Big Year for Spy Cases
The Walker Case and the Spy Trial Surge
Americans May look back on 1985 as the “Year of the Spy.” Federal investigators believe they have broken up one of the most damaging spy rings to be uncovered in decades. John Anthony Walker Jr., the alleged mastermind of a plot to sell U.S. military secrets to the Soviet Union, is scheduled to stand trial in Baltimore beginning Oct. 28. The trials of his son and a close Navy friend will follow. His brother, Arthur James Walker, who has already been convicted of espionage.
Others, including an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), are under indictment for espionage. Over the past 10 years, 41 people have been arrested for spying against the United States, and all who have faced trial have been convicted.
The year's spy scandals have not been restricted to the United States. In August, a top West German intelligence officer defected to East Germany. And while it is not espionage in the strict sense of the word, the alleged bombing of the Greenpeace ship by French intelligence agents has seriously embarrassed the government of President François Mitterrand. The Soviet Union's spy operations in Britain were compromised in mid-September when its top intelligence officer in London defected, and it was revealed that he had been a double agent for more than a decade.