Shem wrote: ↑
04 Apr 2019, 16:13
You're conflating two different things. What Maria Butina and flash drive woman did isn't work that would typically be done by someone in an espionage agency. It's done by assets and agents. The espionage officer's job is to cultivate assets and agents and leverage them to get information and accomplish tasks. You don't spend a fortune training a case officer and funding the development of their network of assets to put them in a position where they can get scooped up and lose every dollar of your investment and the lives and freedom of their assets in an instant. It's why the Valerie Plame affair was so appalling to intelligence agencies.
I am not up on the terminology, but I thought an "asset" or "agent" was somebody who was recruited because of their access to people/places/organizations that the agency would love to get access to. They have real day jobs and then they also provide some help to the agency. I thought they were different from people who are trained by the agency and report to it. I thought the later category of people had front jobs but spent most of their time doing something other than what they tell their friends and neighbors, whereas an "agent" has a real job with a real boss who has no idea what else they're up to.
For the Mar Lago job, since it's a place that you can go to if you buy admission or befriend (or manipulate) someone who has bought admission, I would have thought that they'd want someone with solid training to plant the malware. I don't mean a software engineer (I assume all that stuff was already tested ad nauseum) but someone who has spent a lot of time rehearsing scenarios, learning the names and faces of everyone they're likely to encounter, practicing excuses, and learning how to do whatever other tasks they may have had in mind besides leaving a USB stick in someone's laptop for 30 seconds or whatever. That's not someone who has a real day job and does favors for the agency. That's someone who has a front job and a whole bunch of time to practice and plan.
So I would have thought that they'd get someone who probably doesn't have a Chinese government ID badge but does have a front job that gives them lots of time for their real job.
"They were basically like D&D min maxers, but instead of pissing off their DM, they destroyed the global economy. Also, instead of their DM making a level 7 paladin fight a beholder as punishment, he got a +3 sword of turning."