizaría de nuestra publicación y hasta de su contenido. Cosa que encontramos inaceptable. Rechazamos enviar nuestros materiales para la censura y revisión por parte de CIDC, como hemos rechazado siempre esta misma censura y revisión por parte del gobernante Partido Comunista y su Departamento ideológico.
Por supuesto que hay distancias que salvar. En el caso de nuestro rechazo al gobernante Partido Comunista, nos podría acarrear prisión y otras formas depuradas del almacén de espantos del castrismo. En el caso de CIDC y como son cristianos, el daño y la “evaluación de riesgos” es mucho menor.
Felizmente para nosotros, son cristianos y hasta demócratas. De ahí la consideración con que nos han tratado para cerrar este espacio de acuerdo con el buen ver de los antes mencionados donantes, de quienes también pensamos optimistas irreductibles como somos, que son igualmente cristianos y hasta demócratas.
Esto podría ser el preludio para el adiós que nos imponen las circunstancias. Cuando este llegue, se lo haremos saber cómo ya es costumbre, desde este “espacio sin censura para todos los cubanos”.
Para Cuba actualidad: ;         


Saturday, August 02, 2014

Cuba dictatorship continues to get away with everything....

"U.S. sanctions North Korean companies on Cuba weapons case"

I guess inspector Clouseau finished his investigation and gave his recommendations to the UN.
How can Cuba NOT receive any type of sanction or time out?? Are you freaking kidding me...

The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday sanctioned two North Korean companies and 18 cargo ships for a shipment of Cuban weapons that violated a U.N. arms embargo on Pyongyang, and barely mentioned Cuba’s role in the case.
Ocean Maritime Management Company, Ltd., the Chongchongang Shipping Company and the freighter were put on a list that subjects them to seizures of their bank accounts and forbids U.S. entities from doing business with them.
A Treasury statement said the sanctions were sparked by the case of the Chong Chon Gang, a North Korean freighter intercepted in Panama last summer and found to be carrying 240 tons of Cuban weapons to Pyongyang.
The 1,100-word statement mentioned Cuba only once, to note that the weapons were going “from Cuba to the DPRK” — Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea.
“How about sanctioning the owners of the Cuban weapons that were being smuggled … or how about sanctioning the Cuban officials that made the deal” with North Korea, wrote Mauricio Claver-Carone in his blog, Capitol Hill Cubans.
A knowledgeable Washington official noted that perhaps Treasury did not feel it was necessary to sanction Cuban government entities and individuals because they already are under strong sanctions from the U.S. trade embargo.
The U.N. Security Council on Monday added Ocean Maritime Management Company to its list of violators of the U.N. arms embargo on Pyongyang, which exposed the North Korean company to banking and travel sanctions.
Cuba argued that it did not violate the embargo, which bans the “transfer” of weapons, because the “obsolete” weapons aboard the Chong Chon Gang were being sent to North Korea to be repaired and then returned.
A panel of UNSC experts who investigated the case nevertheless found in a March report that both Cuba and North Korea had violated the embargo, put on Pyongyang because of its efforts to develop nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.
The UNSC decision Monday also spared Cuba any sanctions, with Latin American diplomats at the United Nations saying that Russia, which has a veto in the Security Council, had strongly opposed sanctioning any Cuban entity.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, issued a statement Tuesday branding the Cuban weapons shipment as “a cynical, outrageous and illegal attempt by Cuba and North Korea to circumvent United Nations sanctions.”
UNSC experts found the Cuban weapons, including two anti-aircraft missile systems and 16 engines for Mig-21 jets, were hidden under tons of sugar in the hold of the freighter and that the weapons were not declared in the cargo manifest.
Cuba refused to identify the island officials and companies involved in the shipment, saying its agreement with North Korea required confidentiality.
The shipment was the single largest cargo of weapons bound for North Korea intercepted under the embargo, the experts wrote in their report.

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Denuncia de activista desde la prisión de Valle Grande