“On Principle” reads the title below the photo of traitor Ana Belen Montes in the Los Angeles Times on Thursday. Had Montes spied for the Nazis instead of Fidel Castro, would the Times have used the word principle?
Montes spied not for money, but for “political reasons,” reports the Times. As the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency’s top Cuba expert, she helped to craft Bill Clinton’s Cuba-is-not-so-bad policy. She engineered the “famous 1998 shift softening the Pentagon’s assessment of the threat posed by Cuban President Fidel Castro at a time when the State Department was citing Cuba on a list of terrorist nations.”
In court on Wednesday, Montes said, “I obeyed my conscience rather than the law. I believe our government’s policy toward Cuba is cruel and unfair, profoundly unneighborly, and I felt morally obligated to help the island defend itself from our efforts to impose our values and our political system on it.”
The Times says Montes also quoted an Italian proverb, “All the world is one country,” and decried the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, “I did what I thought was right to counter a grave injustice.”
Montes got 25 years in prison for conspiring to spy for Cuba, in return, of course, for “cooperation.” It sounds like a pretty good deal, especially given that she appears totally uncooperative. Arrogant and unapologetic, she said at the hearing, “I hope my case in some way will encourage our government to abandon its hostility toward Cuba.”
What about her hostility toward America? Given the gravity of the spying, her sentence seems light. According to the Times, she revealed to the Castro regime “the identity of four Cubans working undercover for the United States.” Are they still alive? She also “disclosed war games conducted by the U.S. Atlantic Command, and gave Cuban intelligence classified files, photos and documents.”
Hired in the 1980s, she wasn’t nabbed until ten days after 9/11. How could she rise so high in the U.S. government? Well, during the Clinton years, Castro-coddling and quoting one-world-order Italian proverbs probably impressed her colleagues. The Clinton administration’s handling of the Elian Gonzalez matter takes on a new light. What was the DIA’s top Cuba expert’s role in that affair?
Montes probably thought she could get away with spying for Castro. After all, before 9/11, the obvious tyrant and terrorist was being accorded the status of a statesman. Who knows, if she had succeeded in brokering some sort of PC peace between the U.S. and Cuba, she could have looked forward to the possibility of attending a Nobel Peace prize ceremony for Castro. Why not? Yassir Arafat got one.
Perhaps radical liberals will lionize Montes as a prisoner of “conscience,” or at least supply her with copies of Mother Jones and the Nation so that she can while away time in jail.
“On Principle” could be the title of her memoirs or the name of a Lifetime movie. Crime, as long as it is combined with left-wing “idealism,” is always paid a certain measure of establishment respect.
Castro, at the very least, should devote one of the hours of his upcoming speeches to this high-minded internationalist — though it is a good thing this daughter of the revolution didn’t commit her treachery on the island she loves. Turncoats against Castro don’t get to stand up in Havana courts, denounce their country, and then “cooperate” for lighter sentences.
Montes, for exposing those four Cuban informants to the wrath of Castro, appears to deserve Ethel Rosenberg’s fate. But America errs on the side of mercy. Montes didn’t even get a sentence as long as those suffered by political prisoners in Cuba. Some of them have served “30 years for no crime except speaking out for democracy,” Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said to the Times.
Those prisoners show real principle — a word the media should not waste on traitors.
George Neumayr is a frequent contributor to The American Prowler.
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