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					U.S. Counterintelligence Officer Outs Castro Agents – Media Scurries For Cover

Humberto Fontova

On Sept 20, 2001 the FBI arrested the enemy spy that had managed the deepest penetration of the U.S. Department of Defense in U.S. history. The spy's name is Ana Montes and during her fifteen years in the Defense Intelligence Agency she operated as an agent for Fidel Castro. At the time of her arrest she had moled her way to the head of the DIA's Latin America division. From here, she greatly influenced (if not actually directed) the Clinton administration's Cuba policy. Today she serves a 25 year sentence in Federal prison. She was convicted of "Conspiracy to Commit Espionage," the same charge against Ethel and Julius Rosenberg carrying the same potential death sentence for what is widely considered the most damaging espionage case since the “end” of the Cold War. "Montes passed some of our most sensitive information about Cuba back to Havana " disclosed then Undersecretary for International Security, John Bolton. “Ana Montes compromised our entire program against Cuba , electronic as well as human.” admitted Joel F. Brenner, National Counterintelligence Executive. Montes dodged the Rosenberg 's fate primarily because of a plea bargain. Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Simmons of the DIA had a key role in uncovering Fidel Castro's “Queen Jewel,” as she came to be known, and sending her to prison. Two years later Castro had cause to curse Simmons again. "Virtually every member of Cuba 's U.N mission is an intelligence agent," revealed Alcibiades Hidalgo , who defected to the U.S. in 2002 after serving as Raul Castro's Chief of Staff and Cuba 's ambassador to the U.N. In 2003 Lieut. Col. Simmons helped root out 14 of those Cuban spies who were promptly booted from the U.S. In 25 years as a U.S. Military Counterintelligence officer, Lieut. Col. Simmons has ended the operations of 80 enemy agents, many of which are today behind bars. "I believe that the Cuban Intelligence Service has penetrated the United States government to the same extent that the old East German STASI, once penetrated the West German government.”

Retired from the DIA, Lieut. Col. Simmons is now an active reserve officer in Army counterintelligence. Last week in Miami he dropped a bombshell by outing four more Castro agents, these he termed “Agents of Influence.” “For Cuba, being able to influence policy and elite opinion-makers is equally important-- possibly even more important-- than recruiting spies with access to intelligence information," said Norman Bailey, who worked for the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Hence the interest of U.S counterintelligence officers in a few of academia's more garrulous and media-savvy “ Cuba scholars and experts.” Among those named by Lieut. Col. Simmons: *Retired professor Gillian Gunn-Clissold, who headed Georgetown University 's Cuba Study Group and served as assistant director of Caribbean programs at Trinity College *Professor Alberto Coll, ex-deputy assistant secretary of defense (1990-93), former professor at the Naval War College , host of a the History Channel series and current professor at DePaul University ,. *Professor Marifeli Perez-Stable, currently teaching at Florida International University , on the editorial staff of the Miami Herald and Vice president of the Washington D.C. based think-tank, Inter-American Dialogue . The media blackout on Col. Simmon's bombshell has been total, and understandable. For decades some of those he describes as Castro's “agents of influence” were the Mainstream Media's favorite (and almost exclusive) go-to “ Cuba experts” for interviews, insights, prognostications and soundbites on anything and everything related to Cuba . Since Cuba became newsworthy with Castro's health crisis summer of 2006, for instance, a (cursory) search shows that Cuba “experts” from The Inter-American Dialogue have been prime sources for stories by: Reuters, The Associated Press, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, ABC, PBS, MSNBC, NPR, Time, Newsweek, The Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, The International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, The Brookings Institute, Foreign Affairs Magazine, Forbes and The Latin Business Chronicle. Throw in the UK Telegraph, Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Canada 's Globe and Mail ad Der Spiegel for good measure. As mentioned, Professor Marifeli Perez-Stable currently serves as Vice Pres for this Inter-American Dialogue. When PBS ran an American Series special on Fidel Castro in 2005, most of the show involved an interview with Dr. PerezStable, who is also a member of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations as well as Mexico 's Council on Foreign Relations.

