1. Do not tell the agent about problems and mistakes of the agency, about your personal problems, about other agents, about his own file and compromising information you have on him.
2. Don’t show him any classified documents — you might provoke him to sell the information to somebody else.
3. Don’t trust your agents too much; they can use you to compromise their personal enemies.
4. Never criticize the source — be an adviser. Don’t talk straight if he avoids cooperation or brings you garbage — just reduce or stop payments, or get rid of him.
5. You lose the agent if you don’t pay him for a job well done, ask him to “produce” fake information (to show your bosses how much great espionage activity you have going on) or if you don’t care about his personal security and his personal problems (health, career). And — never give poison to your agent for security reasons.
Questioning the source.
This is of extreme importance — the right question brings you the right answer and top secret info. Give your agent a chance to tell and show you everything he’s brought, no matter how chaotic the story might be or how ordinary the documents look. Don’t make written notices. Don’t bring written questions even if you are talking about some advanced technology — look and be professional. Don’t let the agent analyze the information before he talks to you and don’t let him bring it in a written form — it’s usually not complete; he can lose it; or it may be stolen from him. If there are documents, he has to bring a microfilm. Ask questions — when? where? what happened? why? what’s going to happen next?
After that you tell the story back to him and he adds details. At the end of the meeting give the agent another task and don’t ask him to bring you “something,” because he’ll bring you just that “something” and nothing else.
Remember, questioning is not interrogation; do not bring another officer to the meeting because it will look like cross interrogation.
Teaching the source
Teach your agent to:
- follow security rules while talking to people, working with the documents and especially meeting the officer (some foreign agencies practice open contacts with many people, hoping that the meeting with the agent won’t attract much attention — I don’t recommend that)
- always stay calm in stressful situations
- always keep discipline and come in time
- use analytic abilities working with people and documents — ask yourself as many questions as you can
Checking the source
You can never be sure you are not working with a “double agent,” even if he brings you top secret stuff. Besides, agents are human beings and they make mistakes — they forget about security, spend too much money, talk too much and ask extra questions; if arrested they may not play the hero but will tell everything. Anyway, you can check your source:
a. by fake arrest followed by severe interrogation.
b. through provocation (tell him you know about his “double game” and watch his behavior after the meeting (it’s good to have a listening device or a camera in his house).
c. by making an analysis of all the information and documents he delivers and comparing it with information from other sources.
d. through other agents.
e. through your “mole” in counter-intelligence (if you’re lucky).
f. through technical devices (reading the mail, listening to the phone, secret searching his house and office, watching him through hidden cameras, trying surveillance in the street).
Agent termination (one-way ticket)
It doesn’t happen often but you have to know some special situations when you have to terminate the agent:
1. He knows too much (talks too much) and is ready to betray you.
2. VIP agent (politician) is under suspicion and you can’t help him for political reasons (diplomatic, international scandal, etc.) — in such a case an accident could be staged. It happens that the agent is too close to President.
3. Agent was involved in special operations (murders) and is dangerous as a witness.
4. Agent is trying to blackmail you.
5. You need to press (blackmail) other agents.