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tmrcz t1_jaazk8b wrote

Why don't they jail spies? What's this persona non-grata nonsense?


Nyan_Man t1_jab16c2 wrote

Blurs the line on what info they obtained is real or perhaps all fake. A knee jerk reaction gives away your hand and alerts all yet discovered members to grab and flee.


Downtown_Skill t1_jabdjuz wrote

Espionage always fascinated me in general. Intelligence agencies are essentially criminal wings of governments to me. Not domestically criminal of course but much of what Intelligence agencies do would be deemed illegal in whatever country they're operating in.

Point being it's a weird field with weird rules and there can be multiple reasons for not jailing spies immediately from maintaining relationships, ensuring your prisoners on the other side aren't abused, to not wanting to give away your hand like you originally stated.


Zombie_Harambe t1_jabdxug wrote

Laws themselves are only as legitimate as the government that enforces them. Ie, espionage is 'legal' as it is backed by the political and military capital of the country operating the spies. Whereas you robbing a bank is backed only by you and your gun.


Downtown_Skill t1_jabr1mc wrote

Well it's more organized crime, but espionage is also literally not legal. Spies are arrested and jailed all the time.

Edit: my thought isn't a unique one anyway. Many theorists have drawn comparisons between nations and organized crime. Nations are essentially the crime syndicates that retain the most power and influence.

It makes even more sense when you look at organized crime syndicates and how they run. You'll see a lot of parallels to how nations run. Alliances, treaties, laws, wars, even espionage etc...

The biggest difference is scale but we see with the cartels down in Mexico that crime syndicates can increase their scale so much that they're essentially their own nation with their own laws and governing bodies.


Andire t1_jabrr0z wrote

Would it matter if all reactions were the same? Jailed if they stole legit info, or jailed if they sent back incorrect info?


IceBearCares t1_jab3gmx wrote

Every nation has spies in another nation. That's basically the function of an Embassy... Unofficially.

And it's done because we want our spies back alive when they find them.

PNG does that.


tmrcz t1_jab4h3w wrote

yes, certainly. but you could swap prisoners if it comes to that. at least, you'd have the moral satisfaction 😉


AmINotAlpharius t1_jab4jpq wrote

Usually you can't jail a diplomat because of diplomatic immunity, hence non-grata.


Londonforce t1_jac63qn wrote

It would start an arms race of sorts. You jail a spy, they jail yours. They kill a spy, we kill yours.

Things can get out of hand, and honestly removing them usually completely destroys whatever they were doing, same as jailing them.


Big-Temporary-6243 t1_jacveky wrote

And as an added bonus there's always the need for more fodder at the front lines.