Anna Chapman's Curious Proposal to NSA fugitive Edward Snowden via Twitter
Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde?
The Age of Instant Gratification
Did she really just do that?
The world we live in has surely gone through an undeniable change in the last few years due largely to the electronic age.
Fugitives become national celebrities instantly. Videos go viral. Tweets, posts, comments, images and other media travel at the speed of light with the click of a mouse in this viral electronic age. So I guess it only stands to reason that marriage proposals should arrive in the same fashion and take the world by storm, as well.
No longer do many worry so much about the hassle of getting to know someone. No more are there long stares from across the room, anticipation of a first meeting, admiring from afar, even benignly manipulating circumstances in order to orchestrate a meeting. These things have almost become thing of the past.
Now, someone can make their intentions known from across the world in an instant. Not only that, but they can let everyone know at once what they are thinking. A person can contact someone via an iPhone, Twitter or Facebook account, even someone they've never met. It can be both a blessing and a curse.
It reminds me of the time it made news when a famous musician had asked his wife for a divorce simply by sending her a fax. Talk about being impersonal. This action would be considered nothing out of the ordinary by today's standards.
It does make us stop and think, however, how much can we believe out there? With so much chatter, what is sincere and what is simply a publicity stunt? The reality, at times, could be somewhere in between. Perhaps with Chapman it's a case of hopeful flirtation.
If so, will he bite?
Stay tuned... and maybe we'll find out!
Perhaps on the other hand, it has nothing to do with flirtation and is a simple case of admiration for someone having the courage to tell the truth. You have to admire someone who single-handedly took on the entire U.S. Government. At first, they hunt him down and, then make cryptic non nonchalant remarks that seemingly it's not so important. What was it they said, “... it was a waste of time?” Sure. That's why the entire world is tuned into this story, why the U.S. Government is eager to bring him back for prosecution and why he was seeking asylum from 21 countries.
Both Bolivia and Venezuela have offered asylum to Snowden. It remains to be seen who will win his heart.
Oh, wait, what was that I heard about Russia???
Anya (Anna) Chapman
Who is Anna Chapman?
So, who are these people anyway?
Let's take a look...
Anna Chapman, 31, the daughter of a KGB agent, was born Anya (Anna) Vasil'yevna Kushchyenko, on February 23, 1982. She was brought up on conspiracy charges because she worked for the SVR (the Illegals Program Spy ring under the Russian Federation's external intelligence agency, the SVR (Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki) on June 27, 2010 and pleaded guilty. She was deported back to Russia on July 8, 2010.
Her father had been employed in the Soviet Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. It is reported that her father was a senior in the KGB, although this cannot be confirmed.
Kushchyenko earned a Master's Degree in Economics with first class honors in Moscow. This too, however, is up for debate.
She met her husband, Alex Chapman, in London at a London Docklands Rave party in 2001 and they married shortly after that. This is how she came to be known as Anna Chapman. They divorced later.
She moved to New York in 2009 and is reported to have dated prominent restaurant owner Michel Bittan. She is also to have known to describe her time in New York using the old cliché, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
Double Duty - Russian Spy or NY Real Estate Agent?
Anna Chapman worked in New York as a real estate agent.
She lived a seemingly quiet life in a middle class neighborhood.
Apparently, the Russian agents, known as illegals, took civilian jobs. They didn't operate inside big embassies. But they were still being sent tasks from Moscow.
Their assignments seemed a bit clandestine compared to what we know of the former KGB. It was a simple case of getting their hands into U.S. society and cultivating contacts with academics, entrepreneurs and government policymakers on subjects from defense to finance. These were things they could obviously use to their advantage. Still, it seems a little less flashy and a lot less action packed than the old movies we used to watch.
After much surveillance, the FBI caught them and the Russian spy ring was exposed on June 27, 2010. Anna Chapman returned to Russia shortly thereafter.
It's hard to find an objective article about Chapman these days. Just type in the name, “Anna Chapman,” and what immediately comes up are articles from big name places such as the New York Post, the Orlando Sentinel, and more. The headlines? “Pictures of Sexy Russian Spy,” “Sexy Russian Spy Poses for Maxim Magazine,” “Who wouldn't Fall For A Sexy Russian Spy?”
Sex always sells. This lady fits the bill to a T. A bombshell redhead, with rounded cheeks, deeply set blue-green eyes, and a demure smile that keeps her firmly grounded. She is unique enough to stand out in a crowd, but understated enough to be the girl next door, to fly under the radar, which only adds to her subtle charm. Add the fact that she's a mysterious Russian spy and the movie is sold before it's even written! Hollywood couldn't have come up with a better script.
I think one of the reasons we are so intrigued with the fact that this lady is a spy is because she could play the lead in a James Bond film. When we watch Anna Chapman, it's like watching one of those classic Nikita films. She has the looks, the brains, the brawn to deliver the story.
