What is Covert Action?
By J.V. Grady
"ICH" -- -- Intelligence services generally are
organized into the following major functional areas:
Collection is the collection of Intelligence information, secret
or otherwise, through spying, interrogation, satellites, etc.
If the information is collected through spying or
interrogation, it is known as HUMINT (human intelligence).
If it is collected through technical means such as
electronic eavesdropping or satellites, it is known as TECHINT
(technical intelligence). Open-source
Intelligence (OSINT) is information gathered from non-secret,
Analysis is the assessment of collected raw intelligence and the
processing of it into usable intelligence product that can be used
to guide policy and operations.
has as its mission the prevention of a foreign intelligence
service from obtaining intelligence information from one’s own
country. In a preventative role, it ensures the employment of security
practices to safeguard information.
In a more active role, it conducts operations against enemy
intelligence services; in other words, it spies on the spies.
Such action is often referred to as spycatching.
the most interesting and sinister field in Intelligence is Covert
Action (also referred to as Clandestine Operations, Black Ops, and
Black Operations). Some
do not consider Covert Action as being part of the traditional
Intelligence mission, and they therefore believe that it should be
treated independently and even organized within a separate
feel that, because it often interrelates with Intelligence
Operations and Counterintelligence Operations, it should continue
to remain within the same ruling organization or apparatus.
many types of Covert Action operations, not all of them violent. For example, if a government wishes to influence the politics
of another country’s government, the government may secretly
fund an opposition party in that country in order to influence
that country’s elections. Another
method is to employ foreign newspaper reporters to write articles
that give the version of events, the propaganda, that you want
people to believe, even if it is the furthest thing from the
truth. Or perhaps the
owners or editors of a newspaper or media service can be bought or
won over to allow articles or news stories created by the
Intelligence organization for propaganda purposes to be planted in
the newspaper or media service.
A slant can then be given to influence public perceptions.
For example, mercenaries can be referred to as
“contractors”, thus making people believe that casualties
among the mercenaries are innocent civilian construction workers
who were unjustly victimized.
thing about Covert Action is that it must be deniable.
There is a term called “plausible deniability”.
When a government authorizes a covert action operation, the
operation must be done in such a way that the government can claim
that it knows nothing about it; in other words, the operation must
not be attributable to the government that authorized it.
Action operations are often Disinformation Operations, which are
conducted in such a way as to discredit the opposition or the
enemy. This is done,
for example, by doing a violent action, such as a bombing, but
making it look like the forces of another country or group did it.
Such operations are sometimes called False-Flag Operations,
meaning that the operation is conducted to make it look like it
was done by people serving under another flag, preferably the
enemy’s flag. If
the operation succeeds as designed, people will blame the action
on the wrong party (the enemy).
Thus, public opinion will be won over to the side that
actually did the killing. Such
false-flag, covert action operations are often referred to as
British regularly employed Covert Action operations in Ireland,
with the result that it is likely that the IRA often took the
blame for violent actions with which they had no involvement,
although they were hardly innocent players in the general mayhem.
Many people suspect that the Northern Irish bank robbery
that occurred some time back was actually a British Covert Action
operation designed to make the IRA take the blame, so that people
would believe that the IRA was not honouring the Good Friday
most of the British Northern Irish bank notes taken were worthless
old notes, so they were no skin off anyone’s teeth.
in Iraq is to keep the country destabilized and on the verge of
civil war to show that it cannot govern itself and that it
therefore requires the continued presence of American and British
forces. The man
accused of being behind much of the bombing going on there is Al-Zarqawi,
a man known to be dead for some time now.
Also, because he is (or, rather, was) a Sunni, bombings
against the Shi’ia population, if blamed on him and the Sunni
insurgents, can keep the pot of civil war simmering, thus giving
further justification to keeping American and British forces
recently, two British Covert Operations specialists were captured
in Basra, in Southern Iraq. They
were disguised as Arabs and were carrying bomb-making materials.
When Iraqi police tried to apprehend them, the two covert
action operatives resisted arrest and killed two policemen.
They were eventually caught and held in jail.
After the British military learned that they had been
captured, it sent tanks into Basra to forcibly free the two men. An enraged mob attacked the tanks with petrol bombs, and
people around the world saw British soldiers jumping out of a
flaming tank and being stoned.
The reaction was one of sympathy for the British soldiers.
Few stopped to wonder what was behind the anger and the
assault. Most were
sympathetic towards the “poor” British soldiers, who were
perceived as being unjustly victimized.
So, who is
behind many of the bombings against the Shi’ia and Sunni
populations? It is
quite possible, even probable, that many of them are being carried
out by American, British, and even Israeli Covert Action
you watch the news, think more deeply about what you’re seeing; and when you
read your newspapers, try reading between the lines or wonder
about the source or the writer behind the article.
Has the article been planted?
Is the writer in the pay of an intelligence service?
J.V. Grady <firstname.lastname@example.org> is a former member of US Military Intelligence
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