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12 July 2010


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If there is any antiquarian interest in spying and associated arts ....


Spies, gaining access to all these corporations and finding out jealousy, hatred and other causes of quarrel among them, should sow the seeds of a well-planned dissension among them, and tell one of them: "This man decries you." Spies, under the guise of teachers (áchárya) should cause childish embroils among those of mutual enmity on occasions of disputations about certain points of science, arts, gambling or sports.

Fiery spies may occasion quarrel among the leaders of corporations by praising inferior leaders in taverns and theatres; or pretending to be friends, they may excite ambition in the minds of princes by praising their high birth, though they (the princes) are low-born; they may prevent the superiors from interdining and intermarriage with others; they may persuade the superiors to interdine or to intermarry with inferiors; or they may give publicity to the consideration of priority shown to inferior persons in social intercourse in the face of the established custom of recognising the status of other persons by birth, bravery and social position; or fiery spies may bring about quarrel among them at night by destroying the things, beasts, or persons concerned in some legal disputes.

In all these disputes, the conqueror should help the inferior party with men and money and set them against the superior party. When they are divided, he should remove them (from their country); or he may gather them together and cause them to settle in a cultivable part of their own country, under the designation of "five households" and "ten households"; for when living together, they can be trained in the art of wielding weapons. Specified fines should also be prescribed against any treacherous combinations among them. He may install as the heir-apparent a prince born of a high family, but dethroned or imprisoned.

Spies, under the guise of astrologers and others, should bring to the notice of the corporations the royal characteristics of the prince, and should induce the virtuous leaders of the corporations to acknowledge their duty to the prince who is the son of such and such a king, and who is the hearer of their complaints. To those who are thus prevailed upon, the conqueror should send men and money for the purpose of winning over other partisans.

On occasions of any affray spies under the guise of vintners, should, under the plea of the birth of a son, of marriage or of the death of a man, distribute as toast (naishechanika) hundreds of vessels of liquor adulterated with the juice of madana plant. Near the gates of altars (chaitya), temples, and other places under the watch of sentinels, spies should pretend to declare their agreement (with the enemy of the corporations), their mission, their rewards, and bags of money with the golden seals of the enemy; when the corporations appear before the spies, they may tell the corporations that they (the spies) have sold themselves to the enemy, and challenge the corporations for war.

Or having seized the draught animals and golden articles belonging to the corporations, they may give the most important of those animals and articles to the chief of the corporations, and tell the corporations, when asked for, that it was given to the chief (for the purpose of causing quarrel among them).

This explains the method of sowing the seeds of dissension in camps and among wild tribes.

Surprisingly little has changed in 2300 years.

William R. Cumming

To some degree I agree with all the comments. But in fact industrial and economics down to the individual rakeoffs from society are in fact most likely to be of interest to the present nation-states. Do the cafe societies of Europe worry about invasion and conquest other than by demographics? No! Does the Nation-state the US worry about invasion or conquest? No other than by demographics. Does Russian worry about invasion or conquest? No! It worries more over its public and private health and wealth. And Brazil, China, Pakistan, and India--what to worry another green revolution will save them from the tough agricultural and environmental caused by modern industrialization. And the mega cities like Mexico, Lagos, Cairo, etc. what to worry there except conquest by disease and poverty? Yet the small sometimes infintessial advantages the elites of one country can gain over another will always drive the spy trade as the costs of military capability ratches up. Still the very thrill of killing and its prospects will always thrill the demented and zealots so they must be watched and prevented from conducting random violence. So Bond's will be needed not just debonair Scots with a tough demeanor and dash of menace. No HUMINT will always be needed except where the state gets its systems in place so that the state security services can collect the very breaths and numbers of breaths of each of its citizens, important or not, and be willing to manipulate threats to its existence. And before the end of the century will not there be UAV's circulating 24/7/365 for a number states available to kill all who might dissent to their systems of governance. The real lessons of the 20th Century is not that states can kill even its own citizens but that it can control them directly and indirectly. Threats to that control will always exist and therefore INTEL orgs will shift largely to a domestic focus this century, IMO!


