Covert operations

From Gender and Tech Resources

“History isn’t like that. History unravels gently, like an old sweater. It has been patched and darned many times, reknitted to suit different people, shoved in a box under the sink of censorship to be cut up for the dusters of propaganda, yet it always – eventually – manages to spring back into its old familar shape. History has a habit of changing the people who think they are changing it. History always has a few tricks up its frayed sleeve. It’s been around a long time.” ~ Terry Pratchett, Mort

Discoveries and experiences are being shared, conspiracies disclosed, injustices revealed, the dead named, and sometimes governments change as a result of that. Or, when a government changes, more likely it is caused by covert operations.


How it works? Around 80% is copycatting strategies Napoleon used [1]. Scenario planning, the supportive application of systems theory, game theory, wargaming theory[2][3][4] and many other modes of practical strategic thinking and strategic execution are also used.

Old known military operations

These "old known" operations are great case studies in for practicing catching that 80% in covert operations, and in psychological warfare and propaganda.

Operation Himmler

Operation Himmler was a series of unconventional operations undertaken by the SS in order to serve specific propaganda goals of Nazi Germany at the outbreak of the war. It was intended to create the appearance of Polish aggression against Germany in order to justify the subsequent invasion of Poland. Most known is the Gleiwitz incident. [5] And it has been persuasively argued that Nazis set fire to their own parliament, the Reichstag, and blamed that fire on others. [6] The Reichstag fire was the watershed event which justified Hitler’s seizure of power and suspension of liberties.

Shelling of Mainila

The Shelling of Mainila on November 26, 1939 was a military incident where the Soviet Union's Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila, declared that the fire originated from Finland across a nearby border and claimed to have had losses in personnel. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939, and declared that the fire originated from Finland as a basis launching the Winter War four days later. [7]

Stay Behind (Gladio)

Gladio is the infamous NATO “stay behind” operations in Europe during the Cold War that were revealed in the nineties, a tale of secret arms caches and exotic code names, of military stratagems and political intrigues. A chronology of events is described in Secret Warfare: Operation Gladio and NATO's Stay-Behind Armies. [8]

Prime Minister Andreotti acknowledged that Gladio had developed into a branch of an extensive network, operated within NATO and abetted by a 1956 agreement between the United States and Italian secret services. Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece and Luxembourg have all acknowledged that they maintained Gladio-style networks to prepare guerrilla fighters to leap into action in the event of a Warsaw Pact invasion. Many worked under the code name Stay Behind. In Greece it was named operation Red Sheepskin. According to news reports at the time, such operations existed also in Britain, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Turkey and Denmark, and even in neutral countries like Switzerland and Sweden.

Bombings and actions were denied, but note that the aim of the 1956 agreement with US agencies was to make sure that the italian communist party, the largest in the west, never got a foothold in the government. And there were long-reported links between Italian secret services and neo-fascists, and that the major unsolved acts of terrorism that rocked Italy in the 1970's are all presumed to be the work of people on the far right that were never caught while left-wing 'terrorists' somehow were caught and imprisoned.

In some countries, the Stay Behind networks were shut down. Greece's socialists say that they discovered theirs in 1981, subsequently abolished it and rounded up weapons in 1985. In France, Mitterrand said he eliminated the French branch, but he did not say when. Apparently the networks in most other european countries continued.

The Lavon Affair

An Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind "evidence" implicating the Arabs as the culprits. One of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, several of the Israelis later confessed, and three were honored by Israel later. [9][10]

The CIA in Iran

Documented by the New York Times, Iranians working for the C.I.A. in the 1950’s posed as communists and staged bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected president. [11]

Operation Northwoods

Declassified documents show that in the 1960s, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan code-named Operation Northwoods to blow up American airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. The operation was not carried out because the Kennedy administration refused to implement these Pentagon plans. [12]

Macmillan backed Syria assassination plot

The plans, frighteningly frank in their discussion, were discovered in the private papers of Duncan Sandys, Mr Macmillan's defence secretary, by Matthew Jones, a reader in international history at Royal Holloway, University of London. [13]

Part of the "preferred plan" reads: "In order to facilitate the action of liberative forces, reduce the capabilities of the Syrian regime to organise and direct its military actions, to hold losses and destruction to a minimum, and to bring about desired results in the shortest possible time, a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals. Their removal should be accomplished early in the course of the uprising and intervention and in the light of circumstances existing at the time."

