Redefining hard intelligence

posted at 8:51 am on December 26, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

American intel operations have scored some successes in Afghanistan by helping tribal leaders score some as well.  What do you get for the tribal leader that has everything, including multiple wives?  A bit of youth in a little blue pill apparently works wonders for friendship — and cooperation:

The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60-odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women. His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift.

Four blue pills. Viagra.

“Take one of these. You’ll love it,” the officer said. Compliments of Uncle Sam.

The enticement worked. The officer, who described the encounter, returned four days later to an enthusiastic reception. The grinning chief offered up a bonanza of information about Taliban movements and supply routes — followed by a request for more pills.

For U.S. intelligence officials, this is how some crucial battles in Afghanistan are fought and won. While the CIA has a long history of buying information with cash, the growing Taliban insurgency has prompted the use of novel incentives and creative bargaining to gain support in some of the country’s roughest neighborhoods, according to officials directly involved in such operations.

The success of this strategy makes some sense.  People seem to think that we toss cash at people, but as Joby Warrick points out in this report, that can quickly compromise sources.  People who get large sums of money tend to flash it, and it becomes clear who works with Americans and who terrorists will avoid like the plague in the future.

Intel operatives look for other, less obvious enticements, and few things would be more private in Muslim tribal life than bedroom performance.  Many older tribal chiefs have multiple wives but may not have the physical ability to keep pace.  Few items would make the kind of impression that Viagra does for men in that position, and it’s highly unlikely that they’d be chatting about it at the mosque.  It’s practically designed for the mission.

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Comments

Is the information they glean from these guys now considered hard intelligence?

katy on December 26, 2008 at 8:56 AM

Is the information they glean from these guys now considered hard intelligence?

It’s a play on words. Double entendre. Think about it.

jgapinoy on December 26, 2008 at 9:02 AM

Nice to see that “covert” means SFA to our friends in the MSM. No program too small or too large not to reveal.

andycanuck on December 26, 2008 at 9:09 AM

Whatever works.

BetseyRoss on December 26, 2008 at 9:10 AM

They tried to get Reagan and Ollie North for drugs for guns and/or something like that. So now we got drugs for giving it to our enemy. Much cheaper and drives a hard bargain, and offer the old boys can hardly refuse.

wepeople on December 26, 2008 at 9:13 AM

just when his wives thought it was safe..

or goats..

DaveC on December 26, 2008 at 9:15 AM

People who get large sums of money tend to flash it, and it becomes clear who works with Americans

And happy, smiling wives won’t? Oh wait, nobody can see them in their burkhas. Still, when the girls get together to chat about the old goat…

Joan of Argghh on December 26, 2008 at 9:16 AM

…and it’s highly unlikely that they’d be chatting about it at the mosque.

Maybe so. But could you say the same for the four wives? Seems like something a young bride might brag about.

RMR on December 26, 2008 at 9:19 AM

It’s a play on words. Double entendre. Think about it.

jgapinoy on December 26, 2008 at 9:02 AM

Big D’oh on my part. I read the headline then the article and forgot the headline and thought I was coming up with a brilliant post! I hate that! Too much rum in my eggnog yesterday!

Afghanistan will instantly transform from the 1400’s to the 1960’s. Now that’s progress!

Make love not war.

From War lords to Love lords. Very cool.

katy on December 26, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Mohammed, is that a rocket in your pocket or have you just been ratting out the Taliban?

Disturb the Universe on December 26, 2008 at 9:23 AM

katy on December 26, 2008 at 9:23 AM

It’s no d’oh. Everyone needs jokes explained once in a while.

Disturb the Universe on December 26, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Best comment so far!

jgapinoy on December 26, 2008 at 9:26 AM

Disturb the Universe on December 26, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Yeah, I know. Someone HAD to say it. ROFL

Can you imagine the Federal Bean Counters? “Intel is ordering What? How many?”

kingsjester on December 26, 2008 at 9:27 AM

The key, Smith said, is to find a way to meet the informant’s personal needs in a way that keeps him firmly on your side but leaves little or no visible trace.

It’s a good thing they have those long robes to hide the occasional side effect: 4-hour erections.

Disturb the Universe on December 26, 2008 at 9:29 AM

Always knew those Afgans were hard men.

itsspideyman on December 26, 2008 at 9:32 AM

Yeah, well the old guys are happy. But I doubt those poor young wives are equally as enthusiastic about gramps getting his groove back.

Sugar Land on December 26, 2008 at 9:35 AM

“A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do”

Whatever it takes.

This information is saving many innocent lives.Walking around waving the peace sign and chanting “I hate Bush”has not freed one single person or stopped a single terrorist.

Obama’s administration must agree considering all the Bush
policies he is staying with:

EXCLUSIVE:
OBAMA WANTS BUSH WAR TEAM TO STAY
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/dec/22/obama-wants-bush-war-team-stay/

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who has been named to the same Cabinet post in the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama, is asking experienced members of the Bush war team to stick around to smooth the transition in the Pentagon.

