SSG: Spy/Spec-Ops Group discussion

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Quizzo > How about some technical quizzes?

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message 1: by Feliks, Moderator (last edited Aug 18, 2015 02:48PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1073 comments Mod
Recent remarks about revolvers and safeties, make me see better now that we have some folks with real-life expertise in this group.

So how about this idea: instead of just randomly jawing, why don't each of you (or any of you) try your hand at creating occasional, little, mini-quizzes for the rest of us?

Even if you just have one nifty 'technical topic' you happen to have in the back of your head (via your training, your career, your personal studies, etc) share it with the rest of us. Even if it's from a movie, or a fictional book--that's acceptable too.

Basically, create a fun/instructive 'multiple-choice question' for us, as the whim strikes you. Make them tough! I'll put them in their own discussion bin.

Something like this:

When it comes to the successful use of C-4, the golden rule is--
a) Using the correct amount of plastique for the object you are trying to destroy
b) Using the correct length & type of fuse
c) Choosing where to place the charge
d) Shaping the charge
e) Controlling the direction of the blast

The most compelling reason for Rommel's success in North Africa was:
a) The sense of tactics which he gained in WWI
b) His emphasis on strategy rather than logistics to determine his troop movements
c) His refusal to follow orders sent from Berlin
d) His insistence on aggressive forward movement at all times
e) The Italian control of Mediterranean re-supply ports

There doesn't have to be a single 'right' answer unless you wish there to be. There can be 'none' or 'all of the above' type options. The goal is, discussion and learning.

Who's game to contribute?


message 2: by Michel (last edited Aug 18, 2015 02:40PM) (new)

Michel Poulin | 195 comments Do we provide the answer(s) somewhere in the blog entry or do we wait to see what kind of answers we get?

In the meantime, I certainly have a couple of multi-choice question for the readers:

You are about to stealthily enter a building to rescue someone held inside by terrorists. You are alone and can only count on yourself and only one weapon that you can sneak inside. What type of weapon would you NOT bring with you in order to effect the rescue and why?
a) a compact assault rifle
b) a high capacity semi-automatic pistol
c) a sub-machine gun
d) a tactical shotgun

What is the 'Canary Trap'?
a) a kind of device to trap canaries
b) a plot to attract an enemy in the Canary Islands
c) a method to find where an information leak originates
d) a type of bird cage


message 3: by Feliks, Moderator (last edited Aug 18, 2015 02:47PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1073 comments Mod
You should hold off your answer until

a) you see someone arrive at the answer
b) you see everyone is stumped
c) someone disagrees with all the choices in your multi-choice question
d) someone insists the answer they submit is correct, even if you didn't have it listed as an option
e) someone demands to know why their choice from your criteria, wasn't correct

That's just off the top of my head!


message 4: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 195 comments Feliks wrote: "You should hold off your answer until

a) you see someone arrive at the answer
b) you see everyone is stumped
c) someone disagrees with all the choices in your multi-choice question
d) someone insi..."


Got it! So, what would YOUR answer be to my questions, my dear Feliks?


message 5: by Sirius (last edited Aug 18, 2015 04:59PM) (new)

Sirius Alexander (Sirius_Alexander) | 40 comments These seem more military than technical questions. How about something communication specific, although this is really hard with multi choice questions. But I'll give it a go.

You are in the field, you need to send back documents to your superiors. You only have access to public networks. What do you do? Answer the following questions.

1. What kind of public network would you use?
2. Detail the encryption you would use, on the data you want to send and the machine you are on?
3. What would you do with your laptop before using it for this purpose?
4. What would you do with your laptop after using it?


message 6: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 195 comments Sirius wrote: "These seem more military than technical questions. How about something communication specific, although this is really hard with multi choice questions. But I'll give it a go.

You are in the field..."


