Did the Russian spies pose a threat?

Posted July 12, 2010, at 7:37 p.m.

Tabloid newspapers (and tabloid-influenced TV news shows) have been buzzing about the arrest of Russian spies in the U.S. The arrest led to a trade of U.S. spies held in Russia. Did the Russian spies pose any threat to U.S. national security? Was there a threat to privately developed technology? Or were the spies producing only what one observer dismissed as “salon intelligence,” that which could be gleaned from attending the right cocktail parties?