It is a nasty term for a terrible deed. Whether someone betrays a secret held within a family, or within a nation, the effect can be drastic. If a family, the betrayer can be be said to have shattered the trust, the very bonds, of family life; but if a nation, that betrayal can, and has, led to fatal consequences.
Kim Philby, the KGB’s best asset in the West; betrayed his Nation’s secrets for over thirty years. His leaks to his Soviet spymasters resulted in countless deaths for Western assets and agents who had been sent into the Soviet Empire to gain knowledge of Soviet Russia’s actions and plans against the West. The books which have been written about this traitor’s activities spell out, in great detail, the damage he did to our plans, our defence systems and our Intelligence networks.
And yet, when the BBC Today Programme presenters revealed and broadcast a speech he gave to the STASI spies of East Germany, they did so in an atmosphere of admiration! They really liked the idea that this Englishman, born into the very heart of the Establishment, had so comprehensively penetrated and deceived his fellow intelligence operatives: they admired the fact that this man had contributed to the brutal Soviet Russian ‘realpolitik’ ideal that the State owns you, body and mind; that it was a good thing that this traitor was responsible for serious flaws and breaches within the West’s secret services. Nothing about the tortured bodies which resulted from his betrayal; nothing about the lives of patriots who died because Philby simply ‘knew better’.
Still, it mustn’t be that much of a surprise to those of us who have been around a while, as the BBC has long been dismissed, by those of us who actually think; as the broadcasting arm of the Communists and the Left-Wing glitterati for a very long time!