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Ana Montes, who spied for Cuba in “one of the most damaging” espionage cases in U.S. history, released from prison



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Ana Montes, a former analyst for the Protection Intelligence Company, the U.S. army’s spy arm, walked free from a federal jail in Fort Value, Texas, on Friday after greater than 20 years behind bars. 

Montes spied for Cuba for 17 years, revealing the identities of america’ undercover intelligence officers and its extremely delicate assortment capabilities, till her arrest in 2001. By day, she was the Protection Intelligence Company’s senior Cuba analyst. At night time, she typed up pages and pages of presidency secrets and techniques that she had memorized, passing them to Cuban intelligence. 

Michelle Van Cleave, who was head of U.S. counterintelligence underneath President George W. Bush, told Congress in 2012 that Montes was “one of the damaging spies america has ever discovered.” 

“She compromised all the pieces — just about all the pieces — that we knew about Cuba and the way we operated in Cuba and towards Cuba,” Van Cleave stated. “So the Cubans have been properly conscious of all the pieces that we knew about them and will use that to their benefit. As well as, she was capable of affect estimates about Cuba in her conversations with colleagues and she or he additionally discovered a possibility to supply info that she acquired to different powers.” 

Her spying occurred across the identical time that Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames spied for the Soviet and Russian intelligence companies whereas they labored for the FBI and CIA, respectively. (Each are serving life sentences in jail.) However Montes’ case was considerably totally different. Hanssen and Ames took giant sums of cash for his or her spying and bodily eliminated categorized supplies from their companies. 

Montes was as an alternative motived by ideology. Her determination to spy was primarily based partially on her hostility towards President Ronald Reagan’s insurance policies on Latin America, particularly U.S. help of the Nicaragua Contras, in line with a heavily redacted report from the Protection Division’s inspector common. 

Montes was recruited by Cuban intelligence in 1984, when she was approached by a fellow pupil on the Faculty of Superior Worldwide Research at Johns Hopkins College after she expressed her outrage about U.S. actions in Nicaragua. The coed was an entry agent — somebody who recruits spies — and launched her to a Cuban intelligence official underneath the guise that they wanted Spanish language information articles about Nicaragua translated into English. At dinner in New York Metropolis, Montes “unhesitatingly agreed to work by means of the Cubans to ‘assist’ Nicaragua,” the inspector common’s report stated. 

She then started her espionage profession with a secret journey to Cuba, the place she acquired coaching from Cuban intelligence. By the top of 1985 she was working on the U.S. Protection Intelligence Company — presumably on the route of the Cubans — the place she had entry to high secret info. 

Within the following years, Montes met along with her Cuban handlers each few weeks at eating places round Washington, D.C. She visited pay telephones to ship coded messages to pagers utilized by the Cubans. She acquired her orders from numeric messages transmitted over shortwave radio. She additionally took the danger of touring to Cuba to satisfy with folks there. 

As Montes climbed the profession ladder and acquired various accolades for her work, the FBI acquired a tip a few U.S. authorities worker who gave the impression to be spying for the Cubans, main the bureau to ultimately start investigating Montes, in line with a 2013 Washington Post story

She was arrested days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist assaults because the Protection Intelligence Company shifted its focus to Afghanistan and the director didn’t need to danger Montes passing alongside the Pentagon’s struggle plans. 

Pete Lapp, one of many FBI brokers who investigated and arrested Montes, stated she was stoic throughout her arrest. 

“I imagine she had deliberate for that day, if it occurred, for 17 years,” Lapp informed CBS Information. 

The arrest was humiliating for Montes’ household, a few of whom labored for the FBI. In a press release, they stated she “dedicated treason” towards the U.S. and none of them have been conscious of her espionage on the time nor supported her place. 

“We proceed to disavow what she did and any statements she has made or could make,” the household stated forward of her launch. 

Lapp, who’s writing a book on Montes, declined to say the place she goes after her launch “out of respect for the household.” However he would not count on her to place her newfound freedom in jeopardy by attempting to get in touch with the Cubans.

“That a part of her life is over,” Lapp stated. “She’s completed what she’s completed for them. I can not think about her risking her liberty.”