According to Lieut. Col. Simmon's, Dr. Perez-Stable also worked as an agent for Cuba's DGI (Directorio General de Intelligencia) until the early 90's, when a defecting Cuban officer blew her cover and ended her usefulness to Fidel Castro. ''I'm sick and tired of these McCarthyite tactics,'' Perez-Stable was quoted in a Miami Herald article this week. “I supported the Cuban revolution in the 1970s. Over the course of the 1980s, I had a change of heart.” Problem is, Liet. Col. Simmons cites a meeting by Ms. Perez-Stable with her Cuban case officer held as late as mid 1991 in Ottowa Canada . ''This is nothing more than a witch hunt,'' said the Miami Herald Editor, Joe Oglesby about Col. Simmons’ charges. “This is character assassination and these issues have been raised and dealt with in the past.'' Yes, the issue has been raised in the past. Problem is, the only “dealing with it” by the Miami Herald was to bury it, look around furtively and hope few noticed. Just last month Ms. Perez-Stable was keynote speaker at a gathering of Miami 's Cuban-American Democrats (all eleven of them). In a written response to the Miami Herald, professor Alberto Coll said: ``These are baseless and scurrilous allegations without a shred of evidence, presented by someone eager to make a quick buck in Miami by selling his book.'' Problem is, in May, 2005 Professor Coll was found guilty of lying to Federal authorities about the purpose of a visit to Cuba . The Naval War College then suspended his access to classified material. So why aren't these “agents of influence” either in jail or being prosecuted? I asked Lieut Col. Simmons. “As a counterintelligence officer, my job is to identify and neutralize foreign agents” he explained, “to prevent them from doing more damage to my country. One way to accomplish this is to get a conviction for not registering as agents of a foreign government. This usually takes hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars. But it's often easier (also easier on the taxpayer) to simply neutralize them by outing the ones who KNOWINGLY had contacts with Cuban intelligence agencies and putting both them and their media cohorts on full alert that U.S counterintelligence is on to their game. I've obviously received clearance to mention the above names.” That “knowingly” is crucial. The Castro regime is famous for the hospitality provided by the official “hosts” and “attendants” it assigns the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of U.S. visitors--from legislators, to scholars, to journalists, to ecclesiastics, to businessmen, to cultural ambassadors—who somehow breach the brutal “U.S. blockade of Cuba” every year to visit and

cavort in Fidel's fiefdom. This Cuban hospitality often extends to furnishing their American guests' hotel rooms with state-of-the-art electronic devices. "My job was to bug their hotel rooms," says Cuban intelligence defector Delfin Fernandez. "With both cameras and listening devices. We'd also follow the visitors around, sometimes we covered them 24 hours a day. They had no idea we were tailing them." “I always warned visiting Americans about this” a former U.S. official assigned to the U.S. Interest Office in Havana told this writer. Point is, but for that “knowingly” provision, every U.S. visitor to Cuba , upon returning home, could be prosecuted for consorting with an enemy intelligence agency. When asked if these charges could leave him open to legal action by the accused (slandered?) parties, Col. Simmons quickly responded: “Bring it on. I invite them to take me to civil court for defamation. I'll present my evidence and the civil case will quickly become a criminal case. The tables will turn and my accusers will find themselves defending themselves for crimes such as failure to register as foreign agents and maybe tax-evasion, for failure to report their paychecks from Fidel and Raul Castro. So again—bring it on. I won't be the one going to jail, believe me.” Liet. Col. Simmons based his accusations against the Inter-American Dialogue's vice president partly on an FBI debriefing of a Cuban intelligence defector named Jesus Perez-Mendez, who had worked closely with her Cuban case officer. This defector revealed that in the early 80's Cuba's DGI appointed the Inter-American Dialogue's current Vice president, Marifeli Perez-Stable, as head of a division within their “Cuban Institute of Friendship with Peoples” (ICAP, in Spanish) which fronted as an “educational” and “cultural-exchange group. “The DGI prepared Perez-Stable's annual schedule in the U.S. ” disclosed Perez-Mendez. “She receives $100 for every tourist that travels to Cuba with this group.” This same ICAP, by the way, sponsored the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's visit to Cuba in 1984. So it's likely that Jeremiah Wright unwittingly earned Ms. Marifeli Perez-Stable a C-note—and tax-free, it appears. ********** Humberto Fontova is the author of four books including Exposing the Real Che Guevara. visit www.hfontova.com