The Human Factor: The Phenomenon of Espionage

by W. Patrick Lang

­­June 2022 — The just released second edition of Col. Lang’s classic work on the art of human intelligence is now available to order from Amazon or iUniverse. 
Publisher’s Weekly’s Booklife calls The Human Factor, “A vital, succinct primer for anyone interested in understanding the art of human intelligence gathering and espionage. 

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From the Publisher’s Weekly Review:
“Lang’s revised and updated debut examines the art of espionage and human intelligence gathering. Lang — a retired colonel who has since authored many other books, including a memoir on his time in the military  and a trilogy of historical fiction novels based during the American Civil war — offers a succinct guide on all facets of modern intelligence gathering, laying out the history of  intelligence  gathering through  the  stories of spies and heroes,  explaining the  systems and institutions that have traditionally emerged in modern nations to facilitate espionage work, and illuminating the delicate art and practice of gathering human intelligence today and in the future.”

More Books by Col. W. Patrick Lang

Tattoo — A Memoir of Becoming

June 2022 – Released in January 2021, Tattoo continues to excite both interest and praise as an altogether unique memoir of a soldier, scholar and spy. Readers call it, “a riveting, century-spanning soldier’s epic.”

Order here from:

“Brilliant prose and exceptional history of the wars of the late 20th century.”                                              –Amazon Reader Review

A close-up history of the U.S. military’s global engagements in the fractious second half to the 20th century… overflows with revealing–sometimes harrowing–stories of military life.         –Publisher’s Weekly

With a scrupulous eye for detail, Tattoo illuminates every international conflict Lang saw and offers a fascinating portrait of what soldiering means.                                                –Booklife Magazine

Lang recounts a memorable career in the Army—as eventful as it was accomplished.                                            –Kirkus Review

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Posted in History, Intelligence, My books | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

“Boris Johnson slaps down British Army chief as he defends cuts to troop numbers”

Long Ago And Far Away

“General Sir Patrick Sanders, the Chief of the General Staff, said it would be “perverse” to cut troops by almost 10,000 at a time when Russia had boots on the ground in Eastern Europe.

On Tuesday, he argued that it was not possible to “cyber your way across a river” and that a future review should focus on the hard power of the military.

Mr Johnson will on Wednesday call on Nato countries to increase their defence spending to at least two per cent of GDP – the alliance’s current target – and hopes to push for the target to be increased.

Nato allies are meeting in Madrid this week to discuss how to respond to Russia, and hope to accelerate Finland and Sweden’s accession to the alliance.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said UK troop numbers were “the right size” following a defence review last year that plans to cut them by 9,500 by 2025.

The spokesman said it was “wrong to focus solely on the numbers” and stressed that the Government was investing in cyber warfare and other new technology as part of a funding deal with the Ministry of Defence that will last until 2024.

“The Prime Minister is of the view that we need to have the right size of force for the UK to both defend itself and to continue to play its leading role in the world. That is what we will do,” he said.

Asked whether a new review of troop numbers was required since the invasion, the spokesman said: “That number has not changed.

“I think the British public can be reassured that we are investing billions of extra pounds into our Armed Forces to ensure they are ready to meet these sorts of new challenges.”

The Telegraph understands that despite a Nato-wide commitment to increase troop numbers on the alliance’s eastern flank, the UK will not boost its own contributions to boots on the ground.

Downing Street’s insistence that the current deal is appropriate to deal with the Russian threat is at odds with Sir Patrick’s speech on Tuesday.

General Sir Patrick Sanders speaks at the RUSI conference
General Sir Patrick Sanders speaks at the RUSI conference CREDIT: RUSI/PA

“If this battle came, we would likely be outnumbered at the point of attack and fighting like hell,” he told RUSI’s think tank conference. “Stand-off air, maritime or cyber fires are unlikely to dominate on their own. Land will still be the decisive domain.

“And though I bow to no one in my advocacy for the need for game changing digital transformation, to put it bluntly, you can’t cyber your way across a river. No single platform, capability, or tactic will unlock the problem.”

The general added that it would be “perverse” for him to back a cut in troop numbers at a time when Russia had thousands of boots on the ground in Eastern Europe.

The row came as Ben Wallace called for a rethink of the UK’s defence strategy and funding settlement in light of the war in Ukraine.

“We were prepared to take certain vulnerabilities on board in the middle of the decade as we got rid of some equipment and re-equipped anew,” he told Sky News on Wednesday morning. “I think the invasion of Russia into Ukraine has changed that.

“That is why I think discussions are so important for the middle of decade funding. In the here and now, we are rightly set. The question is what happens in the middle of the decade.”

The Defence Secretary pointed to the fact that the spending review had taken place before Russia’s invasion, and warned that Vladimir Putin was now “very, very dangerous on the world stage”.

Comment: Bojo seems to have the typical politician’s belief that armed force are only of symbolic value and that only as “markers’ for political and psychological negotiations.

80,000 men at present. Laughable. Every army has a need for “post, camp and station” facility manning. Then there are people detailed to senior staffs, as instructors, etc. This leaves precious little for a fighting force. pl

Boris Johnson slaps down British Army chief as he defends cuts to troop numbers (

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“… Putin’s Inner Circle Could Kill Him.”

