Monday, May 2, 2016

A short comment on Forward Observer's "Introduction to Counter Intelligence"

“O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! Then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.”

If you have not already read it , you would be well served to read Forward Observer Magazine's piece "Introduction to Counterintelligence" .  If you are reading my article here first, go to it as your next stop.  Do not pass go, you get the picture.  I will state off the bat that the author does not misstate the nature and importance of counter intelligence (CI).  I do veer off his path in that it is my firmly held belief that CI is not a function that you do AFTER an event, or after "SHTF"..., you do it now, you do it continuously, you practice what you preach and you protect you and yours, as well as your interests by doing so.

"Crikey, PZ!  what are you, paranoid?" I can hear the unseen masses of Readers state through the interwebs.  The time worn answer is that just because you exhibit the signs and symptoms of that mindset, does not mean that they are not out to nail your hide to the wall as an example. Some people do that for sport, some for internal demons and general psychopathy, others that actually do want you gone or made example of.

CI scales from your daily interactions (passersby, door to door "sales", "wrong" phone number calls, unfamiliar cars parked nearby, unusual wireless routers popping up...), to your job (hey boss, I found all this customer data in the dumpster, want me to shred it?  ... nah, just toss it, who would want THAT?), to politics.... your local delegate/congresscritter has a taste for whores? coke? man love?  Maybe you'd better take note of those pressure points. If you note them, you'd better bet that someone else already has and is pulling that lever for all it's worth.

Counter Intelligence (CI) is above all else a defensive mechanism (you are countering enemy intelligence) with some offensive/proactive activity to protect information/assets/resources, to conceal or obscure the fact that something is an asset/resource or data of yours.  It is a discipline that is used to sort out who or what is trying to exploit/hurt/harm/kill/compromise you and yours, and why.  It provides the structure of thought.  It is inherently cynical out of necessity. You must understand that the assembled crumbs of your life can and just may be used to hurt you or your loved ones.  It is your DUTY to understand this, and understand that all is NOT a "Sesame Street" episode, that real people will and do want to harm you for a variety of reasons; personal, political, psychological and financial.  Sometimes all of the above.

To understand what you are dealing with when you look inwards and at the layers of interface within any organization, I would urge you to dig into the topic like a hobo into a ham sandwich.  If you read THIS and work backwards, you can see your own organization/unit/family/clan/tribe and how its very human nature leads to gaps and seams that external entities, from sexual predators/creeps to actual state sponsored and even state entities exploit in recruiting.  The petty jealousies, perceived slights and actions of cats paws via actual psychopaths can be mapped out to a degree that enable you to coldly assess the risks.  In doing so, you will save lives.  You will.  You must.

Knowing what you have to protect is another item entirely.  How can you protect what you don't know is of value?  Details of personal relations and histories can be used to create fissures in your family or larger structure.  It is not just social security numbers, credit card data and tax receipts that are important.  It is the human data that REALLY allows a Judas to appear and shiv you.  It may not be fatal, but the psychopath does it for the lulz and narcissism.

From a foreign viewpoint.  No joking matter.

Counter Intelligence... let me be clear... extends to friends and family, to business associates as well as co-workers. You better know who is in your life, and in the lives of those around you (and their actual circumstances, pressure points and potential for leverage).  Your initial indications may be a sense of unease, something not quite right, a behavioral change.  This applies to state level entities ("hey, Mona the CEO's receptionist is a little off lately, I wonder what is up?  Who is that new guy she's been seen with we hear nothing about?") as well as your most intimate as well as familial relations.  The book below on Angleton is worthwhile, in that one should read it as a gateway into the structure of the CI world.  Did he go too far?  Was he right?  The way history has unfolded, I'd wager he was right.

While the big organizational manuals like the U.S. Army FM 34-60 may be of utility to the Reader to get a handle on the scope of it, the subject really is a lifestyle, a mindset and a world view.  While it may seem like, "oh, it's 1500, time for me to spend the next 1.5 hours of the day doing CI stuff",... it really is in fact a 24/7 tasking issue. To be frank, I am still finding fresh insights into events that happened almost a decade ago that dramatically changed my life.  I am glad that I survived, but the events just sit there as facts in a larger milieu that the gears slowly turn on.  An "insignificant at the time" event in the larger sense was part of the key that finally opened up understanding for me.  I was lucky in this, others, not so much.  Be lucky in CI by making your own luck.

Very approachable with some CI elements within it!

It is beneficial to you to consider that you are never finally successful at CI, it is a journey and not a destination.  It is not a certificate or a billet.  It is only your life and the lives of your loved ones on the line.  No pressure.  Just do it.  Think about it.  Think about why, about who.  Think about egos, vices, resources, the emotional, the blackmailable who may be around you who could be pressured to harm you.

Link to The Red in the Streets of Chicago:  previously published post that demonstrates why understanding and practicing CI "now" is important.

Link to book review of Wolves Among the Sheep which outlines counterintelligence and human intelligence strategies for identifying dangerous individuals and how to mitigate their impact and keep yourself, your family and your organization safe.

Amazon Purchase Link for "NooElec NESDR Mini 2 SDR"

Amazon Purchase Link for CI Optoelectronics Digital Scout RF Frequency Counter Bug Detector

For those of you out there looking for something mainstream to introduce, perhaps sensitize an audience to the unique rigors of the discipline, I suggest a film drama called "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" based on the novel by John LeCarre.  Also, try "Jack Strong".  The stakes are real, even in these more or less fictionalized accounts. People will absorb a bit if they watch this with you as part of movie night or whatever bourgeois ritual you follow.  I do it, we all do it.  Get a "chick flick" as the opening feature to soften them up first to open the neural pathways and get the channels open.  DON'T expect to get laid by making CI themed films part of "movie night", but you have a higher purpose, right? You'd better.

Amazon Purchase Link to "Jack Strong" (based on real events)

In conclusion, CI is something we all do or need to do as an inherent function in order to not get swindled, used, set up, defamed or otherwise harmed/killed or worse.  We do this function not only for ourselves, but our families.  Smart leaders do it for their firms, or their units.  Only the foolish ignore it.

A scene from "The Prisoner", a series with the visionary Patrick MacGoohan
You can read "The Red in the Streets of Chicago" on why understanding and practicing counterintelligence techniques is important HERE.

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Counterintelligence authored by StopShoutingBlog contributor and #FAB50 Blog Award Winner Partyzantski, coolest cat on teh inner webs, retired Mustang, former FID embedded military Advisor, SASO trainer and scenario developer, Electronic Warfare Aviator, PME instructor, certified Force Protection and Anti-terrorism officer and combat seasoned USMC (0202) field grade intelligence officer. When not blogging or maintaining weapons proficiency at the range, he enjoys cat herding and travel to off-the-beaten-track locales. You can follow him on Twitter @Partyzantski  

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