Friday, November 2, 2007

Cuban agents in the White House?

Did you know that the White House has been infiltrated by Cuban intelligence?

That’s the assessment of Christopher Simmons, a Defense Intelligence Agency counterintelligence officer who appeared at the Heritage Foundation last week.

Simmons said that confessed spy Ana Montes, the former top DIA Cuba analyst, was not an anomaly. “Ana Montes was not the only senior U.S. official working for the Cubans,” he told the Heritage audience. “Based on my estimate there are at least six others like her. There may be, the number may actually be in the teens, of long-term penetrations at the highest level of the U.S. government. And we’re not talking a slipshod operation. We’re talking the FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, Congress, and the White House.”

If you don’t believe me, I don’t blame you. You can watch it here, it begins around 1:17. (And no, he did not include the State Department in that list.)

The entire program, which examines the Cuban threat to U.S. national security, is about an hour and forty minutes long. I found one news account only, from the Washington Times.

Simmons is joined in the Heritage program by State Department official Robert Blau, who describes the “reconfigured” threat that Cuba poses today, after the post-Soviet drop in its conventional force strength. He cites a number of items in the State Department’s report on state sponsors of terrorism, and makes the allegation – a new one, not contained in the terrorism report – that “whatever they collect” in terms of intelligence information, “they will share with our enemies, with Iran, with terrorist groups.” He says that another element of the Cuban threat to U.S. national security is Cuba’s press and propaganda activity around the world, “constantly interpreting the news, putting their spin on it so that the anti-American view is what’s out there all the time.” Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart is also on the program; he discusses the Cuban threat through the decades, and in response to a question, he gives a remarkable description of U.S. policy toward Cuban American travel, and of his own constituents who choose to travel to Cuba.

But Simmons is the most interesting, an extreme exception among counterintelligence officers, who tend to avoid public discussions. In addition to the Heritage appearance and another on Miami Spanish-language television, Simmons has been writing in the Miami Herald, and when he was introduced at Heritage, his host said he is writing a regular column for that paper, every three weeks.

Simmons says that Cuba sells intelligence to other countries for profit, and he generally paints a picture of a skilled, effective, and highly active intelligence service that focuses on the United States, its opponents at home, and its opponents in Miami. He discloses that the Cuban Interests Section in Washington has a signals intelligence facility that carries out electronic eavesdropping in the Washington area.

His latest column appeared in yesterday’s Herald, and focused on Iran.

In that column, he mentioned a controversy from the summer of 2003, where it was alleged that private Los Angeles-based satellite broadcasts to Iran were being jammed, and that the jammer was located in Cuba. Simmons states that “Cuban intelligence” performed the jamming, “acting on behalf of Tehran.”

This is a new interpretation. When the allegations arose in 2003, the State Department called in Cuban diplomats, asked for an explanation, and eventually received one.

Cuba informed us on August 3 that they had located the source of the interference and had taken action to stop it,” according to a State Department spokeswoman in an August 26, 2003 story by Agence France-Presse. “The government of Cuba informed us that the interference was coming from an Iranian diplomatic facility,” she added.

Two months later, the Deputy Secretary of State testified about the jamming, to the same effect:

SEN. BILL NELSON: You were talking to Senator Brownback about the jamming. There was a report that the Cuban government was jamming broadcasts into Iran at a time that -- when students were protesting the oppression by the ruling clerics. What do you know about that?

MR. ARMITAGE: We approached the government of Cuba about some jamming that was emanating from Cuba. It was not the government of Cuba, it was another entity, and it has ceased.

There’s a lot to comment upon here; I hope readers do, and I certainly will in the future.

16 comments:

tranquilo said...

what's to comment on? that Cuba maintains extensive intelligence operations against the United States? that Cuban spies operate out of their missions in Washington and New York? that Cuban intelligence agencies liaison with those of other anti-american regimes? C'mon Peters you weren't born yesterday...

Anonymous said...

Nothing new here. I tend to think most folks realize the Cuban intelligence apparatus is every bit as effective as the Israeli Mosad or the former Soviet Union's KGB (whose agents of course built the Cuban system). Wouldn't surprise me in the lease if infiltrators like Montes had in fact reached all the way into the White House.

On the flip side of the coin, I'm just as sure the U.S. government has plenty of folks in shadowy alleys in the Cuban Capitol - though certainly not operating from within the government.

To think that the idea of a larger-scale infiltration is absurd is at the very least, naive.

-Best,

-Anatasio

Juan Cuellar said...

Phil, you are not saying nothing new. According to The Venona Secrets, Larry Dexter White and Larry Hopkins were KGB agents from The White House. The latter at different levels in Roosevelt Administration. I do not know what's your point is in involving the White House in something like that. In the intelligence world it is assume that every department can or could be penetrated.

