Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Spy Who Shagged Me



The (in)famous Russian spy Anna Chapman, who was exposed and deported from the U.S. in 2010[1], has come up again in recent news. It's been reported that Chapman and her spy ring were being monitored by the FBI for quite some time, but it was only when Chapman was about seduce a Cabinet member of the current administration that the spy ring was stopped.[2]  An assistant FBI director had previously warned the Cabinet member of Chapman's affiliation, describing her as a "honey trap."

Unfortunately, there are more questions here than answers. Who was the official she was trying to seduce? How close was she to compromising top secret U.S. government information? Why did the U.S. government handle the matter so matter-of-factly? Why did they let so much time pass before making a move to apprehend her? Some sources indicate that it was not Anna Chapman, but another spy--Cynthia Murphy--who was getting close to the Cabinet official.[3] 

As to who the target was, there is speculation around former Director of the Office of Budget and Mgmt Peter Orzag, who curiously resigned in the same month that Chapman's spy ring was exposed. He left for a prestigious job on Wall Street, where sex scandals are all but unheard of.

In related news, the U.S. Ambassador to Russia accused members of the Russian press of hacking his cell phone and Blackberry.[4] He also called Russia a "wild country," something a little unusual for a diplomat to say. Apparently he has been meeting with prominent pro-democracy political figures in Russia over the past few weeks.

Given the recent challenges posed by Russia in the past few weeks (namely vetoing humanitarian intervention in Syria at the UNSC, along with the spy scandals and hacking McFaul's communication devices), it is worth rethinking where U.S.-Russian relations are headed in the near future. Perhaps Mitt Romney's description of Russia wasn't as far off from the truth as we thought...

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