NSA wiretapping,keeping the CIA interrogation methods,keeping troops in Iraq based on conditions on the ground…….looks like everybody on capital hill is a war criminal trampling on the Constitution.
Ohh..my fault.If you have a (D) beside your name this is now
called “smart policy decisions”.

Some news that is not looking good in our favor though:

Pakistan cancels troops’ leave over India tension
http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE4BP16V20081226

While there had been no significant troop movements in either country, military officials in Islamabad said army personnel had been ordered to report to barracks and some troops had been moved off the Afghan border.

The movement of Pakistani troops off the Afghan border is likely to be seen with dismay by the United States which does not want to see Pakistan distracted from the battle against al Qaeda and Taliban militants on Pakistan’s western border.

Even though Pakistan’s intelligence agencies and army are littered with Taliban/Al-qaeda sympathizers,they have still been better than nothing.We have gotten some pretty big fish
with their help.

Combined with this:

Israel threatens major offensive against Gaza

Israel threatened on Sunday to launch a major offensive against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip as violence simmered around the impoverished territory days after the end of a truce with the Islamists.

“Israel must topple the Hamas rule in Gaza and a government under my command will do just that,” Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, leader of the governing Kadima party, was quoted as saying by Israeli media.

Israel is not going to play games this time like they did in the last defensive against attacks from Hezbollah.

“Soft Power” and walking around chanting “hope and change”is not going to solve any of these problems either.
It is going to be real interesting to see how all that “soft power” theory and talking through the UN is going to help stop powers and terrorist he!! bent on their enemies destruction.
After all,it worked so well in Rwanda, Darfur,and keeping Iran from acquiring the bomb in the next year.

Maybe super smart Al-gore can convince them that killing thousands of innocent people puts to much CO2 in the air.
Hezbollah should listen,they enjoyed Micheal Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 when he distributed it to them.

Baxter Greene on December 26, 2008 at 9:37 AM

I’d say send Scarlett Johansson over there. I’d certainly spill the beans but they may just toss some acid on her.

AYNBLAND on December 26, 2008 at 9:42 AM

They should have just given them their email addresses. They’d have 1,000 offers a day for “male enhancement”

;^)

rightside on December 26, 2008 at 9:43 AM

So Afghan Tribal leaders get a 4hr stiffy and we get one for 4yrs.

thomasaur on December 26, 2008 at 9:43 AM

Israel is not going to play games this time like they did in the last defensive against attacks from Hezbollah.

I wish what you wrote comes true, but I don’t believe it will.

Blake on December 26, 2008 at 9:44 AM

“…and they can no longer be charged with Assault With A Dead Weapon.”

Patrick S on December 26, 2008 at 9:44 AM

thomasaur on December 26, 2008 at 9:43 AM

Yeah. And the MSM have a thrill up their leg for four years.

kingsjester on December 26, 2008 at 9:50 AM

Abdul, is that a gun under your robe or are you just glad to see me?

whitetop on December 26, 2008 at 9:50 AM

This is American ingenuity at its finest. I love it. The taliban are ratted out so some old geezer can get some from his own wife (wives). Amazing. It also tells you the value of human life there.

Mojave Mark on December 26, 2008 at 10:02 AM

This is Pathetic!
The poor women.

bridgetown on December 26, 2008 at 10:03 AM

This is Pathetic!
The poor women.

I don’t know… It may give them the only thing they’ve got to play with…

heldmyw on December 26, 2008 at 10:21 AM

Whats the deal with News Papers telling all the CIA secrets on their front page? This might be a good and funny news story but do we need to know everything that the CIA does?

Dritanian on December 26, 2008 at 10:25 AM

Let me repeat my warning from the headlines….If loyalty to the west lasts longer than four hours, contact your Mullah.

[email protected] on December 26, 2008 at 10:27 AM

Shame the tribalism will forever prevent any success in Asscrackistan..

blatantblue on December 26, 2008 at 10:29 AM

People who get large sums of money tend to flash it, and it becomes clear who works with Americans

Yeah, but the old guy grinning all the time probably says he’s working for the Americans as well.

michaelo on December 26, 2008 at 10:32 AM

Those poor sheep.

hillbillyjim on December 26, 2008 at 10:34 AM

MSM does it’s bit to destroy any chance of success in Afghanistan

No matter what technique the military uses, nothing is more important that the dying MSM trying to make a buck and destroy progress at the same time.

CrazyGene on December 26, 2008 at 10:37 AM

Discontinue use at the first signs of stomach pain, loss of vision, night sweats, hair loss, faster than usual nail growth, unibrow, and if you can’t get it down after 4 hours seek out a photo of Hillary Clinton.

johnnyU on December 26, 2008 at 10:39 AM

A hard man, is good to find. Or a hard Goat. Which ever one comes first?

sheebe on December 26, 2008 at 10:55 AM

Would this be considered torture in some circles in the U.S.?

dalec on December 26, 2008 at 10:59 AM

This post is a test. It is only a test since my previous post attempts have not shown up on this thread.

