Photo of the Day

WING COMMANDER FOREST FREDERICK EDWARD YEO-THOMAS – British Special Operations Executive (SOE) agent

“The White Rabbit”

His action-packed life was the stuff of boyhood fantasy

Tommy Yeo-Thomas was dropped into occupied France three times and fell into the hands of the Paris SS and Gestapo. Brutally interrogated to the point of death for a total of over 6 months at the SS and Gestapo HQ at 84 Avenue Foch and Fresnes Prison, he told the Germans nothing. Transported to Buchenwald Concentration Camp he escaped and eventually made his way to the Allied lines.

Espionage has always been a business marked by deceit, betrayal, and frequently, death. The fate of a captured spy is usually brutal, and even relatively benign entities like the Allies dealt harshly with such individuals. Still, their treatment was relatively kind compared to the Nazis. The remarkable World War II?spy stories?include heroes and villains, loyalists and traitors, and the greatest World War II spies that were motivated by duty, principle,?or just plain money.

Forest Yeo-Thomas

Recruited: February 1942

Role: Deputy Head (RF Section)


Codenames: Shelley, “The White Rabbit”

Fate: Captured, deported to Germany, survived

Forest Frederic Edward Yeo-Thomas (who went by F. F. E. Yeo-Thomas) was not your typical clich? espionage agent, photographing documents in the early morning hours behind the embassy doors of some darkened office. After serving for two years in the RAF during the Battle of Britain, Yeo-Thomas requested even more hazardous duty in occupied France serving as a liaison between the French government in exile and the Resistance.

On his third mission in 1944, he was betrayed to the Gestapo and was so badly mistreated that he developed blood poisoning from the shackles worn during his isolated confinement. After numerous escape attempts (which prompted the Gestapo nickname “the White Rabbit”), Yeo-Thomas was transported to Buchenwald. He survived eight more months of abuse, escaped from a work detail, and eventually lead other POWs to freedom in the final days of the war. Yeo-Thomas is recognised by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography as “among the most outstanding workers behind enemy lines whom Britain produced”. Yeo-Thomas is also credited as the inspiration for the character James Bond.

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Photo of the Day

Mansfield Smith-Cumming

That Time M16 Agents used Semen As Invisible Ink

C WAS THE original M, the first head of the Secret Service and the prototype of James Bond’s boss. The initial, standing for Cumming (not Chief) and always written in green ink, was the mark of an eccentric character. In fact, Captain Sir Mansfield Cumming, who founded what became MI6 in 1909 and ran it until his death in 1923, was the stuff of which fictional spymasters are made.

He carried a swordstick, wore a gold-rimmed monocle and possessed a “chin like the cut-water of a battleship”. He had an “eye for the ladies” and took children for rides in his personal tank. He enjoyed gadgets, codes, practical jokes and tall tales. Cumming was so pleased to discover that semen made a good invisible ink that his agents adopted the motto: “Every man his own stylo”.

The gloriously named Captain Sir Mansfield Smith-Cumming would become the first head of England’s Secret Service in the late 1800s, but his own life as a spy, as he freely admitted, was pretty inglorious and he was much better suited to coordinating other people than being out on the field himself.

There are three separate incidents in which Smith-Cumming created serious issues while trying to commit espionage.

On one occasion he was caught in a consulate trying to get some letters that were being used for blackmail, and professed himself astonished because the people questioning him were disrespectful “even though he’d taken off his hat.” On another, he tried to have a conversation with a German spy despite speaking no German, spent most of it consulting a phrase-book in a panicky fashion, and only afterwards realised that they both spoke French.

My favourite, though, is the fact that he and a fellow spy once tried to book a quiet room with a source, but mistook a brothel for a hotel. The madam, faced with two men wanting a private room who said they were not interested in having a woman sent to them because they were waiting for another man, assumed they were dangerous homosexuals about to take part in a highly illegal act, threw them out and called the police.

He would go on to be a highly reputable intelligence head; he’d test the mettle of new recruits by stabbing himself in the (wooden) leg with a knife and seeing if they winced.

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Photo Of The Day

Betty Pack? born Amy Elizabeth Thorpe. Wedding portrait of Amy Thorpe, 1936. January 1936, Betty caught the attention of MI-6 and became an ?asset? ? someone the Secret Intelligence Service could ? and did ? reach out to. As a diplomat?s wife, and a natural seductress, Betty had the ways and means to access powerful men and their military and government secrets.

