I have always had a twitch that crops up when we are talking about the trade - and/or someone wants to know what I know aobut the trade. I do not trust that, since that is a part of my trade craft - the value of acting like a dumb american so as to gain access to infromation that has not been available by other means.
What gave me the tip off that I clearly look at these things somewhat differently than my friends is that small question about 'contact information'. A probably well intentioned person who probably has never really taken the time to think much about tradecraft asked one of those annoying questions, and I tried to side step it by noting that I really do not care for that type of question, and IF it really was of any value then he should file the FOIA. The nice person then asked for my SSN and/or SBI Number.... and I giggled at how silly that was.
I stopped laughing when the unpleasant reality check went BOING, BOING, BOING down the road right behind the Rather Large Rabbit, wearing a top hat, waist coat and a turnip size watch.
Once upon a time, a long, long, long time ago, I was in Country Alpha, and the contact informed me to make the meeting in Country Bravo, in City Charlie. There was no phone number, no cellphone number, no fax number, no email address, no blue tooth device id, no postal box, no street address, no URI, merely city and country.
And I made the contact and we went forward from there.
This involved no Sattelite Uplink/Downlink to my combination wrist watch and laser cannon. No Open Channel D. No combination Transistor Radio and Machine Gun. No Invisible Ink, no Zel Miller death ray Eyes! No combination telephone and business shoes. No combination flying car that turns into a submarine with rockets, machine guns, and torpedoes! No Morroco Mole! No Gadget Laden Trench coat that one can reach into and get all of the latest and greatest Gadgets!
No. Merely Trade Craft.
Granted in the modern high tech world - where things are so much more complicated - it might be a little harder to work out whom one is targetting - I mean one would have to work out what sort of illegal wiretap would be required.
No wonder the Intelligence Community has GONE TO Defecated Recycle Grain Products Passed Through The Bowls Of The Male Of The Bovine Species.
Or should I REALLY be cranked off at americans who have spent all of this time actually believing that majikally this stuff gets done, because, well there are all of those majikal special organizations that do all of that special stuff.
The real laugh was always being told by americans when I came CONUS that what I had done, could not have occurred, because those sorts of things did not happen in their little hometown, including but not limited to NYC, LA, and not just the little podunk centrals.