WTF?

44Magnum on December 26, 2008 at 10:59 AM

American Pharma, for those stubborn or hard to reach places.

Speakup on December 26, 2008 at 11:07 AM

This post is a test. It is only a test since my previous post attempts have not shown up on this thread.

WTF?

44Magnum on December 26, 2008 at 10:59 AM

You’re supposed to wait four hours before asking for help. Or something like that.

platypus on December 26, 2008 at 11:09 AM

How long until the left have the CIA agent brought up on charges of dispensing medicine without a license? 3 2 1..

free on December 26, 2008 at 11:25 AM

I just hope we don’t make any tribal chieftains into bitter, intractable enemies if they end up with one of those “lasts longer than 4 1/2 hours” erections the TV commercials warn us about and they have no physician to go see, like the ads tell us to do.

jon1979 on December 26, 2008 at 11:29 AM

I smell incredible marketing and commercial potential

Defector01 on December 26, 2008 at 11:55 AM

Mohammed, is that a rocket in your pocket or have you just been ratting out the Taliban?

Disturb the Universe on December 26, 2008 at 9:23 AM

+1

moxie_neanderthal on December 26, 2008 at 11:59 AM

Hey Mohammed, that 5 hour big boy is called Priapism. We can fix that. Come on over here and we will just insert this big fat needle in your big fat boy! Will it hurt. Oh yea…a lot! LOL!!! But it will take care of your problem…permanently!!!

sabbott on December 26, 2008 at 12:06 PM

Can you imagine the Federal Bean Counters? “Intel is ordering What? How many?”

In Geoffrey Perret’s There’s a War to be Won there’s an account of the First Special Forces and their assault the German fortifications in the Italian mountains. Shortly before, headquarters got a request for condoms and whiskey. You see, this was a nighttime attack in midwinter, up a 70 percent grade on ice-covered slopes. The condoms were for the rifles, to keep snow out. And a small drink of whiskey went to each man as they began the long, silent climb, to keep them from feeling the cold.

Oh, yes. They achieved total surprise, entering the high observation ports moments before dawn, and took the fortress from above.

njcommuter on December 26, 2008 at 12:11 PM

MAKE LOVE NOT WAR!!!

LMAO

ihasurnominashun on December 26, 2008 at 12:36 PM

Thank you, washington post. Now they will know that if you are offered pills by someone, that someone is CIA.

MattMacD on December 26, 2008 at 2:01 PM

Oh, I missed the point. Well, anyway, stupid of them to publish it so it becomes common knowledge, but oh well, ignore me. :|

MattMacD on December 26, 2008 at 2:03 PM

Get some!

muggedbyreality on December 26, 2008 at 3:42 PM

What this story really means is that sexual insecurity runs extremely high in the arab/persian/muslim world, which should give people an idea of what sort of interrogation techniques will be most effective against them – public sexual humiliation. But … of course, that’s against the naive Geneva Conventions (even though it is absolutely non-lethal and will be extremely effective).

Some day we will learn … but not today.

progressoverpeace on December 26, 2008 at 4:21 PM

Make Love not War!

I wish I could stop laughing. I’m not getting any work done I’m giggling so hard.

{O,o}

herself on December 26, 2008 at 4:37 PM

…it’s highly unlikely that they’d be chatting about it at the mosque.

Probably not at the mosque, but both Iraqi and Afghan men tend to brag about their sexual stamina. There are even references to Mohammad’s stamina in his biographies, which are considered semi-sacred. It’s a testament to their manliness and adds to their prestige, which is of utmost importance in an honor/shame society.

Still, he wouldn’t have to say anything about the pills, and impregnating one or more of his wives so late in life would earn him a big boost of respect with his fellow tribesmen. That admiration is worth more than money in the hinterlands of the AfPak border.

OscarSchneegans on December 26, 2008 at 4:37 PM

Oh, yes. They achieved total surprise, entering the high observation ports moments before dawn, and took the fortress from above.

njcommuter on December 26, 2008 at 12:11 PM

So what you’re saying is that they penetrated the enemy’s defenses by surprise armed with condoms and booze.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. ;-)

OscarSchneegans on December 26, 2008 at 4:41 PM

Oh, now it will be easy to find out which old geezer is working for the US.

Pelayo on December 26, 2008 at 5:09 PM

Hate to rain on this parade, but these Afghan geezers are noted for marrying little girls as young as six years old, per Mohammed’s perfect example in marrying his child bride Aisha.

Beagle on December 27, 2008 at 12:00 PM

What happens when the households having baby booms make the covers of “Good Cavekeeping” & “Tribe Weekly”?

NightmareOnKStreet on December 27, 2008 at 7:44 PM

Islam causes impotence?

profitsbeard on December 27, 2008 at 8:00 PM