Betty Pack? born Amy Elizabeth Thorpe. Wedding portrait of Amy Thorpe, 1936. January 1936, Betty caught the attention of MI-6 and became an ?asset? ? someone the Secret Intelligence Service could ?and did ?reach out to. As a diplomat?s wife, and a natural seductress, Betty had the ways and means to access powerful men and their military and government secrets.


Code Name Cynthia

Also Known As:

Elizabeth Pack

Judy Brackett

Betty Pack

Betty Thorpe

?She hid Secrets in her Negligees, never wore Knickers and Seduced Countless Men to help Britain Win the War

Amy Elizabeth Thorpe Pack was one of the most successful female spies of her time, arguably any time ? yet her story has rarely been told.

A fundamental rule of intelligence work is that one must not mix love and work when dealing with any intelligence target. The relationship can become dangerous to one or both of the parties if an agent develops genuine affection for a target. In wartime, this rule is even more critical, and if the agent is operating in hostile territory, the rule of avoiding romance is paramount. In spite of that, one agent broke this essential rule in wartime and lived to tell?a remarkable woman by the name of Amy Elizabeth Thorpe.

Amy Elizabeth Thorpe, Family and friends called her Betty, was a glamorous American socialite, born in Minneapolis, raised in Washington, DC, who helped the Allies win World War II. She had lots of derring-do exploits, helping the British obtain an Enigma code-breaking machine, ingeniously stealing ciphers from an embassy safe that were crucial to the successful invasion of North Africa.?Time?magazine, in her obituary, called her a ‘blonde Bond’?who used ‘the boudoir as Ian Fleming’s character used the Beretta.’?She lived a consequential, exciting, and intriguing life.

Cynthia and her husband travelled to European and South American posts, where she conducted a series of foreign intrigues with assorted admirers. She once wrote in her diary, “I love to love with all my heart, only I have to appear cool. Life is but a stage on which to play. One’s role is to pretend, and always to hide one’s true feelings.”

Betty found that marriage and motherhood left her unfulfilled and empty. She longed for adventure and?romance, and as she strayed from her husband she felt she was always searching?for her one true love. In her quest, she was introduced to a top British diplomat who quickly recognized Betty?s impressive powers of seduction. In the mid-1930?s Betty was groomed for a career in espionage against the backdrop of a world?preparing?for massive?conflict. Over the course of World War II, Betty identified, pursued, and seduced many powerful men, including top-ranking Polish and Italian commanders.?Through her series of intense love affairs, Betty uncovered?privileged intelligence that would help the Allies break the top-secret codes and ciphers of the enemy troops.

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The sanctimony and hypocrisy of the NZ Herald

Quite apart from their propensity to make stuff up at the NZ Herald they also possess weapons grade sanctimony and hypocrisy. They play Dirty Media but pretend they are holier than thou.

They are running a campaign using a tainted journalist and someone who trades in private and personal data to run allegations against the NZ Government for spying.

They are laundering information on behalf of a traitor, Edward Snowden, and assisting Nicky Hager, perhaps New Zealand’s most prolific spy and holder of other people’s data.

They write editorials decrying the situation but their editor was involved in his own spying against a competitor.

In 2009 Currie was sued by a former assistant editor of the Herald on Sunday for unjustified dismissal. Reporter Stephen Cook, who helped Currie launch the tabloid, was sacked in 2008 after two drug squad detectives visited the Herald on Sunday offices looking for him. Cook had reportedly been seen at an address, which was under police surveillance. On the day the case commenced Currie faced further scrutiny when the New Zealand Herald revealed examples of industrial espionage, including allegations he sent a reporter to the rival Sunday Star-Times’ print site to obtain advanced copies in a bid to get stories for his own paper. The allegations were again reported in the Sunday News and Sunday Star-Times branded “unprecedented spying”. ?

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Panty sniffers


Panty sniffer number one has a thing for American government employees’ underwear. He just can’t get enough of it. The more he sniffs the more he is shocked that skid marks not only exist but in some cases are downright disgusting. He considers that he is doing the American public a service by revealing the details, ( the dirty, smelly details ). He rejects the title ‘Panty Sniffer’ which suggests that he is in some way perverted for having a fixation with other people’s underwear and that he is a criminal for rooting around in other peoples dirty laundry searching for stains and other unsavory marks.

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Do people like this have a place in politics?

A high-profile political figure has won the right to keep details of his divorce secret after a judge ruled he was a “vulnerable person”.

His messy divorce case included allegations of espionage, infidelity, dognapping, theft, the involvement of three Queen’s Counsel, and a disputed allegation the man grabbed or touched his wife’s neck, tried to kick in the door of their home and shouted abuse at her.

