Igor loved his country. That's why he worked for the KGB. Unfortunately, he also loved having extra money to spend on the black market, and that's why he often sold secrets to the CIA.
Igor cursed the duality of man.
He worked out of a small office in a building very near the kremlin, in the basement. It was a prestigious location, and given the general geography he conducted his work in, and the fact that he was KGB, people assumed that he was something of a big deal. It helped in some measure that he was a large and imposing man, standing over six feet tall, with powerful chiseled features that were always seen in soviet art but were rarely seen in real life. He walked quietly, often times walking past people without even garnering their attention. Ordinarily this skill, stealth, would have been valued by the agency and Igor would have been an agent in demand, holding important posts- perhaps even foreign.
Alas, it was this very stealth that held him back. In fact, hardly anyone knew who he was, or what he was doing; which was an odd thing for a person, KGB or not, who lived and worked right at the kremlin's doorstep. At least, he often had thought, this had kept him out of trouble during the purges; and really, who could ask for more?
In reality, Igor's job was as drab as that of a clerk. Because that's what he was- an investigatory clerk in KGB supply. He has gotten the job because he had been the only one in his class who could sew on a button so that it would stay, which was sometimes- but not often- one of his job duties.
Not that anyone really cared.
Igor led the quiet life. He had his work, which consisted mostly of filing paperwork that no one read- indeed, often it never left his office filing system. He had his home life. He lived at home with his aged mother, in a fairly nice apartment near his work.
His small home was filled with items that he had acquired on the black market. A rich variety of foods, fine furnishings, art works, and a collection of literature, much of it frowned upon by the politburo. No one asked any questions, because he was KGB.
One of his long-standing duties was to find out who was stealing boots from the KGB supply. He had put in the order himself and kept meticulous files on the fact that there were missing boots and that he was looking into the matter. No one read his files, and no one knew that the boots were missing, other than Igor, his mother, and the KGB officers who occasionally had to wait for new boots, some of who came in to see if they could make a deal to get some faster (they could).
Shoe shortages were rare in the USSR. After the revolution, many people had no shoes, and Lenin decreed that all would have them. Thereafter shoes were mass produced. For years there was a glut. Warehouses were filled with shoes and the factories were busy turning out more. Boots, on the other hand, were on shorter supply.
Igor knew he would never find the man responsible for "mishandling" the boots, but he did know that his files would show, without question, that he had gone all out to find the culprit.
He would, of course, never find the man because he was the man. And it turned him a nice safe profit.
Every day his mother would serve him up her borscht, telling him, "eat, eat, it will make you strong, like Stalin."
One day, Igor challenged her, saying, "You always say that. But Stalin was not strong. He had been a sickly boy, he was short and one arm was shorter than the other. I know, mamma, I'm with the KGB. Khrushchev, on the other hand, can lift a barrel over his head and spin it, I have seen him do this myself at a Kremlin mixer."
The confusion was caused by the fact that Stalin literally meant "man of steel," a name the Soviet leader had assumed when he was a revolutionary.
Igor would meet the man from the CIA at the Kremlin wall, near where American Journalist John Reed was buried. He would sell him secrets right there and no one noticed, a tribute to his nondescript nature.
Now the thing was, Igor was not in a position to actually know any real state secrets. He was a glorified clerk, KGB or not.
He made up for this deficit by large scale fabrication.
Eventually, Igor was the best man on either side at making up secrets, both by his believable manner and the close proximity to actual events.
One day, in 1959, he sold them a little secret. He told them that France was developing an atom bomb. It was typical of his information up to that point. It was of questionable value as information, but sounded very important. Around the time of the French A-Bomb test of 1960, Igor became a source of great value.
Everyone on the American side who was in the know was abuzz about the new man on the inside.
"We know so little about him," they would say.
"But he must be a reliable source, most reliable, he works so near the Kremlin."
Igor's value, as well as his price, had risen upward.
Still, the fact that the French had an atom bomb?
Regardless of the fact that this was due to the French getting tired of being dependent on the US and also being dictated to on foreign policy matters, this was of questionable use to the US, more of interest to the USSR.
Igor's guilt was great. He resolved that every time he gave the US some imaginary tidbit, he would give the USSR the same info, but state that he had a source on the other side and that this or that was happening and everyone was concerned.
In this way, from that point on, whatever Igor made up would in some way come to pass.
