With all the recent news of spy rings in our own country, it's a good time think back to perhaps the most notorious alleged spy of them all: Mata Hari.
Who was probably not a spy. At least for the enemy.
Mata Hari's downfall came when she was named as the German spy codenamed H-21 in an encrypted German code during World War I. Mata Hari had previously told the British that she was actually a spy for the Allies, working for the French. But that didn't save her, because the Germans had unwittingly unmasked her.
Or did they?
The Germans were using an old code that they knew had already been compromised. Why would the Germans out one of their supposedly best agents using a broken code?
One theory is that the Germans knew that Mata Hari had been seducing German officers and passing sensitive information to Allied handlers. So when they had the opportunity to fool their enemies into eating one of their own, they pounced on it, framing the hapless dancer for a crime she didn't commit.
But thanks to fuzzy history, unclear military records, and a star turn by Greta Garbo, she'll be remembered as a spy and a traitor to the West.
See more of the notorious Mata Hari.