By Spencer Ackerman
April 2, 2012 |
6:12 pm |
If the arrest of Russian spy Anna Chapman seemed abrupt, it’s because the FBI began to fear she was out to sexually ensnare a member of President Obama’s cabinet.
That seems too crazy to be true, even in a case as bizarre as Chapman’s. But the FBI’s counterintelligence chief tells a BBC interviewer that Chapman was getting “closer and closer to higher and higher ranking leadership.”
“They were getting close enough to a sitting U.S. cabinet member that we thought we could no longer allow this to continue,” says C. Frank Figliuzzi, the assistant FBI director for counterintelligence, according to the Independent. That alleged — repeat: alleged — sexual “closeness” prompted Figliuzzi’s agents to shift from monitoring Chapman’s crew of ten spies to arresting them in 2010.
Figliuzzi doesn’t say which “serving” cabinet official was thisclose to shtupping Anna Chapman. It would be irresponsible to speculate. But it’s so, so, so hard not to. (I’m guessing that you can erase ex-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a former CIA kremlinologist, from Anna Chapman’s little black book.)
Chapman will not go down in history as the world’s ugliest agent, and the history books are littered with politicians who convinced themselves that the rewards of power include extracurricular, extramarital sex. But Anna Chapman appears to have been a pretty incompetent spy. Her crew used what intelligence reporter Jeff Stein termed “primitive radio techniques” and hid loosely encrypted messages in plain sight on the Internet. She traded in “routine political gossip and policy talk,” as the New York Times put it, rather than real secrets. Bedding a cabinet official would seem to be past her means, comely as they are.
These days, you’re likely to find Chapman on the Russian celebrity circuit, boosting Vladimir Putin’s political machinations, or expressing ambitions for designing bizarre fashions. So she’s probably unlikely to spill. But if Figliuzzi is anywhere even close to correct, maybe Chapman left clues to her little black book online somewhere.
Pic at link>http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012...apman-cabinet/