Monday, June 3, 2013

Today in Skye's Spies: Spies Wives Get Big Surprise, Top Gun's Missile Whistles,

Spies' Wives Get Big Surprise  

I was reading this story about in Skye's Spies Daily Intelligence News about two Indian spies who were recently arrested for spying on behalf of Pakistan. Reportedly, the wives woke up to find out their husbands were traitors and were none too happy about it to say the least. One of the men used his wife's phone to call his handler which implicated her in the case. She underwent some serious interrogation before they found out she was innocent.

(Let me just stop right here for one second. If my husband's treachery caused me to get interrogated, he would be calling the FBI, begging them to pick him up. I'm just saying.)

But it struck me that, this is pretty much the way spying works everywhere in the world. The family is usually unaware. Unless of course, you're CIA case officer Aldrich Ames and you're married to Rosario, who pitched in a hand to help him so she could fund her shopping sprees with the Big Bucks!


In my Spying 101: M.I.C.E. Make Rats post, I speak about motivations for spying. In this case of one of these Indian intelligence officers--the motivation was combination of "C" and "E"--compromise and ego--same all over the world. The officer handed over one little piece of what he thought was innocuous intelligence and got paid big bucks for it--but at that point he'd spied for a foreign country and probably didn't even realize the severity of his action. Then his handlers coddle him and he hands over another piece of intelligence that's just a little more classified than the first and every time the intelligence becomes progressively more critical and the money gets better. At the same time, they're stroking his ego, treating him well with the 5 star hotels and travel. And all the while you can be sure they're telling him, "This is the BEST intelligence we've ever received. EVER. You're the man. And you're really good at this!" And he brings more and gets paid more, each time digging a few more feet into his own grave until he's arrested--same all over the world.

Then Indian "FBI" comes in, confiscates the money and everything purchased with the money. His family is left with nothing except the legal bills. The wife's filing for divorce so she can re-marry the  intelligence officer who was smart enough not to spy for another country. The intelligence service who recruited him can't do anything to help him. They hang traitors in India, right? No rescuing him from that...or he might spend the rest of his life in prison.

And that's pretty much how a traitor's life goes...eventually. Same all over the world.

It's a slippery slope, espionage is. One false move and it's hard to redeem yourself unless know...turn yourself in and do jail time. Who's gonna do that?

The method of operation is the way the Russians work, and the Americans, and all intelligence services. One of the best lessons I learned about human intelligence came from a former CIA Case Officer. Years ago he was teaching a course and he told me something that served me well in my counterintelligence career. He said spies from every country pretty much learn the same tradecraft and they all go to work with the same toolbox. The only thing may differ on any given day is which tools their country train them to use regularly to support its operations.

Same Toolbox, Different Countries.


Top Gun's Missile Whistles

Okay, so this isn't spy or intelligence related, but it's too cool not to share. A U.S. Marine pilot firing a missile in a training exercise. As a HUGE fan of Top Gun, which is about as close as I'll ever get to an up-close view like this, I had to share.


  (Image Credit: U.S. Marine Corps)
And that's all I have to say about that!
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