By Tim Lister, CNN
Call it the flip-side to torture: using seduction to extract valuable information. It’s as old as the Old Testament – literally. Delilah used deception and seduction to find out the secret of Samson’s strength. His hair was never to be cut. So off she went to tell the Philistines – and his precious braids were shaved as he slept.
The lure of sex has been the stuff of both spy fiction and real-life scandals ever since.
“Let's face it, historically women — and prostitutes in particularly — have been used to infiltrate or get information," Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said Tuesday, referring to the unfolding scandal over the conduct of Secret Service agents in Colombia.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) chimed in: "Who were these women? Could they have been members of groups hostile to the United States? Could they have planted bugs, disabled weapons or in any other (ways) jeopardized security of the president or our country?"
Nothing has been made public to suggest information about President Barack Obama’s visit to Colombia was sought or given during the encounters between Secret Service personnel and the Colombian women they met – either in the Play Club or subsequently at the agents’ hotel.
But whether from conviction or for profit, women – and men – have traded sex for secrets for centuries. The most (in)famous case of the modern era involved Mata Hari, the Dutch-born exotic dancer who took up residence in Paris after a failed marriage. She appeared virtually nude on stage in a jewelled bra and little else – and was soon the talk of the town, becoming the mistress of a wealthy industrialist and involved in many more liaisons, some with military officers.
But she was also – allegedly – a German spy, code-named H-21. There are as many differing accounts of her spying as of her dancing – with some suggesting that she had an arrangement with the German consul in the Hague to pass on information about enemy war plans. British intelligence supposedly got wind of the arrangement and she was arrested in February 1917. Part of the otherwise flimsy evidence against her was secret ink found in her hotel room, which she said was make-up. Protesting her innocence to the end, Mata Hari was executed by firing squad. But her name has since become a byword for the seductress seeking secrets.
The Cold War provided plenty of opportunities for so-called “honey-pot” scandals. A Marine Sergeant – Clayton J. Lonetree – posted at the U.S. embassy in Moscow in the 1980s was convicted of espionage after giving secrets to a 26-year old translator who worked at the embassy. At his trial it emerged that the woman had introduced him to a man she described as "Uncle Sasha," who inevitably was a KGB operative.
Lonetree’s sentence was later reduced when it emerged that some of the secrets he was alleged to have passed on were in fact betrayed by CIA agent Aldrich Ames, And in Lonetree’s defense, the commandant of the Marine Corps said his motivation “was not treason or greed, but rather the lovesick response of a naive, young, immature and lonely troop in a lonely and hostile environment.”
Using sex for secrets goes “both ways.” John Vassall was a British official posted to Moscow in the 1950s as a clerk to the Naval Attache. Plied with alcohol at a party, he was photographed by the KGB in a compromising situation with several men. He was blackmailed – and passed thousands of classified documents to the Russians in the following decade.
A British journalist in Moscow, Jeremy Wolfenden, got into similar trouble in the 1960s. But he told the British embassy that he’d been caught in flagrante, and was asked to become a double agent. The stress of having both MI6 and the KGB breathing down his neck is said to have led to heavy drinking and his premature death at the age of 31. Wolfenden’s short life became the subject of a book by Sebastian Faulks, “The Fatal Englishman.”
The East Germans may have been the best at using the lure of sex to gather intelligence, but in a unique way. The long-time head of the Stasi (East German intelligence service), Markus Wolf, deployed “Romeos” to West Germany and later wrote in his autobiography: “If I go down in espionage history it may well be for perfecting the use of sex in spying.”
In the 1950s, Wolf dispatched an agent called Felix to Bonn, who befriended a woman called Norma employed in the office of the German Chancellor – by waiting at her bus-stop. They even married, and he got to know many of her colleagues. Then one day, she came home and he was gone – pulled back to the East after Wolf got wind of an investigation by West German intelligence services.
