Ex-CIA Agent Can Expect Soviet Luxury : Wife Reportedly Turns Down Request to Join Defector

From Times Wire Services

Edward Lee Howard, the former CIA agent whose defection to the Soviet Union was announced Thursday, can expect a car, a driver and a country villa but he will almost certainly never be free to return to the United States.

Western diplomats predicted that Howard is most likely slated to work as a consultant to the KGB security organization on intelligence affairs involving the United States.

“By now, he must have told them everything that he knows,” one diplomat said. “I suppose he will sit in an office in Dzerzhinsky Square, spending half the day staring at his shoes and the other half sifting through material on the U.S.”


KGB Headquarters

Dzerzhinsky Square lies just off Red Square in Moscow and is the headquarters of the KGB.

Howard, 34, worked for the CIA from 1981 to 1983 and disappeared from his home in Santa Fe, N.M., last September. The FBI says his disclosures devastated U.S. intelligence operations in the Soviet Union.

The West’s most famous defector, Briton Kim Philby, received a job as a KGB officer, according to published Western accounts of Soviet intelligence activity.

If Howard follows the same route, he can expect a well-equipped apartment, a car, a chauffeur, access to shops reserved for the Soviet elite, good medical treatment and the use of a dacha, or country villa, outside Moscow.

No Return to U.S.

What he cannot expect is the right to a return ticket to the United States should he find life in the Soviet Union less than appealing.

He apparently also cannot expect to see his wife, Mary, and 3-year-old son, Lee, again.

On Tuesday, Howard called his wife in Lakeland, Minn., from Moscow and tried to get her to join him, but she refused, the Minneapolis Star and Tribune reported.

FBI agents say Mary Howard, 36, aided her husband’s moonlight escape by placing a dummy in a car to make it appear he was there, but she was not charged with any wrongdoing.

She left Santa Fe after the escape and moved with her son to Lakeland to live with her parents.

Mary Howard left Lakeland Thursday after the news broke of her husband’s defection, said her father, Evar Cedarleaf. He would not say where she had gone.

Contacted His Parents

Howard’s parents said they learned he had defected when he called them Tuesday morning from Moscow.

“He said more or less he’s going to settle down and wants his family to come see him,” Ken Howard told the Garland Daily News in suburban Dallas.

“I’m relieved to know where he’s at and that he’s OK,” Howard said.

But Howard said he probably won’t visit his son until he retires in about six years, out of fear of jeopardizing his own job at Texas Instruments in Dallas, where he is an electronics technician.