“… three people close to Putin pose potential threats to him: the Kremlin security council chief, Nikolai Patrushev; Federal Security Service head Alexander Bortnikov; and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. 

“Nobody’s gonna ask, ‘Hey Vladimir, would you like to leave?’ No. It’s a [expletive] hammer to the head and he’s dead. Or it’s time to go to the sanatorium,” Hoffman said. “They schwack him for it. That’s what they’ll do.” 

However, former CIA officer Ronald Marks, now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, noted that Putin has “done a nice job of getting rid of those who aren’t on his side,” and said Putin could be safe if the agents protecting him, known as the “siloviki,” stay loyal.

“I think he’s OK as long as the siloviki are on his side,” Marks said.

Marks also said that public opinion has not reached a point where it will influence the siloviki, though Marks said that that could happen if widespread unrest over the invasion of Ukraine spreads in Russia. 

“The Russians are very sensitive, more than they would say, to internal opinion within Russia,” Marks said. “It’s a country that will explode, but it takes a long time. … when you do see the explosion it’s going to come around the economics. Once they can’t get food, once things get rough like that, then you’re going to see people in the streets.””

Comment: I am inclined to think that VP is likely to depart the scene in this fashion. pl

Former CIA Officer: Putin’s Inner Circle Could Kill Him |

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Posted in Russia, Ukraine Crisis | 8 Comments

” …Biden’s successful six-month bid to expand NATO”

brown and white animal on snow covered ground

“Their decision to move away from neutrality, and the tradition of neutrality, to join the NATO alliance is going to make us stronger and more secure, and NATO stronger,” Biden said at the start of the NATO summit in Madrid on Wednesday. “We are sending an unmistakable message in my view … that NATO is strong, united and the steps we are taking during this summit are going to further augment our collective strength.”

Biden said the two Scandinavian countries’ expected accession was a sign that Putin’s aims of containing NATO’s spread eastward had backfired.

“I said Putin was looking for the ‘Finlandization’ of Europe. He’s going to get the ‘NATOization’ of Europe, and that is exactly what he did not want, that’s exactly what needs to be done to guarantee security for Europe. And I think it’s necessary,” he said.

The efforts to bring Finland and Sweden into NATO were both the work of months of steady diplomacy and, over the past days, an intensive flurry of phone calls and meetings between top officials.

The process was described by senior US and European officials.

Heading into this week’s summit, few of those officials believed the issues blocking the two Scandinavian countries’ accession would be resolved by the time leaders departed Madrid. Instead, they had resigned themselves to making progress on an issue they believed could extend months longer.

Instead, a marathon set of meetings, a strategically timed phone call from Biden to Erdoğan and a last-minute sign off resulted in the path being cleared for NATO’s newest members. In the end, Biden dangled the prospect of a formal meeting with Erdoğan on the margins of this week’s summit as he pushed to get the plan over the finish line.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it is clear why Finland and Sweden would consider abandoning their longtime security postures to join NATO. But in December, before Russian tanks began rolling into Ukraine, the prospect was more far-fetched.

Comment: I know Turks. Erdogan got his pound of flesh for this.

Inside Biden’s successful six-month bid to expand NATO – CNNPolitics

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Posted in As The Borg Turns, Turkey, Ukraine Crisis | 4 Comments

Webb ready to open its eyes …

“One of the James Webb Space Telescope’s four primary scientific instruments, known as NIRISS, has concluded its postlaunch preparations and is now ready for science. NIRISS, which stands for Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph instrument, provides observing modes for slitless spectroscopy, high-contrast interferometric imaging, and imaging, at wavelengths between 0.6 and 5.0 μm over a 2.2′ x 2.2′ FOV. It will be used to investigate the following science objectives: first light detection, exoplanet detection and characterization, and exoplanet transit spectroscopy.

The final NIRISS mode to be checked off before the instrument was certified ready to begin scientific operations was the Single Object Slitless Spectroscopy (SOSS) capability. The heart of the SOSS mode is a specialized prism assembly that disperses the light of a cosmic source to create three distinctive spectra (rainbows), revealing the hues of more than 2,000 infrared colors collected simultaneously in a single observation.

This mode will be specifically used to probe the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets, i.e., planets that happen to eclipse their star periodically, momentarily dimming the star’s brightness for a period of time. By comparing the spectra collected during and before or after a transit event with great precision, one can determine not only whether or not the exoplanet has an atmosphere, but also what atoms and molecules are in it.”

One of Webb Space Telescope’s Primary Instruments Ready To See Cosmos in Over 2,000 Infrared Colors (

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Posted in Science, Space | 2 Comments

Scheduled stand-down for

On the 4th of July the offshore hosting company that carries Turcopolier will conduct a migration of the server that we use. This will last about 8 hours. Will remind on 3 July. pl

Posted in Administration | 2 Comments

” … Biden Spoke With Hunter About Chinese Dealings”

“A new report revealed Joe Biden did, in fact, discuss with his son Hunter his business dealings in China, despite him denying doing so in the past. A voicemail from Joe Biden found in Hunter Biden’s inbox and released by the Daily Mail uncovered that the President wanted to talk to his son about a report on his Chinese business.

