CNN played several episodes of “Declassified” Sunday night, with the most significant episode probably the one concerning Defense Intelligence Agency employee Ana Montes, who gave secrets to Cuba starting in the Reagan years with the operations in Central America, story here.
The episode described the mechanics of drops around the Washington DC Metro then, almost recalling the film “Five Lines”. The FBI broke into her apartment while she was away Memorial Day weekend in May 2001, and then set up a sting in her office right after 9/11 to catch more evidence. She was called in and interrogated just before the US announced its operation in Afghanistan, which she could have compromised. Her skin developed a sudden rash (no, not Stevens Johnson Syndrome). She was then arrested. She plea bargained for "only" 25 years in prison (and she was 45 at the time).
She went to the dark side because of pro-Communist and pro-Castro ideological beliefs, which had lingered from the extreme Left from the 60s and 70s. I ran into some of this with the “People’s Party” in 1972.
The episode is important because some of her secrets, in the hands of Cuba today, could be sold to Iran or North Korea.
CNN also aired episodes on how Saddam Hussein was finally found by Operation “Red Dawn” (named after the 1984 movie) in December 2003.
Another episode depicted the chase and killing of “insurgency” leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 2006. Zarqawi exploited the power vaccum in Iraq after Saddam Hussein was deposed; people had no law and order, no stability, a lot of times no utilities. People needed to feel that their lives mattered.