Intelligence Tradecraft

A - G


Agnor, Francis. "The Interpreter as an Agent." Studies in Intelligence 4, no. 1 (Winter 1960): 21-27. In Inside CIA's Private World: Declassified Articles from the Agency's Internal Journal, 1955-1992, ed. H. Bradford Westerfield, 29-34. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.

This article is not about the technical aspects of the interpreter's art, but rather focuses on the use of interpreters for intelligence collection in both domestic and foreign assignments. The author notes that the immediate information take from such assignments "is likely to be limited," while "the improvement of personal assets can be considerable."

The editor of the Yale University Press collection of articles from Studies in Intelligence stumbles somewhat with a throw-away line in the headnote to this article: "It may be obvious and time-honored ... that language interpreters are used for intelligence collection (and presumably also for some disinformation), yet the literature has neglected this practice." (p. 29) The editor's presumption is erroneous. There is nothing in Agnor's article that would encourage or support such a presumption, so it must originate solely with the editor. The statement betrays a lack of understanding, not just of the methods of intelligence, but of good practice, tradecraft, and common sense.

Bolfrone, Kenneth E. "Intelligence Photography." Studies in Intelligence 5, no. 2 (Spring 1961): 9-16.

Westerfield: Even amateurs may have occasion "to photograph a scene that may be useful to intelligence. Here is how to do it, with ordinary equipment."

Brigane, David V. "Credentials -- Bona Fide or False." Studies in Intelligence 4, no. 1 (Fall 1960): 37-49.

"As a tool in the investigation of enemy agents, document analysis can be used to great advantage not only in making an initial detection but in the handling of known agents, inducing them to talk and confirming or refuting their statements.... Document analysis ... can be equally valuable in determining the reliability of one's own agents and in assessing their reports and missions."

Brugioni, Dino. "Spotting Photo Fakery." Studies in Intelligence 13, no. 1 (Winter 1969): 57-67.

Westerfield: "A guide for the layman."

Bull, George G. "The Elicitation Interview." Studies in Intelligence 14, no. 2 (Fall 1970): 115-122. In Inside CIA's Private World: Declassified Articles from the Agency's Internal Journal, 1955-1992, ed. H. Bradford Westerfield, 63-69. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.

Elicitation seeks "to obtain information without giving the subject the feeling that he is being interrogated." The author interviewed West German scientists "in order to determine the nature and extent of their contacts behind the Iron Curtain." The purpose of his efforts was to identify individuals with some potential for being recruited as agents. The article discusses some "practical problems" attendant to these kinds of interviews.

Bury, Jan. "From the Archives: The U.S. and West German Agent Radio Ciphers." Cryptologia 31, no. 4 (Oct. 2007): 343-357.

From abstract: This article presents a "translation of an in-house research paper of the communist Polish counterintelligence depicting the ciphers and the one-way radio communications patterns used by the U.S. and West German intelligence services against Poland in the 1960s and early 1970s."

Constantinides, George C. "Tradecraft: Follies and Foibles." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 1, no. 4 (1986): 97-110.

Compendium of egregious lapses in tradecraft, across time and borders.

Cooper, H.H.A., and Lawrence J. Redlinger. Making Spies: A Talent Spotter's Handbook. Boulder, CO: Paladin, 1986.

Peake, IJI&C 4.1: "[E]xamples of the authors' lack of grasp of their subject abound."

Copeland, Miles. Without Cloak or Dagger: The Truth about the New Espionage. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1974. The Real Spy World. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1974. London: Sphere Books Ltd., 1978.

According to Petersen, Copeland's views on CIA operations are "held unreliable by some experts." Similarly, Constantinides suggests that readers would be "well advised not to consider the work a reliable reference about the 'new espionage' or many other matters it touches upon." Chambers sees the book as "entertaining, but not necessarily the best introduction" to intelligence activities.

Ameringer, U.S. Foreign Intelligence (1990), p. 9, takes a different view. He sees Without Cloak or Dagger as "one of the few works of nonfiction to concentrate upon the techniques of spying.... Though Copeland's book received unfavorable reviews for hyperbole and allegedly inaccurate details about specific operations, he himself is a former clandestine operator, knowledgeable in tradecraft, and he conveys the sense of espionage as an art, stressing the human factor."

Czajkowski, Anthony F. "Techniques of Domestic Intelligence Collection." Studies in Intelligence 3, no. 1 (Winter 1959): 69-83. In Inside CIA's Private World: Declassified Articles from the Agency's Internal Journal, 1955-1992, ed. H. Bradford Westerfield, 51-62. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.

The focus here is on gathering information from U.S. businesspeople, scientists, and academicians with contacts or who travel in denied areas, and from refugees who have settled in the United States. The article was written while this activity was still handled by Contact Division of the old Office of Operations. There are some good, common-sense thoughts about information elicitation expressed here.

Dhar, Maloy Krishna. Intelligence Tradecraft: Secrets of Spy Warfare. New Delhi: Manas, 2011.

Peake, Studies 57.2 (Jun 2013), notes that the author "has included some historical background and candid comments on what he perceives are the strengths and weaknesses of the Indian intelligence services. But in the main, Intelligence Tradecraft sticks to tradecraft and is thus one of the few books to treat it in such depth. It is interesting and informative, well worth attention."

Dimmer, John P., Jr. "Observations on the Double Agent." Studies in Intelligence 6, no. 1 (Winter 1962): 57-72. In Inside CIA's Private World: Declassified Articles from the Agency's Internal Journal, 1955-1992, ed. H. Bradford Westerfield, 437-449. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.

Duffy, Michael, and Timothy J. Burger. "NOC, NOC. Who's There? A Special Kind of Agent." Time, 27 Oct. 2003, 36-37.

"Some Bush partisans have suggested that the outing of Plame is no big deal.... But the facts tell otherwise. Plame was, for starters, a former NOC -- that is, a spy with nonofficial cover who worked overseas as a private individual with no apparent connection to the U.S. government. NOCs are among the government's most closely guarded secrets, because they often work for real or fictive private companies overseas and are set loose to spy solo. NOCs are harder to train, more expensive to place and can remain undercover longer than conventional spooks. They can also go places and see people whom those under official cover cannot. They are in some ways the most vulnerable of all clandestine officers, since they have no claim to diplomatic immunity if they get caught."

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