Probably one of the oldest tricks in gathering intelligence against an enemy or in espionage is the use of a "honey trap." In popular fiction a "honey trap" usually implies a woman entrapping businessmen, military men, and officials in sexual liaisons to retrieve intelligence. But in a broader sense a "honey trap" is slang for use of men or women in sexual situations to intimidate or snare others.
Often, particularly in wartime, it is as useful to simply prevent the target of the "honey trap" from accomplishing their mission as it is to garner intelligence from them. That can be done in a variety of ways, one of which is to compromise their security clearance by covert acts, or otherwise force them out of their position.
In today's technological world espionage targets aren't diplomats or the spies of Ian Fleming's 007. They are engineers, technicians, logistics experts, special operations military men, photoimagery specialists, programmers, database administrators, cryptographers, and those who control and monitor satellites, among others. These critical individuals are concentrated in a few areas. For the present example of how "honey traps" can be used today I will use Colorado Springs as the target area. One, because I live here, and two because such obvious targets as:
NORAD Cheyenne Mountain is about 5 miles from Bear Creek.
U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) Charged with defense of continental U.S.
Space Command For all the U.S. Armed Forces.
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NIMA) All GPS birds are flown from here.
While I use Colorado Springs in the following scenario, the ideas were brought to me by airmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines, and engineers from such locations as Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Roanoke, Virginia; San Diego, California; Fallon/Hawthorne, Nevada; Seattle, Washington; Reston, Virginia and other installations near Washington, D.C., among others.
It is basic to espionage to use an enemy's weaknesses against them whenever possible. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Lautenberg Amendment 18 USC §922(g)(8 and 9) are two such current weaknesses in the United States. These federal laws are amplified by state and municipal laws against domestic violence and abuse.
"ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce."
Further, under DoD and similar agency regulations, the man cannot hold a security clearance with a DV conviction. State laws are typically even more stringent about what the man can handle, e.g., any hazardous material. And commonly the man loses any professional licenses, passport, and drivers license either directly or indirectly as a result of such charges.
Obviously, any military man, federal agent, or engineer charged with domestic violence or abuse is going to be taken out of their position. Since the numbers of men in most of these positions are very limited, and training a replacement is both time consuming and expensive, it is greatly to an enemy's advantage to encourage domestic violence charges against them.
Locating a "target" isn't much of a problem. One might start at Frankie's Bar outside Peterson Air Force Base. Casual conversation picks up a name, digital cameras are ubiquitous, most any Internet search or private investigator can be used to get details such as address or phone number. Integration of his photo with some suitable pornography using Photoshop or a similar program is easily done. Follow that with a letter to his wife or girlfriend with the doctored photos and some details, and a suggestion she might want to get a restraining order or charge him with DV to get the house, the car, the kids, the bank account, etc.
If he is deployed and the wife is playing around, another variant of the "honey trap" might be used and the agent gets a little on the side. Maybe send him some revealing pictures of his wife or girlfriend to add fuel to the fire. Using a "honey trap" against deployed military men also has a multiplying factor as it destroys the morale of troops serving with the victim.
Restraining orders are issued ex parte (without the other party present) and no proof is required, perjury is never prosecuted, and hearsay is admissible as evidence. So it doesn't matter if he is being shot at in Iraq, the order will still be issued and in force. And if he is charged with DV the restraining order is mandatory and a conviction carries lifetime penalties.
Throw in a messy divorce and custody battle with allegations of child and sexual abuse and the poor guy is in court for years but certainly not carrying a gun, holding a security clearance, or his job.
Other variants of a " honey trap" using DV and abuse charges no doubt come to mind but the final objective is the same. Get a restraining order or DV conviction against a man in a critical national security position and he is out of the game.
Colorado Springs is home to a feminist organization known as TESSA . TESSA's budget is about $1.6 million dollars per year, primarily funded by VAWA and state funds. They have about 50 paid staff and volunteers. In public statements they continue to insist that 95% of all domestic violence is against women and that when women use violence it is only in self defense, and they only help women.
Flyers published by TESSA claim they obtain 2,500 restraining orders a year against men. Estimates are that half of these orders are against military men from the many military bases surrounding Colorado Springs.
To make matters worse (or better for those running a "honey trap") the Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that such organizations as TESSA cannot be required to disclose what information or help they provide women seeking to charge men with domestic violence or obtain a restraining order.
According to Colorado state court data the 4 th Judicial District (includes Colorado Springs) prosecutes about 3,500 domestic violence cases a year, more than 2 1/2 times the number of DV cases in the comparable 1 st Judicial District (Golden and Lakewood), which does not have any military bases or comparable targets. Again, estimates are that one half of the DV charges in Colorado Springs are against military men. The EJF has also heard from a large number of local military men, engineers, and programmers caught up in false accusations of domestic violence or abuse.
The 4 th Judicial District also uses a Fast Track system to process men accused of domestic violence in which due process is ignored and the men are not allowed to consult a defense attorney before being pressured and cajoled to enter a guilty plea. The conviction rate under Fast Track is reportedly around 60%.
The use of domestic violence and abuse charges and restraining orders in Colorado Springs are so pervasive, and the numbers so far beyond comparable population centers that it seems inconceivable that at least some of these charges are not used as "honey traps."
Whether any of the staff or facilities of such organizations as TESSA are knowingly or unknowingly cooperating in operating "honey traps" is unknown. Clearly, however, such groups are acting either wittingly or unwittingly as a Fifth Column to the benefit of enemies of the United States in time of war.
Dr. Corry is an internationally-known earth scientist and a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.
Following active duty with Marine Corps infantry (1 st Marines) in the late 1950's he did preflight testing and failure analysis on Atlas and Centaur missiles, including all the Project Mercury birds. In 1965 he went to work at Scripps Institution of Oceanography doing terrestrial heat flow studies in the North Pacific and early attempts to measure continental drift/sea floor spreading. He was also given leave from Scripps to work at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on the Deep Sea Drilling Project (later JOIDES). In 1969 he returned to school, obtaining a doctorate in geophysics in 1976 from Texas A&M. Following that he became manager of geophysical research for a Fortune 500 company. From 1985-1990 he was an associate professor of geophysics at the Univ. of Missouri-Rolla.
In 1990 he returned to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as international coordinator of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE), far and away the largest oceanographic program ever undertaken with 30+ countries participating.
Since 1999 his main research interests have centered on domestic violence, particularly against men. In 2001 he helped found the Equal Justice Foundation and remains a director and president to the present.
Until it was dissolved in January 2006, Dr. Corry served on the IEEE Voting Equipment Standards committee and on the treatment review and research subcommittees of the Colorado DV offender management board.
He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, and similar publications.