Spy Tips on Cops, Napalm, Traffic, and more…
Covert intelligence, at the most basic level, is a type of weapon. Like any weapon, it can be used for good or evil, to make war or peace, to serve justice or power. It comes down to one thing, what you decide to do with it.
In the world of deception spies inhabit, the truth takes on a peculiar power. The truth — the verifiable, unvarnished truth, becomes the ultimate bargaining chip. The irony is that the only time you can afford to play that chip is when everything is on the line. And you only get to play it once.
Spies use different interrogation techniques than police. Cops tend to do their questioning in bright, fluorescent-lit rooms, and they’re legally required to let the bad guys know who they are before they start asking questions. Spies, on the other hand, often start interrogations in darkness in completely unfamiliar locations. And the less the bad guy knows, the better.
You can work in the field your entire life, but telling people their loved ones are dead never gets easier. There’s no training that makes it better, no technique that makes it smoother. You just get through it however you can. In the end, all you can really do with that kind of pain is decide what you’re going to do to make it right.
Napalm, or gelled fuel, is best known for its use in bombs. But it’s essentially just gasoline that has been chemically altered to make it sticky and easier to control. It can be used in explosive devices. But it can also be used in any situation where you need to control the shape and size of a flame, which makes it very useful in forest-fire work, building demolition, and any situation where you want to scare the hell out of someone.
Anyone who has battled big-city traffic knows a traffic jam is just about the easiest thing in the world to create. Any number of fluids poured on a hot engine can create enough smoke to turn a major freeway into a parking lot. If you’re looking to grab someone stuck in that traffic jam, you need a choke point, a place where road conditions restrict visibility.
A career in law enforcement tends to make for a cynical outlook on life. Where spies spend their careers telling lies, cops spend their careers listening to them.
It’s standard protocol for a homeland security officer escorting classified materials to be armed. Less standard for their arms to have silencers.