Saturday, February 26, 2011
"Espionage: how to run agents". 1. Mikhail Kryzhanovsky, KGB
You can get tons of information through technical devices but no device can influence decisions made by leaders of other countries. That’s why for thousands of years to come, a reliable agent will be the top tool of any special service, and their actual names have to be kept secret forever, please. A VIP agent (a top government employee) is a very rare thing and depends hugely on luck, because he can make or influence big political decisions. If he has access to the Oval Office, he can change the President’s plans and strategy, and can sabotage political, economic or military actions. When major presidential initiatives fail, time after time, one might wonder who is sabotaging whom.
The most important thing a secret source can get is a reliable information on any possible attempt on the US President’s life, or concerning a decision of a foreign government to start a war against the United States. A professional agent is actually is both an instrument (to get information) and a weapon (to influence or neutralize people).
A.“Garbage” (60%), the “no trust “ category.
Recruitment is #1 priority for the officer and a part of his working plan and very often he has to recruit people who are not born agents. You can work with a nice guy, teach him, pay him, press him — and he still avoids any cooperation (busy, sick, on vacation, etc.). It’s hard to get rid of him because, first, you have to explain to your superiors why you recruited garbage and second, there’s a rule: if you want to be very smart and innovative, a reformer, who came here to start intelligence revolution and get rid
of a passive agent, recruit an active one first. Also, agents who work under pressure (blackmail) sooner or later slide into this category.
B. Good agents (30%), middle category. They adhere to the rules of discipline and keep the schedule (that’s very important even if there’s no information), deliver a lot of information that you have to verify through other sources, but don’t show much initiative. Used for regular espionage: go and talk to the object, copy documents, make a recording, take pictures, listen, watch. You can trust them and check often, anyway.
C. Born agents (10%). You are very lucky if you can recruit such people. They betray their country with pleasure and sometimes do not even ask for money because it’s in their character — they are looking for adventure or are not happy with their personal or professional life and seek improvement or revenge. They take risks, have good analytical abilities, good education, make (VIP) connections easily, “crack” any object, play the “good guy” whom you can trust. Sometimes they come to you as volunteers, and if they bring valuable stuff — recruit them.
D. Women. Women are a special category here, as elsewhere, and the rule is: if you can’t recruit a real agent, you recruit a woman. It’s not professional to recruit a woman for a serious operation, but if you want to get to an important object, a woman can introduce you. OK, you can recruit a US Senator’s secretary or a typist from the Pentagon, but it will be on your conscience if she gets caught. Such cases entail a life sentence, usually — how would you feel? Besides, women often fall in love with their objects and tell them everything. Finally, a married woman is much bigger problem than a married man.