In the Kremlin, everyone in the know was abuzz about the man in the KGB who had forged an important relationship with a turncoat American agent.
"We know so little about him," they would say.
"But he must be a reliable source, most reliable, he works so near the Kremlin."
Igor's value, as well as his place, had risen upward.
Igor got a new office, in the Kremlin, albeit in the subbasement, and still people left him alone.
Igor foretold the Bay of Pigs, or something damn close, and his information actually ended up saving the Cuban revolution.
His apotheosis*, on both sides, was complete with the onset and conclusion of the Cuban Missile Crisis. No one of any importance on either side wanted to make a move without consulting him.
Igor's value, as well as his price, and place, had risen upward.
Both sides would come to him, by the grave of John Reed, and say, "I hear you have information."
Igor would deny he had information.
They would say, "Surely you have something?"
Then Igor would pause, for dramatic effect, and say, "Maybe I could find a little something, somewhere." He would then put them off for a few days.
An important lesson he had learned was that, in order to get men to believe you, timing was of the essence. If you led them on that it took a few days to get "facts," they would then believe them as the god's honest truth, even the atheists.
Igor was working on the "everything" secret, the reintegration of everything into a whole. Today we would call this a "grand unification" theory. It would be his crowning glory, would bring the US and the USSR together; after which he would retire, a hero to the people, collectively.
He was unfamiliar with Entropy, the principle in physics which states that on the largest scale, over time, order tends to disintegrate into disorder; a principle discovered earlier by the Buddha, who said, "decay is inherent in all compound things."
It should be noted here that lack of knowledge in these areas never has kept anyone from doing anything they had set their mind on. In this way, all science and religion is rendered irrelevant.
In the US, doubt was taking seed, or at least some people were realizing that good fact checking had never hurt anyone, only that the reverse was true.
Bob Jones was a CIA man who had been dispatched to the head office of the FBI to get some information. While it may seem odd that the international spying arm of the USA would go to the domestic spying arm to find information on a foreign matter, it was in fact routine. The files of J. Edger Hoover were considered authoritative on the issue of communism, both foreign and domestic.
When Jones was shown into the office, Hoover was sitting behind his huge oak desk, a menacing figure who seemed ill lit, even in the brightly lit room. Beside him sat his right hand man, attorney Roy Cohn, sitting in a less grand chair, his thin body appearing spindly and bent, a note pad at the ready.
"I understand you need information..." said Hoover, who then looked at Cohn who looked to his pad and said, "Jones, Bob Jones, CIA, non-Communist as of last check, eight months back."
"There is a man in Moscow, Igor Igoravich, an important source of intelligence since 1960. We were wondering if you could tell us anything about his contacts. Is he really as good a source as we beleive?"
Hoover looked to Cohn. Cohn looked to his pad. Cohn looked up and said, to Hoover, "No known association with Charlie Chaplin, non-communist."
"Excuse me," said Jones, "Charlie..."
"Chaplin," replied Cohn, after checking his notes again.
"The old silent movie comedian?" asked Jones incredulously.
Hoover leaned forward and said, forcefully, yet in a hushed tone, "I discovered, long ago, that where there were communist actions brewing there was Charlie Chaplin," every time Hoover said the name his face twitched involuntarily. "Every time there was a union rally there was Charlie Chaplin. Every time there was pre-mature-anti-fascism there was Charlie Chaplin. Or someone who was close to Charlie Chaplin. Or someone who was close to someone who was close to Charlie Chaplin."
"It was then that I discovered the Charlie Chaplin theorem."
"The Charlie Chaplin theorem?" quizzed Jones.
Cohn stated, "The idea that where you find communism you find Chaplin, or someone no more than seven persons distant to Chaplin."
Hoover continued, "I call it 'Seven Degrees of Charlie Chaplin.' It proves conclusively that Chaplin is the prime mover of the modern communist conspiracy. He is the lynchpin. Without Chaplin, communism would wither and die."
"Our Chaplin File is housed in an entire wing of this building," said Cohn. "We've had to destroy many volumes of the private writings and letters of Thomas Jefferson to make room for them. The only consolation is that it has saved the American people some money in this cold winter, having reduced our heating costs."
"Money that can better be spent fighting international and domestic communism," added Hoover.
"Now when we determine who is and is not a communist, we no longer need look at all their activities. We just need to show whether or not this person has been in contact with Chaplin or in contact with someone who has been in contact with Chaplin. Only in this way can we determine who is a real American."
