(Logo from the infamous Dave Rabbit sweatshirt, a limited-edition Vietnam War pirate radio joke product.)
Pardon my Anglo-Saxon and the explicit artwork, but given what shit is hitting the fan in Britain, it was only fittin’…
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.
The one stipulation, according to the officer from the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), a secret unit formed to prevent violent disorder on the streets of London, was that falling in love was considered highly unprofessional because it might compromise an investigation. He said undercover officers, particularly those infiltrating environmental and leftwing groups, viewed having sex with a large number of partners “as part of the job”.
“Everybody knew it was a very promiscuous lifestyle,” said the former officer, who first revealed his life as an undercover agent to the Observer last year. “You cannot not be promiscuous in those groups. Otherwise you’ll stand out straightaway.”
The claims follow the unmasking of undercover PC Mark Kennedy, who had sexual relationships with several women during the seven years he spent infiltrating a ring of environmental activists. Another two covert officers have been named in the past fortnight who also had sex with the protesters they were sent to spy on, fuelling allegations that senior officers had authorised sleeping around as a legitimate means of gathering intelligence.
However Jon Murphy, Acpo’s spokesman on serious and organised crime, said last week that undercover officers were not permitted “under any circumstances” to sleep with protesters.
Heh. Sounds like the police have quite the bit of cognitive dissonance going. One officer says he was required to screw around with activists, literally, as part of his undercover spy work, while the brass indignantly insists otherwise.
This all begs the question: Why would police feel the need to have sex with activists they were spying on, anyway?
The answer, as you might have guessed, is fucking ludicrous:
The former SDS officer claims a lack of guidelines meant sex was an ideal way to maintain cover. He admitted sleeping with at least two of his female targets as a way of obtaining intelligence.
“When you are on an undercover unit you were not given a set of instructions saying you could or couldn’t do the following. They didn’t say to you that you couldn’t go out and drink because technically you’re a police officer, that you shouldn’t go out and get involved in violent confrontations, you shouldn’t take recreational drugs.
“As regards being with women in very, very, very promiscuous groups such as the eco-wing, environmental movement, leftwing, or the Animal Liberation Front – it’s an extremely promiscuous lifestyle and you cannot not be promiscuous in there.
“Among fellow undercover officers, there is not really any kudos in the fact that you are shagging other people while deployed. Basically it’s just regarded as part of the job. It’d be highly unlikely that you were not [having sex].
“When you are using the tool of sex to maintain your cover or maybe to glean more intelligence – because they certainly talk a lot more, pillow talk – you would be ready to move on if you felt an attachment growing.
“The best way of stopping any liaison getting too heavy was to shag somebody else. It’s amazing how women don’t like you going to bed with someone else,” said the officer, whose undercover deployment infiltrating anti-racist groups lasted from 1993 to 1997. Two years later the SDS became the National Public Order Intelligence Unit, the secretive organisation that employed Kennedy and whose activities are the subject of three investigations.
The officer added that undercover police were strictly encouraged not to form a bond with women they were sleeping with and said that he knew Jim Boyling, the undercover officer who married an activist he was supposed to be spying upon.
I don’t know of any environmentalist group where promiscuity is actually de rigueur, as the cop-spook claims it was in these so-called “terrorist” cells. In fact, since environmentalists are apt to be politically progressive all around, compulsory promiscuous sex would be considered a flagrant ethical violation, and likely to undermine the solidarity of the group as well, rather than bolster it (much less help members to sniff out infiltrators in their midst). It would be mutually destructive and counterproductive, particularly when that old boogerbear known as Human Nature rears its jealous, possessive head. There has never yet been a commune or cult where a compulsory-promiscuous lifestyle hasn’t ultimately devolved into either a sexualized dictatorship, or else led to the dissolution of the group.
So, as you may have guessed, I’m calling shenanigans on the insistence that promiscuity was just a way for the undercover cops to blend in. Instead, I’m going to just come right out and label it for what it was: Police brutality, sexual assault, and agent provocateurism.
It is police brutality because it involves officers taking advantage of their official status to commit violence upon citizens who have done nothing wrong.
It is sexual assault because it involves officers taking advantage of their official status to secure sexual favors under false pretenses.
And it is agent provocateurism because it is all being done to covertly undermine the group, to riddle it with schisms and ultimately, to get it to dissolve.
And there is really nothing left to say on the subject except FUCK THAT SHIT.