Well, this is a spy/spec ops group, so it would be normal that the questions would concern military/paramilitary/spy situations. As for your questions, answers would depend on the situation and location.
A. 1: What is your definition of being 'in the field'? Being in a foreigh city or being in a jungle or desert? That would say which kind of public network is available or not (if you are in the Amazonian forest, good luck to get anything but a satellite link through a portable unit.)
A. 2: If you work for an established, reasonably competent intelligence agency or military/paramilitary organization, then you will have been provided with some kind of communications device with embedded encryption mode (encrypted VHF or HF radio or satcom set, or a cell phone with hidden encryption mode). On the other hand, if you are just a private schmuck trying to play James Bond, then GET THE HELL OUT AND LEAVE THE JOB TO PROS!
A. 3: Encrypt your data or hide it behind some other electronic signal before sending it via your laptop.
A. 4: Unless you intend to spend a thousand plus dollars every time you use your laptop to transmit sensitive data, then I would certainly not destroy it after use. Erasing the compromising files could help against a cursory search of your laptop, but a true expert will eventually get to your hidden data, unless you physically and utterly destroy your memory.


message 7: by Sirius (new)

Sirius Alexander (Sirius_Alexander) | 40 comments Surely current news stories prove that competent operators need to be up to date with tech as well as guns?
I liked your answers. Now let's say you don't have backup from one of the main agencies. What do you do?


message 8: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 195 comments If you don't have the proper equipment to send sensitive data securely, then you should refrain from trying to transmit it electronically. If it can wait, then carry it physically, hidden on your person, until at a secure location or have access to a secure means of communication. If the data you have is so sensitive or precious, then don't take chances with it. If you do, then you may just have handed that data to your enemies.


message 9: by Feliks, Moderator (last edited Aug 18, 2015 07:43PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1073 comments Mod
To Michel's post my answers are a) and c). I don't mind being wrong on the first as firearms are not an area I know well.

To Sirius' post --for argument's sake, I disagree with all the options Sirius offers. If it were me, I'd insist on following Aleksandyr Orlov on all questions of information transmittal. I don't like computer-and-satellite based espionage; I prefer human networks.


message 10: by Sirius (new)

Sirius Alexander (Sirius_Alexander) | 40 comments Human networks are fleshy though. Quick gunshot or a million bucks and the network is cracked. Decently encrypted files will get through no matter where they're sent from. Packetised data streams are impossible to stop.


message 11: by Feliks, Moderator (last edited Aug 18, 2015 09:14PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1073 comments Mod
Cells and compartmentalization worked well for a long time.

When it comes to data technology, I find its a situation of every solution possessing some tiny achilles heel --some vulnerability--which is then exploited and spawns the next generation of flawed solutions, and on and on and on. Every tool has a counter-tool. What one man can conceive (said Holmes, in 'the Dancing Men') another man can deduce. Its circular.

Human relationships at every opportunity, as far as I am concerned. Anything electronic can be stopped one way or another.


message 12: by Samuel (last edited Aug 18, 2015 10:57PM) (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments Anyone have any thoughts on the "Bill Buckley" scenario? The thing all intelligence services fear and pray does not happen to them? Because it does demonstrate the only serious weakness HUMINT has. Get the right guy and with enough time and torture, you could get enough information to slaughter all the assets in a network before the top brass realize what is going on.


message 13: by Sirius (new)

Sirius Alexander (Sirius_Alexander) | 40 comments Don't even need that much coercion. Mi6 in the 50's was riddled with kgb agents. Even in the 80s I vaguely recall there was some crisis due to a Russian spy.


message 14: by Feliks, Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1073 comments Mod
William F. Buckley? I'm just skimming the thread cuz I'm at work


message 15: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 195 comments I was working at the Canadian embassy in Beirut at about the same period of time Buckley, the CIA chief of station in Beirut, was kidnapped and tortured by Imad Mugniyya (not sure about exact spelling), the then head of intelligence for Hezbollah. I believe that Buckley was the victim of poor tradecraft, negligent vetting of agents and contacts and inadequate security. The whole American political, military and intelligence pattern in Lebanon at the time suffered in my opinion of rank amateurism and underestimation of the threat. One example: in 1983, an American IOWA class battleship anchored off Beirut started firing its big 16 inch guns towards the mountains to the south of the city. I later learned that it was firing on Druze villages, for some reasons I didn't know or understand. Who was helping provide security to the American embassy in Beirut at the time? The PSP militia of Walid Joumblat...the main Druze warlord in Lebanon at the time. Weirdly enough, the American embassy was bombed a few days later...for the second time in two years.

