Intelligence: Let's Take Over an Intelligence Service

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December19, 2006: Intelligence agencies usually face some danger from their competitors in other countries. But in Eastern Europe, you sometimes have internal threats as well. Such was the case recently in the Czech Republic, where a former senior civil servant (Zdenek Dolezel) is accused of trying to blackmail the leadership of the Czech military intelligence service, into becoming Dolezel's own intelligence service. Dolezel is also accused of stealing European Union funds, as well as a bribery case surrounding the privatization of a state owned energy company. The intelligence agency became aware of the plot, and foiled it by alerting key members of parliament and their superiors in the Defense Ministry.

Corruption was pretty extensive during the Cold War, when most East European nations were run by communist dictatorships. The new democratic nations of East Europe tried to eliminate the corruption, but the bad habits were too well established. Politicians still campaign on promises to "clean out the crooks," but there are so many corrupt officials out there, the cleansing process is going to take a while.

 


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