Marianne Quoirin, author of “The Spies Who Did It For Love,” tells the story of another West German woman who as a former nun refused to have sex with her “Romeo” until they were married. So the Stasi staged a wedding, providing both priest and mother-in-law. The Stasi would do detailed research on targets, examining their previous relationships and hobbies.
One Stasi agent, Gerhard Beier, worked in West Germany for nearly 20 years before the Berlin Wall came down. "I was fulfilling my patriotic duty, and it wasn't unpleasant," he said later in an interview. Altogether some 40 German women were prosecuted for passing secrets to East German Romeos.
Perhaps the most dramatic case of seduction in recent times involved Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu. In 1986 he visited London and provided the Sunday Times with dozens of photographs of Israel’s alleged nuclear weapons program. But Mossad was on his trail and a female agent – Cheryl Ben Tov – befriended him (reportedly bumping into him at a cigarette kiosk in London’s Leicester Square.) She lured him to Rome for a weekend, where he was drugged and spirited to Israel.
Vanunu was convicted of betraying his country's secrets and sentenced to 18 years in prison. Ben Tov later became a realtor in Florida.
Using sex for information or as blackmail doesn’t always work. When Indonesian President Sukarno visited Moscow in the 1960s, the KGB sought to take advantage of his renowned sexual appetite, sending a batch of glamorous young women posing as air hostesses to his hotel. When the Russians later confronted him with a film of the lurid encounter, Sukarno was apparently delighted. Legend has it he even asked for extra copies.
Post by: CNN's Tim Lister
Filed under: Spying
CNN's Security Clearance examines national and global security, terrorism and intelligence, as well as the economic, military, political and diplomatic effects of it around the globe, with contributions from CNN's national security team in Washington and CNN journalists around the world.
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this blog. I am hoping to see the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own website now 😉
Your style is so unique compared to other folks I've read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this page.
This is a really good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very precise infoÖ Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!
is erectile dysfunction secondary to ptsd loonee is erectile dysfunction life threatening
erectile dysfunction remedies Theotte erectile disorder psychology
erectile damage Bribly causes of erectile dysfunction
An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who had been conducting a little homework on this. And he actually bought me dinner due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this issue here on your web site.
Yes! Finally something about 25รับ100.
erectile device loonee erectile improvement
erectile nerve regeneration Theotte 10 best erectile supplements
erectile fissure Bribly erectile issues after heart attack
I was able to find good info from your content.
If you desire to grow your familiarity just keep
visiting this web site and be updated with the most recent gossip
help with erectile dysfunction loonee erectile diffusion
top erectile dysfunction products Theotte erectile stimulator
for erectile dysfunction ptx Bribly erectile shockwave
anti-malaria drug chloroquine https://www.pharmaceptica.com/
Iím amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog thatís both educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy that I stumbled across this in my hunt for something regarding this.
erectile medicine loonee erectile strength
solving erectile dysfunction without meds Theotte is erectile dysfunction a va disability
erectile quality monitor Bribly erectile anxiety
I used to be able to find good advice from your articles.
Feel free to surf to my web site – discount code
Very nice write-up. I certainly appreciate this site. Continue the good work!
You are so cool! I do not believe I've truly read through a single thing like this before. So good to discover someone with a few unique thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that's needed on the internet, someone with some originality!
Great information. Lucky me I came across your website by chance (stumbleupon). I have book marked it for later!
erectile means loonee 10 best erectile supplements
how erectile dysfunction drugs work Theotte erectile help massage
erectile device Bribly erectile bleeding
erectile ointment https://www.pharmaceptica.com/
Saved as a favorite, I love your web site!
erectile exercises https://pharmaceptica.com/
It's a shame you don't have a donate button!
I'd certainly donate to this excellent blog! I suppose for now
i'll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
I look forward to brand new updates and will share this website with my Facebook group.
Feel free to visit my website: promotional code
This is the right website for anyone who wants to find out about this topic.
You know so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would
want to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a topic which has been written about for decades.
Wonderful stuff, just great!
