“Undercover police cleared ‘to have sex with activists’”

From The Guardian:

Undercover police officers routinely adopted a tactic of “promiscuity” with the blessing of senior commanders, according to a former agent who worked in a secretive unit of the Metropolitan police for four years.

The former undercover policeman claims that sexual relationships with activists were sanctioned for both men and women officers infiltrating anarchist, leftwing and environmental groups.

Sex was a tool to help officers blend in, the officer claimed, and was widely used as a technique to glean intelligence. His comments contradict claims last week from the Association of Chief Police Officers that operatives were absolutely forbidden to sleep with activists.

What the cops don’t know is that this is how activists can identify the cops!!!!

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20 Responses to “Undercover police cleared ‘to have sex with activists’”

  1. Orion Silvertree says:

    What the cops don’t know is that this is how activists can identify the cops!

    I don’t understand. How?

  2. feralboy12 says:

    “So, would one of you individuals like to accompany me back to my residence, located at 1457 E. Bay Drive, and there proceed to have lawful sexual intercourse?”

  3. Greg Laden says:

    Orion: The cops are the ones trying to have sex with everybody in order to blend in!

  4. Orion Silvertree says:

    Greg, I’m sorry – I followed your link to the Guardian, I’m working my way through their coverage of this issue, and I still don’t see where any of these undercover policemen came under suspicion from the groups they were infiltrating because of their sexual behavior.

  5. Orion Silvertree says:

    Gah. That came out clumsily. Lemme try again.

    I still don’t see any suggestion that the sexual behavior of these undercover policemen was causing suspicion in the groups they were infiltrating.

  6. Greg Laden says:

    Orion, it was totally a joke. But it could be true!

  7. Orion Silvertree says:

    …totally a joke.

    Good grief. Never mind, sorry ’bout that.

  8. F says:

    Orion Silvertree

    I dunno, I think you made the joke funnier, stretching the laugh. feralboy12, too.

  9. rogerallen says:

    I still don’t see any suggestion that the sexual behavior of these undercover policemen was causing suspicion in the groups they were infiltrating.

    No, it was the lack of sexual behavior of other undercover policemen that was causing suspicion in the groups they were failing to infiltrate.

  10. Pierce R. Butler says:

    Call it a fringe benefit of anarchist, leftwing and environmental activism.

    Former longtime Communist Party USA members have confirmed to me that paying their dues in full on time every time was one of the giveaways whereby the Party identified federal agents.

    It occurs to me – very briefly! – that as a matter of security I should make a pass at every new person attending [local peace group] events. If I score, we go to Condition Orange…

  11. Azkyroth says:

    Why does the infiltration of peaceable protest groups seem to be just accepted as normal?

  12. Art says:

    The East German secret police did much the same thing. Funny how as they get more serious about ‘fighting for freedom’ the tactics copy those of totalitarian states we previously condemned.

  13. Roger says:

    Why does the infiltration of peaceable protest groups seem to be just accepted as normal?

    It wasn’t the original intention, I think, but came about by default and was regarded as an acceptable activity later. One of the most infamous police agents, Bob Lambert, successfully infiltratred the Animal Liberation Front, who carried out arson and bombings, but he went through several organisations to get there and seduced uninvolved women.
    Perhaps we ought to consult Jesse Berings (see Pahryngula} for this.

  14. Roger says:

    I keep getting signed in/out/having how I am signed in changed: I am also the author of No.9 above

  15. StevoR says:

    But was this Police corruption or corruption of the (secret) police? ;-)

  16. StevoR says:

    Another thought : What if the officers talked in their sleep?

    Or got romantically compromised ie. fell for their targets much like the girl in Le Carre’s Little Drummer Girl novel did and turned into *double* double agents secretly helping or tipping off their targets?

    Also what good / harm did it cause? Any evidence or cases where this actually prevented any attack or instigated one or came up with anything useful as far as fighting crime goes?

    I can certainly understand trying togatehr intelligence on secret eterroirts cells even wanna be anarchist / racist /jihadist ones but open public protest groups using non-violence and committing no crimes worse than trespass and maybe vandalism – seems a bit like overkill. So to speak!

  17. Roger says:

    [What if the officers ] Or got romantically compromised ie. fell for their targets much like the girl in Le Carre’s Little Drummer Girl novel did and turned into *double* double agents secretly helping or tipping off their targets?Some did. They either left the police and/or tipped off defence lawyers. That’s how we learned about it.

    Also what good / harm did it cause? Any evidence or cases where this actually prevented any attack or instigated one or came up with anything useful as far as fighting crime goes?
    In the case of the ALF at least, they dealt with an organisation willing to send bombs to maim or kill. Whether infiltration was the only way to deal with it is another question.

    It’s worth researching the full story on the Guardian’s website.

  18. We Are Ing says:

    In the case of the ALF at least, they dealt with an organisation willing to send bombs to maim or kill. Whether infiltration was the only way to deal with it is another question.

    No the question is whether using rape for law enforcement is acceptable.

    Yes I would consider intentionally using this sort of tactic to be a sort of rape.

  19. Roger says:

    No the question is whether using rape for law enforcement is acceptable.

    Yes I would consider intentionally using this sort of tactic to be a sort of rape.

    That’s yet another question.
    Even if the police officers had infiltrated the ALF, which was willing to commit murder, without becoming sexually involved, was it the only way to catch them and would it still have been justified? In Lambert’s case, he seems to have used a woman completely outside the ALF and arranged for her to be raided by the police to boost his credentials, which even supporters of the policy regard with distaste- would he have been justified in seducing an activist who was willing to kill?
    Female police officers also became sexually involved with activists- were they rapists too? If twoundercover officers seduce eachother, is it rape or incompetence? If a police officer seduces an activist out of pure lust, rather to infiltrate the organisation, is that rape? There are an enormous number of questions to be looked at, even if you accept the doctrine of the lesser evil. The noteworthy thing here is that this tactic was used against completely legal and law-abiding activists. Even if it could be justified in the case of people like the ALF, it seems to have become accepted as a general tactic remarkably easily.

  20. mm says:

    ALF has always tried to avoid harming people. AFAIK, no one has died as a result of their actions.

    So it is purest slander to say that ALF is “an organisation willing to send bombs to maim or kill”.

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