Knight-Ridder Washington correspondent Tim Johnson reports in an article published in the Miami Herald on the guilty plea of DIA analyst Ana Belen Montes, who was recruited by Cuban intelligence even before she began her DIA career. Excerpt:
WASHINGTON – A senior U.S. intelligence analyst, Ana Belen Montes, admitted in federal court on Tuesday that she was a longstanding spy for Cuba, burrowing a long and deep tunnel through the ranks of the U.S. intelligence community and unmasking at least four U.S. covert agents to Havana.
In new revelations, the Justice Department said Montes was already working for Havana when she began as a junior analyst at the DIA in 1985, suggesting that Cuban spy-masters may have directed her career to the most sensitive sanctuaries of U.S. intelligence.
Her recruitment, when she was in her late 20s and still a graduate student, and her climb to senior ranks of the DIA, where she helped draft a 1999 finding that Cuba no longer presents a military threat to the United States, revealed the meticulous tradecraft of Cuban intelligence in directing her, experts said. Still unanswered is how she could have remained undetected so long as a spy in the DIA.
After the arrest last year of FBI Robert Hanssen — who gave intelligence to the Soviet Union, and Russia, while running U.S. counter-intelligence operations at the bureau — FBI investigators were chagrined to learn that he had never been given a polygraph test.
The FBI is now seeking about $7 million from Congress to hire more polygraph test experts, and require every FBI employee granted a security clearance to take one.