Spy Tips on Torture, Fighting, Intelligence Gathering, and more
Jobs in agriculture are a convenient cover. Makes it easy to explain your presence in the field and the boardroom. The only downside is you might have to become an expert on chickpeas.
You can tell a lot about who’s following you by the maneuvers they use. Quick, evasive driving, Casual bailout, feigning car trouble. these are signs you’re dealing with a professional.
Cultivating intelligence assets usually requires some wining and dining. The more connected someone is, the more they know, the more they feel entitled to a little special treatment.
Smart operatives know how to steer the conversation towards the information they need. Clever assets, on the other hand, know how to make the wine-and-dine phase last as long as possible.
Stun guns are a great way to bring down a larger opponent. The only problem is, if you use one on someone who’s touching you, You’ll zap yourself, too.
The fact is, torture is for sadists and thugs. It’s like getting groceries with a flamethrower. It doesn’t work, and it makes a mess. Getting useful information is about creating a new reality for the interrogation subject with no hope of escape or freedom. You control every aspect of their world – how they eat, where they sleep, even whether it’s day or night. When it’s time to ask questions, you want them disoriented, anxious, wondering who you are and what you can do to them. You have to make them understand that their entire future, their hopes, their dreams, every breath they will ever take from then on. It all depends on one thing, talking.
It can take a lifetime to convince someone to trust you. It’s much quicker to make them feel like they need you to trust them.
A fight is one of the quickest ways to tell if someone isn’t who they say they are. If you say you’re Russian but fight like an American, consider your cover blown. Which means you better know Sambo, the mixed martial art of Russia. Of course, you also have to win the fight. A great cover ID doesn’t help much if you’re dead.
A thermal camera is a great tool for scouting. It’ll tell you where the warm bodies are in a building or which rooms are designed to make those bodies invisible.
One issue in dealing with modern criminal gangs is that their operations are diversified. The heat shielding you hope is hiding a human-smuggling operation, could be hiding radio emissions from software-pirating computers.
A good interrogator paints a picture of the world outside for a detainee. Whatever he’s holding onto, you take it away. His organization – crumbling, his friends – traitors, his precious information – useless.
Working an information source is a delicate art. Ideally, you can get all the information you need with kind words and free drinks. When drinks and good company aren’t enough, however, a good operative has to apply pressure, and that means knowing just what a source loves.
One of the hardest things to do in a fight is to make it look like you’re trying to kill someone without doing permanent damage. They don’t teach any half moves in combat training. There are moves designed to kill and maim as efficiently as possible. If those are off limits, one option is opening your fist right before a punch lands. Painful, but the force is distributed. Another showy option is a kick to the shoulder. You might break a rib or two, but if you aim right, nobody’s going to the morgue.
In the spy game, you spend a lot of time getting people to betray their own. Most do it for money. some do it for spite. But the greatest achievement is to get a guy to turn on his own people because he thinks he’s being loyal.
Intelligence-gathering isn’t all running around with a gun and a spy camera. When the operation demands it, you get to sit in a hot car with no air-conditioning in downtown Miami.