March 21, 2006

A "Present for Terrorists"

Daphne Park, who based on her life as British intelligence agent, would seem to know what she is talking about, trashes the idea of a national ID card, saying such a scheme would be a "present" to terrorists.

The Scotsman summarizes some highlights of her career:

Now in her eighties, her career began during the Second World War, when she volunteered for service and was assigned to train Resistance fighters who were being parachuted into France in the run-up to D-Day.

When the war ended, she was posted to Berlin where she was ordered to locate and secure German military scientists before they fell into the hands of advancing Russian forces.

That work brought her to the attention of MI6, who made extensive use of her services using the Cold War.

Although she has repeatedly refused invitations to publish her memoirs, many of Baroness Park's exploits as a spy are in the public domain - she is something of a living legend in the British intelligence community.

Among her Cold War postings were extensive service in Moscow, running agents inside the Soviet regime. During the Vietnam war, she was a covert operative in Hanoi.

She is also known to have been in Congo during the turbulent 1960s, at one point smuggling a defecting official out of the country in the boot of her car.

Yes, she just might know what she is talking about.

(Thanks to Stephen Smith for the pointer.)

Posted by James C. Bennett at March 21, 2006 01:56 PM

The great Baroness Park is one of the best people in the House of Lords. I am going to swank here and admit that one of the proudest aspects of my life is that she considers (or says she considers) me to be a friend. Yah-boo, beat that, if you can.

Posted by: Helen at March 22, 2006 04:26 AM

No, I can't beat that one, but I do agree with her completely.
Identity papers/cards/whatever you want to call them are an abomination, as well as being ineffective & easily manipulated, stolen, etc etc.

Posted by: BetsyinAmerica at March 22, 2006 08:19 AM

The information-aggregating features of such schemes, which make them useful to terrorists, criminals and foreign spies, unfortunately also make them attractive to politicians and bureaucrats.

Posted by: Jonathan at March 22, 2006 01:44 PM

I prefer to call them internal passports.

Posted by: Helen at March 23, 2006 02:56 AM
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