The voicemail dates back to the year 2018 and Joe Biden notably commented, “I think you’re clear.” That article raised questions about Hunter Biden profiting from selling political influence in the US.

The article in question detailed Hunter Biden’s dealings with Chinese financial giant CEFC and it mentioned how his main business partner, Ye Jian-ming, was arrested and later convicted for bribery.”

Comment: It is becoming ever clearer that it really is the “Biden Crime Family.” pl

Report: Biden spoke with hunter about Chinese dealings | One America News Network (

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Posted in As The Borg Turns, government, Justice, Politics | 6 Comments

“Jan. 6 committee announces surprise hearing for Tuesday on new evidence”

The trials of the Old Bolshevks in the blood purges

“Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., has said that the committee’s final two public hearings will focus on how Trump illegally directed his supporters toward the Capitol, then failed to take quick action to quell the attack once it began.

The committee has no power to file criminal charges against Trump or anyone else, and it is not clear whether the panel plans to issue a criminal referral to the Justice Department. Attorney General Merrick Garland has told reporters that federal prosecutors are watching the hearings.”

Comment: One can only hope that the citizen tribunes of Wyoming will take a suitable revenge on Cheney.

The donkeys and neo-Bolsheviks are seeking to do the GOP a big favor by having Trump barred from another run at the golden apple.

We need De Santis or Younkin as our nominee with Noem in the VP slot. pl

Jan. 6 committee announces surprise hearing for Tuesday on new evidence (

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Posted in government, Politics | 22 Comments

“…How the Abortion Ruling Will Affect Each State.”

“Friday’s landmark ruling effectively returns all abortion-related matters to the states. 

Some states will likely enact legislation to ban or severely abortion immediately, or in relatively short time.

Conversely, other states might challenge the basis of the Supreme Court’s formal judgment, through other esteemed cases. 

Newsmax offers a capsule look at how the various states — and Washington, D.C. — are moving forward with abortion rights, in the wake of the high court’s 5-4 decision.”

Comment: Very much a mixed bag, as it should be given the very diverse culture predominate in the various states. pl

Roe V. Wade Overturned: Here’s How the Abortion Ruling Will Affect Each State |

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Posted in government | 40 Comments

“Telespazio to play key role in satellite servicing market”

Telespazio Site

“Telespazio intends to play a key role in the future in-orbit servicing market, providing customers seeking satellite relocation, refueling, repair or removal with the necessary space and ground-based capabilities.

“There is an industrial role that Telespazio can definitely play on the basis of 61 years of experience in providing operational service,” Marco Brancati, Telespazio head of innovation and technical governance, told SpaceNews. “On the other side, Telespazio can be a kind of broker, combining the needs of the owners of in-orbit assets with the availability of tugs able to provide specific services.”

For now, Telespazio can assist satellite operators with orbit-raising, repositioning, station-keeping and deorbit. Over the longer term, the joint venture between Leonardo and Thales, intends to provide services for spacecraft designed for in-orbit repair, refueling, assembly or deorbit.

“One possibility for the future is to perform refueling in orbit or to replace some unit of the satellite that has been broken,” Brancati said. “In that case, you need the availability of a tug with an automatic arm that is able to replace units on the satellite that needs such service and satellites assembled in a way that someone can replace units.”

Telespazio will draw on the company’s experience as it establishes its satellite-servicing business.

In terms of orbit-raising, Telespazio assisted the European Space Agency in moving the Advanced Relay and Technology Mission satellite to its intended orbit in 2003. After the satellite, called Artemis, was injected into the wrong orbit due to a launch failure, Telespazio helped salvage the mission by firing the onboard electric thrusters to raise its orbit.

Telespazio has experience deorbiting satellites as well.”

Comment: I have been wondering as to who would rise up to handle the myriad implied tasks in the existence of such creations as the Webb telescope that will eventually need to be re-fueled or have other maintenance tasks performed. pl

Telespazio to play key role in satellite servicing market – SpaceNews

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Posted in Science, Space | 4 Comments

The return of the 10th Amendment

A state capitol

“The Tenth Amendment (Amendment X) to the United States Constitution, a part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791.[1] It expresses the principle of federalism, also known as states’ rights, by stating that the federal government has only those powers delegated to it by the Constitution, and that all other powers not forbidden to the states by the Constitution are reserved to each state.” wiki

Comment: In spite of “commerce clause” usurpation, “supremacy clause” usurpation and the desire of ardent nationalists to reduce the states to entities with no shared sovereignty with the federal government, that ambition and process has failed.

Roe was overturned as a precedent on exactly this basis, namely that there is no “right of privacy” in the Constitution. Chief Justice Warren’s fanciful creation stood for a ridiculously long time. Now it is gone. Gone. Gone.

Amusingly, it is clear that when the left howls for “democracy” what they mean is “what we want,” pl

Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution – Wikipedia

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Posted in Ukraine Crisis | 27 Comments