Final Word from Thursday, July 10, 2014

A second German within a matter of days has reportedly been suspected of spying for the Americans. The first one was also prepared to sell secrets to the Russians, according to media reports. Spying on allies falls under the category of "trust but verify." Robert Harris treated the issue brilliantly in "The Ghost" (also known in the film version as "The Ghost Writer"), which deals with whether a Tony Blair-like British politician was a CIA mole. Everyone spies on everyone, some intelligence experts say, and Germany is merely making a point this time because of the public outcry over the revelations of NSA wiretapping. What about all the Czech government workers who reveal state secrets to their American, Russian or Chinese friends over a three-martini lunch? Is it espionage? Absolutely, but the big difference is that the German nailed last week was seeking cash payments and wasn't just chatting with a colleague. [Czech Republic United States of America United Kingdom National Security Agency CIA BND]

Glossary of difficult words

ghostwriter/ghost writer - a person whose job is to write material for someone else who is the named author;

mole - a spy who achieves over a long period an important position within the security defenses of a country;

outcry - a strong expression of public disapproval or anger;

three-martini lunch - a leisurely, indulgent lunch enjoyed by businesspeople or executives involving the ample consumption of alcohol;

to nail someone - to expose someone as deceitful or criminal; to catch or arrest.


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