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October 31, 2013

The Secrets Are Still Secret

Harry M. Covert

The most popular books, movies and television shows are those dealing with espionage, covert action and the secret world of intelligence.


The deal is simple. The spooks are supposed to be stealthy agents working for Americans. They do their jobs well.


It's no easy job living and operating in the world of plausible denial. Imagine survival in the double lives? Many authors have earned good livings with tales of derring-do. Almost as exciting as the journalism world? Sounds good.


Most citizens think spying is only the field of the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and the "hunter gatherers" of each military branch. Not so.


It never occurs to many that other agencies are actively engaged in quietly snooping around. The Federal Bureau of investigation (FBI) is charged with handling such efforts at home. They do a mighty fine job.


There is no question local police and sheriff's offices have sworn men and women in the intelligence business. How else could they protect the people? State Police and their comrades patrolling the waterways are among the gatherers.


Keeping Frederick city and county communities safe is no easy task. The job is ongoing and there is more activity constantly.


Spying and eavesdropping are as vital to Marylanders and other Americans as international trade. These efforts are supposed to be below public scrutiny. They are.


Remember the story of the late Mr. Bin Laden? Remember how the Navy seals swooped down in Pakistan and removed this international criminal? Zero Dark Thirty?


How else did Washington ever figure this out? Thankfully it was through the intelligence agencies.


When local police agencies need to break up growing drug violations or capture peeping toms and burglars, they don't just sit around idling, eating donuts or tasting lollypops. This is not clinical. The good guys work their contacts, the stool-pigeons (sorry for this old-time adjective) and other talkers and insiders.


In a perfect world it would be nice to eliminate spying "on our allies" and "friends." Can't be done. Shouldn’t be done.


No one ought to be saying "woe is me" because the U.S. has been checking on world leaders, either in Europe, the Middle East or Asia.


It's concerning that so many either don't know or don't care that America's enemies are on the job.


The public posture among congressional members either borders on naiveté or plain stupidity. Protecting the nation is not a partisan issue.


Reading confidential files will open eyes and widely. The world is not a nice place – unfortunately. Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden are merely faces of evil. Their acolytes do the bidding and the results are horrendous. Does 9/11 ring a bell?


Fortunately the unknown dedicated men and women continue their work. They're unsung heroes.


Spying is not out of hand no matter what critics may be saying. Un-American leakers like Edward Snowden must be prosecuted. They are not heroes. If they don't like the work, find another job and it won't be necessary to hide out in foreign countries.


Let's see now. Industrial espionage is a big, big deal and actively operates from Asia, principally by the "money lenders."


Thankfully the secret world continues. It's secret. Agents quietly keep working and use every available means to be successful.


No need to worry. Rest assured that the nation has its pros on the job. It began with a young fellow named Nathan Hale. History and newspaper files are replete with others. Sports aficionados know about catcher Moe Berg. Look it up. Others won't be listed here.


There are many retired men and women in Maryland and Virginia who served in the world of foreign intrigue. They've paid heavy prices. Bless them. They keep their secrets. Many take their work and honors to final resting places.


Do you know your neighbors? Think about it.


While Israel's Mossad is considered one the best worldwide intelligence agencies, along with Britain's MI6, the CIA and ancillary agencies lead the way.


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