After my phone was tapped by the KGB as discussed in this post. Well, funny to me though I suspect it wasn’t to some others.
I was finishing up school in Chicago at the time of my brush with the KGB (and possibly the GRU). The cold war was still dragging on, and most Soviet intelligence operations were being run out of the Polish Consulate on Lakeshore Drive. How do I know this? Well, maybe some of my new “friends” might have mentioned something. Maybe it’s because of a story done by one of the local television stations.
As it turns out, they had been covertly following and taping the Chief of Station as he did his job. They had video of his meeting with people, picking up stuff, heck, they may have even caught him working dead letter drops. The thing is, they had done this for a year without detection. A. Year.
When the expose ran, it is fair to say that the excrement hit the rotary impeller. There was damage to operations, covers were apparently blown, and despite the frantic claims from the consulate that nothing was being done from there everyone knew there was. Needless to say, the Chief of Station (I forget what title he officially held) was recalled.
This was all going on about the time I was graduating and getting ready to leave. Having finished up my photographic internship at Playboy, I decided to walk from the North Side to downtown, and grab some stock shots of the city. It was a pleasant day, a nice walk, and I was getting some at least average city shots. As I came down along the lakeshore, I saw the Polish Consulate and decided to grab a photo or two of it.
As I was doing so, a vehicle pulled in and several people got out. In the middle of the group was the Chief of Station. He looked over, saw me taking photographs, and rather energetically flipped me off. Several times. He may have said something as well, but I couldn’t make it out. I waved as he went inside, then resumed my walk.
Several of us figured he was about to take a bullet to the back of the head (if you watched The Americans, Nina’s execution is remarkably accurate) once he was home. I actually felt a little bit sorry for him on some level, while the rest of me was just a touch gleeful at the whole thing (which may have splashed a bit of egg on some three letter agencies too). I heard years later that they didn’t shoot him, and am sorta glad.
All that said, I got a good laugh out of his reaction that day. He was the man in charge of tapping my phone, possibly bugging the apartment, and coordinating some of the other things that went on (apparently). It felt good to piss him off for a change, since his operations had pissed me off while they were happening.
Just a bit of memory that surfaced that I decided to share. With the test/procedure tomorrow, there may not be a post. Will see how it goes. Please do consider helping me get out of here by hitting the tip jar or the fundraiser.
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