Infiltration of dissident movements by police

Not only the military runs covert operations, so does the police. Well known are infiltrations of protest and political movements.

Since the bad old days of the 70s and 80s, when the system became discredited [14] and the Crown Prosecution Service refused to touch any "supergrass" cases, the rules have been tightened. [...] The use of informants is monitored by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The act's provisions extend to Scotland in cases where a public authority authorises the use of a covert source. [15]

In 2009, in england, a climate change activist taped men who offered cash for information about group's members and activities [16]. In the tapes the police officers claim to have infiltrated a number of environmental groups and said they are receiving information about leaders, tactics and plans of future demonstrations. Campaigners were also monitored by civil servants [17], and after the Strathclyde police was forced to release details of money paid to "covert human intelligence services" after a ruling by the Scottish information commissioner, details revealed the force had almost doubled the annual amount it paid to informants since 2004, when £145,198 was paid. A total of £762,459 was paid between 2004 and 2008.


The G20 police 'using undercover men to incite crowds' [18] is not exceptional during protests.

Undercover surveillance

Xmas gifts at all cost

Scotland Yard has deployed undercover officers to spy on a network of activists whose viral campaign against tax avoiders threatens to close down hundreds of shops in the run-up to Christmas. The surveillance officers were first used at a protest in October, despite an assurance given to parliament last year that only officers in full uniform gather intelligence at protests. [19]

European network of police infiltration

And what no one could have known was that, despite appearances, the 33-year-old "freelance climber" was an undercover police officer beginning an audacious operation to live deep undercover among environmental activists. [20] And tactics included promiscuous behaviour [21]. Kennedy did not "switch sides" by which the trial collapsed, as some media wrote. The trial collapsed because the defence insisted that Kennedy must have made reports and demanded to see them. Rather than disclose this evidence, the crown chose to fold the case. [22]

In 2011, a third undercover police spy is unmasked, and more details on the scale of Kennedy's key role in protest movements across Europe emerge. Apparently he also acted as an agent provocateur in Ireland, Germany and Iceland. He may have asked the public relations agent Max Clifford to sell his story. [23]

Blacklisting case

March 2015 the construction union UCATT exposes infiltration by the police and made a FOI request on december 2, 2014. Response was delayed and delayed and ... on february 20 the police said that they were "not required to confirm or deny whether or not the information requested is held" and cited six areas of why they could not reveal the information including national security. [24]

The CIA’s new black bag is digital

Over the past decade specially-trained CIA clandestine operators have mounted over one hundred extremely sensitive black bag jobs designed to penetrate foreign government and military communications and computer systems, as well as the computer systems of some of the world’s largest foreign multinational corporations. Spyware software has been secretly planted in computer servers; secure telephone lines have been bugged; fiber optic cables, data switching centers and telephone exchanges have been tapped; and computer backup tapes and disks have been stolen or surreptitiously copied in these operations. In other words, the CIA has become instrumental in setting up the shadowy surveillance dragnet that has now been thrown into public view. Sources within the U.S. intelligence community confirm that since 9/11, CIA clandestine operations have given the NSA access to a number of new and critically important targets around the world, especially in China and elsewhere in East Asia, as well as the Middle East, the Near East, and South Asia. (I’m not aware of any such operations here on U.S. soil.) [25]

See timeline masters of the internet and surveillance.