Thank you for the link. It was pleasing to see an also the story about the Cuban agent falling from the closet was funny.

Don't be surprise if you find some film of you in Cuba by Castro's intelligence. Carlos Cajaraville, a film agent with Counter-Intelligence told me a few stories about el Hotel Nacional and Havana Libre.

Thank you again for such a wonderful video.

Omar said...

I think that the whole thing is to sell the idea that Cuba is still a threat to the American national interest. In this way they try to keep away the public opinion from considering a more friendly approach to Cuba. In the same line are previous accusations of bioweapons development in Cuba that were denied by Carter.
To be honest, I consider that Cuba is a threat to American national interests indeed. But that is so because such interests are too huge, they are based on greediness. The sole idea of a real Cuban sovereignty from the American power is very dangerous, a terrible example, and it is the reason behind this 50 years long hostility. It is very curious how Bush dares to mention now something like the noble principles of the Revolution in its beginning. That is one of the more hypocrite statements that I have ever heard from an American president. It's even more hypocrite that when they talk about freedom and democracy for certain selected places on earth.

reaganite said...

omar, I guess the United States can never win. If they align themselves with dictatorships in the Cold War they get criticized. If they punish dictatorships like Cuba and others today they get criticized....Make up your mind.

Juan Cuellar said...

But the fact remains that Cuba is not free. But that seems not to bother you, Anonymous. Who is the hypocrite?

Juan Cuellar said...

I ment to say Omar, instead of anonymous.

Omar said...

Reaganite, you should know that being a police is a hard business, mostly if the order you defend is the one that maximize your short term profits no matter what. I see no problem in each one talking care of their own interests, but when they are too big and you are too powerful, the issue goes out of balance. The US selectively supports or punishes dictatorships based not on solid moral standards but on what is more convenient for their interest. Again, short term interests because the whole idea of domination is poised to fall sooner or later. Remember Vietnam? No? Look at Iraq then. The only way to make up my mind as you suggested is to think from that perspective and to do it with a narrow and poorly imaginative approach. But even if I try to think from the perspective of American interests, I would reach the conclusion that it is better for the US to change their approach towards Cuba based on some points that Fidel has had quite OK from the very beginning and are the reason behind the silent support, or complicity, of most Latinamerican countries. Namely, Latinamerica has rights on its own, it is not just a backyard where the US can place and replace governments with the only purpose of providing a safe heaven for American companies. Do you remember the United Fruit Company? Have you heard about it? In fact, there have already been changes in the US policy towards Latinamerica. Today there is far higher awareness in the region regarding American interventionism. Have the US collapse? No. If a country is to be chosen as the main responsible of this shift it is Cuba. Now, connect the dots.

Anonymous said...

That guy (paranoid crazy) is full of bullsh*t, plain and simple. Why are these conservatives so scared of anything and every body

I guess that's why heritage types have to act macho, to make up for their wussiness....

jose said...

tranquilo you are also full of sh*t.... and what about our operations in Cuba and other countries.. what's good for the goose is good for the gander...

tranqilo you are scared baby.. go back in your hole and keep on crying wolf.

tranquilo said...

Jose,
relax 'mano. I was responding to Peters' post. He was talking about Cuban espionage. Any dumbass knows the U.S. has its own intelligence apparatus.

Anonymous said...

Peters, what is next? will you tell us where babies come from?

Anonymous said...

Well, I do believe the US has its agents infiltrated in the ranks of the Cuban goverment, yes. Perhaps in very high positions. The same applies to Iran. There is a reason why the US has made this an unipolar world and the other powers are having such hard a time trying to challenge it. Look at what it has gotten away with in Iraq! Castro a thread to the US? Please, Castro knows better than that and the US is not worried about Castro. A lot of the rethoric is just as smoke screen. This is the way I see it.

Omar said...

The article "East Germans drew blueprint for Cuban spying" about the connections between the former Stasi and the Cuban MININT has just been published in The Miami Herald. Coincidence or a calculated move to build momentum around the idea of an still dangerous Cuba? Lets see how this new play evolve.

leftside said...

What Peters is telling us is that (in a highly unusual move) a second US Intelligence agent is now acting in a campaign of deliberate anti-Cuba propoganda and disinformation in an attempt to make us fearful.. and set the stage for what? Of course, if you actually begin to analyze Simmons case, it falls apart as easy as the Iraqi case did. There are tidbits of evil sounding doings by Cuban intelligence, but Simmons forgets to mentions that the job of any intelligence agency is to do exactly what Cuba is doing. And if we were to compare the CIA's actions versus Cuba to the the DGI's versus America there would be no contest in terms of who acted more offensively.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was obvious that U.S. has hardly any intelligence on the interworkings of the Cuban government. They've definitely been clueless on what's going on since Fidel got sick.