The fetching Russian spy Anna Chapman (a.k.a. Anna Kushchenko) returned home with her fellow sleeper agents to a hero’s welcome in Moscow. The 28-year-old red-haired beauty caught by the FBI was publicly praised by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, according to the LA Times. Putin even sang his favorite patriotic WWII spy movie theme song to Chapman and her secret agent comrades.
Anna Chapman has even cashed in on her new found celebrity–appearing for photo-ops at televised events, posing for a spread in Russia’s Maxim Magazine, and landing a job at FundServiceBank, whose fame is rising since hiring the siren of espionage.
However, not everyone is happy with the media parade. Former KGB General Alexei Kondaurov told the LA Times “when you have nothing positive to show to your people, you start showing them your muscles, fly planes and sing songs in the company of good-for-nothing spies.”
Chapman is not the first notorious lawbreaker to try to turn a profit from her dirty deeds.
G. Gordon Liddy was the chief operative of the infamous White House Plumbers unit during the Nixon administration. The covert arm of the political Committee to Re-elect the President devised some of the dirtiest campaign strategies ever concocted. Among Liddy’s self-proclaimed criminal tactics outlined in his tell-all autobiography, “Will,” were kidnapping war protesters and transporting them to Mexico; hiring prostitutes to lure Democratic campaign workers into compromising photo-ops; and, most famously, breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex.
Liddy’s crimes disenfranchised the public with American politics, led to the resignation of President Nixon, and landed him a 20-year prison sentence. Liddy’s sentence was commuted and he served only 4.5 years.
After prison, Liddy wrote his best-selling autobiography, which was turned into a television movie. He then went on speaking tours throughout the 1980s and guest appeared on episodes of Miami Vice, Airwolf, MacGyver and The Highwayman.
Today, Liddy is a radio talk show host syndicated in 160 markets across the nation, is a frequent guest panelist on Fox News, and is the spokesperson for Rosland Capital.
Another nefarious cover operator, Oliver “Ollie” North, skyrocketed into the public spotlight after being summoned to testify before a joint congressional committee investigating Iran-Contra. North sold weapons to Iran and then channeled the profits to the anticommunist Contras in Nicaragua. He also helped get funds for Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega before the United States invaded the country to depose him in 1989, according to United States v Oliver North.
North was indicted on 16 felony counts, was convicted of multiple counts, and admitted to committing perjury before Congress. However, North had all charges overturned in 1990-91, according to the New York Times.
Oliver North then ran for U.S. Senate in 1994. He has since published a number of best-selling books, and has worked for both MSNBC and the Fox News Channel.
Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich was arrested on federal corruption charges for allegedly trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat. After being impeached by the Illinois House of Representatives 114-1, according to USA Today, Blagojevich went on a whirlwind media tour. He is now a reality TV celebrity, appearing on shows like The Celebrity Apprentice and doing celebrity appearances at conventions. Of the 24 federal charges levied against Blagojevich, he has only been convicted of one–lying to the FBI.
Russian spy Anna Chapman should have no problem parlaying her dirty deeds into big time celebrity. If American politics and espionage are any indication, being bad pays well.
Sergei L. Loiko, Russian spy wins adulation at home, Los Angeles Times
Judy Keen, Ill. House impeaches Gov. Rod Blagojevich, USA Today
David Johnston, North Conviction Reversed, New York Times
United States v. Oliver North
G. Gordon Liddy, Will, Macmillan
The Liddy Show