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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.