As headlines go…
Police used sex as a tool during undercover operations while tactical “promiscuity” was viewed as “part of the job”, according to a former agent.
The officer, who worked in a special unit of the Met Police for four years, said sexual relationships with activists were common among those gathering intelligence from anarchist, left-wing and environmental groups.
His claims, made to The Observer, contradict comments made last week by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) which insisted the practice was forbidden.
Oh yes, sure it is. Of course, maybe the Brits’ counter-ops and infiltrations really are run by drooling incompetents, but we’d rather not think that they are.
Undercover agents infiltrating “organizations of interest” routinely have to do things that are a whole lot worse than catching a bit of nookie in order to maintain cover, yet we’re supposed to believe that mining for pillow talk is beyond the pale?
Now, we’ll readily admit that the ACPO didn’t have much of a choice here in their statement. You can’t very well walk out there and publicize your methods, now can you? But use some common sense, right?
Obviously we have no idea how these things work, but let’s just post a hypothetical here: Let’s say that you are a young, comely lad trying to dig out intel about, say, an organization of highly unscrupulous and dangerous individuals and you’ve made it as far as to be admitted into said organization.
Now let’s say that a certain female who is by no means unattractive and also, let’s just keep piling on hypotheticals here, quite close to some of the higher ups say, for instance, a relative of one of them, shows signs of rather enjoying your company. Clearly, gaining her confidence might be helpful, no? And, some might say, it would be a lot more defensible, morally speaking, than proving yourself by burning down somebody’s business or killing the owner. So you cultivate the friendship and, lo and behold, it turns into an opportunity for something, shall we say, more intimate.
At this point you’re supposedly going to say “I’ve been authorized to lie, betray, steal and break G-d knows how many laws in order to gain the trust of those animals but definitely, no way, CAN’T hop in the sack with this girl in order to become One of Them™ and gain the trust and acceptance of the people I’m investigating?”
Yes, right. Pull the other one.
Again: Not saying that I know a thing about how those things are run, but that certainly doesn’t pass the Bullshit Test for me.
Of course, the agent in question should have kept his mouth shut, but maybe he didn’t have a choice, as the very last paragraph hints at:
The case against six demonstrators accused of conspiring to shut down Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station collapsed earlier this month after he offered to give evidence on their behalf.
Maybe he joined the enemy, who knows?, but there’s also the possibility that what he found out about them didn’t really support the gummint’s case against them and he just couldn’t get himself to sit down and stay quiet, which pissed them off.
At any rate, the notion that nookie is the ONE thing that is absolutely, POSITIVELY verboten in undercover work is ludicrous.
But, then again, what do I know?