The "Murphys" certainly seemed to be going native, and I would worry about them if I were Putin. Remember all you have heard about "conspicuous consumption" and the Yanks? In 2009, the Murphys thought they should own their home in Montclair, N.J., and they gave their handler an earful when he objected. Earlier, an agent had lamented to Mr. Murphy, "I'm so happy I'm not your handler." He distributed monies to these "agents of influence" and is now on the lam in Cyprus, or perhaps he has fled the island. As for the Murphys, they are now in custody. They were trained in a top-flight Russian "espionage school," reports the Los Angeles Times. So maybe they will hold their tongues, but I am not so sure. That house in Montclair would be a lovely safe house for a couple of renamed Irish who might sing.
Of course, the spy who really attracted the Brits' eyes and has got to have had the same effect here is the curvaceous 28-year-old, red-haired, doe-eyed beauty Anna Chapman, nee Kushchenko, whose father was from the old KGB and presumably knows a thing or two. Rather oddly, he directed her to the authorities. That was it. Before her arrest, she had cut an active figure on both sides of the Atlantic. She married a British citizen. Picked up with playboys and frequented Annabel's and Tramp in Britain. After five years, she left for America, but not before working with the shady Ken Sharpe and her father for a company, Southern Union, with connections to Mugabe. Over here, she lived a similarly fast life of nightclubs, rich men and connections that do not add up. Supposedly, she had 50 employees working for her company. Possibly it helped finance the spy ring.
What we do know is that after years of gathering information from these lunkheads, the FBI moved in pretty spectacularly. Something triggered the rapid arrests. Maybe we shall know in the months ahead, maybe not. What is obvious is that the FBI has had a good couple of weeks -- and MI5, too. Their reputations glow. It is the KGB/SVR I worry about. This could be a PR disaster.
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