Commandante Null on Mon, 25 Jan 1999 01:47:32 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> (fwd) The Belled Cat and the Wily Mousatista

     [orig to <>]

Locating Death Squads Before They Locate You.

First a letter from a .mil friend.

The Writer of the letter below is a highly competent former U.S. Military
Intelligence Officer who is now an Intelligence Analyst. We were
discussing the significance of the Zapatista movement as related to C4I*.
He has graciously allowed me to reproduce the letter for educational
purposes on condition of anonymity.  Null

Dear Mike,

Sub-Commandante Marcos could teach us all a thing or two about waging war
without a boatload of expensive C4I.  I think from a special I saw that he
has something like two radios in his HQ, and everything else goes by
messengers or is handled via face to face meetings with his lieutenants on
a periodic basis. 

I am very worried about the kind of low-tech/high-tech threat that the
Sub-Commandante personifies. While he runs the physical end of things with
**almost no electro-magnetic signature**, he has allies in cyberspace
attacking Mexican websites.  We could face a similar opponent or a
coalition attacking us while using almost none of the EM spectrum

Best regards,

While the letter above might seem fairly innocuous it illustrates what is
viewed by a highly trained intelligence analyst as having critical
importance in a modern conflict. He is thinking about electro-magnetic
emissions and signatures which are basically radio transmissions and their
identification through which intelligence about an opponent could be

The intelligence developed would include: information from intercepted
messages, location, direction, or distance of an opponent, traffic
analysis (amount and timing of transmissions that indicate such things as
amount of military activity or detecting the awareness that an opponent
might have of your own activities, etc.), Signal Strength analysis which
can be used to detect the proximity of an opponent even if transmissions
are scrambled. The list goes on. 

About a year's worth of open source analysis on the Low Intensity Conflict
in Chiapas by NPC Information Associates would indicate that, in general
that the Zapatistas and their supporters generate a small electro-magnetic
signature. The analysis also indicates that the Government entities, the
Military and the Paramilitaries, etc. generate significant
electro-magnetic emissions. 

In general , Civil Government personnel and Paramilitaries, have poor
communications discipline and are easy to monitor. This is also the case
with poorly trained militaries, those full of conscripts, and those
militaries who have become lax due to their vast superiority of personnel
and weapons. 

So while it might seem that the Government side(s) in this conflict adds
communications superiority to the superiority they already have in
weapons, numbers and finances , this advantage is turned into a
disadvantage because of the amount of electronic "noise" they make. They
have the same disadvantage that a "belled cat" has when hunting Mousatista
supporters in a thicket. 

That is:  They give away their position (electro-magnetically) every time
they move and every time they communicate. Therefore, if the Mousatista
have good ears -- Advantage Mousatista! As a matter of fact there are no
mice in the thicket when the cat gets there because the mice heard the cat
when the cat was coming across the field, many mouse miles away. 

But where would the Mousatista find good "electro-magnetic ears" to warn
them of the Government Cat's activities? Answer: Radio Shack or any other
electronic stores or mail order houses that sell Scanners and other radio
monitoring equipment. (No, I don't expect to find a Radio Shack in

I had the good fortune at one time to closely examine two NVA signals
intercept stations in another jungle far away and was amazed at their
simplicity. Once documents found at the location were translated, everyone
involved was amazed at the effectiveness of the crude equipment and the
competence of the operators. They had our "number" and a Major in Army
Intelligence was embarrassed to hear his own voice come out of the old
wire type reel to reel recorder. They even knew his wife's name! 

So, expensive equipment is not necessary to monitor a superior competitor. 
Just a cheap scanner or radio that will receive the local death squad
frequencies will be a great improvement over no "ears" at all. Also, a
simple cassette recorder can be used to collect evidence of human rights
and other violations by the bad guys. 

Information about monitoring (Signals Intercept) is available all over the
Internet (It's a big hobby in the U.S.) and NPC Information Associates
would be willing to provide equipment and training should the Mousatista
so desire. 

Regards all, Null

*C4I is a military acronym for Command, Control, Communications, Computers
and Intelligence. 

NPC Information Associates 770-457-6758
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