My site shopping discount code
dealing with erectile dysfunction loonee erectile function after prostate cancer
is erectile dysfunction psychological Theotte erectile after prostate surgery
is erectile dysfunction genetic Bribly erectile medication bimix
Everything is very open with a precise clarification of the challenges. It was definitely informative. Your site is useful. Many thanks for sharing!
This is a topic which is near to my heart... Cheers! Where are your contact details though?
Good blog post. I certainly love this site. Thanks!
This is a topic that's near to my heart... Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?
erectile on demand loonee best erectile dysfunction supplement
erectile lubricants Theotte erectile dysfunction medications
is erectile dysfunction a va disability rates Bribly erectile function after prostate surgery
I couldnít resist commenting. Very well written!
There is definately a great deal to know about this topic. I love all of the points you have made.
erectile help loonee prostate cancer erectile dysfunction
viagra without erectile dysfunction Theotte erectile neuroplasticity
erectile tissue location and function Bribly erectile disorder exam
I was able to find good info from your blog articles.
After exploring a number of the articles on your website, I honestly appreciate your technique of blogging. I saved it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my website too and let me know your opinion.
Can you tell us more about this? I'd care to find out some additional information.
Feel free to visit my page; https://angkadewa.org
Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
I'm trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog.
Any responses would be greatly appreciated.
Hi, check this product that can help to take care of your hair: https://bit.ly/3gJqhQH
Good post. I am dealing with a few of these issues as well..
What a stuff of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable experience concerning unpredicted feelings.
erectile aid device loonee best erectile medicine
erectile damage Theotte fix erectile dysfunction without drugs
erectile Bribly erectile dysfunction causes
Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It's the little changes that will make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!
After I initially commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!
hydro plaquenil https://www.pharmaceptica.com/
Good day! This post could not be written any better! Reading
through this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him.
Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!
erectile clinic tulsa ok loonee does erectile dysfunction ever go away
erectile dysfunction symptoms Theotte erectile pill sponsored by doctor oz
for erectile dysfunction ptx Bribly erectile capacity
Hello there! This post could not be written any better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I will send this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a great read. Many thanks for sharing!
You're so cool! I do not suppose I've truly read through a single thing like that before. So nice to discover another person with a few unique thoughts on this topic. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is something that is needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality!
Hi, I do believe this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may come back yet again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.
This website truly has all of the info I needed concerning this subject and didnít know who to ask.
I was able to find good info from your articles.
erectile dysfunction guide loonee erectile enhancement products
erectile review Theotte erectile tissue problems
erectile therapy after prostatectomy Bribly best erectile pills
I truly love your website.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you develop this web site yourself? Please reply back as Iím trying to create my own personal blog and want to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Thanks!
erectile therapy jordan loonee erectile organ
erectile tissue Theotte erectile discussion
erectile reflex Bribly erectile d with matt lauer
I feel that is among the most significant information for me.
And i'm satisfied reading your article. However
want to statement on some basic things, The website taste is ideal, the articles is actually nice :
D. Just right job, cheers
Here is my web page; promotional voucher
This site was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Many thanks!
Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your
blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very
My blog :: shopping voucher code
I was able to find good info from your content.
Your style is unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this blog.
Heya! I'm at work browsing your blog from my new
iphone 4! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look
forward to all your posts! Keep up the superb work!
My web page – voucher cord
This is a very good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
Brief but very accurate information… Thanks for sharing
this one. A must read post!
Feel free to visit my site – mobile recharge code
erectile disorder dsm 5 loonee cheapest erectile dysfunction drugs
erectile vacuum device Theotte erectile dysfunction injections
erectile creams for men Bribly erectile dysfunction causes
Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday. It's always interesting to read through content from other writers and practice a little something from their web sites.
Howdy, I think your web site may be having internet browser compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in IE, it's got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, wonderful blog!
An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little homework on this. And he actually bought me breakfast due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this topic here on your site.
Itís hard to find experienced people in this particular topic, but you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks
erectile implants loonee best erectile dysfunction medicine
erectile food Theotte erectile clinic chicago
what erectile dysfunction Bribly erectile machines