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True Believer: Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes, Cuba's Master Spy

Recorded on December 17, 2007

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Ana Montes appeared to be a model employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).  Known to her coworkers as the Queen of Cuba, she was an overachiever who advanced quickly through the ranks of Latin American specialists to become the intelligence community's top analyst on Cuban affairs.  But throughout her sixteen-year career at DIA, Montes sent Castro some of America's most closely guarded secrets and at the same time influenced what the United States thought it knew about Cuba.  When finally arrested in September 2001, she became the most senior American intelligence official ever accused of operating as a Cuban spy from within the federal government.  She remains the only member of the intelligence community ever convicted of espionage on behalf of the Cuban government.

True Believer - an inside account of the investigation that led to her arrest - is authored by Scott W. Carmichael, the DIA's senior counterintelligence investigator who persuaded the FBI to delve deeper into Montes activities.  He tells the story of the long and ultimately successful spy hunt and reveals the details of the efforts to bring her to justice.  Because her arrest came just ten days after 9/11, it has remained largely unnoticed by the American public. Motivated by ideology and not money, Montes was one of the last "true believers" of the Communist era.  But the threat to American national security she represents has not gone away to prison with her.