by M. Ulric Killion
Speaking of the modern Mata Hari, maybe she speaks Russian.
As for Russia and their spies, there is also the infamous Russian spy ring recently arrested and deported. On June 29, 2010, it was reported by news media outlets that a ring of 11 Russian moles right out of a Cold War spy novel was smashed.
“Even though the Russian spy ring that included Anna Chapman failed to do much of anything other than get caught, the Kremlin has bestowed the country’s highest honor on the agents who were deported from the United States nearly three months ago” (New York: CBS).
The most famous of the spies, of course, is fiery red-head Anna Chapman, who unlike her fellow spies, has chosen to embrace her new found popularity posing for various magazines and making public appearances.
Her most recent public appearance is in a scantly clad outfit in Maxim Magazine (俄美女间谍登上男性杂志封面-英语点津, October 20, 2010).
An excerpt from the article (Russia’s “sexy spy” in provocative photoshoot/俄美女间谍登上男性杂志封面, October 20, 2010), reads:
The cover of Maxim. Russian spy Anna Chapman posed in the Russian version of Maxim magazine in the most provocative photographs yet to appear of the secret agent who was deported from the United States in July.
Russian spy Anna Chapman posed in the Russian version of Maxim magazine in the most provocative photographs yet to appear of the secret agent who was deported from the United States in July. A photograph on http://www.maximonline.ru shows red-haired Chapman dressed in nylon and lace and posing with a handgun. “Anna Chapman has done more to excite Russian patriotism than the Russian soccer team,” wrote Maxim. Nine other spies were deported from the United States with her. The Kremlin has seized on the Cold War aspects of the case to try to boost the prestige of its intelligence services and avert what has widely been seen as a major disgrace for Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), a successor to the KGB. . . .
(Read by Lee Hannon. Lee Hannon is a journalist at the China Daily Website.) (点击查看更多双语新闻) (Agencies).
俄罗斯美女间谍安娜•查普曼日前为男性时尚杂志《Maxim》（俄罗斯版）拍摄了一组极其性感撩人的照片。该期杂志尚未上架发售。美女间谍安娜今年7月被美国遣返回国。www.maximonline.ru 网站刊登的一张照片显示，红发披肩的查普曼身穿吊带裤袜和蕾丝内衣，还举着把手枪。《Maxim》杂志写道：“在激起俄罗斯人的爱国精神方面，安娜•查普曼的贡献比俄罗斯足球队大得多。” 与她一同被美国遣返的还有另外九名间谍。克里姆林宫方面抓住了这起事件的冷战特性，试图以此提振情报部门的声望，避免该事件被普遍看作克格勃的后继者俄罗斯对外情报局的极大耻辱. . . . (俄美女间谍登上男性杂志封面-英语点津).
As for the original Mata Hari (1876-1917), this was the namesake or the stage name of a Dutch exotic dancer and prostitute named Gertrud Margarete Zelle, who was shot by the French as a spy on October 15, 1917. (firworldwar.com).
One can reasonably assume that Mata Hara would have hardly found objectionable being asked to pose in a modern men’s magazine, or any other variety of magazines, though it is not meant to imply that Maxim Magazine is a smut rag
The association with the likes of a Mata Hari is also appropriately befitting her because intelligence gathering today, however, is not about people who clandestinely gather information and pass it along to spy masters.
For example, the type of spying that occurred during the 18th century, or early days of the American Revolution, when many Philadelphia women passed key information along to General Washington at Valley Forge.
Then there is Rosie White’s recent book, Violent femmes: women as spies in popular culture (Routledge, 2007), which explores the role of female spies, especially Violent Femmes in popular culture (i.e., popular fiction, television and film), though Anna Chapman is arguably better described as a “wannabe” femme fatale, or simply, party girl, rather than Violent Femme (See book review).
In the end, as for what to make of this Russian spy ring, especially Anna Chapman, it all reads like pulp fiction. It’s the kind of stuff that is too strange to have been made up.