Spy Tips on Interrogation, Stealing Large Files, and more…
Interrogating a hostile prisoner is a little like proposing marriage, you want to get it right on the first try. So you don’t settle until you find the perfect spot. You take special care to create the right ambience and set the mood, and then you wait for the best moment to pop the question.
The threat of rendition is usually more persuasive than the fear of immediate torture. For prisoners who want to believe that they’ve hit rock bottom, the idea that their circumstances could get even worse is a powerful motivator. It’s kind of like the grass always being greener, only in reverse.
Every interrogation is a struggle between two parties for control. But when forward progress depends on you giving up this control, you have to be careful. An overt show of weakness is transparent. Bluffing strength and allowing that bluff to get called creates a believable fiction that lets the person across the table think they actually have something on you.
Bureaucracy is a spy’s best friend. The overlap between city, county, and state emergency response creates confusion that can be exploited at a crime scene. If you wander in off the street and claim jurisdiction, you buy time by wrapping yourself in red tape.
For a spy in a rush to steal large computer files quickly, file-sharing sites are a dream come true. File sharing has none of the drawbacks of e-mail. There are no size limitations on uploads, no waiting for files to bounce through multiple servers, and no electronic trail leading back to the account on the receiving end. The only drawback is, whatever you post can be seen by anyone in the world. But since nearly every visitor to these sites is busy trolling for illegal-music and movie downloads, chances are good no one will think twice about whatever boring intelligence you’ve left there.
When an operative hears a gunshot, his first instinct is to identify where the shot came from. When a civilian hears a gunshot, he might turn to locate the source of the shot or he might run straight for the nearest building, which is a problem if that building’s been rigged to explode. At that point, you may have to choose the small injury over the big one.
There’s a reason why most thieves work at night. Darkness makes it easier to commit crimes. But darkness also makes it harder to see where you’re going when you’re trying to escape. Infrared paint is invisible in daylight but can be seen under a black light or with the help of I.R. goggles. Useful if you need to find an exit in the pitch black.
There’s an art to letting someone think they’re corrupting you. You can’t be too eager or too reluctant. You can’t be too quick or too slow. Most of all, you have to sell the guilt in the eyes that comes with betrayal. Once they think they own you, then you make your move.
Hydraulic arms are safety features that slow the speed a door can close, to minimize injury. But wrap a belt around them, and they can be turned into an improvised lock.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a spy or a civilian, falling isn’t fun. You can minimize injury by absorbing shock with your knees and rolling as you hit the ground. But the most important thing you need to do is remain calm and accept that it’s going to hurt.
To stop a moving car, you can kill the engine, kill the driver, or kill the tires. If you only have a small amount of explosives, the tires are your target. The trick is getting the charge in the right place.
When you’re interrogating someone with nothing to lose, you have to give them another reason to talk. If you’re looking to motivate someone who’s cut off, alone, and convinced they’re going to die, you can’t beat revenge.