This piece from Tom Ricks, the military correspondent at the Washington Post, has some excellent stories about creative anti-terrorist strategies used by the British to fight the I.R.A., including a laundromat where they run the clothes through a machine that tests for bomb residue before they dry clean the clothes.
To pin down where the bomb makers live, they mail out coupons with special codes to link customers using those coupons to specific addresses.
I’ve also been reading an interesting book about the C.I.A. by a former spy, Ishmael Jones, called The Human Factor.
It describes a bumbling, bureaucratic organization seemingly incapable of pulling off anything even remotely clever.
My guess is the real truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. The laundromat, if it really existed, probably didn’t work nearly as well in reality as in the retelling.
And while I have no doubt the C.I.A. has some problems, I sure wouldn’t want to be a terrorist trying to evade that organization.
(Hat tip: Dmitri Leybman)