Meet Wilhelm Stieber, the "Godfather of the Secret Police" and the forerunner of of unaccountable intelligence agencies everywhere ...

He was "the man responsible for the Prussian government’s propaganda machine, euphemistically called “the Central Information Bureau”. /1
Stieber achieved much of his early "success" by digging into Karl Marx's 1850's intellectual circle

Stieber came to London to do an espionage report on him (Marx), and thus established himself as history’s first 'Red hunter' /2…
All methods to silence and discredit Marx and friends were "fair game". Stieber stole the membership listings of Marx's Communist League. The info in the files was sent to France and to several German States.

Many of Marx's associates were then sentenced to long prison terms. /3
As a "master-spy" he "built not one but two national espionage services, both of which paved the way for future brutal espionage services." /4…
He "was an expert in undercover operations, counterintelligence, covert influence operations, and clandestine intelligence collections."

Tactics and influence which live on in intelligence agencies around the world to this day. /5
Stieber understood intelligence as a strategic campaign of not only finding the enemy’s secrets but denying the enemy and even the public information that would hinder the government’s strategy. /6
Stieber was (also) infamous for preying on people considered compromised. Stieber used blackmail to gather information from government and military personnel. /7
Stieber utilized social programs to garner favor and recruit spies. He established the “Prostitutes Recovery Fund” to recruit prostitutes for his honey traps." /8
“He recruited 1,000 pro-Prussian laborers and found them jobs on the French railways” and paid them an extra 25% of their wages to become sleeper agents" /9
"Stieber ran a national covert action influence campaign. He hired 800 minorities within the Austrian empire to stir up racial tension." /10
"Stieber understood that vast intelligence networks are needed rather than only a few targeted collections. He saturated 'a target area with so many spies that they could hardly fail to procure detailed information on every aspect of enemy military and political status'" /11
"Stieber fathered the idea of a single intelligence service that handled political intelligence as well as served as a secret police." and "His activities were directed internally as much as externally." /12
He also relished in his role in creating fear and terror both in terms of practicality as well as in personal enjoyment "execute(ing) persons accused of spying without evidence to frighten anyone contemplating spying on the Prussians." /13
He also relished in his role in creating fear and terror both in terms of practicality as well as in personal enjoyment "execute(ing) persons accused of spying without evidence to frighten anyone contemplating spying on the Prussians." /14
"During the siege of Paris, a young Frenchman was brought into Stieber’s headquarters at Versailles, accused of spying. He was obviously innocent, as one of the Prussian officers at once pointed out. That made no difference to Stieber." /15
“He must be executed,” declared the Prussian spy chief.

“But he is innocent, and he was married only two days ago,” protested the officer.

“That makes my task all the more painful,” replied Stieber and indeed, the Frenchman was duly executed. /16
/ Nazi Germany "would take his lessons to heart. 'With the ascendency of the Nazis a spy master in the tradition of Stieber has taken command' the Milwaukee Journal announced upon the rise of Heinrich Himmler (The Milwaukee Journal 1940)." /17
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