What happened at Georgetown in Washington D.C. is something the CIA would like to forget.
It was November 1985. Vitaly Yurchenko sat in Au Pied de Cochon, a popular French bistro in Georgetown, an upscale neighborhood in Washington, DC.
Who was Vitaly Yurchenko? Yurchenko was a 25 years veteran of the KGB, the Soviet Union’s most secret and powerful intelligence service. While serving in Rome, Italy he defected to the United States.
Yurchenko was most likely a double agent. Whether he soured on the CIA or was an intentional plant, remains an issue of controversy. All that is known for sure is that after three months, he vanished.
What happened? It was a cold, rainy Saturday afternoon while Yurchenko and his sat in the restaurant. The guard ordered soup and lobster. Yurchenko asked, “what America did to defectors who try to escape. Do they get shot?’ The guard said ‘no, America didn’t treat defectors that way.’ Yurchenko rose. ‘I’m leaving now,’ he said, ‘I’ll see you—goodbye. If I don’t come back, it’s not your fault.”