US News & World Report this week has an article about a book written by Scott Carmichael (disclaimer: yes, the link is an affiliate link), a counterintelligence officer who helped catch the traitor and spy for Castro, Ana Belen Montes.
Here’s an interesting excerpt:
Carmichael wrote the book as a wake-up call to the threat from Cuban intelligenceâ€“and a testament to the quality of Cuban spymasters. “There seemed to be no urgency within my community about detecting and countering the effects of Cuban penetrations of the U.S. government,” he writes. “It’s as though my peers viewed Ana Montes as an anomaly, an exception rather than the ruleâ€“as though the Cubans just got lucky with Ana Montes.”
Although the assessments of the specific damage her spying caused remain classified, Carmichael offers a few thoughts on what she might have passed on to officials in Havana. For one thing, he suggests that she may have helped cause the death of a U.S. soldier in El Salvador 20 years ago. Army Sgt. Gregory Fronius, a U.S. Green Beret, was killed in a battle with Cuban-backed rebels who stormed a Salvadoran camp on March 31, 1987. Montes had been at the El Paraiso camp only a few weeks before the fatal attack. “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,” he writes. “I believe that Ana Montes betrayed Greg Fronius when he needed her most.”
Carmichael also suggests that she could have passed on crucial information to Cuba ahead of the 1989 invasion of Panama, as well as U.S. operations in Haiti, Colombia, and Cuba. “Ana Montes was a true believer,” he writes. “She spied out of a conviction that Fidel Castro was both the savior of the Cuban people and a champion of oppressed people throughout the world.”
Good thing the word-that-rhymes-with-“witch” is behind bars.