Cloak-and-Dagger In The Deer Park

The story of espionage continues to enthrall and fascinate. At one end of the spectrum is its enduring fascination with the bleak landscape of human character and its infinite capacity for deception. But, at the other extreme, some stories bordering on the absurd also do manage to escape through the chinks. This also has its utility: it shows up the lengths to which people go to serve a nebulous concept called country. For example, imagine an East German spook (probably working for the fabled and reviled organisation called Stasi) spying against a West German scientist or liberal artist. Both are Germans with a similar DNA structure, write and speak the same language, eat the same cuisine and pretty much drink the same beer. So, who is more loyal to whose country?

But here is a story that takes the cake. This story was front-paged — and headlined How Bambi Met James Bond To Save Israel’s ‘Extinct’ Deer — by Wall Street Journal. It’s about how the Israeli secret service burst some veins in trying to smuggle a certain species of deer out of Tehran on the eve of the Shah’s overthrow by the Ayatollah faithfuls. Enjoy.

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