Gawker did a spy week a couple weeks back and I’m just catching up on it. Here’s an article on ten spying blunders, for example:
America is not the only country that blundered, crotch-first, into disaster. In 1966, Pierre Albert Sévigny, the Canadian Associate Minister of National Defense had the unenviable job of explaining why his name was on the citizenship application of a Soviet spy. Gerda Munsinger was a playgirl who got a lot of playing in. She bagged at least two cabinet ministers. Then American intelligence agencies and the Royal Mounted Police put a few things together, talked to Prime minister John Deifenbaker, and deported Munsinger. Deifenbaker had a word with Sévigny, who resigned a little while later.
That’s nothing, some might argue. That’s not even a blip, they would say. And they would be right. And then they would shut up about it. And they would refrain from taunting the opposition government about the handling of people deemed a security risk. In 1966 Deifenbaker learned a hard lesson in not throwing stones. Deifenbaker was publicly berating Lucien Cardin, a member of the opposition party, about his handling of a suspected spy. Cardin got angry, and retorted that Deifenbaker shouldn’t talk tough after the “Monseignor case.” The press was immediately on the track, and after a few days during which it was rumored that “Monsignor” was a gangster in the government, Canada had its first ever political sex scandal. The spy lesson to be learned from this case? Do not push your luck.