Anatomy of a Honey Trap

Marjorie Garber

in Loaded Words

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242047
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823242085 | DOI:
Anatomy of a Honey Trap

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Supporters of WikiLeaks proprietor Julian Assange protested his arrest in Sweden on sexual charges as a classic “honey trap”—a sting operation in which an attractive person is used to entrap or coerce a target. In this case, the claim is that two Swedish women used sex as a way of trapping Assange. “Honey trap” is a phrase more familiar in Britain than the United States, and its connection with sting seems more than coincidental. The honeybee has long been associated in literature and political philosophy with a model of human society—from Virgil's Georgics to Bernard Mandeville's Fable of the Bees to Leo Tolstoy and Karl Marx. But although the term “honey trap” was originally associated with espionage, the Oxford English Dictionary says that it is now onw which is found “especially in journalism.”

Keywords: honey trap; sting operation; WikiLeaks; Julian Assange; honeybee; espionage; journalism; literature; political philosophy

Chapter.  1239 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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