The New York Times
reports that the attacker in Afghanistan who killed seven CIA agents (and wounded more) was a double agent. There is more. He was recruited by Jordanian intelligence, taken to Afghanistan to infiltrate Al Qaeda by posing as a foreign jihadi. But, he proved to be a bad guy and blew himself up and a bunch of good guys. There are many bad things about this (not the least of which is the publication that Jordan is very close to us in this kind of work) that are worth noting, and lamenting, but much is also to be learned from it. On the good side is this: We are infiltrating (have infiltrated, will infiltrate) the bad guys. This is both necessary and very hard work. This is the real heavy lifting. It is beyond dangerous. This is daggers in their smiles kind of danger. There is nothing more dangerous than this. All honor to those who try. Of course, sometimes (more often than not) we will fail. This one happend to be a public failure. On the bad side is this (a quote from a former official): "Double agent operations are really complex," he said. "The fact that
they can pull this off shows that they are not really on the run. They
have the ability to kick back and think about these things."
It's too bad that techne can't solve all these problems. Yet, Project Anubis
(jackal-headed god of the dead in Egyptian mythology), may help. It is the ultimate assassination robot: a tiny, armed drone for U.S. special forces to employ in terminating "high-value targets." It's not perfectly clear to me that it's operational, but I just installed a Blue-Ray DVD and my TV started having a conversation with it on its own. Amazing. Anything is possible. And note this:
"If so, Anubis would solve both of the problems associated with the
Predator-Hellfire combination. It would follow and catch the most
elusive target, and its ability to take a video sensor close to the
target should mean it can be positively identified before the operator
has to make a go or no-go decision. (There may be a classical reference here: The god Anubis was
responsible for weighing the hearts of the dead to judge whether they
would have eternal life. The Project Anubis MAV will have to make
similarly fine judgments.)"