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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Source: Cuban Spy Ana Belen Montes Passed DIA Polygraph (Read 130964 times)
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Re: Source: Cuban Spy Ana Belen Montes Passed DIA Polygraph
Reply #30 - Jan 6th, 2023 at 11:21am
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Ana Belén Montes is scheduled to be released from prison this Sunday, 8 January 2023. However, according to writer Jim Popkin, author of a newly published biography of Montes, her family believes that she will be released today, Friday, 6 January.

Popkin's biography of Montes is titled Code Name Blue Wren: The True Story of America's Most Dangerous Female Spy—and the Sister She Betrayed. I'm not yet done reading the book, but regarding the polygraph, Popkin notes (in Chapter 16):

...Ana passed a DIA-administered counterintelligence polygraph examination in March 1994, answering questions designed to ferret out espionage, sabotage, or unauthorized disclosure of classified information. It was the one and only polygraph test the DIA gave her in her sixteen-plus-year Department of Defense career. Some investigators believe that Ana defeated the lie box by using the sphincter-muscle trick the Cubans taught her. Others point out that Ana's ease in beating the system exposed the inherent weakness of polygraphs, investigative tools that are not admissible in US courts of law. After Ana's arrest, DIA interrogator Lisa Connors spent days asking Ana how she beat the "lie box." The Cubans had told Ana that American-administered polygraphs were easy to fool, and Ana kept repeating in her head that the test was flawed. "What I really wanted to know was, did she really believe what they told her about how ineffectual a polygraph was, or was she a sociopath?" Connors said. She never answered her own question.


Regardless of how Ana pulled it off, she was now truly in the clear. When colleagues later raised doubts about her, the successful lie-detector results kept them off the scent. "The polygraph test in 1994 made her even more dangerous by deflecting suspicion away from her. She was freer to pursue her espionage," the DIA would later admit in an internal training film, The Two Faces of Ana Montes.

I think that the question that Connors was interested in (did Montes really believe what the Cubans told her about how ineffectual polygraphs are, or was she a sociopath?) was not particularly interesting or important. It's obvious to anyone who has researched polygraphy that the methodology is scientifically baseless, and the notion that sociopaths have an innate ability to fool polygraphs, while common in pop culture, has never been proven through peer-reviewed research.

The DIA internal training film to which Popkin refers is actually titled The Two Faces of Ana: Model Employee/Cuban Spy and is mentioned earlier in this message thread. It was first obtained and published by in 2017.

George W. Maschke
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