Another example of amateurism: During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and siege of Beirut, starting in 1982 (yup, I was there), the Israelis conducted countless air attacks on the Muslim part of Beirut, which was defended at the time by the Syrian Army and Palestinian milicias, with plenty of anti-aircraft guns defending the city. The Israelis didn't lose a single plane to enemy fire. Then, a year later, both the French and the British conducted a couple of air raids in retaliation for terrorist attacks against their soldiers and respective embassy in Beirut, without losing a plane. Then came the U.S. fleet, which launched as well a couple of air raids against objectives in the mountains surrounding Beirut. The result: two aircraft shot down and one crewmember captured by the Syrian Army (which returned him in good health later). The lesson? Never underestimate the opposition, even if you are in your mind the biggest, most powerful military power in the World. Then again, someone could also mention the Mogadishu debacle, but nuff said.


message 16: by Samuel (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments Sirius wrote: "Don't even need that much coercion. Mi6 in the 50's was riddled with kgb agents. Even in the 80s I vaguely recall there was some crisis due to a Russian spy."

The Soviets had to wait a decade or so (and fight WW2) to cash in on the Cambridge 5. All Hezbollah needed was a man with a suitcase full of rocks waiting outside their target's apartment and a fast getaway car idling around the block.


message 17: by Samuel (last edited Aug 19, 2015 10:35PM) (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments Feliks wrote: "William F. Buckley? I'm just skimming the thread cuz I'm at work"

Yeah, poor Bill. The Hezbollah boys did a number on him with enough LSD to disorient an entire hospital ward. Driven to insanity in the span of 15 months, what sick and horrible way to die.


message 18: by Samuel (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments Michel wrote: "I was working at the Canadian embassy in Beirut at about the same period of time Buckley, the CIA chief of station in Beirut, was kidnapped and tortured by Imad Mugniyya (not sure about exact spell..."

Yeah, Buckley failed with his tradecraft. Very costly. Got into a routine which was picked up by the Hezbollah militants surveillance work. And supposedly there was this woman he was seeing on the side who was from a Hezbollah sympathizing family. She told them about him and it went up the grapevine to Mr Imad.


message 19: by Samuel (last edited Aug 19, 2015 10:59PM) (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments Michel wrote: "I was working at the Canadian embassy in Beirut at about the same period of time Buckley, the CIA chief of station in Beirut, was kidnapped and tortured by Imad Mugniyya (not sure about exact spell..."

Beirut. Seems the two greatest humiliations Langley suffered occurred there. There was the car bomb which brought down the front door and killed almost everyone in the CIA station and then we have Buckley's 15 month stay in hell on earth.

Astounding that someone in the US top brass thought that shelling the people who were helping protect the American embassy was a good idea. Tragicomic. Just tragicomic. Someone should have gotten their head checked.


message 20: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 195 comments Samuel wrote: "Astounding that someone in the US top brass thought that shelling the people who were helping protect the American embassy was a good idea. Tragicomic. Just tragicomic.
..."


It was probably a case of the left hand not talking to the right hand. The more recent Benghazi incident seemed to be in the same category of mistake.


message 21: by Samuel (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments Michel wrote: "Samuel wrote: "Astounding that someone in the US top brass thought that shelling the people who were helping protect the American embassy was a good idea. Tragicomic. Just tragicomic.
..."

It wa..."


Indeed.


message 22: by Feliks, Moderator (last edited Aug 20, 2015 08:20AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1073 comments Mod
He was an 'old spy in a hurry'...


message 23: by Samuel (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments Feliks wrote: "He was an 'old spy in a hurry'..."

I suppose so.


message 24: by Samuel (last edited Aug 20, 2015 10:36PM) (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments Back to questions. Here's my set based around the Buckley Scenario:

"Congratulations. You've just been appointed by your nation's intelligence service as their station chief in a geopolitically relevant and dangerous part of the world. Unfortunately, the place where you've been posted to has a competently led terrorist group in the vicinity led by some crazy, cunning men. They learn you're in town and begin plotting your destruction, but not before having a long conversation with you. About assets. And Officers. And networks."

