Espionage

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Espionage is the practice of surreptitiously obtaining information about an organization or a society that is considered secret or confidential.

Quotes[edit]

Alphabetized by author or source
  • Because something is not what it is said to be, Ma'am, does not mean it is a fake. It may just have been wrongly attributed.
  • Mrs O'Grady has been sentenced to death. Personally I doubt whether she is guilty of anything more than collecting information. She probably pictured herself as a master spy, and cannot bring herself to say that there was really nothing behind it all.
    • Guy Liddell, Director of Counter-Espionage for MI5, the British Security Service, in a diary entry (17 December 1940); this refers to Pamela O'Grady, an Isle of Wight landlady; on appeal her sentence was reduced to fourteen years' imprisonment
  • No spy, however astute, is proof against relentless interrogation. Some unforseen circumstance, some trivial lapse, is pounced upon, exploited by the interrogator, until a break is complete.
    • Lt-Col Robin Stephens, Commandant of Camp 020 which was the secret British centre for interrogating suspected Nazi spies during World War II. Stephens aimed to get "a break" in which the spy would make a full confession, and almost always succeeded. "Camp 020: MI5 and the Nazi spies" (2000) by the Public Record Office, p. 105
  • The spies of the underworld are legion. Craven crooks, for the most part, they are prey to blackmail.
    • Lt-Col Robin Stephens, who divided spies into three broad categories: patriots, of the underworld, and just mercenary, "Camp 020: MI5 and the Nazi spies" (2000) by the Public Record Office, p. 106
  • Indeed, there may well be many who will agree that death by hanging is almost too good for a sailor who will encompass the death of thousands of his shipmates without qualm.
    • Lt-Col Robin Stephens, Commandant of Camp 020, in a report recommending no reprieve from sentence of death for Duncan Scott-Ford who had admitted communicating information about Allied ships to German agents. Scott-Ford was hanged. "Camp 020: MI5 and the Nazi spies" (2000) by the Public Record Office, p. 198
  • And we did have fun. For five years we bugged and burgled our way across London at the State's behest, while pompous bowler-hatted civil servants in Whitehall pretended to look the other way.
  • To MI5, if you steam this open you are dirty buggers.
    • Letter sent to a prominent member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and opened by MI5. According to Wright, Major Denman (MI5 officer in charge of post interception) classified it as 'obscene post' (so that he was not required to send it on), framed the letter and put it on his office wall. Quoted in "Spycatcher" (1987) by Peter Wright, p. 46

External links[edit]

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