CIA agent visits McLean

Joe Murphy discusses his role in the trade of an American CIA agent for a Soviet agent.

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CIA agent visits McLean

By: Biberbaer CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

By: Biberbaer CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

By: Biberbaer CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

By: Biberbaer CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Sam Naemi, Reporter

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On April 23 during Highlander Time 8, Joe Murphy, a friend of Principal Ellen Reilly’s father and more importantly a trainee with Gary Powers, was in our auditorium to discuss his role in the trade of Gary Powers for a Soviet spy, Rudolf Abel.

“His talk was interesting and neat to hear because it is a part of history that is full of intense moments and we just got to hear from someone who participated in it first hand,” junior Shaheer Sajid said.

During the height of the Cold War Joe Murphy and Gary Powers were trainees together in the U-2 program run by the CIA in order to spy on the Soviet Union. The Soviets has some clues of the U-2 program. While on a routine reconnaissance mission Gary Powers was shot down and taken prisoner by the Soviets. After months of interrogation by the KGB he made a confession, but not to be portrayed as unpatriotic the plane he was shot down in was fully intact and could be easily understood what he and his plane was doing. This sent back talks between Khrushchev and Mr. Eisenhower.

His talk was interesting and neat to hear because it is a part of history that is full of intense moments and we just got to hear from someone who participated in it first hand junior Shaheer Sajid

He was sent to trial and sentenced to two years in jail and the rest in a labor camp for espionage. He was sent to Vladimir Central Prison, 150 miles east of Moscow. He took up carpet weaving while in jail and brought a carpet with him when the trade happened.

Mr. Murphy’s role in this event in history was the one that was supposed to ID Mr. Powers during the trade that was being planned. On February 10, 1960 in exchange for Mr. Powers the United States gave Rudolf Abel, a Soviet Spy caught by the FBI. As the exchange happened Mr. Murphy ID’d Mr. Powers and the exchange was made. Mr. Powers was inspected by the doctors and was all cleared and was in good health. The situation was a tense moment in history.

If you want a first hand view of this situation you could watch Bridge of Spies (2015) directed by Steven Spielberg starring Tom Hanks. If you want to track the person who came to our auditorium in the movie he is played by Jesse Plemons.

“The event was good and interesting to listen to, because of his detailed imagery,” senior Motassem Bamashmous said.

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