Spy Tips on Destroying a Gun, Kidnapping, Revenge, and more…
As a spy, you’re in the information business – stealing it, protecting it, and, if you have to, destroying it. Some secrets are so dangerous that you can’t allow them to continue to exist. A murder weapon that implicates you in a crime you didn’t commit, for example, is a secret best kept with 4,000 degrees of burning thermite.
Whether you’re operating out of a war room in Langley or commandeering a hotel in South Beach, all CIA investigations work the same. Because analysts are tied directly into federal and local databases, they have information at their fingertips. What they don’t have is a magic button that tells them what is a real lead and what is a dead end. That takes boots on the ground, eyeballs on the screens, and lots and lots of coffee.
Whether you’re kidnapping a ruthless dictator in a foreign country or snatching an abusive boyfriend off the street, it’s best not to leave a mess behind. Using your target’s own car as a getaway vehicle keeps neighbors from asking about the missing owner. Plus, you don’t have to pay for gas.
People tend to think spies are motivated by love of the game, desire for adventure, or patriotic fervor. The truth, though, is that you don’t choose a life as a covert operative unless something deeper is going on beneath the surface, something more personal, something harder to explain, and something a lot more painful.
Jealousy is a delicate emotion. Show someone what they can’t have, and they’ll just resent you. Give it to them too easy, and they won’t appreciate it. They key is allowing them just enough of a taste so all they want is more.
When bugging a watch, it’s better to use a good-looking knock-off than its authentic counterpart, and not just because it’s easier on your wallet. The insides of a fake timepiece are usually smaller and simpler, leaving more room for hiding a listening device. As long as your target isn’t a watch connoisseur, zinc alloy and cubic zirconia are a great way of saying “Let’s be friends.”
In certain neighborhoods, posing as a dirty cop is a great way to confiscate information. It gives you the authority that comes with a badge and invokes the fear that comes with being a criminal.
Protecting a target from a bullet sometimes means taking a few shots at them yourself. A near miss puts the target on their guard and keeps the real gunman at bay. But you can never predict how someone is going to react to a bullet whizzing by their head.
For a spy, revenge is a dish that is rarely served at all. The mission objective always takes priority over personal satisfaction. But if conning a scam artist into burning everything he’s worked his whole life to build serves that mission, it’s hard not to take a little joy in watching it all go up in flames.
A soldier on the battlefield would never dream of intentionally putting a dangerous weapon in the hands of an enemy. But as a spy, sometimes the only way to solve a problem is trusting a bad guy to do what comes naturally. And if you help with the plan, you know exactly how to make them fail.