War games

Official secretkeepers of NATO, Russia and their fearsome enemies know these kinds of stories are meant to reduce fear and defense expenditures so should be applauded as tricks of the anti-war industry which must be resisted with fearless slaughter of many terrified civilians and a tiny few luckless warfighters who drive drunk to the PTSD club and overshoot (over-drone) a construction barrier of the crumbling National Defense Highway system to sink into a toxic lake of endless war waste surrounding every military base on the planet and rapidly growing throughout the universe with application of war technology to invasion of the heavens for peaceful, merely scientific, although top secret, purposes, that is to erect intergalactic shields of protection of hapless creatures being drained of their vital fluids for nourishing the Great Gods of National and Environmental Security, now blessed by Pope Francis for the benefit of Great Architecture afficionados from St Peter to Pentagon to whereever Strangeloves squat before vast Sony plasmas of roach-squashing, fail/safe buttons neutered, flesh life as known and loathed by cryogenic demigodly automatons aimed for extinction ~ John Young in the context of a reported Ukraine event on june 2015. [26][27][28]

Also see Psychological warfare and scenario planning a simulation of The Alpha Complex.

Droning on ...

An Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is a type of aircraft which has no onboard crew or passengers. UAVs include both autonomous drones and remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs). A UAV is capable of controlled, sustained level flight and is powered by a jet, reciprocating, can also fly upside down or electric engine. The earliest recorded use of a UAV for warfighting occurred on August 22, 1849, when the Austrians attacked the Italian city of Venice with unmanned balloons loaded with explosives, after their occupying force were kicked out by the enitians. The first pilotless aircraft were built during and shortly after World War I.

In recent years, US targeted strikes involving UAVs have gone from a relative rarity to a relatively common practice in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia. As the number of strikes increases, so, too, does the strategic risk.

See timeline merchants of death and game of drones.

(Counter) moves

Black Bag


  • "Lasers and dazzlers" can be used to blind its cameras and sensors
  • Detection can be done with acoustic receivers
  • "Jammer" techniques can be used to interfere with navigation and communications
  • "Spoofing" can be used to create false civil GPS signals that trick the vehicle's GPS receiver into thinking nothing is amiss — even as it steers a new navigational course induced by the outside hacker.


Undercover surveillance

Companies setting protest agenda's

News and watchdogs











  1. The Hidden Hand: Espionage and Napoleon
  2. Principia Cybernetics web
  3. Wargames, simulations, & exercises
  4. Flames of War: Historical Scenarios
  5. Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Volume 4 TWENTY-FOURTH DAY Thursday, 20 December 1945, morning session:
  6. History Channel: The Rise of the Third Reich
  7. Diplomatic correspondence between Finnish and Russian Governments (in Russian)
  8. Secret Warfare: Operation Gladio and NATO's Stay-Behind Armies
  9. Israel Military Intelligence: The Lavon Affair (Summer 1954)
  10. Israel honors 9 egyptian spies,2506,L-3065838,00.html
  11. Secrets of history: The CIA in Iran
  12. The official northwoods documents
  13. Macmillan backed Syria assassination plot - Documents show White House and No 10 conspired over oil-fuelled invasion plan
  14. Inside job
  15. Analysis: The rules on police informants
  16. Guardian: Police caught on tape trying to recruit Plane Stupid protester as spy
  17. Campaigners monitored by civil servants
  18. G20 police 'used undercover men to incite crowds'
  19. UK Uncut protesters spied upon by undercover police
  20. Mark Kennedy: A journey from undercover cop to 'bona fide' activist
  21. Undercover police cleared 'to have sex with activists'
  22. Undercover and over-the-top: The collapse of the Ratcliffe trial
  23. Third undercover police spy unmasked as scale of network emerges
  24. UCATT exposes infiltration by the police
  25. Foreign policy: The CIA’s New Black Bag Is Digital
  26. Russian Non-Invasion Causing Concern in European Capitals
  27. “Crimea Is Ours!” Russian popular geopolitics in the new media age
  28. MH17 – Forensic Analysis of Satellite Images Released by the Russian Ministry of Defence