1) What steps would you take and measure you would put in place to eliminate the possibility of the Buckley scenario?

2) Would it be possible for the intelligence service to make a plan to recover you if the scenario happens?

3) Is the only certain way to avoid the Buckley scenario to bunker down in some air conditioned embassy office?

4) Buckley was taken on his morning commute to work, when he was alone and had left his car at the end of the block. How would you plan your own to shut down the window of opportunity for the terrorist group which wishes to kidnap you?

5) If the Buckley scenario is successfully executed by the terrorist group, what is the only thing you can do?


message 25: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 195 comments Here are my tentative answers:
1) Change my daily routine, particularly my routes in and out and my timings for displacements.
2) Only if your own intel service has some solid info about the enemy organization, like where are their headquarters and their safe houses.
3)No! Hunkering down will only make you useless.
4)Again, change your routine constantly and, if possible, have a security detail shadow you discreetly.
5) You either escape as quickly as you can or try to commit suicide to avoid giving away crucial information and burn other agents.


message 26: by Samuel (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments Michel wrote: "Here are my tentative answers:
1) Change my daily routine, particularly my routes in and out and my timings for displacements.
2) Only if your own intel service has some solid info about the enemy ..."


Good answers. Particularly with number 3. A pretty decent point considering what happened to the man Buckley replaced. Even with all the security refinements that have happened since the war on terror began, embassies can never be considered completely safe.


message 27: by Michel (last edited Aug 21, 2015 02:09AM) (new)

Michel Poulin | 195 comments Actually, basing your main intelligence effort out of an embassy or consulate is dumb, in my opinion. Why? Because an embassy or consulate is the one kind of place that you can be assured that your enemies will keep under tight watch, photographing and documenting everyone working in it or frequently visiting it. If I ran a covert intelligence network in a hostile country, I would direct it from some anonymous commercial concern with lots of circulation, like a warehouse or a business office.


message 28: by Samuel (last edited Aug 21, 2015 02:14AM) (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments Michel wrote: "Actually, basing your main intelligence effort out of an embassy or consulate is dumb, in my opinion. Why? Because an embassy or consulate is the one kind of place that you can be assured that you..."

The Soviet Union did that sort of thing. One "official" station based in the Embassy and another for "illegals" where the real work was conducted.


message 29: by Samuel (last edited Aug 21, 2015 02:18AM) (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments I suppose the only advantage of an embassy is that a hostile government can't kill you on it. They can only angrily demand evictions and deportations (unless there's a Tehran Embassy scenario. Which in that case, one would be out of luck and start immediately running for the nearest exit after activating all the shredders and incinerators for whatever documents need to be roasted and diced)


message 30: by Samuel (last edited Aug 21, 2015 02:33AM) (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments Another Question regarding a topic which caused the CIA many headaches in "79".

Say you, a station chief have a mob hostile to your country seconds away from breaching the perimeter of the embassy, there is no way out, the guards are making a tactical withdrawal and you are about to be taken. You are however trying to follow procedure and destroy every last critical document in the station to prevent embarrassment and give the assets and any non official cover officers you are running the time to hide or run for their lives.
Rank from best to worst, the following disposal methods:

A) Strip cut shredder

B) Cross/particle cut shredder

C) Industrial masher which flattens the documents into pulp.

d) Industrial incinerator that takes considerable time to activate


message 31: by Samuel (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments Samuel wrote: "Another Question regarding a topic which caused the CIA many headaches in "79".

Say you have a mob hostile to your country seconds away from breaching the perimeter of your embassy, there is no w..."


