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Spy Alert!

Meira Feinman

Mission: Join Mishpacha Junior on a tour of the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. Learn all about spies — and their special codes and clever disguises. Keep your eyes and ears open ...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What Is a Spy?

A spy is a person who finds things out secretly. A cover is a spy’s fake story of what they are doing and why they are in a certain place. Maybe a spy’s real name is James Smith. Mr. Smith work for the US government. He’s going to South America to find out some secret, for example its intentions and capabilities during wartime. But his “cover story” will say his name is Harold Green and that he’s going to South America for a vacation! This way, no one will know who he really is. Of course, Mr. Smith has to remember everything about this new identity and pretend he really is “Harold Green.”

Once a spy receives his mission, how does he accomplish it? Very, very carefully! A spy does not want to get caught — the punishment for spying is severe. There are lots of tools he can use that no one else will notice, for example, tiny cameras. These cameras are so small they can be sewn into a coat button or a watch, but they take great pictures!

In fact, one time, the former Soviet Union (now Russia) gave the US ambassador a big, wooden, carved seal of the United States. They said it came from Russian schoolchildren that wanted to give the ambassador a present. But really it had a video camera hidden inside. The seal is now on display at the museum.


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