Burn Notice Spy Tips Season 1 Episode 7

Spy Tips on Names, “Coverage”, Pick Pocketing, and more

For anyone who works in covert ops, names have a special power. Knowing someone’s real name, who they work for, you’ve got something on them. Out a spy in the field, and you can get him killed. Out a bureaucrat in a restaurant and you’ll just piss him off.

The longer you run from the police, the more certain you are to get caught. There’s a small window of time after a chase begins before backup arrives, before helicopters are deployed. If you want any chance of getting away, you’d best use this time to find someplace secluded and bail out.

In intelligence work, surveillance is called “coverage”. It’s like basketball. You can run zone defense or man-to-man. Man-to-man’s risky. Follow someone too long, they’re going to get suspicious. Zone is usually the way to go. Stay put and let targets come to you. Less obvious, easier on the feet…  

Explaining the rules of covert ops is always a challenge. It’s a world where good guys look like bad guys and two wrongs do, in fact, make a right.

They say you only get one chance to make a first impression with an employer. Doesn’t matter if you’re a store manager or a strong-arm guy, you have to put your best foot forward. Any new employer is looking for the same things. Are you willing to go the extra mile? Can you take the initiative, impress them?

Military firebombs are typically white phosphorus or chlorine trifluoride. These are remarkably effective, but they’re also unstable, lethally toxic, and hard to find at the grocery store. The main ingredient in a homemade firebomb, on the other hand, is styrofoam. A military demolitions expert could put something together in a few hours. An IRA-trained guerilla can do it in twenty minutes… give or take.

Being a spy, you have to get comfortable with the idea of people doing bad things for good reasons, doing good things for bad reasons.

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