The first two can get started up quickly, but can't do volume. The other two can do volume but may be prone to mechanical failure or slow start up times. So pick carefully.


message 32: by Samuel (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments Oh. I almost forgot. Burn Bags. But they can't do volume can they?


message 33: by Sirius (new)

Sirius Alexander (Sirius_Alexander) | 40 comments It's 2015 who prints anything these days? I shouldn't think big country embassies have any physical assets in foreign countries any more. All data will be stored in the home country with encrypted networks to the embassy.


message 34: by Feliks, Moderator (last edited Aug 21, 2015 08:57AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1073 comments Mod
The government, I can assure you, still runs primarily on paper. And phones with cords. There are always off-site storage locations crammed to the roof with both paper and digital. Shredding is often contracted out--bonded companies come and pick up recyclable paper and shred it. They don't use strip-shredders, paper must be turned into confetti. The Ayatollah Khomenei taught us that.


message 35: by Feliks, Moderator (last edited Aug 21, 2015 07:18PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1073 comments Mod
The primary purpose of a shadow-network of communications is so that the embassy and the mother country can deny any involvement in any scandal, should one erupt. Aleksandyr Orlov describes the typical 4-prong system of physical mail communications run by the Soviets. Yes, obviously embassies are always being monitored as are, airports and train stations, physically (and nowadays virtually via the ticketing watchlist). It goes something like this (in ascending order of privacy):
1) official, protected communication between embassy and homeland via diplomatic embassy pouch
2) unofficial communication between an embassy chief and the residentura (the shadow-chief present in the country, running networks)
3) system of 'forwarding' across a neighboring country and the residentura in the target country
4) reliance on cut-outs (e.g., citizens in a series of countries who host mail-drops without knowing who pays them or what they are conveying)

Whatever else is new with the advent of satellite communications, this was the standard scaffolding which could always be relied on, and which will still serve say, a very poor country.


message 36: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 195 comments Even with the advent of high-end encryption, the recent spate of embarrassing hacking of government computers showed us that electronic transmissions are far from completely safe. As Feliks said, and I can attest from experience, there are still tons of paper documents used in intelligence offices, one reason is that briefing someone in a face-to-face meeting is a lot easier with a paper document you can show to your employee/colleague, rather than keeping swiveling your damn computer screen on top of your desk. Also, try comparing simultaneously more than two documents side by side when trying to find similarities into some patterns of info. So, for those who think that modern intelligence is only about electronic data, think again.


message 37: by Sirius (new)

Sirius Alexander (Sirius_Alexander) | 40 comments Out of interest who is currently employed by a government in this group? Seems like we have a lot of very knowledgeable people here, one could create quite a little private force.


message 38: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 195 comments Count me out, though! When I was young, I was fit, strong and adventurous and wanted to see the World (I ended up spending 5.5 years of my 32 years of military service overseas). Now, I am a severely overweight 60 y.o. with back and knee problems. However, if the shit hits the fan, give me a gun and a static firing position to hold and watch out! As for knowledge, I have stopped having access to classified info for over a decade now, but you never forget hard-learned lessons.


message 39: by Samuel (last edited May 15, 2016 11:47PM) (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments Reading a book about Harold Adrian Philby which I downloaded to my smarphone. Got me thinking up a new set of questions......

Congratulations! You're a major intelligence service and you've just woken up to the news that a star employee, a man who was believed to be in the running to become director general of the organization is an agent of a foreign power who has managed to destroy multiple operations and leave several promising assets and sources dead.

1) What's the best way to stop another Philby scenario from occuring? (the book I read and Philby's own lecture at the Stasi said that it was the dependency the SIS had on the upper class old boy network for its officers which allowed Kim the opening to get into the SIS and start digging in his claws. As the man himself said, to the establishment, it was simply incomprehensible that 'one of their own' that had the 'right stuff' would be a traitor.

2) In the 21st century, is it possible for another Philby like fiasco to occur? (valuable employee who seemingly can do no wrong, turns out to be a traitor)

3) What's the most efficient approach to uncovering a traitor? Spot a running thread in a series of consecutive blown operations? See whether a colleague has turned to drink or worse? Ask why a fellow intelligence officer has managed to buy a mansion in Florida on a low paying income? All of the above?