Hoover stood and pulled down a chart behind his desk.
In 1949 we knew for certain that 3 percent of the American people were communist tinged. Now, In 1962, that percentage has risen to 56. We project that if something is not done soon to quell this red insurgency, 100 percent of America will be communist, and we will have lost the cold war."
"Chaplin?" asked Jones.
"In Switzerland," replied Cohn, after checking his pad.
"We can't get at the bastard," growled Hoover, his fists clenched, his face glowing bright red.
"Look," said Jones, "Surely you're having me on. You must know how silly this is. This is happenstance, coincidence."
"You," intoned Hoover, "are a fool."
"Just like Truman," added Cohn.
With this, Jones left the office.
Hoover turned to Cohn and said, "Have that man followed. Full surveillance. Tap his phone. If he's not a red he's a pink. Put our best man on him."
"Matt Cvetic?" asked Cohn.
"He's not entirely trustworthy," said Hoover. "Put him on it, but have a man tail him also."
"In fact, if this 'Jones' character is indicative of the kind of man employed by the CIA, I want a man with the FBI on each CIA agent, whether at home or abroad. And I want new Chaplin checks done on every FBI agent every thirty days."
"Now you better go see about clearing out some more of the Jefferson and Paine papers, we need the room for new files."
Cohn dutifully went about his government business.
Jones went next to a diner a half-mile away. There he met agent Phillips, also of the CIA.
"How was the meeting with Hoover?" Phillips asked.
"Hoover and Cohn have both gone completely mad. Nothing of any import can ever come from that office," replied Jones.
Their waitress took careful note; as did Cvetic, seated at the counter. They filed conflicting reports, and a third agent was assigned to keep tabs on them both.
In Moscow, near the grave of John Reed, Igor met with his CIA contact, and was not made nervous by the presence of a third man, who kept looking at the CIA agent, but disregarded Igor as insignificant as an occurrence and made no note of him.
Igor told his American contact that President John Kennedy was a communist, getting his orders straight from Moscow.
"Fascinating," said the CIA man. "Johnson, we had suspected; but Kennedy? This will send shockwaves through the agency."
Two days later, Igor had a special meeting with Khrushchev.
He rode the elevator from his office to the top floor of the Kremlin.
Khrushchev was at his peak- robust in health, alert, attentive.
When he saw Igor approach he spread his arms wide and joyously shouted, "Tovarich!*"
He threw himself at the KGB clerk, administering a massive bear hug.
"Tovarich!" he repeated, "you have brought important news?"
"Indeed I have, Tovarich, Indeed I have," replied Igor.
"It's about the American President, John F. Kennedy."
"War is imminent?" Khrushchev quizzed, wide-eyed.
"Nyet," replied Igor. "The American president is a closet Trotskyite*. The counterrevolutionary forces have taken America in a bloodless coup. They wish regroupment with the Soviet homeland. They are open to friendship, cooperation."
Khrushchev brightened. "Then we will call a summit meeting. This is good news, we must celebrate."
"Have you ever seen me do this?" asked Khrushchev, as he lifted a barrel above his head and began spinning it.
"Da," replied Igor.
Khrushchev tossed the barrel aside. "Have you ever seen me imitate an airplane?" Khrushchev ran around the room, arms outspread, making a buzzing noise with his mouth.
"Wonderful, wonderful," applauded Igor, humoring the man.
"If only Stalin could be alive to see this day. He did not believe in me," said Khrushchev, "If only he could see this day!"
"I was in the hall when you exposed Stalin's crimes against the soviet people," said Igor.
"Da, many crimes. Stalin hurt and killed many people. But you must also remember that he loved the people. That's why he killed them. His love was so strong. He had no choice! You always hurt the ones you love."
With this, he went back to running around the room, imitating an airplane.
A summit was called and there was a jubilant mood everywhere but in the head office of the FBI as well as the head office of the KGB.
A sullen mood had taken over a handful of men in both countries, men who were sworn to protect the American and Soviet way of life, respectively.
In the head office of the KGB, one man said to another, "Do you know why we had a revolution in the first place?"
"It was because of the Russian orthodox church. The church was totally self-denying, live only for next world; standing only, no sitting. No luxury. Guilt. No Joy. Not even music."
"And the Czar?"
"Also gave nothing to the people. We will not go back to those days."
Hoover and Cohn were apoplectic.
