|Edward Lee Howard shopping for meat near his dacha outside of Moscow |
(a long way from Safeway)
Washington, D.C., October 1993
FBI Special Agent John H flew into Washington-National Airport from Albuquerque, New Mexico, on a rain-drenched Tuesday morning, October 12th, rented a car, and asked directions to the Holiday Inn, Chevy Chase.
John H had never been stationed in Washington, D.C., had no desire for such a posting, and when he visited, did his business and got out of town as fast as possible.
And I was trying to turn this outfit into a paying client?
John H confirmed his presence down the road.
(Punctuality, a principle of good intelligence work, could have been John H’s middle name.)
Twenty minutes later, I knocked his door, room 303.
We shook hands and seated ourselves at a small round table by the window, overlooking the hotel's parking lot.
I also had a copy of a fax Howard sent to National Press inviting us to visit him in Moscow, which I produced for John H.
It was signed Mr. Roumanis, whom Howard said was the director of his consulting business, Westar, and included telephone numbers for Howard's apartment, his dacha, and his assistant, Larissa.
"By that time, unknown to us, Howard was gone. We feel we've got an airtight espionage case against Howard before he escaped, and there's an important delineation between pre- and post-September 1985. The way our case is written up, it's all about his espionage activities before September 1985. We're sure we can convict him on that. But we have never developed an espionage case for what he did after September 1985.
"That's where you become important. We may want to build a whole new case about his espionage post-September 1985, try him on both, and the crux of that would be his own admissions in his book proposal and whatever he tells you."
That, in a nutshell, was the FBI's strategy on Howard: At an opportune political juncture, perhaps with some incentive, cajole the Russians into turning him over.
"Not only," I said. "The ultimate goal, I hope, is to capture him."
"I'm like you," said John H. "I'm ready to be real bold."
"He wanted to make a deal. I told him, the Bureau does enforcement, we're not allowed to make deals."
John H raised an eyebrow.
(This I'd learned from Moon0, the ace IRS sting-undercover specialist.)
|Moscow, July 1980|
No idea what I was doing here
As if I wanted a bunch of free trips to Moscow. I'd been before; it was definitely not my destination of choice.