4) What's the best way to get a traitor to confess when you have them caught? Nicholas Eliott, Philby's former best chum and the man who was broken psychologically by the realization he had been an unwitting source took the offensive approach, direct, blunt and laying the cards on the table as forcefully as he could.


message 40: by Samuel (last edited May 16, 2016 11:45AM) (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments For those who haven't seen Harold's lecture, click the following link. In his view, almost all his fellow officers were a bunch of morons. Although considering the man himself was a highly intelligent narcissist, I suspect his opinion is a teeny bit skewered. However, considering what he pulled off, he has every reason to gloat. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35943428


message 41: by Michel (last edited May 16, 2016 07:15AM) (new)

Michel Poulin | 195 comments Actually, considering all the facts now known about Kim Philby and the Cambridge Five, you could say that the MI6 of the time was mostly run by upper class twits who gave more importance to the bloodline of someone than to his actual character and personality when time came to evaluate his potential (God forbid that a woman tried to get to a higher position in the organization than secretary or tea lady). Anybody with an ounce of competence about undercover work could have spotted at least two of the Cambridge Five just by their personality flaws/vulnerabilities (one was an alcoholic, the other a flamboyant homosexual). I believe that, even today, the British government services and armed forces are riddled with small-minded incompetents who hold their positions more to their aristocratic or business connections than to real abilities. In turn, those same 'good old boys' still raise their noses at the 'low class rabble' working under them. Go ask a British sailor or soldier how his officers treat him socially or even professionally and you may get quite a few bitter comments.


message 42: by Samuel (last edited May 16, 2016 04:17PM) (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments Michel wrote: "Actually, considering all the facts now known about Kim Philby and the Cambridge Five, you could say that the MI6 of the time was mostly run by upper class twits who gave more importance to the blo..."

Ah, the 'Ruperts' as former SAS trooper Andy Mcnab called them. In his view, some were alright, more were incompetent and collectively they were held in low esteem by the Regiment and the Green Jackets (his first posting when he joined the British Army).

It is telling that one of the few people Kim Philby genuinely feared was the first and only female MI5 officer, middle class girl who studied law and later joined the Security Services as a secretary and later rose to become a fully fledged officer. He called her 'a worthy enemy that I didn't wish to face'. And she was the one who began to spot the start of a running thread that was connected to him, namely various blown ops around South Europe and the extraordinary rendition conducted by the Soviet Union of the NKVD deputy chief of station in Istanbul

(man tried to defect with his wife, Philby sent word to Moscow central and two 'diplomatic couriers' armed with handguns, bandages and sedatives were flown in to Istanbul)

Without her work, Philby might have lasted long enough to become director general of the SIS. Because of what she managed to piece together, the suspicion began to start.


message 43: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 195 comments Let me guess: that competent female MI 5 officer got rewarded for this with...nothing but sneers, correct?


message 44: by Samuel (last edited May 16, 2016 03:26PM) (new)

Samuel  | 647 comments Michel wrote: "Let me guess: that competent female MI 5 officer got rewarded for this with...nothing but sneers, correct?"

Yep. SIS went to bat for Philby. Managed to convince the top brass to get her sidelined. Kim cultivated friends at both '5' and '6'


message 45: by Lee (last edited Dec 20, 2017 08:57AM) (new)

Lee Sherred (leesherredauthor) | 5 comments Hello guys, just came across this thread while browsing the group. What a good idea! ha ha

Without looking them up, can anyone name me the four, basic, marksmanship principles?

Can you also list the basic principles of cam and concealment?

S
S
S
S
S
M
C
S

With a bonus thrown in.

A


message 46: by Feliks, Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1073 comments Mod
Sirius wrote: "Out of interest who is currently employed by a government in this group? Seems like we have a lot of very knowledgeable people here, one could create quite a little private force."

Me. I'm highly placed for a technical dweeb; but I have a very small footprint politically. That's the way I like it. The fact is, government is a joke. I do deal with terrorism in a key role. But I consider it small potatoes. Its all BS anyway.

I like to brag though, that a close colleague of mine was once consulted by Interpol. In an official capacity. I admire him, he's my hero.

These days though..doesn't it seem as if everything is bureaucratic bullshit? I mean, every single little thing?