ANNA ON FIRE: Setting Trends on the Turkish Runway
Rocking the Red Carpet
Apparently, she has become quite the celebrity in Russia since returning in 2010. She has rocked the Red Carpet in Moscow alongside Americans Brad Pitt and Christian Slater. She has modeled, been involved in editing a magazine, and runs a foundation, among other endeavors. She's been busy.
I hear she is out of real estate, though.
In America, however, we had not heard much from her since her return to Russia.
That is, until recently, when the young American NSA leaker caught her attention.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, the Edward Snowden saga evolves, soon becoming larger than life, thanks to all the media hype and social networking.
Who is Edward Snowden?
Edward Snowden is the 30 yr old skilled computer programmer who became a CIA technical assistant in 2007. Interestingly enough, he obtained only his GED before advancing so high in the ranks of intelligence work. He worked in Geneva, Switzerland, and was later stationed in Hawaii. He was working for NSA contractors.
The motivation behind what we he did basically came down to principle. In his own words, he said, “The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to.”
He has a sticker on his laptop that reads: “I support Online Rights: Electronic Frontier Foundation,” implying his allegiance to internet freedom.
The only problem is, it is not clear how much, if any, effect on national security his revelations may have had. Federal officials have condemned what Snowden said. However, much of the information he provided was already known.
At first, people viewed Snowden as a hero. Many still do. However, public view has a tendency to swing back and forth over time. Many who once supported him now are not sure he did the right thing. He still has many supporters. Many more are simply undecided. It is debated endlessly and continually on many media platforms.
Suddenly, in the middle of a million tweets, in the middle of a thousands of facebook posts, one tweet is heard above them all. The tweet to end all tweets (at least for a few moments).
In this electronic age, we can do now what we could not do then. Let people anywhere in the world know exactly how we feel, without talking to them directly. In fact, we can let everyone know how we feel at once. You can simply pick up your phone, use your computer, grab your tablet, or other electronic device and tell the whole world what you think, right here, right now with one simple click.
And that's exactly what Anna Chapman did.
There's Nothing Better Than The Real Thing Baby...
- See the infamous tweet here
See the original tweet that had people chattering around the world
The Tweet That Was Heard Around The World
“Snowden, Will You Marry Me?”
Then, after a few hours with no reply, came the second tweet.
"@nsa, will you look after our children?"
The latter was most likely a wry reference, perhaps, to the surveillance powers of the US National Security Agency.
What could she possibly have meant by this? Was she serious? Was it all a joke? Was it simply a public comment of support for the courage it must have taken to be in that position? Perhaps she empathized with him, considering her own experiences. Maybe she even was a little 'taken' with him. He's gained a certain celebrity status. Maybe it was nothing more than a harmless flirtation.
Perhaps we are reading way more into this than is necessary.
The only person who really knows the reasoning behind what she twittered is Chapman herself. What we do know is that two simple tweets have catapulted her right back into the limelight and splashed her pictures all over the cover of articles across the world again. She has very astutely connected herself with one of the biggest stories in the world right now. This can only bring her more fame and opportunities.
So far, Snowden has not responded.
Will he respond at all? For that, we will have to wait and see.
I don't think they'll be singing the song below any time soon.
Do you think Snowden will respond at all to Anna's tweet?
The Other Woman
The better question is, will he respond first, or will the girlfriend he left behind in Hawaii, the beautiful dancer Lindsay Mills (pictured to the right), perhaps respond for him? Now that may be the real question!
Snowden told Mills he was going on a two week trip and that he would be back. He refrained from telling her the details of why he was leaving, perhaps to protect her. In any case, she seemed to be quite disappointed that her boyfriend went on the lam without her.
Snowden has not made his intentions known to either woman right now. Of course, he does have a lot on his mind.
If he settled in Venezuela or Bolivia, he'd have a little more time to think,perhaps.
However, there seems to have been an interesting twist this story. Currently, it looks like Snowden has applied for temporary asylum nowhere other than Russia.
Hmmm. Maybe there is something to this after all.
As it stands right now, the future for Snowden and Chapman is very uncertain. Although, his intention of staying in Russia surely makes things much more intriguing!
To find out the answer, we will just have stay tuned... to the CNN, Newspapers, Facebook, Twitter... and so much more!
Interesting Update 8/1/2013
Looks like Snowden has just received temporary asylum in Russia after all. Accordingly, he has just left the airport (he must really be tired of living in airports!) with his reporter.
Now the question is, will Anna be a blip on his radar screen, or will he reunite with his superstar girlfriend the first chance he gets? My money is on the latter... I think the whole Anna hoopla was just all smoke.
We shall see.
A Tale of Two Spies