Espionage



Chevalier D'EonJeanna Bryner writes on LiveScience:

An 18th-century portrait sold in New York to a British gallery as a “woman in a feathered hat” turns out to actually portray a man dressed as a woman, becoming the earliest known painting of a transvestite.

The transvestite painting, now called the “Chevalier D’Eon,” is currently hanging in the Philip Mould Ltd. gallery in London and will possibly become a permanent feature in the British National Portraits Gallery, said art dealer and art historian Philip Mould, director of Philip Mould Ltd.

“We spent 30 years honing our skills at looking at British portraits, and you begin to spot anomalies,” Mould told LiveScience. “Portraiture, despite the diversity of odd-looking people in the world, particularly in the 19th century, before advances in cosmetic science and dentistry and medical advances had taken place, but portraiture is always extremely straight-laced.”




Mere paranoia? Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, G6 of U.S. Army’s 94th Division, says last week’s alleged plot by Iran to conduct a bombing and assassination on U.S. soil may be a fabrication by the Obama administration, perhaps even to establish a cause for war:




CSO interviews skip tracer Frank Ahearn about how to vanish from society, skipping off to a tropical island or a clean start in North Dakota, if you don’t want to be found….


Bin Laden was discovered not in the godforsaken, lawless borderlands but living in a million-dollar mansion in a touristy suburb nearby Pakistan’s top military academy. Steve Coll of the New Yorker writes…






Long after the Cold War’s end, nations still send secret agents across borders. But corporations, terrorists, and private investigators are also part of the sleuthing underground. Newsweek takes a look at who’s spying on whom; the section on corporate espionage is perhaps the most interesting:

Spying isn’t just the stuff of war and international politics. While researching his 2010 book Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage, journalist Eamon Javers uncovered the dealings of private-sector spy firms employed by companies to detect deception in negotiators, surveil competing investors, and glean intelligence that could give them an edge in their dealmaking. Espionage has become so ubiquitous in the corporate world, Javers says, that billion-dollar merger-and-acquisition deals are almost never made these days without highly skilled spies getting involved…


This one’s for the birds. via Google/AFP:
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NEW DELHI — Indian police are holding a pigeon under armed guard after it was caught on an alleged spying mission for arch rivals and neighbours Pakistan, media reported on Friday.

The white-coloured bird was found by a local resident in India’s Punjab state, which borders Pakistan, and taken to a police station 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the capital Amritsar.

The pigeon had a ring around its foot and a Pakistani phone number and address stamped on its body in red ink.

Police officer Ramdas Jagjit Singh Chahal told the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency that they suspected the pigeon may have landed on Indian soil from Pakistan with a message, although no trace of a note has been found.

Officials have directed that no-one should be allowed to visit the pigeon, which police say may have been on a “special mission of spying”.

The bird has been medically examined and was being kept in an air-conditioned room under police guard.