Walk In’s Un-Welcome
In the six months after the 9/11 attacks, up to 20 Cubans walked into U.S. embassies around the world and offered information on terrorism threats. Eventually, all were deemed to be Cuban intelligence agents and collaborators, purveying fabricated information.
A White House official complained bitterly and publicly in 2002 that Fidel Castro’s agents had tried to send U.S. intelligence on “wild goose” chases that could cost lives at a time when Washington was reeling from the worst terrorism attacks in history.
But now two former U.S. government experts on Cuba have told El Nuevo Herald that the post-9/11 “walk-ins” were part of a permanent Havana intelligence program — both before and long after 9/11 — that sends Cuban agents to U.S. embassies to mislead, misinform and identify U.S. spies, perhaps even to penetrate U.S. intelligence.
“Many walk-ins were eventually identified as known/suspected [Cuban agents]. The problem was that U.S. intelligence was so starved for information on Cuba — and we had so few Cuba experts — that walk-ins were low risk, high payoff for the Cubans,” said one former U.S. intelligence community official.
“The Cubans periodically used walk-ins to continue to test U.S. capabilities and reactions, but . . . later approaches were not as frequent as we saw in the immediate wake of the Sept. 11 attacks,” added a former top Bush administration official.
Ahh the ubiquitous “walk in” In the community, this type of offer could be just as this article speaks of or, it could be a real boon to an agency such as the CIA. What’s interesting is when I was reading this article I thought back to Hurricane Katrina and Fidel’s offer of support services which W said NYET to. Now I can understand a bit more why he would just say no to that.
It also gives me more of a grasp of why W and company may have been so reticent to talk turkey at all about loosening up on Cuba. I know that the Montes case kinda hit close to home.. And now that couple who had been spying for Cuba for years.
Guess Cuba has been busy! Makes sense all the Numbers station action out of them lately.