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TUCoPS :: Spies! :: trdcraft.txt

Tradecraft Jargon





    January 18, 2003


      Tradecraft

Tradecraft:
    The methods of the covert operatore. The term includes the
    techniques of surveillance and counter surveillance, and
    communications between case officers and agents. Also includes the
    techniques of covert entry and interrogation.

Backstopping:
    The creation of a cover involving a legitimate business. If
    questioned, the business confirms the cover.

Blind Date:
    Meeting at the place and time of someone else's choice, with
    accompanying risk of set-up.

Blow:
    To expose, often unintentionally, elements of clandestine activity.

Brush contact:
    Discrete momentary physical contact between two agents in which
    material is transferred.

Brush pass:
    A meeting in a public place for the exchange of material. Usually no
    words are spoken and the participants do not acknowledge each other.

Bucket Job:
    Surveillance work.

Burn:
    To deliberately expose the status of a spy

Cacklebaldder:
    Technique for making a live body look like it has been shot and
    killed. Often used to blackmail the shooter. (Name comes from the
    use of poultry blood in the deception. I'm not making this up.
    Honest.)

Cannon:
    Professional thief used by intelligence agents, often to steal back
    `inducements' given to enemy agents.

Capture signal:
    Innocuous-sounding phrase or word that indicates the sender has been
    captured and is operating under the control of opposing
    organizations(s).


Cell:
    Small group of individuals. The smallest unit of a network.

Chicken feed:
    Disinformation included in true information to a known turned agent.
    Smoke.

Commercial drop:
    A dead drop where a viable business or organization is used as the
    intermediary.

Conductor:
    Leader of a spy ring

Cover:
    Identity under which an agent operates.

Cut-out:
    A go-between who makes it unnecessary for two members of the same
    network to meet each other. Usually a go-between the conductor and
    the agents.

Dead Baby:
    False identification.

Dead Drop:
    Place or receptacle where material is placed, to be picked up by
    another agent at some later time. Used when the two agents should
    not know each other or be seen to know each other. Also a dead
    letter drop.

Desk:
    Office or offices concerned with a given topic ("German desk" or
    "Japanese desk")

Double Agent:
    Agent seeming to work for one organization while actually working
    for another.

Doctor:
    Police agent

Dry Cleaning:
    Losing a tail.

Escape Line:
    Path of escape from a given situation.

False Flag:
    To operate or recruit under the name of one organization while
    actually working for another.

Fist:
    The characteristic rhythmic "signature" of a radio operator
    transmitting Morse Code.

Fix:
    Compromise, blackmail, or con.

Flap and Seals Man:
    Expert at opening sealed envelopes.

Fur-lined seat cover:
    Oblique reference to agent who has a female passenger.

Game:
    The profession of espionage. Also the profession of prostitution.

Go to Ground:
    To go into hiding.

Green house:
    House or apartment operated as a temporary brothel to incriminate or
    blackmail a certain patron.

Honey Trap:
    Use of sex to compromise a principal and open them to blackmail.

Hospital:
    Prison.

Illegals:
    Agents without diplomatic or official cover

L pill:
    Cyanide pill to be used to avoid torture.

Ladies:
    Female agents, often from high society, out to compromise enemy
    agents through seduction.

Lamp-lighters:
    Counter-intelligence agents in disguise as garbage collectors,
    telephone repairers, and so on.

Legend:
    Coherent and plausible cover story, including background,
    employment, living arrangements, etc.

Live Drop:
    Person who unwittingly carries material or communication between
    agents.

Magpie Board:
    small pack of keys, wires, knives, etc. to aid escape.

Make:
    To recognize someone.

Make a Pass:
    Transfer a message to or from courier or agent.

Measles:
    Murder that is taken for natural causes

Mole:
    Double sleeper agent, typically allowed to sleep for long periods of
    time before activation so as to rise in the target organization

Music box:
    Radio transmitter. Also piano.

Musician:
    Radio operator. Also pianist.

Orchestra:
    Network of agents under one leader. Apparat.

Pavement Artists:
    Surveillance team, or agent keeping watch on a house.

Pianist:
    Radio operator.

Piano:
    Radio transmitter, music box

Piano Concerto:
    Transmitted message.

Playback:
    Captured agent forced to keep transmitting back. Often used to
    convey false information.

Plumbing:
    Work done in preparation for a job.

Raven:
    Male agent employed top seduce male or female agents of opposing
    organizations.

Safe House:
    Innocent appearing residence unknown to opposing organizations.
    Commonly used as refuge from pursuit.

Setting-up:
    The trapping of an individual by manipulating them into a
    compromising position for the purposes of blackmail.

Shadow:
    To follow without being noticed. Tail.

Sheep-Dipping:
    The erasure of all records of the target as an employee of an
    intelligence organization. Alternately, insertion of false records
    reflecting the resignation or expulsion of the target from the
    intelligence organization.

Shoemaker:
    Forger for a spy ring

Shoes:
    Forged papers

Sleeper:
    Agent planted in an organization or area without specific orders,
    usually to be activated at some later point.

Smoke:
    Disinformation given to a known turned agent. Chicken feed.

Stringer:
    Spy who works on an occasional, freelance basis.

Surface:
    To come out of hiding.

Tail:
    To follow without being noticed. Shadow.

Taxi:
    Homosexual raven. Also `fairy.'

Thirty-three:
    Emergency

Toss:
    Surreptitiously enter and search a target's domicile.

Turn:
    To recruit the agent of a given organization into being a double
    agent.

Watchers:
    Surveillance team

Zombie:
    Agent who as officially dies and has assumed a new identity for
    cover.

Zoo:
    Police station

(From the Dictionary of the United States Intelligence Services, William
Wilson, 1996, and Spyclopedia Richard Deacon, 1987, and Delta Green,
Detwiller, Glancy and Tynes, 1996)


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