What Russia Offered the Spies to Go Along

Yesterday I asked why Vicki Pelaez, a Peruvian-born journalist with U.S. citizenship would go along with the deal to return to Russia. Here's what appears to be the answer:

Russian officials had made offers including free housing for life, an indefinite living allowance of $2,000 a month, visas and free passage for her children, and the right to travel beyond Russia to any country she wished, in return for her co-operation.

She told the Court she merely acted under her husband's instructions in delivering letters with invisible ink to someone who gave her a packet of money to bring back to the U.S.

I can't imagine she's thrilled with her husband right now. According to this version, her children will be granted visas to visit her, which means they won't be moving there. And, she's been promised she can leave Russia for Peru. [More...]

John Rodriguez, a lawyer for Vicky Pelaez, told Wood that his client had been told “she would be allowed upon her arrival to Russia to go to any country in the world, including Peru. She would be provided free housing by the Russian Federation and a monthly stipend of $2,000, which was for life, and offered visas to her children for the purposes of visiting her in the Russian Federation.”

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  • Display: Sort:
    As long as I could visit Peru (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 08, 2010 at 09:59:25 PM EST
    I think I could be pretty happy in Russia.  America isn't all that any more.  And having the "stigma" of being a spy hanging over your head...nah, I'd be glad to see some more of the world.  This is a pretty good deal considering what is happening to our economy too.  Nobody else around here is going to be promised $2,000 a month forever and housing.

    LOL... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 07:54:17 AM EST
    I was just internally scolding myself for thinking "2 grand per month and rent paid for life?  I'll spin some yarns for ya!  Sweet deal!"

    This is reminding me of the Liberty City kids...I'll tell ya whatever you wanna hear special agent man, just keep comin' with that cash.


    I haven't been to Moscow in a long time (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 09:04:43 AM EST
    It was a very clean city, almost no auto traffic and full employment.

    Even found a poker game among the Americans and Brits at the Consulate.

    The Circus was great and the Ballet was great. Or at least that's what I told my hosts. (Actually both bored me.)Lenin's Summer Home was very interesting and the birch trees and crows were haunting. But Lenin was a little too stiff for me.

    Visited the Sears of Moscow, the GUM department store. They didn't have a "style" section. In fact I noticed a distinct lack of selection and sizes. But maybe that was just me.

    I bought my souvenirs at the hard currency store. Yeah, only folks with dollars, francs, pounds... any hard currency... could shop there. That was almost exclusively foreigners, but a few Soviets who were paid in some hard currency could shop there.

    Yes, even in the Worker's Paradise some animals were more equal than others.

    But be careful with that $2000 a month. I'm sure it has changed some but back then the official ruble rate was around .35 cents. In western Europe it was much less. The unofficial rate was around 5 cents or so.

    I don't know what it is now. But I'd make sure the agreement was to be paid in dollars.


    I had nations... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 09:13:07 AM EST
    with warmer climates and a lower cost of living in mind to spy-hustle in this morning's little day dream.

    But running cons ain't righteous...even if they deserve a con...tryin' to stay semi-clean, ya know old pal?...:)


    Mr. Zorba went (none / 0) (#12)
    by Zorba on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 11:20:29 AM EST
    to Moscow last year.  It's apparently much more crowded with traffic than it used to be.  He enjoyed the trip, but did comment (regarding the entire bureaucracy and the way things did- and did not- run, the lack of organization, lack of efficiency, etc):  "Well, no wonder these guys lost the Cold War."

    I came home convinced that all (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 11:49:48 PM EST
    liberal arts majors should have to go Xmas shopping at GUM as a required course.

    And I loved the in room radio.... On-Off and volume switch.

    But the bathroom tub was at least 400 gallons... a life guard was needed...


    Well (none / 0) (#13)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 11:22:25 AM EST
    Looks like you need a major software update..  If you were to consider moving into the 21st century, you might find that many of your views are based on obsolete information.

    At least it was first hand information (none / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 11:31:01 PM EST

    Yes (none / 0) (#19)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 11:59:21 PM EST
    That is the point, your first hand, second hand and third hand information is seriously out of date.

    I have been to Russia as well.


    Seeing as how they just got caught slipping (none / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 06:46:32 AM EST
    moles into our country....

    It doesn't appear they have changed all that much.

    Of course your immediate defense of that "Worker's Paradise" is not surprising.


    Well, the connection would be Birmingam (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 09:09:40 AM EST
    to Atlanta to Heathrow to Moscow.

    How dare you speak to me like that (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 11:13:00 AM EST
    I'm a supported member of this crappy society via the military industrial complex.  I'll report you to Fox News if you don't beat me there.

    Sorry. (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 11:38:48 PM EST
    I think there's a twice weekly Aeroflot non stop from Dulles..

    Much easier than a connection through London.

    But I never trusted airplanes in which the plastic walls don't match.....

    And whatever you do, don't ask for the free calender..



    that would be (none / 0) (#2)
    by cpinva on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 12:40:09 AM EST
    "her version", not having been subject to any kind of rigorous examination just yet.

    however, if true, didn't she wonder why her husband was having her deliver letters, written in invisible ink, to someone who then gave her packets of cash to return to the US with?

    were it my wife, she'd be asking questions.

    methinks the lady would be well advised to take the more than generous offer, and consider herself fortunate.

    As of the time I'm writing this (none / 0) (#3)
    by scribe on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 05:57:49 AM EST
    (about 7 AM ET), the trade is going on if not already over, at the Vienna Austria airport.

    Cash for Envelopes ???? (none / 0) (#5)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 08:39:12 AM EST
    Spy or not, she had to know what she was doing was wasn't legit.

    If her life is here and she can't return, that's a big deal, if her kids remain, then $24k/yr isn't that appealing housing or not.  

    What I don't get if why didn't her husband make the deliveries.  Unless the CIA is lying to an infinite degree, these people weren't passing anything someone in Russia couldn't obtain from a Google search.  

    So why get the wife involved ?

    Good point (none / 0) (#7)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 09:06:34 AM EST
    My guess is that they are being hustled out because the FBI doesn't want us to know what they were really doing.

    You may very well (none / 0) (#11)
    by Zorba on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 11:16:06 AM EST
    have hit on it, PPJ- this is certainly well within the realm of possibility.  What I kept thinking is that we (by "we" I mean the Feds) want them out of here because what would come up in their trials would embarrass our government, and not just  exposing secrets we'd rather not have exposed.

    apparently (none / 0) (#14)
    by cpinva on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 05:16:33 PM EST
    the russians must be in the same predicament, since they were the ones to initiate this little "Len Deyton" deal.

    "didn't know" (none / 0) (#15)
    by diogenes on Fri Jul 09, 2010 at 06:36:09 PM EST
    Well, if you believe her then she probably never thought it was spying...she probably thought all the money came from money laundering for drug dealers or some such thing.

    how old are the kids? (none / 0) (#21)
    by desmoinesdem on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 10:01:18 PM EST
    And who is going to take care of them in the US if their parents are in Russia? Or is the idea to move to Peru with the kids?