The couple were involved in a protracted legal battle through the Family Court. The ex-wife has sought the right to speak publicly and to her friends about the break-up, but the husband has fought to keep the dispute secret.

How can anyone be a high profile political figure and at the same time “vulnerable”.

If you enter politics, you get to make judgements about other people. ?You get to influence policy. ?You get to make decisions over the careers, lives and families. ?This person, at the very least, should have no say or influence over many political policy areas.

But how can we make sure someone that kicks in the door and “grabbed or touched” his wife’s neck is kept well away? ?Why the code of silence?

It seems to be an upside-down situation to have someone who has alleged involvement in espionage and theft in a high profile position in a political party be protected from public scrutiny and the public’s judgement as to this person’s suitability. ? Read more »

Wonder if they bothered with JK’s

Seems world leaders have had their phones monitored by US spies.

I wonder if they bothered with John Key’s? Or maybe he wasn’t important enough.

They probably monitored McCully’s and Groser’s when they want to listen into phone sex?or Gerry’s if they wanted to know how a huge fat bloke can get women to remove their underwear.

Hours after Angela Merkel confronted President Barack Obama over allegations that her personal mobile had been tapped, new documents showed that US surveillance extended to dozens of other heads of government.

The National Security Agency (NSA) encouraged other US government departments to share their “rolodexes” of foreign contacts which were then targeted. ? Read more »

Why most don’t care about GCSB

Foreign Policy has a very good article about the fuss over “spying” and why most people simply don’t care.

For most people, privacy, too, has become the “shining artifact of the past” that Leonard Cohen once?sang?about. Indeed, anyone with a mobile phone understands that everything from their bank records to the products they buy online to the telephone numbers they dial and the addresses to which they send emails are recorded somewhere — whether by a private business, their own employers, or, of course, the government.

We are being spied on all the time, and usually by private enterprise…and the media.

Viewed from this perspective, is it the general public’s comparative lack of indignation over the NSA surveillance scandal that is surprising, or is the real shocker that journalists, activists, and politicians feel so outraged? Yes, the U.S. government is indeed the Biggest Brother of them all, but most people go about their daily business being spied on and having their data mined by any number of small- and medium-sized brothers. Of course, someone who is outraged by the attempts to jail the leakers and prosecute and intimidate their journalist and activist colleagues would insist, and rightly so, that these sorts of things should not be permitted in a democracy. But the gap between the outrage of the chattering classes and the public’s apathy — or, more likely, resignation — illuminates the essential difference between the elite’s understanding of the world and everyone else’s. To put it starkly, members of an elite tend to believe they can change things; most everyone else knows that, except in a few rare instances, they cannot. In an essential sense, the real question for members of the elite is not, why isn’t the public outraged, but why are we?? Read more »

That settles it then, no illegal spying, Helen said so

Helen Clark has come back and decided to declare that all the spying she did was legal, despite claims for the past year by David Shearer and the media that there were 88 cases of allegedly “illegal” spying.

The media and David Shearer won’t believe John Key when he says there wasn’t any spying but the law is unclear so it needs clearing up, but in walks Helen Clark and they take what she says as gospel.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has confirmed the GCSB executed intercept warrants for the SIS during her Government but spying on New Zealanders “wasn?t their remit”.

Clark, speaking in advance of the release of her new book At The UN, about her first four-year term as Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, said she was always “loyally and diligently” served by the intelligence services.

Clark said the Government Communications and Security Bureau acted within the law “as it was understood to be” and this included executing warrants for the Security Intelligence Service. ? Read more »

As predicted, Snowden “encouraged” to leave Hong Kong

Yesterday I stated that traitor Edward Snowden must have had a little chat with Chinese authorities who gave him the impression that it was only a matter of time before they clapped some stainless steel bracelets on him and sent him back to the US.

Turns out that was true.

The Chinese government and the Hong Kong SAR are nothing if not efficient in removing unwanted distractions to business.

Edward Snowden fled Hong Kong for Russia after fearing that he could be jailed without his computer if he was detained at the request of the U.S. government, his lawyer has revealed.

The NSA whistleblower, whose whereabouts are unknown after he failed to board a plane from Moscow to Cuba on Monday, left Hong Kong after its government encouraged him to leave and said it would put up no barriers preventing him from doing so, solicitor Albert Ho said.

During a dinner of pizza, fried chicken, sausages and Pepsi on Tuesday, Ho met with Snowden to discuss his options, the lawyer told the?New York Times.

After the meeting, they approached the government through an intermediary to ask if he would likely be released on bail if he was detained at the request of the U.S., and whether Hong Kong would interfere if he tried to leave the country. ? Read more »