Sunday, October 18, 2015

Frederick Forsyth On The Spying Game

Frederick Forsyth, veteran journalist and author of the classic thriller The Day of the Jackal and The Outsider: My Life in Intrigue, offers his view of the spying game in his column in the British newspaper the Express.

Sir Francis Walsingham intercepted letters, eased them open with a hot razor, read, copied, resealed them and had them delivered to the unsuspecting enemy agent.
His tricks – trailing suspect arrivals, drawing up lists of those they visited, employing serving knaves to listen at door panels – could have come straight from John le Carré.
If the practice became something of a British speciality, so did writing about it and the tradition has never died.
Wilkie Collins in The Woman In White, Erskine Childers with The Riddle Of The Sands, John Buchan with his agent Richard Hannay, were all writing and enthralling more than 100 years ago.
And we pioneered great detectives such as Sherlock Holmes. Spooks and ’tecs, they became our national speciality and still are.
But what about the real thing? What is the point of espionage? Simply, it is one word: forewarning. In a perfect world our country would have no rivals, no enemies, no one wants to do us down.
But we all know it is far from perfect. This country has had – occasionally internally, always externally – enemies who lust to see our diminishment, even destruction.
Today IS has us on its insane death list. We need to know what plots are being prepared against us, who is behind them and when they will come.
You can read the rest of the column via the below link:

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