Sunday, January 02, 2005

Daft Cow

It has been claimed that British agent Oleg Gordievsky was betrayed to the KGB by a New Statesman journo.

A veteran of nearly 40 years’ standing in Soviet intelligence, Cherkashin refused to name the journalist. But speculation has focused on Claudia Wright, an Australian-born freelance contributor to the New Statesman.

Wright, who worked in Washington in 1985 and died of Alzheimer’s disease 10 years ago, is thought to have had close relations with the KGB. Her US coverage was anti-American and she wrote stories that colleagues suspected had been planted by the KGB.

What a bitch! It would be the bloody New Statesman of course...

On his return to Moscow, Gordievsky was secretly drugged and interrogated, but did not confess. He alerted British officials and, in one of its most spectacular coups against the KGB, MI6 spirited him out of the Soviet Union in the boot of a car.
Gordievsky is bloody lucky to be alive. His MI6 handler - and the man who masterminded his escape - was, of course, a certain John Scarlett. Whatever you think of Scarlett's appointment as head of the SIS (and I don't think I'd have appointed him, if only for political reasons), it is probably fair to say that he was far and away the finest case officer of his generation.


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