Among Cold War Spies, "Swallow" Had A Whole Other Sexual Connotation

Illustration for article titled Among Cold War Spies, "Swallow" Had A Whole Other Sexual Connotation

If you, like us, are fond of arming yourselves with intellectual-sounding anecdotes about world history with which to disguise the fact that all you ever actually talk about is sex, you will enjoy this piece on the Harper's blog that is very loosely related to a book coming out on corrupt congressman Randall "Duke" Cunningham about sex and espionage:

  • Until the nineties, being gay was grounds for dismissal from the CIA because it was considered something you could be blackmailed over, but then AIDS came along and the CIA decided that if you could get killed doing it, being gay was sort of manly and CIA-like.
  • Disgraced CIA #3 Kyle "Dusty" Foggo (Jesus Christ! What is it with weird nicknames and no ethics? And isn't Kyle Foggo distinctive enough??) loved whores more than Jesus. He may have even loved them more than he loved funneling contracts to his friends' firms and was a regular at a hooker "hotbed" called Gloria's while stationed in Tegucigalpa during the Cold War. Probably to overcompensate for his surname being re-appropriated as "Faggot" as a kid.
  • The only Marine ever convicted of espionage was seduced into spying for the KGB by a government whore named Violetta. These women were called "swallows"; the Marine, Clayton Lonetree, served nine years in prison after turning himself in. Some joke about Lonetree, wood, solitary confinement, blah, blah.
  • Alexander Ogorodnik (yeah, a Russian) was a Soviet diplomat in Bogota, Colombia who started spying for the US when we started paying off his Colombian mistress. He was highly productive (unlike Valerie Plame, who was just okay) after returning to Moscow, where he eventually killed himself with a cyanide capsule he kept concealed in a CIA-supplied modified Montblanc pen after getting found out by the KGB, which is getting us all Hot n Hunt For Red October it's so totally fucking cool.

Sex makes men stupid. This is our takeaway. Also, maybe writer Ken Silverstein should do it with us. Wait, did we just turn into Julia Allison?

Sex and the C.I.A. [Harper's]