They sat in an office with Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson, hatching all manner of plans; many of them insane, some of them ingenious in their insanity, none of them that all four men could agree on.
To break the tension they played dominos.
Johnson believed they should escalate the small police action in Vietnam into a full-scale war: "but," he was adamant, "we should not ever actually call it a war." This, he believed, would aid in keeping the status quo.
Cohn thought that they should prop up a young FBI agent who could play guitar and sing, albeit off-key, name of Zimmerman. He felt that by foisting a music on the public through the government's grip on the media that seemed deep and rebellious but said little, it could divert public attention. The rebelliousness they fostered would be harmless. This, he felt, would keep the young quiet.
Nixon was a believer in a new drug called LSD, or "acid." He thought they should forbid its use, thereby creating an immediate demand for product. Also that they should release as much marijuana into the general population as possible. This, he believed, would keep the young docile, as well as create generational strife to divert public attention.
Hoover believed they should just kill the president, and then round up everyone ever tainted by Chaplin and send them to re-education camps. He stated that he was a believer in simplicity.
Cohn wanted to call these camps "spas," as he believed many people would check themselves in, and they could make a few bucks on it as well.
Johnson called Hoover and Cohn "Fascists."
Nixon called Johnson a "pre-mature-anti-fascist."
Hoover, Cohn, and Nixon immediately wrote off Johnson as a communist sympathizer.
This action was broken only by the occurrence of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and "high tea," the observance of which, Johnson said, proved Cohn was really a "pinko son-of-a-bitch."
The KGB men, having not nearly as advanced a notion of public relations as a means of public control, just thought that they should kill Kennedy and possibly remove Khrushchev, in order to keep the status quo.
This took them only five minutes to agree on, exchanging intricacy for expediency, and letting them knock off early.
This, they felt, proved the superiority of the soviet model.
Igor was not a part of either group, but was needed to implement the plans of both sides.
Igor's mother served him another bowl of borscht, saying, "Eat, eat, it will make you strong like Stalin."
"Stalin is dead, Mamma."
"Because he never finished his second bowl of borscht," she said.
Igor's bags were packed and he was ready.
He was to travel to Odessa and catch a boat, under the guise that he was a fisherman. He was to make his way to Italy, where he would change identity and catch a plane to France. There he would change identity again and make his way to Britain. From there to Mexico. From there to the US, crossing the border on foot at night.
Igor traveled as an illegal, on a false passport, no diplomatic immunity. Igor, unlike most other soviet illegals had US government backing, and thus, protection.
He got into Dallas early that Friday morning. He bought a daily paper and read the full page ad claiming Kennedy was a communist sympathizer, signed by a man named Weisman. Across town, Jack Ruby had read the same ad and called the paper to tell them that he was outraged.
Just after noon, Igor made himself comfortable in the grassy knoll. He looked up at one of the windows of the Texas Book Repository. He had been briefed that Oswald was actually a lousy shot, despite what the records had been doctored to say. But he knew that Oswald and the ensuing panic would make it easy for him to just walk away, getting lost in the crowd. This was Oswald's purpose.
At 12:26, The presidential motorcade was nearing target.
Kennedy was seated between Texas Governor John B. Connally, Jr., and Senator Ralph Yarborough. Suddenly, Kennedy stood up, spread his arms, and said, "Have you ever seen me imitate air force one?" he asked, making a buzzing noise with his mouth.
"Sit down and wave," sniped Jackie. "Really! Try to act more presidential."
A few minutes later, Igor squeezed the trigger.
At this moment his conscience was finally at peace; as he was securely working for both sides, in their common interest.
Even though this was not according to his plan, he was still at heart a patriot.
Johnson took the oath of office at 2:38 PM. He promised a new era of peace and tranquility.
Ruby killed Oswald two days later.
Ruby knew nothing, that was pure happenstance.
Igor flew from Mexico to West Germany, where he crossed into East Germany, and then caught a flight to Moscow.
When he arrived, he was met by senior KGB officers.
Two days later he found out that it was due to the boots.
He signed a confession that implicated Khrushchev.
Moscow was abuzz with "Nikita's Boot scandal," and he was forced into retirement, the only Soviet leader at that point who failed to die in office.
This, he never lived down.
Brezhnev never, ever, imitated an airplane in the Kremlin.
Thereafter, all world leaders considered such an act best left to each man's private bedroom.