Monday, January 11, 2010

Word of the Day: "tradecraft"; Phrase of the Day: "personal bomber"

It's happened again! Suddenly, a word that I'm not familiar with appears in print and other media many many times over the course of a few days. "tradecraft" appears in an excellent Washington Post article from the weekend, written by R. JEFFREY SMITH, JOBY WARRICK and ELLEN NAKASHIMA:
"The man who would prove to be a deadly attacker, the former officer said, "was heralded as a superstar asset. ... So you get an important visitor coming. So you go out and meet him. ... Is it bad tradecraft? Of course."

But several other intelligence officials and veterans also said they worried that those at the base in Afghanistan's Khost Province -- and those in Washington who helped to plan the meeting -- might have lost perspective amid an urgent clamor to kill Al-Qaida leaders in an agency traditionally more adept at the collection and analysis of intelligence than at assassination.

"The tradecraft that was developed over many years is passé," complained a recently retired senior intelligence official. "Now it's a military tempo where you don't have time for validating and vetting sources. ... All that seems to have gone by the board. It shows there are not a lot of people with a great deal of experience in this field."
We're still waiting for the dots to be connected between Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the alleged Northwest Airlines Flight 253 attacker, and Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi.

from WikiPedia:
Tradecraft is a general term that denotes a skill acquired through experience in a trade.
The term is also used within the Intelligence Community as a collective word for the techniques used in modern espionage. It can be used to refer to general topics or techniques (dead drops, for example), or the specific techniques of a nation or organization (the particular form of encryption used by the NSA, for example).
The term in this sense is frequently used in the books of John le Carré and Tom Clancy, where characters frequently comment on each's tradecraft (including that of agents from the opposing side).

The "Personal Bomber" who was seen as a 'superstar asset' by the CIA detonated his weapon of local destruction seconds before bing patted down. From beyond the grave, he calls for more to follow his example.

I have coined a new phrase. "Personal Bomber." This sums up the UndyBomber and is absolutely applicable in the case of Jordanian suicide bomber Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi. THE 'PERSONAL BOMBER' IS THE NEWEST WAVE OF TERRORISM, almost surely to be followed by the 'PANDEMIC DROPPER' ??? Imagine somebody infects himself or herself with some sort of plague or genetically-engineered microbe, gets on a plane BEFORE symptoms appear, then disappears into a US City. Maybe even drowns in a municipal water supply body after infection takes over. We really need to be careful and to impose MORE security than neccessary with ALL travelers, air and boat!

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