After hearing a radio advertisement last week for the D.C. Spy Museum’s annual “Sex-spionage” exhibition revolving around romance and manipulation relating to spy history in honor of Valentine’s Day, I had the idea of a radio show dedicated to the most intriguing set of famous spy romances or romantic manipulation scenarios spies have executed in the past. Spies use a variety of social tactics to acquire information, but has intimacy or close friendships between parties of contrasting loyalties ever turned a spy against their own nation’s interests?
This topic is something I’ve heard very little on from a historic point of view, and I think the research and presentation of these kinds of stories in a 20-30 minute radio show could be both enlightening and fascinating to listen to. It could also potentially humanize spies, often portrayed as fully calculating and cold-blooded at all times. Do spies ever let their emotions get the best of them and compromise their missions? Are there any (notoriously) famous instances of this? Have spies defected to other nations due to the sway of passion or true romance? I find this topic quite interesting.