What The Cold War Teaches Us About Entrapment (& Sex Tapes)

Logically, entrapment could make sense.  

However, a person who tries to entrap another through obtaining audio or video recordings of the deed or admissions has to consider just how they plan to use it and how it might be used against them.  Remember the Cold War?  The phrase “assured mutual destruction” often was heard as a logical reason for not launching a nuke.

Assured mutual destruction also can be the outcome with covert recordings.  In this day and age, audio and video recording devices come in every size and form.  Most cell phones can serve as a discreet audio recorder – yes, there is an app for that.  So the evidence that comes into a court room these days often involves audio and/or video recordings. 

A case in point is yet another highly publicized affair between a corporate executive and a subordinate. Last week, the case of sexual harassment (among other issues) involved an open hearing into whether certain “sex tapes” had in fact been produced during the litigation, as required.  The local news, of course, picked up the story.  

It has all the makings for a movie.  The video is loosely described as showing the subordinate performing a sex act, and the CEO is naked. The now-retired DA was called to testify at the hearing on the tape(s).  Accusations of “invasion of privacy” are tossed about.  Attorneys are accused of misconduct.  Popcorn, anyone?

But, back to The Cold War.  I don’t know this, but I highly suspect that these tapes played a prominent role in pre-litigation settlement discussions.  I don’t know this, but I highly suspect that neither the CEO or the subordinate ever wanted these video(s) becoming part of the public record, broadcast in a court-room, or otherwise able to be picked up by TMZ.  I don’t know this, but I highly suspect that neither person is going to be able to recover from this escapade in the same manner that Paris Hilton managed.  

That the case has now advanced to public broadcasts of the “sex tape” means that mutual assured destruction has occurred.  The card has been played.  The other shoe has fallen.  The negotiation value of keeping the sex tape under wraps is gone.  Long gone. 

So, the lesson here from The Cold War is that covert recordings can be a double edged sword.  Covert recordings may show what the recorder wanted – in the context of entrapment – but to use it may result in the recorder also being in a compromising situation.