It’s a Good Job if You Can Get It

Fortunately for this blog, sex and the law frequently intersect into delicious scandals, like the one embroiling the UK right now: it’s a good job if you can get it.

Turns out Police Constable Mark Kennedy, a guy with Marty Feldman eyes, used the power of his wang to infiltrate various left wing/anarchist groups, and by “infiltrate various left wing/anarchist groups” I mean “infiltrate various left wing/anarchist vaginas” over a period of seven years. All right, maybe it wasn’t so much the power of his wang, but the fact that Scotland Yard was bank rolling his adventures with wads of cash, reportedly £200,000 a year (that’s approximately $316,000 in real money) in addition to his police salary of £50,000. Certainly there must be some cause and effect there, as it is widely believed to be helpful if dorky looking men with go-funny eyes spread around a bit of green (are pounds green?) to get in on some lady-love action.

The culmination of this undercover operation was the dismissal of all charges against the activists fingered by PC Kennedy, reportedly due to the withdrawal of a key piece of evidence (tape recordings) that appeared to exculpate the defendants, rather than, um, you know, inculpate them. And, oh yeah, there were swirling rumors that Kennedy would actually testify for the defense.

Leaving aside all the other issues this story raises (Was Kennedy actually an agent provocateur, and not simply an infiltrator? Was the expense of this operation–Kennedy has been quoted as saying their were 15 other operatives that he knew about–worth the information gleaned from it? Are long term undercover operations intrinsically unethical because they subject operatives to psychological harm?), let’s talk about sex. Is it OK for the government to use sex to get information against its own citizens in order to prosecute them?