Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Why Spy?

The revelation yesterday that a retired State Department employee and his wife had spied for Cuba for over 30 years raises, once again, the question of what motivates spies. The You Tube video embedded below, from a mid-1980s NBC news broadcast, explores this issue in 5 minutes. It features an interview from the time with, among others, Christopher Boyce, who was the "Falcon" from the Robert Lindsey's best seller, The Falcon and the Snowman (and the subsequent moviestarring Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn).

As an epilogue to his story, after Boyce was arrested in 1977, he escaped from Lompoc prison in 1980 and lived as a fugitive on the run (supporting himself in part by bank robbery) for over 18 months, until he was re-captured in August 1981. Robert Lindsey wrote a great book about this, too, called The Flight of the Falcon. Boyce was finally paroled from a halfway house in March 2003, at the age of 50, having married a San Francisco woman. The "Snowman," Andrew Daulton Lee, was paroled in 1988, and apparently worked as a personal assitant to Sean Penn (who played him in the film) for some time thereafter.

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