I agree that human espionage is never going to die. I also suspect that not only is the "Human intelligence" factor "only Five percent", it may be the most valuable Five percent.

Moving troops and warships, studying fuel stocks and logistics, the movements of important people is no doubt important, but by that stage your opponents intentions are fully formed.

How much better would it be to be able to create and manipulate, in T.S. Eliots words "the shadow" between the desire and the spasm, the potency and existence, the essence and the descent. In other words, to manipulate intentions before they are even properly perceived? That is what the Zionists do very successfully via a variety of human means.

I also suggest that criticism of the CIA may be misplaced. The best reputation an intelligence service could possibly have is that of a bunch of bumbling old has beens. I would hope for all our sakes that the reality (if there is such a concept in intelligence) is quite different.

Patrick Lang


There never was a "OO" section in MI-6. There are no James
bonds in MI-6. there never were. CIA does not employ a staff of assassins. the movies are full of c--p.

If you want to find someone who kills, go look in the armed forces.

You have conflated several things that are connected only in cheap novels and in the movies. Internal police work and special ops done with guns are not about "espionage."

"Espionage" is about information collected in the way that I described in the NJ.


Cold War Zoomie

In my little corner of the Universe, it's the 5% that can make or break the other 95% of the effort. If it goes tits up, lots of headless chickens start circling the hallways.

The Twisted Genius

Espionage is an art... an art that is in desperate need of wise and patient patrons in our services. It is an art learned from experienced teachers and masters and honed through careful practice. It requires creativity and boldness to create a worthy piece of espionage art. Human nature in all its varieties and the vast international environment form the canvas. The minds of the case officer and the agent are the pigments. This art requires time and inspiration... and both are anathema to the bureaucrats. Sadly, these bureaucrats try to reduce espionage to a checklist and a near emotionless business relationship. This is assembly line espionage. It is usually shoddy and of dubious value, but there is lots of it.

eagle in the mountains

"CIA does not employ a staff of assassins. the movies are full of c--p."

With all due respect, Colonel, what about the Special Activities Division of the CIA?


In this article


evidently based on interviews with Bob Baer, we find this description of his second wife, Dayna:

"Dayna was a social worker in Orange County before she joined the agency, became a “shooter” in the CIA’s Office of Security, trained to kill with a pistol, trained in “target acquisition” in crowds using a quick-draw purse with a false bottom where she kept a Glock. She once worked protecting the queen of Jordan during public appearances."

Here is what Baer is quoted as saying about his own activities:

"When I asked Baer if he had ever committed assassinations for the agency, he said, “Nope, sorry to disappoint, but I ordered the deaths of over 2,000 Iraqis in paramilitary operations. Does that make me an assassin or a mass murderer?”"

The Phoenix Program?

Or are you making a distinction between the actual intelligence gathering and the organizational location of the person actually pulling the trigger?

Even so I had the impression that there were CT operatives in the SAD that were allowed to pull the trigger.


Really just trying to learn.

Patrick Lang


After having thought it over I would recommend to you the entire "Reilly Ace of Spies." TV series. Conan Doyle is good too. I suggest the "Mystery of the Great Sumatran Rat." And then there are always the early LeCarre stories. I met Cornwell when he was writing "The Little Drummer girl." He confessed that he was really Bob Baer in disguise. Bob and I are old pals. He used to tell people at cocktail parties that he worked for me. An interesting cover. You know, telling people that you work for another intelligence agency. In Defense we only did that to the Canadians. The only trouble with his DIA "cover" was that the business cards he handed out were not backstopped at all. Someone will explain that for you. pl


Academics, particularly historians, seem to make good intelligence officers. Painstaking research, and a little imagination, seems to be the necessary skill.

J.J. Angleton and the British Gentleman who polished his glasses with his tie come to mind.

William R. Cumming

PL! Fully agree "death up close" is out of favor. Better the UAV missile strike to a cell phone location based on conversation being captured.
The strings of the INTEL harp are often played long distance and probably have to be for deniability. As we know it will soon no longer be those "magnificant men in their flying machines".

Patrick Lang


I have not world nor time enough to deal with your education. Find your Aristotle elsewhere. pl

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