Doesn't it seem as if the world lately is a bunch of fegging assholes yammering their mouths off and no one actually DOING anything?


message 47: by Feliks, Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1073 comments Mod
Lee wrote: "Without looking them up, can anyone name me the four, basic, marksmanship principles?
..."


Sorry. I can't. Perhaps Michel, our neighbor to the north, can opine.
He has longstanding military service. Probably the longest in this group.

Me, I don't own a firearm. Too many regulations. Too many databases.

I know a little about surveillance. But I dislike the idea of cameras. There are certain things my employers know I will not do, no matter if I lose my job. I can easily transfer to another agency if push comes to shove. With my background, no question. Easily 6 figures in private sector.

But for instance, my rules are that I don't own a cell phone and will never own a cell phone ( so don't fuqqin bother issuing me one); nor do I have a drivers license.

That kind of person disgusts the hell out of me. Piece of shyt citizens.


message 48: by Feliks, Moderator (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1073 comments Mod
Samuel wrote: "Yep. SIS went to bat for Philby. Managed to convince the top brass to get..."

Philby's autobio has been repeatedly recommended to me. I've repeatedly begged off. I get the gist of the story without having to read his scummy words from his own mouth. Yuck. I prefer the exquisite prose of Rebecca Weston.

Far more fascinating than Philby is the utterly outlandish story of George Blake and his fellow prisoner who sprang him from Wormwood Scrubs. And the links to Paris and the sprawling 1970s terrorist networks. You start researching someone and lo-and-behold, who is he the cousin of? Geezuz


message 49: by Feliks, Moderator (last edited Jan 29, 2018 08:15PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) | 1073 comments Mod
The bottom line for me is that the advent of all this stupid tech crap makes things so 'convenient' and so 'easy' is only a boon for unmanly pussies who are afraid of hard work.

Worse, it represents abdication of moral responsibility. Don't give me push-button warfare.

War carried out by weaklings from behind their desks is revolting. If you're gonna spy on someone, imprison someone, kill someone--step up and show your face. Admit what you're doing and why you're doing it.

Sure, traditional espionage was flawed, but at least it was human. And at the same time, were the worst excesses any more heinous than the godamn politicians they served? Hello, WWI? At least espionage has the merit of halting potential wars before they start.


message 50: by Michel (last edited Jan 30, 2018 12:06AM) (new)

Michel Poulin | 195 comments Feliks wrote: "Lee wrote: "Without looking them up, can anyone name me the four, basic, marksmanship principles?
..."

Sorry. I can't. Perhaps Michel, our neighbor to the north, can opine.
He has longstanding mi..."


What I remember is from the Canadian Army training doctrine, so it may not be told in the same words or particular order than by, say, a U.S. Army instructor. For me, the main principles of marksmanship are:
- Control your breathing. It should be slow and steady. Hold your breath as you start squeezing the trigger, but not for too long.
- Proper grip on your weapon. If you have a sling, use it to steady your weapon, but don't hold it too tight.
- Focus your shooting eye on the target in the distance, not on your weapon's sights (if you are using iron sights).
- Apply a progressive pressure on the trigger. Don't jerk it. The shot should come as a surprise to you.

One thing that I believe in strongly: you should always use aimed semi-automatic fire for anything past fifty meters or so. Firing automatic bursts, except when clearing a room in a building or when caught in a close range ambush in a jungle or dense forest, is in my opinion just a waste of ammo. Even covering fire should be aimed, semi-auto fire. The extra second you will take to raise your head and aim will result in much more accurate and effective covering fire, as your bullets will be going through that window on the other side of the street where an enemy soldier is, instead of only hitting the outer wall around it. If you think that it is too risky to take that extra second and pop your head out to aim quickly your weapon, then maybe you are not made to be a soldier. In the same vein, the notion of 'recon by fire' must have been the most stupid, lazy and wasteful tactic ever thought of. One last thing: I have seen too many times in the Middle East militiamen (aka thugs) make a show of holding a medium machine gun at hip level, take a few steps past a building corner and then empty their whole ammo belt in a long, unaimed burst before retreating back behind the corner, smiling as if they had killed a bunch of enemies. Those idiots only prove one thing by doing that: they haven't learned much from all that 'fighting'.


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