Ragman A Red Plant All Along! – April 1, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 1 – A U.S. State Department cable published Friday by whistleblower website WikiLeaks has exposed the true identity of a former Arcata man whom many in the sleepy college town had taken to be nothing more than a hopeless but loveable vagrant-alcoholic.
A familiar sight on the streets of Arcata throughout the 1990s and 2000s, “Ragman Pete” was known as much for his distinctive rag attire as his frequent trips to the drunk tank. In fact, ostensible homeless dude “Pete Villarreal” was a false identity carefully fabricated by a high-level Russian spy agency, according to the classified cable.
Code-named “Silly Monkey,” the cable reveals that it was Orlovsky’s mission to blend-in to a liberal West Coast college town. Among Orlovsky’s assignments was intelligence-gathering on a progressive-leaning academic populace – namely Arcata – apparently viewed within the Kremlin as being “a near-ideal expression of the communist blueprint,” the cable says.
Arcata, population 16,500, is widely held to be among the more liberal enclaves on the West Coast.
Locals were taken aback by news that the apparent hapless drunk was a hardened Cold War spook. “His Plazoid routine was spot-on,” said Arcata Chief of Police Tom Chapman of the now-uncloaked mole. “Although, thinking back, he did have a special thing for vodka,” Chapman continued, recalling the dozens of drunk-in-public citations his department issued over the years to the ostensible homeless icon known to most locals simply as “The Ragman.”
Reached yesterday by phone in his home town of Volgograd, Russia, Orlovsky was unable to suppress a chuckle reminiscing about his decade-plus undercover in Arcata. “They think I am common, how you say – Drunkard, yes?” Orlovsky said in a thick Eastern European accent. “Now, joke is on them!”
While forbidden by Moscow officialdom from discussing the findings of his 20-year Arcata sojourn, Orlovsky said playing the down-on-his-luck street-dweller was not without its fringe benefits. “I go to many keg-drinking celebration,” he said, recalling one especially memorable evening partying with the HSU female Crew team.
The State Department cable goes on to finger Orlovsky’s prominent roles in the failure of New Coke, the Star Wars prequel disasters and the assassination of several South American dignitaries.