Burn Notice Season 5 Episode 1 Spy Tips – Michael Weston Advice

Spy Tips on Cover IDs, Magicians, Police Routine, and more…

In the world of intelligence, taking down an entire covert network is the ultimate challenge. It’s not something you can do alone. You need the resources of an entire intelligence agency behind you. You need solid intelligence that can point you in the right direction. But that’s just a starting point. You’re not after an individual person – you’re after dozens of people, all of them hiding, all of them with resources and skills, all of them fighting you by any means necessary.

It’s a gigantic jigsaw puzzle of information that requires months of research and analysis where one target leads to the next. A courier picked up off the suburban street leads to a spy hiding out as a diplomat in a foreign embassy leads to a hardened group of armed assassins in another place entirely. Sometimes it’s a surgical operation done with discrete teams that no one ever hears about. Other times, it’s all-out war.

But one thing is always the same – with each piece of the puzzle, you find you understand your enemy more clearly. You penetrate the secrecy that shields the people behind the scenes. Working your way to the top of the network to the people pulling the strings. You keep fighting, trying to put that last piece of the puzzle in place. Trying to find that last person who will give you the answers you’re looking for.

RFID security is easy to get around with a device known in the trade as a “gecko.” Complicated electronics, but a simple principle any key can be copied, even a digital one.  

One of the most dangerous times for a spy is right after a job. Your guard is down, which makes it a good time for an attack by your enemies.

One of the things you give up in intelligence is control over your own schedule. It’s a little like being a doctor on call, only your emergencies tend to be thousands of miles away.

The biggest obstacle you can face in an interrogation is yourself – when your own feelings, your own anger, your own desire for revenge are all that stand between you and the information you want. The stronger your feelings are, the hotter your hate burns, the more important it is to set it aside.

Intelligence agencies choose their foreign command centers with a few things in mind. You want a place that’s near main roads but not on them. It’s best if the owner is on the payroll, or is controllable in some other way. You want power for the computers, air-conditioning for the meetings, and a generous late checkout policy in case an operation goes wrong.

When you’re working under a cover I.D. overseas, it’s all about the little things. The farther you are from home, the higher the stakes. That’s why you study. You have to know every visa on your passport, every detail on every document, the entire history of the person you’re claiming to be. It’s true whether you’re pretending to be a Russian spy on a foreign recruitment mission or a clueless American tourist with a bad rental car.

When you’re recruiting an asset from a hostile country, you pose as a citizen of one of your target’s allies. Someone who would never help the United States, for example… Might be perfectly happy to help a Russian.

It’s always a tense time right after you’ve made a pitch to recruit an asset on foreign soil. If they accept, you’re in business. If they decline, you’re in jail, which is why it’s a good idea to have backup.

Magicians and mind readers often use a technique known as shotgunning. In which you determine what your target is thinking by throwing a bunch of information at them and reading their reactions.

The challenge of a good large-scale field operation is to keep all parts coordinated while keeping them as separate as possible. Field units are separate from transportation units. With the command unit separate from both. When things go right, they all work together as one big team.

The problem with remote command centers is what happens when things go wrong. Anyone stuck in the command center is too far away to do anything about it.

The most vulnerable system in any reinforced structure is typically ventilation. Holes that let in air can also let in other things, like the explosive cores of concussion grenades, for example. They’re a high-quality explosive and quite effective. Of course, you have to get them into place without blowing your hands off.

As a spy, your job is intelligence. Whether you’re after national-security secrets or operational information about the people who destroyed your life, the job is the same.

There’s no greater satisfaction than that moment when you finally get the answers you’re looking for.

A well-trained police force knows that the first priority when arriving at a scene is to establish a perimeter and lock down the area. You let them do that and, chances are, you’re not getting out.

That’s why it’s important to make sure that they have a higher priority, like dealing with a more urgent threat. If you’ve got enough ammunition and a good oscillating fan, you can keep them busy you can keep them busy. While you’re busy getting away.

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