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True Believer: Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes, Cuba's Master Spy Hardcover – March 3, 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Several years ago, I informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation of a growing suspicion that one of our own DIA employees, Ana Belen Montes, was secretly an agent of the Cuban government. The evidence at first was weak, but I worked with the FBI over several years to develop the facts and finally bring her to justice. This book is the inside story of that long and ultimately successful spy hunt." ― Scott W. Carmichael

About the Author

Scott W. Carmichael, senior security and counterintelligence investigator for the Defense Intelligence Agency was the lead agent on the Ana Montes espionage investigation. His contributions to national security have earned him the DIA Civilian Expeditionary Medal and Award for Meritorious Civilian Service, the Defense Intelligence Director's Award, the Department of Defense Counterintelligence Award, and the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement. He lives n the Washington, D.C area.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 - 1 year
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press; First Edition edition (March 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591141001
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591141006
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #299,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The plot is a great story about a Cuban spy (mole) in the Defense Intelligence Agency. The main good guy is a perceptive and doggedly tenacious counterintelligence agent/investigator. The bad guy (gal) lives a poker-faced double life: hard working and ambitious U.S. govt. employee with far-reaching influence in foreign policy decisions. So far so good, but the story is told like the author doesn't want to reveal the slightest bit of tradecraft or investigative detail. I know the author, who is also the good guy/investigator, needs to protect methods/techniques, but he does the reader a great disservice by holding back on details involving missteps and clues detected by the U.S. govt sleuths. The author mentions how the mole was detected due to certain telltale clues, but yet doesn't elaborate. If you want to read a story that is long on "If I tell then I'll have to kill you" intrigue then you (the reader) will be happy with lack of detail and supporting narrative.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I knew Ana Montes a little, and while this book is an interesting account of how she was exposed and then caught, the constant reference to "details I can't reveal" spoils the whole story. Those are the details that led to Carmichaels commitment to catch her, but he will not tell us what they are. This book is not really worth buying, unfortunately. It's just a bogus, aimless story. The ending..Montes is caught...is predictable, but how Carmichael got there is kept on the margin. Too bad.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The story is that of a dedicated Cuban agent climbing through the American intelligence community. Although often lost on the general public traitors generally come in two varieties, intelligence sources and agents of influence. Montes was both plus in a great position to help others inside the US intelligence community.

It matters not that Cuba is a flacid threat to the US, they are involved in Latin American leftist movements and looking to trade intel for goods and favors from the whose who of dictatorships. The author links Mondes directly to the death of a US military advisor working in Latin America. It is likely that there were more casualties.

One of the great frustrations of the case is the glacial pace of investigations. Again months and months were lost as the FBI agents worked with the DOJ's staff to try to get the required authorizations to bring the case foreward. In the end the events of 9-11 and the probability that Montes would compromise major anti-terror activities lead to her arrest before all the evidence could be gathered.

Just as we wondery why we could not connect the dots at Virginia Tech, one wonders why we keep erasing the dots in the interest of "justice" .

Like so many of these stories it begins with one suspicions person, initially ignored as onbody wants to believe that one of their own have betrayed the trust.

Update 5-10-07

Mr. Cespedes ( see comments) offered the following insightful comments, "What this reviewer neglects to mention is that the damage done to US security by this Cuban spy is tremendous. The fact is that the Cuban dictatorship has close relationships with Iran, Syria, China, Russia and all other terrorist states in the world.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author states up front that he's not a writer, but that doesn't mean that the story has to be so boring. I had never heard of this case, so I was glad to find this book mentioned on the Wikipedia site about the spy. But the Wikipedia site actually has more information than this entire book! And Jim Popkin's Washington Post article "The Queen of Cuba" is far more informative and provides many more details in about a page of text. Carmichael leaves out details that make the story interesting. For instance, he tells how "data points" eventually matched narrowed down the suspect list, but NEVER tells what those data points are (you can find a few in Popkin's article). He provides a pseudonym for her boyfriend (his name is readily available in articles about the case). And he seems utterly unable to tell about any of the "spycraft" that either she used (like the crypto-system, or pass-offs), even though this type of information is available in countless spy novels, not to mention true stories, or the spy-craft he and his cohorts used to capture her. Apparently her days of actually meeting with her handlers or passing off materials to them had ended long before the investigation started, leaving a completely unsatisfying story leading to her capture. Bravo to you, Mr. Carmichael for catching her and then giving all the profits from the book to one of her apparent victims, but sorry, it's not a very compelling story. Naval Institute Press usually does a better job on subject specific books, but this one got by the editors, I guess.
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Format: Hardcover
True Believer:Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes,Cuba's Master Spy.

Communist Believer/Castroite Spy Ana Montes should have had a Life Sentence or Worst,as fully and brilliantly told in the book this scumbag betrayed America and it's not something that is to be ignored or say what can a Little Island like Cuba do? Well Cuba does not Like The United States for one and is allied with Our Worst enemies.The book tells in detail how this person if you can call her that betrayed her country,her Faith(Catholic?Attended Mass,Sickening)and Her family and co-workers by selling the store like Obama did in 2014,(Cuban Five anyone? The spies who were implicit in the Brothers to The rescue Shootdown,4 of them were American citizens! along with the Treacherous Francis who has Betrayed God's word/The Church.)This book mattered in 2007 and it matters now and beyond,she worked for over 20 years in the highest and most top secret Clearances in our government she could have done even more harm,Her arrest happen after 9/11 hence why not much stink was made ado but the author points out eloquently that should have been a big stink and we Should worry,This person did this not for money but out of Conviction of her love and belief of all things In Fidel Castro!(a Mass Murderer/Tyrant)sadly there are many like her despite the high education who admire Tyranny,or are Naive.A Puerto Rican by her Family(No surprise they wanted independence for Puerto Rico guess what the Loyalty lays)should have never held such high jobs in such positions,and had such a light sentence.A Cautionary tale that should not be repeated.
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