Oleg Gordievsky, a former head of the KGB in London who defected in 1985, has suggested that there could be fifty or more couples living in the United States who are on deep undercover espionage assignments for Russia. This comes as news primarily because of the timing. It was just a week ago that Obama took his new pal Medvedev out for burgers. We're all about cutting nuclear stockpiles and international cooperation. What's a a few spies between friends?
Before you start poking around your neighbor's mailboxes, searching for return addresses that appear faintly foreign, or surnames that have a Slavic ring to them, remember that we are in the spy business too. Suggesting that there are no U.S. operatives in Russia seems like a pretty hard sell, even in these enlightened times. They haven't been caught yet. Or maybe they have, and in the formidable style of the IMF, "as always, should you or any of your force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions." And then the tape self-destructs.
The eleven suspects arrested this week were charged with "conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the U.S. attorney general." Their mission was described as attempting "to search and develop ties in policymaking circles in US." If convicted, they could face up to five years in prison. Not exactly Tom Clancy stuff, but we have been promised that this is "just the tip of the iceberg."
Has anybody checked on Tareq and Michaele Salahi lately? How about Brad Pitt?