Counterintelligence Briefing

THE THREAT

Spies do exist; and literally thousands of spies or Intelligence Officers, as they are officially known, and their agents are currently striving to collect intelligence data within the United States. The principal source of these Intelligence Officers is the Soviet Union, their allied nations in Eastern Europe, Cuba, the People’s Republic of China, and smaller Asian communist nations such as North Korea and Vietnam.

The main objective of Intelligence Officers is the wholesale collection of data. The most prized type of intelligence data is a classified document, but unclassified material- even material which appears to be trivial- can also be of inestimable value. In their task of gathering intelligence data, the foreign intelligence services have a large array of tools. Satellites miles above the earth’s surface gather photographic data. Aircraft and vessels gather electronic intelligence. But a further source of data, and potentially the most valuable to a hostile nation, is that acquired through the use of actual spies. The greatest achievement an intelligence organization can have is the placement or recruitment of an agent directly in a sensitive position in a company working on Department of Defense contracts.

Intelligence Officers employ various tactics to enlist what is known as “target employees.” They may use a honeyed, seemigly guileless approach. They befriend targets, treat them to gifts and money, wine and dine them. Many Soviet and other communist agents believe that Americans are hopeless materialists and can easily be swayed by appeals to their alleged greed. In another maneuver, the Intelligence Officer misrepresents himself as a citizen of a country friendly to the United States. Thus, a targeted American may be duped into handing over sensitive information by being led to believe that he is aiding an ally to the U.S. In variation of this tactic, and Intelligence Officer will pose as a representative of a noncommunist country towards which a targeted American is particularly sympathetic. Also, if an Intelligence Officer believes that an individual has communist or similar sympathies, he may make an appeal for information based on ideology. A “pitch” for information may also be geared to take advantage of an American’s desire for international harmony and world peace.

Another favored appeal exploits the American belief in freedom of speech and the free exchange of information. An Intelligence Officer in the role of a scientist may, for example, tell an American scientist that science has no political boundaries. Therefore, in the interest of science, the American is encouraged to share his knowledge with a fellow “member” of the international scientific community. Intelligence agents can also play rough in the quest for strategic information. To such people, espionage is a business. If they feel coercion and blackmail will serve their purpose, they will not hesitate to employ those methods. The honeyed approach can readily turn sour if an agent determines that a targeted employee has personal inadequacies which that employee does not wish to have exposed. Correspondingly, another tactic is the exploitation of a “hostage situation.” If, for example, a foreign intelligence service learns that a target employee has relatives in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, or other communist countries, that employee is in an extremely vulnerable position. First will come gentle persuasion (an agent may produce “letters” from so-called relatives calling for the American to “cooperate”). If that doesn’t work, the agent can suggest that harsh measures could be applied to the relatives.

RECOGNIZING THE APPROACH

Because you are engaged in national defense work, you should be wary of strangers who make an intensive effort at forming a friendship and then slowly but surely begin to use that friendship to learn where you work, the nature of your assignment, who you work with. Be wary of strangers who ask for information not related to their professed area of interest or do not seem to be particularly knowledgeable in their field. Thus if a “scientist” requests data not related to his field or does not seem to know much about his supposed area of expertise, then he could very well be an imposter.

The operative of a foreign intelligence service need not be a foreigner nor need the occasion of your encountering him be in any way extraordinary. He could be a fellow American who has been recruited as an agent by a hostile intelligence operation. He could be a “spotter” who reports to an intelligence service on persons he meets who appear to be susceptible to recruitment and, sometimes, arranges for Intelligence Officers to meet them. Do not expect an Intelligence Officer or agent to expose his role in any dramatic and sudden fashion. Usually, there is a long period of cultivation during which your conversations could be completely normal and innocuous. However, at any point where someone begins to inquire into aspects of your knowledge or activity which are classified or otherwise private, you should certainly stop to consider whether it might be the beginning of an attempt to secure intelligence information for the benefit of another country.

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~ by factorypeasant on December 24, 2004.

5 Responses to “Counterintelligence Briefing”

  1. Also, beware of anyone looking for Moose and Squirrel.

  2. indeed!

  3. I would also avoid taxi cab drivers…
    tc

  4. Especially avoid taxis when driving in a RV and tyring to ditch them by going down a one way street in the wrong direction…

    They’re EVERYWHERE! aieeeeee!

  5. Er, um, TRYING. Yeah. Not tyring. Ugh. I shouldn’t respond to comments until AFTER I’ve had my morning coffee.

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