Spies & Intelligence Agencies
Things may not always be what they seem to be.
To accept whether something happened on didn’t happen, people want to see evidence and official documents . Well there’s a whole world that exists right in between happen and didn’t happen where plausible deniability is the law. That world is the world of intel agencies.
Having people gather intelligence is nothing new. Even the Chinese General Sun Tzu talked about the use of spies, sometime around 400 BC he wrote:
“Thus, what enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is FOREKNOWLEDGE. Now this foreknowledge cannot be elicited from spirits; it cannot be obtained inductively from experience, nor by any deductive calculation. Knowledge of the enemy's dispositions can only be obtained from other men.
Hence the use of spies, of whom there are five classes:
When these five kinds of spy are all at work, none can discover the secret system. This is called "divine manipulation of the threads." It is the sovereign's most precious faculty.
Having LOCAL SPIES means employing the services of the inhabitants of a district.
Having INWARD SPIES, making use of officials of the enemy.
Having CONVERTED SPIES, getting hold of the enemy's spies and using them for our own purposes.
Having DOOMED SPIES, doing certain things openly for purposes of deception, and allowing our spies to know of them and report them to the enemy.
SURVIVING SPIES, finally, are those who bring back news from the enemy's camp.
Hence it is that which none in the whole army are more intimate relations to be maintained than with spies. None should be more liberally rewarded. In no other business should greater secrecy be preserved. Spies cannot be usefully employed without a certain intuitive sagacity. They cannot be properly managed without benevolence and straightforwardness. Without subtle ingenuity of mind, one cannot make certain of the truth of their reports.
Be subtle! Be subtle! and use your spies for every kind of business. If a secret piece of news is divulged by a spy before the time is ripe, he must be put to death together with the man to whom the secret was told.
Whether the object be to crush an army, to storm a city, or to assassinate an individual, it is always necessary to begin by finding out the names of the attendants, the aides-de- camp, and door-keepers and sentries of the general in command. Our spies must be commissioned to ascertain these.”
Feudal Japan had their own spies who people refer to as the Ninja or Shinobi. They wrote about their art in detail in a document that got converted to a book recently called The Shōninki which I’ve had the privilege of reading.
Looking back even the Mongols had a robust spy network that relayed information back to the Khan. (Link)
Intelligence agencies nowadays are multitools. Their main job is gathering and filtering information but they’re also used to execute on anything that needs to be taken care of in the dark.
Getting individuals to spy on their own organizations
Modern day western intelligence agencies break down intelligence in categories. Human Intelligence (HUMINT) the collection of information from human sources. Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) gathering and filtering public information. Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) gathering electronic transmissions that can be collected by ships, planes, ground sites, or satellites. Basically… Stop talking on the phone. Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) Think satellite images. Measurement and Signatures Intelligence (MASINT) Tracking weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons and things of that nature.
The intelligence gathering process goes as so: 1) Gather information on specific thing 2) Filter that information to take out lies and useless info.
Agents of Chaos
To create change you need chaos and competent intelligence agencies excel at chaos. Pouring fuel on every fire, exploiting divisions within countries, causing “revolutions” and more. If you don’t have competent counter intelligence operatives in your government you are doomed if their lens ever sets on you. In every country in the world there is at least 1 group who is dissatisfied with their current regime. Intel agencies may exploit that and try to get that group to overthrow the government or influence them to cause chaos within the country at a minimum.
Why would they do that? Well, take a second to think about it, if you’re constantly putting out fires within your country you don’t have time to do anything else. It’s a way of crippling you and if you don’t watch out they’ll use that chaos to overthrow your leader and put a candidate that favors their policy in charge.
While this tactic is very effective it’s also very inconsiderate of the citizens of that country. The chaos gets many people killed, economy crashes and even if it succeeds the agencies just move on and leave that country in a terrible state. Then again…. Like I always say… The game is the game and players play.
Intelligence as a Service
-Private Investigators (By Ex Police Officer and PI BowtiedCaiman)
As fitting for a capitalist nation, the United States has turned the game of intelligence gathering into a billion dollar industry. Within the broad and loose ethical constraints for her legal system, services such as surveillance, data analysis, counterintelligence, and subterfuge are available to legal firms, corporations, and even private citizens with deep enough pockets.
On any given day in America, thousands of agents working for hundreds of Private Detective Agencies are on the streets digging up secrets:
Many investigate insurance fraud, either through bogus insurance claims or scamming a business partner.
Others track down the whereabouts of cheating spouses and the locations of hidden assets in a bitter divorce.
Some even dig up evidence to be used in a criminal trial to keep a man out of prison….or put his enemy into one.
But as the old crime thrillers of the Hardboiled genre have always suggested, Private Investigation is a dog eat dog world where everything is up for grabs and the lines of morality (and legality) are blurry at best. And unlike an official state intelligence agency, PIs don’t have the protection of relying on the Government to bail them out when they make a mistake. As such, most have to stick to a strict code of Professional Ethics in order to keep themselves and their employees out of hot water.
For that reason enlisting the services of a PI can be tricky if you don’t have the proper connections. Generally, if you think you really need one, you should reach out to a lawyer and they’ll get you in touch with one of their people (all good lawyers should have a shortlist of Private Eyes they can call up to put in work).
If you want to hear more about the world of Private Investigation, hit up @Bowtiedcaiman on Twitter, and check out his Substack, the Caiman Cop Blog
Private intelligence refers to non government agencies and individuals that conduct collection, analysis, and exploitation of information. These individuals usually have backgrounds in government intelligence and chose to monetize their skillset after they leave government. They are usually hired by corporations, wealthy individuals and politicians to give them a competitive edge and or disrupt their competition. They also hire these individuals to collect information on any random subject that intrigues them.
Anyone can hire a private intel specialist if you have enough money. They are mostly contractors and don’t have to be hired full time.
Thank you for reading, this was just an introduction. I wanted to interview a HUMINT specialist for this but it didn’t go as planned, maybe next time.
Follow me on Twitter @BowtiedHitman
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